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Old 06-01-06, 12:24 PM   #1
mihlbach
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Does anyone else actually get along well with cagers?

I read all these awful stories about getting doored, swerved at, yelled at for taking the lane, almost killed, etc. And then there are these other threads where some of you get all upset about cyclists not following the law to the letter, and giving all cyclists a bad name.
Maybe I'm just close enough to NYC that the cagers are jaded enough not to be phased by minor obstacles such as cyclists, but I just don't have any aweful stories to report, and I'm far from a VC guy...I'll break any traffic law as long as it looks reasonably safe to do so and it keeps me moving, but none of this seems to phase motorists around here. Sure I've get cursed at or honked a couple of times a year, but the drivers around here here seem to deal with cyclists very well. The cages seem to hate eachother more than they hate cyclists. My biggest complaint is the occasional truck that passes me way too close...usually I end up chasing them down and reminding them to leave me some space. I normally get a polite apology and we each go on our way. Its a very different picture than the one usually described on this forum. Maybe I've just been lucky.
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Old 06-01-06, 12:42 PM   #2
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mihlback, we are in the same boat.

I'm not the biggest fan of cagers, but I haven't had many bad incidents.

I think we tend to forget the good experiences and focus on the bad.
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Old 06-01-06, 12:43 PM   #3
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Oh yeah, lots of cagers are quite civil. Many will wait a long time for me to pass (I suppose I do have right-of-way in many cases), and many will give lots of space when they pass on the left. I'm also very surprised at how often cars will wait behind me at a red light even though they are making a right turn, and there is plenty of room to go around me (technically a right hook, but I'm not moving).

Maybe I'm so wide and low to the ground, that they are unsure about how safe it is to pass. *shrug* works for me!
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Old 06-01-06, 12:52 PM   #4
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Y'all would be bored to tears if I wrote daily about my good experiences with motorists.

They give excellent passing clearance, they don't tailgate when waiting for opportunity to pass, they chat at stoplights, they wait before making a left from opposing lane or right turn from x-street (even when they could have done it without me needing to slow)

All these interactions are so simple that they don't make a story, so they get untold.

Al
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Old 06-01-06, 01:18 PM   #5
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Guys, aren't about 98% of us on here also "cagers"?
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Old 06-01-06, 01:19 PM   #6
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Negative interactions take precedence over positive ones. AKA they stick out more.
Despite what I post, the majority of my interactions are positive. I doubt I would cyclocommute if the opposite were true.
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Old 06-01-06, 01:43 PM   #7
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Yes, I get along with cars pretty well. Maybe it's because I've lived in New York all my life, and I've been riding around on a bike since I had my first two-wheeler, or maybe it's because I once drove a cab myself some years back (back when taxis were still Checkers!).

Now, if you want to talk about pedestrians. . .
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Old 06-01-06, 01:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
Guys, aren't about 98% of us on here also "cagers"?
Unfortunately yes.

Having a car is a necessary evil in SoCal. I could not live car free here. I'm lucky I get to ride in twice a week.

BTW-I am very aware of cyclists and motorcyclists when I'm in my car and always very courteous with them. Most of my cycling experiences are positive though. You have to admit, it would be kind of boring to see nothing but "I had a great commute this morning, nothing negative to report" wouldn't it?
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Old 06-01-06, 01:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
Guys, aren't about 98% of us on here also "cagers"?
which reminds me...what IS a cager exactly? is it defined as "anyone driving a car" if so then yea, I'm a cager too sometimes...

I like to think of a cager more as being "that guy" when I'm on my bike. I don't call a motorist who passes me with plenty of space, or actually sees me and makes eye contact with perhaps a nod at intersections....a cager for me is someone who (on purpose or because they are stupid) makes my commute dangerous.

I have good interactions with motorists from time to time, and bad ones here and there, but mostly I just avoid them, and they just ignore me. It's a good relationship :-)
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Old 06-01-06, 02:45 PM   #10
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Its funny that this came up because I was thinking about this today and the fact that the more dangerous part of my commute is actually on the MUP rather than in downtown traffic. In downtown traffic, cars are stuck and are rarely able to make severe sudden movements. Getting doored is my number 1 danger really, but I mitigate this by staying the hell away from parked cars and diligently watching what people are doing while I'm filtering forward.

On the MUP its a different story, bikes are really nimble and take up less space, so I'm constantly observing near misses as people almost misjudge space/time needed to pass peds or other cyclists before an oncoming cyclist gets too close. So far I haven't seen a big wreck yet but its just a matter of time...
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Old 06-01-06, 03:48 PM   #11
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I had a driver thank me and give a happy wave for giving way at the lights last night. Warmed the cockles of my heart, it did.
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Old 06-01-06, 03:57 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
Guys, aren't about 98% of us on here also "cagers"?
Not me. Alas, I'm married to one.
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Old 06-01-06, 04:27 PM   #13
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Most days I get along well with the drivers ... Like this morning.... my only incident on the way in was dealing with a messed up pedal from the accident I had 3 weeks ago on this bike. Hopefully I can stop and get a pair of pedals on the way home... If I can make the bike shop... otherwise it looks like I'll have the 'Walmart specials' on THIS bike, too! (Yes, needing a pair of pedals at 7PM on a Sunday kinda sucks.... And I'm too lazy/cheap to go get some better ones when those are working... so, they're ugly... and a bit on the heavy side, as well... they get me where I'm going!)

Hrmm... maybe I'll swap the Walmart ones onto this bike and actually get some decent pedals on the main bike.... Now there's a idea. Or... two sets of pedals.... *checks his wallet* Ok... scratch THAT idea.
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Old 06-01-06, 04:32 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff-o
I'm also very surprised at how often cars will wait behind me at a red light even though they are making a right turn, and there is plenty of room to go around me (technically a right hook, but I'm not moving).
Why would you even stop on the right? What I do nowdays is stop around the middle of the lane and if there is a right-turning car behind me, I move all the way to the left to let it turn. (I don't always move all the way to the left because if the car behind me is going straight, I don't want the driver to take this as an invitation to pass on the right.) Of course, if the driver doesn't have the turn signal on, which happens oh so often - well, too bad, he'll have to wait. His fault.

Quote:
Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
Guys, aren't about 98% of us on here also "cagers"?
Even if so, I suspect we're not typical cagers when it comes to interactions with cyclists.

Anyway, I'd say the overwhelming majority of my interactions with motorists is completely neutral. Or, if anything not negative is considered positive, then the majority of my interactions are positive. As far as negative ones are concerned, close passes are my main problem. Most of them aren't aggressive. Honking and yelling is much less common, and they don't physically endanger me, so I can pretty easily ignore them. Thank God I've never had anything thrown at me from a car.
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Old 06-01-06, 04:36 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GGDub
Its funny that this came up because I was thinking about this today and the fact that the more dangerous part of my commute is actually on the MUP rather than in downtown traffic. In downtown traffic, cars are stuck and are rarely able to make severe sudden movements. Getting doored is my number 1 danger really, but I mitigate this by staying the hell away from parked cars and diligently watching what people are doing while I'm filtering forward.

On the MUP its a different story, bikes are really nimble and take up less space, so I'm constantly observing near misses as people almost misjudge space/time needed to pass peds or other cyclists before an oncoming cyclist gets too close. So far I haven't seen a big wreck yet but its just a matter of time...
+ eleventy-billion

I hate the MUP - I've ranted about this before. It's just ridiculous the number of times I've been cut off, drifted into, swerved in front of. My secret is to do twice the posted limit and yell alot.
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Old 06-01-06, 04:39 PM   #16
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I have had only one bad incounter with a truck. This is out of the 1,000,000 cars that I have ridden next to in the last 5 months.
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Old 06-01-06, 04:45 PM   #17
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Unfortunately I live in the City that has the dubious honor of being the capital of the rudest drivers in the world, Miami Florida. On my road bike or on my 3 spd, I have at least one run in with drivers a week. Not someone who's not looking and does something stupid, those people don't even phase me. Its the ones who see me and pull out in front of me when I have the right of way, idiots who tailgate me with horns blaring even though I'm blending with traffic, idiots who speed up to pass me 25 feet before a stop sign or light and then cut in front at the last minute and slam the brakes on.

Happens all the time.

A cager to me is simply an @sshole car driver. There are car drivers, and there are cagers.
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Old 06-01-06, 04:50 PM   #18
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out here bikers are so rare the drivers typically give lots and lots of room - to the point of going into oncoming traffic, while leaving me 6+ feet of space! better they whack each other than me, i guess.....

only frequent exception is they tend to cut me off doing right turns. I'll be doing 17-20 in the bike or car lane, they want to turn right onto a street coming up, and fairly frequently they just barely get their nose in front of me, then cut over! out of sight, out of mind... I yell and slap or kick their car . but generally they give lots of room.

i think there's so much negative vibe towards cagers cause a small mistake on their part has big consequences (ie death) for us......
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Old 06-01-06, 04:55 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
Guys, aren't about 98% of us on here also "cagers"?
rarely.
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Old 06-01-06, 05:03 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chephy
Why would you even stop on the right? What I do nowdays is stop around the middle of the lane and if there is a right-turning car behind me, I move all the way to the left to let it turn. (I don't always move all the way to the left because if the car behind me is going straight, I don't want the driver to take this as an invitation to pass on the right.) Of course, if the driver doesn't have the turn signal on, which happens oh so often - well, too bad, he'll have to wait. His fault.
Excellent advice. I don't even bother stopping in middle. I stop to left side, leaving enough room for cars to pass on right. Most motorist will still wait behind me anyway, but if they have their right turn signal on I point to pavement next to me and to let them know its OK to pass me on my right to make their turn.

Most of the roads I ride are multilane, so the rightmost lane practically becomes a right turn lane (4/5 cars will turn right) I can often tell by vehicle positioning, etc. if a driver intends to turn right, but unless they have a signal on, I don't encourage them to pass.

Only twice in hundreds of cases like this have I been passed on right by a driver going straight. Both cases happened last week (I have video of both) and in both cases it didn't bother me, nor did it seem like a safety issue. They went on green and I moved in behind them.

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Old 06-01-06, 05:50 PM   #21
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I do. I honestly don't think I've had a single bad encounter with a car for almost a year. One time last winter an old geezer passed very close to me on a slushy road; I am pretty sure he did it on purpose. A few weeks ago I think someone yelled something at me but I only caught part of a syllable. That's all I can remember for a year or more back.
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Old 06-01-06, 05:51 PM   #22
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Actually I usually get along fine with motorists too... it is the motorist "exceptions" that really stand out in my mind... some of these are on the edge of plain stupidity; those are the ones that make me slap my head and go WTF.

I get passed daily by so many motorists that easily a good 99% are not a bother.

However, in the average week, at least one motorist is either stupid or harrassing. Of course in the average week I see at least one cyclist being stupid too...

But the rare ones really do stand out. The ones that chose to go out of their way to either harass or do something clearly out of the norm simply because I am on a bike... I have seen motorists really put themselves in danger simply because they wanted to avoid the 10 seconds or less they would spend around or near me (not even behind me).

As far as the rest... even though we "get along," I tend to think many motorists can do a far far better job... they simply tend to drive half aware. Turn signals, merging, driving at or below the speed limit, and keeping a safe distance are a few things that would demonstrate better motoring skills.
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Old 06-01-06, 06:00 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
Guys, aren't about 98% of us on here also "cagers"?
I consider anyone in a car to be a cager. Whether large or small, kind or mean, a four-whelled motorist is still a cager. Only if I could be a cager-tamer...

I like to think of myself as a recovering cager. Quitting the habit...

Quote:
Originally Posted by chephy
Even if so, I suspect we're not typical cagers when it comes to interactions with cyclists.
I like to give golden riding advice on the roads that I ride on all the time. Most of this advice is about staying to the right...

Kidding! I was just satirizing this thread!

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Originally Posted by CastIron
Not me. Alas, I'm married to one.
Shouldn't that have brought the Cager Clan and the Bicycling Brotherhood together at last? Why do we still feud?!
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Old 06-01-06, 06:21 PM   #24
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I have very few problems with cagers here in DC. In fact, on weekends, I am a cager.

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Old 06-01-06, 06:25 PM   #25
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I really don't have to throw a challenging look too often. I go out of my way to make eye contact, smile and wave. And for the most part, drivers are friendly as well. Like most things, it's a few bad apples that spoil the barrel.

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