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  1. #1
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    Cars that won't pass - what do you do?

    I was coming down the 23 from Mulholland towards Westlake this afternoon. I was on the flat part at the bottom where there is virtually no shoulder. I wasn't going fast, just a moderate pace and staying as close as I could to the edge, as I know cars needed to get by.

    I heard a car behind me and was waiting for them to pass, there were plenty of opportunities, not a lot of traffic going the other way. To pass safely would have required them to cross the double yellow line by a foot or two. I'm guessing they didn't want to do this. Then they honked, not a lay it on type of honk, the nice kind. But I'm thinking what? What do you want me to do? Get off the road? That's really the only option. I waved for them to pass, they didn't. I looked over my shoulder and there was about 3 cars behind them. Oh geez.

    We ended up hitting a faster section and I just decided "whatever", guess they're not going to pass and there's nothing I can do about it. They didn't end up passing until the intersection at the bottom where I finally pulled over. I feel like I pissed some people off, and I didn't really do anything. And is this the kind of thing that makes those drivers purposely buzz another rider down the road?

    Was I in the wrong to just keep riding when I knew there was a line of cars wanting to get by?

  2. #2
    In beaurocratic limbo urbanknight's Avatar
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    Are you sure it was the car directly behind you that honked? It might have been the car behind them telling them to pass. Either way, it's the driver's choice. If they don't think it's safe enough, they don't have to. After all, they're the liable party. Also, I think it's technically illegal to cross over the double yellow, even by a few feet. So if they don't wanna, they don't have to.

    As for you being in the wrong or not, it depends on how many cars were behind you and if there was a turnout that you could have pulled into to let them by. I think the magic number is 5 vehicles behind you, but I'm not sure and I'm too lazy to look it up tonight.
    "Well, I guess you can cut the arts as much as you want... Sooner or later, these kids aren't going to have anything to read or write about." (Richard Dreyfus as Glenn Holland)

  3. #3
    5 Time Bike Path Champion chefxian's Avatar
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    I thought the 5 vehicles was for vehicles not bikes. If there is a line behind me I just stop and let them pass. It's not worth it to to risk getting hit by a car again.
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  4. #4
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    Funny, this happened to me today also. On my way home the last 4 miles is on surface streets. A couple of sections are narrow with no shoulder so i just get in the middle of the lane until there is room on the right for me. I don't care how many cars are held up because there is just no room. I come to a busy four way stop i put one foot down and wait my turn and off i go, also from the middle of the lane. I used to go on the side walk or try to stay to the right but i think in my case it is safer this way as i will be seen as another vehicle. So far no one as honked or been upset.

  5. #5
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    This is a situation , I think we all find ourselves in. I've always been torn as what to do.. guess, it depends upon the length of the road that cars are unable to pass due to the double yellow. . The conundrum is, we yield to this situation it will only arise minutes later, should the double yellow go on for miles. Getting off the road could be construed as meaning we yield our right to be there; for the stubborn -headed among us.?
    . But, what does other slow moving vehicles do such as farm tractors in similar situations. The kind element among that group get off the road. Should I hold up traffic long enough , I usually follow that pattern.. Call it being a good cycling ambassador - upholding a good name for all cyclists. Or just call it good public relations.
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  6. #6
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    Thanks for the input guys. Urban, that's a good point, it could have been one of the cars behind the front car that honked.

    I am inclined to just pull over next time this happens. However, with no shoulder it would have meant either riding off into dirt and gravel, or stopping in the road, which feels uncomfortable.

    I actually didn't consider that some people take the double-yellow line so seriously, guess I can't criticize that type of driver.

  7. #7
    Senior Member dstrong's Avatar
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    There's a stretch of road I ride where there are no shoulders but there are occasional driveways to move into if there are cars behind me. Most of the time cars will move to the center of the road to get around me if there's enough visibility (sometimes even if there isn't), but occasionally, one will sit behind me, even with me to the far right. As long as they don't honk, I'm fine with them sitting back there...it's their choice. Whenever they do ultimately pass, I usually give them a wave to let them know I appreciated their concern.

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  8. #8
    In beaurocratic limbo urbanknight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chefxian View Post
    I thought the 5 vehicles was for vehicles not bikes.
    Unless there is a specific exception for bikes stated in that specific code, or the code can't possibility apply to bikes by their very nature, it goes for all.

    VC 21200

    Every person riding a bicycle upon a street or highway has all the rights and is subject to all the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle, including the provisions of law dealing with driving under the influence of alcoholic beverages or drugs, except those provisions which by their very nature can have no application.
    "Well, I guess you can cut the arts as much as you want... Sooner or later, these kids aren't going to have anything to read or write about." (Richard Dreyfus as Glenn Holland)

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by urbanknight View Post
    Unless there is a specific exception for bikes stated in that specific code, or the code can't possibility apply to bikes by their very nature, it goes for all.
    good point. i think this makes sense, except that cars can safely pull over into gravel/dirt while doing so on road bikes on skinny tires might put the rider at a higher safety risk. i'd be pretty upset if i ended up crashing or getting a flat tire while pulling over to let cars pass.
    i won't deny it i'm a straight ridah

  10. #10
    In beaurocratic limbo urbanknight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tFUnK View Post
    good point. i think this makes sense, except that cars can safely pull over into gravel/dirt while doing so on road bikes on skinny tires might put the rider at a higher safety risk. i'd be pretty upset if i ended up crashing or getting a flat tire while pulling over to let cars pass.
    As far as I can recall, the law only applies if there is a turnout, shoulder, passing lane, or other safe place to pull over. However, for the life of me, I can't find the law that supposedly says this.
    "Well, I guess you can cut the arts as much as you want... Sooner or later, these kids aren't going to have anything to read or write about." (Richard Dreyfus as Glenn Holland)

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by urbanknight View Post
    As far as I can recall, the law only applies if there is a turnout, shoulder, passing lane, or other safe place to pull over. However, for the life of me, I can't find the law that supposedly says this.
    I am not going to try to look it up but I know this is correct. I've lived in the mountains & anybody that does or has knows this. If you have 5 or more vehicles behind you, you are required to pull over at the very next available turnout. This holds true with bikes also for the reason UK posted. By law you are not required to do so if the number is less than 5, but if they have been behind you for several miles it might be actually safer to do this anyway. Plus it is courteous. You may have to slow down for a bit to do so safely but the drivers would probably prefer that than to remain behind you indefinitely.

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