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Old 11-26-2012, 04:30 PM   1671 links from elsewhere to this Post. Click to view. #1 (permalink)
CBROldMan
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Default lane splitting techniques

Hello,

Any experiences/suggestions/tips on lane splitting in 'moving' traffic( where it's legal or where it's not if you split anyway)?

Want to learn from others experiences to get additional tips if anyone else has any.

( talking about lane splitting in moving traffic)
What I use to do( just starting out splitting lanes) was just go up the middle in a stack of moving cars like 3 to 4 cars deep; but stopped when someone near the end of the stack decided to move over an block me at 70-75mph.

He missed me, but I was in complete disbelief that someone would do this.
Have a buddy that commutes 70 miles each way to work riding a liter bike and he says this happens all the time o.O?

Anyway, since then, I'll only split traffic like 2 cars deep just enough time to make sure I'm past the cars 'before' they have time to react.

Seems like the cars have a natural inclination to drift towards the center if they see you coming?
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Old 11-26-2012, 04:36 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Just don't ride that much faster than traffic. If a guy decides to block you, at least you'll only hit him doing 10 miles an hour. That said, I never used to split in moving traffic unless it was that slow. I used the split to keep in moving lanes and move through stopped traffic. Admittedly, that was a long time ago.
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Old 11-26-2012, 04:50 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Don't ride on the shoulder or outside part of an outside lane.

Splitting between the fast lane and the next lane in is best.

If you blow by people 20mph faster than they are going you will startle them and piss them off. If you pass 2mph faster you will be exposing yourself for longer, and will seem to be trying to "take their space" and piss them off. Choose your speed wisely.

Look for the obvious places where people change lanes and don't pit yourself in harm's way. I personally don't think it's realistic to expect drivers to look for bikes popping up out of nowhere at a different speed than the rest of congested traffic, so I don't.

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Old 11-26-2012, 05:11 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Keep your eyes on all the cars ahead of you, watch their movements and turn signals. If you think a vehicle will change lanes in front of you, give yourself enough space so that if they do you can let them without slamming on your breaks. I never go more than 15 mph faster than traffic and i keep the powerband of my bike around 7-8k just for the sake of slowing down or speeding up as needed. I also keep my high beams on so that the side mirrors might reflect me to drivers, MIGHT. Try to use your turn signals as much as possible, I know some cops get pissy when you lane split and don't use them.

Also, know the shape of your bike and if it would hit any given vehicle you approach or pass. If two vehicles ahead of you are closer than you feel comfortable going past, don't try to force your way through. It won't work out for you.
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Old 11-26-2012, 05:21 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Scan, look far ahead and use your peripheral vision to watch those close. Always assume they are going to go in front of you. Oh the helmet videos I have of people crossing double yellow lines in front of me!

I have never used turn signals as i am sharing a lane...interesting comment

I try to stay smooth, in terms of moving forward and not moving side to side. Spend less time next to cars so if they do move in your path, you are prepared to stop of speed up.

I keep my hands on the controls...well most of the time. Honestly, this past Friday evening with the southbound 5 freeway was closed and traffic was backed up for miles...my hands got tired
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Old 11-26-2012, 06:39 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Watch the drivers in the mirrors. If they look at you when you are getting close, you know you're safe. I commute from Anaheim to Irvine daily on my bike and the best advice I could really give is to start slow. Stop lights, stopped or slow moving traffic on the freeways, you know, the only places you should really be doing it to begin with, no more then 15 mph faster then surrounding traffic and no faster then 45 mph....

Really though, I split far faster then I should, and I know it, but the more you do it, the faster you learn the signs of what to look for to avoid. I've avoided my share of accidents by watching the other drivers, but I've also been hit because someone decided to change lanes when I was less then a foot from his bumper so I had no chance to react (and I was going incredibly slow when I got hit)

Also, if you're on the freeways and someone is riding your ass, don't speed up, get over at the first chance. Speeding up when you aren't comfortable is a recipe for disaster when splitting lanes. It's about the same as riding your own ride through a canyon, don't let someone else determine how you split lanes. Stay safe out there.

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Old 11-26-2012, 06:56 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks for all the tips, on a light note; found this funny bike app that let's you 'practice' lane splitting, sort of, lol.

From either your iPhone( think it's available for iPhone) or Droid phone search for 'AE 3D Motor' from your app store.
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Old 11-26-2012, 07:41 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UltimateOG View Post
Keep your eyes on all the cars ahead of you, watch their movements and turn signals. If you think a vehicle will change lanes in front of you, give yourself enough space so that if they do you can let them without slamming on your breaks. .
Nothing else should be said. You need to ask yourself this: "Do I have a good gut instinct when I drive?" If you don't then I don't recommend you split too often. I don't care what anyone says but when you drive long enough and dedicate 100% of your attention to your road, there is a weird connection you develop with the energy around you. Sometimes i predict 2-3 seconds before someone plans to change lanes. I'm not even talking about tail gators.
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Old 11-26-2012, 08:07 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustSaying View Post
Nothing else should be said. You need to ask yourself this: "Do I have a good gut instinct when I drive?" If you don't then I don't recommend you split too often. I don't care what anyone says but when you drive long enough and dedicate 100% of your attention to your road, there is a weird connection you develop with the energy around you. Sometimes i predict 2-3 seconds before someone plans to change lanes. I'm not even talking about tail gators.
I have to agree with this. I'm not saying I'm the best driver in the world, but I've got a pretty good instinct when it comes to driving that comes from years of driving in LA traffic and driving a small car when I first started driving. I was constantly dodging trucks because they couldn't see me.
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Old 11-26-2012, 11:17 PM   #10 (permalink)
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For about a year I lane split on I-10 freeway in Los Angeles for 60 miles everyday. Had several close calls. Eventually I realize that people are not necessarily out to kill you, but they are definitely not watching out for you either. So I made a rule for myself and adhered to it pretty well: no lane splitting when surround traffic is doing 40+ mph.

The time saving drops significantly once the traffic starts flowing. For example, if the traffic is doing 20mph average, and I split lane at 40mph average, I'll save 1.5 hours each day while keeping the risk relatively low. If the traffic is doing 50mph, and I split lane at 70mph, I'll only save 21 minutes each day but at a much higher risk.
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Old 11-27-2012, 09:57 AM   #11 (permalink)
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What the fuck were you doing lane splitting at 70 mph?

There's your problem.
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:59 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I-Jo View Post
What the fuck were you doing lane splitting at 70 mph?

There's your problem.
If you have not been on the I-10 in awhile, doing 70 is fucking slow compared to the normal flow of traffic. Even the Semi's are going that slow, not many of them anyway.

And given that you have to do 70 just to lane split, they must have been much slower than that.
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:39 AM   #13 (permalink)
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NJ traffic is comparable to Ca traffic.

And there are times when 70 is slow. For sure. Do it isn't that I am unfamiliar with roads like that.

But if you are doing 70. There is absolutely no reason to lane split. None. 70 is more than sufficient to.get you to your final destination.

I personally feel that if I am splitting at 30 mph I should merge back in and proceed with the flow of traffic. If I am doing 10-15-20 and traffic is obviously slower that's fine. But beyond your general impatience there is no reason you cannot travel at 30 mph fairly safely WITH the flow if traffic.

I personally feel that lane splitting above 30-40 ( and I feel 40 is a stretch) is completely un-necessary and voids the "its safer than sitting in traffic" argument. If you HAVE to do 40 to split and keep ahead of moving traffic... Then your just being impatience. And splitting in 0-5 mph traffic at 40 is obviously unsafe and if I have to explain that we haw bigger issues.
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:55 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Oh I agree with you and I know you once roamed these streets too, no discredit there. There are few times I would split doing 70, those few times include getting away from reckless/distracted drivers near me and getting past two side by side vehicles doing 55-60 while everyone else in the other lanes are doing 75-85 and I don't feel comfortable merging over in the other lanes so I split between the knuckle heads ahead of me and then proceed at the pace of traffic.

Other than those situations, I really don't split going faster than 55 mph at the most regularly.
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Old 11-27-2012, 12:43 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Jo,

I have been living in the Middle East for over 4 years now. The drivers here are idiots and treat the lane markings as merely decoration. That said, I do lane split on a regular basis. In general, when traffic gets up above 50 I stay in my lane unless I am getting tail gated hard. This is generally the case here. The drivers are basically, well, umm....idiots. Much worse than I have ever seen in the states. I do move over and get out of their way, but there are times that they simply get behind me and continue to ride my ass. In this case, I split between a few cars at 60-70+ to get away from them and keep an eye in my mirrors for them. Stupid sounding, but they just won't let you slow down and if you do then you are in even bigger danger going slow with traffic swerving around you.

In general, my tips on lane splitting are I do it below 50, between the left two of three lanes (or center lane for two). I keep an eye on tires, driver heads, mirrors and cell phones and on the rare ocassion blinkers. The ocassions where I don't split is when there are entrance/exit ramps/turns, when the differential between the lanes I am splitting is significant, or when there are openings for a car to change lanes between the left/right lanes I am inbetween.

This has worked so far and I have only been hit 3 times in 4 years of riding, never gone down. All three times were where the car and I wer at a standstill and all three times they looked at me, not through me. They saw me as smaller and that I would yield, where too I am not sure.

There is no doubt in my mind that it is a risky behavior as you are putting yourself between big, stupid heavy metal objects. However, you can do a lot to mitigate the risks. Just have to gauge your own level of acceptance. There are times when I feel fragile riding and simply don't do it. No real explanation, just I don't feel right for whatever reason.

Quote:
Originally Posted by I-Jo View Post
NJ traffic is comparable to Ca traffic.

And there are times when 70 is slow. For sure. Do it isn't that I am unfamiliar with roads like that.

But if you are doing 70. There is absolutely no reason to lane split. None. 70 is more than sufficient to.get you to your final destination.

I personally feel that if I am splitting at 30 mph I should merge back in and proceed with the flow of traffic. If I am doing 10-15-20 and traffic is obviously slower that's fine. But beyond your general impatience there is no reason you cannot travel at 30 mph fairly safely WITH the flow if traffic.

I personally feel that lane splitting above 30-40 ( and I feel 40 is a stretch) is completely un-necessary and voids the "its safer than sitting in traffic" argument. If you HAVE to do 40 to split and keep ahead of moving traffic... Then your just being impatience. And splitting in 0-5 mph traffic at 40 is obviously unsafe and if I have to explain that we haw bigger issues.
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