Freeway riding: Right or Left lane?

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kerwink040
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Freeway riding: Right or Left lane?

#1 Unread post by kerwink040 » Sun Aug 21, 2011 2:40 pm

I was watching a youtube video about freeway riding (tips). The video stated that one should ride in the left lane and faster than the other vehicles are traveling so that (hopefully) the majority of vehicles will see you before the switch into that lane, etc. etc.

I rode on the 101 freeway yesterday and stated in the right most lane (mostly) and the 2nd to right lane when cars were merging into the freeway. I felt pretty safe and was very watchful of everything going on around me and how I was feeling on the mc. I had no problems.

My questions are:
1- Can one ride in the right lane or does one really need to get and stay in the left lane on a freeway?

2- If only left lane why?
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Re: Freeway riding: Right or Left lane?

#2 Unread post by jstark47 » Sun Aug 21, 2011 3:27 pm

If you ride in the right lane and the exits are close together and traffic is heavy, you're constantly dodging cars merging in or slowing down to exit. If you ride in the center lane, you need to watch idiots on both sides. If you ride in the left lane, you only need to watch one side. Additionally, since it's the fastest lane, you tend to have the least chance of being boxed, where you're in the kill zone of the car alongside, but are blocked in back and in front.

I ride 15 miles of I-295 in the Trenton NJ area at rush hour every morning it isn't raining, been doing it since 2005. My experience supports the tips in the video you watched.
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Re: Freeway riding: Right or Left lane?

#3 Unread post by mogster » Sun Aug 21, 2011 4:11 pm

Can I make an international comment & suggest we refer to inside & outside lanes to avoid confusion? :lol:
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Re: Freeway riding: Right or Left lane?

#4 Unread post by gerjets » Sun Aug 21, 2011 5:18 pm

I typically pick my lane based on risk factors, i.e., where I'm the most visible, the traffic volume, weather conditions, light, actions of cagers around me, etc. Bottom line...I believe the immediate "situation" should dictate which lane you should ride in.

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Re: Freeway riding: Right or Left lane?

#5 Unread post by Thumper » Sun Aug 21, 2011 6:42 pm

Fast lane in general I find safer...but when traffic is moving at 85+ in that lane, I get over. Whether I go into the center lane or slow lane depends on how much traffic, time of day, how close together onramps and exits are...

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Re: Freeway riding: Right or Left lane?

#6 Unread post by storysunfolding » Sun Aug 21, 2011 7:55 pm

It's so hard to weave in and out of traffic if you're confined to just one lane :(
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Re: Freeway riding: Right or Left lane?

#7 Unread post by jstark47 » Sun Aug 21, 2011 8:01 pm

storysunfolding wrote:It's so hard to weave in and out of traffic if you're confined to just one lane :(
Then, of course, there's that time-honored summer tradition among NJ squids of doing a wheelie while lane splitting at 50 miles per hour in excess of the prevailing traffic speed..... :scared:
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Re: Freeway riding: Right or Left lane?

#8 Unread post by Wrider » Mon Aug 22, 2011 2:24 am

storysunfolding wrote:It's so hard to weave in and out of traffic if you're confined to just one lane :(
Alternate left and right very quickly. As if you're slaloming an imaginary dotted line or something... :laughing:
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Re: Freeway riding: Right or Left lane?

#9 Unread post by Ed in Miami » Mon Dec 26, 2011 7:49 pm

Depends on conditions, and the length of my trip. I agree that the right lane isn't the place to be if the exits are closely spaced, and the traffic is moderate to heavy, like I-95 in South Florida. On roads like the Florida Turnpike, where the exits are fairly far apart, the right lane can work pretty well if traffic isn't too heavy.

To ride the left lane, you might have to do 85 MPH in a 70 zone to keep up with the pace. Not everyone is comfortable going that fast, and you might be inviting a speeding ticket. I generally go no faster than 10 over the limit on freeways.

Interestingly, in Germany, passing on the right is illegal, and the left lane is the passing lane. You get a ticket for hanging out in the left lane if you are not passing slower vehicles. Such an arrangement would make freeway riding much more predictable if it was used in the US. Here, if you use the center lane, you have to worry about being passed on both sides!

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Re: Freeway riding: Right or Left lane?

#10 Unread post by scooter12 » Fri May 17, 2013 10:07 pm

I tend to ride in the slow lane on the freeway- when 70 mph due to my Chinese 250cc scooter will not do but 70 mph... I stay up with traffic but must keep my eyes open more, for cars pulling on the freeway, cars pulling off, cars passing me, ect.. I constantly adjust speed to which situation I have. Watch to see whom is behind me. But also cars slow up a tad, when behind me because they know a 250cc scooter can't do much more than 70 mph..I tend to find 55 mph highways safer, but like registering the scooter, well it needs inspecting and I must ride 54 Expressway across the Missouri River Bridge- 70 mph Expressway..

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Re: Freeway riding: Right or Left lane?

#11 Unread post by Grey Thumper » Mon May 20, 2013 1:10 am

If riding alone, I favor riding on the right side of the leftmost/inside/fast lane. IMHO, riding on the right side of the lane "stakes your claim" over the lane and discourages people from cutting into your lane (to overtake or whatever). Plus you get a bigger buffer on your left. All this changes in reaction to different variables; riding in a group instead of alone, traffic speed in the fast lane, weather, etc.
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Re: Freeway riding: Right or Left lane?

#12 Unread post by MmeMagpie » Thu May 23, 2013 8:38 pm

I live in the fast lane. Not as much going on, and it's smoother. The shoulder is usually cleaner, too, in case I ever need to use it.
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