Riding to the Right

One commonly used rule in biking in the street is "ride to the right." While I think it is generally a good idea to stay out of the way of cars, there are times when I take issue with this rule:

1) Depending on where you are biking, drivers aren't looking for a bike on the right before they pull in to a parking spot or cut over to make a right turn.

2) For me, one of the scariest things on the road is a line of parallel parked cars, especially if one of them has any lights on or a person in it. I don't know if someone is going to pull out of a spot or open their door suddenly, and I really don't know if they can see me on my bike, even with my hot pink helmet. In these cases I often ride more in the center of the lane to make myself more visible.

3) Buses. I have made the mistake of riding to the right of a bus and getting nudged towards the bus stop. I then had to stop suddenly while loads of commuters got on and off. When I'm near a bus, I'll usually ride behind the bus in the center of the lane. Buses don't go very fast, so I'm not slowing down traffic. Then, if the bus starts to pull right for a stop, I can pass on the left and then start to ride to the right once I clear the bus.

Like any rules, there are times and places to bend them. My one hard and fast rule of biking is: No one can see you. Ride like you are invisible.


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