And, a Few Comments afterwards on Those Nice Roads We Normally Ride On.
|Looking downhill, westbound, towards Las Conchas|
Between Valles Caldera and Las Conchas, this means you are riding downhill with a steep dropoff on the shoulder. So if someone driving the speed limit of 55 mph is trying to pass me, I'm pretty much going to hold my line and let them figure it out. I can't see wanting to bunny hop the bicycle off a 2-3 inch ledge at over 20 mph--and then back onto the road again to assist an overtaking vehicle. Nor should I have to put myself at risk by doing so.
|Closeup of westbound lane pavement lip. |
Blackberry case for scale
Headed back towards the Valles, the shoulder really isn't much worse than it was before, which is being charitable. So it is still possible for me let traffic overtake if it is backing up by moving right when it is safe for me to do so on one of the wider bits of shoulder. Fortunately, traffic is rarely heavy except on holiday weekends.
|Heading Back East Towards the Valles Caldera|
This is probably the best bit of shoulder on that stretch
|The dinosaur rock just east of Las Conchas.|
Good place to take shelter from hailstorms,
as I once discovered
Right Hooks on Diamond Drive...Is that a right turn signal blinking on your car, or are you just happy to see me?
Ironically, its sometimes the superficially "nicer" roads that will get you. Heading home on Diamond Drive in that wide bike lane and passing the Orange/Sandia intersection, someone in a dark SUV dashed ahead of me a little and made a right turn. This happened quite suddenly (perhaps because I was tired from the ride into the mountains?) So I had to make a quick judgement call. I took a quick look over my left shoulder* to check traffic and then did a quick jog (more like a lateral sprint) out of the bike lane and into a gap in traffic in the travel lane to pass on his/her left as he/she slowed down to make the turn (I could have done a quick stop* or instant turn*, too, but did not have to). If I had been totally oblivious, it would have been the classic right hook crash (see video below). Vigilance never hurts, and sometimes, nicely "improved" roads breed complacency.
* The over the shoulder scan, quick stop, and instant turn are taught in League Traffic Skills courses.
In the situation shown in the video, I'd not recommend hammering in a bike lane when there are side streets and curb cuts immediately ahead. Combining bike lanes and side streets is a bad design to begin with, so one has to assume a finite number of right of way foul-ups will occur and you need to avoid them. The design shown is the worst, which has a solid line to the intersection, thus encouraging cyclists to keep right and motorists to turn right from a cyclist's left. I had a roadway situation much like this on my daily commute to the University of Hawaii, riding along Kalanianaole Highway in East Oahu. While I used the long stretches between side roads as a place to get in some training, I always approached intersections with some caution rather than flat out.
In this case, perhaps the cyclist might have wanted to merge left behind the car when he saw the right turn indicator blinking rather than being trapped; it looks to me like there was time to do so. Perhaps he was indecisive, sitting up and hollering while braking, and he lost precious time. Or he just didn't know how to set up and countersteer sharply. It looks like he slid the rear wheel just before impact, suggesting he was still on the brakes rather than using his traction and bike handling skills entirely to maneuver sharply. He also might have slid on the white pavement markings.
Sorry to be an armchair quarterback when someone in the video has just eaten at the Pavement Cafe, but....
Coffin corner indeed. Excellent way to test the strength of one's collarbone. Situational awareness and training. Repeat five times....then go practice.