il padrone wrote:Too many points that I would take issue with in russell.bathard's post to address really. Suffice to cover a few that I may have not made clear before.
If you ride wider in the traffic flow the presence you make will act to reduce vehicle speeds around you. You become a bit less predictable (to drivers - you're not over there in the gutter) and drivers will, despite any frustration or anger, drive more conservatively. This is usually evident by the far fewer horn blasts that I receive, and the cars slowing and changing lanes.
Secondly, my old 'thorn' (funny, that's what I ride ) - the mirror. Many think that a mirror is not needed on a bike, that it will cause you to be 'terrified' by the approaching traffic. Use one and get used to the view, the traffic is there whether you see them or not. Wouldn't you rather know more about your surroundings? Don't you think greater awareness of the nearby vehicles - ones that are about to directly effect you - would make your riding safer? Most safety experts I would expect would say yes. Would you rather drive a car with less information and awareness? Would you drive a car, or ride a motorbike without a rear-view mirror?
I only ride wider on the road because I know, through long experience of doing it, that it does make me safer in the road environment. Data collection on this issue is very difficult in its practical collection, and unnecessary as the jury has been out for many years. Also greater riding in this manner by more cyclists works to tame the actions of all other drivers. Do it now!
Agreed on all points. I've been using a mirror for decades, and it's just automatic now for me to keep my awareness of what's ahead of and either side of me, while frequent glances in the mirror tell me what's behind, without me having to bend my neck. I also claim the lane whenever possible. Let's hope Russell starts to believe this, too, because his approach to road cycling will only disadvantage him.
Of course, I still get the occasional idiot who insists on overtaking me in his big metal vehicle without changing lanes, despite the fact that I'm in the middle of my lane, but there will always be some of those people, unfortunately. Overall, I think I get fewer of those when I claim the lane compared to when I ride near the left of the lane (and as mentioned, I try to avoid doing the latter unless there's really no choice).