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Strange Motorist Behavior: Passing on the Right

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Strange Motorist Behavior: Passing on the Right

Old 06-02-08, 12:49 PM
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Icycle
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Strange Motorist Behavior: Passing on the Right

I had a very strange experience today. I was cycling to work on my normal commute route, which is on a relatively low traffic street. At several intersections, there are unmarked loop detectors in the pavement. I stopped at one of these intersections, with my bike positioned over the loop detector. As I was waiting for the light to change so I could proceed straight through, a car pulled up beside me on my right side.

I was very confused, because my lane position wasn't quite what I would use for a left-hand turn, nor was I signaling a left hand turn. And this guy wasn't signaling for a right turn.

I asked him where he was headed, and he indicated he was headed straight through the intersection! I don't know if this guy has just never seen a vehicular cyclist before, or if he just didn't want to be slowed down ever for a second by a cyclist in front of him. I was very confused and didn't know how to deal with this situtation.
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Old 06-02-08, 12:52 PM
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Sounds like you were just as confounding to him.

If I am trying to trip a loop detector and see a car coming up behind me, I try to move off to my usual rightward lane position.

I'd chalk it up as bizzare and let it go.
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Old 06-02-08, 01:01 PM
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I had a similar experience recently, except mine was while in motion. There is a two lane intersection, where up ahead it goes to a one laner, but most turn right at the light. So I usually stay in teh right lane, but far to the left, to allow the right cars to proceed, but you'd have to really break the law to pass me on the right. I was about 3/4 of the way through teh intersection when some jackoff comes barreling past me on my right- he had to go way into teh right's traffic to do so, and was just inches from me. I was so shocked/scared I almost fell off my bike. That was probably the worst situation I'd ever been in. I proceeded to chase them down and almost caught up to them. It's too bad (good) I didn't have pepper spray...
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Old 06-02-08, 01:09 PM
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It's pretty common actually. I had a woman try to pass me on the right in an intersection where if she continued, she'd end up driving through a showroom window. (she thought better of the idea pretty quickly)

I don't really worry about it, since 9 times out of 10, they're the one who ends up in a bad position out of it, not you.
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Old 06-02-08, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by westlafadeaway View Post
I had a similar experience recently, except mine was while in motion. There is a two lane intersection, where up ahead it goes to a one laner, but most turn right at the light. So I usually stay in teh right lane, but far to the left, to allow the right cars to proceed, but you'd have to really break the law to pass me on the right. I was about 3/4 of the way through teh intersection when some jackoff comes barreling past me on my right- he had to go way into teh right's traffic to do so, and was just inches from me. I was so shocked/scared I almost fell off my bike. That was probably the worst situation I'd ever been in. I proceeded to chase them down and almost caught up to them. It's too bad (good) I didn't have pepper spray...
Exact same thing happened to me. A woman in the right-hand turn/cycle lane pulled out to my right as if there were two straight lanes. Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot! Everyone behind her was probably pissed because she was blocking their right turns, and she added me to the list as well. Nothing like proceeding through an intersection with cars on both sides!
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Old 06-02-08, 01:14 PM
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Since most cyclists don't stand there holding their arm out to signal for a left turn, and you were farther from the curb than most cyclists, and most people don't think about stopping over the sensor loops, I'll bet that he thought you were going to be turning left.
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Old 06-02-08, 01:20 PM
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I got passed on the right recently. I was in the right lane. A woman was following me on a four lane road. Coming up to the intersection, a right-turn-only lane developed. The woman pulled out into the right-turn-only lane, accelerated and passed me and almost hooked me as she pulled back into the the lane I was occupying. And yes, the lane to the left of us was empty.
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Old 06-02-08, 01:42 PM
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I used to left justify at certain intersections and that happened a couple times. Now I either sit in the middle or to the right depending.
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Old 06-02-08, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by DataJunkie View Post
I used to left justify at certain intersections and that happened a couple times. Now I either sit in the middle or to the right depending.
Live and learn I guess. I was trying to be considerate of the people who wanted to take a right turn....
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Old 06-02-08, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Torrilin View Post
It's pretty common actually.
+1 He is a typical idiot cager.
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Old 06-02-08, 03:28 PM
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pass-on-the-right way of life in the northeast, bikes or cars.
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Old 06-02-08, 03:37 PM
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I get the idea that most motorists are uncomfortable with the idea of stopping directly behind a cyclist. Maybe they don't trust their foot to stay firmly planted on the brake pedal, and are worried they might hit us?

What irks me though is when I'm making a left hand turn at a stop sign, and a motorist also making a left hand turn will pull up to my right and try to turn left on my outside rather than wait behind. Usually I'll just try to be aware of them and make sure I get far ahead on the pullout.
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Old 06-02-08, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by westlafadeaway View Post
Live and learn I guess. I was trying to be considerate of the people who wanted to take a right turn....
As was I but my well being takes a priority.
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Old 06-02-08, 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Torrilin View Post
It's pretty common actually.
+1. It happens all the time.

If I see that's likely to happen (i.e., someone pulled up on my right and doesn't seem to be turning right), I usually just start off a little slower off the intersection and let the cager go. These are the kinds of people who do it to other cars too all the time, and they're usually so impatient to take off that I don't have to slow down that much at all. There is this defensive driving rule after all, that says that it's smart to give idiots get the ROW. Usually I don't get excited over this... idiots, they're all around us, what can you do? However, if I'm feeling pissed off at the idiocy, I'll accelerate and let them get stuck behind me and try figure out how to change lanes... Because the right lane has parked cars and is only wide enough for a cyclist to fit through, and the lane next to it has all the drivers whom the idiot passed at the intersection, hoping to get a headstart on them... and they aren't letting the poor bugger back in.
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Old 06-03-08, 12:51 AM
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probably a tourist from Australia
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Old 06-03-08, 04:00 AM
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I have a couple spots where they try it on me too.

There are two intersections where right turn lanes open up. I've had people try to 'pass' me while I'm sitting at a red light in those lanes. I think it simply comes from their inexperience with anything remotely VC around here. Most cyclists ride the sidewalk or cling humbly to the right gutter begging to get right hooked at every intersection. I'm an anomaly.
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Old 06-03-08, 10:32 AM
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I encourage motorists to pass on the right in certain situations--generally onramps. I'll ride on the left edge of the lane that's freeway-bound, because there's generally just a ton of room to my right, more than would be to my left if I took the technically correct position (right side of the lane going straight) that's a few inches to my left. Most cars get it and go around, but a few feel like they have to plod along behind me.
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