il padrone wrote:TheShadow wrote:Still can't believe I rode through all that traffic with both panniers on. As I got a little squeezed once or twice, I calculated that since my axle is higher than the gutter, and my pannier bottom is level with the axle > therefore I can safely ride in the gutter with the left pannier having enough clearance over the top of the kerbing if I have to.
Whereabouts are you and what sort of traffic conditions?
I'd strongly recommend that you don't get yourself into the 'gutter riding' situation. If the traffic is really heavy, claim the lane, or overtake on the right side if there are long stationery queues. There is always more room on the right and you're far less likely to get doored or have someone do a 'left hook' on you. If it is faster traffic overtaking you, the gutter is the worst place to put yourself. Stand out wider for some lane space.
Just my opinion.
You are right. I believe my most dangerous moments yesterday were in the gutter. I generally am not game to claim the entire lane in a really obvious way when on my own anywhere, including along Coronation Drive in Brisbane, although I purposefully don't ride in the gutter much either, so cars will generally need to move out of the lane to pass me anyway. I don't like that situation much in general. The joins between the gutter and road surface are particularly nasty there also. I am just a reluctant lane claimer if I'm significantly slower than traffic and by myself.
Yesterday I started to pursue this strategy, but traffic was moving so slow, that I did in fact move out into the middle to pass them on the right - filtering? This I like doing when I can match traffic speeds. That's what I usually do in those circumstances, and you're right, it's safer than the gutter despite what some people think. But whether you're in the gutter, or filtering near a centre white line, the gap can close up for whatever reason, or a car may brake AND change lanes in front of you, requiring you to stop as fast as a modern car with fancy tyres and ABS. I've done a swerving stoppie once like that, but not in the rain and not with panniers.
I was reasonably cautious yesterday and had numerous lane-changing and generally wandering cars requiring me to make adjustments, but no real close calls. It was a slightly surreal situation in general. But I felt more confident of getting somewhere on my bike than all those car drivers.