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“Must Pass Cyclist” Motorist Mentality – Do cyclists encourage it?

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“Must Pass Cyclist” Motorist Mentality – Do cyclists encourage it?

Old 06-08-15, 08:41 PM
  #26  
Equinox
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Originally Posted by mozad655 View Post
I agree 100 % that some cyclists encourage dangerous overtakings, but I disagree with you 100% as for how they do that. In my experience the problem is NOT cyclist who ride on the far right. They are the solution and example for everyone to follow. The problem are cyclists who block the road by riding in the middle of a lane at a speed way under the speed limit. This to me is just asking for trouble and a recipe for disaster. Blocking the road as a cyclist or motorist for that matter, will undoubtly lead to dangerous overtakings. People have no choice but to take risks if someone is blocking the road.

It is as if some cyclists think they are entitled to the center of a lane but without the responsibilities, as if the speed limits of the road do not apply to them, just because their vehicle is slow in nature. Ridiculous. In Denmark every road has speed limits. When you ride in the center of a lane you have to be within +/- 10 km/h of that guideline, otherwise you have to be as far right as humanly possible. So as a safety rule of thumb, I always ride on the far right on any road. I take pride in respecting motorists and I can sence a mutual respect when they see that I'm trying to make it easy for them to overtake. Most of them cross the middle line even though I have made enough room for them. On the other hand, if I decide to be confrontational and block the road, not only will they overtake me, they will do it at a much higher speed and much closer to me.
Your réponse made me angry at first, but then I realized you are just applying a different standard and you don't know what you are talking about.
Obviously people do have a choice if something is blocking the road. They can wait a few seconds.

Last edited by Equinox; 06-08-15 at 08:45 PM.
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Old 06-08-15, 08:54 PM
  #27  
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This phenomenon happened to my group yesterday. We were riding in a low traffic very rural area. We were approaching a stop sign when we heard a car coming up from behind. We moved right out of a sense of self-preservation. However this deference to the motor vehicle cause him to immediately right hook us. We should have maintained our position and forced the car to recognize our right to the roadway. And the scale of this is always what impresses me. We are talking a delay of the motorist on the order of 10 seconds.
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Old 06-08-15, 10:31 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
Most cyclists are aware of this phenomenon. This is the urge many/most motorists have that practically forces them to get ahead of any cyclist in front of them ASAP. Blind curves, hills, stop signs just ahead, oncoming traffic and more… matters little many times.

My theory is that cyclist behavior at least partially promotes this mentality. Here’s why…

In practically every area I’ve ridden in or been to, almost all cyclists ride as far out of the way as possible. Curb or gutter hugging, riding in door zones or on scrappy unsafe shoulders and sidewalks, etc., seems to be the rule.
...

I question if this common “Staying Out of the Way” tactic doesn’t promote the common “Motorist Must Pass Cyclist” mentality.

Maybe if more cyclists were a little more assertive (especially in narrow lanes and other situations that call for it) it would help dispel the Motorist Must Pass mentality, and lead to safer, more comfortable road interactions for everyone.
This does not fit my observation at all.

My eperience in urban bicycling (Philadelphia, Wilmington DE) is that while most motorists understand the "pass when safe" rule, the "Must pass bicyclist" group does not respect bicyclists riding in the middle of the lane. Instead, they are incensed by riders they tell me are legally restricted to the sidewalk.

Most of the honking and profanity I get is when I'm in a line of traffic going from red light to red light. I'd like to go the speed limit (25mph, easy down many hills), but the cars in front of me only go about 10-12mph in rush hour. "Must pass bicyclist" drivers are upset by the bicyclist, not the drivers delaying me.

I'll typically wait in the middle to left of the lane to to let drivers go right on red when allowed. I've had several drivers use this space to go straight on red (after much profanity). To them, the "must pass bicyclist" rule dominates the "wait for green" rule.

I don't doubt your experience is different.
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Old 06-09-15, 05:18 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by mozad655 View Post
Noone is endagering your life. You are endangering your own life by blocking the road. This provokes dangerous and desperate overtakings. 2+2=4.



And they will when they see that there is not enough room. But your certainly not helping the problem by blocking the road and making that assesment for them. They are driving, they know their vehicles and they have the full angle. Blocking the road is never the solution. Always ride on the far right.



The fact that they honked at you suggests that there was enough room for both of you. You were blocking the road and they honked. It is understandable. What if it was a motorcycle behind you? Blocking the road is never acceptable. If there is very little room then you should still ride on the far right and they will see that there is no room. But if your expecting a 2 meter gap, then maybe this is the problem..
Dude (or dudette), if there is ever an opportunity for us to be in a group ride together, please let me know.

I want to make sure I am riding the opposite way.
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Old 06-09-15, 08:34 AM
  #30  
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I ride just to the left of the fog line as I find it discourages drivers from trying to stay in the lane when passing. I dislike the bike lanes in my town as they are frequently full of debris, aren't terribly wide, and most drivers then won't move over at all when passing me.

When approaching intersections I check my mirror first, then take the lane once I have a safe opening. I'm definitely in the camp where I feel it's safer to be assertive as a cyclist than to constantly be trying to swerve around obstacles in the shoulder and away from overtaking cars.
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Old 06-09-15, 09:41 AM
  #31  
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Its interesting that a few cyclists are just like a few motorists, using safety as an excuse for their lack of skill and gumption to proactivly share the road. Guess its the person, not the vehicle that determines behavior.
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Old 06-09-15, 09:50 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
Most cyclists are aware of this phenomenon. This is the urge many/most motorists have that practically forces them to get ahead of any cyclist in front of them ASAP. Blind curves, hills, stop signs just ahead, oncoming traffic and more… matters little many times.

My theory is that cyclist behavior at least partially promotes this mentality. Here’s why…

In practically every area I’ve ridden in or been to, almost all cyclists ride as far out of the way as possible. Curb or gutter hugging, riding in door zones or on scrappy unsafe shoulders and sidewalks, etc., seems to be the rule. Stay out of the way of the large and powerful motor vehicles by any means possible to ensure safety, seems to be the thought process behind this behavior. It can seem wise on the surface, but it can also encourage overtaking when it would not be safe to do so.

When motorists consistently observe this cyclist behavior, it is what they become accustomed to. Cyclists always stay, or move out of their way. Having to slow and wait behind a cyclist for even a few seconds can really can be quite foreign to them. Maybe it’s different in your area, but this is what I see.

I question if this common “Staying Out of the Way” tactic doesn’t promote the common “Motorist Must Pass Cyclist” mentality.

Maybe if more cyclists were a little more assertive (especially in narrow lanes and other situations that call for it) it would help dispel the Motorist Must Pass mentality, and lead to safer, more comfortable road interactions for everyone.
Taking the lane is the fastest way anger a driver. The sooner we, as cyclist, realize the size of the disadvantage, the better off we are. Find a safe place & wave them around. If you aren't confident on busy roads, don't ride on them. Forget the laws. They'll only get you seriously injured. Think of your family, your children, let them pass. Help them by waving them around, when it's safe. Hell, pull off the road & let them by, if they are causing a potentially unsafe situation. It's your flesh, bones & life! Enjoy them all the way they are.
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Old 06-09-15, 10:31 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
Its interesting that a few cyclists are just like a few motorists, using safety as an excuse for their lack of skill and gumption to proactivly share the road. Guess its the person, not the vehicle that determines behavior.
Who in this thread is advocating not proactively sharing the road?
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Old 06-09-15, 10:40 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Blue Belly View Post
Taking the lane is the fastest way anger a driver. The sooner we, as cyclist, realize the size of the disadvantage, the better off we are. Find a safe place & wave them around. If you aren't confident on busy roads, don't ride on them. Forget the laws. They'll only get you seriously injured. Think of your family, your children, let them pass. Help them by waving them around, when it's safe. Hell, pull off the road & let them by, if they are causing a potentially unsafe situation. It's your flesh, bones & life! Enjoy them all the way they are.
Ahh, the old "Might Makes Right" viewpoint.

Along with the assumption that doing anything other than always staying out of the way of the Superior and more powerful motorist is guaranteed death and destruction. Assertive cyclists know from experience that it's not like that at all.
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Old 06-09-15, 10:48 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
Ahh, the old "Might Makes Right" viewpoint.

Along with the assumption that doing anything other than always staying out of the way of the Superior and more powerful motorist is guaranteed death and destruction. Assertive cyclists know from experience that it's not like that at all.
some pretty big assumptions you've made there. I'll tell you this, I've put tens of thousands of miles in the most Urban & rural areas in this country, under the least optimum conditions possible. Not so much As a scratch from a moving vehicle. I'm not afraid of them. I often ride side by side with them. But when logic dictates, Im able to egotistically let them go by.
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Old 06-09-15, 11:20 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Blue Belly View Post
Taking the lane is the fastest way anger a driver. The sooner we, as cyclist, realize the size of the disadvantage, the better off we are. Find a safe place & wave them around. If you aren't confident on busy roads, don't ride on them. Forget the laws. They'll only get you seriously injured. Think of your family, your children, let them pass. Help them by waving them around, when it's safe. Hell, pull off the road & let them by, if they are causing a potentially unsafe situation. It's your flesh, bones & life! Enjoy them all the way they are.
I agree with Blue Belly. Just because you have the right doesn't make it a prudent decision. Live to ride another day IMHO.
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Old 06-09-15, 11:33 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Blue Belly View Post
some pretty big assumptions you've made there. I'll tell you this, I've put tens of thousands of miles in the most Urban & rural areas in this country, under the least optimum conditions possible. Not so much As a scratch from a moving vehicle. I'm not afraid of them. I often ride side by side with them. But when logic dictates, Im able to egotistically let them go by.
Fair enough, sorry if I offended you.

I too "let them go by" when I am safely able to do so.

Originally Posted by KJK View Post
I agree with Blue Belly. Just because you have the right doesn't make it a prudent decision. Live to ride another day IMHO.
Right. And sometimes being assertive IS the prudent decision to "Living to ride another day"... but many cyclists can't see this.
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Old 06-09-15, 12:05 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
Who in this thread is advocating not proactively sharing the road?
I didn't quote anybody in particular, did I? Nevertheless its expressed in a round about manner rather often. Your opinion that being assertive "IS" the safest choice, rather than "can be" the safest choice as if all conditions rate the same solution.

Give a little, take a little as opportunity and conditions call for and allow. Make choices based on how things actually are, rather than how one thinks they should be.

Don't be a door Matt, don't be selfish, be pragmatic.
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Old 06-09-15, 01:06 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
Give a little, take a little as opportunity and conditions call for and allow. Make choices based on how things actually are, rather than how one thinks they should be.

Don't be a door Matt, don't be selfish, be pragmatic.
^^^Agreed.

My point is that many more cyclist's error on the side of being a door mat (your words) in the face of larger more powerful vehicles, than error on the side of being selfish. And this popular behavior encourages the already common "Must Pass Cyclist" mindset. This is my observation in the areas I've been to, and is part of the reason many motorists believe cyclists don't belong on the road. Heck, some cyclists even believe it.

Hey, this is A&S... we're supposed to argue about this stuff here!
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Old 06-09-15, 02:15 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
^^^Agreed.

My point is that many more cyclist's error on the side of being a door mat (your words) in the face of larger more powerful vehicles, than error on the side of being selfish. And this popular behavior encourages the already common "Must Pass Cyclist" mindset. This is my observation in the areas I've been to, and is part of the reason many motorists believe cyclists don't belong on the road. Heck, some cyclists even believe it.

Hey, this is A&S... we're supposed to argue about this stuff here!
Well, I figure if err is part of the equation, then being a "door matt" shouldn't be disregarded out of hand as it too can be the best solution.
Its kind of ironic that the only correct and lawful response to selfish, illegal, or dangerous behavior is to yield to it, but most peoples natural response is the opposite.
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Old 06-09-15, 02:23 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
Fair enough, sorry if I offended you.

I too "let them go by" when I am safely able to do so.



Right. And sometimes being assertive IS the prudent decision to "Living to ride another day"... but many cyclists can't see this.

Not easily offended & I get what you are driving at. We all need to share our roads. We all use them for the same reasons. Just, different vehicles. My point is self preservation. Yours is equality. We do need more of both.
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Old 06-09-15, 07:59 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by Blue Belly View Post
Taking the lane is the fastest way anger a driver. The sooner we, as cyclist, realize the size of the disadvantage, the better off we are. Find a safe place & wave them around. If you aren't confident on busy roads, don't ride on them. Forget the laws. They'll only get you seriously injured. Think of your family, your children, let them pass. Help them by waving them around, when it's safe. Hell, pull off the road & let them by, if they are causing a potentially unsafe situation. It's your flesh, bones & life! Enjoy them all the way they are.
So, Cyclists' should basically let motorists' bully them off the road?

I will not wave them around, when I am actually going somewhere. Because, I am not going to give them a green light for making me 'collateral damage', for their stupidity.

I know it angers' motorists'. I don't care. If they profess to be stupid visa vie a close pass, or trying to pass, where even another motorist going the same direction should not be passed. Then it is their choice to be stupid. I am still allowing them that right. I won't allow their stupidity to kill me.

There are several two-lane roads outside of the old town(15mph speed limit), that are 20-30mph. None of them have shoulders. Motorists' don't care around here. If I hug the side of the road, I am as good as dead. When I 'take the lane', have a better chance of avoiding a dangerous pass, when I am going 20-30mph on those roads. Am I 'playing chicken' with the traffic....NO!!!!!!

Last edited by Chris516; 06-09-15 at 08:07 PM.
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Old 06-09-15, 08:48 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
Where as for cyclists the journey is most often just as important as the destination, therefore there's a conflict from the get go even without the difference in speed.
Speak for yourself. It's all about getting to point B for me. I don't give a crap about smelling the roses or breathing the fresh air when I bike.
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Old 06-09-15, 08:50 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
Its kind of ironic that the only correct and lawful response to selfish, illegal, or dangerous behavior is to yield to it, but most peoples natural response is the opposite.
Lie back and think of England, kickstart.
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Old 06-09-15, 08:55 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by Blue Belly View Post
My point is self preservation. Yours is equality. We do need more of both.
We? WTF!?

There is no "we" about the self-preservation of people walking or biking. The killing and maiming on our roads has virtually nothing to do with people walking or biking and everything to do with the casual narcissism of the North American driver. Wealthy western nations with similar levels of car ownership have an order of magnitude less "carnage" than the USA or Canada. The violence on our roads is largely by design.
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Old 06-09-15, 10:38 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
Lie back and think of England, kickstart.
How is that any better than bending them over for Portland? Better to give than receive?
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Old 06-10-15, 12:45 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by mozad655 View Post
Noone is endagering your life. You are endangering your own life by blocking the road. This provokes dangerous and desperate overtakings. 2+2=4.



And they will when they see that there is not enough room. But your certainly not helping the problem by blocking the road and making that assesment for them. They are driving, they know their vehicles and they have the full angle. Blocking the road is never the solution. Always ride on the far right.



The fact that they honked at you suggests that there was enough room for both of you. You were blocking the road and they honked. It is understandable. What if it was a motorcycle behind you? Blocking the road is never acceptable. If there is very little room then you should still ride on the far right and they will see that there is no room. But if your expecting a 2 meter gap, then maybe this is the problem..

Do you even ride...?
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Old 06-10-15, 04:07 AM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
We? WTF!?

There is no "we" about the self-preservation of people walking or biking. The killing and maiming on our roads has virtually nothing to do with people walking or biking and everything to do with the casual narcissism of the North American driver. Wealthy western nations with similar levels of car ownership have an order of magnitude less "carnage" than the USA or Canada. The violence on our roads is largely by design.
Precisely the attitude that angers those who are driving cars. You can't win an argument with anger. Try to remember back before you were a cyclist. Maybe you were always? Driving around cyclists was an annoyance. You don't understant or know what the cyclist is dealing with. Not until you are the guy on the bicycle do you realize the dangers. It requires understanding from their point of view. You can't instill that with anger or aggressiveness. You'll only add fuel to the fire. If you are as passionate about this as your reactions say you are, start a public awareness campaign. Reach out to people. Help them.
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Old 06-10-15, 09:27 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
...In practically every area I’ve ridden in or been to, almost all cyclists ride as far out of the way as possible. I question if this common “Staying Out of the Way” tactic doesn’t promote the common “Motorist Must Pass Cyclist” mentality.

Maybe if more cyclists were a little more assertive (especially in narrow lanes and other situations that call for it) it would help dispel the Motorist Must Pass mentality, and lead to safer, more comfortable road interactions for everyone.
I STRONGLY agree with OP. In my area some cyclists ride far right, usually on the lane line, almost exclusively. Cars pass them, sometimes pretty close, often causing oncoming cars to honk at the passers.
These riders also get more flats since they are riding in the road debris that gets pushed aside by cars into the gutter.

They are worried about getting rear ended, which is statistically very rare, see http://bicyclesafe.com/

After reading lots of articles and stats, and checking state law, I take the lane whenever it may be difficult for the car behind me to see oncoming traffic: cresting a hill, road curving right, very narrow lanes.

I don't want to give the driver the chance to think "well, that biker is way to the right, and I don't see any cars coming now, so I'm going to get halfway into the other lane and pass"... If you give people the chance to do something dangerous, eventually some idiot will take that chance, and when the driver sees oncoming cars and swerves back into his lane the biker is going to suffer.

I want drivers to think "that biker is in my lane of travel, I better make sure there is not an oncoming car before I pass him...I better wait 20 seconds until I crest this hill and can see ahead to pass". If they have to slow down for 20 seconds, yeah, they may get upset, but everyone stays alive.

Of course, you should using a rear flashing light(s) and wearing an easily visible color.

The caveat is rules of the road are slower traffic keep right. If the road is clear ahead, get out of the way of the cars!
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Old 06-10-15, 09:28 AM
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spare_wheel
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Originally Posted by Blue Belly View Post
It requires understanding from their point of view.
I disagree completely. Accommodating a majority view that at a minimum enables the brutalization of human beings does not generally lead to progress. My goal is not to understand their ubiquitous point of view; rather, it is to change their point of view.

London Cycling Campaign | Campaigns | Key campaigns | Love London, Go Dutch | Holland in the 1970s
A view from the cycle path: Stop the Child Murder


Not until you are the guy on the bicycle do you realize the dangers. It requires understanding from their point of view.
It's telling that you fixated on cycling even though I place "walking" first in my comment multiple times. The narcissistic manner in which this nation treats active transport risk should be met with anger.


Reach out to people.
Exactly. My personal advocacy focuses on undermining the cars-vs-bikes agitprop promoted by our corporate media.


You can't instill that with anger or aggressiveness.
Expressions of anger have a context-specific role but are not generally useful if they become a main focus. On the other hand, history has shown that aggressive protest and direct action is essential for social change.
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