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Old 07-30-10, 05:57 AM   #1
jhhall
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Cyclists "Jumping Ahead" at Lights

I know this has been discussed at length here at BF but wanted to vent after this mornings commute. Since I have nobody to talk "shop" with here at work (I'm pretty much the only bike commuter), I'll rant here to my BF buddies

As I was coming into work this morning I was going at a pace of about 14-15mph and catching up with a hybrid cyclist with no helmet, nobbie tires, and tennis shoes. So I passed him at this pace and we hit a light at a major intersection with tons of traffic. As the light that runs perpendicular to ours turns yellow, he sprints out from behind me on the right. This annoyed the $hit out of me b/c now I'll have to pass him again but this time I'll have to fight with traffic to get around him. So, I pass him again and he does the exact same thing at the next light... WTF??? The next time I passed him I wasn't so polite. I'm struggling to comprehend why people do that, it just puts us both in more danger when I pass him again and we have a line of cars going 30mph only inches to the left of us.
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Old 07-30-10, 06:14 AM   #2
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Now you know how drivers feel when we filter up past them at lights and they have to pass us again. Indeed, why do you feel like you have to pass him again if it is "dangerous" to do so? Why not just hang back and take him when a safe and easy opportunity presents itself...even perhaps pulling the same stunt that he did to you?

IMO, you're making a mountain out of a mole hill....it's traffic, whether the guy is on a bike or not, just deal with it and don't let it get your blood pressure too high. Enjoy the ride and don't let the small stuff bother you too much.

Edit: and what does his bike or what he was wearing or not wearing have to do with anything...or is that part of what ticked you off?
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Old 07-30-10, 06:28 AM   #3
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To clarify, when I did pass him I waited for a safer point in which to do so like no immediate traffic to our left. Regardless, passing in those conditions is more dangerous than passing on a MUP for example.

True - it's traffic and I need to deal with it. What bothers me about this is cyclists making it more difficult for other cyclists. We deal with enough with the standard car/bus/pedestrian traffic out there.

You're right, what bike he was on has nothing to do with the story that I described above. I ended up deleting some of the text due to the length of the post, which may have made that more relavent.
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Old 07-30-10, 06:36 AM   #4
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He ain't no different than a lot of idiot drivers, comes with the territory. If you want to ride in traffic, you gotta deal with traffic...and idiots.
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Old 07-30-10, 06:40 AM   #5
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He ain't no different than a lot of idiot drivers, comes with the territory. If you want to ride in traffic, you gotta deal with traffic...and idiots.
Very true - fair or not, I guess I have a higher expectation when it comes to other cyclists than I do cars/pedestrians.
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Old 07-30-10, 07:23 AM   #6
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I have a higher expectation when it comes to other cyclists than I do cars/pedestrians.
Thanks for admitting that up front.

A large number of posters on BF have the same problem, and are unable to come to grips with it.

Long, inane flame-wars often result.
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Old 07-30-10, 07:46 AM   #7
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I had that happen to me once, I slowed to a stop at a redlight, and this dude on a clunky mtn. bike sails past me, between me and the curb, right through the red light. It startled me because I was pretty far right and considered that side "cut off". The road after the light climbed a bit, so I sped up to sprinting speed then stopped pedaling and freewheeled by the dude going about ~20 mph uphill, no "lookback". That was the best response I could think of at the time!
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Old 07-30-10, 08:20 AM   #8
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Life is a race to the grave. That guy is obviously intent on winning.
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Old 07-30-10, 08:23 AM   #9
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Now you know how drivers feel when we filter up past them at lights and they have to pass us again. Indeed, why do you feel like you have to pass him again if it is "dangerous" to do so? Why not just hang back and take him when a safe and easy opportunity presents itself...even perhaps pulling the same stunt that he did to you?

IMO, you're making a mountain out of a mole hill....it's traffic, whether the guy is on a bike or not, just deal with it and don't let it get your blood pressure too high. Enjoy the ride and don't let the small stuff bother you too much.

Edit: and what does his bike or what he was wearing or not wearing have to do with anything...or is that part of what ticked you off?
This 100%
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Old 07-30-10, 08:27 AM   #10
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Very true - fair or not, I guess I have a higher expectation when it comes to other cyclists than I do cars/pedestrians.
That gets us all in trouble sometimes.

Sometimes we just gotta remember that many, if not most, cyclists are also drivers...and some ride as rudely, impatiently, incompetently and just plain stupidly, as they drive.
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Old 07-30-10, 08:33 AM   #11
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Life is a race to the grave. That guy is obviously intent on winning.
+100.

I figure to get there slowly.

It may just take me a bit longer.
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Old 07-30-10, 09:13 AM   #12
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So for a couple lights in a row, you were at the front of the line. Did you have to filter to get there? Did any cars have to pass you more than once?
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Old 07-30-10, 09:14 AM   #13
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At stop sign or intersection, most other cyclist will sprint pass me from a full stop. That's the way it is because of all the stuff I have to carry on my bike just makes me slower. Some of these folks does have a slower pace than I which means I usually will pass them eventually. However if I see another intersection that require a stop and I feel that the other cyclist will get there at the same time, then I don't bother to even pass them until after the next intersection.

I know some of these fast sprinter are not doing it on purpose. It just there way of riding as it is my way of slow starting from all those extra gear. There are certain cyclist such as those on BMX bike which I know will be ahead of me from the start and I will have to pass them eventually. It just a different style of riding and I try to not let that bother me.
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Old 07-30-10, 09:22 AM   #14
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Let the other rider get to the light before you, slow roll up behind him, and out sprint him (if safe to do so). Next light, slow roll in front and be ready to out sprint him again. He'll soon acknowledge your awesome sprinting ability and accept his position as a follower.

Otherwise, relax and enjoy the ride.
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Old 07-30-10, 09:37 AM   #15
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Now you know how drivers feel when we filter up past them at lights and they have to pass us again.
Lol, yeah, seriously. I still haven't figured out how it's supposed to make sense for bikes to filter to the front at a light, cross the intersection, then have all the traffic they filtered past pass them again as it's faster.

The behavior you're talking about is annoying, for sure. People just have that drive to feel like they're going fast and passing someone. If you just keep ending up together at lights, though, might just be easier to just stay behind him though!
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Old 07-30-10, 09:42 AM   #16
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Jump the light before him. Problem solved.
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Old 07-30-10, 09:48 AM   #17
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Why didn't you just stay behind him when you were clearly going the same speed anyway?
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Old 07-30-10, 10:19 AM   #18
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Stoplights are the equalizers of the pace disparity. Unless there is a good chance that passing someone prior to a light is necessary in order to clear the intersection before the light turns (and the subsequent light, as well), I hang back and let the other guy do his/her thing.

Otherwise, the perpetual leapfrogging becomes tiresome and potentially dangerous.

I've often chosen to turn and take a different route to find some solitude in the bike lane.
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Old 07-30-10, 10:35 AM   #19
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Funny, cuz I had the same thing happen to me 2 days ago. Almost the same description of the rider and bike too, no helmet, tennis shoes, knobbie tires on a mtb. He kept blowing through the red lights as the perpendicular traffic's turns yellow. Each time I catch up to him and pass him all the way to the next light. I think, finally, he gave up when he noticed that I just kept blowing by him after his stunts.

The only difference between us is that it didn't really bother me that he kept doing what he was doing because I see this behavior in a daily basis. My only pet peeve is when they can't hold a straight line making them very unpredictable.
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Old 07-30-10, 10:47 AM   #20
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You coulda given a "on your right" call and wedged him into the travel lane.
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Old 07-30-10, 10:49 AM   #21
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I saw a bumper sticker (on a car)
"Don't like driving in traffic? You ARE traffic"
Sometimes I forget that too.
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Old 07-30-10, 11:11 AM   #22
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If he kept catching up to you, then it doesn't seem like you were riding that much faster. I would've just hung behind him and let him go on his way.
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Old 07-30-10, 11:53 AM   #23
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Perhaps the other rider was just trying to annoy you and it seems he was successful; or he was just being competitive and decided to jump early because he knew you were the stronger rider. Either way, enjoy the ride and keep avoiding the little irritators like you did. Thanks for sharing the rant.

If its a really bad situation ask yourself, what would Mark Renshaw do in the situation?

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Old 07-30-10, 12:07 PM   #24
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what would Joey do?
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Old 07-30-10, 12:17 PM   #25
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Lol, yeah, seriously. I still haven't figured out how it's supposed to make sense for bikes to filter to the front at a light, cross the intersection, then have all the traffic they filtered past pass them again as it's faster.
Because waiting in line on a bike is a significantly greater delay for the rider than the driver. It's not about beating traffic, it's about getting to one's destination faster. It's not like passing a bicyclist is a big deal; I don't care if the same driver has to pass me twice. There's nothing especially dangerous about leapfrogging, unless it's something like a bus that pulls to the curb at every stop. I'm doing my own ride; traffic is something I have to deal with, but I'm not filtering to get a jump on the motorists, I'm doing it because it makes my life much easier.
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