Renegade the Middle

Friday, August 21, 2009
I'm getting fed up with cars passing too close to me.

I try to be very accommodating to cars on the road. I hug the right curb like Kansas law tells me to do, and I signal my turns so they're not surprised by a sudden change of direction on my part.

Most of the time, drivers pass me with at least half a lane's width between us, but sometimes, drivers pass so close that I could reach out and polish their windshield as they pass.

It's very unnerving, and I've noticed it happens at one particular spot of my commute more than any other.

There is a stretch of Blackfish Parkway in Lenexa that has random occurrences of a median, which makes the lanes very tight. I'm talking Kegle tight.

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No matter how far to the right I ride, some yahoo wants to pass me here. Typically, the driver just needs to pace me for about 50 yards where the road opens back up and he can pass me safely.

But no, they really need to save 30 seconds and risk my life in the process, so I end up riding the gutter and holding back my urge to kick their passenger door.

This morning I decided to use a different strategy. Where the road has no median, I ride to the right like a good citizen. As I approach the median zone, I totally hog the lane. Right down the middle, I tell ya.

As soon as the median ends, I scoot to the right to let my vehicular kin pass. So far, it works like a charm!


Randy said...

You're not obligated to ride as far right as possible - doing so only invites cars to try to squeeze past. Moving to the left when the lane narrows is the proper (and safest) move, as you've discovered.

What the law says is that you "shall ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable" with a few exceptions, including "narrow width lanes that make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand edge of the roadway".


Sean said...

You can't pull those shenanigans in Branson. These tourists will take you down. This is where a friend of mine was hit and put in the hospital. It was 5 lanes of clear pavement except for the lone car that wouldn't yield.,-93.266673&spn=0,359.944253&z=15&layer=c&cbll=36.651368,-93.266909&panoid=vzNUe3E2EKJP5COhm16ezg&cbp=12,115.11,,0,4.95

shan said...

@Randy: Thanks for that clarification. I got hung-up on the "as near to the right side ..." part and didn't even clue into the last part about narrow width lanes. That makes me feel a lot better about taking the lane, but now I feel like less of a rebel which makes me somewhat sad.

shan said...

@Sean: I'd be somewhat fearful of riding in Branson, anyway. Although those Ozark hills would be a lot of fun. Are there any mountain bike trails out there?

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