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  1. #1
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    What are they thinking?

    Do you have people that creep along behind you in a car and just can't pass even though they have gobs of room? Why do you suppose that is? Once in a while I have a dramatic situation like yesterday, where a driver followed me up a 1/3 mile hill while I pedaled up at about 8 mph. I was well over to the side. The road was straight with clear visibility. No oncoming cars at all.

    Then when we got to the top of the hill, I went thru a stop sign and she turned left. So no, she was not patiently waiting for me so she would not right-hook me at her turn (not that she risked that based on my speed).

    Sometimes I think people want to prove that I'm slowing them down. Or are they drivers that are so paranoid about hitting a cyclist that they'll wait indefinitely? It's just crazy. Maybe they like the way I look in lycra?

  2. #2
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    Maybe they like having an excuse to go slow, so they can continue texting or whatever...

    This has happened to me a few times too. When it does, I usually pull over and let them pass. I figure anyone who's that scared to pass me is probably not a very good driver and therefore not someone I want to have behind me.

  3. #3
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    It's fear... an insecure driver. I've ridden with these people. They annoy the crap out of me, but I'd rather them tail me for a while than start to pass, have a car come at them & them freak out killing someone.

  4. #4
    bill nyecycles the sci guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roopull View Post
    It's fear... an insecure driver.
    100% this.
    When a lot of drivers see a cyclist all of a sudden they freak out and forget EVERYTHING they ever learned or knew as a driver. Just goes right out the window. They are so afraid they're going to run you over the act of thinking clearly deteriorates. They become cautious to the point of being dangerous. I usually will turn around, look at them, and wave them to go past if the road is clear ahead and they can go around without getting close.
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  5. #5
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    I'm guilty of this (as a driver) just because I've had so many bad experiences with cyclists. I work and commute (both by bike & car) in a city that's known of it's cyclists.

    Davis, California - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Most of these cyclists are students and in the fall, it's particular terrible. They're new to the area, they're new to cycling and there's a very high chance of ignoring all posted signage and their immediate surroundings.

    Just the other day I'm driving 15 MPH (in a 25) with a student cycling about 50 yards up ahead on my right. They seem unstable and distracted on the bike. As I approach I begin to 'creep' and sure enough, out of the blue (no hand signal, no look over the shoulder and no mirror) they make a near 90 degree turn across traffic and flip a u-turn in the middle of the road. The ongoing car in the other lane slammed on their brakes to avoid killing them and I had I been going 25 I'm almost certain that I would have hit them.

    I have those encounters with clueless cyclists in town about once a month and the cyclists are all ages and skill levels.

    So it's definitely not always an insecure driver. Sometimes it's people that have been on the receiving of insecure cyclists.
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    If Mickey' a mouse and Donalds' a duck....What the Hell is Goofy?
    Everything should be as simple as possible...But not more so.---Albert Einstein

  7. #7
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    If Mickey' a mouse and Donalds' a duck....What the Hell is Goofy?
    a Dog.

  8. #8
    Senior Member tarwheel's Avatar
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    Happens to me sometimes too, and I'm just as baffled.

  9. #9
    Senior Member ill.clyde's Avatar
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    Yup ... happens to me too, mostly in the residential areas in the northern burbs. I want to believe they're being curteous, but I believe there's some fear too. Puts me on edge a little. I've told people, and they don't seem to get it, that I prefer interacting with traffic at higher speeds. They're less apt to make sudden turns, etc.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Booger1 View Post
    If Mickey' a mouse and Donalds' a duck....What the Hell is Goofy?
    It only makes sense if you also mention Pluto.

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    Why would you complain about this? Is it foolish for the driver to do that, yes. Would I prefer that over some idiot passing aggressively and potentially unsafely? Yes.

    As others said, probably a insecure driver who wants to be safe and not anger/upset you.

    I tend to be a fairly conservative driver when dealing with passing bikes, but when its very clear I do pass, leaving plenty of room and not slamming on the gas aggressively when doing so, but sounds like I would have passed you in this situation

    Did you consider trying to "Wave her on" at a good point to pass? I have occasionally pulled far over and waived drivers on in similar situations.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mstraus View Post
    Why would you complain about this? Is it foolish for the driver to do that, yes. Would I prefer that over some idiot passing aggressively and potentially unsafely? Yes.

    As others said, probably a insecure driver who wants to be safe and not anger/upset you.

    I tend to be a fairly conservative driver when dealing with passing bikes, but when its very clear I do pass, leaving plenty of room and not slamming on the gas aggressively when doing so, but sounds like I would have passed you in this situation

    Did you consider trying to "Wave her on" at a good point to pass? I have occasionally pulled far over and waived drivers on in similar situations.
    Yeah, that's what I thought to.

    My car's roof pillars block more of my view of the road than they should. And sometimes after a long day I just don't want to put the brain power into angling into passing someone. Just easier to slow down (particularly if they're going 20mph and I'm on a 30mph road) and wait for an intersection.

  13. #13
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    I don't drive often but when I do so and encounter a cyclist I will often trail the cyclist intentionally to create a passing buffer.
    This is why motorists hate us, and why I've given up riding on the road...You should be ashamed yourself, and you should be reviled by cyclists everywhere.

  14. #14
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
    I don't drive often but when I do so and encounter a cyclist...

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
    I don't drive often but when I do so and encounter a cyclist I will often trail the cyclist intentionally to create a passing buffer.
    If you could do that in a two-car format with the front hummer motor pacing and the back hummer providing a buffer I'd be a very happy camper.

  16. #16
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
    I don't drive often but when I do so and encounter a cyclist I will often trail the cyclist intentionally to create a passing buffer.
    It sounds well-intentioned, but if I were the cyclist I would not want that. I wouldn't know you were trying to help, so I might think you were stalking me, and if I did realize it, I don't actually think I need that help. Plus if I hit a street car track or something and fell unexpectedly, I would worry that you might run over me from being too close.

    So thanks, but no thanks

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by cooker View Post
    I would worry that you might run over me from being too close.
    I do my best to never drive too close to a cyclist. I'm merely supporting the right to drive/bike below the posted maximum speed limit.
    This is why motorists hate us, and why I've given up riding on the road...You should be ashamed yourself, and you should be reviled by cyclists everywhere.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by softreset View Post
    I'm guilty of this (as a driver) just because I've had so many bad experiences with cyclists. I work and commute (both by bike & car) in a city that's known of it's cyclists.

    Davis, California - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Most of these cyclists are students and in the fall, it's particular terrible. They're new to the area, they're new to cycling and there's a very high chance of ignoring all posted signage and their immediate surroundings.

    Just the other day I'm driving 15 MPH (in a 25) with a student cycling about 50 yards up ahead on my right. They seem unstable and distracted on the bike. As I approach I begin to 'creep' and sure enough, out of the blue (no hand signal, no look over the shoulder and no mirror) they make a near 90 degree turn across traffic and flip a u-turn in the middle of the road. The ongoing car in the other lane slammed on their brakes to avoid killing them and I had I been going 25 I'm almost certain that I would have hit them.

    I have those encounters with clueless cyclists in town about once a month and the cyclists are all ages and skill levels.

    So it's definitely not always an insecure driver. Sometimes it's people that have been on the receiving of insecure cyclists.
    The other poster was right. Fear. Fear of your own inadequacy as a driver. Projected on all other road users I'm sure not just cyclists. A cyclists as clueless as you describe would be taken out before you came along. I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt. I just saw a driver make a right hand turn from the left hand lane to dive into a driveway. The car in the right hand lane that he cut off nailed its brakes to avoid T-boning the idiot. It was a very close thing. So... so I guess the affronted driver has every reason to drive well below prevailing speed limits and be overcautious around other cars from now on...

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
    I do my best to never drive too close to a cyclist. I'm merely supporting the right to drive/bike below the posted maximum speed limit.
    Why use the cyclist as cover for your inner non-conformist. Own it, and cruise 10mph below the limit because it is your right to do so. When I'm cycling I don't want you dawdling behind me any longer than necessary.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by cooker View Post
    It sounds well-intentioned, but if I were the cyclist I would not want that. I wouldn't know you were trying to help, so I might think you were stalking me, and if I did realize it, I don't actually think I need that help. Plus if I hit a street car track or something and fell unexpectedly, I would worry that you might run over me from being too close.

    So thanks, but no thanks
    This. Very much this.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
    The other poster was right. Fear. Fear of your own inadequacy as a driver. Projected on all other road users I'm sure not just cyclists. A cyclists as clueless as you describe would be taken out before you came along. I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt. I just saw a driver make a right hand turn from the left hand lane to dive into a driveway. The car in the right hand lane that he cut off nailed its brakes to avoid T-boning the idiot. It was a very close thing. So... so I guess the affronted driver has every reason to drive well below prevailing speed limits and be overcautious around other cars from now on...
    I don't follow your anecdotal evidence but sounds good.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saving Hawaii View Post
    If you could do that in a two-car format with the front hummer motor pacing and the back hummer providing a buffer I'd be a very happy camper.
    Two Hummers no less to keep your precious patootie from being pranged on the pavement. Why not just call off one of the Hummers and ride in the remaining one? You were being less than serious but in your humour you show your complete lack of regard for the size of your carbon footprint. They aren't going to hit you. They haven't hit me yet and if they were going to hit anyone it would be me.

    H

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
    Two Hummers no less to keep your precious patootie from being pranged on the pavement. Why not just call off one of the Hummers and ride in the remaining one? You were being less than serious but in your humour you show your complete lack of regard for the size of your carbon footprint. They aren't going to hit you. They haven't hit me yet and if they were going to hit anyone it would be me.

    H
    No kidding. I burn petro for a living. I've got a carbon footprint the size of some island nations. But I do bike commute to work every single day.

  24. #24
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    I almost started a thread on this exact thing yesterday. The way I handled the situation is I wave them by if I see no cars coming.

  25. #25
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    A major issue for me. I am trying to learn to not let it ramp up my level of anxious too much, but it is difficult. Happens most often in the neighborhoods. Only time its ok is when they turn after following for only a short distance. But while they are there, I get nervous.

    I think its mainly 2 types or a combination of the 2. The ones that are afraid to pass. Very disturbing that they don't have confidence enough in their driving skills to pass a bike when there is way more than enough room. The ones that think they are being nice. Perhaps they are, but after you drive a car at slow speeds for some time its easy to get distracted to the point that your not watching in front of the vehicle at all. Add that to someone who seems to lack skills in the first place, and I think it's scary.

    On one of my routes there is a railroad overpass that is 1 block beyond a stop sign where you must stop. The road is wide enough for cars to be parked on the curb (although no one ever parks there), a lane of traffic and there still be plenty of room for a cyclist. The lane going under the railroad is very narrow. Room for 1 car ONLY. Abolutely amazing that a vehicle can follow for the entire block and they time their pass just as we/they get to the overpass. GRRRR! I don't think they are trying to kill me, as the look of terror on their face and the death grip they have on the steering wheel, at least gives the appearance that they are more afraid than I am. That goes back to the skills thing. I mean, they have 200 hp under their big toe and can't figure out the timing to get around a bicycle, with plenty of room to pass, in the length of a city block.

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