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Old 12-23-07, 04:45 PM   #1
San Rensho 
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An observation about driver behavior

Today I was driving on streets that I usually ride my bike on, and was behind a cyclist that was running reds and stops. All the cyclists "violations" were perfectly clean, she never interfered with or affected traffic in any way. After about two reds that I stopped for (I don't run reds while driving a car), she was out of sight, but as it turns out she took the same route I was taking and I finally caught up with her about 5 blocks away. What I noticed was how far ahead she could get by running reds and stops. I am a fairly aggressive car driver in the sense that I don't dilly dally, but I could not really catch her when I was driving normally since there was a stop or light every couple of blocks.

Then I got to thinking. Even when I run reds and stops, the cars seem to be right on my tail almost immediately, and I definitely try to go as fast as I can on my bicycle. The only conclusion I can come to is that drivers will speed up as much as they can to catch a cyclist. Its almost like the chase instinct in dogs when something is running away from them.

Any thoughts?
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Old 12-23-07, 04:54 PM   #2
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You may have hit the lights differently in your car than when on your bike. It also might be busier when you're riding, so traffic from various directions comes up behind you after an intersection.
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Old 12-23-07, 04:55 PM   #3
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I think she is just a much faster rider then you Or the lights on weekdays flow different then on the weekend which allowed her a bigger advantage.
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Old 12-23-07, 05:36 PM   #4
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You should see the reaction when I get the jump on the swing bridge. I get between the drop guard and the rolling guard. The roller moves away first, I go. Then the drop goes up, then the cars go, but I'm usually on my descent by then.
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Old 12-23-07, 06:54 PM   #5
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Maybe she was faster. I ride alot in the city. I stop at lights and signs, and I leave cars in the dust. I would be like, traffic God, if I ran lights and signs.
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Old 12-23-07, 09:32 PM   #6
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City traffic rewards the nimble.
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Old 12-24-07, 10:21 AM   #7
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City traffic rewards the nimble.
Or the consistent. If I ride just over 22mph when riding E/W I can hit most all the green lights as they are timed.

Al
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Old 12-24-07, 01:05 PM   #8
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Or the consistent. If I ride just over 22mph when riding E/W I can hit most all the green lights as they are timed.

Al
If only that were the case everywhere... lights timed for cyclists.
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Old 12-25-07, 10:30 AM   #9
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If only that were the case everywhere... lights timed for cyclists.
The lights are timed for cars.
I can roll to a green light for the most part.
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Old 12-27-07, 05:43 PM   #10
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If only that were the case everywhere... lights timed for cyclists.
As wheel pointed out they (not all lights but certain corridors at certain times of day) are timed for motor vehicles for 45mph flow. If you ride 22 though that works as well.

Other lights are not timed as predictably, but over time I learn about what speed I need to ride to make them or always end up waiting at the same lights and hitting others. Other lights are only triggered red by x-flow demand.

Al
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Old 12-27-07, 08:27 PM   #11
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The only conclusion I can come to is that drivers will speed up as much as they can to catch a cyclist. Its almost like the chase instinct in dogs when something is running away from them.
Any thoughts?
I agree. Especially when they speed up and pass you at the last moment before doing a right turn in front of you with screeching tires. That kind of amuses me but is also irritating .
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