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  1. #1
    No Rocket Surgeon eubi's Avatar
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    Drivers that are "Too Courteous"

    Right...this is a problem I bet more of you wish you had...

    There seems to be an increasing trend on my commute for drivers to yield the right of way to me, even when I am not entitled to it.

    For example, I stop at a stop sign, the cross traffic does not have to stop. I'm patiently waiting for the cross traffic to clear. But this guy stops anyway, and waves me through.

    All I can figure is that if I go, someone will rear end him and push them both into me. No thanks.

    So I feign a mechanical problem, wave thanks and wave him through.

    This has happened four times in the last month. Although I really appreciate the consideration, I can see it could cause more trouble than it's worth.

    So, what do y'all do in this situation?
    Fewer Cars, more handlebars!

  2. #2
    My bicycle is fixed Brian Sorrell's Avatar
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    I use eye contact, or lack thereof, to help get the too-polite through intersections before me. I find that if I look the other way, they'll just go. The problem that they don't seem to recognize is that, if they let you go ahead of them, then they have to pass you. I'd rather have the cars in front of me. Especially if the driver is on a cell phone!

  3. #3
    Nerd Rider
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    I think y'all are paranoid. If someone's going to give me the opportunity to get moving a little quicker, then why not? I give 'em a thank-you wave and get moving.

  4. #4
    Crankenstein bmclaughlin807's Avatar
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    It really depends on the road. If I can clearly see that it's safe to do so, I'll go... just because it would take longer to refuse, and get them to go.... and then they feel like they were being nice and I was a jerk.

    If I can't see that it's safe (ie: there may be traffic in a lane behind them) then I'll shake my head firmly and wave them on and wait.

    They always get a thank you wave, regardless.

    Where you really run into problems is when there are two lanes and only one of them stops and tries to wave you through... Seriously... you expect me to ride into the traffic that's passing you in the other lane???? *boggles*
    "There is no greater wonder than the way the face and character of a woman fit so perfectly in a man's mind, and stay there, and he could never tell you why. It just seems it was the thing he most wanted." Robert Louis Stevenson

  5. #5
    Senior Member EnigManiac's Avatar
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    Actually, I see similar situations regularly where motorists who have reached the stop sign before me and have the right of way sit staring at me as I am slowing and refuse to proceed. I wave them through, but still they sit, as if they expect me to barrel through the intersection anyway. I wave more and even call out theat they can go, but they refuse. Of course, I am trying not to come to a complete stop, but they force me to---and I find it frustrating. Geez, what do they need to continue through the intersection? A golden invitation served on a silver platter?
    The slow down is accelerating

  6. #6
    Senior Member StrangeWill's Avatar
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    If I know someone is going to try this, I clip out, and bust out my water bottle and either take real long drinks, or fake it. Makes it look like I'm not interested in going for awhile.

  7. #7
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    Happens to me occasionally here in Miami, but its not just while I'm rifding my bike. For some reason, theres a small contingent of drivers that just stop dead at every single intersection to let all traffic go by, when they have the right of way!

    They are more than balanced out by the vast majority of drivers here that always run lights and stop signs and violate my right of way.

    Its really frustrating because I try to plan each intersection so I have to slow the least while at the same time respecting other traffic's right of way, and the "dead in the water" cars mess up my rythm.
    Il faut de l'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace

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  8. #8
    Spelling Snob Hobartlemagne's Avatar
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    I shake my head "no" in a very exaggerated way, while waving the car on, until
    it goes. You gotta ride defensively. If you go when they wave to you, some
    other car may run you over, and it would be your fault.

    The first rule of flats is You don't talk about flats!

  9. #9
    cyclepath daredevil's Avatar
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    How about people who are too courteous when passing? They have plenty of time and room but don't take it. That's frustrating too. Meanwhile drivers behind become impatient.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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  10. #10
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hobartlemagne View Post
    I shake my head "no" in a very exaggerated way, while waving the car on, until
    it goes. You gotta ride defensively. If you go when they wave to you, some
    other car may run you over, and it would be your fault.
    +1

    The well-intentioned but clueless driver is a very dangerous animal.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  11. #11
    livin' the nightmare syn0n's Avatar
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    I really don't like it when cars try to wave me through on green when they see me in the left turn lane. It's unpredictable enough, and sometimes I'm not ready to go so I can take longer than they expect to turn. It doesn't make me angry or anything, I just worry because unlike following regular ROW rules, it's completely unpredictable when these situations occur and they're sometimes dangerous. It's probably my least favorite part about riding in traffic, actually.

  12. #12
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    One of these days I'm going to get a jersey printed up that says

    Don't be nice. Be predictable.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  13. #13
    livin' the nightmare syn0n's Avatar
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    I think part of my problem is I often ride a BMX in traffic, and people might not assume I know what I'm doing or something. You would think that being in the lane, signalling for turns, etc, would be a good indicator that you know what your doing.

  14. #14
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    Has happened to me many times. Last time was last week. I am on my trike waiting to make a left turn across a divided four lane and there is a lady in a large SUV waiting to make a left from the four lane. We finally get a clear in traffic and she waves me over. I shake my head no. We wait a while longer and get another clear. She waves me through and I shout "you have the right of way". We wait for another clear spot and she decides to go, glaring at me (along with the poodle in her lap).

    She thinks I'm a jerk for not accepting her gesture, I think she's an idiot for not realizing that she was asking me to go outside the flow of traffic and get squashed.

    We left the encounter both thinking the other person was a jerk, but I was still alive.
    NNY

    I feel like a Weeble. My trike may wobble but I don't fall down.

  15. #15
    1 bike 2 many. Butterthebean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EnigManiac View Post
    Actually, I see similar situations regularly where motorists who have reached the stop sign before me and have the right of way sit staring at me as I am slowing and refuse to proceed. I wave them through, but still they sit, as if they expect me to barrel through the intersection anyway. I wave more and even call out theat they can go, but they refuse. Of course, I am trying not to come to a complete stop, but they force me to---and I find it frustrating. Geez, what do they need to continue through the intersection? A golden invitation served on a silver platter?


    I am seeing this more and more frequently, as I ride alot in sprawling subdivisions. It is frustrating. I can't tell if they are being courteous, or they just don't trust what I'm going to do....and that is understandable. There are not alot of VC's around here. Mostly Lance wannabees who can't be bothered to slow down for stop signs and lights, and eggheads who don't know they are required to follow the rules of the road while they are out tooling on there pawn shop specials (yes, these "cyclists" tick me off...but that is another rant).

    Bottom line, I want drivers to be more predictable, but they have learned from experience...at least around here...that not all cyclists are predictable.

    Like many of you, I follow the rules of the road. And it would be alot easier if all drivers acted as if they knew that.

  16. #16
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    The more confidently and purposefully one rides the more other drivers follow ROW expectations. This means fully stopping at stop lines, putting foot down (not a legal requirement, but communicates intent vs. a track stand), clear positioning in lane, etc.
    Al

  17. #17
    Senior Member
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    Sometimes I point at the stop sign on my street,but some people find it amazingly difficult to figure this out. Other times I look away from the driver who has stopped (or who I think might stop), towards the traffic that is still moving.

    I don't like drivers who wave me through intersections like this because there is always a chance that someone coming the other way will take me out and I will be at fault. I also sense that drivers who wave cyclists through when they have the right of way regard cyclists as pedestrians, and this is not an attitude I want to encourage.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Butterthebean View Post

    they just don't trust what I'm going to do....and that is understandable. There are not alot of VC's around here. Mostly Lance wannabees who can't be bothered to slow down for stop signs and lights,

    but they have learned from experience...at least around here...that not all cyclists are predictable.
    +1

  19. #19
    No Rocket Surgeon eubi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam View Post
    The more confidently and purposefully one rides the more other drivers follow ROW expectations. This means fully stopping at stop lines, putting foot down (not a legal requirement, but communicates intent vs. a track stand), clear positioning in lane, etc.
    Al
    Al, this is a good idea that we have discussed before.

    In the past, I performed a track stand at stop signs...and autos would typically wave me through, even if it wasn't my turn.

    So..if there are cars around...I'll unclip and put my foot down, and let whoever is next in line go.

    I save the track stands for when no one is looking.
    Fewer Cars, more handlebars!

  20. #20
    Nobody mconlonx's Avatar
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    The worst is when someone does this and there is traffic behind. In New England if someone pulls the "nice driver" thing, people will just swing around them on the shoulder. So when someone stops, not only are they totally risking being rear-ended for impeding traffic, but they also exacerbate the situation as those behind them create another lane... usually where there can be bicycle traffic. Sucks all around. I make exaggerated motions--shake head and vigorously wave them on. If that doesn't work, look away and cross my arms, indicating "I ain't goin' nowhere."

    +1 for "Don't be nice, be predictable."

  21. #21
    Senior Member
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    2 lane road: thanks!
    4 lane road: Do I look like I have a death wish?

  22. #22
    Devilmaycare Cycling Fool Allister's Avatar
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    If they're prepared to give way, I'm prepared to take it.
    If we learn from our mistakes, I must be a goddamn genius.

  23. #23
    Devilmaycare Cycling Fool Allister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by daredevil View Post
    How about people who are too courteous when passing? They have plenty of time and room but don't take it. That's frustrating too. Meanwhile drivers behind become impatient.
    I fail to see how that is in any way a problem. Let 'em take as long as they want, I reckon. Meanwhile, you get a nice, quiet lane.

    Impatience is the natural state for many motorists. I wouldn't burst a neuron worrying about it.
    If we learn from our mistakes, I must be a goddamn genius.

  24. #24
    Senior Member littlewaywelt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kachunk View Post
    I think y'all are paranoid. If someone's going to give me the opportunity to get moving a little quicker, then why not? I give 'em a thank-you wave and get moving.
    +1

    If someone is going out of their way to extend some courtesy, I'll happilly oblige and let them know I appreciate it.

    It's too bad that more ppl in the world aren't willing to sacrifce their "right of way" and extend courtesy.
    One Less Car
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  25. #25
    hill hater nova's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eubi View Post
    Right...this is a problem I bet more of you wish you had...

    There seems to be an increasing trend on my commute for drivers to yield the right of way to me, even when I am not entitled to it.

    For example, I stop at a stop sign, the cross traffic does not have to stop. I'm patiently waiting for the cross traffic to clear. But this guy stops anyway, and waves me through.

    All I can figure is that if I go, someone will rear end him and push them both into me. No thanks.

    So I feign a mechanical problem, wave thanks and wave him through.

    This has happened four times in the last month. Although I really appreciate the consideration, I can see it could cause more trouble than it's worth.

    So, what do y'all do in this situation?
    I normally go when they do this. But it does annoy me when im doing a track stand and loose it just as they start to wave me through. I hate un clipping then re clipping in a second after my foot touches ground.

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