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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For discussion - observations of SoCal groups - obtained over a number of years. Three things that after 35 years on 2 wheels, I still don't get - enlighten me:

1) Intersection has a left turn only lane, thru lane, and right turn only lane. Your group is going thru.
a) Light is red: why is everyone standing in the right turn only lane?
b)) Light is red, right turn arrow green - why is the group stopped in the right turn only lane?
c) Light is green - why are groups using the right turn only lane as a thru lane?

I asked this question once on a group ride. An old salt snapped at me "I've been hit so many times, I think I know what's safe!". My only reply was "Maybe you should listen to me then; I've never been hit".

2) T-Intersection. Group is approaching at the top of the T - meaning that no traffic from the right. Why is it ok to run the red light en masse? The cars turning left from that T tend to swing wide and should not expect traffic to be running the red light.

I was in the front of medium size group once and I stopped. The group yelled at me for doing so: "WTF assH*le? Why'd you stop?". I simply said "I didn't want a ticket for running a red light and I didn't want to die today".

3) There are a lot of cat 1,2 and pro riders in the area - yes. But these Sat/Sun rides are training/fitness rides in an open environment - not a closed race. What's with the attitude that the group can't act like lycra clad gangs - power smashing mirors for example - or not taking notice of what's going on around the group.

A large Saturday group I was with took over a car on quiet morning (little traffic). The driver was obviously lost. I saw her make a U-turn well out in front of our group. She was slowing and looking down side streets. I could see this from my position toward the back of the 60+ person group well before we caught up to her.

For some reason, the lead riders swarmed around the car, passing on both sides. The speed at this point of the ride is around 25mph. She got scared, panicked, and stopped. I was towards the back of the group. About a dozen guys ahead of me screamed at this girl (16-18 years old). When I rolled up and looked in the window she was crying. Way to go guys. A guy near me looks at me and says, "Can you belive how stupid people are". I could only say "yea, we all acted like a bunch of jacka$$es didn't we?" He looked confused.

I don't ride with groups anymore. Largely because I'm unlikeable and anti-social but also for reasons like the ones above. Why do SoCal group rides develop this aggro mind-set. Claiming your right to the road should not have to involve breaking traffic laws or gang level intimidation tactics.
 

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n00b
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I am interested in folks' thoughts on #1 in particular as well - even in situations where there is only a thru lane and a right-turn lane. It always seemed to me that if you're waiting out a light in the right-turn lane, you're holding people up who are trying to turn right. But if you're waiting out a red light in the thru lane, you're not holding anyone up at all.

I have always assumed that the rationale is that using the right-turn lane as the thru lane allows some traffic in the thru lane to pass the biker(s) upon the light turning green, and if nobody happens to be queued up to turn right, it works out fine. But it's not obvious to me that this is usually better.

(I am a new rider and first-time poster though...so if I'm missing something obvious, please fill me in!)
 

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Master debator.
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1. Maybe things are different where you live. Here we would take the through lane, and since it's a bunch we all bunch together and form one large mass. No way we'd ever block the right turn lane, that seems foolish.
2. If you're leading a group ride you should be expected to obey any semaphores you come across, especially if there are cars around. In the middle of nowhere it is different.
3. I'd never ride with 60 others unless it's a race, so I have no opinion on that.
 

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I agree with the attitude of the OP. If you're out in the boondocks maybe it'd be different, but in an urban or suburban environment, IMO it's not. If it were me I wouldn't follow their example when riding with them. If they didn't like it they could :ciappa: I think it's more likely that rather than ride with them I'd look for another group or ride solo. I don't like to ride with people who endanger me or put me in uncomfortable positions.
 

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SilverStretch said:
I am interested in folks' thoughts on #1 in particular as well - even in situations where there is only a thru lane and a right-turn lane. It always seemed to me that if you're waiting out a light in the right-turn lane, you're holding people up who are trying to turn right. But if you're waiting out a red light in the thru lane, you're not holding anyone up at all.

I have always assumed that the rationale is that using the right-turn lane as the thru lane allows some traffic in the thru lane to pass the biker(s) upon the light turning green, and if nobody happens to be queued up to turn right, it works out fine. But it's not obvious to me that this is usually better.

(I am a new rider and first-time poster though...so if I'm missing something obvious, please fill me in!)
On a road I ride, the bike lane sometimes morphs into a right-turn lane. If there's a red light, I get out of the way of right turners and line up with the cars in the lane going straight. If the light is green, I still generally get over and out of the way, but will generally not take the (going straight) lane.

Depending on traffic and how fast I'm going, I may just stay in the right lane, which will morph back into a bike lane. I'd do this if I was going at a pretty good clip and wouldn't hold anybody up. But you've still gotta watch for people coming from the right that want to turn right & may be sticking out into my lane.
 

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270bullet said:
For discussion - observations of SoCal groups - obtained over a number of years. Three things that after 35 years on 2 wheels, I still don't get - enlighten me:

1) Intersection has a left turn only lane, thru lane, and right turn only lane. Your group is going thru.
a) Light is red: why is everyone standing in the right turn only lane?
b)) Light is red, right turn arrow green - why is the group stopped in the right turn only lane?
c) Light is green - why are groups using the right turn only lane as a thru lane?

I asked this question once on a group ride. An old salt snapped at me "I've been hit so many times, I think I know what's safe!". My only reply was "Maybe you should listen to me then; I've never been hit".

2) T-Intersection. Group is approaching at the top of the T - meaning that no traffic from the right. Why is it ok to run the red light en masse? The cars turning left from that T tend to swing wide and should not expect traffic to be running the red light.

I was in the front of medium size group once and I stopped. The group yelled at me for doing so: "WTF assH*le? Why'd you stop?". I simply said "I didn't want a ticket for running a red light and I didn't want to die today".

3) There are a lot of cat 1,2 and pro riders in the area - yes. But these Sat/Sun rides are training/fitness rides in an open environment - not a closed race. What's with the attitude that the group can't act like lycra clad gangs - power smashing mirors for example - or not taking notice of what's going on around the group.

A large Saturday group I was with took over a car on quiet morning (little traffic). The driver was obviously lost. I saw her make a U-turn well out in front of our group. She was slowing and looking down side streets. I could see this from my position toward the back of the 60+ person group well before we caught up to her.

For some reason, the lead riders swarmed around the car, passing on both sides. The speed at this point of the ride is around 25mph. She got scared, panicked, and stopped. I was towards the back of the group. About a dozen guys ahead of me screamed at this girl (16-18 years old). When I rolled up and looked in the window she was crying. Way to go guys. A guy near me looks at me and says, "Can you belive how stupid people are". I could only say "yea, we all acted like a bunch of jacka$$es didn't we?" He looked confused.

I don't ride with groups anymore. Largely because I'm unlikeable and anti-social but also for reasons like the ones above. Why do SoCal group rides develop this aggro mind-set. Claiming your right to the road should not have to involve breaking traffic laws or gang level intimidation tactics.
you forgot nr 4: same bunch of cyclists wondering why they are hated in the regions they ride through.
 

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#1 I see all the time. I think it has more to do with not being in front of cars that are going straight than anything else. I usually just stay at the front of the through lane if I'm going straight, and then drift right as soon as I'm out of the turn radius of the Right Turn lane so that the Thru cars can pass me.

#2 I'm not quite sure exactly what you're talking about.

#3 Not quite sure where in SoCal you're riding, or which group you're riding with, but I ride with one of the hammerhead-type groups and I've never seen something like that happen.

Out of curiosity, where in SoCal are you and who/what club were you riding with when this happened?
 

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oroy38 said:
#3 Not quite sure where in SoCal you're riding, or which group you're riding with, but I ride with one of the hammerhead-type groups and I've never seen something like that happen.
try the montrose ride for example.
 

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oroy38 said:
A bit far for me, I'm in San Diego. The LA proximity explains a lot though!
Well a certain irony was included, I did not mean anyone should actively try that flustercuck of a ride :)
 

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orange_julius said:
None of these observations are novel.
I ride mostly alone for several very good reasons.
Ditto on that. Groups of riders can be obnoxious. What's so wrong about acting like traffic should act? Then, hopefully, we get treated like traffic.
 

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270bullet said:
An old salt snapped at me "I've been hit so many times, I think I know what's safe!". My only reply was "Maybe you should listen to me then; I've never been hit"..
new sig! thanks!
 

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60 riders together is about the same as any other gang...

I've never ridden in a group that big, but I do really enjoy pace line riding in smaller groups. Everyone I've ever hooked up with has been pretty nice in terms of getting out of the way of traffic, etc etc. I do notice though a bit of a lack of gratitude. On the last ride we were filtering though stop sign as a group, and several cars were nice enough to wait for stragglers... no one waved other than myself.

A little good will goes a long way and I always make it a point to wave when someone goes out of their way to not hit me or cut me off. Hopefully they'll keep doing it in the future. Of course I'm happy to flip the bird to the ass clown on the motorcycle that came to a stop slightly after me and proceeded to turn right across my bow and nearly clip me.
 

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Mike T. said:
What's so wrong about acting like traffic should act? Then, hopefully, we get treated like traffic.
+1 Well said.
 

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#1 What? The group actually stopped at a red light and waited? Around here the most they'll do is pause momentarily and then ride through the red.
I think one reason why they would be in the right-only turn lane is that they're used to riding on the far right side of the road and don't bother to move over to the middle thru-lane when coming up to the intersection.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
oroy38 said:
#3 Not quite sure where in SoCal you're riding, or which group you're riding with, but I ride with one of the hammerhead-type groups and I've never seen something like that happen.

Out of curiosity, where in SoCal are you and who/what club were you riding with when this happened?
OC. The larger groups are the Saturday Canyon Vello to Food Park ride and the Sun Como Street ride. Those rides are early enough in the day where traffic isn't much of a concern.

A lot of the people I've met on those rides are nice people. It was the 'core pack mentality that started to wear on me.

Little things here and there - then the incident with the girl was one I couldn't stomach. The T-Intersection most commonly ran is going down El Toro road where it intersects with Aliso Creek road.

It's been several years since I rode with those groups so maybe they've changed their approach.

Lately, I'm seeing a lot of smaller groups out in my area doing items 1 and 2 every day. Recently while driving, I was making a left coming off of the Imperial Hwy off ramp, when a small group ran the light coming from my right (Imperial Hwy South toward Cannon). I don't recall one rider even looking in my direction. It was like they had a secret green light or something.

Then as I headed to the gym, a small group ~8 blocked the right turn only lane into the gym parking lot off of La Palma. Those two things happening the same day prompted my post.
 

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Mike T. said:
What's so wrong about acting like traffic should act? Then, hopefully, we get treated like traffic.
+2 on that.

I frequently get stuck behind cars in a through lane who take longer than the average cyclist to clear the intersection. Unless there are dedicated bike lanes or laws prohibiting it, I use the same lane at an intersection I would use if I were driving.

It always pisses me of when people run red lights/stop signs as well.
 

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1 - SoCal sucks. Groups in Atlanta don't make decisions that bad in my experience. But I'm of the mind that Atlanta drivers are some of the best in the country, because they have to be.

2 - SoCal sucks. Unless it's Red/Red and your lane is about to get a Green (really easy to predict if you're not dumb) I haven't seen a group ride run a red light yet. I've seen them only give lip service to stopping before making a right on red but only when safe.

3 - I have mixed feelings. I've known a lot of girls who cry because of events in traffic that any normal Atlanta driver would shrug off. They're the kind of people that really need to just not drive. But, it sounds like your group just sucks at life. Again, I think the problem is that SoCal sucks. Groups I've been in have passed cars, but short of waving thanks for yielding to 30 geeks in lycra…we don't have that many interactions with drivers. One guy sprinted up and tapped someone's window on a descent once to tell him not to stop short because there were 30 bikes behind him….

So, in conclusion…SoCal sucks.
 
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