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Author Topic: Bickering about bicycles, now with occasional tips about motorised vehicles  (Read 127571 times)

Elysiana

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Re: Some things about driving
« Reply #50 on: 25 Jan 2011, 12:34 »

I can understand if it's four in the afternoon, it might be confusing as to what I mean by flashing my lights (and I don't mean blinking my brights, I did mean flashing the actual headlights on and off a few times) but at night, if someone does that to me, the FIRST thing I do is see if my lights are on. Also... if their lights are off, how are they able to see the dashboard?

I love daytime running lights for the same reason - I know that even if I forget to turn on my lights, those will at least be on and it's better than nothing.
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Re: Some things about driving
« Reply #51 on: 25 Jan 2011, 13:22 »

I was standing on the top of the Arc de Triomphe on Sunday evening looking down at the Champs Elysees junction and I was just terrified - there are thirteen different roads converging onto the roundabout on which the arch is built, and each road has between two and four lanes of traffic going each way. There are absolutely no road markings to indicate which way you are supposed to go and the cars just looked like they were moving around completely at random.

It doesn't surprise me that I could see emergency vehicles stopped fairly close to the junction on two of the roads.
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There's this really handy "other thing" I'm going to write as a footnote to my abstract that I can probably explore these issues in. I think I'll call it my "dissertation."

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Re: Some things about driving
« Reply #52 on: 25 Jan 2011, 13:32 »

I'm planning on doing the Paris-Brest-Paris bike ride and want to end it by riding from the finish to L'arc up the Champs Elysees in tribute to the race that it spawned. I'm hoping that I can persuade a lot of other cyclists to join me otherwise I suspect that I'll end up stood on the edge of the roundabout but a few bitter meters from the ultimate ride of victory. It is perhaps the roundabout that I fear the most.
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Re: Some things about driving
« Reply #53 on: 25 Jan 2011, 13:35 »

Sadly it is not possible to cycle to the Arc (or at least without dying it is not possible), and the only way to get to it in one piece is by the subway from the outside of the roundabout to the inside - that is how much traffic there is, guys! - but definitely cycle up the road, and what is more tell me when you are going to do it and I might be there to wave a little flag!
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Re: Some things about driving
« Reply #54 on: 25 Jan 2011, 13:35 »

Also... if their lights are off, how are they able to see the dashboard?

Doesn't your car have that "first click" on the headlights switch that turns on the running/parking/stupid amber lights and illuminates the dash, but doesn't really do much for visibility? If you're in a brightly lit parking lot it can be easy to stop there if you're in an unfamiliar car or out of your routine.
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Re: Some things about driving
« Reply #55 on: 25 Jan 2011, 13:45 »

I much prefer automatic lights to ones you have to turn on manually simply because I always forget to turn them on. Then it gets dark and I wonder why I can't see anything. (This only happens when I borrow my roommate's car.)
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Elysiana

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Re: Some things about driving
« Reply #56 on: 25 Jan 2011, 13:45 »

Yeah, but then they'd have their parking lights on. I usually see people with nothing on at all. I dunno? It's just that there are a LOT of people around here who forget to turn their lights on, and it's really unnerving!
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Re: Some things about driving
« Reply #57 on: 25 Jan 2011, 14:23 »

Dovey: In the US (and Canada, I think), a 4-way stop and an all-way stop function the same way, but the all-way signs are used when there are other than 4 approaches to an intersection. You have to stop at the line, and if you reach the line at the same time as someone else, yield to the traffic on your right. Most people tend to proceed at the same time as the oncoming traffic across the intersection, with left-turners yielding. I don't know if this is really acceptable, but cops don't stop us, so I guess it is.
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Re: Some things about driving
« Reply #58 on: 25 Jan 2011, 15:08 »

if their lights are off, how are they able to see the dashboard?

Why would they want to do that?   Anyway, the light from the dashboard would spoil the purity of the darkness.
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Re: Some things about driving
« Reply #59 on: 25 Jan 2011, 15:20 »

Some important road rules I've learned from observing Melbourne drivers:

1) The lane markings are suggestions only. Don't worry about them!

2) It's okay to go through a light that's just gone red, as long as you're tailgating someone who's also running the red light.

Oh, and:

3) HOOK TURNS!
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Re: Some things about driving
« Reply #60 on: 25 Jan 2011, 15:22 »

4) Pedestrians? FUCK PEDESTRIANS
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Re: Some things about driving
« Reply #61 on: 25 Jan 2011, 15:26 »

3) HOOK TURNS!

I take it that's what I call U-turns.  London taxis (the black cabs, that is) are made with specially designed steering to enable them to do U-turns in smaller London streets.
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Re: Some things about driving
« Reply #62 on: 25 Jan 2011, 15:38 »

Ohhh no, something rarer and far more magical than U-turns:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hook_turn
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Re: Some things about driving
« Reply #63 on: 25 Jan 2011, 15:39 »

I have learned since being a regular pedestrian in Sydney that if there is a green man, check to see if a bus is coming up to the lights, because most of the time they will run the red light and beep for you to get out of the way.

This is making me even more worried about traffic around here. I want to get a bike and start riding it around and all that, but I am already too scared to even consider riding down main roads. I don't want to run into someone's door because they didn't look out for me!
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Re: Some things about driving
« Reply #64 on: 25 Jan 2011, 15:48 »

Ohhh no, something rarer and far more magical than U-turns:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hook_turn

how does this

I don't even

what
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Re: Some things about driving
« Reply #65 on: 25 Jan 2011, 15:55 »

Go left to turn right! It's simple!

(it is not)
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Re: Some things about driving
« Reply #66 on: 25 Jan 2011, 15:55 »

That's neat, thanks for the education! - I do it on my bike quite regularly.  The idea is that you stick yourself on the front of the traffic queued in the side street, and cross with them instead of trying to find a gap in the moving traffic.  

Of course, it requires an intersection wide enough, and with the lights far enough back for this to be done, so it couldn't possibly be adopted in Britain, where we don't have the space for such luxuries.!
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Re: Some things about driving
« Reply #67 on: 25 Jan 2011, 15:57 »

Yeah I do the same thing on my bike, more or less. Of course bike lanes (of which there are plenty in inner-city Melbourne) are always on the left anyway, so turning on a busy road in any other way is pretty alarming.
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Re: Some things about driving
« Reply #68 on: 25 Jan 2011, 16:07 »

I cannot imagine anything like this happening here, although I guess some bike lanes would do it (they are all on the right side with the slow traffic, too).

buhhhhhh
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Re: Some things about driving
« Reply #69 on: 25 Jan 2011, 16:45 »

Hook turn?

I still cannot figure out what is going on here.
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Re: Some things about driving
« Reply #70 on: 25 Jan 2011, 16:48 »

i remember the first time I realized that u-turns are not illegal in every state. it kind of blew my mind

i was in arizona and people were flippin bitches left and right in the middle of these huge intersections, the likes of which i'd never seen in my podunk town, and I couldn't figure it out until someone reminded me that different states have different laws. duh.
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Re: Some things about driving
« Reply #71 on: 25 Jan 2011, 18:32 »

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Re: Some things about driving
« Reply #72 on: 25 Jan 2011, 18:56 »

If I tried to drive in Boston the way they taught me in driver's ed at 16 I would die 28 times daily. I break several traffic laws on a daily basis, and have never been in an accident or been ticketed. In fact, being conditioned into a somewhat hilariously aggressive driver (at times) has helped me avoid several accidents.

When I got rear ended the other day I guess I automatically turned away from the car in front of me to avoid hitting it. Didn't even realize I did it until my girlfriend was praising me for it in front of her parents.

Does anyone else have Michigan Lefts? They're so easy and I can't believe other places don't have them.
« Last Edit: 25 Jan 2011, 19:31 by Blue Kitty »
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jhocking

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Re: Some things about driving
« Reply #73 on: 25 Jan 2011, 20:10 »

I still contend that cars are Faraday Cages for common sense and decency. Two people that I met last year have been killed this month due to basic motorised idiocy.

You assume there ever was any common sense and decency for the car to remove. you fool

it gets dark and I wonder why I can't see anything

 :roll:

Does anyone else have Michigan Lefts? They're so easy and I can't believe other places don't have them.

Before I clicked the link I assumed you were talking about something like the Pittsburgh Left.
« Last Edit: 25 Jan 2011, 20:32 by jhocking »
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Re: Some things about driving
« Reply #74 on: 25 Jan 2011, 21:06 »

I grew up with a car that had automatic lights that stayed on all the time. It's not something I think about when driving other people's cars until it gets dark.

But considering that now I take public transit, so whatevs.
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Re: Some things about driving
« Reply #75 on: 25 Jan 2011, 21:17 »

I'm that Masshole they always warn you about

Nah dogg, I think my spotless traffic record speaks for itself, I'm goddamned amazing at my Massholery driving habits! That Masshole they always warn you about is the one with 8 billion dents in his car, all the tail lights cracked, and a back window covered in WAAF and Scott Brown stickers.
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calenlass

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Re: Some things about driving
« Reply #76 on: 25 Jan 2011, 22:14 »

Does anyone else have Michigan Lefts? They're so easy and I can't believe other places don't have them.

What is this? Why don't we do this?
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Re: Some things about driving
« Reply #77 on: 25 Jan 2011, 22:37 »

I'm a pretty good driver! Sydney traffic is absolute bullshit but I get through it okay. Before I got my licence, I did several years of off-road rallying and hillclimbing with my Dad's motor racing club. I think this prepared me well for how to handle my car in less than optimal situations, and I'm good at reacting quickly.
Unfortunately my quick reactions don't help so much when the people behind don't have quick reactions.



I'm terrified to ride my bike though. Mainly because my bike is very very old and I am very very slow and the brakes are very very bad.
« Last Edit: 25 Jan 2011, 22:40 by Lunchbox »
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Re: Some things about driving
« Reply #78 on: 25 Jan 2011, 23:24 »

I found the most basic roundabouts to be pretty intuitive, actually.
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Re: Some things about driving
« Reply #79 on: 26 Jan 2011, 06:58 »

Almost forgot one - do you drive an 18-wheeler? Does your vehicle require a CDL? No? Then you don't need to swing left to make a normal right turn, or vice-versa. Your turning radius will handle it, I promise - especially turning left (in the US). If you're still nervous about it, for goodness' sake, stay within the lines of your own lane.
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Re: Some things about driving
« Reply #80 on: 26 Jan 2011, 07:01 »

The problem with the ones we have here in Wisconsin is that some aren't built correctly. There is this pair of them along Interstate 43 outside of Muskego that, if you're driving into them from the highway crossing under the freeway, you can't see the cars IN the roundabout come THROUGH the roundabout.

I am resigned, though, that there will likely be more roundabouts in the area before too much longer.
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Re: Some things about driving
« Reply #81 on: 26 Jan 2011, 07:11 »

That's neat, thanks for the education! - I do it on my bike quite regularly.  The idea is that you stick yourself on the front of the traffic queued in the side street, and cross with them instead of trying to find a gap in the moving traffic.  

I didn't understand the wikipedia page but your description makes a lot of sense.

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Re: Some things about driving
« Reply #82 on: 26 Jan 2011, 07:27 »

To: The people who insist on parallelling my car next to the rear quarterpanel in spite of the fact that I am attempting to merge into your lane and have my turn signal on
cc: Whoever the hell invented roundabouts/rotaries, obnoxiously slow drivers who don't keep uyp with the flow of traffic, people who don't accelerate off onramps until they're in the highway travel lane, people who don't know how to take ramps properly so they slow down to 20 MPH, obnoxious cyclists who think they have the same right-of-way as a pedestrian yet can ride down the middle of the travel lane, jaywalkers who flip me off while standing on the curb because I don't stop to let them cross, joggers who run the wrong way down the road three wide

#### you.

Sincerely,
me.

I'm that Masshole they always warn you about

Nah dogg, I think my spotless traffic record speaks for itself, I'm goddamned amazing at my Massholery driving habits! That Masshole they always warn you about is the one with 8 billion dents in his car, all the tail lights cracked, and a back window covered in WAAF and Scott Brown stickers.

Masshole represent.
« Last Edit: 26 Jan 2011, 07:40 by bicostp »
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The Seldom Killer

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Re: Some things about driving
« Reply #83 on: 26 Jan 2011, 07:33 »

What do you make of cyclists who have the gall to imagine that they have the same right of way as cars?
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Re: Some things about driving
« Reply #84 on: 26 Jan 2011, 07:46 »

I give them a wide berth because I have lots of cyclist friends whose main terror is being struck down by any of the thousands of morons behind the wheel they expose themselves to daily, and because I came within about 2 inches of being hit by a drunk driver whilst biking at eight and it was absurdly terrifying. If it's at all possible, I'm way more deferential to bikers than other drivers, and give them way more space than is actually necessary.
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Re: Some things about driving
« Reply #85 on: 26 Jan 2011, 07:54 »

What do you make of cyclists who have the gall to imagine that they have the same right of way as cars?

I have never had the pleasure of spotting one of those mythical creatures. :psyduck: Every cyclist I ever see appears to think they're allowed to ride down the middle of the travel lane at 20 MPH and ride on the sidewalks and ignore red lights if there's no traffic coming and use the crosswalk light (holding up traffic coming from all 4 directions for an hour even though it takes them 5 seconds to pedal across the intersection because they're too lazy to get off and walk it across like they're supposed to in those situations), and get all defensive and pretentious when confronted about their self-righteous and sometimes suicidal riding habits.

In an ideal world, cyclists would be upheld to the same standards as motorcyclists, except they would have to stay on the shoulder because they can't keep up with traffic anywhere but urban centers. When was the last time you saw a cyclist pulled over by a cruiser anywhere but in a large city?
« Last Edit: 26 Jan 2011, 08:02 by bicostp »
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Re: Some things about driving
« Reply #86 on: 26 Jan 2011, 08:03 »

I'm sick of people not knowing how a 3 or 4 way stop works. Its not that hard. The person who was there first, OR the person on the right, if you get there at the same time, goes first. It is not "everyone creep out and then punch it because you have no idea who legally has the right of way".

Also, put your fucking cell phone down when you drive.

Also, quit playing with your fucking gps while you drive.

Also, get that fucking dog out of your lap, you're driving.
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Elysiana

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Re: Some things about driving
« Reply #87 on: 26 Jan 2011, 08:13 »

I get equally annoyed when I come to a 4-way stop several seconds after the person to my right, and it's just the two of us, and they sit and expect me to go. It's not polite, it's screwing with how traffic is supposed to work. I could understand if they waved me on or looked like they were fixing their mirror, but they just sit, and as soon as I go they continue on.

Sometimes I worry that Alabama is Bizarro World.
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Re: Some things about driving
« Reply #88 on: 26 Jan 2011, 08:19 »

When was the last time you saw a cyclist pulled over by a cruiser anywhere but in a large city?

This morning on the A57 outside Todwick.

Although that is just unfortunate timing for you to ask that today.
« Last Edit: 26 Jan 2011, 08:26 by The Seldom Killer »
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Re: Some things about driving
« Reply #89 on: 26 Jan 2011, 09:08 »

people who don't accelerate off onramps until they're in the highway travel lane, people who don't know how to take ramps properly so they slow down to 20 MPH

Around Pittsburgh onramps have stop signs and offramps are right turns off the highway, I swear to god. I nearly ran off the road the first time I took an offramp there.

I get equally annoyed when I come to a 4-way stop several seconds after the person to my right, and it's just the two of us, and they sit and expect me to go. It's not polite, it's screwing with how traffic is supposed to work.

I don't remember the situation exactly, but one time I and a bunch of other people were stuck at an intersection because the person who's turn it was was too timid. Along comes a truck that didn't have to stop because he was turning,and as he went by he shouted "You can do it lady!" She got really embarrassed, hee hee.
« Last Edit: 26 Jan 2011, 09:17 by jhocking »
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Re: Some things about driving
« Reply #90 on: 26 Jan 2011, 09:24 »

My favorite thing is the cyclist who thinks he can hang out in the left turn lane in front of other cars.
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Re: Some things about driving
« Reply #91 on: 26 Jan 2011, 09:28 »

Over the past couple of years I adopted the Let Them Win attitude to driving and I've definitely become a safer driver as a result. I only came to this conclusion when I got a SatNav some years ago. Regardless of where I was going, I'd punch in my destination (usually my office 50 minutes away) and it would tell me the time I would arrive. First of all I'd try to race against that time, trying to see if I could get it down. However, eventually traffic and traffic lights would unavoidably slow me down and the count would return to the original time of arrival. Sometimes I'd rush like an absolute asshat and arrive about two minutes earlier.

Two minutes. What's the point? Is it worth driving like an aggressive idiot for the sake of gaining one hundred and twenty seconds? Of course it isn't. Now I drive carefully and consistently instead. If some guy wants to race for the right to have those two minutes, let him have it. I don't care that much.

ugh I obsessively do this with my GPS too. IT'S JUST SO HARD NOT TO
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Re: Some things about driving
« Reply #92 on: 26 Jan 2011, 09:29 »

Our GPS even accounts for Robert's constant speeding now so I can NEVER WIN!
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Re: Some things about driving
« Reply #93 on: 26 Jan 2011, 09:43 »

I will never understand why people need GPSes. And I say that as someone who wasn't sure how to find my way home tonight.
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Elysiana

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Re: Some things about driving
« Reply #94 on: 26 Jan 2011, 09:50 »

Ryan and I refused to get one for years, but then since he needed one for his job we had to give in. We go to a lot of different campsites throughout the year and it's handy to be able to just plug in the address; and after getting lost in Arkansas coming back from my sister's in Missouri, we really wished we'd had one back then. I kept expecting to hear banjos in the distance. I mean, we had an atlas with us but it was one of those areas where to stay on the same road you have to make like five turns in rapid succession.

I just can't understand the people who use them for places they go to on a regular basis. We have a (admittedly older) friend who uses it even to go to work or the store.
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Allybee

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Re: Some things about driving
« Reply #95 on: 26 Jan 2011, 10:01 »

I have a terrible sense of direction and frequently drive 100+ miles to places I haven't been before, unfortunately often alone. it's really hard to look at a map while you're driving! gps = technology enriching my life
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tommydski

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Re: Some things about driving
« Reply #96 on: 26 Jan 2011, 10:01 »

There will be a point where they are suddenly in every single car and everyone will wonder how on earth we survived without them. It's almost here in the UK.

Every modern vehicle has some kind of navigational tool aside from the motor car. It's an inevitable development and makes life so much easier.
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pwhodges

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Re: Some things about driving
« Reply #97 on: 26 Jan 2011, 10:02 »

Wouldn't a sextant and chronometer do, though?
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Elysiana

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Re: Some things about driving
« Reply #98 on: 26 Jan 2011, 10:16 »

*sigh* You just can't buy good sextants nowadays.
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Alex C

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Re: Some things about driving
« Reply #99 on: 26 Jan 2011, 10:17 »

My favorite thing is the cyclist who thinks he can hang out in the left turn lane in front of other cars.

I'm not sure what you're getting at. Are we talking about some dude just chilling in the lane or are you one of those maniacs who thinks that cyclists should be making left hand turns all the way from the right for some reason?
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