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    Agressive overtaking

    Hey all,

    Seeking your advice - here's the deal: I cycle frequently (every day) around my suburban neighbourhood in a fairly large city in Canada. Since the neighbourhood is set up in that a main road is essentially a loop around, I do laps of it each day, riding on the road. There also a school nearby which means there are sometimes parked cars on the side of the road, which has gotten me in the habit of riding around 1m away from anything near or parked on the curb. Lately however with spring and snow melting, there is an excess of gravel on the sides of the road which has prompted me to ride a slight bit further out (the roads are completely dry however). However it seems with spring and clear roads, drivers are driving more reckless than usual...

    Though probably more than 90% of vehicles that pass me on the road (I ride a mountain bike and go around 25-30km/h) pass me safely in that they give enough room, it always seems the every few weeks I get the odd driver who thinks it's a good idea to follow me closely and honk me for a couple metres before passing too close (less than 1m) and stepping on the gas whilst doing so. It appears to be mostly younger drivers that do this, and I have taken plate#s down. Most seem to speed down to the entrance to the main road, which they sometimes get caught up at a light.

    Any advice on how to react to this, other than to shake my head and move on, with a sense of thankfulness that I haven't been hit yet? Is it a waste of time to call in the plate #s to the police over something like this?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nunymare View Post
    ...shake my head and move on...
    That's what I do.

    Unless it's the same idiot doing it repeatedly, some moron honking at you then speeding off is unlikely to get the Police to excited. I assume they feel they feel stupid when I catch them at the next light, but that's probably wishful thinking on my part.

  3. #3
    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nunymare View Post
    Hey all,

    Seeking your advice - here's the deal: I cycle frequently (every day) around my suburban neighbourhood in a fairly large city in Canada. Since the neighbourhood is set up in that a main road is essentially a loop around, I do laps of it each day, riding on the road. There also a school nearby which means there are sometimes parked cars on the side of the road, which has gotten me in the habit of riding around 1m away from anything near or parked on the curb. Lately however with spring and snow melting, there is an excess of gravel on the sides of the road which has prompted me to ride a slight bit further out (the roads are completely dry however). However it seems with spring and clear roads, drivers are driving more reckless than usual...

    Though probably more than 90% of vehicles that pass me on the road (I ride a mountain bike and go around 25-30km/h) pass me safely in that they give enough room, it always seems the every few weeks I get the odd driver who thinks it's a good idea to follow me closely and honk me for a couple metres before passing too close (less than 1m) and stepping on the gas whilst doing so. It appears to be mostly younger drivers that do this, and I have taken plate#s down. Most seem to speed down to the entrance to the main road, which they sometimes get caught up at a light.

    Any advice on how to react to this, other than to shake my head and move on, with a sense of thankfulness that I haven't been hit yet? Is it a waste of time to call in the plate #s to the police over something like this?
    This is a common occurrence. There will always be drivers' who 'insist' on saying that bikes should not be allowed on the road, to get the **** out of their way. It doesn't matter where you live(North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia). There will always be drivers who think they are fully entitled to be on the road, and cyclists' aren't.

    25-30kph/15-18mph is marginally fast as far as bike club levels are concerned. While going faster might be possible for you. There is always going to be some driver that loves hassling a cyclist. Ignore them.

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    As long as they slow to match your speed, then accelerate through the pass they're actually doing you a favor. The speed difference during the pass is much lower than if they simply flew by at speed.

    Though, they may be closer than you like, they're probably your safest passers.

    Those who simply swing around without slowing aren't doing you any favors. Unless they're giving you plenty of room, there's no time for them to react and adjust to anything you do. OK when it works, very bad when it doesn't.

    While most people worry about the passing separation, I worry more about the speed difference. To me, one of the most reassuring sounds is that of a large truck downshifting because it tells me the driver is adjusting.
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    Senior Member rebel1916's Avatar
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    I usually challenge em to a tickle fight. Once we're both giggling, everything seems better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris516 View Post
    This is a common occurrence. There will always be drivers' who 'insist' on saying that bikes should not be allowed on the road, to get the **** out of their way. It doesn't matter where you live(North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia). There will always be drivers who think they are fully entitled to be on the road, and cyclists' aren't.

    25-30kph/15-18mph is marginally fast as far as bike club levels are concerned. While going faster might be possible for you. There is always going to be some driver that loves hassling a cyclist. Ignore them.
    You could take "cyclist" out of your post and replace it with "slower vehicle" then it would be more accurate. Some people just know they're more important.

    Really if you think about it, the attitude that makes a person think they don't ever need to ease off and wait to make a safe pass is exactly the same as the person who thinks they don't ever need to ease over to accommodate a safe pass. Me first.

    Using the road is about we, not me.

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    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
    You could take "cyclist" out of your post and replace it with "slower vehicle" then it would be more accurate. Some people just know they're more important.

    Really if you think about it, the attitude that makes a person think they don't ever need to ease off and wait to make a safe pass is exactly the same as the person who thinks they don't ever need to ease over to accommodate a safe pass. Me first.

    Using the road is about we, not me.
    I disagree with you about the slower vehicle thing. I typically drive at or below the speed limit, with the exception of interstate freeways, where I drive the speed of traffic.

    On surface streets where I am usually the slow driver (driving at or below the speed limit) I never get honked at or rudely passed... and I have driven in this manner for some 30 years. Drivers either slow down and stay with me or change lanes and pass. Often passes are not accompanied with turn signals, which I find ironically amusing... so easy to indicate turns and lane changes and yet so many motorists don't do this.

    Drivers know they are speeding... which is why they suddenly slow down in the presence of a police car... or perhaps why they suddenly slow down and follow me... I figure they assume I know of a speed trap, so they fall into line.

    I can only recall being rudely passed in a car one time... and frankly that was some idiot driver... on the freeway... he passed in heavy traffic that wasn't moving at the speed limit and he continued to force his way into other clumps of traffic... clearly someone with issues.

    Now that said, I have been passed rudely many times while on bicycle... it happens at least four times a year. Maybe a horn honk, always the hard acceleration. Sometimes a yell.

    No, it isn't a "slower vehicle" issue... it's the notion that bikes don't belong on the road. I have spoken to some motorists at stop lights or left turns and they always express the same idea... that "roads are for cars." There is no changing the minds of these folks... at least not at these roadside "confrontations." They are "right" and the cyclist is "wrong."

    The most idiotic situation I once faced was being slowed by a motorist at a right turn only lane... (I was going straight) The motorist was lost and figured a cyclist would know the local roads better, so he simply asked for directions. I was giving said directions when another motorist pulled up behind the first... must have figured it was a bike/motorist confrontation... he honked long and hard and then took off hard and fast from behind, swooping right to make his turn, with some gesture... absolutely no patience.

    There are lots of drivers out there... of all sorts of mood and mindset... and frankly some should not be behind the wheel... but we let anyone drive... so your encounters will vary. Smile and wave, and stay safe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    I disagree with you about the slower vehicle thing. I typically drive at or below the speed limit, with the exception of interstate freeways, where I drive the speed of traffic.

    On surface streets where I am usually the slow driver (driving at or below the speed limit) I never get honked at or rudely passed... and I have driven in this manner for some 30 years. Drivers either slow down and stay with me or change lanes and pass. Often passes are not accompanied with turn signals, which I find ironically amusing... so easy to indicate turns and lane changes and yet so many motorists don't do this.

    Drivers know they are speeding... which is why they suddenly slow down in the presence of a police car... or perhaps why they suddenly slow down and follow me... I figure they assume I know of a speed trap, so they fall into line.

    I can only recall being rudely passed in a car one time... and frankly that was some idiot driver... on the freeway... he passed in heavy traffic that wasn't moving at the speed limit and he continued to force his way into other clumps of traffic... clearly someone with issues.

    Now that said, I have been passed rudely many times while on bicycle... it happens at least four times a year. Maybe a horn honk, always the hard acceleration. Sometimes a yell.

    No, it isn't a "slower vehicle" issue... it's the notion that bikes don't belong on the road. I have spoken to some motorists at stop lights or left turns and they always express the same idea... that "roads are for cars." There is no changing the minds of these folks... at least not at these roadside "confrontations." They are "right" and the cyclist is "wrong."

    The most idiotic situation I once faced was being slowed by a motorist at a right turn only lane... (I was going straight) The motorist was lost and figured a cyclist would know the local roads better, so he simply asked for directions. I was giving said directions when another motorist pulled up behind the first... must have figured it was a bike/motorist confrontation... he honked long and hard and then took off hard and fast from behind, swooping right to make his turn, with some gesture... absolutely no patience.

    There are lots of drivers out there... of all sorts of mood and mindset... and frankly some should not be behind the wheel... but we let anyone drive... so your encounters will vary. Smile and wave, and stay safe.
    I expressed myself poorly I guess,

    I do agree most folks do fine, its those few who can't wait that will behave the same weather its a bicycle, motorcycle, or semi truck inconveniencing them. I don't drive a car, but can say I encounter more impatient drivers when driving a semi compared to a bike or motorcycle, not a huge difference but noticeable. Probably because I have fewer options in a semi to minimize my impact on others, so Ill take partial responsibility for that.

    I can't recall the last time I was honked at, its been many years. Being on the road 10 hours a day I do see plenty of questionable driving, but simply don't see or experience the bias against cyclists that others here do.

  9. #9
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
    I expressed myself poorly I guess,

    I do agree most folks do fine, its those few who can't wait that will behave the same weather its a bicycle, motorcycle, or semi truck inconveniencing them. I don't drive a car, but can say I encounter more impatient drivers when driving a semi compared to a bike or motorcycle, not a huge difference but noticeable. Probably because I have fewer options in a semi to minimize my impact on others, so Ill take partial responsibility for that.

    I can't recall the last time I was honked at, its been many years. Being on the road 10 hours a day I do see plenty of questionable driving, but simply don't see or experience the bias against cyclists that others here do.
    I've seen it (that bias against cyclists) while I was driving and behind other vehicles. So it is not as if I am only seeing it as a cyclist. I probably note what I see, because I am a cyclist and I readily see other cyclists... but again, I have seen other motorists drive aggressively and rudely around cyclists while I observed these actions from a car.

    Maybe being on the road 10 hours a day has somewhat numbed you to all that is going on around you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    I've seen it (that bias against cyclists) while I was driving and behind other vehicles. So it is not as if I am only seeing it as a cyclist. I probably note what I see, because I am a cyclist and I readily see other cyclists... but again, I have seen other motorists drive aggressively and rudely around cyclists while I observed these actions from a car.

    Maybe being on the road 10 hours a day has somewhat numbed you to all that is going on around you.
    I didn't mean to imply I don't see people driving poorly around cyclists, just no more than any other vehicle or pedestrians.

    Driving a double trailer semi unit in an urban environment really keeps you aware of what's going on around you as you need to drive preactivelly, not reactively. Most of what I see is simply poor driving, not intentionally aggressive driving directed against another as a bias would imply.

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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    I've seen it (that bias against cyclists) while I was driving and behind other vehicles. So it is not as if I am only seeing it as a cyclist. I probably note what I see, because I am a cyclist and I readily see other cyclists... but again, I have seen other motorists drive aggressively and rudely around cyclists while I observed these actions from a car.

    Maybe being on the road 10 hours a day has somewhat numbed you to all that is going on around you.
    I didn't mean to imply I don't see people driving poorly around cyclists, just no more than any other vehicle or pedestrians.

    Driving a double trailer semi unit in an urban environment really keeps you aware of what's going on around you as you need to drive proactivelly, not reactively. Most of what I see is simply poor driving, not intentionally aggressive driving directed against another as a bias would imply.

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    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
    I didn't mean to imply I don't see people driving poorly around cyclists, just no more than any other vehicle or pedestrians.

    Driving a double trailer semi unit in an urban environment really keeps you aware of what's going on around you as you need to drive proactivelly, not reactively. Most of what I see is simply poor driving, not intentionally aggressive driving directed against another as a bias would imply.
    I won't disagree with seeing poor driving... I too see it all the time... probably a result of being lazy and self important rather than as an issue of not knowing better... as I mentioned, it is amazing to see how folks "straighten up" in the presence of a police cruiser. Thus the average driver knows better, but simply chooses to be a "slob" behind the wheel, with the result of poor driving.

    The cycling thing I have seen as those self important people aggressively treat cyclists while dismissing that the cyclist is a valid road user and in front of them... and yes I am probably biased against drivers that drive large vehicles aggressively in the presence of cyclists. But I have noticed that while those drivers force their way around cyclists, they may fall in line with other traffic.... no doubt as their large vehicles cannot intimidate other motorists in the same manner as it can intimidate a lone cyclist.

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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    I won't disagree with seeing poor driving... I too see it all the time... probably a result of being lazy and self important rather than as an issue of not knowing better... as I mentioned, it is amazing to see how folks "straighten up" in the presence of a police cruiser. Thus the average driver knows better, but simply chooses to be a "slob" behind the wheel, with the result of poor driving.

    The cycling thing I have seen as those self important people aggressively treat cyclists while dismissing that the cyclist is a valid road user and in front of them... and yes I am probably biased against drivers that drive large vehicles aggressively in the presence of cyclists. But I have noticed that while those drivers force their way around cyclists, they may fall in line with other traffic.... no doubt as their large vehicles cannot intimidate other motorists in the same manner as it can intimidate a lone cyclist.
    I definitely agree with that, a large percentage of the truly aggressive drivers I see are in SUV's.Picking on cyclist's would fall into their pattern of bullying, but that's more indicative of their personality than a true bias against cyclists.

  14. #14
    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
    You could take "cyclist" out of your post and replace it with "slower vehicle" then it would be more accurate. Some people just know they're more important.

    Really if you think about it, the attitude that makes a person think they don't ever need to ease off and wait to make a safe pass is exactly the same as the person who thinks they don't ever need to ease over to accommodate a safe pass. Me first.

    Using the road is about we, not me.
    While I agree with you about 'we, not me'. As a cyclist, by not consistently referring to cyclists' as such, cyclists' get lost in the 'we', as to things specific to cyclists'.

    I think in 'we' terms, when motorists' encounter delays. I stop with the rest of the traffic. OTOH, I think in 'me' terms, when a motorist pokes their head out the window of their car jabbering about the opinion that cyclists' should stay off the road.
    Last edited by Chris516; 03-19-14 at 03:20 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris516 View Post
    While I agree with you about 'we, not me'. As a cyclist, by not consistently referring to cyclists' as such, cyclists' get lost in the 'we', as to things specific to cyclists'.

    I think in 'we' terms, when motorists' encounter delays. I stop with the rest of the traffic. OTOH, I think in 'me' terms, when a motorist pokes their head out the window of their car jabbering about the opinion that cyclists' should stay off the road.
    Yeah, when someone initiates open conflict with malic, all bets are off, and you gotta do what you gotta do.

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    This was in my local paper today. The next to last paragraph is relevant here.
    We can' » Letters » The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

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    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metal Man View Post
    This was in my local paper today. The next to last paragraph is relevant here.
    We can' » Letters » The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA
    I love how that moron says in the next to last paragraph, that the roads are "my highways". While I agree that joggers and pedestrians shouldn't be in the road(unless there is no sidewalk to speak of). This idiot needs to look at the traffic code again for their locale.

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    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
    I definitely agree with that, a large percentage of the truly aggressive drivers I see are in SUV's.Picking on cyclist's would fall into their pattern of bullying, but that's more indicative of their personality than a true bias against cyclists.
    True, but in their small minds, cyclists fit the bill of weakling, therefore they will "target" cyclists.

    BTW it doesn't have to be SUVs... there are also cases of drivers that are out to torment anyone they perceive as a target... and may even passenger door a cyclist. (we've all seen the aggressive young men out to "have a good time..." Just think Jackass...)

    Granted these situations are rare... most drivers are intent on getting to their destination with little conflict... however many drivers are distracted, and a very few are mindless bullies... and fewer yet actually act. I think the distracted drivers are the worst as they simply are "not there," and they can be quite common on the road. The distracted drivers may not be aggressive, but simply drive in a manner that can be perceived as such.
    Last edited by genec; 03-20-14 at 08:43 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Metal Man View Post
    This was in my local paper today. The next to last paragraph is relevant here.
    We can' » Letters » The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA
    He does have a point though - should government and public money be involved in creating something for a tiny proportion of the population?

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    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spivonious View Post
    He does have a point though - should government and public money be involved in creating something for a tiny proportion of the population?
    No, not at all... I wonder then why highways were built, as originally only a tiny portion of the public could afford motor vehicles...

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    He does have a point though - should government and public money be involved in creating something for a tiny proportion of the population?
    He claims the highways as HIS because he uses them. Anything he doesn't use is not his and is unnecessary in his view.

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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    True, but in their small minds, cyclists fit the bill of weakling, therefore they will "target" cyclists.
    That billing falls under the category of "Right of Weigh", the larger, heavier the personal vehicle, the more power it seems to ingrain into the motorist's psyche, with this being the case as with vulnerable road users being at or near the bottom of the food chain in the motoring kingdom

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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    No, not at all... I wonder then why highways were built, as originally only a tiny portion of the public could afford motor vehicles...
    I have the 1918 edition of the 4 volume farm knowledge encyclopedia, https://archive.org/details/Farm1 . It devotes entire chapters to roads, diy road building, vehicles, and their importance to the health and prosperity of a community. This volume was originally published before motor vehicles were common, road building was all about getting crops to market, and the kids to school.

    IMO, books from the era will give a better accounting than contemporary internet writings.

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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    BTW it doesn't have to be SUVs... there are also cases of drivers that are out to torment anyone they perceive as a target... and may even passenger door a cyclist. (we've all seen the aggressive young men out to "have a good time..." Just think Jackass...)
    Definitely not just SUV's, any German made vehicle is suspect, and surprisingly Prisus too.

    The few incidents of outrageous behavior I have experienced personally can be credited to feral youth. About 10 years ago a car full of kids threw some bottles at me, one so close to my head I could feel it. No doubt it was because I was on a bicycle, but I'm sure they were simply seeking targets.

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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    No, not at all... I wonder then why highways were built, as originally only a tiny portion of the public could afford motor vehicles...
    Not sure what you mean. Roads have existed as long as human transportation has. If you mean a modern paved highway, they only came about because the popularity and affordability of automobiles increased in the early 1920s. By the time interstate highways came around in the 1950s, the US had one car for every three people.

    Should tax money be used to purchase land from private companies and convert it into recreational trails? If enough of the population demands it, sure. If it's 5% of the population, then I agree that the money is better spent on schools.

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