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Old 07-18-08, 02:12 PM   #1
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What Is The Friendly Proper Way to Handle This Situation?

I'm getting pissed cause there is a growing rash of ignorant dangerous cyclists. Not just the trail but on the road too. First a thought that comes to my mind. If I'm riding and working hard but another rider comes from far behind, l figure he's stronger than I am so when he says, "onyerleft!", I let him by. I'm not a wheelsucker so if he goes by, I might try ot keep pace from far behind but it's not my style to take his wheel. Figuring he's the stronger rider, But I do stay out of his way!

Now my rant! You knew it was coming! A friend, Gina and I are riding on the trail last weekend. We are doing a good pace to the coast. I see this guy about 1/2 a mile ahead. Later we catch him just holding our pace. He seems to be struggling a bit. Our friend says onyerleft and rides around the guy, no biggie. My tunr to pass so I say onyerleft and begin to pass with Gina on my wheel for a polite pass. I see riders approaching in the opposite direction (about 100 yards away), not real close so we can complete the pass safely. I pick up the pace for the pass but right as I move onto his side, he moves towards me then picks up the pace!

He matches my speed for a few seconds till I realize he won't let me pass and moved onto my side of the lane forcing me and Gina into oncoming riders. My bud is up ahead looking back like "WTF!". So we slow so the jerk can pull away allowing us to move back safely into our lane before the other riders approach. So the guy passes our wating bud then sprints off into the sunset, whatever!

Sure enough not more than a couple minutes later we pull up again. He's bobbing his head and shoulder around in a desparate attempt to stay ahead of us. I can see he won't last long in the wind. So again gently we pull up and "onyerleft " but this time he lets us pass. Cool, I guess he realized he's not Lance's brother afterall. He's a good size guy and looks fit so maybe he didn't like a girl passing him eventhough she's on my wheel.

So sure enough he jumps on Gina's wheel. He sucks us for a while till he recoups then blows around on the left without warning. I'm at the front and as he passes me, he swoops to the right as if to take out my front wheel!... I'm thinking he's and idiot but don't say a thing. I slow a bit so that he can pull away. BUT, sure enough another mile down the road, he falls behind again. I didn't want to pass the guy but he pretty much sucked in the wind so uless I wanted to ride standing on my head, we were going to pass him again.

So I cruise by and sure enough he jumps Gina's wheel again!.... He sucks us again then a mile later, he blows around again. When he nears my front wheel he swoops to the right as if it were a second attempt to take out my wheel. We all look at eachother and now I'm pissed. I pull back up to the guy and say,"you're a dangerous rider and an idiot". He doesn't respond, just tries to sprint off again.

Next time around, I tell the group, get ready to put the hammer down so we can lose this idiot and we do after a hard effort. If I had know the first time around, I would have tried to lose him but we were just doing our thing and pace. Maybe it's not the right thing to do calling the guy and idiot but I have no problem confronting a person that is trying to intentionally harm me or my wife. The friend is on his own!


So that was last week. Today, I'm on the road. I'm flying down a hilll at 30 mph, two open lanes, no cars at the moment. 2 riders jump on the same street half way down the hill. The second guy is slow going down so I take the left lane and allow him the entire right lane and say "onyerleft" As I ride by I ask,"how's it gong?". He doesn't reply just a look!

We make a right at the intesection after the guy falls behind. I see his bud about 50 yards ahead. So the guy froms behind me in a stand up sprint and flies around my left with no warning. Whatever, I guess he's trying to catch his bud, no biggie. It's windy and we're now on rolling hills. The two were flying but now seem to have slowed after a couple of minutes in the wind. I'm holding my pace and roll up to the two riders.

Now this is a narrow road and the cars fly but there is a nice bikelane in this section. As I roll up I look back to see a couple of cars coming about 100 yards away. I can make the pass so again, I say "onyerleft!" then begin to pass. I ovetake the first guy with no incident but the second guy lifts the pace and doesn't allow me back into the bike lane while hugging the left line! WTF! Now he's forcing me into traffic and I hear the cars gaining on me at 50'ish mph!

I quickly slow and drop into the lane before the cars approach! His bud is far behind now and struggling bigtime. I know they aren't real strong riders so WTF are they trying to prove? Again I catch up to the first guy struggling into the wind. This time I race around him knowing that he'll more than likely try to keep me in the road again. I see him try to lift his pace to jump my wheel as I pace but I don't want this sucker on my wheel. I want to lose him so that I can find my safe zone.

So they are far behind but I get a red light. I pull up to the white line but not too far cause the cross traffic is close to my front wheel on this busy street (Haven Ave City of Rancho) and these people fly! So I sit at the light for nearly a minute then the other 2 arrive. Do they stop behind me as I'm all the way to the front? No! The go around and stop ahead of me in cross street since traffic has gone by. Light turns green then they sprint ahead! Oh brother, it won't be long till I'm back in the same situation again!

So what is it with all these idiotic unsafe riders? Am I supposed to let them force me out into traffic? Am I supposed to slow my pace 50% and stay behind? Am I supposed to confront them all? Am I supposed to bring a picnic basket so that when I find myself in this situation, I can stop and have a picnic till they are gone? What? I can avoid one or two but seems they are everywhere now!

How would you handle these situations? Now don't act like a sweetheart cause I've seen some serious confrontations between other riders! Be honest!
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Old 07-18-08, 02:35 PM   #2
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What I would have done is forced them to a stop and ask them to explain themselves. Keeping you in a traffic lane while you politely try to pass is almost like attempted murder. If they do not want to explain themselves then give them a harsh lecture and let them begone.

Just try to stay clear of these types of dimwits, maybe find an alternate route or trail if you find these issues particularly troublesome.
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Old 07-18-08, 02:48 PM   #3
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I've had similar experiences, and accidentally stumbled onto what works most of the time around here. It is not "propper" riding ediquette, but it works. Instead of saying "on your left", or something like that, I just say "good morning/afternoon", and try to make eye contact if they look over. I also give a good "howdy do" statement when they pass me.

More often than not, that little "hello" moment makes all the difference. I'm no longer some faceless jerk that is either trying to humiliate them or getting into their way.

There are still jerks out there. For jerks, I prefer to open up some distance between us. If it is pretty clear that I'm the stronger rider, then I spin up pretty hard for 15-20 solid minutes. If they are stronger, or too hard headed to back off, then I just find a reason to stop for a few minutes.
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Old 07-18-08, 03:11 PM   #4
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More often than not, that little "hello" moment makes all the difference. I'm no longer some faceless jerk that is either trying to humiliate them or getting into their way.

Ahhh! Good idea. I never thought of it that way. Eventhough I am trying to be courteous, they mistunderstand and take it as I trying to humiliate them! And here I thought I was being friendly!
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Old 07-18-08, 03:16 PM   #5
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I go with 'good morning/afternoon' when I do pass someone too, and I've had others do the same. Certainly feels nice and friendly.
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Old 07-18-08, 03:25 PM   #6
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I have found that where I am a lot of people don't know what passing on your left means. However, a quick ding ding of the old bike bell usually works. Sometimes followed with a hello or then passing on your left. Could be these are the same motorist who used to do that on the road too, but they gave up their cars for gas prices not their nasty habits.
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Old 07-18-08, 03:29 PM   #7
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All I got to say this is sortof a guy with lots of testesterone issue... personally what I would have done, and I have done, is just turned the corner, taken another route and gotten away from the rider. Or just slowed down enough so the rider gets farther out ahead. Yes I know, why should I have to change my route when the other guy is an idiot... it just isn't worth all the complaining, aggravation, potential for confrontation, or injury etc. Riding is suppose to be a fun enjoying thing - not an anger fest. Sometimes giving in and turning the other cheek is the right thing to do. I've seen enough bad crashes between competitive cyclists to know it ain't worth the effort to show someone up. Or if I do try, I make darn well sure I get so far out ahead, the other rider can't catch me, draft or no draft.

But then again, I'm a chick and my perspective is different.
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Old 07-18-08, 03:38 PM   #8
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Yup, that's good point Pam but problem is on the roads up here, there is no alternate rt unless I want to deal with 70 mph traffic instead!

Ever ride up here on Lemon and Banyan (less traffic backstreets)? Rancho Cucamonga area? Has grow so much. I remember Haven, Archibald and other roads were all grapes. Now all condos, homes, highschools and really fast cars!

Maybe I'll opt for the picnic basket idea!
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Old 07-18-08, 03:43 PM   #9
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I woulkd like to think I would do what BCIpam said. However...and there is always a however in life...I would probably have a confrontation. It is probably a good thing that I am too slow to pass anyone very often.
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Old 07-18-08, 03:44 PM   #10
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How would you handle these situations?

I pass gas at uninvited wheelsuckers.
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Old 07-18-08, 03:56 PM   #11
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Toss a frame pump into their front wheel ala Breaking Away.

(Kidding!)
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Old 07-18-08, 03:59 PM   #12
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Toss a frame pump into their front wheel ala Breaking Away.

(Kidding!)
You kidding! My frame pump is a real purty carbon fiber Blackburn!
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Old 07-18-08, 04:02 PM   #13
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You kidding! My frame pump is a real purty carbon fiber Blackburn!
Get a $9.99 Walmart pump for the purpose.....it won't be useful for much else anyway.
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Old 07-18-08, 04:13 PM   #14
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Tom! Mr. Pacifist... I'm shocked and surprised!

Beanz - my parents used to live in Upland and I did alot of riding around the area. I know, it's really changed and traffic is what it is. In that case, best to just let the jerks pass and be on their way. I hate more than ever, having to pass slower riders but at the light when they catch me, they move ahead waiting for the signal and I have to pass all over. If that starts happening, I just stay at the light, let them get ahead and then take off on the next light. Saves me aggravation and possible injury.

BTW one reason more and more, why I've turned to mountain biking... less headache in the long run!
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Old 07-18-08, 04:14 PM   #15
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Where wold you ever get the idea I'm a pacifist.....I just dislike the use of force needlessly.
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Tom! Mr. Pacifist... I'm shocked and surprised!

Beanz - my parents used to live in Upland and I did alot of riding around the area. I know, it's really changed and traffic is what it is. In that case, best to just let the jerks pass and be on their way. I hate more than ever, having to pass slower riders but at the light when they catch me, they move ahead waiting for the signal and I have to pass all over. If that starts happening, I just stay at the light, let them get ahead and then take off on the next light. Saves me aggravation and possible injury.

BTW one reason more and more, why I've turned to mountain biking... less headache in the long run!
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Old 07-18-08, 04:39 PM   #16
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i have never been passed riding on the road (due to lack of riders in the area, not at all my skills), but when i do the passing i never say anything. I get passed plenty on trails and every time someone yells "on yer left" it annoys me to no end and i find it very rude. i run into far less trouble with being passed and passing silently.

I don't understand why people would get mad at wheelsucking, but that is just me.

If they can hang on your wheel maybe you should pass them faster? comeone beanz man up! (seriously though, anytime someone looks potentially like they might do some back and forth i either drop them completly or take a break [you know if i am incapable of doing that whole dropping thing])

Also if someone traps you out on the road IMO you didn't give your self enough room (certainly not attempted murder), the cars will avoid you (knock on wood) i ride by myself on 50 mph roads with no shoulders, I can't out pace the curb so don't worry about not being on the shoulder/ bike lane when a car is in the lane. enough room for all.

PS be happy you have all these bike lanes and bike paths to get into trouble on. I am downright jealous.

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Old 07-18-08, 04:41 PM   #17
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Mr. Beanz, I told you I was tired of people passing me! JK

Maybe the first guy was doing some interval training and you were interupting him... Just try riding in his shoes for once. LOL
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Old 07-18-08, 04:43 PM   #18
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It is common bike courtesy - at least in So Cal where the roads are really busy and lots of cyclists and people are out - to say "on your left" I do it was much as possible and I generally get a polite "thank you " in response. Now I don't shout "ON YER LEFT!" at the top of my lungs (like some people do) and scare the bejeesus out of someone, that is just rude.
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Old 07-18-08, 04:50 PM   #19
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IMHO "on your left" is totally appropriate. I am glad when stronger riders let me know that they are coming up beside me. I take no offense to it cycling and have taken no exeption to it skiing. It is a safety thing, again IMHO
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Old 07-18-08, 04:52 PM   #20
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anytime i say anything people veer toward me. silent and you are past before they know it. when i have been told it i have veered too. i have only seen negative results maybe people from NJ are just idiots (apparently myself included)
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Old 07-18-08, 04:54 PM   #21
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Funny thing, I once didn't use "onyerleft" and the old fart went off on me!

Sorry Heckler, I wasn't complaining about someone wheelsucking, it was more about not letting you pass when you're already going around, forcing me into traffic.

The wheelsucker guy I could have dropped easily but I was trying to keep our group together and pass safely with my wife on my wheel. Again, he forced us into traffic for no reason, and tried to take my wheel out!
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Old 07-18-08, 04:55 PM   #22
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I've had similar experiences, and accidentally stumbled onto what works most of the time around here. It is not "propper" riding ediquette, but it works. Instead of saying "on your left", or something like that, I just say "good morning/afternoon", and try to make eye contact if they look over. I also give a good "howdy do" statement when they pass me
Slightly off-topic but the same thing works when you're in a car stuck in a parking lot trying to get out after a big event somewhere. If you look at the other driver in the eyes and make eye contact I find they feel too guilty to not let you in, you're now a real person and not just a vehicle.
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Old 07-18-08, 05:42 PM   #23
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I ride alot of MUP's, i usually do the "on your left" if the person isnt wearing headphones or anything, my bike came equipped with a little bell on it but nobody ever hears it. Most of the the time the peds/other bikers/roller bladers/skateboarders are usually pretty polite and move to the right for me, alot of times when i am passing the peds especialy say something like "sorry", like they did something wrong. To which i reply, "its fine", or "dont worry about it". I dont mind if they use the whole trail just as long as they are at least aware of the possibilty of bikers are move to the right when there is one. Where i live is pretty rural compared to what i assume socal to be like and everyone seems pretty polite. Spending as much time riding as a do i get to know the other riders in the area pretty well and can tell thier habits and such, so i have never really ha an issue with a dangerous rider. I have had a teenager flip me off once after passing me on his BMX bike (i was on a recovery ride focused on high cadence in very low gear), i just geared up a couple gears cought up said "nice weather huh?", then dropped him, got a little ways in front looked back and gave a polite wave. Thats the only story i can say of a dangerous or rude rider around my parts.
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Old 07-18-08, 06:20 PM   #24
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I think situation calls for one of these:

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Old 07-18-08, 07:11 PM   #25
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Get a $9.99 Walmart pump for the purpose.....it won't be useful for much else anyway.
Ha ha that's funny. A nice carbon fiber blackburn for the occasional flat, and the Wally World "Throw down pump" to go in opponent's spokes.

No, officer, my pump is right here; I have no idea why he suddenly flipped over his handlebars.
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