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Which side of the road?

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' at netrider.net.au started by P4p3r, Jan 30, 2009.

  1. Yeah yeah, on the left lane. :wink:

    But where on the left lane?

    Back home I was learned to ride in the middle of the lane. The idea is to "fill" the lane so cars would see you, and wouldn't try to pass you in tight areas, with all the possible consequences...

    Then there is the argument that there might be sudden obstacles in the middle of the lane, avoided by cars but fatal to a bike, (Things such as rocks, or oil come to mind.) and that therefor you should ride in the tracks of cars...

    So, what is your opinion?
  2. The side that makes me the most visible to what I consider at the time to be the biggest threat and that gives me enough room and time to get away from that threat.
  3. What he said, but in rainy or early morning conditons, and especially near intersections and traffic lights, avoid the middle of the lane like the plague, for the reasons you already understand.
  4. avoid the middle if u can, what i usualy do is move from left side to right side all the time, means more chance for them to see you..

    by the way "i was learned" should be "i was taught"
  5. I ride between the wheelpaths for the thrill of it.
    Also, there is more texture there.
  6. On the right wheel track (for cars) for me.
    Especally intersections, grease/oil build up in the middle part of the lane can get on your tyres & have a slight influence on handling - or lack thereof.
    Also it's the best part of the lane where the car you are following will have your headlight in his side mirror as well as his inside rearview mirror.

    It's generally a cleaner line than the middle of the road too.

    although you can chop & change, this is my general posisiton on the road when I have the option.
  7. RH track on single lane roads.
    Multi lane, LH wheel track in lane 2 & 3 etc is usually best but sometimes it all depends.
  8. +1 for all replies!

    i was taught "lane guarding" to avoid being cut off: LH wheel track in the right lane, RH wheel track in the left lane (for a two lane road.)

    Having said that, it's a matter of constantly adjusting lane position depending on the situation. Staying away from the middle is a great idea especially in the wet!

    all the best.
  9. I normally stay in the right wheel rack unless there is a massive truck or bus coming the other way i will move to the left until its gone then go back.
  10. After having a brown trousers moment riding over a 2x4 at diagonals across the centre of my lane at 100km/h (so fcuking close to coming off), I tend to keep to a wheel track but I chop n change regularly depending who's beside me in the other lane or if I feel the need to alert the driver in front to my presence.
  11. As stated by others, the "ideal" position on a two way road is in the right hand wheel track.
    One of the reasons for this is that this position allows you to own your own lane and not encourage other vehicles to come along side. Another reason for this is, as long as your maintaining your 3 sec gap, the vehicle in front will be able to see you in his side and rear view mirror.

    However there are so many variables to this.

    Have a think how many times you see other drivers doing other things than just driving. You see them on the phone, texting, eating... etc
    It's a good idea to allow a buffer between you and the other road users.

    I will often move a bit more towards the middle when cars approach and a bit more to the left of the middle when trucks approach. If you don't have your nose up the back of the vehicle in front you will have time to avoid anything in your lane that may be obscured by the vehicle in front.

    Sometimes you might need to move so that a vehicle waiting to enter the traffic can see you around a post etc.

    Also if it's windy you may want to position yourself so that you have a bit more of a buffer to the other road users.

    So there's no one position on any given lane. Just what you feel comfortable with and what the conditions are at the time.

  12. I did my learner/P's course a while back, but from what I remember the buffering term was the one most frequently used.

    As stated above you want to avoid the middle of the road because of possible issues with oil or items on the road, especially just after rain or the morning dew (which lifts all the crap out)

    Buffering comes into play in that you want to be positioned according to what other traffic there is on the road, and keeping as much buffer between you and them as possible so that if something does go wrong you have the most chance of stopping/getting out of the way, and just generally reacting, as well as increasing the chance they will see you.

    For example moving to the left hand tyre track when there is incoming traffic, or the right hand track when there is a vehicle turning from the left onto the road you are travelling along, and also moving between the two to maximise visibility, the human eye sees motion using this will help make other people aware of you.

    I'd personally stick to the right hand track (esp for vision) except on busy roads with lots of incoming traffic with no divider because I have often seen people lose concentration and swerve just enough to cause an accident if someone just happened to be there at that moment, likewise sitting in the left hand track on multilane roads can be dangerous when some moron decides to overtake you without leaving your lane. (should be some kind of life sentence punishment for doing this imo)

    For cornering it changes again as you want to come into the corner wide and come out shallow, but do so in a fashion which isn't putting you in the path of other vehicles.

    Having a set spot on the road probably isn't a safe riding practice simply because the safest way to ride is to react to all your surroundings and ride in a way which minimises risk while maximising your buffer and visibility.

    Sadly even when your doing everything right some people should never have been able to get a license and it won't be enough and you'll need to react very quickly to unexpected events, which is where the buffer comes into play.
  13. some of our roads have special motorcycle lanes