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Thread: Lane splitting questions

  1. #1
    Hooligan Biker
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    Default Lane splitting questions

    I've finally started riding to work. It's a lot easier than I thought
    But it has brought up some questions about lane splitting:
    1) If I want to turn left at a traffic light, what do I do when i get to the front of the queue? Do i cut in front of the 1st car and go left or do I try fit in behind them?
    2) Can I split to the front at a stop street? If so, again what do I do when I get to the front?

    These are my main 2 issues right now. I'm sure I'll have more questions as I learn more.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    My real account is under AMZ FJTillDeath's Avatar
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    Number 1 rule for me for safe lane splitting is only split where you feel comfortable and the road is wide enough to do so.

    To answer number 1) I say it depends on what the car in front is doing, how much space they have given and how much time you have available. If there is lots of space and you can get safely infront of the car before the robot turns red, go for it. If not get between the front car and second car, but be careful as car number 2 may not be accommodating. I think it's safer to get straight to the front. - Just remember to keep a lookout for cars and trucks that have no regards for what a red light means.

    For number 2) It again depends. But like circles, stop streets can be tricky. If there is little room and not long of a queue, I would advise waiting. Even if there is tons of space I would still watch yourself and keep a level head as someone else might not. Whether this is legal or not I don't know, but I generally don't split at stop streets anyway.
    Life on 2 wheels is so much better

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    Quote Originally Posted by FJTillDeath View Post
    Number 1 rule for me for safe lane splitting is only split where you feel comfortable and the road is wide enough to do so.

    To answer number 1) I say it depends on what the car in front is doing, how much space they have given and how much time you have available. If there is lots of space and you can get safely infront of the car before the robot turns red, go for it. If not get between the front car and second car, but be careful as car number 2 may not be accommodating. I think it's safer to get straight to the front. - Just remember to keep a lookout for cars and trucks that have no regards for what a red light means.

    For number 2) It again depends. But like circles, stop streets can be tricky. If there is little room and not long of a queue, I would advise waiting. Even if there is tons of space I would still watch yourself and keep a level head as someone else might not. Whether this is legal or not I don't know, but I generally don't split at stop streets anyway.
    Thanks, this all makes sense. Looks like a lot of lane splitting knowledge comes with experience. I guess I'll have to try it and see what happens!

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    Hooligan Biker Viper1350's Avatar
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    As FJ said, only split when it's safe to do so and you're comfortable doing it. And as you said, it comes with experience as well.

    I don't split at stop streets or circles as cars are generally moving, although slowly, they might not be as accommodating or might do something stupid. But if there's lots of traffic and the intersection is slow, I might split. Again, depends on the situation. If somebody close to the front is turning left, and I'm going straight, I try and filter next to them.

    Your best bet is to try it and see how it feels. Just be safe, and keep your wits about you

  5. #5
    Nuon Fangirl

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    I would not split to the front if I am planning a left turn. Just too dangerous and unpredictable.

    I do split at Stop Signs. I pull away with the car that was already there.

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    Thanks. It sounds like I'm just going to have to try splitting and see what situations come up and then see how to deal with them.
    I do have to say that life is a lot more fun on a bike!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by HalfLifeZA View Post
    I do have to say that life is a lot more fun on a bike!!
    You've got that 100% right

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    All I need now is a bigger bike but that will come soon!

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    I have another splitting question.
    If the road is one lane in either direction, but the traffic light has a right turning lane, and I want to turn right, do I split on the right hand side of the turning cars or do I go between the right turning ones and the going straight ones and then just turn from there?
    I hope that long, badly constructed sentence made sense!

  10. #10
    Nuon Fangirl

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    It makes sense. Unfortunately there is no easy answer as circumstances dictate. On my route home I do both options due to the varying circumstances. To be honest, I prefer going down the middle and then turning wide, with those turning. Be very, VERY careful when splitting to an intersection where you are planning to turn though. Try to avoid, if you can.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AMZ View Post
    It makes sense. Unfortunately there is no easy answer as circumstances dictate. On my route home I do both options due to the varying circumstances. To be honest, I prefer going down the middle and then turning wide, with those turning. Be very, VERY careful when splitting to an intersection where you are planning to turn though. Try to avoid, if you can.
    Thanks for all the advice! I sorta wish there were some hard and fast rules for splitting, but I'm coming to accept that its a situational thing and I'll need to pick the correct response each time.

    Thanks again!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by HalfLifeZA View Post
    Thanks for all the advice! I sorta wish there were some hard and fast rules for splitting, but I'm coming to accept that its a situational thing and I'll need to pick the correct response each time.

    Thanks again!!!
    There are some hard and fast rules for riding that can easily be applied to splitting.

    You're invisible.
    They're all drunk (every other road user)
    You're responsible for everything that happens to you once you put your head in the helmet. Legally speaking it's different, but as a rider you are responsible. Always. ALWAYS!

    Just remember, making good decision comes from experience (and luck sometimes). Experience comes from making bad decisions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Viper1350 View Post
    There are some hard and fast rules for riding that can easily be applied to splitting.

    You're invisible.
    They're all drunk (every other road user)
    You're responsible for everything that happens to you once you put your head in the helmet. Legally speaking it's different, but as a rider you are responsible. Always. ALWAYS!

    Just remember, making good decision comes from experience (and luck sometimes). Experience comes from making bad decisions.
    This all makes a lot of sense!
    Guess its time to go make some bad decisions

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by HalfLifeZA View Post
    This all makes a lot of sense!
    Guess its time to go make some bad decisions
    LOL. I'm in no way responsible for what you do

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    Quote Originally Posted by Viper1350 View Post
    LOL. I'm in no way responsible for what you do
    All bad decisions are entirely my own!

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    Quote Originally Posted by HalfLifeZA View Post
    All bad decisions are entirely my own!

  17. #17
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    My 2c worth.

    Always be a polite road user. A quick "thank you" wave to the car next to you is the difference between the driver feeling he gives you a gap or you pushing infront of him.

    And try and avoid aggravating traffic as, even if you are correct, in a roadrage situation you will end worst off.

    As for position in traffic, I always try and avoid being trapped between a vehicle and a kerb....

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by tp007 View Post
    My 2c worth.

    Always be a polite road user. A quick "thank you" wave to the car next to you is the difference between the driver feeling he gives you a gap or you pushing infront of him.

    And try and avoid aggravating traffic as, even if you are correct, in a roadrage situation you will end worst off.

    As for position in traffic, I always try and avoid being trapped between a vehicle and a kerb....
    Thanks. More valuable advice!

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  19. #19
    Herman the German THE MOOSE's Avatar
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    Listen to the old man (AMZ), he knows well what to do and he's nearly as old as I am.

    Just remember, always keep in mind if those couple of seconds you may "win" by splitting and cutting through traffic, may cost you dearly if you come down. If you are new to this, you need to practice and maintain a safe distance between yourself and whoever is around you.

    In general, I stay as far away from others as I can. Sometimes that is staying behind, sometimes it is moving ahead. With lots of umph, even if it makes me look like a hooligan from a cagers point of view. No traffic = no problem. As long as you stay in control of your bike when moving fast.

    If you don't feel comfortable enough in traffic with swerving and/or braking, book a course to learn it properly.

    Safe riding!
    You don't ride in the rain, you don't ride!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by THE MOOSE View Post
    Listen to the old man (AMZ), he knows well what to do and he's nearly as old as I am.

    Just remember, always keep in mind if those couple of seconds you may "win" by splitting and cutting through traffic, may cost you dearly if you come down. If you are new to this, you need to practice and maintain a safe distance between yourself and whoever is around you.

    In general, I stay as far away from others as I can. Sometimes that is staying behind, sometimes it is moving ahead. With lots of umph, even if it makes me look like a hooligan from a cagers point of view. No traffic = no problem. As long as you stay in control of your bike when moving fast.

    If you don't feel comfortable enough in traffic with swerving and/or braking, book a course to learn it properly.

    Safe riding!
    Being an old man myself, I know how valuable old man advice is
    Thanks for the pointers, they make a lot of sense!!

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