> >> > Part of it was that. But part of it was that I guess I forgot to turn
> >> > off the strobe when I reached the venue of the event.
> >> >> The law and cooperative common sense is pretty much universal "as far
> >> >> right as practicable". "Lanes" have nothing to do with it. There's
> >> >> no problem whatsoever with riding straight through to the right of a
> >> >> right turn lane; the problem only arises when riding straight through
> >> >> to the right of right turning traffic - lanes notwithstanding. People
> >> >> have to use their heads, navigate, anticipate, and negotiate rather
> >> >> than expect everything to be layed out and prescribed for them.
> >> > In this case there was no right turn lane. There was the right lane
> >> > and the bike lane. The cyclist should have been exceptionally careful
> >> > because of the type of shopping center. It was on a Saturday too, when
> >> > this particular shopping center is rather terrifying.
> >> > The key thing in this sort of traffic configuration is for the
> >> > cyclists to make themselves as conspicuous as possible. A front strobe
> >> > definitely helps. It won't stop someone who doesn't look to the right
> >> > rear before turning, but it will help someone who does glance because
> >> > a strobe is so conspicuous.
> >> If the driver doesn't see a cyclist while passing, there is little hope
> >> he's going to see him while completing the right hook. A front strobe
> >> seems useless in this situation. Your initial description was unclear,
> >> if the driver was already in front (say, moving slowly because of slow
> >> traffic) and the cyclist is passing on the right, then the cyclist is at
> >> fault. Depending on a strobe to provide a non-existent right-of-way in
> >> that situation seems a fool's game.
> > Well, actually an overtaking bicyclist *does* have the *legal* right-
> > of-way in a bike lane, and motorists are required to yield; but
> > pragmatically, your point stands.
> That is not clear to me (that an overtaking bicyclist has the legal
> right of way while passing in the bicycle lane). The CA vehicle code
> does not seem definitive. It does say that the cyclist, when
> overtaking, does not have to remain "as far right as practicable", which
> suggests that the intent is to pass on the left, not the right. On the
> other hand, passing on the right [for vehicles] is allowed if there is
> more than one marked lane in the direction of travel, so it seems as
> though that should allow a bicyclist to legally [if not safely] pass in
> a marked bike lane.
Well, yes - I was thinking of Oregon law, which says drivers must
yield to bicyclists in the bike lane. "Yield" seems pretty
straightforward to me (a bicyclist traveling at a reasonable speed in
a lane designated for bike travel should not have to "yield" to
someone *entering* their lane... legally speaking).
> Regardless, it is a dicey tactic at best, and, as you know, you really
> have to be aware when doing so. For example, it isn't uncommon for
> stopped motorists to leave a gap at a driveway to allow a car coming
> from the other direction to get across. They won't see a cyclist
> in the bike lane, and if there are a couple of stopped SUVs
> you might not see the car.
Yes, since we know very well that drivers very often will not yield
(even sort of understand why they might not think to - bicycle traffic
is relatively uncommon and therefor unexpected in most places, bicycle
traffic presents no significant threat to their safety, bicycle
traffic is inferior in terms of the social power the motorist feels
behind the wheel, bicycles are slow, etc.)... since we know this very
well and can easily anticipate it, we have to be prepared to yield for
our own safety.
This is why route selection is so important to me. When I find myself
in such situations where anticipatable hazards that can only be
mitigated by suppressing my bikey exuberance are a constant threat,
it's not a very pleasant experience - tense and uncomfortable.
Blech! Fortunately my exploratory nature leads to discovery of much
more satisfactory routes. I'm not *afraid* to ride pretty much
anywhere... but... blech!