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Advocacy & Safety Cyclists should expect and demand safe accommodation on every public road, just as do all other users. Discuss your bicycle advocacy and safety concerns here.

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Old 03-26-09, 06:57 AM   #1
epnnf
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ever stop to let cars pass?

Sometimes, when going up a hill, a car behind refuses to pass me (the car is usually a soccer mom or truck). There's room for them to pass, they just won't do it. And there's impatient cars piling up behind them. What to do?
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Old 03-26-09, 07:13 AM   #2
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I have a few times (especially when you can use a break anyway). Just be careful because it can be dangerous. Watch you don't end up weaving in and out of traffic.
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Old 03-26-09, 09:32 AM   #3
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Sometimes, when going up a hill, a car behind refuses to pass me (the car is usually a soccer mom or truck). There's room for them to pass, they just won't do it. And there's impatient cars piling up behind them. What to do?
I do this all the time. Hard to judge the motivation of the car behind me; i figure in any case they are acting courteously by not trying to sneak by with little room; so I can do them a favor.

Don't forget if you have a rear view mirror, you can always wave people by as ya see them approach, and the response from cars has always been remarkable, in my experience.

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Old 03-26-09, 09:43 AM   #4
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Never stopped... have pulled over to a wide spot and certainly have waved motorists ahead. I have also pointed to empty lanes that they should and could freely use.
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Old 03-26-09, 09:50 AM   #5
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I do that here in spain. in small towns, to me, people are quite courteous, they stop at pedestrian crossings and pile up behind a cyclist without honking. so I let them go if I am going slow. never experienced that in philly.

also, sometimes, riding with yuba mundo, I occupy a lot of space and I go slow, so let them go.
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Old 03-26-09, 09:57 AM   #6
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Sometimes, when going up a hill, a car behind refuses to pass me (the car is usually a soccer mom or truck). There's room for them to pass, they just won't do it. And there's impatient cars piling up behind them. What to do?
I have seen plenty of super timid drivers like that. You could pull off to the side or the road, but I would not be suprised if the car would stop and not know what to do... I've experienced that in the past. Just hold your line and keep an eye on them.

As far as stopping for cars... There are only two sets of vehicles I'll pull over for and let me pass. 1. Any emergency vehicle (its the law and the right thing to do). 2. Snow plow. During my winter riding. If I see a snow plow coming up behind me (thankfully they make lots of noice so you can hear them from a 1/2 mile back), I'll pull off into a side street or driveway. I've only had to do that once on the last two winters or daily commuting on my bike. You do NOT want to get passed while riding by a plows with its blade down!

Happy riding,
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Old 03-26-09, 10:05 AM   #7
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Sometimes, when going up a hill, a car behind refuses to pass me (the car is usually a soccer mom or truck). There's room for them to pass, they just won't do it. And there's impatient cars piling up behind them. What to do?
In this situation as soon as possible. My experience is that either they are far to close to me, or less often they have left enough room for one of the cars behind to pass them and not me. Or even worse a car behind to not see me and pass them and only then see me.

All bad and all gone once you pull over. Though I can think of some nasty hills where there are few places to pull over and few to pass.
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Old 03-26-09, 11:28 AM   #8
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I usually pull off the road to let large trucks, dump trucks and eighteen wheelers go by.

I keep an eye on my rear-view mirror. Once, last year, I pulled over for a car that was weaving into the shoulder. It was simply a driver from out-of-state, looking for the Municipal Golf Course, and instead of cursing him out, I gave him directions.
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Old 03-26-09, 01:10 PM   #9
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I'll pull over, if I can, when I find a string of cars behind me on a hill.
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Old 03-26-09, 02:15 PM   #10
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Yes, I've pulled over when appropriate. Usually helps everybody.

Conversely, on my Surly Big Dummy, at night I run a DiNotte tail light on bright flash, two Planet Bike Superflashes, a reflective vest, and often one of those red blinking rearward-facing lights that attach to a helmet.

More than a few times on a road where folks drive 45+ mph and I'm in the bike lane, I've had cars slow to my speed and hesitate to pass. With the DiNotte, my larger profile and all the rest, I assume they're having a hard time figuring out what the hell I am. Some folks think those the DiNotte tail lights are too bright, but I think they do their job just fine.
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Old 03-26-09, 02:55 PM   #11
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I have also pointed to empty lanes that they should and could freely use.
If the situation permits, I move one lane to the LEFT and wave at them to pass me in the lane they refused to abandon in the first place. I never fail to make them ashamed of themselves with that move. I have even moved to the left on faster 4-6 lane roads (with on street parking) and allowed the traffic to "reverse lane split" past me. "Reverse lane split" is a term I invented for a situation where traffic is moving faster than I can pedal, but it is super unsafe for me to squeeze right against parked cars. So I move to the broken white line that defines the lanes and allow both lanes of cars to split past me. Sounds coocoo, but in the city, cars just want to be on their way and are happy to oblige without comment. I have even filmed this move with my helmet cam a couple of times.

I assume the OP is on a two lane road with no shoulders in a more rural area. Yes, in that case I sometimes will pull over in a driveway or some safe spot and let a line of cars go by as I take a sip of water and a couple of deep breaths. No biggie.
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Old 03-26-09, 02:56 PM   #12
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Yes. Usually the cars here are driving in little packs. Once the pack goes by, I can take off again at my own pace. It's not something I feel I have to do, and I don't always, but it seems to help my stress levels on a bad day if there aren't a line of cars behind me.
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Old 03-26-09, 03:14 PM   #13
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I do stop when I'm holding up a lot of traffic or when going through a one way street with two way bike traffic where there's actually not enough room for a car and a bicycle to cross eachother
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Old 03-26-09, 03:22 PM   #14
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If I'm waiting to make a left turn, and there is a cue of cars behind me, I will wait to let them past first. Not sure if that is right our wrong, but it is what I (instinctively) always end up doing.
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Old 03-26-09, 03:33 PM   #15
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I'll ride in the parking (when cars are absent) to let a string of cars through. I don't pull over and stop. If they can't pass it's their problem.

I really don't hit the situation described. Soccer moms pass me just like everyone else and I've never seen traffic backed up behind me significantly worse than it'd be backed up without me.

The day I start pulling over and stopping is the day I start filtering.
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Old 03-26-09, 03:57 PM   #16
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I stopped and let a pickup pass me in an alley today. He promptly pulled into the narrowest part of the alley and stopped... blocking the entire way.
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Old 03-26-09, 10:04 PM   #17
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I never pull aside. It is the motorist's obligation and responsibility to pass me in a safe manner and with due care. Why a motorist chooses to follow rather than overtake is none of my concern.

I wonder why it bothers you.
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Old 03-26-09, 10:29 PM   #18
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If I can find a safe spot I pull over and let faster vehicles pass, whether I'm driving my car or riding my bike. Legally I suppose I'm not obligated to unless I'm in a state with a 5 car rule, but a little courtesy now and then probably won't kill me.
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Old 03-27-09, 02:47 AM   #19
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Quote:
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If the situation permits, I move one lane to the LEFT and wave at them to pass me in the lane they refused to abandon in the first place. I never fail to make them ashamed of themselves with that move. I have even moved to the left on faster 4-6 lane roads (with on street parking) and allowed the traffic to "reverse lane split" past me. "Reverse lane split" is a term I invented for a situation where traffic is moving faster than I can pedal, but it is super unsafe for me to squeeze right against parked cars. So I move to the broken white line that defines the lanes and allow both lanes of cars to split past me. Sounds coocoo, but in the city, cars just want to be on their way and are happy to oblige without comment. I have even filmed this move with my helmet cam a couple of times.

I assume the OP is on a two lane road with no shoulders in a more rural area. Yes, in that case I sometimes will pull over in a driveway or some safe spot and let a line of cars go by as I take a sip of water and a couple of deep breaths. No biggie.
Yeah I've been considering that left lane move myself... it is so obvious that I don't know why I haven't done it yet. That will definitely be my solution the next time some wheel hugging road hog is planted behind me.
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Old 03-27-09, 02:50 AM   #20
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I never pull aside. It is the motorist's obligation and responsibility to pass me in a safe manner and with due care. Why a motorist chooses to follow rather than overtake is none of my concern.

I wonder why it bothers you.
Interesting... even a slower motorist will pull over when followed by a line of faster vehicles.

Yet you NEVER pull aside.
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Old 03-27-09, 03:29 AM   #21
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I never pull aside. It is the motorist's obligation and responsibility to pass me in a safe manner and with due care. Why a motorist chooses to follow rather than overtake is none of my concern.

I wonder why it bothers you.
not even in a long narrow single lane street?
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Old 03-27-09, 04:53 AM   #22
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Sometimes, when going up a hill, a car behind refuses to pass me (the car is usually a soccer mom or truck). There's room for them to pass, they just won't do it. And there's impatient cars piling up behind them. What to do?
Pulling over to let faster traffic pass has always been the proper and courteous thing to do in ANY vehicle you pilot.
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Old 03-27-09, 09:08 AM   #23
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Interesting... even a slower motorist will pull over when followed by a line of faster vehicles.
Really? I've never seen that happen. I suspect it is an urban legend.
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Old 03-27-09, 09:16 AM   #24
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Not even in a long narrow single lane street?
Of course not! The motorist can pass me when it is safe to do so, if he so chooses. A narrow single lane would make that impossible. If the motorist's time were so important he needs to get a red light and a siren, or select another route or leave earlier.

One risks delays from a variety of sources when one takes to the PUBLIC road. I am not very sympathetic if a motorist is annoyed by such common and expected occurrence.
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Old 03-27-09, 09:42 AM   #25
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^ Nicely said. If it's multiple lane road i don't even look back or care who's behind me. There are other lanes for a reason. If it's single lane, it depends on the situation.
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