THROTTLE THERAPY: Lane position, not a rule but an active strategy

Actively choosing your lane position is an important conscious thought for any motorcyclist.

This image illustrates how choosing the wrong lane position invites other vehicles to share your lane.

Recently, I had the distinct displeasure of travelling behind a slow-rider who was also somewhat confused on the meaning of “dominant” when it comes to lane positioning.

Although on a screamin’ muscle machine, this rider hovered below the speed limit and generally clung to the right side of the lane.

He was an accident waiting to happen.

Which brings me to reminding riders what dominant lane position means.

Dominant means always left

Wrong.

There is a prevailing belief held by some that dominant means riding on the left-portion of any lane. That is wrong. It is as wrong as this right-clinging rider.

Dominant means riding near the line

Wrong.

There’s a very aggressive belief held by others that dominant means riding as close to — and even on top of — the yellow lines that separate you from on-coming traffic. That is also wrong. Horribly, horribly wrong.

Riders who have moved too far left and are sitting more-or-less on the yellow lines are in a greater danger for a head-on collision AND run the risk of a vehicle behind attempting to pass them on the right, via the shoulder of the road.

Dominant means forcing  other vehicles to respect your ownership of the lane

Ding ding ding. Right.

The proper definition of dominant lane position is the lane position that best deters another vehicles from attempting to share your lane.

In a single lane, the dominant position would be slightly to the left of the centre of the lane (1). A typical vehicle would not be able to pass you on the right. And in order for it to pass you on the left, they would have to move completely into the other lane.

In multi-lane traffic, when riding in the far left lane, the dominant position is on the right side of that lane (2).

In three-lane traffic when you are in the middle lane, the dominant position is in the middle of that lane (3). Or slightly to the right. Or slightly to the left. It all depends what is happening around you.

In choosing your lane position, the lane is not divided into equal thirds. Slightly to the left (1) and slightly to the right (3) are enough to assert your right to the entire lane without putting you into the path of danger.

Dominant riding means constantly thinking about where you are and who is around you. And staying safe. And leaving stupid at home.

Just Posted

Royal Bay drama students help police train for emergency

Students helped train crisis negotiators by acting out scenarios

Westhills proposes picnic area, pier and beach by Langford Lake

The public amenity contribution is part of a proposed deal for a waterfront restaurant

Victoria BC Transit driver taken to hospital after assault

Driver attempted to stop an altercation between two people on the bus

How a scrawny kid from Oak Bay bulked into one of rugby sevens’ best

Doing it for Dylan, Oak Bay’s Connor Braid at the top of his game

CRD’s 2019 financial plan includes 23 per cent increase for capital projects

Housing, health care and wastewater projects included in 2019 plan

VIDEO: Restaurant robots are already in Canada

Robo Sushi in Toronto has waist-high robots that guide patrons to empty seats

POLL: When do you think the next major earthquake will hit Vancouver Island?

According to seismologists, Vancouver Island is overdue for a magnitude 7 earthquake.… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of March 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

View Royal council to discuss proposed 3.5% tax increase tonight

Budget open house to directly precede the council meeting

Permit rejected to bring two cheetahs to B.C.

Earl Pfeifer owns two cheetahs, one of which escaped in December 2015

Real-life tsunami threat in Port Alberni prompts evacuation updates

UBC study says some people didn’t recognize the emergency signal

Care providers call for B.C. seniors’ watchdog to step down

The association also asks the province to conduct an audit and review of the mandate of her office

Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from B.C. roaster recalled due to botulism scare

“If you purchased N7 Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from Cherry Hill … do not drink it.”

Short list for new gnome home includes Parksville, Coombs

Five potential locations have been chosen by Howard’s owners who will decide Tuesday

Most Read