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  1. #1
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    Courteous Drivers Make Sometimes Confuse

    Last night out for a little jaunt using the shoulder of a fairly busy suburban road. This is hilly and has lots of driveways and cross streets. Not many traffic lights.

    It is common for drivers approaching the road to stop and wait when they see me coming. In fact, if they are turning from the main road onto a side road I often can see them gauging speed and distance to see if they can make a safe turn. All in all can not complain about 99.9% of the drivers. Of course there is the occasional rectal orifice. Such is life.

    What is confusing is the driver who has the right of way at a traffic signal, whether it be a sign or a light, and waits for me. It is becoming more and more common for that to happen. I don't know whether the driver is being courteous or setting me up. Last night this was an epidemic. At just about every intersection even though the car had the right of way they waited for me.

    Each time I made eye contact with the driver and mouthed a Thank You. Each time the driver nodded, smiled or gave a hand wave.

    What is going on?

  2. #2
    Senior Member RPK79's Avatar
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    I hate that. Happens in the car sometimes too. It disrupts the proper flow of traffic and they should just stop.

  3. #3
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    That's actually the biggest problem that I have - people in tiny cars that could easily pass me within the lane with at least 3 feet to spare refuse to pass, building up a huge line of cars behind them. People stop in the middle of a block to try to wave me through my left turn (when I'm waiting in a left turn lane). People refusing to take their turn at a 4 way stop. I generally wait until they give up and continue.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    Those people drive me up the wall.
    I've had them obstruct traffic on a freeway entrance ramp, waiting for me to climb a 6% grade to reach the MUP crossing.
    I've had them stop on a 4-lane thru street, motioning for me to cross, while 45mph traffic was blowing by in the other three lanes. (No, fool; I'm not going to be roadkill so you can feel good about being overly polite).

    There is *one* set of traffic laws for the road that apply to all vehicles.
    Doing stupid, unexpected things just because a cyclist is present, creates hazards.

  5. #5
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    Last night toward the end of my ride which was all on narrowish farm to market roads, every single driver who had passed me had given me plenty of room when they passed, then I was creeping up a grade 3 or 4 mph, no shoulder, right on the white line legs burning and I hear a diesel downshifting and creeping up my ask, to the point i had to unclip and stop he was so close to my wheel, he refused to move over a couple feet and get past me even though the other lane was clear of oncoming traffic. jackwagon had fifteen or twenty cars stacked up behind him.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Notso_fastLane's Avatar
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    Until a few months ago, I would think ya'll were crazy. Now that I live here in Southern OR, I know whatcha mean. I have to say, it's slightly less annoying than the opposite, but I do wish they would just do what they should. Being predictable is much better and safer than being nice.

  7. #7
    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    I motion for the driver that has the ROW, to go ahead.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris516 View Post
    I motion for the driver that has the ROW, to go ahead.
    I've encountered cagers too dense even for this.
    I had one in a roundabout blocking traffic, even though I kept motioning for him to go.
    Then I yelled at him to go.
    So then he pulls up and stops in front of me to ***** at me.

  9. #9
    Senior Member PatrickGSR94's Avatar
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    What I hate is the driver at the 4-way stop who tries to wait on me, when it's their turn, and I'm crawling and trying my darndest to not have to unclip and/or put a foot down. But they still wait. So then I have PUT MY DAMN FOOT DOWN, get off the saddle, wait, motion for them to go, then struggle to get going again myself. If they had just gone then I could have gone without unclipping and everyone would be on their way quicker and easier. So annoying.

    This evening I was on a wider residential road with center line, turning left onto a smaller road. No stop signs on my road. One oncoming car passes me while I signal left, and then the next car back tried to stop and wait for me to turn left (again no stop sign for that driver or me). I had to sit there and slow down way more than usual and motion for them to go on, so that I could make my left turn and go on. Don't really care to turn left in front of someone who claims to be "nice" by waiting on me. Bad things could potentially happen there, who knows.
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  10. #10
    20+mph Commuter JoeyBike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HawkOwl View Post
    At just about every intersection even though the car had the right of way they waited for me.

    What is going on?
    That is very common in New Orleans. Since zero cyclists in NOLA stop for red lights or stop signs (when the coast is clear of course) most motorists assume we are not going to stop and just wave me through. They never seem annoyed either. I think for us in NOLA it is so hot that most motorists in their air conditioned boxes realize we want to keep moving and just live with it. I would say more than half the time I get waved through when I don't have right of way. The only time it gets a little annoying is when I have already come to a complete stop.

    If you want to avoid that situation here is what you do:

    As you approach the intersection STOP PEDALING! This is an indication that you might stop. As soon as you make eye contact with the driver (if possible) start waving THEM through. Most of the time they will proceed ahead of you. About one in a hundred are still going to insist that you go first. So GO and nod or wave a Thank You. Piece of cake!
    "For all we know his skills may be excellent, allowing him to ride like an idiot without actually being one." - FBinNY

  11. #11
    Senior Member Astrozombie's Avatar
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    Think it's because they are used to cyclists always going first or just blowing through stop signs, I motion them to go ahead after putting one foot down.
    Assume nothing; Question everything

  12. #12
    Senior Member Will Goes Boing's Avatar
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    That has happened to me once or twice in the past where it almost caused me to eat sh*t. They are either being courteous or just being overly cautious, I thought they're doing it with the intent of making you crash or fall over. I found that in cycling you have to either be aggressive or passive. You either just take charge and GO, or you play it safe and be cautious. Any hesitation is dangerous IMO.

  13. #13
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    I hadn't thought they were behaving that way because so many bikers have been dangerous. Guess that is a good thing. Motorists making up for the bad conduct of bikers. Sort of goes against the common ethos here though.

  14. #14
    20+mph Commuter JoeyBike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HawkOwl View Post
    I hadn't thought they were behaving that way because so many bikers have been dangerous. Guess that is a good thing. Motorists making up for the bad conduct of bikers. Sort of goes against the common ethos here though.
    It's all about what is going to delay the motorist the shortest amount of time - waving a cyclist through, or hitting a cyclist and all the delays that would go with that.
    "For all we know his skills may be excellent, allowing him to ride like an idiot without actually being one." - FBinNY

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post
    It's all about what is going to delay the motorist the shortest amount of time - waving a cyclist through, or hitting a cyclist and all the delays that would go with that.
    Way off base comment.

    Your comment is way too cynical.

  16. #16
    Senior Member ro-monster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HawkOwl View Post
    What is confusing is the driver who has the right of way at a traffic signal, whether it be a sign or a light, and waits for me. It is becoming more and more common for that to happen. I don't know whether the driver is being courteous or setting me up. Last night this was an epidemic. At just about every intersection even though the car had the right of way they waited for me. What is going on?
    That happens to me often as well, mostly at 4-way stops. I think they do it because they're conditioned to expect cyclists to blow the stop signs. I ride nearly every day, and I see a lot of cyclists. Less than 1% of them stop at stop signs. Very few even slow down.

  17. #17
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    So more and more people have a friend, a family member or themselves that are riding bikes so many people are trying to be more courteous to bikers. I welcome it, I know somtimes they are over courteous but it is much better than a hateful aggressive driver.

  18. #18
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    I welcome any courtesy, even the occasional counterproductive one. It makes the roads more human; dare I say, less hierarchical.

    my personal FAQ – bikereader.com/FAQ.html

  19. #19
    Senior Member Chicago Al's Avatar
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    HawkOwl, the source of the problem is evident and proven in this very thread:

    the 'courteous' drivers have mistaken you for JoeyBike!

    HTH.



    Slightly more seriously, I do this all the time when driving in Chicago. Most cyclists here roll stop signs, treat red lights as yields, filter to the front and go straight even when cars are about to turn, and so on. Better to be cautious and let the cyclist do whatever than exercise your 'right of way' and hit or be hit. If an occasional cyclist is annoyed by this, too bad.
    I never think I have hit hard, unless it rebounds.

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  20. #20
    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
    I've encountered cagers too dense even for this.
    I had one in a roundabout blocking traffic, even though I kept motioning for him to go.
    Then I yelled at him to go.
    So then he pulls up and stops in front of me to ***** at me.
    That driver needs to go to 'Gracious Anonymous', LOL. That driver sounds like they were 'addictively gracious', LOL
    I guess they needed their 'fix' of being gracious, LOL
    Last edited by Chris516; 06-29-14 at 01:05 PM.

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