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Old 12-22-06, 02:10 PM   #1
San Rensho 
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Do cars purposely speed up to chase down bikes?

Maybe I'm mispercieving this, but lately, I've noticed that cars will purposely speed up to tailgate me and many times honk, when otherwise, they would be going at the same speed as me.

My ride to work is on a residential, narrow, two lane street with many intersections. Posted speed limit 30mph, but because of the narrowness of the street and intersecting traffic, cars will go a little slower than the speed limit. I've verified this while driving.

I've also noticed that when there are one or two cars in front of me, that don't see me behind them, the cars are in no hurry and I can usually easily keep up with them.

Now, when I go that same speed with no cars in front of me, invariably I will hear someone revving their car hard, and then tailgate me.

Anyone have a similar experience?
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Old 12-22-06, 02:16 PM   #2
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I never got tailgated because i was riding on or slightly within the painted shoulder. (i now ride only on side streets with little traffic). But, other kinds of harrassment are routine & of course there is no recourse, it just goes with cycling, at least in the US. The kids may be charged up over the war & want to bully someone, or they're mad at their boss, i don't know, it''s always the under-30 male.
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Old 12-22-06, 02:22 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyclepath
.....The kids may be charged up over the war & want to bully someone.........

care to explain this to me ? LOL
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Old 12-22-06, 02:27 PM   #4
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care to explain this to me ? LOL
Maybe he's commuting wearing a tablecloth on his head?
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Old 12-22-06, 02:44 PM   #5
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It's not just bikes. Crossing the ring road that circles our local mall, a Corvette driving idiot decided to speed up when he saw me and my daughter walking across in front of him. He was determined to point out that I was slowing him down by hammering the throttle and passing us very fast and very close.

The punch line is that the speed limit was 15mph and he was doing at least 55-60 when he passed us.

So it's not just bikes. It's simply that cars are the king of the road, and many drivers are determined to prove it every chance they get. Even at Christmastime.

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Old 12-22-06, 03:18 PM   #6
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I love it when they gun the engine to pass me after we both leave a stoplight. It's like they're drag racing against a bike. And I can still beat them through the intersection, and often farther. I always wonder what they're thinking.

I know what I'm thinking. I like to chase cars. (woof)
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Old 12-22-06, 03:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyclepath
... it''s always the under-30 male.
My experience is that cars do chase you down and that drivers of both genders and all ages are guilty of this. If you are on 2 wheels, you are perceived as slow regardless of how fast you are going, so they feel a need to get past you.

This treatment isn't exclusively reserved against bicycles. You can see a similar dynamic on any highway when a number of people perceive each other as slow. Even though there is plenty of space on the road, drivers will stay in these tight knots where all the vehicles are constantly jostling for position.
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Old 12-22-06, 03:28 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by banerjek
My experience is that cars do chase you down and that drivers of both genders and all ages are guilty of this. If you are on 2 wheels, you are perceived as slow regardless of how fast you are going, so they feel a need to get past you.

This treatment isn't exclusively reserved against bicycles. You can see a similar dynamic on any highway when a number of people perceive each other as slow. Even though there is plenty of space on the road, drivers will stay in these tight knots where all the vehicles are constantly jostling for position.
Drivers are always speeding up to get around trucks as well, no matter how fast the truck is actually moving. It's the need to get around something that could potentially get in your way or slow you down...or in more plain terms, impatience.
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Old 12-22-06, 03:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by banerjek
My experience is that cars do chase you down and that drivers of both genders and all ages are guilty of this. If you are on 2 wheels, you are perceived as slow regardless of how fast you are going, so they feel a need to get past you.

This treatment isn't exclusively reserved against bicycles. You can see a similar dynamic on any highway when a number of people perceive each other as slow. Even though there is plenty of space on the road, drivers will stay in these tight knots where all the vehicles are constantly jostling for position.
Tend to agree all around. It is as if motorists are in competition... and against bikes, they believe they should win at all costs.
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Old 12-22-06, 04:25 PM   #10
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Tend to agree all around. It is as if motorists are in competition... and against bikes, they believe they should win at all costs.
However, to run the risk of being accurate, this extends to all people. It is as if people are in competition....

I would point out folks, the car is a great equalizer. Anyone, no matter how fat or lazy or whatever can WIN in a car.... at least by some definitions of win.

Personally, I tend to think that people win if they are happy. Looking at how miserable a lot of people are - on bikes, in cars, walking, using transit, or whatever - I would argue that very few people really win.
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Old 12-22-06, 04:43 PM   #11
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Two examples I have, one that I seem to experience every day. Leaving work, after crossing the first big intersection, there's a decent downhill stretch with a 25mph speed limit. The road is narrow and the edges are crumbling away making it difficult for two SUVs to pass without one dropping two wheels off the road in some sections. No problem on a bike and I can usually go at or slightly above the speed limit for the entire stretch of this road. Some days I'll get people who just gotta get around me so off they go blasting by me only to have to slam on their brakes because they can't take the turn any faster than 25mph. I've also seen cars almost go out of control after dropping tires off the road trying to maintain their faster-than-the-cyclist speed down the hill if they are in front of me.

We had a couple days recently with heavy fog in the morning and night. One night was particularly bad and motorists were definitely going slower. In the 25mph sections, I was almost keeping up going between 15 and 20. At the 35 to 45 mph sections, motorists of course couldn't stand to be behind me so off they go blasting by me, again only to slam on their brakes once they realized that they couldn't see a d@mn thing. At 20mph, I felt like I was over-running my 13 watt HID so I can only imagine how scary it would be to try and go 40mph on the same road. Nevertheless, they did continue on faster. I'm glad everyone that I saw at least managed to do so without any collisions.
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Old 12-22-06, 05:01 PM   #12
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Do cars purposely speed up to chase down bikes?
Of course they do, and it's all the driver can do to keep them from doing it.
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Old 12-22-06, 05:19 PM   #13
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Have any of you heard of that study of people who will take longer getting their cars out of a parking space if they know someone is waiting for it? Do you think it's related to that kind of primate territorial instinct? I wonder because it seems that not all motorists who do this are jerks per se, they just can't stand to have anyone ahead of them. My dad was like that.
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Old 12-22-06, 05:20 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chipcom
Drivers are always speeding up to get around trucks as well, no matter how fast the truck is actually moving. It's the need to get around something that could potentially get in your way or slow you down...or in more plain terms, impatience.
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Old 12-22-06, 05:33 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by San Rensho
narrowness of the street
Good luck.
Think about how much your saving him in oil demand.
Or how your helping him breath better by not polluting.
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Old 12-22-06, 07:06 PM   #16
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Drivers are always speeding up to get around trucks as well, no matter how fast the truck is actually moving. It's the need to get around something that could potentially get in your way or slow you down...or in more plain terms, impatience.
or....
they might just want to get ahead of something that is blocking them from having a better view of the road without them having to slow down by 15% of their current speed in order to give distance
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Old 12-22-06, 07:23 PM   #17
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I always walk slower in the cross walk when there is an anxious motorist waiting to turn. I never understood why some pedestrians will run across the street in the same situation, as if they are apologizing to the motorist for being in their way...
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Old 12-22-06, 07:28 PM   #18
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No, when I'm road biking I've never had that happen.
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Old 12-22-06, 08:45 PM   #19
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It's the need to get around something that could potentially get in your way or slow you down...or in more plain terms, impatience.
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Old 12-22-06, 09:19 PM   #20
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A: Around here it is common for a car full of youths to scream in my ear as they go by. Male, female, whatever.

B: Guilty as charged. This very AM I sped up on my bike and right-hooked in front of a pedestrian just before they entered a cross-walk so I would not have to slow down.
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Old 12-22-06, 11:04 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyclepath
I never got tailgated because i was riding on or slightly within the painted shoulder. (i now ride only on side streets with little traffic). But, other kinds of harrassment are routine & of course there is no recourse, it just goes with cycling, at least in the US. The kids may be charged up over the war & want to bully someone, or they're mad at their boss, i don't know, it''s always the under-30 male.

Maybe they are just angry at folks who make inane generalizations. Kids charged up over the war? Gee maybe they don't like FASB rule 123R either. Or no no! I know what it is...they are despondent over the demise of superstring theory! Thats it....

I very often am delighted when cars speed up as they pass by me...the sooner they get by me, the better.

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Old 12-23-06, 12:18 AM   #22
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cars purposely speed up to chase down other cars as well. If you occasionally drive you'll notice this or just watch them interact with other cars. We tend to notice the cars that give us grief but I think auto drivers are even worse to other drivers than they are to bicyclists.
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Old 12-23-06, 12:20 AM   #23
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I do. I want to see who the rider is and what he/she is riding!
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Old 12-23-06, 12:25 AM   #24
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My non-bike vehicle is a minivan, and I notice the same thing. People will try to pass in all kinds of crazy places where a second of rational thought would tell them it's not doing them any good.

Oh, and don't get me started about that FASB 123R...
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Old 12-23-06, 02:13 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by San Rensho

Anyone have a similar experience?


Sorry, I have "0" tolerance for that. Meaning I dont put up with it. I dont lay party to it, and I dont entertain it. You've got to be a "freaking idiot" to do that to anyone on a bike,........f'ckin case closed!!!!!

I ride my bike safely, with the best interests of myself and the cars around me constantly on my mind. I'm not going to do anything to jeapordise that, or cause danger to the motoring public.

Sooo,..........I "fully expect" everyone else to do the same. A motor vehicle is nothing to screw around with, and the antics you describe of some of these idiots is one of the fastest ways to make me 'lock-em up' and come off the bike.
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