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Old 05-24-04, 02:48 PM   #1
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Has cycling made me a road raging driver ?

So I am out running errands all over town with the wife over the weekend. And keep getting behind A-holes who can't drive. Or in the very least don't drive very well. I get behind one guy that proceeds to slam his brakes in the middle of a road, trying to decide which way to turn. I honk my horn, yell out some expletives in his direction (he can't hear me. It's really for my own enjoyment), and eventually he pulls his head out and turns left (of course, with no signal... who knows what that little lever does)

My wife proceeds to tell me, "Ya know, the more time you spend on your bike, the less tolerant you are with other drivers. Your're gonna freak out one day and go all road-rage on one of these guys."

And ya know what... I think she may have something. I think Cycling has made me a better driver. I am more aware of where people are and what they are doing. But, on the slip side of this, I have almost no tolerance for people and the ignorant ways they drive. They never signal, they tailgate me because I am only going 70 mph on the highway (when they wanna fly past me, and get to their destination 2 minutes ahead of me, therefore wasting gas), these people just irritate me. And I have concluded that the more expensive a car you drive, the more ignorant, and stupid you are. I live in an area where Mercedes, BMW's, Range Rovers, and the like are regular occurences. So now you know the amount of A-holes I deal with on a regular basis...

I'm glad I don;t own a gun, or have a push bar on my pickup...

Sorry for the rant... people just bug

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Old 05-24-04, 03:00 PM   #2
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I think it has a lot to do with the general decline in driving etiquette, and an increase in the number of people on the road.

There was a time when, if you missed a turn you went around the block to correct the mistake. Now most people just stop and U-turn it or cut across multiple lanes of traffic.

It also has a lot to do with the evil that is the modern cheap cell-phone. Ten years ago, a cell was bulky to carry around and exspensive to use. Now the first thing people do when they hop in the car is get on the phone and call up someone to yak with, diverting their precious few brain cells from the task of operating the car. One of the kids that works here is on the phone EVERYDAY as he gets into his car. I have never seen him behind the wheel and not on his phone.
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Old 05-24-04, 03:43 PM   #3
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Sipper,

Every thing you said applies to me, also. My wife has concluded the same thing about me that your wife has about you. Obviously, being closer (and sometimes too intimate) to traffic on a daily basis due to my bike commuting has eroded my patience and tolerance to zero.

I am gratefull I don't have grenades with me on my commutes...although I do have some handy pockets for them in my jersey. Maybe a gift opportunity for me someday...
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Old 05-24-04, 04:01 PM   #4
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Sucking on someone's rear wheel in group rides over the years has turned me into an impatient tailgating driver. Not good....
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Old 05-24-04, 04:14 PM   #5
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wow.....now I understand why my partner now tells me to calm down when I am driving. I didn't notice it, but all this is true! I am now so impatient with poor drivers!
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Old 05-24-04, 04:17 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by SipperPhoto
they tailgate me because I am only going 70 mph on the highway
Doesn't matter how fast you're going, if you're doing it in the left lane and you're not passing, you will get tailgated and deserve it.
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Old 05-24-04, 04:22 PM   #7
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Doesn't matter how fast you're going, if you're doing it in the left lane and you're not passing, you will get tailgated and deserve it.
Say what? Nobody deserves their lives being endangered by a tailgater in any situation. If you're in the left lane and travelling at the speed limit or with the flow of traffic, there's no reason for a speeding motorist to give you any grief.

I hope you were being sarcastic and just forgot to let us know...
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Old 05-24-04, 04:35 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Brillig
Doesn't matter how fast you're going, if you're doing it in the left lane and you're not passing, you will get tailgated and deserve it.

I was doing it today in the left lane on a road where the speed limit is 50... I was driving 70... this A-hole in a big Chevy truck kept swerving between the 2 lanes (no signal) trying to find a way to get by.. I was already going 20 over the limit, and so was the guy in the lane next to me... I didn;t want to go any faster, and if I slowed down his guy woulda slammed me... screw him

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Old 05-24-04, 04:39 PM   #9
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I've always been annoyed with the general driving population. I'm not sure if it's because I've been a cyclist far longer than I've been a driver (started cycling around age 5 or so and driving at 16). However, I really think the thing that shaped my attitude towards drivers is flight training. Anyone who has gone through even the basics of learning how to fly appreciates the level of discipline, professionalism and training that's required and should be required to operate any kind of vehicle. These seem rather lacking from the general automotive public.
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Old 05-24-04, 04:57 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Brillig
Doesn't matter how fast you're going, if you're doing it in the left lane and you're not passing, you will get tailgated and deserve it.
Reality check: in much of the US the volume of traffic demands that all lanes are in continuous use. Many areas don't have the privelege of reserving the left lane for passing only. Not to mention the fact that you can be passing the right lane traffic at a 20MPH differential and still get a nasty tailgater on your ass. You're talking ideal fantasy senarios, not reality.
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Old 05-24-04, 05:08 PM   #11
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Say what? Nobody deserves their lives being endangered by a tailgater in any situation. If you're in the left lane and travelling at the speed limit or with the flow of traffic, there's no reason for a speeding motorist to give you any grief.
You might want to check your local highway code on that one.

Irregardless of traffic speed slower traffic must move right. And don't think because you're at or above the speed limit that it's OK to hold up other drivers... it's the job of the police to enforce speed limits... not you.
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Old 05-24-04, 05:33 PM   #12
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You might want to check your local highway code on that one.

Irregardless of traffic speed slower traffic must move right. And don't think because you're at or above the speed limit that it's OK to hold up other drivers... it's the job of the police to enforce speed limits... not you.
Still... tailgating creates a dangerous situation. And it's equally wrong for the tailgater to try to enforce a "slower traffic keep right" rule by promoting/engaging in a dangerous activity.
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Old 05-24-04, 07:12 PM   #13
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Around here we have so many curves with double yellow lines..Can't count how many times a week someone passes without knowing what is coming in the other lane.. That is my major worry... On a couple ocassions, I needed hit the brakes to lit the creep in or else there would have been a head on.
Ditto to everyone else's comments...I know cycling has made me less patient with the idiots.
And to think that co-workers attack cycling as being unsafe..I do my best to set them straight.
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Old 05-24-04, 09:24 PM   #14
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Driving is an art. And it surely is not a right.

I autocross, and if I'm able to hustle a 1994 Mazda Protege to a class-win, and only 3 seconds behind a Dodge Viper ACR, then I must be doing something right.

(BTW: The Viper was driven by an elderly man who had JUST bought it, but I still have the benefit of saying that, right?!)
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Old 05-25-04, 07:49 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by F1_Fan
You might want to check your local highway code on that one.

Irregardless of traffic speed slower traffic must move right. And don't think because you're at or above the speed limit that it's OK to hold up other drivers... it's the job of the police to enforce speed limits... not you.
Exactly. Of course there are a million exceptions (like when you are in a steady stream of traffic, left lane exit ahead,etc.).

But what speed you are going is no excuse to be there. If you don't want to go any faster than the person next to you on the right and no one is holding you up from passing, then you should slow down and get behind the person next to you on the right.

It's a hard concept for a lot of people to grasp since it seems counterintuitive to speed limit laws. But make no mistake, in most states that have left lane passing laws you will get a ticket for being in the left lane and not passing even if both of you are going above the speed limit (even if neither of you get a speeding ticket).

Why? Because it's a safety issue. Studies have shown that traffic moves safer when it flows well. Speeding causes a slight increase in danger for driving, blocks in the traffic flow cause a huge increase in danger. Legislators and police departments have recognized that and are trying to make the roads safer.

And beyond that it's a courtesy issue. Why hold someone up for no reason? You are not there to enforce speed limit laws. You are there to obey the left lane passing laws. Nearly Everyone speeds and everyone has a different idea of what how much above the speed limit it is ok to speed at. Don't enforce your opinon on everyone else.
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Old 05-25-04, 08:54 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F1_Fan
You might want to check your local highway code on that one.

Irregardless of traffic speed slower traffic must move right. And don't think because you're at or above the speed limit that it's OK to hold up other drivers... it's the job of the police to enforce speed limits... not you.
A very contentious point...

I said "travelling at the speed limit or with the flow of traffic".

So, if you're with the flow of traffic and in the left hand lane, you can't very well break a law about impeding the normal flow of traffic, can you?

As to 'at the speed limit': the traffic codes of most states and coutries word these laws as 'no vehicle can drive at such a speed as to impede the normal and reasonable flow of traffic', or something along those lines. Since every section of the traffic code is pursuant to all other sections of the code, then even in perfect conditions traffic flow is surely at an unreasonable speed if above the speed limit. I'd highly doubt that a ticket given for impeding traffic flow for driving at or above the speed limit in the left hand lane would actually hold up in court. That isn't the intent of the law.

The comment I was responding was "Doesn't matter how fast you're going, if you're doing it in the left lane and you're not passing, you will get tailgated and deserve it.". Irregardless of the intent of the impeding traffic laws, it most definitely isn't the job of speeding drivers to put others at risk through tailgating and intimidation, and nowhere in the traffic code will you find a law that says you can.
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Old 05-25-04, 09:02 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Brillig
Exactly. Of course there are a million exceptions (like when you are in a steady stream of traffic, left lane exit ahead,etc.).

But what speed you are going is no excuse to be there. If you don't want to go any faster than the person next to you on the right and no one is holding you up from passing, then you should slow down and get behind the person next to you on the right.

It's a hard concept for a lot of people to grasp since it seems counterintuitive to speed limit laws. But make no mistake, in most states that have left lane passing laws you will get a ticket for being in the left lane and not passing even if both of you are going above the speed limit (even if neither of you get a speeding ticket).

Why? Because it's a safety issue. Studies have shown that traffic moves safer when it flows well. Speeding causes a slight increase in danger for driving, blocks in the traffic flow cause a huge increase in danger. Legislators and police departments have recognized that and are trying to make the roads safer.

And beyond that it's a courtesy issue. Why hold someone up for no reason? You are not there to enforce speed limit laws. You are there to obey the left lane passing laws. Nearly Everyone speeds and everyone has a different idea of what how much above the speed limit it is ok to speed at. Don't enforce your opinon on everyone else.
For the most part, I do actually agree with you. From a courtesy standpoint, you shouldn't be in the lane if you're not overtaking, which is exactly what I always do. From a legal standpoint, it is a grey area. Just because you get a ticket does not mean it will hold up, though.

More importantly, tailgating is never legal and is never deserved.
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Old 05-25-04, 09:34 AM   #18
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More importantly, tailgating is never legal and is never deserved.
True.

But I have to admit I'll push closer than normal (probably not quite "tailgating" but that depends on your definition) to someone blocking the left lane to try to communicate to them that they should be moving. I think 95% of the people that are doing it are just not paying attention (usually proven out by the fact that when the rest of the cars finally find a way around him he'll speed up ten miles per hour).

Of course, there are a ton of just plain jerks out there and it sounds like this guy was one of them.
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Old 05-25-04, 09:47 AM   #19
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I think Cycling has made me a better driver. I am more aware of where people are and what they are doing.
I think by the lack of insulation and diversions of comfort that motorists have, cycling makes you more aware of traffic and a safer road user.

Just keep that temper in check, think clearly, and keep away from the bad drivers. There will always be bad drivers and it's up to the police to get them and up to us if the police do not get them, to get the police to do their jobs.
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Old 05-25-04, 09:50 AM   #20
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Doesn't matter how fast you're going, if you're doing it in the left lane and you're not passing, you will get tailgated and deserve it.

I do not agree with this. While slower moving traffic should stay to the right as a courtesy, I think it is fine to use the left lane, especially on the interstate as a travelling lane. I do it all the time while driving from Sioux City to Des Moines, about a 200 mile trip. The reasons I do are simple. The right lane, typically the most traveled on is not as smooth of a ride then the left & at night, especially in the winter time if I go off the road due to snow & ice, I want to be seen in the center ditch rather then have people try to find me in the one on the right which can be in a pretty deep ravine at times.

So for me it is a matter of comfort & safety. Now I generally drive at speeds 70 to 75 mph on the interstate, about 5 to 10 over the limit. If someone comes up behind me at a higher speed I move to the right to let them pass, then move back to the left. Or I speed up if there is traffic in the right lane and I can't get over right away. But if they tail gate me to closely I start tapping my brakes & I slow down until they back off, then when I can, I get over. I do this to teach them a lesson & to piss them off.

I hate tailgaters. One of these days I'm just going to slam on my brakes and let them rear end me. It'll be their fault they were to close & I had to stop all of a sudden.
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Old 05-25-04, 09:55 AM   #21
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True.

But I have to admit I'll push closer than normal (probably not quite "tailgating" but that depends on your definition) to someone blocking the left lane to try to communicate to them that they should be moving. I think 95% of the people that are doing it are just not paying attention (usually proven out by the fact that when the rest of the cars finally find a way around him he'll speed up ten miles per hour).

Of course, there are a ton of just plain jerks out there and it sounds like this guy was one of them.
Like I said if you are to close to me until I can get over I'm the kind of driver who will start tapping the brakes & slowing down to get you to back off until I can move to the right. If it is clear to the right I'll get over right away. But if you try to pass me before I'm in completely in the right lane I'll move back into the left lane & make you back off again. You want me out of the way, fine. But let it happen safely. Don't try to take off the rear corner of my vehicle while I'm trying to change lanes. This happens all to often by morons who are in to big of a freaking hurry. I'll start changing lanes & all of a sudden the idiot will start passing me before I am entirely in the right lane.
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Old 05-25-04, 10:02 AM   #22
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But if they tail gate me to closely I start tapping my brakes & I slow down until they back off, then when I can, I get over. I do this to teach them a lesson & to piss them off.
That'd be passive road rage...

I used to think that sounded like a great thing to do to tailgaters, or even better don't worry about the brakes and just start slowing down naturally. Funny thing is, it's a bit of a 'once an arsehole, always an arsehole' situation. By doing this, you don't end up teaching them a lesson at all. A friend of mine who is a serial tailgater hasn't even learned his lesson after three rear-ending accidents. They were all his fault, but of course he doesn't believe that - to him it's always the fault of the stupid moron in front of him!

Yup... all you end up doing by slowing down is pissing them off...
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Old 05-25-04, 11:04 AM   #23
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Exactly. Of course there are a million exceptions (like when you are in a steady stream of traffic, left lane exit ahead,etc.).

But what speed you are going is no excuse to be there. If you don't want to go any faster than the person next to you on the right and no one is holding you up from passing, then you should slow down and get behind the person next to you on the right.

It's a hard concept for a lot of people to grasp since it seems counterintuitive to speed limit laws. But make no mistake, in most states that have left lane passing laws you will get a ticket for being in the left lane and not passing even if both of you are going above the speed limit (even if neither of you get a speeding ticket).

Why? Because it's a safety issue. Studies have shown that traffic moves safer when it flows well. Speeding causes a slight increase in danger for driving, blocks in the traffic flow cause a huge increase in danger. Legislators and police departments have recognized that and are trying to make the roads safer.

And beyond that it's a courtesy issue. Why hold someone up for no reason? You are not there to enforce speed limit laws. You are there to obey the left lane passing laws. Nearly Everyone speeds and everyone has a different idea of what how much above the speed limit it is ok to speed at. Don't enforce your opinon on everyone else.

I agree 100%. Too bad more people don't think like this.
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Old 05-25-04, 11:06 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N_C
I do not agree with this. While slower moving traffic should stay to the right as a courtesy, I think it is fine to use the left lane, especially on the interstate as a travelling lane. I do it all the time while driving from Sioux City to Des Moines, about a 200 mile trip. The reasons I do are simple. The right lane, typically the most traveled on is not as smooth of a ride then the left & at night, especially in the winter time if I go off the road due to snow & ice, I want to be seen in the center ditch rather then have people try to find me in the one on the right which can be in a pretty deep ravine at times.

So for me it is a matter of comfort & safety. Now I generally drive at speeds 70 to 75 mph on the interstate, about 5 to 10 over the limit. If someone comes up behind me at a higher speed I move to the right to let them pass, then move back to the left. Or I speed up if there is traffic in the right lane and I can't get over right away. But if they tail gate me to closely I start tapping my brakes & I slow down until they back off, then when I can, I get over. I do this to teach them a lesson & to piss them off.

I hate tailgaters. One of these days I'm just going to slam on my brakes and let them rear end me. It'll be their fault they were to close & I had to stop all of a sudden.

That will all be well and good...provided the guy behind you that you were holding up doesn't get out and beat the **** out of you for being an @$$! You had better think about your actions before putting them into play, their are alot of crazy, and explosive people on the road these days.
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Old 05-25-04, 12:44 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stubacca
As to 'at the speed limit': the traffic codes of most states and coutries word these laws as 'no vehicle can drive at such a speed as to impede the normal and reasonable flow of traffic', or something along those lines. Since every section of the traffic code is pursuant to all other sections of the code, then even in perfect conditions traffic flow is surely at an unreasonable speed if above the speed limit. I'd highly doubt that a ticket given for impeding traffic flow for driving at or above the speed limit in the left hand lane would actually hold up in court. That isn't the intent of the law.
And evidence of this can be seen here: Ohio Cyclist Beats 'Impeding Traffic' Rap on Appeal

An Ohio driver was ticketed and convicted for impeding traffic, but an appellate court overturned the original decision.
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