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Just a thought as I ride here and there..."speed differential"....when your speed is significantly different than the traffic around you..(faster or slower)..you are flying up to a intersection just as the light goes green, you in fast lane, doing maybe 40, right lane accelerating, some joker decides he must turn left so pulls into fast lane at 10 mph...oops....30mph "speed differential"....hard to overcome....anytime there is 20 or more mph speed differential...I get hyper alert....what say you?....
 

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Anticipate... anything anyone around you can (and often *will*) do...
 

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On a bike especially, what the legal speed is and what the safe speed is in certain situations, may not be the same or even close. In your example, riding a bit slower until everyone catches up a bit may be the wiser. Defensive riding is more critical than right of way on a bike, and you are losing only seconds and possibly staying alive. I only ride aggressive away from traffic. In town, it's defensive and anticipatory as stated above.
 

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Remember, everybody is out there to kill you. You should know the location of every vehicle within a block of you, what they are currently doing, and the many possibilities of what they will do next so that you will be ready for it. :headbang:
 

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My fave is when following a big SUV or truck, they rather suddenly change lanes, leaving you hurtling along only to find there's a car stopped in your lane, clicker on, waiting patiently to make a turn.....time for some quick thinking and evasive maneuvering!
 

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To add to your point Joker , I routinely get out from behind large vehicles with jet black tinted windows for that very purpose. I look through their glass at the activity in front of them. Coming to a dead halt when the old lane change because someone is turning left and you have no where to go sucks .........mostly because you have to put faith that the ding bat riding your butt can now stop as quickly as you did. :auto::mod2_no:
 

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My fave is when following a big SUV or truck, they rather suddenly change lanes, leaving you hurtling along only to find there's a car stopped in your lane, clicker on, waiting patiently to make a turn.....time for some quick thinking and evasive maneuvering!
That one got me once. Cube van I was following moved to the right as we were dawdling along a wide residential street. I was looking to the left at someone's strangely landscaped front yard and then suddenly noticed a Nissan Altima stopped dead in front of me. Swerved to the right but my left hardcase clipped the Nissan's back bumper and swung me around. I almost made it past, but ended up having to pick the bike back up 20 feet further down the road. The hardcase was toast along with the clutch lever and master cylinder. It was a matter of inches and fractions of seconds. I never ride that stretch of road without remembering it.
 

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I avoid congestion and traffic, works for me. If you cannot do so, then riding like you are invisible is very important, and do not ever get too close to anyone.
 

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Maintaining a slight positive speed differential in some circumstances is beneficial... like on the highway. It makes you more visible, and usually keeps you from being locked into a traffic pattern that leaves you with no options.
I like lots of space around me and try to make that the goal wherever I'm riding.
 

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It is definitely safer to be moving faster than traffic IMO. If you go the same speed you become invisible. Not safe. You do have to have your guard up at a certain speed differential though. Things can change quickly. Just to keep an "out" available always.
 

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And for jebus sake - stay out of people's blind spot. I hate it when I am in traffic and we are in a line in the left lane passing people and we end up halfway passing. Makes me speed up to be even with the nose of the right side vehicle, or slow down so they won't clip me if they move over suddenly.

This REALLY sucks when passing semi's and I get stuck "slowly" passing one.:headbang: I prefer to hang back behind the trailer, wait for the lead car to COMPLETELY pass the semi, then jump on the throttle and pass with authority.
 

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It is definitely safer to be moving faster than traffic IMO. If you go the same speed you become invisible. Not safe. You do have to have your guard up at a certain speed differential though. Things can change quickly. Just to keep an "out" available always.
Totally agree with this, I always move faster than the flow of traffic so that I can try to be out ahead and be seen as clearly by all as possible. Also less chance of having a surprise getting kicked back at you on the slab, for instance truck tire pieces and other debris.
 

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I avoid congestion and traffic, works for me. If you cannot do so, then riding like you are invisible is very important, and do not ever get too close to anyone.
I also prefer this approach, although commuting makes it a bit more difficult. I started wearing a hi-viz vest, despite my kids making fun of me, telling me that I look like part of the seemingly ever-present road crews around here. :green_lol:

Seriously though, I don't care how "silly" I might look - when I commute, I wear the hi-viz vest, keep my LEDs lit (during the day at least), and am MUCH more cautious and alert to vehicles around me and coming out from side streets and such. I've already been over the bars once because of an old lady who didn't see me, so anything I can do to prevent that again I try to do. It all happened so fast and although I shut down hard and tried to avoid her, I still clipped the rear quarter panel of the car. I've been over it in my head many times afterwards, wondering if there was something I did wrong, but I come up empty.

I remember years ago starting out riding on the roads when I was 14, and for many, many years afterwards, not even thinking much at all about all the dangers and other drivers being "out to get me". I just got on and rode, pretty carefree about it all. Later on I became a single dad with full custody, so I felt like during the years while the kids were younger, the responsible thing for me to do was not ride, risking leaving them fatherless in those important years. But once they got older I started riding again. We did, however ride dirt bikes together most of those years.

The dangers these days kinda take some of the "fun" out of riding, but I'm not giving up on it!
 

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You don't want to do anything that could surprise a driver. It is bad enough with the drivers that won't see us no matter what, but don't race past or come out of a blind spot on a driver that is fairly observant. Try to imagine that fairly observant driver's expectations and fit into those expectations as best you can.
 

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Most accidents happen in intersections. I usually slow down when approaching an intersection, especially is it is congested (you have more time to react to unforeseen circumstances when you are going slow). Of course, you do have to keep an eye on what is behind you, and give yourself an "out" if the vehicle behind you gets too close.

I only speed up TEMPORARILY, to get past slower traffic, then back off to the same speed that the average other traffic is moving, once I find a "bubble" of light traffic.
 

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I am the speed differential..... :thumbup: ( in my best Walter White voice) it makes me slightly more cautious, which is saying a lot, because admittly, I ride like a hooligan with turrets syndrome...

I prefer people to say "WTF is that maniac doing?" rather than, "gee officer I never saw him"....


lots of good advice on here though.... don't follow anything you cannot see over and or through, if you must, hugging one of the two lines for a better sight advantage is a good plan... if I am approaching a higher risk scenario I am allways looking for multiple escape routes, having a plan helps avoid target fixation. I am doing this type of planning almost constantly while in traffic...

I ride in an area with a large percentage of drivers who appear to have never driven anything in their lives but herds of livestock, which keeps the spidey senses on high alert at all times...
 

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Speed differnetial in multi-lane highways can be a serious issue and we need to careful!

I agree that having some differential can be a good thing. I try and keep the speed differential to an amount no more than the speed I would ride if everyone was stopped. In other words, if the traffic was stopped and the clossness of everyone was such that I would not want to go over 20mph I wouldn't go faster than 20 mph more than the traffic around me. If there was enough space that I have lots of room to dodge an errant car I might go faster. If traffic was wide open then a=I wouols ride at the speed I feel like going.

..Tom
 

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And for jebus sake - stay out of people's blind spot. I hate it when I am in traffic and we are in a line in the left lane passing people and we end up halfway passing. Makes me speed up to be even with the nose of the right side vehicle, or slow down so they won't clip me if they move over suddenly.

This REALLY sucks when passing semi's and I get stuck "slowly" passing one.:headbang: I prefer to hang back behind the trailer, wait for the lead car to COMPLETELY pass the semi, then jump on the throttle and pass with authority.
I'm a big fan of "pass quickly and decisively". I also follow the rule not to pass anything if there's no clear space and way out at the front of the vehicle I'm passing. Better to wait a bit and maintain your options for escape.
 

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Just a thought as I ride here and there..."speed differential"....when your speed is significantly different than the traffic around you..(faster or slower)..you are flying up to a intersection just as the light goes green, you in fast lane, doing maybe 40, right lane accelerating, some joker decides he must turn left so pulls into fast lane at 10 mph...oops....30mph "speed differential"....hard to overcome....anytime there is 20 or more mph speed differential...I get hyper alert....what say you?....
It should make you nervous.
 

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I am the speed differential..... :thumbup: ( in my best Walter White voice)
If you revert to the original quote, try a higher octane.

But yeah, you want to stick out like a sore thumb out there. Better people think you an asshole than not notice you at all.

In this neck of the woods, people notice very little unless it is on their phone.
 
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