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I've just started riding on the road in the past month, bought my first road bike (Bianchi Coast to Coast) and having a good time putting miles on it - particularly on the bike routes in Houston. I have some questions about riding on the road (when no bike path/lane is available) and the best way to not make cars angry or get myself killed.

1. I know in Texas that bikes are supposed to stay in the rightmost 3-feet of the lane. But what do you do when you're riding on a 4-lane road and you want to turn left? Do you stop at the corner on the right side and then use the cross walk or change lanes to the left lane and turn from there?

2. Does your answer to rule #1 apply when riding on 4 lane divided roads when you want to turn left or do a U-Turn?
 

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eRacer
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Safety is the most important thing, but bikes are supposed to be like any other 'vehicle' on the road, so you would change lanes to the left and make the turn from there. Easy to say if the lanes are not too crowded. Personal safety is paramount, and I have done exactly what you describe on busy streets. Nothing wrong with stopping at the corner on the right and press/wait for the 'cross walk' light.
It never hurts to be overly cautious, since when push comes to shove, the cyclist usually is the loser.
Good Luck and stay Safe.
John
 

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I just started road riding last year. If you are not using a mirror I would recommend going up to the light and crossing in the crosswalk. Until you get some more miles in I would not recommend looking over your shoulder for traffic behind you. That leads to fading to the left into traffic. Whatever you do make sure you are using proper hand signals for the cars behind you.

My best advice is to try and avoid high traffic roads altogether. There are mapping websites like Mapmyride that you can use to plan safer routes for your riding.

We have almost the same rights as cars, but most drivers don't feel that way. I have been buzzed, screamed at and cut off when I have had no choice but to ride on a higher speed road. Luckily I have not had to dodge any missles yet.

I also joined a recreational riding club. I feel much safer in a pack of riders then I do by myself. It is hard for a driver not to see 5-20 riders.

Be safe, have fun.
 

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Flexibility is key.

A cyclist has the same right to the road than a car, but that's like saying a minnow has the same right to live than a bass. To stay alive, you need to be creative. Sometimes that means following the same rules that cars do. But at other times, it could be a bad choice.

In a left turn-situation, I use several techniques. Here are three:
- I wait in the left lane, then turn on green / green arrow,
- I go straight through the intersection on green, check behind me, make a U-turn if the coast is clear and turn right,
- I make a right turn on red or green into a side street, check behind me, make a U-turn if the coast is clear and go straight across the intersection on green.

Neither of these techniques is safe all the time. As a matter of fact, any one of them could possibly be the worst thing you could do. Point of my post is to be flexible and bend the rules if you have to.
 

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Do it just like you are driving a car

commander_crash said:
I've just started riding on the road in the past month, bought my first road bike (Bianchi Coast to Coast) and having a good time putting miles on it - particularly on the bike routes in Houston. I have some questions about riding on the road (when no bike path/lane is available) and the best way to not make cars angry or get myself killed.

1. I know in Texas that bikes are supposed to stay in the rightmost 3-feet of the lane. But what do you do when you're riding on a 4-lane road and you want to turn left? Do you stop at the corner on the right side and then use the cross walk or change lanes to the left lane and turn from there?

2. Does your answer to rule #1 apply when riding on 4 lane divided roads when you want to turn left or do a U-Turn?
12345
 

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hit it
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Where in Houston?

Memorial Park has a section that is closed off to cars every week night. There are also plenty of hike & bike paths around the city (Terry Hershey Park, Braeswood Dr).

You can PM me for more info if you'd like.
 
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