Cycling at the Speed Limit: Take the Lane?

Exile

Senior Member
Location
Manchester
I have a simple question really, but one that I can't help but feel doesn't have a simple answer.

If you're cycling at or above the speed limit for a section of road, would you take the lane?

I ask because there are a few bits of my commute where I can happily reach and hold the number in the red circle, but I'm not sure if I'm best keeping in secondary, or if I should be taking primary. Obviously I know I can ride in the centre of the lane if I wish, I'm more wondering if I should.
 

gaz

Cycle Camera TV
Location
South Croydon
Take the lane for sure.
 

raleighnut

Legendary Member
Location
On 3 Wheels
At 30 MPH or above I'd be at least 3 foot from the kerb to avoid drains and 'gutter clutter' but you are bound to get some halfwit either overtaking you or right up yer chuff but over 45 and I'd be 'claiming the lane' on pretty much any road.
 

Shut Up Legs

Down Under Member
I can't answer your question, because I don't ride above the speed limit. If it's bad for motorists to do that, then it's bad for cyclists to do it. The speed limit is supposed to be an upper limit, not a speed target. :rolleyes:
 

classic33

Legendary Member
If I'm moving at the same speed as other traffic on the road, I'll take the lane. Its safer than staying left. Moving back over when I know I'll no longer be able to match their speed.
I can't answer your question, because I don't ride above the speed limit. If it's bad for motorists to do that, then it's bad for cyclists to do it. The speed limit is supposed to be an upper limit, not a speed target. :rolleyes:
Whilst it may not be a target, do you slow down to the speed limit or do you match your speed to that of traffic on your side of the road? When they are travelling faster than the legal limit.
 

Shut Up Legs

Down Under Member
If I'm moving at the same speed as other traffic on the road, I'll take the lane. Its safer than staying left. Moving back over when I know I'll no longer be able to match their speed.

Whilst it may not be a target, do you slow down to the speed limit or do you match your speed to that of traffic on your side of the road? When they are travelling faster than the legal limit.
I travel at or under the speed limit, depending on the road and traffic conditions (and of course my pedaling capability). If surrounding traffic is travelling faster than me, it's not my concern. However, the more the speed difference, the more likely I am to claim the lane for my own safety.
 

summerdays

Cycling in the sun
Location
Bristol
I don't think I would consider the speed limit, (its rare I'm going at 30+ so I'm not usually in the position to have to consider it), I'd base it on the road, for example there are lots of 20 mph areas but cars don't stick to that speed anyway but if there is enough space/safe enough, I won't be in primary. I think I would just get unnecessary agro from cars.

I don't think I'm wording that very well, but I'm trying to say the speed limit is not what determines whether I'm in primary or not, and I'm happy enough to be in primary even if I'm not doing the speed limit if the situation needs it.
 

machew

Veteran
As i dont have a calibrated speedometer, and the speed limit only applies to motorised vehicles. The only limit I have is how fast I can spin and Gravity, which is a cruel and uncertain Mistress .
 

jdtate101

Ex-Fatman
Yes, absolutely take the lane especially in 20mph zones or when moving at the same speed as other traffic. Nothing worse than having someone come up, and stay along side you. Fast downhills are another time I will take the lane as well as any narrow section or alongside parked cars.

I think most people who use this forum know when to take the lane, it's just a shame most motorists don't understand why we do.

Oh and anytime I'm out on the TT bike I will take the lane no matter the road.
 

CopperBrompton

Bicycle: a means of transport between cake-stops
Location
London
As others said, the speed limit wouldn't be a factor for me (not that I can hit 30mph without the aid of a hill), but one of the times I adopt primary is when I'm travelling at the same speed as other traffic, which is often in London.
 
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