ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Riding > The perfect line and other riding myths
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 03-06-2014, 08:07 AM   #1
Ranger Ron OP
Studly Adventurer
 
Ranger Ron's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2006
Location: Sonoran Desert, AZ
Oddometer: 676
Ride 10% Faster Than Traffic - Safer?

The comment "I ride 10% faster than traffic" comes up fairly often here. Proponents suggest it is a safety strategy. I'm not sure I understand it completely.

Certainly when travelling faster than the rest of traffic, the possibility of being rammed from behind is greatly reduced. On the other hand, it would seem that while in the process of continually passing other vehicles on the road that a rider would spend substantial time in drivers' blind spots.

My 70 mile round trip commute involves two lane rural roads and suburban multi-lane feeder routes. I find traffic generally travels at the posted speed limits. The two lane rural roads carry so much traffic that it is difficult to pass even the occasional slower vehicle. To maintain a "10% faster than all the traffic" regimen and pass all traffic would be extremely difficult (dangerous?).

Once in town on the multi-lane feeder routes (two and three lanes each direction), the volume of traffic is increased (all lanes filled) to the point that there is virtually no way to consistently keep passing all the vehicles in order to maintain the "10%" rule.

Conversely, it seems that if traffic were light enough to make it possible to travel 10% faster than traffic then it wouldn't be even necessary from a "safety" standpoint.

So, what am I missing here, or where am I going wrong?

Ron
__________________
Opinions are my own. Everything I describe is very likely wrong. Use at your own risk.
Ranger Ron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2014, 08:18 AM   #2
ZEmann
want to be riding
 
ZEmann's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2013
Location: Arizona
Oddometer: 636
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ranger Ron View Post
I find traffic generally travels at the posted speed limits. The two lane rural roads carry so much traffic that it is difficult to pass even the occasional slower vehicle. To maintain a "10% faster than all the traffic" regimen and pass all traffic would be extremely difficult (dangerous?).
So, what am I missing here, or where am I going wrong?

Ron
you lost me at "I find traffic generally travels at the posted speed limits"

not in my neck of the woods LOL cagers are mostly at the 10% or greater already

I am more about safe distances when stuck in traffic ( distances created by Me not others) I also want an out option and typically prefer speed vs braking and visibility ( but you probably do all of this also )

however i prefer to be out in front ( far out LOL) but behind the pack will do

however like you stated I don't quite get the 10% thing every situation is different and can vary at any time

EDIT wait do We live in the same neck of the woods ? I am in chandler surface and freeways seem like everyone is either speeding or snowbirding
ZEmann is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2014, 08:21 AM   #3
Mr_Gone
FIGJAM
 
Mr_Gone's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2010
Location: Mountain Home, AR
Oddometer: 6,527
I don't necessarily think the +10% advice is the only way to go. It might work very well for some. I haven't tried it.

I have adopted the "gap in traffic" advice.

I find those gaps in traffic where there is no traffic, or very little. People ahead of me. People behind me. I find that gap in the traffic where traffic is farthest from me, and I will speed up or slow down to get into that gap. And I pay attention to who's slower and falling back into that gap, and who's speeding up into that gap.

That's just me, though. YMMV.
__________________

Doesn't expecting the unexpected make the unexpected expected?
Mr_Gone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2014, 08:33 AM   #4
foxtrapper
Studly Adventurer
 
Joined: Sep 2011
Oddometer: 664
By going slightly faster than traffic, the timing of encounters and interactions are controlled by the rider. The rider will decide when to be beside a given vehicle, and when to overtake it.

By going slightly faster than traffic, the encounters and interactions take place more or less in front of rider, where they are more easily viewed by the rider.
foxtrapper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2014, 08:36 AM   #5
joexr
Beastly Adventurer
 
Joined: Jan 2011
Location: S.E.
Oddometer: 3,773
Quote:
Originally Posted by foxtrapper View Post
By going slightly faster than traffic, the timing of encounters and interactions are controlled by the rider. The rider will decide when to be beside a given vehicle, and when to overtake it.

By going slightly faster than traffic, the encounters and interactions take place more or less in front of rider, where they are more easily viewed by the rider.
And you're not just parking in someones blind spot.
joexr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2014, 08:45 AM   #6
ZEmann
want to be riding
 
ZEmann's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2013
Location: Arizona
Oddometer: 636
then again if you were in an opening /Gap like previously mentioned your in no ones blind spot until you apply the 10% theory and start passing people
you will be in each vehicles blind spot for some duration


but if your in tight traffic I agree
ZEmann is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2014, 09:00 AM   #7
TRAVR6
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Feb 2014
Oddometer: 193
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_Gone View Post
I don't necessarily think the +10% advice is the only way to go. It might work very well for some. I haven't tried it.

I have adopted the "gap in traffic" advice.

I find those gaps in traffic where there is no traffic, or very little. People ahead of me. People behind me. I find that gap in the traffic where traffic is farthest from me, and I will speed up or slow down to get into that gap. And I pay attention to who's slower and falling back into that gap, and who's speeding up into that gap.

That's just me, though. YMMV.

Me too. I tend to fluctuate my speed depending on the traffic.
I am always faster than everyone else because I do not like people near me.
When I find an open spot on the highway I tend to try and stay in it.

Most every interstate has traffic groups. It's usually because traffic piles up as slower cars do not move to allow faster cars to pass.

Being on a bike it is easier to get through these.
Once you make it through, there is generally little to now traffic in front.
I like to ride in those spaces.



On back roads I am constantly passing people. It has been that way throughout my 20 years of riding. I can't stay going as slow as the old people on the backroads and no matter how many people I pass there are always more old people.
Like you are always speeding up just to be at the back of the next pack.
TRAVR6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2014, 09:46 AM   #8
Wraith Rider
Beastly Adventurer
 
Wraith Rider's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2012
Location: Germany
Oddometer: 1,113
Basically it's important to ride at a DIFFERENT speed than traffic. It does not matter so much if it's slower or faster, just different.
That way you have to focus mainly at one direction. It's most stressful if you overtake and are overtaken at the same time.
__________________
"Why not stay in disguise all the time? You know, look like everyone else."
"Because we shouldn't have to."
Wraith Rider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2014, 09:55 AM   #9
FTL900
White and nerdy
 
FTL900's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2005
Location: Las Vegas
Oddometer: 263
I dunno about 10% faster, but never slower than traffic, unless something isn't working correctly. And then I'd be in the far right lane until I could exit.

I ride mostly with traffic, a little faster when needed to escape congested clumps, and I try to find gaps where there is less congestion for a bit, kind of an open area to ride in... until traffic changes and it disappears.

Riding habits are difficult to describe because traffic is so fluid, so what I'm doing is constantly changing depending on what traffic is doing.
__________________
The older I get, the faster I used to be.
1999 ZRX1100, 1998 VTR1000, 1996 Bandit 600
FTL900 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2014, 10:26 AM   #10
Pecha72
Beastly Adventurer
 
Joined: May 2008
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Oddometer: 3,336
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wraith Rider View Post
Basically it's important to ride at a DIFFERENT speed than traffic. It does not matter so much if it's slower or faster, just different.
That way you have to focus mainly at one direction. It's most stressful if you overtake and are overtaken at the same time.
Slower than general traffic flow is definitely not the safest way to get around.

Same speed, or a tiny bit faster for me, and which one, depends on many things.
__________________
Countries ridden FIN SWE NOR DK EE LV LT POL SK HU RO BG GR IT AT DE CZ CH SMR LIE NL BE FR AND ES GBR LUX SI HR BIH SRB MK TR IR PAK IND TH KH LA MY ID AUS CR USA ZA LS SWZ MZ NA BW ZM ZW
Pecha72 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2014, 11:04 AM   #11
Idle
Studly Adventurer
 
Joined: Jun 2011
Location: Northern California
Oddometer: 596
In town I've noticed that people actually drive at the speed limit or slightly slower. It's usually follow the leader who is probably playing with their phone. It is constantly changing so there's no right answer. Of course it also depends what time of day it is.



6:00-7:45 am, it's fast and safe driving commuters. Tradesmen, doctors, long distance commuters. Proffesional drivers that know where they are going.

7:45-8:30 school runs and later shift commuters and such. Getting slower with less traffic, and a little erratic but still predictable as everyone still knows where they are going.

8:30-10:30 even less traffic but people don't know where they want to go. There are blue hairs and people shopping for crafting supplies. Huge speed differences and difficult gaps and the time to be on your guard. The walk of shame folks are out except they are driving.

Lunchtime is a free for all, people are not sure if they want subway or McD, but still not too bad. Fast driving though, because some only have 1/2 an hour.

Afternoon is pretty crazy, maybe the worst time to be on the road. All the stoners and alcoholics are awake and looking for a bag or a bottle. Add all the soccer moms doing schoolbus runs.

Late afternoon is not too bad, but everyone is tired and just wants to get home. More texting and phone play. Road rage is prevalent at this time more than any other when traffic backs up.

Another crazy time to be on the road is early evening. A huge mix of different age and ability drivers planning their evening on Facebook while trying to drive somewhere that they don't exactly know where yet.

Later in the evening is ok, but has the random surprises.


I ride faster than the flow of traffic almost all the time. I feel much safer doing so. I'm not in anyone's blind spot long enough to be concerned about it. It's one second at the most and I've previously moved over to the line to let them maybe see me in their mirror.

If traffic is moving fast and I have enough space to be comfortable I hold back until the pack catches up, then make my way ahead again.

Filter to the front at the next light, create some distance and repeat.
I also bob and weave all the time. I use the whole lane and create movement so I'm more likely to be seen.
Idle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2014, 11:24 AM   #12
markk53
jack of all trades...
 
markk53's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2007
Location: Delaware Ohio
Oddometer: 7,704
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ranger Ron View Post
The comment "I ride 10% faster than traffic" comes up fairly often here. Proponents suggest it is a safety strategy. I'm not sure I understand it completely.

Certainly when travelling faster than the rest of traffic, the possibility of being rammed from behind is greatly reduced. On the other hand, it would seem that while in the process of continually passing other vehicles on the road that a rider would spend substantial time in drivers' blind spots.

My 70 mile round trip commute involves two lane rural roads and suburban multi-lane feeder routes. I find traffic generally travels at the posted speed limits. The two lane rural roads carry so much traffic that it is difficult to pass even the occasional slower vehicle. To maintain a "10% faster than all the traffic" regimen and pass all traffic would be extremely difficult (dangerous?).

Once in town on the multi-lane feeder routes (two and three lanes each direction), the volume of traffic is increased (all lanes filled) to the point that there is virtually no way to consistently keep passing all the vehicles in order to maintain the "10%" rule.

Conversely, it seems that if traffic were light enough to make it possible to travel 10% faster than traffic then it wouldn't be even necessary from a "safety" standpoint.

So, what am I missing here, or where am I going wrong?

Ron
Actually the place where I learned of this comment was from a Cleveland motor cop. The idea is fairly simple, it is easier to deal with traffic when overtaking it than when sitting in it or going slower than it, mostly because it is easier to deal with what is in front of you than behind and it is also easier and quicker to brake than to accelerate.

It isn't an "all the time" principle, it is circumstances based. I find when riding the freeways around Columbus it is better to be going a shade faster than traffic. I can speed up or slow down as needed to fit into traffic when merging or reacting to those who are merging.

Obviously even when riding faster than traffic one has to keep an eye on the mirrors to see what is behind and in addition one should be cognizant of being in blind spots, but when going faster than traffic one is only in a blind spot for a brief time, not continuously as is possible when at the same speed as traffic or very slowly overtaking traffic.

But like everything else, one must think before acting.
__________________
Ever get lost? You know, that good kind of lost - come to a dirt road intersection and you have no idea where you are or which way to turn? I like when that happens!

Mark - klx678
95 KLX650C w/Vulcan piston bigbore, Now an 09 KLX250S, selling my 90 Zephyr 550
markk53 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2014, 12:45 PM   #13
tommysmothers
Flamesuit equipped
 
Joined: Jun 2013
Location: MD
Oddometer: 195
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ranger Ron View Post
So, what am I missing here, or where am I going wrong?

Ron
RR,

Most of the riders that, "ride 10% faster than traffic" are probably doing so on multi-lane highways or freeways.

Around here (DC Metro area), riding at the average speed of traffic means you will be surrounded on all four sides by 2 ton cages. They stack up behind each other and "drone" along.

Riding faster keeps you away from them, and also keeps you more engaged with the task at hand.
tommysmothers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2014, 02:11 PM   #14
Bill Harris
Confirmed Curmudgeon
 
Bill Harris's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2008
Location: backwoods Alabama
Oddometer: 6,630
Riding a bit faster on multi-lane roads is proactive and keeps you from blending in with the traffic. I also use the "find a traffic hole" that has been mentioned.

I don;t think the suggestion is to move faster than traffic no matter what, but just to stay active, alert and aware of the situation. Sometimes you have to be in a situation where you have to move with traffic and get boxed in. That case is stressful since one's Spidey Sense has to extend more sensor tendrils...

--Bill
__________________
'73 R60/5 Toaster
Luddite. Not just a philosophy, a way of life...
Bill Harris is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2014, 02:14 PM   #15
mongox
ARRRRGH!!!
 
mongox's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2002
Location: Gilroy,ca
Oddometer: 2,497
When going the same speed as the traffic, you tend to blend in too much and are not seen by cagers. If you are going a bit faster than traffic, you are in contrast to the traffic and stick out more. Also as someone said, you are in more control of your situation and can more easily adjust to whats going on when you have a little speed advantage.
__________________
"First, God made idiots" Mark Twain

"Those who dance are considered insane by those who can't hear the music" unknown
mongox is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 09:48 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014