Going down the road feeling bad

June 12, 2014 § 132 Comments

I belong to a listserv called “CABO,” the California Association of Bicycling Organizations. It is an amazing place, where traffic engineers argue with one another about whether bikes should be in the road or shunted off to the side in bike lanes, cycle tracks, hamster wheels, etc.

It was from CABO that I first learned about riding in the middle of the lane. I tried it out on Del Amo eastbound between Prospect and Hawthorne one day and it scared the crap out of me. However, it scared the crap out of me less than being shoved up against the nonexistent shoulder and having close-passing pickups shave me by inches.

The thing I learned is that no matter how pissed off my presence made the cagers who had to slow down behind me, they always changed lanes and passed. I’ve never been hit from behind or even had brakes squeal from a rear-approaching vehicle.

Eventually I tried it on Hawthorne. Same thing. The occasional honk or middle finger, lots of (presumably) pissed off people slowing down, changing lanes and then passing, but that’s pretty much it. Riding my bike and hogging the lane was better than scrunching up against the edge and having people pass me within a few feet or a few inches.

Taking it to the next level

After getting comfortable with riding in the lane on local streets I took this method to PCH. I did it with a group of 8 or 10 riders, and I have done it several times since then. The results were unsurprising (to me). We got a few honks but people slowed, passed in the other lane, and left us alone.

I have used these experiences as the basis for encouraging people to get out in the lane on PCH.

Then yesterday I found myself in a new situation. I was on PCH with just one other person, Jay. I suggested we ride in the lane and he looked at me like I was crazy. “Okay,” he said. “But I’m fine in the gutter.”

And he is. As one of the most skilled off-road and on-road bike handlers I know, he’s not the least bit fazed by rocks, glass, chugholes, car doors, trash cans, the ends of surfboards, Cher, etc.

What I found during this little experiment was amazing, and a lot of it was bad. Whereas a medium-to-large sized group attracts little motorist hostility, two riders taking up the lane evokes the Wrath of the Cagers. We rode from Temescal Canyon to Decker Lane, averaging 15 or 16 mph, and we were met with an endless stream of honks, shouts, middle fingers, and plain old-fashioned road rage.

I was tenser after the first five minutes than I’ve ever been in any bike race. This was as to nothing when we hit Pepperdine Hill after Cross Creek. Still taking the lane, we climbed at a very slow speed, perhaps 10 mph or less. With 30 or 40 drivers backed up behind us, I fully expected to be run over.

Cars came raging by us in the next lane after having had to slow to a crawl on the hill, and they revved their engines, honked, flipped us off, screamed, and were livid. Of course the point is that they all slowed and passed, but the other point is this: how much fun is a bike ride when you feel like everyone wants to kill you?

Answer: no fun at all.

When the weird turn pro

On the return ride it was pretty much the same until we reached Cross Creek. I told Jay that I was done, I couldn’t take any more of the honking and screaming, so we rode for about two miles in the gutter up against the long line of cars parked at Malibu. What’s weird is that as awful as the lane had been, the gutter was now worse by orders of magnitude.

Despite the cager rage, I have become so accustomed to the smooth, wonderful riding surface of the lane, where you have better visibility, no obstacles, and lots of room to maneuver, that getting back in the gutter is intensely stressful. The other amazing thing about riding in the lane is that you ride side by side and get to talk. So we got back in the lane and started to take advantage of a good tailwind and flat road. Averaging 22 or 23, with sustained segments of 25-27 mph seemed to result in much less cager rage and not a single honk.

And here is where the CABO advocates have their work cut out for them: if it’s this hairball for a pair of riders who can carry a steady speed over the course of a 100-mile ride, what would the experience be like for an elderly traffic engineer pedaling up Pepperdine Hill at 4 or 5 mph? I’m not easily cowed or intimidated, but the unending torrent of honks and curses was unnerving, to put it mildly, and it didn’t seem like the rage abated until we were cruising in the mid-20’s and up.

In other words, it’s really easy to advocate lane control and vehicular cycling on PCH, but after my experience there’s no way I’d recommend that the average cyclist take the lane on PCH solo. Unless of course you want to!

How educational was it?

For the drivers, I’m convinced it was very educational, although also rage-inducing. One woman roared by us honking and flipping us off, then pulled over about 1/4 mile ahead to talk on the phone. We passed her, and after she finished talking she came by again.

This second time she didn’t honk or rev her engine. She expected us to be there and acted accordingly. I think she was educated by our behavior.

Another educational encounter was less prosaic. At the light past Latigo a sow in an SUV put down her window. “Why don’t you get out of the road?” she asked.

“Because we have the legal right to be here,” I answered.

“Yeah, but it’s really dangerous.”

“Only if you don’t know how to use your brakes and change lanes,” I said.

“It’s DANGEROUS!!!” she screamed, roaring off at the green light. There were several cars backed up behind us and behind her. Several of them honked and gave the middle finger salute.

Still, the implication is that only by getting more and more people in the lane will PCH drivers come to expect us to be there and make accommodations, maybe even to the sluggard dragging ass up Pepperdine Hill at 4 mph. There’s no way to know for sure, but I think a lot of the anger was because people simply didn’t expect us to be there.

What this means in practical terms is that if vehicular cycling advocates really want to make a difference, at least on PCH, they need to get off their keyboards and out in the traffic, preferably in ones or twos. It is hairy and will scare the crapcakes out of you but there’s no other way to acclimate cagers to the presence of single riders in the lane on PCH.

We’ll be out there again this morning, although with a larger group. My sphincter’s already clenched.



Please take a minute to subscribe to “Cycling in the South Bay.” It’s only $2.99 per month. If you can’t do that, then at least get a group together and ride in the lane on PCH!

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§ 132 Responses to Going down the road feeling bad

  • sibex9591 says:

    Definitely food for thought here. The education process truly does begin on the road.

  • Bob says:

    kudos to you and your buddy! Be safe out there as you educate the cager world.

  • darelldd says:

    Though I enjoy the racing bits, and I totally miss Turner and the Hooker… the subject of cyclists being accepted on the road is near and dear to me.

    Again, you are my hero, and you get full Darell Credit (not accepted as legal tender except in those places where it is both legal AND tender) for hangin’ it out there for the greater good.

    Rosa Parks certainly didn’t take the safe/easy/cowering approach. And while she didn’t endeavor to ride a plastic bike in her underwear, I think there are some parallels in there somewhere.

    The only thing I’d suggest to change about your process of on-road education is to answer the “Why don’t you get out of the road?” question with, “Because it is the safest place for me/us to be!” While “We have the legal right to be here” is both accurate and tangentially relevant, I think we can all agree that the legal aspect is NOT the reason you’re out there. If it were safer for us to be in the gutter, there’s little logic in endangering ourselves and pissing off drivers just because we have the right to do so. And I think that the message of safety will encourage some people to think a bit about that foreign concept – instead of fuming about having to deal with cyclists who are in the way only (apparently) because they have the right to piss off drivers.

    Cheers, Seth. And THANK YOU.

  • renagade69 says:

    you forgot to mention to the “Sow in the SUV…. It’s Dangerous because You make it so…..

    • darelldd says:

      Right on the money – so few people look at this from the proper angle. It isn’t the cycling that’s unsafe. It is the inattentive, unskilled, ignorant, speeding drivers that make the situation unsafe. Prove it by removing all bikes and just have cars on the road. Count the injury/death collisions. Then replace all cars with bikes and count again.

      There are limitless responses to yell back. Sadly, there’s rarely even enough time for one complete sentence!

      • Serge Issakov says:

        Don’t forget to remove all the cars and leave only bikes and count injury/death collisions yet again.

      • fsethd says:

        Right. But today we had a big group and there was almost zero hostility, which confirms my belief that the people who harass us are bullies. Show them the numbers and they just keep on driving.

    • fsethd says:

      Right. All she has to do is look, brake, and pass. How hard is it, really?

  • Liz says:

    It’s really difficult to enjoy the ride when all you think about is dying. Taking the lane with anything less than 10 riders isn’t going to ever happen for me on PCH. I’ve become one of the wimps that often drives to Bluff Park to ride from there. I used to sneer at people that did that. Yeah, I just admitted that! Now it seems like the safest thing to do. If we ever get the right lane as a sharrow lane (harhar) then I’ll go back to the old days of riding up there from home. For now, I’ll continue to ride south, drive there or wait for a big group. BTW, at work I get to hear a lot of hate about cyclists. Isn’t that nice? For those that don’t know, I drive in Malibu for my job. Yeah, PCH isn’t a good road anymore.

    • Willie Hunt says:

      Motorists that are honking, yelling or flipping off the middle finger are almost always no threat what so ever. Why? because they clearly see you and have already taken action to avoid a collision with you. It’s the drivers that are texting, stoned, drunk, turned around and yelling at the kids in the back seat; those are the ones that may hit you. A rare few motorists may use their motor vehicle to try and bully you out of the lane, but they really do not want to hit you, because they realize deep down that would be assault with a deadly weapon. And those few are the ones that need to be cited for such and educated that cyclists belong in the travel lanes, just like other wheeled road users.

    • fsethd says:

      The more we get cyclists out in the lane on PCH, the more they will get used to us. But no one should be forced to do it who doesn’t want to.

  • spinner says:

    Gotta admit that I would ride in the gutter for Cher!

    The law here in the great broken State of Illinois is thus: ride as far to the right as is safe. Now what EXACTLY that means is a mystery to all….

  • EA says:

    I too am a “Take the Lane” convert and feel much safer on the smooth pavement in the middle of the lane where cagers can see me rather than in the gutter dodging doors and debris. All of my close calls on my commute between downtown LA and the South bay have been when I was riding in the gutter. I find that riding in the lane, stopping at traffic lights, and giving hand signals (other than the middle finger) seem to make cagers more likely to accept me as part of the traffic rather than a kooky cyclist that needs to be yelled at. I’ve even received friendly waves from bus drivers as we leap frog each other down the road as they stop to pick up passengers and I keep on rolling along until they pass me between stops, but all of that seems to be predicated on my occupying the lane like a slow car rather than a bike. In other words, this stuff really works except when it doesn’t.

    Case in point, a few months ago, I was riding North on Catalina, out in the lane to avoid fallen palm fronds and car doors, when a cager whipped a u-turn in front of me. It was obvious they did not see me or did not expect a bike coming at them at 20+ mph. I did a hard brake and swerve to avoid splatting on the car and bunny hopped over a palm frond.

    Once I realized I was not going to crash and my blood would not cover the car in front of me, I looked around for witnesses. I was relieved to see one of Redondo Beach’s finest at the cross street and fully expected to see the lights flash and hear the sirens wail as he took off in hot pursuit of the reckless cager.

    I rode on, following the killer driver, fully expecting the cop to take off at any time. Nothing happened. The car drove off and still nothing happened. The cop came even with me at a light a few blocks later and I asked if he’d seen what happened and why he did not take off after the almost killer cager.

    The officer replied, “Actually, I’ve been following you to warn you about riding in the road. You know you are supposed to be in the bike lane?”

    “But that car tried to kill me!?”

    “The car was not at fault. If you’d been in the bike lane, like you’re supposed to, there would have been no problem.”

    “But she went into the bike lane to complete her turn.”

    “She would have seen you in the bike lane. She did not expect you travelling that fast on the road.”

    “That makes no sense. I have a right to ride in the road.”

    “No you don’t. You have to ride in a bike lane if there is one present.”

    I wasn’t up on my vehicle code citations at that time and could only reply with, “I don’t agree with you.”

    His final words before he drove off were, “Just remember, do you enforce the law or do I?”

    It was a chilling encounter that points out that cycling education is needed not only by cagers, but also by the very people charged with enforcing the rules that cagers are supposed to follow.

    Thanks also for pointing about CABO. It’s a great resource.

    • Willie Hunt says:

      Law enforcement needs to be educated too, even in a worse way than the general public. LEO’s should know the motor vehicle code and CVC 21208 clearly spelled out exceptions: https://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/d11/vc21208.htm which apply nearly continuously in urban areas. A door zone bike line is a continuous hazard and is recognized as such by everyone with half a brain. Any place a right turn is authorized is another exception, which often applies every 50 to 100 feet in urban areas because of all the driveways. Basically in most urban areas cyclists are under no legal obligation to ride in the bike lane, but LEO’s do not understand the law!

    • fsethd says:

      If you’re traveling at the speed limit, you do not have to use the bike lane. The officer is a doofus. But they need education, too.

      • Willie Hunt says:

        Actually, the California law is a bit brain dead on this. It says only: “any person operating a bicycle upon the roadway at a speed less than the normal speed of traffic moving in the same direction at that time shall ride within the bicycle lane” and none of the exceptions list riding at the speed limit. In other words if the “normal speed of traffic” is speeding, then you are require to be speeding with them in order to stay in the travel lane provided that none of the other exceptions are met. Clearly when this law was written, the authors had a cycling bias that assumed that cyclists would never be travelling at the speed limit or above. Also, it pretty clear that if taken to a court of law, a sane judge would conclude that the posted speed limit is implied as it is explicitly spelled out in the SMV law: https://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/d11/vc21654.htm

        I had 2 LEO’s pull me over one day after going down this hill and passing them in the right lane (they were side by side in middle and left lane near the end of the video). I explained that the bike lane was unsafe at 50+ MPH and that there was no traffic behind me because I could see any in my mirrors. He let me go after few minutes because he did not understand CVC 21208, but he got educated on it on the spot: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZOrStD2fp8s

      • channel_zero says:


        That little bit of wiggle room in the vehicle code regarding the “normal speed of traffic” really dooms cyclists and pedestrians.

        LADOT actually takes that little bit of wiggle room and has used it over the decades to speed up almost every street. Traffic calming is more popular now, but LADOT is still in speed-up mode throughout the city with some exceptions.

        I’m not sure how the common knowledge of law enforcement is passed onto the law enforcement personnel on the street, but it is another area that needs to be adjusted.

  • Serge Issakov says:

    Another terrific and thoughtful piece. Some considerations.

    1) Know that seemingly insignificant changes can make enormous differences in terms of how you’re treated by motorists. You already did some experimenting to see what works and what doesn’t. Do more.

    2) A mirror really helps with (1) because you can see the effect on those behind while they are still a long way back. For example, is there a difference between riding in the middle of the lane vs. riding closer to the left tire track? The feedback will be much more useful with a mirror.

    3) I’m convinced that much of the frustration and anger experienced and expressed by motorists about bicyclists using the full lane stems from a sense of being ignored. They believe you are oblivious to what you’re doing and how it’s affecting not only them, but countless others (you see, they’re not being selfish like you are). So, they feel morally justified in teaching you a lesson. But you can nip this in the bud by eliminating the perception that you’re oblivious. You do this with a brief but timely look back over your shoulder. Add in a nod and a smile while you’re at it. That throws them for a loop. To be timely with this move, you really need a mirror. The trick is to look at them after they’ve noticed you and started slowing, but before they start getting agitated. To get the timing right you have to experiment. This is optional. You can also just put up with the all the angst. And, as you suggest, once we get enough bicyclists using the full lane and more motorists accustomed to it, it will be moot.

    • evil thoughts says:

      Serge this sometimes work my worse behavior was about 2 weeks ago. I was returning the salute to a motorist if they became agitated even though I was effectively communicating with them. When they passed me and gave me the finger I gave it back. They saw it in their mirror and returned the salute. So I gave it to them again. they again returned it. I was acting childhish and thought I will get the last salute. so I saluted them again. They saw it in their mirror and returned the salute.

      At this point an evil thought popped into my head. I realized that as long as I kept returning their salute. I could keep their focus behind them on me and not on the road and I might get lucky and they might wreck. I have to say I was tempted to do this. But I decided it was immoral even if they were assholes causing them to wreck would be wrong. So I decided enough was enough and to just ignore their final salute. So they could pay attention to the road ahead of them.

      • darelldd says:

        My worry is that “having a wreck up the road” while the driver is concentrating on you in his mirror… could be a collision with a cyclist in front of that negligent driver. In my book, whoever stops the finger first, wins.


      • fsethd says:

        Today we waved at everyone who honked. Made us feel better, anyway.

    • Rich Scott says:

      I agree with having a mirror to see how people are reacting to you, I couldn’t imagine trying to take the lane without it. But, I’ve noticed lately that turning my head slightly to let the driver know I SEE THEM helps dramatically. I saw them a half mile back, but they don’t know that. With a slight head move that says, “yeah, I see you, just be cool and wait to pass me” seems to make them do just that.

      • Serge Issakov says:

        That’s exactly what I’m talking about, Rich. Somehow all that agitation seems to evaporate as soon as they know you’re in control and aware of what’s going on. And, by the way, without a mirror you usually really don’t know what’s going on behind you.

    • fsethd says:

      Perhaps. I think that the attitude of cagers towards cyclists is generally that of a bully. If it’s one or two cyclists, they make your life hell. If it’s a group of 10-20 riders, like today, they STFU, pass, and keep on going.

  • Thanks for recounting your experiences and for the plug for CABO and the forum we support. (I’m the current CABO President.)
    I didn’t read the term “Bullying” in the article or comments. The behavior of some people honking and other belligerent behavior may be part ignorance, but is really close to outright and dangerous bullying. What we do about that kind of behavior towards bicycling and walking is being sorted out right now on our streets and in the legislature; will we take back the streets for non-motorized uses too or surrender them for separate but unequal side-paths?
    It’s about choices… I am not about to give in to bulling (though I do avoid being hit), and I’m not about to be content with being forced into separate but unequal side-paths.

    • fsethd says:

      Exactly. Stand up to the bullies and they fade away. Only a few are psychopathic killers. Today we rode with a big group and had zero issues.

  • Karen Karabell says:

    The reason you got honked at and berated is because you were being uppity. “How dare you ride side by side?!” Those aggravated motorists were thinking. (Never mind that riding side by side meant you were taking up less space on the road and therefore easier to pass.)

    We had the same thing happen in a St. Louis County exurb:

  • vladluskin says:

    Last week, I rode parts of the PCH in coastal towns north of San Diego, where several towns have fully shared bike/car lanes and road signs saying something to the effect “Bicycles may use full lane.” I took the lane at 18-20 mph where I could and not a peep from a single car. Beautiful! We need more of those everywhere.

    • fsethd says:


    • Unfortunately, even some along that stretch don’t take the lane and ride right through the door zone. I was on the wheel of one of our club members on a group ride that had stretched out a bit and he stayed WAY to the right. This is a guy that does north of 300 miles a week so I figured he’d be a bit more clued in. I always take the lane in this stretch and ride right over the sharrows. The only time drivers cause any issues is if you give them a partial lane to use then they try and pass unsafely. This is especially true of out of town drivers. The locals are used to it by now. On the weekends there is a never ending stream of bikes along the 101 from Del Mar to Oceanside.

      • fsethd says:

        You are spot on. Give the cagers room to crowd you, and they will. I’m always blown away by the bike traffic on the 101 in North County. It’s eye candy deluxe.

  • vladluskin says:

    Wanky, your comments on the new LAB study showing the cycling fatalities predominately result from hits from behind (http://www.bicycleretailer.com/north-america/2014/05/28/q-new-league-study-challenges-assumptions-about-fatal-bike-crashes#.U4iKWvldWSo)?

    LAB seems to have reversed course and advocates use of bike lanes.

    • Serge Issakov says:

      LAB has reversed course? They’ve been promoting segregation for at least 10. Follow the money.

    • fsethd says:

      I generally eschew facts in favor of personal experience. I take the lane and have a better riding experience than in the gutter or in bike lanes, dodging debris and doors.

  • Beck says:

    a savvy vehicular cyclist living in california should be savvy enough to be able to recognize when a bikelane is safe to drive their bicycle in it, without feeling their rights to the road have been violated.

    yeah, and that taking thePCH lane solo thing. i recommend it to every cyclist who so proudly takes the lane 2×2 in flying audax with 31 of their buddies.

    I’ve done it, and have no problem doing it, but to think the solution to getting more people on bikes is to remove bikeways and force riders into the lane on high speed arterial roads or divided highway/freeways plunges the depths of folly. A pollyanna pipe dream.

    “context sensitive design”

    San Diego went from zero miles of bikeway to over 500 miles of bikeway in 40 years, including over 300 miles of class II california bikelane…… SD VC riders should hopefully have enough traffic savvy to be able to drive their bikes amidst the bikeways and still feel like they are driving their bicycles.

    • fsethd says:

      I am not savvy nor am I a vehicular cyclist. I’m a dude who wants to ride in the road because it’s fast. Most bike lanes are shit holes, with debris and doors and bullshit drivers blocking the bike lane.

      My experience on PCH is that the lane is the best and the safest. Everyone who wants to ride in the gutter, have at it.

      • Beck says:

        you’ve never ridden any of the PCH solo yet. your experience – the one you’ve described here is you are puckering about going on a group ride on it as a result of riding it with as a group of two, and that on the group rides you get harassed, but its tolerable in a group riding situation.

        you may find, once you start riding it solo, that it’s not ALWAYS “the best and safest” controlling the lane when there’s a safe shoulder to drive on 60mph sections of the PCH -like say, uphill during rush hour on a weekday during a fog event.

        • fsethd says:

          “Group of two”?

          Why don’t you come up here and do a group of two ride with me. We knocked out 150+ yesterday with about 8k of climbing, most of it on PCH. We can find out your tolerance level that way. Or, join me and you can ride 200 m ahead of me as a true “solo.”

  • Beck says:

    Its funny, Serge Issakov has already harassed me twice at my email about my comment at this blog- what a prick.

    • Serge Issakov says:

      Okay, I’ll “harass” you here, if you prefer.

      What are you trying to say here, Beck? That Seth is not “savvy enough to be able to recognize when a bikelane is safe to drive [his] bicycle in it”? I’m quite sure he is, and how this is relevant to an article about the challenges of using a road without a bike lane is beyond me.

      Any why are you talking about removing bikeways to get more people on bikes? What does that have to do with anything anyone has ever said anywhere, let alone here?

      Finally, why are you talking about bike lanes in San Diego?

      • Beck says:

        nope. planning for bikes along the PCH or anywhere in california depends on context sensitive solutions. your preaching lane control and mirror usage to ride in command of traffic lane conflicts with the reality of hundreds of miles of class II california bikelane in your neck of the woods.

        yep, this blogger Setg telling riders – the VC club riders – they need to get the bejeezus scared out of them on the PCH ‘taking the lane’ solo in order to acclimatize motorists to the idea of bicyclists using public roads in california is prattle like a traffic pollyanna, from a newbie who read about ‘taking the lane’ at the CABO site. A group largely dedicated to short circuting better bikeway planning in california.

        And the usual crowd of rabid take the laners come out of the woodwork to suggest yeah, this is how we’re going to make the PCH better for all bicyclists in california- hilarious.

        i only ever visited California with my bike on several occasions, and i have a strong suspicion i’ve spent more time taking the lane solo in california than some of the proud ‘take the lane in a group on the weekend’ club VC so proud of their feats of group lane control.

        where the PCH slows down and runs through neighborhoods are likely candidates for shared lane facilities. Malibu heading north begs for better planning for bike traffic, not forcing cyclists to control lanes of traffic uphill in 60mph traffic.

        traffic pollyannas.

        • Jim Baross says:

          Some people, Freedom Riders, are willing to take some harrasment sometimes in the so-called car lane (similar bit not the same as sitting at the front of the bus in the so-called whites-only section). We know others will benefit.

      • Serge Issakov says:

        The only problem is the heads of the motorists who refuse to accept the presence of bicyclists in the roadway as something that is normal and acceptable, and the way the react. If they were accepting of bicyclists, then anyone would be able to ride there safely and comfortably. But thankfully that’s the direction we’re heading, just that not everyone knows it yet.

      • Beck says:

        it is more accurate to say a larger probleml ies in inadequate traffic management solutions on high speed sectionns of the PCH that do not equitably consider bike traffic. In its design, this road traffic ,speed and volumes has so terrified this rider he has been terrified riding in a group of two, and may have never ridden the PCH by himself? A newb rider, terrified of riding solo on the PCH, convinced by a crewe of bike planning obstructionists to try to encourage other group follow-sheep to go get terrified.

        there’s some problems and they don’t lie with the motorists wanting to drive 60mph on the PCH.

        I remember you, Serge- you were that newbie cyclist a few years back, who admitted to passing cyclists too closely in your car to teach them a lesson about inadequate lane control!!! I think you even honked at them, then tried to teach them a lesson through your window!

        a prick in more ways than one, going out and harassing bicyclists with your car because you learned they should be ‘taking the lane’!


      • Serge Issakov says:

        Beck, I was an experienced club cyclist before I got my driver’s license in the mid 1970s. I’ve never ever buzzed a bicyclist for any reason whatsoever.

      • Beck says:

        No, Serge, i distinctly recall you regaling other riders with your tale of driving up on a bicyclist too closely because he was too far to the right for your liking, then honked and tried to ‘educate’ the bicyclist out our car window. Very clear recollection of your tale. don’t make me go find it on the internets.

        even if it wasn’t you, there’s other “Cyclists” in cars out there willing to teach cyclists a lesson- haven’t you ever heard that out a car window while riding solo in traffic – “I’m a cyclist too”-

        its one of the classic, time worn motorist harassments. EVERY experienced solo rider should have experienced this motorist on a number of occasions. Claims to never encounter these motorists is not realistic,it casts doubts on ones’ cycling bonafides.

        if you’re afraid of solo riding on the PCH like this blogger, you can just come out and say so- don’t tell me you’ve taken foresters’ famous published advice to “ride at the edge of the lane and you are both safe and legal.” to heart?

      • Beck says:

        what, you;ve been taking the lane for what, maybe ten years now? that’s pretty green – and likely mostly on group rides on the weekend. that March 1 strava ride of 34 miles at 12mph- wow. impressive metrics. KOTM? and I know you’ve owned so many cars in the last ten years – i own a seventeen year old car i bought new and it doesn’t even have 100k on it yet! I’m confident your the bicyclist that admitted to harassing other cyclists from your car about ‘taking the lane’.

      • Serge Issakov says:

        Good luck getting an answer to what point Beck is trying to make. This is what I emailed to him after he posted here.

        Do you think your comment at pvcycling addressing anything Seth or anyone else said?

        Bike lanes? This section of PCH has no bike lanes.

        “to think the solution to getting more people on bikes is …”

        No one even hinted about that issue.

        SD bike lanes? What does that have to do with any of this?

        We went back and forth for a while, but he just got nasty without answering any of these questions. I’m sure he thinks he has a point, but I, for one, can’t figure out what it is.

    • fsethd says:

      Thick skin is a prerequisite for healthy debate.

      • Beck says:

        I’m not one to disrespect the genteel nature of the commentary here, but Serge personally berating me at my personal email for my innocuous first comment to your blog crossed a line of civility.


        Convincing other riders to control lanes of traffic that riders personally feels uncomfortable doing solo – may not have even tried yet – to make a statement about cyclists rights to ‘control lanes of traffic’ – there’s something off about that advice. It might just be me, I don’t know.

        I take the lane to make myself more visible and ride quite far to the left as a default to ensure my safety, and i can still get down the PCH solo or with another rider without eliciting a lot of negative vibes, either uphill or downhill.

        There’s a way to do this, and i suspect Serge, and many of the correspondents to your thread are able to interact with traffic moving faster than they are courteously and safely.

        Heck – controlling lanes IS empowering, when you are confident as a cyclist you have got to do so to ensure your safety. At the same time, learning how to share the lane when safe to do so is even more empowering, because it is traffic mastery.

        For a solo rider, weaving and controlling lanes of traffic across all four lanes moving about or a little faster than the speed of a bicyclist on 35mph-45mph roadways sprinting on an 8 lane arterial is about as fun as it gets riding in traffic. and i mean that.

        For many, many cyclists, however, interacting solo with high speed traffic on the PCH or roads anywhere…… just…isn’t…going…..to…….happen.

        A far better, far far better course of action for the rest of California that might want to ride their bikes on the PCH where speeds are high would be to put in quality Class II or better california bikelane.

        If you haven’t been to San Diego, there;s over 300 miles of Class II california bike lane, predominately on high speed roads.

        And further north on the PCH – the sections of US1 in the vicinity of Devil’s Slide with the shoulder are much more enjoyable as a rider!

        Riding a bike like a vehicle requires deft road positioning,not blunt. Please, for a number of good reasons -please don’t ride where you feel unsafe, or encourage other riders to do so, in order to politicize cyclists’ right to the road.

        Adding a single additional foot of bikelane in california runs counter with some of CABO’s ridership, and i am sorry rider peer pressure is causing you such consternation and discomfort to prove their point for them!

        Getting safe knowing when to control lanes, when to share, and when to move to let them by, is the best ride a cyclist can take for themselves. I wish you skillspeed in developing your cycling nuance for riding solo on the PCH.

      • Beck says:

        if serge can’t figure out what i’m saying, he’s probably one of the types of tragically confused CABO members filling this newb club rider with blather and drivel to force other riders to do something he’;s not yet even attempted.

        ‘freedom riders’ LMAO like Reed Bates? Eli Damon? guys who somehow were successful at nothing except RESTRICTING cyclists right to control lanes of traffic,

        • fsethd says:

          Delta Bravo.

          PS: You’re edging ever closer to club membership. That’s the club of assholes who’ve been blocked from this famously open blog. Currently it has a membership of one. Can’t wait to make you number two.

  • jorgensen says:

    PCH has been dangerous for a long long time. The first fatality on PCH from my old club membership came decades ago when a drunk driver lost control and essentially took him out with a near head-on collision. I don’t live near the stretch of PCH North of Santa Monica now, but having driven it from time to time see it as plain too dangerous now. The culprit to me has been the “clearing” of the periodic rock and landslides that have decimated any shoulder that was once there, with those Band-Aids came the realignment of the lanes that narrowed them and reduced the South bound shoulder quite a bit in places. With all now being far from uniform in width, the predictability of traffic movement is gone. It is that predictability that can help. It was value engineered away. That and the almost universal disregard for the speed limit.
    I might ride it in a group now, a big group.

    • channel_zero says:

      We may go back to similar eras regarding riding on PCH.

      I was on PCH just a couple of weeks ago (in a cage) and noticed that some things have changed.
      -Speeds are down (ish) While the road still is multiply classified, posted speed limits are for the “city street” designation, not the highway designation.
      -Many more cyclists are riding on it. Yes, they are riding what’s left of the shoulder, but there’s many more.
      -There are many more kinds. Recreational, tri-geeks, roadie, racing wankers, etc.
      -The CHP I saw on PCH were enforcing speed limits at the lower rate. It was a holiday weekend, so plenty of folks from the city visiting Malibu.

      Things on PCH are changing in the right direction.

      The next step is to spread the word about taking the lane and getting the many kinds of riders taking the lane with confidence.

  • An echo of thanks from me and my fellow Board Members at Orange County Bicycle Coalition.
    There IS a paradigm shift occurring, though it’s hard to see the forest for the trees.The public roadway is no longer just “for cars” (it actually never was, though indifferent engineers and ignorant law enforcement perpetuated that myth for decades). As Jim Baross says, change is in the air. Problem is, the advocacy hype right now panders to fears like Liz’s above, pulling down grant money for the Bike Lane Industrial Complex with promises to make everyone “feel” better. We’ll all feel better only when cagers get used to seeing us and just chill for few measly seconds.

  • Beck says:

    if a bicycle driver cannot determine when it is safe to drive their bike off to the side when travelling uphill in groups of two, or how to share the width of the roadway by occasionally moving to the shoulder despite their use not being required in california while being terrified/terrorized by motorists may need a little help getting more savvy about their riding.

    can any club riders go help this kid out learn how to ride smart on the roads stop trying to bolster his and others’ courage to go ride bluntly on the PCH.

    Driving a bike like a bulldozer – “take that lane” – feeling terrified of the big bad roadways while telling other riders to ‘get scared, go ride solo on the PCH’ is purely dysfunctional.

  • Willie Hunt says:

    Email I sent to Serge earlier about this blog: I’ve had an occasional motorist honking or yelling at me (most always on a upright bike or stick recumbent; extremely rarely in the Velomobile), but not like what the author had (here). Obviously, the drivers in that area need hordes of cyclists using the travel lanes so they will get educated! I use the PCH right travel lane on any and all of my human powered machines routinely through Newport Beach, Corona Del Mar, Laguna Beach, Dana Point, and San Clemete, and never have I had anything more than an occasional motorist that was irritated and showed it. 99.99% of them, just change lanes, pass and go on with their driving. Maybe that’s because there are so many cyclists that use the PCH in that area that motorist expect them in that area.

    • Beck says:

      come on willie, you’ve been ‘harassed’ by police on your velo rides, pulled over. i’d call that ‘harassment’ for taking the lane bluntly, even if legally.

      • Willie Hunt says:

        Sorry Beck, you have the wrong Velomobile driver. I have zero videos with police pulling me over.

      • Beck says:

        sorry, Willie – i see now you merely referenced a guy named fred getting pulled over in his velomobile. for some reason, since you posted the link at BD about police harassment of a velo rider while controlling lanes of traffic, i thought it was you who got pulled over in the velo, but i see it was fred.

    • Beck says:

      Alternately – California bicyclists along many miles of the PCH where speeds are high or uphill need california class II bikelanes that exceed the minimum requirements, or better.

      The conversion of the old devils slide section of the PCH as a bikeway/ recreational path as a workaround of the new tunnel is one of the best pieces of california coast asphalt. and i imagine cyclists can still ride through the tunnel if they want, whether in the lane or on the breakdown shoulder (as they see fit for riding through tunnels.)

  • Gary says:

    It is possible for one or two cyclists to control the right (slow) lane of the PCH in Malibu and have an enjoyable ride as shown in this video I shot a while ago with one other cyclist:

    But traffic was pretty light here on a Saturday or Sunday morning.

    Seth, how heavy was the traffic on this ride? If it was heavy enough to cause motorists in the right lane to match your speed and wait more then 30 seconds, the I’m not surprised that many involved in illegal use of the horn. If traffic is light, your experience should be like mine in the video. If very congested, a cyclist can move the speed of traffic so no problem. But somewhere in between will cause the most delay to motorists. I suspect that’s what you had.

    • fsethd says:

      Traffic was relatively heavy. People were livid. I was on edge. Give PCH a shot solo or with one other rider between 8:30 and 10:00, north of Temescal Canyon on a weekday.

  • Beck says:

    Love that video, Gary. lane control on a light weekend morning with two riders, and i click to a random spot in the video to hear one rider saying “if traffic was heavy i would be in that shoulder”.


  • I’m a little confused, Seth. You say that you’ve done lane control solo without a lot of incivility, but then later you say you would not recommend controlling the lane on the PCH solo. Is the difference the PCH? Have you ever tried solo lane control on the PCH yourself?

    One odd thing I’ve noticed about lane control is if I’m doing it in the presence of another cyclist who is not (usually by coincidence), I’m more likely to get honked at than in the same location by myself. It happens so frequently that I definitely notice a pattern. I think it might be that motorists see the both of you, look at the edge rider, and then at you, and think “why is that guy in the middle of the road, and not over on the side like that other guy?” I suspect this confirms their propensity to believe that the edge rider is doing it right, and the lane controller who is doing it wrong. Just a theory.

    Also, two abreast is certainly like waving a red flag in front of many motorists. How dare they ride like that, don’t they know they’re supposed to single up and let me pass?! Maybe even worse with just 2 or 4 people than with 30.

    So I’m suggesting that maybe solo lane control is actually less of a perceived affront to motorists than two abreast lane control, especially when the rightmost one is in the gutter for comparison. But then, my perspective is that I’m almost purely a transportational rider and so by myself 99% of the time.

    • fsethd says:

      I’ve never done solo lane control on PCH between Temescal Canyon and points north. I did try it with my buddy Jay on Tuesday and was harassed repeatedly. Then today we did it with a group of about 15 riders and were only honked at about 10 times and chopped once. I don’t have the balls to take on PCH in the lane by myself … yet.

      My suggestion is that people who really favor lane control in all circumstances give it a shot on PCH north of Temescal. It’s pretty hairy.

      • Willie Hunt says:

        I’ve ridden that section of the PCH a few times, and although the traffic was heavy, I did not receive any of the hostility you are getting. Granted I get treated differently in my Velomobile than I do on an upright bike, but I’m still a cyclist never the less. For example on this recent ride I do not recall any significant issue along 100+ miles of the PCH: http://www.strava.com/activities/134846995

  • I take the lane often as needed. Serge’s advice about making human contact works well for me; they know that you know they’re there and that seems to diffuse some of the tension.

    I live in Washington state and our state law requires the operator of any vehicle with 5 or more vehicles delayed behind it to pull over and let traffic pass. Bikes are defined as vehicles. So crawling up a steep climb holding back 30-40 cars as you describe is illegeal here. That isn’t because we’re on bikes; the same law applies to a slow-moving driver or something like a farm vehicle. You might want to check your state law before asserting that you have a legal right to do this.

    • fsethd says:

      Thanks, Barb. We have the right to ride in the right-hand lane of a 4-lane highway. CVC 21202.

      • kekruoro says:

        Where exactly does CVC21202 outline this? Nothing in that code is even close to what you claim. And beyond that, where does it state that you can ride in the middle of the lane on a two lane road such as PCH, as stated in OP?

        • fsethd says:

          It’s a long, sad story that I’m unwilling to re-hash unless you subscribe to my blog first. I’m tired of working for free.

      • Serge Issakov says:

        The work is done, here:

      • kekruoro says:

        If you hold up 30 or 40 drivers on a main road, you deserve to be honked at. At that point you’re not doing it for safety, you’re doing it to purposefully annoy car drivers. The sad part is that you’re doing it to EVERY driver, including the ones that are courteous to cyclists (myself included). “Educating” drivers by blocking traffic is as dangerous (or more dangerous) than pulling over to let them pass like a courteous member of society. Pissing people off is not a good way to encourage them to change their behaviour.

        • fsethd says:

          Please subscribe. It’s $2.99 per month. Then I will respond to your silly comments.

      • kekruoro says:

        Why would I [censored] to [censored] unnecessarily [censored] traffic? What [censored] [censored] is no [censored] than [censored] you [censored] for [censored] and “[censored]” at [censored]. The [censored] in [censored] that you’re “[censored]” [censored] is [censored]. All you’re [censored] is [censored] [censored] and [censored] others AND [censored]. Good [censored] “[censored]” people. I’ll be [censored] to [censored] CHP [censored] [censored] I see [censored] [censored] this – [censored] if [censored] can’t get [censored] I’ll [censored] [censored] [censored] that [censored] be [censored] as much as the [censored] you so [censored] [censored] on the [censored].

        • fsethd says:

          Thank you for your thoughtful comment! I look forward to your subscription and continued readership.

      • Serge Issakov says:

        It’s not dangerous to cause motorists to slow down for a few seconds. That’s a myth. This is not a freeway.

        There is no evidence that anyone was delayed for more than a few seconds.

        So, kekruoro, you think bicyclists should risk their lives by riding far right to invite and allow dangerously close passes, just so motorists don’t get (OMG!) annoyed for being delayed a few seconds?

        Bicyclists are our own worst enemy.

        • fsethd says:

          Thanks, Serge. By his logic it’s really dangerous to slow down for buses. Or shopping carts. Or children crossing the road.

          Because the way you drive is with your foot on the gas pedal, pressed hard.

    • darelldd says:

      Bicycles are not vehicles in CA (they are “devices” per our CVC).

      CVC 670: 670. A “vehicle” is a device by which any person or property may be propelled, moved, or drawn upon a highway, excepting a device moved exclusively by human power or used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks.

      But we are subject to similar “delaying vehicle” laws. And as Seth points out, if there is a passing lane, vehicles are not being held up unless they wish to be held up. CA cyclists have the legal right to be in the lanes being discussed.

    • Serge Issakov says:

      Barb, the law that requires slow movers to pull over when 5 or more are behind applies only on 2-lane highways. That’s true in WA as well as CA. Here is the WA statute.

      RCW 46.61.427
      Slow-moving vehicle to pull off roadway.

      On a two-lane highway where passing is unsafe because of traffic in the opposite direction or other conditions, a slow moving vehicle, behind which five or more vehicles are formed in a line, shall turn off the roadway wherever sufficient area for a safe turn-out exists, in order to permit the vehicles following to proceed. As used in this section a slow moving vehicle is one which is proceeding at a rate of speed less than the normal flow of traffic at the particular time and place.


  • Gary says:


    You appear to be referring to 5:28 where I say: “If there were really heavy traffic, I might be there [the shoulder] now with no parking.” This was where the shoulder appeared to be in relatively good condition with no parking, no driveways and no intersections.

    The shoulder is always an option and there are situations where I would use a shoulder if doing so didn’t compromise my safety and resulted in both more comfort to me and more convenience to overtaking motorists. If that sends you into LMAOROFL mode, you must be rather easily amused.

    It should be keep in mind that while cyclists (but not motorists) in California (and probably all other states0 have the option of traveling on the shoulder, the shoulder is not part of the roadway and so its use means giving up driver rights. If a cyclist operating on the shoulder is right hooked or left crossed by a motorist, the motorist would most likely not be legally responsible for the crash.

    • fsethd says:

      Thanks, Gary.

    • Beck says:

      it was funny in me randomly clicking on the exact seconds in the video where the cyclist talked choosing to ride on the shoulder in heavy traffic. Taken in context of the discussion, it was a real kneeslapper!

  • Gary says:

    Barb Chamberlain,

    You wrote: “I live in Washington state and our state law requires the operator of any vehicle with 5 or more vehicles delayed behind it to pull over and let traffic pass.””

    We have a similar in California, but it applies only to two-lane roads. I suspect that might also be the case in Washington State.

    For a handy-dandy guide to California bicycle traffic laws, see:


  • Gary Cziko says:

    Seth, you wrote: “Thanks, Barb. We have the right to ride in the right-hand lane of a 4-lane highway. CVC 21202.””

    A technicality perhaps, but as I learned from Dan Gutierrez, CVC 21202 does not give cyclists the right to control a traffic lane. Instead, it restricts cyclists riding slower than the speed of traffic to ride as close as is practicable to the right curb or roadway edge. But 21202 also contains a list of exceptions stating where 21202 does not apply, including in a lane too narrow for a motorist and cyclist to share safely. So CVC 21202 simply does not apply at all to riding on the the PCH where lanes are 10 to 12 feet wide.

    Instead, it is CVC 21200 which gives cyclists the right to control lanes as a normal part of traffic: “A person riding a bicycle or operating a pedicab upon a highway has all the rights and is subject to all the provisions applicable to the driver of a vehicle. . . ” And since CVC 21202 does not apply on the PCH, cyclists have the same rights to use the full lane as do the motorists on the PCH.

    On the two-lane sections of the PCH, CVC 21656 applies which requires any driver (including cyclists) travelling slower than the speed of traffic to turn out where safe to let five or more vehicles behind to pass if they cannot do so due to opposing traffic.

    • fsethd says:

      Splitting hairs, indeed. CV21202 codifies a cyclist’s right not to have to ride in the gutter when it’s unsafe or when it the lane can’t be shared safely by a car and a bike, etc.

      So I would argue that CV21202 is in fact the law that gives you the right to take the lane because it releases you from the requirement to suck the gutter when certain conditions apply.

      Most importantly, it’s CV21202 that is used to wrongly cite cyclists who take the lane, and pointing to CVC21200 will not get you out the ticket unless you can first show that the duty to eat gutter debris has been obviated by the exceptions to that statute.

      What’s even more important is that you obfuscate the issue by bringing in the umbrella statute when you’re trying to make your point. You’ve been told you have to ride in the gutter and the authority for that is CV21202. When you show that the exceptions apply, the onus shifts to your accuser to show why you should still be required to ride as far to the right as possible.

      It is a mistake to give him additional ammunition by citing the umbrella statute. He’s cited you for a CV21020 violation, you’ve shown it doesn’t apply, problem solved.

      Hair splitting is rarely a good form of legal argumentation when you’re talking to bald people, i.e. judges. You want to narrowly attack the violation. Once that’s disposed of, there’s nothing to keep you in court.

      • darelldd says:

        Now, now. We’re all on the same team here. Gary is looking at this from a road-user’s perspective who understands the CVC. Seth, you are looking at it from the lawyer angle (shocking, I know!). And personally, I love having both perspectives. I read the CVC the same way that Gary does, and I completely agree with your (Seth’s) take on what’s best for a legal argument. Simplicity rules! All wrapped up together, the CVC gives us the right to use the roadway, using the full lane. On this we agree.

        What we’re fighting, is this sort of mentality. “I don’t really understand what’s going on, so I’ll pull it over, and even though he’s broken no rules, I’ll explain to him that he has to follow the rules.

        • fsethd says:

          Ha, ha! Gary is accustomed to my approach and has educated me often. I agree with you about the mentality!

      • Serge Issakov says:

        Yes, you have to consider the context.

        Say you’re fighting a 22400 citation. In that case your right to use the full lane does not come from 21202(a)(3) or any of the 21202 exceptions – which would only be relevant if you were cited with 21202. So, you were in compliance with 21202? So what? That’s no argument that you were not in violation of 22400. See?

        Your right to use the lane, even at a slow speed, comes from 21200. That is, you have a right to be on that road. If they cite you with 22400, for going too slow, the only way you can comply is to get off the road. But that’s clearly not legislative intent, again, per 21200. So in that context 21202 has nothing to do with your right to the full lane. It’s all 21200, which gives you the same right as any other driver, or any other slow moving driver, who can’t reasonably go any faster.

        • fsethd says:

          Who gets cited for going too slow? The only ones I’ve ever seen are 21200.

          • Serge Issakov says:

            Police sometimes threaten to cite cyclists “with impeding traffic”. We had a cyclist cited with 22400 in Oceanside in 2013. To win, he had to rely on helmet cam video showing he was following a camper (whose driver was not cited) the entire time before he was pulled over. The cop was incensed the cyclist wax “in the middle of the lane”. Apparently he knew about the narrow lane exception in 21202, so he went with 22400. It probably would have stuck if not for the video. Duquette helped him with the case.

            Rare, but it happens.

            • fsethd says:

              Nice! Never seen one and I hope I never do!

              Following CABO and my friend Brent Garrigus at RIDE Cyclery in Encinitas, it seems like there was (is) a lot of cop/biker conflict in North County SD. If people in LA start riding in the lane on PCH, it wouldn’t surprise me if that happens here as well.

      • Beck says:

        why in the world do you think cvc21202 means california cyclists have to ‘ride in the gutter?” what marginalizing drivel from a rider who hasn’t yet controlled the PCH solo……. have you been listening to john forester again?

        CVC21202 gives ME as a cyclist in california wide amounts of legal and discretionary leeway to choose a road and lane position i consider safe for myself.

        I am NEVER required – and no cyclist is- required by CVC21202, to ‘ride in the gutter” read up on what the laws mean, not what a bunch of bikeway obstructionists fill your mind with. check with the DMV, california has clarified cyclists clearly have the right to ride as far away from the edge as is reasonable for your safety, AT ALL TIMES.

        the law does NOT mean ride your bike like a 14 foot wide bulldozer.

        deft, not blunt.

        who fills cyclists minds with that crap? don’t tell the forum you, too, are taking john foresters famous advice to ‘ride at the edge of the lane and you are both safe and legal.’ to heart are you now? don’t be the so gullible to what other people fill your mind with.

      • Serge Issakov says:

        “The only ones I’ve ever seen are 21200.”

        I presume you meant 21202. 21200 violations are not possible.

  • […] in the South Bay says it’s one thing to take the lane on PCH when you’re in a group, another when there’s just two of […]

  • Beck says:

    “I’m a victim” – Thick skin for a healthy debate, remember?

    someone’s been filling your head with drivel, telling you the law that lets me control lanes with reasonable impunity in California forces you into the gutter.

    is it that CABO group you reference in your blog post that are misinforming cyclists so, is it john forester and his appalling advice to ‘ride far to the right’ on narrow roads so as to not impede motorists, or is it from somewhere else- WHERE are you getting this bad legal advice about your cycling rights?

    who is misinforming california cyclists about their rights under the law?

  • Beck says:

    a california cyclists ‘duty to eat gutter debris” sounds like something you need therapy for.

    that psychological handicap is really going to work against you while you try to get the mad skillz to control lanes solo on the PCH when reasonably necessary with impunity.

    i can see a problem already – stop listening to the marginalizations of other bicyclists about your rights.

    Oh, and enjoy the riding.

    • fsethd says:


      It’s probably the only thing that will help.

      On a different note, I think we’ve met before. Aren’t you the guy everyone calls “Crazypants”? Wasn’t it you who veered out across four lanes of traffic and almost caused a 10-car pile-up, then blamed it on the traffic? And then when we dragged you off your fucking bike and threatened to knock your teeth down your throat if you ever showed up again on one of our rides, weren’t you the asswipe who blamed it on another rider?

      • Beck says:

        nope. sounds like one of your california buddies who’s read too much drivel about being a victim of the big bad laws and the scary traffic.

        again, i wish you skillspeed in developing nuance in your rider positioning. riding the PCH solo is a lot of fun, so is traffic jamming four lanes of 35mph traffic on 8lane arterial roads.

        • Serge Issakov says:

          Beck, have you ever ridden on this particular stretch of PCH? Or even anywhere in the LA area?

  • Beck says:

    I’m confident i’ve ridden more miles of the PCH solo and in the lane then the blogger, since i’ve ridden the PCH solo and in the lane when reasonably necessary for my safety.

    Somehow, though, in my miles of riding along the PCH, whether solo or with one other rider – i’ve only ever ridden it solo or paired up – i’ve always been able to choose a safe lane position without fear or trepidation because, like you know very well, a rider has got to know when to hold
    ’em .

    • No one of consequence says:

      Dude, if I have to read one more thing about what an experienced club rider this guy is, I’m gonna chuck my phone out the window of my monster truck. Most experienced club rider is equivalent to beauty queen at a leper colony. Everyone ride where you feel the most at ease…and shut up about it. Now back to best climber again, ha! (and by the way, the answer was Tink, sexist bastards)

  • Serge Issakov says:

    Seth, were you two riding single file or side-by-side? Also, about where were you positioned relative to the left and right tire tracks?

    • fsethd says:

      Side by side. The position varied, but I was on the outside the whole time and never got closer to the fog line than the center of the lane. My goal was to make sure no car even thought about squeezing into the lane. And none did, although we got chopped a couple of times.

  • Beck says:

    You’ll [censored] to get a [censored] more [censored] in your [censored] than ‘[censored] got [censored] [censored] than the [censored] of the lane’ [censored] solo, if [censored] want to [censored] [censored] from the [censored] [censored] [censored]”ve been [censored] your [censored] with about the big [censored] [censored] [censored].

    the [censored] [censored] that you [censored] you to ‘[censored]’ is the [censored] law [censored] lets me [censored] lanes with [censored] when [censored] [censored].

    good [censored], and have f[censored]un [censored] out [censored] lane [censored] as a[censored] [censored]. it’s not like [censored] a [censored] or [censored] with a dozen of [censored] buddies [censored] you’re a slow moving short [censored].

    • Serge Issakov says:

      Beck, are you saying you think riding right of center would have helped? How, when and why?

      • fsethd says:

        His future responses will be written by me, Serge. So, his answer to your question is this: “I’ve changed my mind and agree with you and Seth.”

        (This is an auto response generated when you use WordPress’s “Lunatic Troll responder” widget.)

    • fsethd says:

      That’s really interesting, Mr. Crazypants. I’m sure my readers are going to enjoy your insight.

      By the way, a little known feature of WordPress is the Admin’s ability to edit comments. Your next post is going to be really entertaining, especially the part where you write about loving to smell your own farts, eating dog food, and riding your unicycle backwards down the freeway naked.

  • Married with Children says:

    Really interesting topic. I actually called the CHP on this matter for a local canyon road I frequent. In short, CHP said cyclist need to give way to faster vehicles. He said, when a faster vehicle is approaching, move to the side (into the gutter) let them pass and move back onto the lane.

    • Serge Issakov says:

      The CHP and other law enforcement agencies do not know and understand cyclist rights and safety as well one might hope. It’s an ongoing process, but they’re slowly coming around too. CABO has been working hard on this.

      • Married with Children says:

        Possibly, but they are the ones that issue tickets and citations.

    • fsethd says:

      That works for a 2-lane road. But it’s not required if it’s a four-lane like PCH. Which local canyon was it?

      • Married with Children says:

        Hwy 2 above La Canada Flintridge.

        • fsethd says:

          That is a two-lane, highly badass road, right? For sure, move over when they start to back up behind you. Very cool that they told you to ride in the lane and that you didn’t have to permanently reside in the gutter. Thanks for posting.

  • Jim Baross says:

    The details of traffic law and best practices is not provided to or through most traffic enforcement agencies. There are many circumstances where and when “being in the way” is a best and lawful practice.
    SDCBC and CABO will continue to lobby and assist LEOs to get it right… not an easy task given decades of misinformation and bias!

  • […] Going down the road feeling bad | Cycling in the South Bay […]

  • […] Going down the road feeling bad | Cycling in the South Bay […]

  • Rj Bbq says:

    Take the lane when you need it. Don’t be out there to make a point. I had a group of mountain bikers in the lane coming the wrong direction as I entered a turn lane. I let them know they were number one, number one idiots. Also think about the next biker they are going to pass after you show them who is boss. They will take it out on that individual.

    • Serge Issakov says:

      Nobody I know uses the full lane “to make a point”. We use the full lane because of the safety and efficiency benefits – same reason other drivers uses the full lane.

      But salmoning (riding the wrong direction) is something else altogether.

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