Holy crap! 3" rule?

bloaker

Maximum Pace
Nov 14, 2011
1,497
1,141
433
Miura, Japan
#1
So I went for my first ride (and just a shakedown to make sure my bike is shifting smoothly, parts tight etc...) in Japan today. It seems that is must be a sport to get as close as possible to a cyclist. :confused:

Overall, I did not have any issues, but the random parked cars in traffic... It would seem that there was no regard given by the drivers to let me swing out and pass them. I was riding with my wife and I was following. We rode up to Negishi and back to Yokohama stadium. Seems they got closer to me than her.

Is there something I should do to help signal drivers I am going to pass the 3000lb obstacle in front of me?

--
Any other rules you guys can give to help keep me alive?


- In Virginia, there are billboards and commercials stating the 3 foot rule. Supposedly, drivers are supposed to give riders three feet of space. I am used to roughly 1 foot in traffic. When it gets closer than that, I start to plan different routes.
Common Sense goes a long way, so I am sure I will be safe - but when I am on a road bike vs my touring bike, speeds will be higher and have to make decisions faster. Is this just something i am going to have to get used to?
 
Sep 2, 2009
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#2
Shout.

Shout as loud as you can.

Throw your hands up, and shout.

They can hear you in the cars.

Shout and wave and get in their way.
 

theBlob

Bokeh master
Sep 28, 2011
2,859
1,446
129
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#4
Just don't get off the line that will get you past the parked car up ahead, then you never have to get back in!

That's what I do.
 
Apr 3, 2012
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Tama Center <-> Otemachi
#5
When I need to get out of the outer most lane because of parked cars or an upcoming protected left turn:
  1. Look behind to check how heavy traffic is.
  2. Point that you will be taking the lane.
  3. Take the lane, wave "thanks". Make an effort to keep up with traffic.
  4. When clear, check to to make sure the lane behind you is clear. (sneaky mopeds or douche cyclists will do an undertaking pass)
  5. Change lanes, wave "thanks" for the vehicles you may have held up.
Buses and smaller delivery trucks are generally courteous / sensitive and are easy to work with. Taxis are more aggressive but seem to yield if one signals. The big trucks are generally just scary to deal with but they will usually give a wide berth. Non-professional drivers are the most erratic, IMO.

Courtesy is generally acknowledged over here. "Yuzuriai" - Give and take.

The biggest danger to me is other non-enthusiast cyclists. I will typically hang back and watch their behavior before attempting a pass.
 

bloaker

Maximum Pace
Nov 14, 2011
1,497
1,141
433
Miura, Japan
#7
Thanks Jack, that is roughly what I was attempting as well as communicating with my wife to make sure she does not do anything 'silly' in front of me. She is riding more and more, but is also used to a MTB, not a touring bike - so her confidence is not at its highest.

Thanks for the responses, I am sure I will find it fun to ride here, I just need to have my expectations in the right place.
 

Alan

Cruising
Apr 2, 2008
23
0
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Nishihara
#8
I would just echo the advice about maintaining a clear line. If you stay as far left as possible and try to zigzag out around a stopped car/obstruction then drivers will take it as an invitation to squeeze by up until the last second.
 

bloaker

Maximum Pace
Nov 14, 2011
1,497
1,141
433
Miura, Japan
#9
I have gone back out without the wife and rode the same road one way and a different route on the way back...

I have had my share of close calls at home, but it seemed that ride more drivers where willing to take the risk. I believe some of my concern is more of less with drivers getting uncomfortable close to my wife. I cycle a bit different with her so that may have cause some of the :confused:

Until I am totally comfy with her and traffic, I believe the two of us will stick to off hours and ride in less traveled areas.
 

jdd

Maximum Pace
Hardest Crash
Jul 26, 2008
2,497
628
133
Kanazawa
#10
Shout.

Shout as loud as you can.

Throw your hands up, and shout.

They can hear you in the cars.

Shout and wave and get in their way.
Sorry, Owen, I think this is a little counter-intuitive. I would not follow this advice in any case.

Hopefully, you missed including a smiley indicating this post was intended to be humorous.
 

bloaker

Maximum Pace
Nov 14, 2011
1,497
1,141
433
Miura, Japan
#12
That makes excellent sense. I hope you'll be posting here for many years to come.
Thanks. I just did a nice 1 hour ride through town. Stopped in at Ys Bike... near landmark (I am still beyond lost here). Did not see 700/38 tubes, so I continued on. Whenever I learn some Japanese, life will be easier. :)
 

bloaker

Maximum Pace
Nov 14, 2011
1,497
1,141
433
Miura, Japan
#14
haha - very true.

I stopped at a light today and an older man rolled up next to me. We exchanged greeting and then he asked me 'Do you live in Japan?' - I said 'Yes'

Long slow pause....

then he just kinda made a soft grunt of concern and nodded.

The light turned green and I was off...