Monday, 29 March 2010
So when do you claim a lane? (or, a Lana - I couldn't think of a famous "Elaine") Reading an article posted by SteveA, I was struck by how riding conditions and habits can vary from town to town and, more so country to country. I think the answer is, when you judge that there is no room in the lane for a car and a bike at the same time, and as a result it is safer to position yourself so that a driver does not try to squeeze in. But do you get that right? Who's to say?
I thought I'd illustrate with some examples from my current London commute along the Uxbridge Road, a major arterial urban road. Here's a place I definitely claim my lane, I'm going straight ahead. For those of you thinking "rubbish, that's a wide lane", it is two lanes. The pinch point is under the bridge, you can see it better looking from the Streetview on the other side of the road If you are truly fasinated, step back and forth along the road. Coming up to it, I ignore the cycle lane on the left hand side and ride the white line. The cycle lane sucks, throws you across left turning traffic otherwise forcing wait for up to two changes of the (long) lights if you really want to use it. So, I hit traffic speed and ride along.
Another bridge, another pinch point. But this time there are not two lanes.so I position myself that bit more away from the kerb, but not blocking the lane. That way the enthusiastic overtakers are kept a bit in check (you can see that manoeuvre shaping up if you step back and forth. In my view, the cyclist in frame is too near the kerb but no big deal.
And finally, pinch point of a junction and lights Here, I would not normally claim the lane, in my view there is plenty of room here.
That's some of the three options. How would you handle them?
And time for a pet hate. Cyclists riding two abreast (mostly not even fast) just for convenience of chatting, without a thought for road conditions. You've got a right to be on the road, but some you can and some you can't.