So, you're at a stoplight...

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Gunslinger
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So, you're at a stoplight...

#1 Unread post by Gunslinger » Wed Mar 12, 2008 12:59 am

Hello everyone. Long time listener, first time caller.
If I see someone on a bike at a stoplight that I would like to talk to, what is the best way to approach them? Is it acceptable to pull up next to a biker and basically take up part of their lane, or is it better to use the adjacent lane, assuming of course that it's available? I typically assume that he/she owns that portion of the lane and if I pull up next to them some people might consider that rude. Was just wondering if there's a consensus among some of the more experienced bikers out there. Thanks in advance for the replies.

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#2 Unread post by Johnj » Wed Mar 12, 2008 1:55 am

Don't pull up next to me. If you want to talk follow me around for a bit and I'll pull over to see what you want. Or not.
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#3 Unread post by adrielm » Wed Mar 12, 2008 2:16 am

They're in traffic, don't. It'd be like chatting with someone in the car next to yours at a red light. Ok if there's a hot girl involved, weird if there's not. Not to mention that it's hard to talk with a full-face helmet on.

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Re: So, you're at a stoplight...

#4 Unread post by blues2cruise » Wed Mar 12, 2008 3:43 am

Gunslinger wrote:
Is it acceptable to pull up next to a biker and basically take up part of their lane, or is it better to use the adjacent lane, assuming of course that it's available?
Better use the adjacent lane. If it's not available at a particular light, there is a good chance it will be available at the next light.

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#5 Unread post by shane-o » Wed Mar 12, 2008 4:44 am

hmmmm, i dont usually chat to others cause I normally ride with my ipod on. But if I dont ill at least say "g'day" next to them at lights.

The one tip that makes it easyier to chat is grab ya chin guard and reef it down if you want to talk as it can be quite muffled otherwise.

as for lane sharing at the lights, no problems, if i see you behind me working through the traffic ill make sure there is room for you at the front, if you get to me by surprise ill move over and let you share, most will do that here.

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Re: So, you're at a stoplight...

#6 Unread post by safety-boy » Wed Mar 12, 2008 6:45 am

Gunslinger wrote:...Is it acceptable to pull up next to a biker and basically take up part of their lane...?...
If they leave you part of the lane, they might be expecting you to pull up. If they are in the center, keep back. I will get in stagger position when an unknown biker is behind me, and don't mind if they pull up.

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#7 Unread post by Pittance » Wed Mar 12, 2008 7:35 am

as for lane sharing at the lights, no problems, if i see you behind me working through the traffic ill make sure there is room for you at the front, if you get to me by surprise ill move over and let you share, most will do that here.
Confused about this. If there is a biker at the front of a red light, and a biker 3 cars back. The biker in the back should weave between lanes and cars to get to the front? I didnt think that was legal.

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#8 Unread post by Johnj » Wed Mar 12, 2008 9:47 am

Check the law in your state.
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#9 Unread post by Pittance » Wed Mar 12, 2008 11:45 am

Johnj wrote:Check the law in your state.
I looked around, but couldnt find anything about that. Do you know a good website that explains all of the laws? The only sites I found just gave me a basic rundown on helmet laws and such.

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#10 Unread post by Brackstone » Wed Mar 12, 2008 12:00 pm

Pittance wrote:
Johnj wrote:Check the law in your state.
I looked around, but couldnt find anything about that. Do you know a good website that explains all of the laws? The only sites I found just gave me a basic rundown on helmet laws and such.
The AMA site lists the laws but for my state it says that "Lane Splitting" is "Not Mentioned in Statutes". But then I've had people tell me I'll get a ticket for it anyway.
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#11 Unread post by roscowgo » Wed Mar 12, 2008 12:18 pm

I asked directions of another rider that pulled up next to me in Fredericksburg Va, this summer. As the traffic in that place resembles a snail marathon, we had plenty of time to chat.

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#12 Unread post by Brackstone » Wed Mar 12, 2008 12:51 pm

I'd wait to see if a rider waves me up usually. But I think asking for directions shouldn't be a problem.
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#13 Unread post by flynrider » Wed Mar 12, 2008 6:34 pm

Brackstone wrote:The AMA site lists the laws but for my state it says that "Lane Splitting" is "Not Mentioned in Statutes". But then I've had people tell me I'll get a ticket for it anyway.
You're likely to get a ticket for lane splitting pretty much anywhere but California. That's where you ride your bike between two established lanes of traffic.

What the OP is describing is called "lane sharing". Two bikes in the same lane. This is more widely accepted, but I have heard that it's not allowed in a few states. Not sure if the AMA has that data (site seems to be down right now).

I generally don't share a lane with another motocyclist unless I know him, or have been waved up at a light. Some people don't like it, so I think the proper etiquette is not to just crowd into someone else's lane uninvited.
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#14 Unread post by Pittance » Thu Mar 13, 2008 7:02 am

Ah, I see. I had lane splitting and lane sharing confused. I know that sharing is allowed here in NC since Ive seen tons of people do it, even around cruisers. And splitting I guess is more weaving inbetween lanes of traffic (on the lines) which seems wildly dangerous and rude.

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#15 Unread post by Nibblet99 » Thu Mar 13, 2008 7:59 am

Pittance wrote:Ah, I see. I had lane splitting and lane sharing confused. I know that sharing is allowed here in NC since Ive seen tons of people do it, even around cruisers. And splitting I guess is more weaving inbetween lanes of traffic (on the lines) which seems wildly dangerous and rude.
Lane splitting/filtering/whatever you like to call it, is an oddity

Generally any biker where its legal, can't see a problem with it, and ones where its illegal look upon it with disdain.

Over here it is legal, and I will filter whenever its appropriate. I think there are two major differences in the perceptions.
As it is legal here, car drivers are exposed to it frequently, and in most cases expect it. A country/state that changed the rules to allow it one day would scare me senseless.
The other difference is the lack of thought into the fact that the traffic is headed in the same direction - slowly. Typically I'll only be doing ~10mph more than the traffic, I can easily see anyone who is maneuvering to change lanes because my eyes are open and looking ahead. If necessity requires I can very quickly strim off those 10mph, as my hands will already be covering the brake and clutch.

As for rudeness, if all the bikers sat in the lines of traffic, the tailbacks would take even longer to get through. If a bike is moving its not adding to the congestion problem, and everyone gets to their destinations quicker. Even when I filter to the front at a roundabout or junction of some form, I will use my acceleration to get ahead of the traffic, and not hold up any of the cars either side waiting for me to go.

Hope this adds a new view on things
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#16 Unread post by Meanie » Thu Mar 13, 2008 8:11 am

As was mentioned, lane sharing differs from lane splitting. All states disallow lane splitting,, though some authorities will overlook it. Many allow lane sharing but recommend staggered riding. The true legalities of the road are the same as a parking space. A motorcycle is entitled to a full lane use. As was also mentioned, if a rider is in the center lane at a light, I wouldn't approach them on the side. If they are one side of the lane, it could be an invited for another rider but could also mean they prefer staying to one side.

I wouldn't approach another rider at a light unless it was to alert them of a problem or a very quick question with a quick response such as directions.
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#17 Unread post by Brackstone » Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:45 am

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#18 Unread post by Pittance » Thu Mar 13, 2008 11:18 am

Thanks guys. That helped a lot Nibblet. I know that wouldn't work in this country, or at least not around here in NC. If I rode between lines of traffic at rush hour around here, i doubt Id get more than 100 feet before someone got angry and tried to crash me.
Its very cutthroat around here it feels. People wait until the last second in an on-ramp ending-lane to merge so that they can get ahead of everyone else. I've (and seen others) had to block the dissappearing lanes multiple times to keep people from flying 40mph faster down one. But they just swerve to the shoulder half the time anyways. :(
It'd be nice to live somewhere where people are more concerned with the health of traffic and everyone getting home faster rather than just them.

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#19 Unread post by koji52 » Thu Mar 13, 2008 11:56 am

Pittance wrote:Thanks guys. That helped a lot Nibblet. I know that wouldn't work in this country, or at least not around here in NC. If I rode between lines of traffic at rush hour around here, i doubt Id get more than 100 feet before someone got angry and tried to crash me.
Its very cutthroat around here it feels. People wait until the last second in an on-ramp ending-lane to merge so that they can get ahead of everyone else. I've (and seen others) had to block the dissappearing lanes multiple times to keep people from flying 40mph faster down one. But they just swerve to the shoulder half the time anyways. :(
It'd be nice to live somewhere where people are more concerned with the health of traffic and everyone getting home faster rather than just them.
Stay away from NJ then. Everything you described is normal in this area.
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#20 Unread post by Brackstone » Thu Mar 13, 2008 12:04 pm

koji52 wrote: Stay away from NJ then. Everything you described is normal in this area.
This is true,

I went out with a nice girl from West Virgina once. She scared me to death with her driving out there simply because half the stuff she did would've killed us in Jersey.

She decided to drive to Jersey to be with me and proclaimed (after arriving) that she will NEVER drive in Jersey again :)
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