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What to do when a cage decides to share your lane?

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' at netrider.net.au started by RunningALK, Jan 9, 2009.

  1. Ok so new rider, my odometer on my bike reads 270kms and I have just started riding in traffic.

    This was the heaviest traffic I have been in.

    We were on a one lane road, going in a straight line, speed is 70km/h. The lane is actually a bit wider than a normal single lane, its a generous size. Perhaps its a '1.5' lane, but definitely not wide enough to fit 2 cars.

    The traffic is bumper to bumper and I am riding in the right wheel track of the car in front (giving it some distance - maybe this is what promoted this), closer to the right side of the lane since that is where the car in front is driving.

    Evidently some biatch in a black lexus 4wd took this as an invitation to share the lane with me and came up from behind next to me on my left. I have no idea why, she still couldn't get past the car in front, it was double lines and of no help to her.

    What should I do here and what could have I done to prevent this uncomfortable spot? Perhaps I should have been in the center so she couldn't move up next to me?

    Anyway, I slowly started to lose speed and ended up slotting in behind her... so she had essentially overtaken me on a 1 lane double line piece of road. I didn't know how fast to drop speed either because I didn't want to do it too slowly and move into her blind spot and have her forget I was there and move all the way across on top of me, but on the other hand I didn't want to do it too fast because the cage behind me may not slow down.


  2. Unfortuntely, this will happen as the cager sees this as an invitation to pull along side you. Happened to me ONCE. The only way to prevent this is to ensure you OWN your lane. If it means riding in the centre, or moving around in your lane, so be it.
  3. 3 options come to mind.
    1) drop back behind, personally I think this just promotes others to do the same, and makes us a society where bullies think they can win.
    2) Pull in front and move over laying claim to the lane. As a learner this takes some confidence as you have to feel in full control of your machine, and if they want to be a F#$ker they may start to get very close in a bullying manner, so you may end up having to use skills you simply haven’t developed yet
    3) turn in the saddle eye ball them and wave them back. Again as a learner this takes some confidence, and still may induce bullying tactics from the driver.
    In short confidence or the appearance of confidence is your biggest friend in this situation, but you have to assess each incident separately.

  4. arrrrr, good, see your learning already... :twisted:

  5. haha was going to say.... thats your problem right there
  6. Someone once tried this with me - many years ago - I swung toward the driver and gestured a kick and then turned and peered.

    I often have cars trying to tail-gate, you know the losers you beat at the lights. Well, I just slow right down, turn and eye-ball them.

    Now, to your situation. Ride in the centre of the lane whilst on the FWY. The only time you dont ride in the centre is in a group or coming to stop at traffic lights. Own the lane, its yours.
  7. In the end I think you did the best thing, if you can safely move out of the way so what if you happen to be behind one more car. Chances are in the long run you are bound to get to your destination faster than if you were in the 4wd anyway.

    Owning your lane is something that takes time and another reason to keep an eye on traffic that is behind and beside you . As mentioned above by riding within your lane and moving to the left and right wheel track will ensure that you are not inviting someone to share the lane with you but you still need to keep an eye on the odd cager that will do it regardless.

    Count it as another lesson learnt, reflect on what you could have done in that particular situation (there are always some minor differences, how aggressive the other driver is or the speed they are travelling for example) and add it to your arsenal. If nothing else its made you more aware of what other road users are capable of.
  8. How well would knuckle protect on the gloves scratch the car if you let it move past you?
  9. I wouldn't say just ride the centre. Buffering space is pretty damned important and has saved my arse plenty times.

    If you're coming up to alot of traffic sit to the side of the traffic so if they check their mirrors they know you're in that lane then as you get closer buffer to the other side. Floating around in your lane is a great way to show that you own it and yeh eyeballing works.

    I find the horn on a bike is the worst thing because 99% of drivers don't register it as going off. A loud set of pipes work wonders when you're alongside a car but other than that you're pretty much an unknown to them.

    If they go to share the lane based on whether you're half in front or half behind the car either speed up or drop back and treat it as if they were just lane changing. Also if you're in gridlock, sit in the centre of the lane as there's cars to your left and right and keep your eyes open for the darter.
  10. Hmm. When I got my Ls they said try to ride in the right wheel track of the car in front. They said the centre is not ideal because you can get oil spills and other stuff dropped from cars in the middle of lanes.

    I actually turned my head briefly to see if I could work out what she was doing. Middle aged women with her sunnies on looking dead ahead. At that point I thought she probably doesn't even realize I exist and I should take action immediately or I am going to have my first off.

    Oh and these are the gloves I had on:


    Probably could have done some decent scratching... the mature thing to do right?
  11. Centre is optimal for hwy/fwy riding which is the case you described.

    People spend more time in their rear vision mirror and looking ahead rather than their side mirrors.

    The centre lane does not offer an invitation

    The centre lane is only really dirty in built up areas, not so much on the hwy/fwy.

    What differene will the horn make in this instance - none, the driver can see you.

    Then again, what would I know :eek: :grin:

    As far as rider training advice - understand, this is text book stuff, not real world. There is a VERY big difference between the two. Your mission is to be seen and to take the same space as a car - that is your greatest protection asset
  12. Hey Sir Scuffy not trying to discount your advice, I was speaking in more general so I think both methods hold good weight. Personally I tend to float around on the freeway based on where other cars are, it's probably just overkill on my part but i think it helps me do the same in lower speed traffic.

    Lets keep the gloves on (left first of course) :LOL: :wink:
  13. Hey, no sweat - just fooling around :grin: :grin:

    I tend to lead with the right. :LOL: :LOL: :LOL: :LOL: :LOL:
  14. What Sir Skuffy said - The preventative measure is to make sure there either isn't room for a car either side of you, or at least make it look like there's no room. :)

    Around town, the two wheeltracks are good.

    Normally I'll stay in the right wheeltrack because IMHO you being in direct line of sight of the driver behind you sends a more confident 'This is my space' message than when they can't see past you.

    If there is a risk of a car pulling out of a sidestreet on the left, or coming out of a parallel parking space, I'll use the left wheeltrack so that my bike is visibly part of the "wall of metal" passing the car that wants to enter.

    Oil in the centre of the lane is (mostly) only an issue near/around intersections or trafficjam areas.

    .... Eh, I go wherever I think I'll be most visible at a given time, really!

    On the freeway, the centre-ish areas are good, though I usually sit a bit to the right (again - blocks line of sight which usually convinces drivers to stay back, and ensures there's no room for a car in the same space as me).

    Edit: Sounds like you did the best/safest thing to get out of the situation. This specific kind of situation has only happened to me once in three years; once I was overtaken by Crazy BMW Woman in Canberra on the inside just before a left hand turn (!).. Made room for them and got behind them ASAP.
  15. Yep...you did the right thing, given your time on the bike. well done!. :)

    It IS important to be ascertive...just don't be cocky about it, and that will come with more experience.

    The question about road position is a difficult one...there is no golden rule, but the choices have been covered well by the other blokes above.

    I tend to ride the RH wheel track when I think I need to protect it, or the LH wheel track if I think I need to protect THAT side...
    And often I will sit in the middle of the lane providied I can drop back a bit from the car in front....
    Because the cars in front will let any road debris pass between their wheels (normally)...nothing worse than a 2 ft length of 4x2 appearing suddenly from under the car in front...apart from deknackering you when YOU hit it...it might upset you enough to toss you down the road in front of all the cars...

    OWNERSHIP of the lane is paramount...you do that with skill and body language which drivers will pick up on. (mostly)

    The idiot driver you encountered did everything she did on purpose I suspect...Just a tosser with an attitude that needs an adjustment by a Mack Truck (soemthing bigger than them)
    Don't try it on a bike too much though...we will often come off second best to a car, since they have all the advantages.

  16. I ran over an eski lid that appeared from under a truck i was behind, it was flying around heading right for my face and then the wind caught it and it flipped down under my wheels... :shock:

    soiled myself to some extent :LOL:
  17. With my lane positioning what I try to do is, when the traffic is merging stay on the left of my lane

    When the road is clear and the centre isn't lined with crap I move all over the lane though try to stay in the right so the driver behind sees me

    Traffic lights stay anywhere but the middle.

    But thats me.

    In the situation that you had, I think theres no hard and fast rule as what to do ie, let them in, rev loudly, punch door etc. I think it comes down to what seems to you as the safest (for you) at the time.
    If they are pricks in 4x4s with a god complex then I would let them in. If they see you and do the whole -oh shit sorry - act then I would try to get infront of them because at least you know that they know you exist.
  18. Spots hasn't ridden Sydney to North Coast/South Coast/West, over Christmas, ALL freeways are a traffic jam. :) :)

  19. On the contrary, I have - I just pick my times and directions very carefully. ;)
  20. As much as my heart is screaming "size 10 Sidi to the quarter panel!" my head is saying "If she's doing it on purpose she may just decide to swerve into you for booting her car and if she's not then she probably doesn't deserve it."

    I'd probably opt for a quick squirt to get in front and then a 'WTF are you doing' gesture rather than dropping behind her. The advantage with your course of action however is that 1) you control your separation from the car (4WD) now in front rather than the driver who was originally in front of you, and 2) you get to have some choice words with the biatch at the next set of lights. Much more satisfying (and safe!) than damaging her vehicle.