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When riding with traffic on a freeway type road, where do you position yourself within your lane, and why?
I tend to position myself off center, TOWARD where there is traffic next to me. For example, if there are three lanes to the highway I'm on, and I am in the leftmost lane, I will ride to the right of center. My intent is to command the lane and not "invite" traffic, that may be next to me, to cut into my lane. I re-evaluate this over and over again and was looking to get the collective thinking from this group. As a secondary benefit, it also positions me approximately in the tire tracks of cars which would be cleaned of road debris by the many vehicles preceding me. By riding in the car track, the chance of picking up a stray nail is greatly reduced.
Chip from Long Island
 

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There seems to be several different theories to this question.

I position myself in any place that gives me the largest cushion and best visibility.

With respect to which track, I’ve seen times when the vehicle in front of me has actually picked up debris as their tire ran over it. Again, it’s space and visibility for me.

Hope that helps…
 

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Ride where YOU are most comfortable. I will vary my position depending on the road surface and traffic. Remember, ride as though you are invisible, have an escape plan, and expect the unexpected!
 

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Licensed Tooth Torturer
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LI,

I agree with your strategy and it's reasons.

One time I vary is when I'm overtaking a big rig. I try to move past these big machines quickly, and I've found that by moving into the track away from the truck cuts down tremendously on the turbulence they create. Also, the big rig drivers seem to appreicate me getting past them quickly. To me, about the most dangerous place to be on the road is by the front tire of a big rig.

Hopefully this post will generate some good riding points. Thanks for posting.


Bob E.
 

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All over the lane ..

1. Slow traffic (45 or less) in town.
in the right tire lane where I will be visible in the rearview mirror of the cars beside me.
2. Hwy driving (The Speed Limit 85 to 90)
Left tire track until I approach a car to my right, then in the right track for visibility.
3. Stop and Go traffic on my way home from work. (3 MPH to 80 and back to 3)
In the Left tire track, there is an Oh S#!T lane to my left, I watch the other cars movements, I don't worry about them seeing me at this point, as long as I see them.
I look like a bobble head while riding, looking all around, paying attention to everyone around me.
 

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I constantly adjust my position in the lane. For me VISION is the thing. I manuver for the best view of the road ahead. When the cage in front of me drifts around in the lane I change my position so my view of the road surface and traffic ahead is maximised. I don't want my first view of a road hazard to be when it emerges from under the car ahead of me.
 

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Like others, my position varies with different conditions. In your scenario of being in the far left lane of a three lane highway, I'd likely be in the left groove most of the time, giving me more time to react if the car next to me were to come into my lane. I always have an escape route, and always work towards giving myself as much "dance floor" as possible to maneuver.
 

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Dangerous Old Lady Biker
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I also vary my position depending on conditions...also depending on riding the trike or two-wheeler...with the trike I tend toward the middle of the middle lane, or toward the left side of whichever lane I can pass everyone else...on the Vulcan, I usually move around a bit to see also, but tend to stay more toward the right of the lane, usually the left lane passing everyone elsel...
 

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I guess I ride in both lanes also, depending on conditions. One thing I can tell you is I will not ride 2 abreast with another bike. Sometimes I wonder a little, and that ain't good!
 

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1. I usually ride in the left track.
2. Always leave myself a way out.
3. I anticipate what the other driver is going to do.
4. Ride where a driver can see me in their mirrors.
5. Leave myself space to react to road hazards.
6. Check my mirrors and surrounding constantly.
 

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I try to always ride in a track, usually the left one. The car tires will tend to keep the tracks clean and guess where any junk goes. That's right, anywhere that ISN'T a track. Obviously, the shoulders are worse, the percentages are up on the lines and in the middle of the lane. Also, although oil drippings aren't the problem they used to be, most of them are going to be in the middle of the lane.
 

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I usually ride in the third of my lane nearest oncoming traffic on two lane roads and in the left most third on multi-lane and divided roadways. My logic is that I want to "own" my lane and the best way to do that is to position myself in the place where I'm most visible to the greatest number of vehicles and least likely to have someone pass the person behind me and try to pull in next to me. :shock:
 

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I use the whole lane, especially in traffic and frequently move around within the lane as the situation requires. By moving around in the lane, especially on a multi-lane highway, it makes me more visible to other drivers and allows me to control the lane and the space around me.

I also have found a real easy way to handle tailgators is to move around in the lane a bit as this can make you appear to be a bit unstable. They will almost always back off when I wobble and wiggle in the lane.
 

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GL1800 Doctor
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RobertKing1 said:
1. I usually ride in the left track.
2. Always leave myself a way out.
3. I anticipate what the other driver is going to do.
4. Ride where a driver can see me in their mirrors.
5. Leave myself space to react to road hazards.
6. Check my mirrors and surrounding constantly.
Ditto and that's where the KY driving manual says I should be. I do move to the right track when going around left handed curves and vice versa. I do that to keep the mirrors and me from leaning out across the lines. :D
 

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I teach new riders, this is what we teach:

- two lane road, one in each direction: left of centre (left wheel track)
- two lane road, both in same direction: right of centre (right wheel track), this changes when passing large vehicles
- three lane road in same direction: centre position, but be aware when approaching intersections
- curves - slow prior to the curve, pick your lane position prior to the curve, we discourage apexing for new riders

We teach "lane dominance",

BUT: situations change, therefore you must assess all situations, and change lane positions as conditions change.
 

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Most of what has been posted covers me. When on the Interstate, I stay to the far left. The only ones who canrun over me are to the right and behind. That leaves the right, since the behind rarely stays close to me. Stay clear of the center portion of any lane as much as is feasible. That is where all of the oil, grease and vehicle fluids typically fall, making it generally the slickest portion of any lane. And don't forget the cages' air conditioner water draining out in the summer time, especially at traffic lights.
 

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I vary kind of like Fred. Because I'm hardly ever in the slow lane, I tend to approach a vehicle I am going to be passing by drifting to the right to be in his outside and center mirror. As I begin the pass I drift over to the left and accelerate moderately to minimize the "contact" time. If it's a truck, I accelerate smartly! It's all part of the "escape route" planning.
 

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One big mistake is not enough room between u and cage in front. Want to leave room to see stuff showing up under the cage as it passes over, and to be seen from vehicles on the right side of road entering from side road. If to close to a cage, the side road driver will not see you behind the cage!
 
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