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

‘Listen to your body:’ Saanich woman fights to have breast implants removed

Woman struggles to find doctor to remove Allergan textured implants, recently linked to rare cancer

Police find shoes, backpack of the man found dead in Saanich

Officers credit public’s help, continue to seek information

Victoria Police seize drugs, replica firearms and $50,000 in cash after searching Victoria home

A property in the 600-block of Manchester Avenue is focus of investigation

Saanich approves new eight- and 11-storey residence buildings for UVic

Residents also supported the environmentally friendly residences

Federal government funds 60 ‘micro-loft’ rental units set to open on Fort Street

The Sawyer Block at 840 Fort St. will house affordable units and a small amount of retail space

VIDEO: Come along for the ride on Tour de Victoria

Reporter captures video footage of his Tour de Victoria ride

POLL: Should there be a ban on gas-powered leaf blowers?

We’ve all heard them, and most likely cursed them under our breath.… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Aug. 23

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

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

Pile of wood mulch ‘spontaneously combusts’ at Vancouver Island industrial site

Business owner thanks fire department for quick response

Five hedgehogs quickly adopted after being left at BC SPCA

Lucky new owners picked up their pets from Maple Ridge branch on Aug. 20

B.C. cricket players get interrupted by racist remark

Community has had protocols in place for years to respond to prejudice

Groovy B.C. wedding a throwback to Woodstock ‘69

Couple hosts themed wedding 50 years after legendary festival

Most Read