Which side of the road?

  • I know that this is kind of a noob question but I didn't see any posts in the search on this.
    When I jog or long board I almost always face traffic. Better to see what is trying to kill you and take measures. On the other hand, bikes or powered scooters you typically ride with traffic.
    The OW seems to fall somewhere between these two.
    Another factor seems to be if your reg or goofy foot rider. Being a mostly left foot forward guy I prefer to be on the left side of the road so that I am facing the road. When I ride on the right, with my back to the street, I feel less aware of whats going on around me.
    Trouble is I live in a rural, retiree heavy town. Some of the old duffers kind of panic when they see me coming. I have had them literally stop in the middle of the street when I am 4 feet off the road on a wide shoulder. I try to smile and wave as I zip by, but the panicked or confused looks on their faces makes me think I am being a poor ambassador for the community. (and without much else going on in their lives they do love to complain)

  • I don't think one's preference has anything to do with it. You ride on the "correct" side of the road and that is the same side that cars going the same direction travel in your area. That way you don't run into others and others don't run into you.

  • Agree, always ride with traffic.

  • @Sponge315 lol. I, too, have cars that slow to a crawl when I'm on the road.. It's definitely highly annoying knowing that you're holding up traffic. I try to avoid those roads that have a lot of cars but sometimes it's impossible. What I AM learning to do is being able to get off the shoulder when I can and ride off road while traffic passes..

    And you definitely need to be traveling WITH traffic.

  • By the way, it might take some getting used to, but you could go for one of these if it helps you with awareness of cars coming from behind.

  • It can look a bit dorky but I bought an attachable mirror for my helmet. That way I can at least see when cars are coming up behind me.

  • Riding on the side right of the road can definitely be nerve racking but it is the correct place to ride. Supposedly drivers can determine when they will pass you better when you are moving in the same direction. I understand getting the mirrors or your helmet for riding bikes because your body is facing the forward position and looking behind you involves more twisting which could make your bike veer off your path/lane. With the Onewheel, you can have your body facing the side so I've found it easy enough to turn and glance behind me when riding.

  • Sounds like a pretty strong consensus for riding with traffic here. I have had one close call with an irate driver riding on the left. I was actually waiting for a light to use the crosswalk, (zebra stripes) got the light started across. totally had the right of way and a cross signal. A driver who wanted to make a right turn on the red, and thought stopping was only a suggestion, just about took me out. I swerved to avoid painting his front bumper. He was cussing up a storm, I decided to just be happy to have all my skin and be on my way.

  • I've decided to say F the rules, laws, and etiquette, riding regular stance puts my back to traffic cars slow way down almost sneaking up in my blind spot etc etc. With so many people not paying attention when driving I've decided I want to see what's coming at me, that way if I need to I can go diving out of the way. Traffic passes quicker and nobody has the chance roll up behind me and do something stupid. So I'll be on the wrong side for personal safety reasons. It also makes intersections much easier to navigate as 90% of cars turning will be in front of me.

  • @Sponge315 Always with traffic. Leaving aside legality, cars are more likely to see you there (they should be looking in your direction at intersections, theoretically), they can judge your speed better, and if worse comes to worst, the physics is better. A 25 MPH car that hits a 15 MPH OWer going the SAME direction, hits him with 10MPH of force. If they hit head-on, they hit with 40 MPH of force (the speeds are additive).

    I attached one of these with an elastic strap to my left elbow guard, can be used to check your blind spot. You can also just wear it like a watch, but I didn't want an extra piece of kit to strap on when I ride:


    This is the strap, it's reflective to add safety at night; also, you'll never accidentally mix up your left and right elbow guards again:


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