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  1. #1
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    How to deal with lane-splitting cars?

    Just need to vent. Today I was the first in the middle lane at a stoplight with three lanes: one going left, one going straight, and a non-stop yield lane going right. I was smack-dab in the middle of my lane when the car behind me squeezed up to my left, taking up half of both the left and the straight lanes.

    Incredulous, I asked him: "Excuse me sir, are you going straight?"

    Him: "Yeah"

    Me: "I'm in front of you."

    Him, smugly: "Well you won't be."

    Me: "I just want to make sure you know I'm right here."

    The driver just ignored me from that point on. When the light turned green, I just accelerated as normal and got in front of him when I saw that he was way behind me. Did I do the right thing, or should I have just let the sociopath get in front? Should I have moved in front of him while the light was still red?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Shp4man's Avatar
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    Lane splitting cars, ha- not a common thing. I split lanes on my motorcycle occasionally, but I take off faster than they do most of the time. You did the right thing for that situation, I think. Some cagers are just inconsiderate.
    1988 Peugeot PY-10/P Frankenbike, 1994 Diamondback "Response Elite" MTB, 2002 Performance M201 MTB and a 1983 SR road bike that has become my favorite ride. At least for now.

  3. #3
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    You did good, taught an ignorant motorist that many cyclist accelerate faster than they do.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Digital_Cowboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 5b00 View Post
    Just need to vent. Today I was the first in the middle lane at a stoplight with three lanes: one going left, one going straight, and a non-stop yield lane going right. I was smack-dab in the middle of my lane when the car behind me squeezed up to my left, taking up half of both the left and the straight lanes.

    Incredulous, I asked him: "Excuse me sir, are you going straight?"

    Him: "Yeah"

    Me: "I'm in front of you."

    Him, smugly: "Well you won't be."

    Me: "I just want to make sure you know I'm right here."

    The driver just ignored me from that point on. When the light turned green, I just accelerated as normal and got in front of him when I saw that he was way behind me. Did I do the right thing, or should I have just let the sociopath get in front? Should I have moved in front of him while the light was still red?
    I've had that happen a couple of times where they'll pull up on my right, usually coming about halfway past me. But so far not on my left, the moron who passed me on the left to make a left-hand turn notwithstanding.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Digital_Cowboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
    You did good, taught an ignorant motorist that many cyclist accelerate faster than they do.
    Yeah, I have to laugh at that. There will be times when I'm the first vehicle at the light just after the left turn arrow has turned green but the main light is still red. I can usually get a good drink in from my Camelbak and recap it before the main light turns green, and of course be on my way. Meanwhile the car that was sitting in the lane between me and the left-hand turn lane is still sitting there and I'm now halfway through the intersection.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member gcottay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 5b00 View Post
    . . . I just accelerated as normal and got in front of him when I saw that he was way behind me. Did I do the right thing, or should I have just let the sociopath get in front? Should I have moved in front of him while the light was still red?
    You did nothing illegal, immoral or fattening but did let the motorist get into your head.
    George
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Shadowex3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gcottay View Post
    You did nothing illegal, immoral or fattening but did let the motorist get into your head.
    And in the meantime did also risk letting the motorist get ONTO his head. Teaching an ass a lesson is always an appealing thought, but it's also always got the better than average chance of being a life shortening one.

  8. #8
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowex3 View Post
    And in the meantime did also risk letting the motorist get ONTO his head. Teaching an ass a lesson is always an appealing thought, but it's also always got the better than average chance of being a life shortening one.
    About the same risk as getting out of bed. Raises the question if these same people refuse to eat solid food for fear of choking.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Digital_Cowboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
    About the same risk as getting out of bed. Raises the question if these same people refuse to eat solid food for fear of choking.
    Even if they "ate" liquid or pureed food there would still be some risk of choking. I guess the only way for them to totally avoid the risk of choking would be to have an IV. But then there's the risk of infiltration, and a whole host of other problems. . .

    Everything in life involves some sort of risk. We just have to weigh the risks and figure out which ones we are willing to live with and which ones we want to do our best to avoid.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member filtersweep's Avatar
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    "better than average" ?! Your risk assessment is way off.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowex3 View Post
    And in the meantime did also risk letting the motorist get ONTO his head. Teaching an ass a lesson is always an appealing thought, but it's also always got the better than average chance of being a life shortening one.

  11. #11
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by filtersweep View Post
    "better than average" ?! Your risk assessment is way off.
    True, since the motorist knew the cyclist was there, the cyclist got ahead of the motorist and controlled the lane, therefore the cyclist was at very little risk (way below average risk).

  12. #12
    Senior Member sggoodri's Avatar
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    I don't worry about other drivers lane splitting unless I think they will move into my own space in a dangerous manner (for instance, if there is a median or traffic ahead that would cause them to have to swerve into my line.)

    So many cyclists lane split to pass stopped motorists that some motorists will feel entitled to to do it to cyclists. As long as they don't create a danger, I have better things to think about. I used to get huffy whenever I saw other people violate the letter of the law, but now I just focus on my own behavior to set a good example.

  13. #13
    Ovdabak, OR DArthurBrown's Avatar
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    This comes back to the fundamental problem that drivers that are unfamiliar with cycling often underestimate how fast bicycles can move. I am commonly cut-off my drivers that just don't judge my speed properly or have poor depth perception. Some look embarrassed once they realize their mistake. Some get defensive and act like jerks.

  14. #14
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    I might have waited and let the a-hole go. the street is really no place to be teaching anyone a lesson.
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  15. #15
    Que CERA, CERA jefferee's Avatar
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    In that situation, I just hold my line and make sure I don't get run into the right-hand curb. Once a car is up beside me, it's usually just better to let it go ahead, even if the driver is behaving like a sociopathic moron.
    Quote Originally Posted by MajorMantra View Post
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  16. #16
    Senior Member Shadowex3's Avatar
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    The road is no place to provoke people, or try to "teach them a lesson". Being on a bicycle doesnt grant you automatic protection from road rage and it doesnt automatically protect everyone else from the fallout if your plan backfires.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Chicago Al's Avatar
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    Cyclist on the road 'teaching' a motorist a lesson:

    Sounds like a great plan. What could possibly go wrong?

    Not referring to the OP, who obviously has had second thoughts.
    I never think I have hit hard, unless it rebounds.

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  18. #18
    Young Fred jediphobic's Avatar
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    Hey, now. What is really wrong with what the OP did? I suspect I would do something similar. After all, unless you feel you are in danger of a collision, the best thing to do is to behave predictably. Since you can out accelerate him, I would just hold my line. I guess I'm assuming other motorists are present, though. I might change my answer if this lane-splitter was the only person I had to worry about.
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  19. #19
    Dances With Cars TRaffic Jammer's Avatar
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    Can't call a fault in this instance, I'd lay odds there were motorists behind him thinking WTF is this guy doing? I'm generally across the intersection before any of the cars that waited at the light with me as well.
    I've called cars on straddling the lanes when the curb lane has parked cars in it. I've knocked on a cab's body panel and shoo'd him over to his lane. "Dude, that line is a lane divider, not something to center your car on. 180 bucks and 2 points if you get caught."

  20. #20
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    I didn't see it as teaching him a lesson. He and the car were side by side. The light turned green, the bike accelerated away faster, and was in front of the car. Where's the supposed lesson?
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  21. #21
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    Sorry, I was gonna post this a few minutes ago, but I was having a fantasy....

    ...of combining a long grill lighter with a spray can of WD-40 for a little 'terror'..................

    F'n drivers; this one and the one in DC who hit & ran,... beatches.

  22. #22
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DX-MAN View Post
    ...of combining a long grill lighter with a spray can of WD-40 for a little 'terror'..................
    WD-40? Dude, that's weak. Hint: cheap hair spray contains alcohol and butane. And it's cheaper than WD-40.
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  23. #23
    Senior Member Shadowex3's Avatar
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    WD-40 would also be more likely to actually be an effective ghetto-flamethrower instead of producing a visually impressive but less effective fireball of fast-burning and non-sticking alcohol/butane mixes.

  24. #24
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowex3 View Post
    WD-40 would also be more likely to actually be an effective ghetto-flamethrower instead of producing a visually impressive but less effective fireball of fast-burning and non-sticking alcohol/butane mixes.
    Probably true. I'm usually going for effect, personally. Or flaming swarms of noxious bugs. Spray adhesive is interesting for some things too.

    OK, that's off topic enough now.
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  25. #25
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    Besides, cheap hairspray actually has a cycling use (non-lock-on grips).... I'd rather use it for that -- even though spray paint works about 5x better.

    WD-40 is good for around the house, door hinges and such, but for a bike, it's pretty much a waste. Heck, stainless steel cleaner/polish is better for a lot of things!

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