Riding in the left or right of 'your' lane

Discussion in 'General OFF TOPIC' started by alto, Sep 13, 2010.

  1. alto

    alto Active Member

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    I start this as to not hijack a thread posted by Walleye and a response by Poohbear. It got me thinking about my position on the road. Take a standard, two lane country road mainly but also a lane on a highway. I have always ridden to the left of the center line of my lane. A good friend, who does quite a bit of long trip touring, always rides to the right of the center line. His reasoning is to not be close to oncoming cars that may go 'wide'. Lately, many of the roads here in CT have been paved in three sections..They pave the middle of the entire road ( half one lane...half the other lane..then finish up the remaining sections. I understand it keeps traffic moving while they pave BUT, I am constantly avoiding that crack/split as it is right where I tend to ride..
    I'm interested in what other riders find is more safe..To the left of center or right of center on 'our' lane.
     
  2. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Expert Member

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    I like the left the center seems to be hollow and is where most of the oil leaks and A C water collects from cages:s plus it gives me a better view and lead if I want to pass or change lanes
     
  3. Thumperhead

    Thumperhead Member

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    If the opposing lane is empty, I use the left of center giving me the most roadway to manouver if needed. I tend to move to the center of my lane as traffic approaches for the same reason and move to the right if there is a tractor trailer approaching to avoid the wind blast.
     
  4. alto

    alto Active Member

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    I've always ridden left of center ( unless I'm the second, etc to stagger if riding in a group)..If I'm coming to a hill or corner I can't see beyond, I'll move a bit more right in case a car, coming the other way, their half out of the middle. I can see my friend's point of staying more to the right but, after all these years, it would be totally uncomfortable for me. Years ago, I did hear and feel a definite 'click' of a car brushing my mirror...I'll never forget that sound/feel and sense of being almost gone. The car took a corner real wide..was in my lane before I ever saw him/her coming.
     
  5. sprinklerfitter669

    sprinklerfitter669 Junior Member

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    I stay to the left, sometimes on the interstate i stay to the right, just because of going 70
    on our backroads here, they are so old they have hills in the middle
     
  6. nakkers

    nakkers Active Member

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    The imporant thing to remember is use what part of the lane is most appropriate. The whole lane is yours to use.

    Motorcycle training will teach you to ride to the left of center to "block" the whole lane as Smitty mentions. On a two lane county road, with a large vehicle approaching from the opposite direction, like a transport or pick up pulling a trailer or slow moving vehicle etc, they advise to move to the right of center BEFORE meeting. As well as windblast, there could be other vehicles that are right behind itching to pass. Being right of center, provides improved visibility to see you coming as well as giving each other room/time to deal with a mishap. Cause everyone knows that even if you see them and believe they see you, they don't.

    Being right of center in regular cruising mode, you are positioned closer to road side where wildlife can pop out and say hello as well.

    Sometimes, both left and right of center have patches and tar snakes that are no fun so, the center is fine. Of course, there is grime and crowning to be careful about. But, it's still considered OK to hold the center position when it's call for. It's a different story during damp weather or recent rain.

    I have noticed some riders that like to ride almost hugging the center line of the road which can be very dangerous and don't understand why they put their lives in danger?
     
  7. Davidw2415

    Davidw2415 Senior Member

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    Good theory, but one evening last year I was riding to the left of my lane with wife on the bike with me and some idiot passed to the right of me in my lane and about squeezed me into the side of a truck.
     
  8. Trek

    Trek Junior Member

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    I ride exactly as Nakkers stated.
     
  9. Iceman24

    Iceman24 Well-Known Member

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    Nakkers pretty much gave me "flashbacks" to MSF BRC - right out of the textbook. It's engrained in my mind & still ride this way after 35-yrs behind handlebars.
     
  10. NEWHD74FAN

    NEWHD74FAN Experienced Member Retired Moderators

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    3+for Nakkers, also come from the MSF school of learning and teaching...keep in mind the theory that tells you to allow hazards to separatie through lane position and adjusting your speed for timing.