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Old 07-03-02, 04:00 PM   #1
RiPHRaPH
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difference between cars passing bikes & animals in the road

when we are on a two lane road with little shoulder room (we've all been there) why is it that cars would rather pass you while a car is coming from the other direction than to slow a bit to let the oncoming car pass so they can veer out a bit and give us some room?

but a car will slow or even stop to let a dog or cat or deer pass.

(a vent)
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Old 07-03-02, 06:00 PM   #2
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The driver is counting on you to continue making a safe, rational, predictable beeline straight ahead.

It is harder to educate dogs, cats, and deer as to what happens to them if they decide to jump under the wheels...it's impossible to safely pass an animal at speed. You never know what they will do next.
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Old 07-03-02, 06:15 PM   #3
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I'm not sure which I like more, drivers squeezing past me because they are afraid to cross the line, or drivers running head-on into oncoming traffic just to pass me. Whatever happened to "patience?"

Hey, maybe I should wear a mink coat while cycling.
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Old 07-03-02, 09:16 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by Inkwolf
The driver is counting on you to continue making a safe, rational, predictable beeline straight ahead.
I disagree. I just think most drivers are more reluctant to actually hit an animal than a bike. I don't know whether they think the consequences of hitting an animal will be greater or what, but I do know that drivers have in the past gone out of their way to swerve at cyclists. I've not heard of this happening with any animals (except for Canetoads).
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Old 07-04-02, 02:54 AM   #5
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Originally posted by LittleBigMan
I'm not sure which I like more, drivers squeezing past me because they are afraid to cross the line, or drivers running head-on into oncoming traffic just to pass me. Whatever happened to "patience?"

Hey, maybe I should wear a mink coat while cycling.
I did wonder about trying to disguise my bike as a horse...
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Old 07-04-02, 05:09 AM   #6
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Seems like human beings have greater love for animals than for fellow men. I wonder why there is still animal cruelty then?

I feel that drivers should actually treat us human beings better. It looks like human beings are more difficult to educate, they can't even tell that those on two wheels are human beings too.
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Old 07-04-02, 05:49 AM   #7
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Originally posted by Chris L
I do know that drivers have in the past gone out of their way to swerve at cyclists. I've not heard of this happening with any animals (except for Canetoads).
On the contrary, I've heard all my life about people who will swerve out of their way to try to hit any dogs/cats or other small animals crossing the road (two points!)....and the reason they originally made it illegal to take away the carcass of a road kill was because of people going out with old junker cars and ramming deer on purpose! (Now that the DNR no longer cleans up roadkill, though, people are allowed to haul away the meat if they want, though the collision still has to be reported.) Not to mention dousing cats in gasoline and setting them on fire, and shooting dogs with hunting rifles/bows for target practice.

I've never SEEN any of this happening, but then I've never seen anyone targetting a bicyclist, either.
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Old 07-04-02, 09:37 PM   #8
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If a driver runs over a family pet he'll be labelled a "monster" and all the rest of it. If he runs over a cyclist, all he'll get is the "accidents happen" crap.
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Old 07-17-02, 09:23 PM   #9
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I've recently converted to cycling and I have to say after ten years competing in eventing (a horse sport that requires a very fit horse, hence we had to do a lot of road work to strengthen their legs) that although i've never seen a car target a cyclist I have often been the target for a "bit of fun' from hoons on the roads when riding the horses including once being hit by a motobike on a deserted road ( that was boarded by fences so I couldn't get out the way when I relised the motobike wasnt going to give me any room or time to get out the way-an open feild was about 50meters further down the road), so by and large most drivers seem pretty goodto me as a cyclist. And I make sure I thank those drivers who are decent. Oh yeah the horse's hind leg was ripped off .....
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Old 07-18-02, 07:06 AM   #10
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Well I've hit a dog while trying to pass a cyclist. A woman was riding her bike on a country road with a couple of dogs following along behind her. She moved over onto the grassy shoulder as I approached but I still moved into the other lane and slowed down. I was watching her and her dogs closely but a third dog ran across the road from the left (she and the other two dogs were on the right). She was approaching her house and this third dog was running out to greet her. I couldn't swerve because of the danger to her and my braking wasn't good enough. I stopped and told her how sorry I was but she understood there was nothing I could do.

I agree that you have to take more care with animals because they aren't smart enough to behave in a predictable way. You expect a cyclist to stay straight and look out for cars. Animals don't seem to understand that the road is different than everywhere else they go. Why should they?

I grew up on one of those country roads with a 55mph speed limit. We either had to keep our dogs locked up or in the house or eventually they would get hit. We even had a miniature collie that was one of the smartest dogs I've ever seen almost get hit. Usually he stayed out of the road but he made friends with the dogs across the road and I saw him try to cross one day while a car was coming. He flew up about 5 feet in the air and landed on the shoulder. I was sure he was dead but he didn't get hit somehow. I guess he sort of jumped back and the wind from the car lifted him up some more. It was pretty wild. I like to think that it was my sister who saved him because she died on that road in a car accident. I feel like she's saved my butt several times while driving and my other sister has said the same thing.
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Old 07-18-02, 07:23 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by RiPHRaPH
when we are on a two lane road with little shoulder room (we've all been there) why is it that cars would rather pass you while a car is coming from the other direction than to slow a bit to let the oncoming car pass so they can veer out a bit and give us some room?

but a car will slow or even stop to let a dog or cat or deer pass.

(a vent)
That's a very interesting thought. I've always compared a person walking down a road with a cyclist. Generally speaking, no driver would try to run down the pedestrian, but many attempt to run down (or @ least "make it very close to") cyclists.

Your analogy using animals is even more thought provoking though. However, I've really given up attempting to understand these "drivers" that take shots @ innocent cyclists. I used to try and crawl inside their collective head, but alas - I finally determined that it was just too small of a fit!
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Old 07-18-02, 07:35 AM   #12
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Around here in central Illinois, most of the people are used to farm vehicles on the road. Most of these people will slow and let oncoming traffic by before they pass us, we're grateful to these courteous drivers and usually wave a thank-you to them as they pass.

But after riding on the east coast for several years (prior to settling in Illinois), we had become savvy road warriors and are not overly affected by the idiots who prefer not to pass when it is safe to do so. Equipped with mirrors, we are sometimes able to predict some idiot's intentions. Before they get to danger close range, we swerve to the middle of the lane then back to the right, if distance allows, we do it again. This usually works and the idiot stays back until it is safe to pass. Why does it work on most occasions? We think the drivers might identify us as unstable or unpredictable obstacles in their path (like animals) and are apt to be more careful.

The drivers who pass regardless? Just plain morons headed for an inevitable accident somewhere, we can only hope they don't takeout one of our fellow cyclists or a child playing in their neighborhood somewhere. Using our mirrors, we are able to take any necessary evasive moves to get out of their way.
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Old 07-18-02, 05:10 PM   #13
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Does anyone here have a count of how many times vehicles have passed you in either direction without anything going wrong? I bet it's happened several times. Hasn't it?

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Old 07-18-02, 06:08 PM   #14
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Hmmm ... I think it would be difficult to keep track of that. I've only been back at this for a few months but I haven't had any real negative experiences with cars passing.
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