Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner
1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,599 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How close to the curb do you ride on a single lane road? I know I can take up the whole lane, I like to leave room 3-4' (not exact measurement) for cars, so I leave space. But riding right next to the curb there are seams/uneven pavement (not flat),so I'm afraid I'll fall down, but I am considering moving moving 1-2' to the curb. What do you do if its an long single lane road?
 

·
Jerkhard Sirdribbledick
Joined
·
27,062 Posts
steel515 said:
How close to the curb do you ride on a single lane road? I know I can take up the whole lane, I like to leave room 3-4' (not exact measurement) for cars, so I leave space. But riding right next to the curb there are seams/uneven pavement (not flat),so I'm afraid I'll fall down, but I am considering moving moving 1-2' to the curb. What do you do if its an long single lane road?
You do what you have to do.

CA law stipulates that cyclists ride as close to the right as is practicable, which is pretty damn vague. But it also says that if there's not enough room for the bike and a car to pass safely, then the bike can take the entire lane.

Ride as far from the curb as you feel you have to, but don't give them just enough room to squeeze by. If it gets to that point, take the lane. Let them honk, etc.

All that said ... can you avoid this stretch of road?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,116 Posts
I haven't seen any single lane roads with very high speed limits, so I ride based on lane width. If it is not wide enough to pass safely, I make it clear that I am taking the lane. If it is a wide lane, I leave room. Riding at 20mph one foot from a curb is not a good idea.


steel515 said:
How close to the curb do you ride on a single lane road? I know I can take up the whole lane, I like to leave room 3-4' (not exact measurement) for cars, so I leave space. But riding right next to the curb there are seams/uneven pavement (not flat),so I'm afraid I'll fall down, but I am considering moving moving 1-2' to the curb. What do you do if its an long single lane road?
 

·
Travels by Map
Joined
·
3,060 Posts
steel515 said:
How close to the curb do you ride on a single lane road? I know I can take up the whole lane, I like to leave room 3-4' (not exact measurement) for cars, so I leave space. But riding right next to the curb there are seams/uneven pavement (not flat),so I'm afraid I'll fall down, but I am considering moving moving 1-2' to the curb. What do you do if its an long single lane road?
"It depends" should be the right answer.

Width of road, amount of traffic, speed of traffic, condition of road, proximity to an intersection, and other factors are all included in determining how far from the edge of the road I ride. Most of the time I think it is safe to stay to the side, but if it seems safer then I will take more of the lane. Examples of when I might take the lane are if it is unsafe for cars behind me to try and pass or if I'm coming up to a red light and don't want the cars behind me to pull up next to me and crowd me out. At intersections where I have the right of way I also like to get away from the side of the road to increase my visibility and so I am more visible to others who may be waiting to pull out.

There are so many variables, you really need to use adjust as needed to be safe.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
567 Posts
There is a "gray" area on single lane roads. I mostly try to ride far enough to the left to force any overtaking vehicles to make a "prudent" decision before passing me. If you are too far to the right, drivers are more prone to make stupid decisions and put the squeeze on you, and you will be the one to pay. All that said, there are local single lane roads where I try to be as courteous as possible and stay pretty far to the right. These roads are curbless though, and there is a nice bail out area in case of trouble, and thankfully I've never really had to bail out. The biggest danger IMO is when you stay too far to the right on roads with curbs. Passing motorists can put a squeeze on you there that could really be dangerous.

Birddog
 

·
Failboat Captian
Joined
·
6,559 Posts
I was on a road yesterday that was a single lane (2 lane road, double yellow line) that was posted at 55mph. I was only on it for about a mile, when the speed limit dropped to 45, then 35, then 25. It had almost no shoulder on part of the 55mph section. I rode on the white line, and had about 12"-18" of "shoulder". Cars there are pretty used to bikes, so I wasn't too scared.

Just do what you have to do. If you have to move left to avoid dangerous pavement, then move far enough that some idiot won't try to pass you until it's safe.
 

·
LCI #1853
Joined
·
136 Posts
steel515 said:
How close to the curb do you ride on a single lane road? I know I can take up the whole lane, I like to leave room 3-4' (not exact measurement) for cars, so I leave space. But riding right next to the curb there are seams/uneven pavement (not flat),so I'm afraid I'll fall down, but I am considering moving moving 1-2' to the curb. What do you do if its an long single lane road?
It's usually referred to as a "narrow" lane... one where there isn't room for a car and a bike to share side-by-side with a little breathing space between (Arkansas and several other states require 3 feet separation for safety's sake). You need to ride far enough to the left so that a car will have to cross the center line to pass you rather than try and squeeze by you and force you into the ditch or gutter. Typically this is about 3' out from the curb, or about where the right wheel track for the cars is.

tom
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top