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  1. #1
    Pete Fagerlin
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    Bike lanes and passing speed.

    When riding in a bike lane, is it reasonable to expect that cars slow down as they pass you?

    FWIW, I don't think that it's reasonable to expect that cars slow down as they pass you. In fact, I think that expecting cars to slow down is a manifestation of Motorcar Phobia.

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    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin
    When riding in a bike lane, is it reasonable to expect that cars slow down as they pass you?

    FWIW, I don't think that it's reasonable to expect that cars slow down as they pass you. In fact, I think that expecting cars to slow down is a manifestation of Motorcar Phobia.
    (taking you off ignore but you're on probation - one personal attack and you're back on )

    I agree it's not reasonable to expect that cars slow down as they pass you when you're in a bike lane. Not only that, but it's also not reasonable to expect that they adjust laterally to pass you with a safe passing distance, even if you are near the stripe and so are they.

    That's one of the problems with bike lanes: the cyclist in the bike lane often has no clue whether he has been noticed or not.

    The cyclist in the same position in a WOL (same road except with BL stripe missing), on the other hand, is much more likely to see slow downs as well as lateral adjustments, any of which is arguably confirmation of being noticed.

    Is it phobic to be concerned about whether traffic from behind has noticed you or not? Perhaps. But I think being noticed is relevant not only to reducing the likelihood of inadvertent drift, but also right hooks and close passes (that combined with a relatively small emergency swerve could be lethal).

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    Senior Member rando's Avatar
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    I don't think so.
    "Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world". ~Grant Petersen

    Cyclists fare best when they recognize that there are times when acting vehicularly is not the best practice, and are flexible enough to do what is necessary as the situation warrants.--Me

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    Non-Custom Member zeytoun's Avatar
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    FWIW, I don't think that it's reasonable to expect that cars slow down as they pass you.
    I don't think one should expect cars to slow down. Only to pass safely, and that does not necessarily correlate to speed or distance, per se. It's really hard to pin down a specific metric that is "safe".
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    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zeytoun
    I don't think one should expect cars to slow down. Only to pass safely, and that does not necessarily correlate to speed or distance, per se. It's really hard to pin down a specific metric that is "safe".
    I agree. Higher speed differentials and generally larger vehicles (semi-trucks) require greater passing clearance.

    This is a flaw with the 3' passing laws that seem to be spreading across the US.

    Al

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    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam
    I agree. Higher speed differentials and generally larger vehicles (semi-trucks) require greater passing clearance.

    This is a flaw with the 3' passing laws that seem to be spreading across the US.

    Al
    True, but it sure beats the 12 inch passing distance that some motorists feel is more than enough.

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    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin
    When riding in a bike lane, is it reasonable to expect that cars slow down as they pass you?

    FWIW, I don't think that it's reasonable to expect that cars slow down as they pass you. In fact, I think that expecting cars to slow down is a manifestation of Motorcar Phobia.
    It is immaterial if the cyclist is riding in a bike lane; a safe pass with adequate lateral distance does not require the motorist to slow down at all. I'll die of old age before I see a typical driver around here slow down from 55+mph if they have the room to pass. Anyone who would slow down while passing with traffic following is asking for a rear end collision.

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    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin
    When you're riding in a bike lane, is it a problem if cars coming from behind you do not slow down before they pass you?
    In practice, no. In theory, potentially, yes. To the extent that not slowing down and not adjusting indicates that they are unaware of my presence, it is a potential problem (when combined with a distraction and subsequent drift). But I don't know what that extent is. I've read about far too many "inadvertent drift" fatalities however to believe the extent is certainly insignificant.

    (that combined with a relatively small emergency swerve could be lethal).
    That's yet another phobia, which I'll call the "I'm incredibly concerned about getting a flat tire, having to dodge debris, etc. and swerving into traffic phobia." These concerns are examples of extreme paranoia, perhaps coupled with a lack of confidence in one's bike handling skills, or a lack of adequate bike handling skills.
    Laws are supported and passed that require motorists to pass cyclists with a safe passing distance, often specified as 3 feet or 1 meter, minimum. Cyclists naturally and instinctively swerve to avoid obstacles from time to time, and not only to avoid getting a flat (it could be a small crack or pothole, for example, but large enough to be avoided - yes, often a bunny hop is preferred, but most cyclists don't know how to do that, especially not instinctively).

    For me, personally, I'm not concerned. But I believe I have exceptional situational awareness, including to the rear (I use a mirror), and not a typical cyclist. The vast majority of cyclists do not use mirrors and are usually entirely unaware about the situation behind them. Further, they often swerve unexpectedly. We had such an incident in San Diego this week, where a cyclist apparently swerved into the path of a passing motorcyclist, and was killed.

    http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/m...n05fatal2.html

  9. #9
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec
    True, but it sure beats the 12 inch passing distance that some motorists feel is more than enough.
    I am not against 3' passing laws, but I do think some folks need to realize they are not the wonder-fix they sometimes are promoted as.
    Al

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    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
    Anyone who would slow down while passing with traffic following is asking for a rear end collision.
    I slow down all the time while driving for reason obvious and not so obvious to drivers behind me and I do not think doing so is asking for a rear-end collision.

    Al

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    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin
    So, in practice, it is not a problem if cars coming from behind you do not slow down before they pass you.

    If you are being truthful, and it truly is not a problem, then why would you weave and zigzag while riding in the bike lane if cars coming from behind you do not slow down?

    If you are being truthful, why is it necessary for you to cause cars to slow down and move left as they pass you while you're riding in the bike lane?

    That behavior suggests a deep-rooted Motorcar Phobia.



    Yet, despite these claims, you have expressed your fear of falling, suddenly leaving your path, etc. due to "slippery and dangerous" debris, etc. and subsequently being hit by a motorcar.

    If you're truly not concerned, why do you continue to express these fears and think that a front tire can blow at any moment causing you to swerve in front of a car?
    The personal concern that I address with my technique is not for close passes that may conflict with a relatively minor swerve on my part.

    The personal concern that I address with my technique is that an approaching motorist might not notice me, choose to attend to a distraction, and drift into me.

  12. #12
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    i believe Mr. head is expressing cyclist inferiority disorder and exhibits symptoms of extreme overcompensation lane weaving.

    Head sounds like he is not comfortable riding in traffic- which is not suprising, he rides solo in traffic relatively little, definetly not as an everyday, transportational bicyclist (which, in contrast to Mr. Head, MANY of us that post to this forum are)

    Mr head admits his favorite rides are while relying on the crutch of the 'safety in numbers' cycling phenomenon by using the 'team fred' pelotons and his daughter on a trail-a-bike to keep the weekend drivers at bay.

    john f, any analysis?
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

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    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    Vehicular cycling according to the rules of the road would mean that you have a responsibility to be alert and attentive to hazards, but the rules of the road would not say you should induce a state of panic or hyper-alertness in others just so that you can achieve a feeling of safety. That would actually be against the rules of the road, to induce panic in other people on purpose.
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  14. #14
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin
    When riding in a bike lane, is it reasonable to expect that cars slow down as they pass you?
    Assuming that they are driving at a safe speed for the environment (sans bicycle), the lateral distance between cyclist and auto is adequate, and the bike lane is safely constructed, then no.

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    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin
    You're contradicting yourself again Serge.




    See above, you're contradicting yourself once again. If it is not a problem if cars coming from behind you do not slow down (as you have most recently claimed), then why are you concerned by them? After all, their tendency is to ignore the fact that you're riding in the bike lane and they pass you as if you're not even there.

    In addition Serge, you ignored my questions that gave you an opportunity to clarify your disparate claims.

    Again:

    If you are being truthful, and it truly is not a problem if cars coming from behind you do not slow down before they pass you, then why would you weave and zigzag while riding in the bike lane if cars coming from behind you do not slow down?

    If you are being truthful, and it truly is not a problem if cars coming from behind you do not slow down before they pass you, why is it necessary for you to cause cars to slow down and move left as they pass you while you're riding in the bike lane?

    I think that your Motorcar Phobia is the basis of many of your contradictory claims. When you "discover" a new aspect of riding in traffic that scares you, you "develop" new "techniques" that assuage that fear.
    I don't know whether you're doing it intentionally or not, but you're not recognizing context. In particular, you're not taking into account where I'm writing about myself and where I'm writing about cyclists in general. The result is all muddled and unanswerable (for the same reason the question, "are you still beating your wife?" is not answerable to someone who has never never been married).

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    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin
    If you are being truthful, and it truly is not a problem if cars coming from behind you do not slow down before they pass you, then why would you weave and zigzag while riding in the bike lane if cars coming from behind you do not slow down?

    If you are being truthful, and it truly is not a problem if cars coming from behind you do not slow down before they pass you, why is it necessary for you to cause cars to slow down and move left as they pass you while you're riding in the bike lane?
    The personal concern that I address with my technique is that an approaching motorist might not notice me, choose to attend to a distraction, and drift into me.

    That's why I (sometimes) "weave and zigzag while riding in the bike lane... to get their attention in order to inhbit them from choosing to attend to a distraction until they've passed me.

    That's why I do things to try to cause cars to slow down and move left before they pass me while riding in the bike lane: so I can confirm that the drivers have noticed and are not choosing to attend to a distraction.

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    Non-Custom Member zeytoun's Avatar
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    That's why I (sometimes) "weave and zigzag while riding in the bike lane... to get their attention in order to inhbit them from choosing to attend to a distraction until they've passed me.
    How about a "honk if you like [insert well-liked thing here] t shirt?" That way you don't have to weave and zigzag, which I am sure is a much more dangerous behavior then the low level of risk from inadvertent drifters.
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    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin

    All of the above quotes are you, writing about yourself
    .
    Nonsense. The first sentence of the first statement of mine in question clearly is addressing not myself but cyclists in general: "Close and fast passing of cyclists by motorists can be dangerous."

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    Quote Originally Posted by zeytoun
    How about a "honk if you like [insert well-liked thing here] t shirt?" That way you don't have to weave and zigzag, which I am sure is a much more dangerous behavior then the low level of risk from inadvertent drifters.
    Zigzagging in a bike lane is dangerous? Please!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin
    Ah, the ole "nonsense" dodge.

    So you describe a whole system of "techniques" that you use to avoid falling/swerving into motorcars and you claim to use your system to prevent motorcars from passing you close and fast (despite that not be a problem or concern, but I digress...) yet "close and fast passing of cyclists by motorists can be dangerous" is not addressed to you.

    If that statement doesn't apply to you, then why the Motorcar Phobia-based system for dealing with close and fast passing motorcars?
    (answering this question should not be construed as accepting the mischaracterization of my technique as "the Motorcar Phobia-based system")

    For the third and last time:

    The personal concern that I address with my technique is that an approaching motorist might not notice me, choose to attend to a distraction, and drift into me.

    That's why I (sometimes) "weave and zigzag while riding in the bike lane... to get their attention in order to inhibit them from choosing to attend to a distraction until they've passed me.

    That's why I do things to try to cause cars to slow down and move left before they pass me while riding in the bike lane: so I can confirm that the drivers have noticed and are not choosing to attend to a distraction.

    That's one of the reasons (though there are other more important ones having to do with potential conflicts in front of me) why I default to a centerish lane position.

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    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin
    What if the bike lane contains slippery and dangerous debris? Would it be dangerous then?
    Possibly. If I felt the surface conditions were not appropriate, then I wouldn't zig-zag. I rarely do this anyway.

  22. #22
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin
    Quote Originally Posted by HH
    That's why I (sometimes) "weave and zigzag while riding in the bike lane... to get their attention in order to inhbit them from choosing to attend to a distraction until they've passed me.

    That's why I do things to try to cause cars to slow down and move left before they pass me while riding in the bike lane: so I can confirm that the drivers have noticed and are not choosing to attend to a distraction.
    I can't think of a better example of Motorcar Phobia.
    I usually don't read HH much, but man that's a doozy! I can't think of a better example of cyclist inferiority complex or fear from the rear myself! Or bike lane phobia.

    When I ride, bike lane or no bike lane, I keep a consistent straight line to the best of my ability. If I actually need to gain anyone's attention I wave, give a look, signal or honk. If all else fails, and my attempt to gain attention fails and it looks like I might be in for disaster, I get out of the way. Otherwise, we all just proceed along like normal vehicles. I'm not so scared I need to force people to freak out, slow way down and drive a huge arc around me as if I'm radioactive.
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  23. #23
    Non-Custom Member zeytoun's Avatar
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    It's pretty clear.

    Helmet Head claimed that bicycle lanes encourage close and fast passing from motorcars.

    He said this can be dangerous, because a small mistake could be deadly to the cyclist.

    He said that, when in a bike lane, he uses the wiggle wag zig zag, and motorists slow down and move left. He doesn't care if they think he's nuts, so long as they pass with a safe margin.

    ---

    Then he said that the technique is not for close passes, but to get the driver's attention and prevent the possibility of inadvertent drift.

    ---

    So the question is, why do you recommend the wiggle waggle zig zag to others as a close-pass-ameliorater, and make no mention of the inadvertent drift, if for you the inadvertent drift is the real danger?
    ---

    Wouln't it save time to just get a big pink flag on your bike, if you're that scared of traffic?
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    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zeytoun
    It's pretty clear.

    Helmet Head claimed that bicycle lanes encourage close and fast passing from motorcars.

    He said this can be dangerous, because a small mistake could be deadly to the cyclist.

    He said that, when in a bike lane, he uses the wiggle wag zig zag, and motorists slow down and move left. He doesn't care if they think he's nuts, so long as they pass with a safe margin.

    ---

    Then he said that the technique is not for close passes, but to get the driver's attention and prevent the possibility of inadvertent drift.

    ---

    So the question is, why do you recommend the wiggle waggle zig zag to others as a close-pass-ameliorater, and make no mention of the inadvertent drift, if for you the inadvertent drift is the real danger?
    ---

    Wouln't it save time to just get a big pink flag on your bike, if you're that scared of traffic?
    You, like PF, are not taking into account where I'm writing about myself and where I'm writing about cyclists in general.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zeytoun

    So the question is, why do you recommend the wiggle waggle zig zag to others as a close-pass-ameliorater, and make no mention of the inadvertent drift, if for you the inadvertent drift is the real danger?
    A technique that ameliorates close passes not only serves as a close-pass-ameliorater, but also as a verification technique for being noticed.

    In other words, in general, close passes are not only undesireable because of the general potential danger of the cyclist who suddenly swerves not much but enough (for which I'm personally not concerned about), but also because they indirectly indicate a motorist who is not showing any sign of being aware of the cyclist's presence.

    So amerliorating close passes serves as a way to verify that you've been noticed (and thus serves to address the potential drift problem).

    This is the last time I'm explaining this in this thread.

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