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Old 05-07-08, 07:33 AM   #1
fosmith
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bullied at stopsigns?

this is one of my biggest annoyances while out riding. I'm approaching a stopsign and a motorist tries to beat me to it...like within the last 10-20 yards before the intersection they think they just HAVE to get by me. Is it a bad move on my part to move left to avoid being crowded at the stop sign? Do they really know what they are doing?

My wife and I had this debate. I start moving left to take the lane to assert my right to be there. She says it's an A-hole move on my part. I said if it were a motorcycle approaching a stop sign they damn sure wouldn't pull the same move. But she got me thinking....and now I feel like an A-hole...
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Old 05-07-08, 07:36 AM   #2
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Your wife is wrong.
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Old 05-07-08, 07:39 AM   #3
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Your wife is wrong.
Oh man, now he has to tell her.
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Old 05-07-08, 07:45 AM   #4
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why are you moving left at a stop sign? Either take the lane the whole time, or keep to the curb the whole time.
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Old 05-07-08, 07:47 AM   #5
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Its been my experience that they will often do this, not so much to get past you but to get beside you so that they can take off from the sign without having to wait for you. The hazard for you is that often they want to turn right, which will pinch you into the curb. My philosophy has been that where you are going the same speed as traffic you take the lane, and when traffic is faster you ride on the right (but not dangerously close to the curb.). So, coming to a stop sign I often take the lane as a safety measure, and then once I am leaving the intersection I am courteous about providing room for the cars to pass.

In my Province it is illegal to pass or lane change immediatley before an intersection. The broken white lines between lanes become solid before the intersection to indicate this, so the car is in the wrong, and if you are taking the lane you should do it before the line becomes solid.
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Old 05-07-08, 07:48 AM   #6
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i should also add that i was riding with her yesterday and this happened. i heard a large pickup approaching us from behind (we were riding single file), and i could just "tell" that he was going to pull this crap. i admit that i did whip over pretty quickly because he was trying to crowd us literally within about 10-20 meters from the sign and he had to get on his brakes and move into the oncoming lane. she and i had a heated discussion for the next couple of miles regarding my agressiveness. my stance was for one, he was not giving us the required room (3 feet) and two he wouldn't have done the same thing to an auto or motorcycle. she said that from her perspective (being right behind me) I swerved over right in front of him and if he had hit me it would have been my fault.

i do feel bad because i might have endangered her in the process. i probably should have just let him go by and pull up to his window and given him an earfull....
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Old 05-07-08, 07:51 AM   #7
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I take the lane, if I can, right before I get to the stop sign. Just seems correct, to me at least. I don't want to get hooked by a right turn.
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Old 05-07-08, 07:52 AM   #8
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If the lanes are way narrow, I would certainly do so, otherwise, no. And yes, your wife is wrong.
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Old 05-07-08, 07:53 AM   #9
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why are you moving left at a stop sign? Either take the lane the whole time, or keep to the curb the whole time.

if there are cars back, i won't take the whole lane because that is definately an A-hole move. i always try to give cars room to safely get by if i can. i try to keep car/cyclist relations positive if i can.
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Old 05-07-08, 07:54 AM   #10
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I wouldn't be so agressive as to confront a driver that does this, but a rule of thumb is at an intersection, take the lane. I don't do it agressively, but rather I give a look behind well ahead of the stop and move to the center of the lane.

Motorists feel the need to overtake a bicycle even if the bicycle is traveling at the posted speed limit. It's just a perception that bikes are always traveling slower than the rest of traffic.

Take the lane.
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Old 05-07-08, 07:55 AM   #11
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thanks! now i don't feel like such an Eh-whole.

but wives are always right, doncha know
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Old 05-07-08, 07:55 AM   #12
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i should also add that i was riding with her yesterday and this happened. i heard a large pickup approaching us from behind (we were riding single file), and i could just "tell" that he was going to pull this crap. i admit that i did whip over pretty quickly because he was trying to crowd us literally within about 10-20 meters from the sign and he had to get on his brakes and move into the oncoming lane. she and i had a heated discussion for the next couple of miles regarding my agressiveness. my stance was for one, he was not giving us the required room (3 feet) and two he wouldn't have done the same thing to an auto or motorcycle. she said that from her perspective (being right behind me) I swerved over right in front of him and if he had hit me it would have been my fault.

i do feel bad because i might have endangered her in the process. i probably should have just let him go by and pull up to his window and given him an earfull....
Forget the earful. Out here in the Southeast US, that will most likely give you the opportunity to see the inside of a .45 Smith & Wesson barrel. Sad but true.

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Old 05-07-08, 08:02 AM   #13
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I'm probably going to look like a wimp to a lot of people in this forum for saying this, but I don't like having a car slowly pacing behind me. It's much harder to see him/her and if they get angry they will probably just gun the engine and buzz past you when they can. If I slowing and coming to a stop anyway I'll probably let them pass and look for any turn signal they might use, and then I don't have to deal with them anymore.
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Old 05-07-08, 08:04 AM   #14
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I take the lane well before the stop sign to minimize motorists from passing, if the intersection is wide enough, I'll stay as far left as possible to let by right turning traffic. Taking the lane before a stop or controlled intersection will help in blocking right hooks, plus if there are parked cars on the opposite side of the intersection, it will help you maintain your lane position. Nothing like being forced to a stop or having to work your way back into traffic when the wolf pack freight trains by you.
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Old 05-07-08, 08:06 AM   #15
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Moving to the left is the right step. I do it, and it's really funny when the driver still tries to pass and ends up at the stop sign in the wrong lane.
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Old 05-07-08, 08:07 AM   #16
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I've got my family trained to take the lane before the intersection. There are 4 of us, and the first and third rider move left, ending in a 2 x 2 at the line. This gives us room to start moving again without such an accordian effect, and then when we're rolling again we merge back single file.

If it's my wife and me only, same thing, lead rider goes left.

Either way we do it enough in advance to not be cutting people off. We grab an available gap in traffic. If we can't do that, then we're stuck with the results and are very aware of the possibility of the right hook.

Riding by myself I'll take the lane if practical, but often just stay right and watch for trouble. I'm more able to brake or swerve if I'm by myself, but if I have my wife and/or kids with me, I pick my routes carefully and always put their safety first. We've probably got a couple thousand miles with all 4 of us together and have never experienced a collision between a car and a bicycle, not even a near miss that I can think of.
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Old 05-07-08, 08:08 AM   #17
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Old 05-07-08, 08:11 AM   #18
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I take the lane, if I can, right before I get to the stop sign. Just seems correct, to me at least. I don't want to get hooked by a right turn.
I concur, but I generally try to move left a bit sooner than "right before."

If there is room for safe side-by-side sharing and if you can be sure that a nearby motorist is not going to turn right across your path, then be polite and share the lane. In all other situations, however, you are better off being assertive, which means taking a narrow lane and always positioning yourself to minimize the danger of a right-hook.
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Old 05-07-08, 08:14 AM   #19
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... if the intersection is wide enough, I'll stay as far left as possible to let by right turning traffic. ...
I move just far enough left to permit right-turners to squeeze slowly between me and the curb. Twice I have had motorists pass me on the right to go straight at an intersection. Trust me, this is a bad unintended consequence.
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Old 05-07-08, 08:40 AM   #20
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this is one of my biggest annoyances while out riding. I'm approaching a stopsign and a motorist tries to beat me to it...like within the last 10-20 yards before the intersection they think they just HAVE to get by me. Is it a bad move on my part to move left to avoid being crowded at the stop sign? Do they really know what they are doing?

My wife and I had this debate. I start moving left to take the lane to assert my right to be there. She says it's an A-hole move on my part. I said if it were a motorcycle approaching a stop sign they damn sure wouldn't pull the same move. But she got me thinking....and now I feel like an A-hole...
Thanks - this is a huge peeve of mine too. When approaching a stop sign I ALWAYS move left to prevent getting squeezed - seriously I always do this and don't even think about it.

What's funny is on small streets like this -- when a motorist tries to overrun me but doesn't make it they end up NEXT to me - impeding someone making a left or right turn onto "our" street from the crossing street. (sorry I didn't explain that well,) but the motorist basically puts himself completely in the way.
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Old 05-07-08, 09:24 AM   #21
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I have had right turning motorists go around me to the left and try to squeeze into the right, rather then just hold their position that would yield me at the center (already taking the lane) prepared to cross at the green, and them at the right where they wanted to be. Totally dumb move.
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Old 05-07-08, 09:25 AM   #22
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I will generally adjust my lateral position to the left as I approach an intersection, more to discourage right hooks and to make myself more visible to oncoming left turns. This has the effect of discouraging last minute passing, but does not eliminate it. Some motorists do not think that a bicycle should ever be in front of them, and there is nothing that I am going to be able to do to change that perception. This behaviour will only be perceived to be obnoxious by A-holes, therefore your wife's statement says more about her anti social attitudes than yours.
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Old 05-07-08, 09:27 AM   #23
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Using the center of the lane as a default position can be very helpful. It's easier to move right when it's safe to allow a pass than it is to butt back into traffic at the last moment when you want to take the lane.

When a faster vehicle approaches you from behind, decide early on who's going to get there first and help make it so. Sometimes slightly speeding up (to discourage a late pass) or slowing down (to allow a safe pass) is very helpful in avoiding confusion on who will get there first.
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Old 05-07-08, 10:03 AM   #24
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it's pretty clearly an A-hole move. sorry.
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Old 05-07-08, 10:23 AM   #25
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it's pretty clearly an A-hole move. sorry.
Only if the cyclist darts out in front of the motorist at the last moment. If they signal and merge early (or better yet are already there by default when applicable) it is in no way an A-hole move, and doesn't even slow down traffic any more than another car would.
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