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Old 12-29-2012, 12:59 PM   #91
der_saeufer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gplutt View Post
I went to California last spring and found the same. If you were going faster than they were, they got out of your way. If you passed them (double yellow or not), they seemed to assume that you just wanted to go faster than them and didn't care. If it wasn't safe for you to pass and they thought you wanted to go faster THEY ACTUALLY PULLED OFF QUICKLY SO YOU COULD PASS THEM. There was no politeness involved, it seemed. It was just a purely a rational form of roadcraft. It was a pretty eye opening experience. To all those Californians, thanks. You have a great state with great drivers, and I'm going to visit again.
California has a lot of problems, but bad drivers really aren't one of them. Whenever people complain about how bad drivers in LA are, the only thing I can think is that the complainer him/herself doesn't actually know how to drive. Don't get me wrong, I see some stuuuupid shit on a daily basis, but nothing holds a candle to the poor driving I saw living in the Northeast. Even when I come back to Denver to visit my family, I think "damn, these people are sleep-driving." Northwest drivers aren't too bad either, except for the left-lane camping.

And I agree--people here, especially in the less-dense areas are OK with just getting out of the way. I can't count how many times I've been riding along a mountain road enjoying my day when the car in front will hug the shoulder and wave me around just because he feels like it. I don't tailgate or annoy people on mountain roads, so they're letting me pass just to be nice. That almost never happens elsewhere.

As for the OP: Filter away in California, just don't be stupid and life's good. Outside of California, the rule is "don't get caught."
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Old 12-29-2012, 04:57 PM   #92
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Feel the need to chime in on CA drivers. I've driven in probably a dozen states all across the US.

CA drivers are among some of the best. Yes, many of them drive quickly -- but they seem to understand that they are NOT the only ones on the road and see the value in using signals and sharing the road better than most. I only hate driving there because there are so damn MANY of them. At least most of them are doing pretty well behind the wheel -- I think it's really just trial by fire out there. If you suck at driving, you won't be doing it for long. I think no-nonsense is the best way to describe it.

The absolute worst drivers I have encountered are in Maryland/DC area. Good god!
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Old 12-29-2012, 05:50 PM   #93
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duncanmac, one other thing to remember, in the USA, they drive on the RIGHT side of the road. Not hard to remember on freeways, etc. but, on a less traveled two lane road, old habits may kick in. Enjoy your ride.
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Old 12-29-2012, 06:28 PM   #94
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I haven't lived in Montana for a few years, however, it was common practice for Highway Patrolmen to escort people to the nearest ATM to pay for their ticket when I did live there.
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Old 12-30-2012, 12:58 AM   #95
ongrade
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Originally Posted by Student Rider View Post
To the best of my knowledge, lanesplitting or if you prefer filtering, is not legal in all 50 states.
In California, lanesplitting is not addressed in the traffic code and is considered by many "not illegal"
While it may be not legal and not illegal, it is still a stupid practice.
Actually stupid is sitting between cars in stop and go traffic waiting to be the meat in a car sandwich when you can split lanes and be alongside when some fool on a phone doesn't stop in time.
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Old 12-30-2012, 02:45 AM   #96
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"The absolute worst drivers I have encountered are in Maryland/DC area. Good god"

Ah the Beltway, what a road. In fairness to our Merrycan friends your driving standards aren't at all bad especially compared to our M25 race circuit where 45mph and 110mph regularly pass each other. And Germany where I cruise at 90mph on a bike and become the slowest life form on the planet and where Mercs and Audis tailgate you, it's insane.
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Old 12-30-2012, 04:08 AM   #97
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The state of Victoria in Oztralia recently had a parliamentary inquiry into motorcycle safety. One of the recommendations was that filtering (not lane splitting) be legalised as more riders are injured by being rear ended when stopped in traffic than are injured filtering. Now all the government has to do is convince all the cagers that the riders aren't jumping the queue and not waiting their turn.
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Old 12-30-2012, 04:52 PM   #98
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Originally Posted by aterry1067 View Post
It's perfectly fine for the rest of the world, just not here.
The rest of the world isn't populated by 'merkin drivers.
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Old 12-30-2012, 05:03 PM   #99
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If this is going to become a best/worst 'merkin driver thread, you're going to have to start defining "good" and "bad" driving... which is going to be relative to where you are.

1999-2001 I commuted in Boston one week there, two weeks at home, which was Portland for six months, then Denver for a year (during which I alternated Denver/Boston/Portland), then Portland again. By the end of that, I was an automotive schizoid. Being a "good" Boston driver made me a flaming asshole to Portlanders...
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Old 12-30-2012, 09:56 PM   #100
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There has been a remarkable diversity of comment, the majority of it well intended and good humoured - thank you.

I confess that I am disappointed to hear that there is, among a part of the USA populace, a sense of entitlement that causes them to become enraged and engage in anti-social behaviour when they see someone filtering/splitting.

In Australia, another country where this type of attitude does regrettably exist, it is really only the odd person here and there that will take aggressive action against the motorcyclist. Strange though it may seem, cagers tend to be more antsy against bicycles, as THERE is a body of folk in which the number of those who believe they have superior road rights compared to others is quite pronounced.

Still, when in Rome, do as the Romans do; so if and when I need to do something that is common sense but nevertheless illegal and/or frowned upon, I will do it with great caution.
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Old 12-31-2012, 05:02 AM   #101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwoodward View Post
If this is going to become a best/worst 'merkin driver thread, you're going to have to start defining "good" and "bad" driving... which is going to be relative to where you are.

1999-2001 I commuted in Boston one week there, two weeks at home, which was Portland for six months, then Denver for a year (during which I alternated Denver/Boston/Portland), then Portland again. By the end of that, I was an automotive schizoid. Being a "good" Boston driver made me a flaming asshole to Portlanders...
Agreed. I used to work and drive in the Boston area too. Driving is much more of a competitive sport there.

If you want to see a place with truly bad drivers by any standard then go to British Columbia. Not all of them are bad but their proportion of bad drivers is pretty high. I always stay clear of cars with BC plates.

duck screwed with this post 12-31-2012 at 05:08 AM
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Old 12-31-2012, 06:47 AM   #102
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A lot of states do not have laws for or against it. Texas is one of them for instance. The AMA's website is a good resource to find info on what's legal in what state and what states don't even address the issue of lane sharing.

http://www.americanmotorcyclist.com/...tate-Laws.aspx

Edit- They seem to have changed up their website a little bit. The used to put "Not Referenced" on there if there was no law on the books one way or another. Now they put "Not Authorized" But for states that have no law for or against they do not provide a link to the statute or code since it doesn't exist.
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Old 12-31-2012, 06:55 AM   #103
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A quote from one of the paramedics I worked with in the Bay Area, "They are fine drivers, from the countries they come from". Pulling up behind a car with lights/sirens in the "fast lane" having them pull over to the left up against the crash barrier and stop, in the fast lane, was so common leaving you no room but to pass them on the right. 9/10 times they were some sort of Asian. Maybe the rest of CA is better but parts of CA are "odd" to say the least.

But after living in NYC for 6+ years I am glad to be back. Yellow cabs scare the shit out of me, and traffic is a nightmare there. Now that I am old/slower/wiser, I won't filter unless traffic is basically at a stand still. I do move to a part of my lane to move up if I feel those behind me are asleep. I leave huge gaps between me and the car ahead, just to give the car behind me more time to slow down.

And in the Bay Area my experience has been white pickups like the F150 are the most common to be aggressive. While on the bicycle in SF city proper (long before critical mass was a big thing) it was luxury sedans that tried to hit me. Guess on one hand the working stiff contractor can't stand seeing someone get home before they do, and the other when you have spent 60K+ on your car how dare a simple bicycle share a lane with you.
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Old 12-31-2012, 09:58 AM   #104
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On my trip across the US, the only place I felt even tempted to lane split was on the California freeways. Everywhere else, traffic either moved quick or people didn't block the passing lane.

That said....the CA freeways were scary and riding the car pool lane or lane splitting was probably the only thing that kept me alive. Afternoon traffic on a 90 degree day was just about suicide. After 30 minutes of combating shitty asian lady drivers, I said fuck the consequences and just split till i found a lane with a huge gap and got the hell out of there. At the time I didn't know you could lane split and CHP was everywhere.

Didn't find out till I was in Colorado lane splitting was legal
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Old 12-31-2012, 03:25 PM   #105
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duck View Post
If you want to see a place with truly bad drivers by any standard then go to British Columbia.
Ha! Sir has clearly not been to Poland or (worse) Ukraine. I cannot think of a time when I've been so frequently scared by other road users... Even the Russians were better drivers than either the Polish or the Ukrainians... :(

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