Jump to content

Rain riding - lane position?


Sharif

Recommended Posts

Where do you ride in a lane when it's raining, and why? Does this change in the city, on the highway, 2-lane vs 4-lane?

 

I saw no other motos on the way to work this morning - just a light drizzle here in Chicagoland.

 

Sharif

Link to comment
Francois_Dumas

Same place as always... 2/3 off the right shoulder, next to wheel tracks of cars...... just more wary of deep longitudinal tracks on the highways that can fill with water and puddles (don't know how deep or what is below the surface).

Link to comment

Avoid the area between wheeltracks, where oilly deposits collect from the 4-wheelers.

I always ride in line with the drivers of cars, or slightly outside of them, so that I can see their heads in both interior and wing mirrors.

 

Andy

Link to comment
ShovelStrokeEd

Normally, right tire track of the left lane, rain or shine. I'm usually moving faster than traffic under both conditions and that leaves me best forward vision to decide who and when to pass. An exception would be passing big trucks at speed as I tend to give the widest possible berth to get away from the spray.

 

Biggest worry down here is the folks who decide that slowing to 40 or less is OK in the fast lanes so long as they put on their flashers. One of many dumb moves that the senior drivers tend to pull. That is dumb with a capitol D_U_M! They tend to drive in the left lane down in Florida anyway. I think it is cause they can't see very well on even a clear day and the dividor gives them something to navigate with.

 

Call me Ishmael, or anything else you want, but mandatory vision testing every year should be a requirement after age 65 or even before if you are proven to have some form of degenerative eye disorder. I have had to curtail my faster riding as I age because I can no longer change focus from near to far as rapidly as in days of yore. I cannot imagine that I am alone.

Link to comment

"I have had to curtail my faster riding as I age because I can no longer change focus from near to far as rapidly as in days of yore. I cannot imagine that I am alone."

 

You are not.....

 

On 2+ lane roads I ride left close to the rail in the tire track. It gives me more time to react to someone coming into the passing lane.

 

On single lane roads I ride the right tire lane.

 

In CA the right "slow" lane is frequently best for passing, since so many are "parked" in the passing lane. I like to use that lane close to the shoulder because I have this weird notion that an LEO observing from a distance will think I'm going slow.

Link to comment

Indeed - right track of right lane in the wet for me - isn't it interesting to note the well-waxed appearance of the middle track, where water beads up on the oily goo?

 

I just ride with a judicious throttle hand in town, but resume my slightly above-average speed on the open road.

Link to comment

For multi-lane roads, I vote for what Ed said.

 

But on two lane roads (one each direction), would the goal of being seen as early as possible by as many cars as possible in the oncoming traffic lane (all of which may decide to take a quick left) not be even more important in the rain?

That is, since lots of car drivers tend to barrel along cluelessly rain or shine, and since everybody's visibility is less when it rains, it seems to me that you might want to be especially vigilant that your headlight be seen by the cars behind the first one headed your way.

 

If so, with no traffic immediately ahead in your own lane, this would be best accomplished by being in that right tire track as several folks have noted above. The farther to the right you are, the earlier cars behind the first one can see you coming, and one would hope, the less likely they’ll be to turn in front of you.

 

However, aren’t there are some traffic situations, say, a truck or bloated SUV gets in your lane, when you might be better off to get over to the left of the lane to be seen, at least until you can get your space cushion back?

 

I’m thinking that traffic tends to bunch up even more than usual in the rain, and drivers get frustrated and distracted. I want the oncoming cars to see me at the first possible moment.

 

Disadvantages of being toward the left would include possibly getting sprayed by the opposite direction traffic, but an advantage would be a bit more time to react from vehicles pulling out from driveways and streets from the right.

 

So in rain, is the difference not that traction considerations and making yourself visible to phone yakking, chip munching drivers are two things that move a little higher in the scheme of priorities?

 

My point, or question, overall is that it seems to me that lane positioning, maybe especially in the rain, should be a dynamic process taking into account all the conditions affecting traction, visibility to other vehicles, visibility around turns, turning lines, spacing to create time, etc.

 

Yes?

Link to comment
Avoid the area between wheeltracks, where oilly deposits collect from the 4-wheelers.

Exactly. It isn't called the "grease strip" for nothing!

 

Funny thin is, it is amazing how may scooter riders obliviously ride right down the middle. I have often pulled up beside them and suggested they should do themselves a favour and ride to one side, and even when I explained why, they kept on in the middle!

 

But them what do you expect? Scooter riders never wave! grin.gif

Link to comment

On two lane roads, in any weather, I like to ride close to the lane divider (a high traction place). I move to one side or the other of the right wheel track when vehicles approach, and them move immediately back. This gives them and me best view of each other, and the proximity-and-then-motion keeps me always in the game. When roads are wet and dirty that's a high traction area least prone to surface impediments, and one less prone to visibility reducing spray. It's also less likely to be directly behind a vehicle that can be closely approached for passing, and less likely to be directly in front of a vehicle that could crush me.

 

On four lane or more roads, alone I prefer to ride the Number Two Lane, the second from the left. I ride against the lane divider, moving to either side of the right wheel track when vehicles approach in the left lane, and then return when clear - rare except in poor weather and visibilty. I'm there for the same visibility, traction, impediment, and juxtaposition reasons as on a two lane road.

 

A pass is a simple matter of moving only a foot to the left, though more is prudent in most cases, but only enough to be prudent. The return is just as quick - and brings just as little notice to an observer like a police officer concerned with my speed and movements. It looks very smooth.

 

I'm also away from The fast lane, a too prominent place as well. And, I read a survey that indicated most motorcycle accidents on multilane highways occurred in the fast lane. I have the same view as in the fast lane, minus one foot to the right, access to all its utility, but also the use of an entire other lane, and as well it's access to the shoulder or adjacent right lane(s).

 

Best wishes in making your own choices.

Link to comment
Best wishes in making your own choices.

 

Dick--

 

A worthy sentiment.

 

I've always been fairly focused on riding safely, and for a long time I simply abided by the standard recommendations regarding lane positioning. As my experience grew, I ultimately came to the conclusion that, since your ride is a dynamic experience (constantly changing, that is), you have to approach it dynamically.

 

Certainly you have to be cognizant of why the standard recommendations prevail, but, more importantly, you have to be willing to adjust second to second with three principles in mind:

 

-Maintaining control (of which maintaining traction is a major component);

-Maximizing visibility or conspicuity to others; and

-Optimizing your ability to maneuver (either preplanned, or as a reaction to unplanned events).

 

There are other ways to express these guiding principles, but the idea is to get to the point where you're actively engaging a dynamic situation, rather than just following rules by rote.

 

This takes some experience and a commitment to ride actively, rather than passively. Knowing the hard-and-fast rules--like not riding in the oil track--is a great start, but it's only a start.

Link to comment

Same place as dry riding, I'm in the #1 lane and in the left wheel position. The "fast lane" on a dividied multi lane highway means "threats" are only on my right. It also the best lane to keep tire spray off me. It is also the lane furthest away from the oily slow lane where trucks reside.

Link to comment

I like to favor the left tire track too, but on pavement where studded tires are used, channels form on these tracks that can be dangerous when filled with water. I usually ride to the left though and position myself so that I have best view forward beyond the car in front of me. My theory is that if I can see ahead, so can oncoming traffic see me. It's also good to be able to check the road surface ahead for debris etc. I find the "grease strip" concern almost a non issue here in Alaska.

Take care,

Dave

Link to comment

" I find the "grease strip" concern almost a non issue here in Alaska."

 

Hmmm... A regional benefit offset by black ice... smile.gif

Link to comment
There are other ways to express these guiding principles, but the idea is to get to the point where you're actively engaging a dynamic situation, rather than just following rules by rote.

 

This takes some experience and a commitment to ride actively, rather than passively. Knowing the hard-and-fast rules--like not riding in the oil track--is a great start, but it's only a start.

 

That does seem to be the key - most excellent.

 

Once more, I've learned something from everyone here that will make my rides more fun and maybe some day salvage my buttocks from the pavement - thanks to all!

 

Salutes to the founders and keepers of this great forum. clap.gif

Link to comment

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...