Question for my fellow road riders.

voidedwarranty

Well-Known Member
I will try to make this short, even though anyone that knows me, knows I can talk for hours.

TL/DR: Do you get annoyed by cars that refuse to pass you when in situations where it is absolutely perfectly safe for them to do so?

I do about 80% of my riding at night, after dusk. It's the only free time I get during the week. I use this time to get my exercise in on the bike. Pedal assist 1, full on hard cardio workout. My route is through moderately lit suburban neighborhood roads, no side walks, no bike lanes. My bike has a barely adequate wired headlight and tail light/brake light. It's works and makes me visible but that's about it.

Here's my issue.
While riding I do my absolute best to stay as far off to the side of the road as possible. Most of the roads are wide enough for 4 or 5 cars parked side by side. Without fail, every single time I go out, there is that one car that for whatever reason, refuses to pass me. I mean, I am so far over I'm practically riding on people's lawns, no other cars oncoming, virtually no cars parked on the streets. I am pedalling at 15-20mph and the speed limit is 30. Even signalling to the driver a waving motion of "go around" does nothing to persuade this person to go past. I could practically fit 2 buses side by side past me.

This irritates the sh*t out of me. I don't want to have to slow down or stop my momentum while I am trying to get a hard cardio workout in. I don't want to have to keep checking my mirror to see where they are, how close they are to me, and try to guess their motives. Just pass me!

Does anyone else experience this and does it drive you crazy like it does me?
 
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voidedwarranty

Well-Known Member
During the same ride tonight I had also encountered an SUV oncoming to a "T" style 3 way stop. He gets there way before me and stops, waits, and I'm already thinking "here we go, why is he still sitting there", then just before I decide to continue pedalling through the stop sign because he's giving me the right of way, he makes his left turn right in front of me. Never had his blinker on.

Tonight was just a weird night of a whole bunch of other stuff that kept messing up my typically mundane, uneventful night rides. Culminated in a puncture right on the entrance to a highway overpass about 2 miles from my house. Had to stop and patch it on the spot, which got the attention of 2 police officers who probably thought I stole the bike or was on drugs.

What a night.
 

fooferdoggie

Well-Known Member
two days ago we were 3 miles from home and we get a flat tire on our tandem. I had some specialized sealant for high pressure tires. well I was jsut going to change the tube the nI found out I had not put any tubes back in the bag. my friend is about 3 miles away at mu shop and I get him to bring me a tube I remembered I had in my shop. by the time he got to Us I had got the sealant to work. so I took the tube we took off got maybe 1000 feet. down a super steep path where we can only go slow so we can merge on the bike path. tire went flat again. so I take the wheel off get the tube out to only discover the tube had the wrong valve. so I call my daughter to get a tube from our house and bring it. then I am trying to get the tube changed in the dark and I screwed the tube up getting the tire back on. so we should have jsut walked home in the first place it would have been faster. but the worst part is we have veloinasurance with roadside service and I was sure I put the phone number to call in my phone nope. so main failures in one ride.
 

BlackHand

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Western WA
TL/DR: Do you get annoyed by cars that refuse to pass you when in situations where it is absolutely perfectly safe for them to do so?
Yeah, I get it a fair bit. Especially since most of our residential streets are 25 mph speed limit and I'm cycling between 21-25 most of the time. Slow enough that most drivers want to go faster but fast enough that they have to make conscious choice to pass me while they are speeding.

A couple times a week someone will hang back a good 100 ft behind me for a ways, and then turn onto their street a few blocks later. I do appreciate that and the bus driver who doesn't pass me when he knows he'd probably have pull in front of me at the bus stop 5 blocks up the road.
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
I do appreciate that and the bus driver who doesn't pass me when he knows he'd probably have pull in front of me at the bus stop 5 blocks up the road.

Good for that bus driver. The school bus drivers here full throttle the bus to get around me then stop to drop another child. Over & over. Had one floor it to get around me then stop at the Elementary school & unload the whole bus. I go a block out of my way to avoid that elementary school now, but the passaround street was dug up for sewer work Thursday.
 

rich c

Well-Known Member
I'm out to ride, not direct traffic. If they want to wait, it's their business. If I'm riding up a grade I make an arm motion for them to come around because I can see better.
 

RunForTheHills

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Passing you might mean crossing over the double yellow line. Some people are reluctant to do that even if there is no oncoming traffic, but most people will to get around obstacles in the road. Sometimes I will just stop my bike and force them to pass if it is annoying me.
 

Popparex

New Member
Region
USA
maybe they are concerned for you since by your own admission, you have a " barely adequate wired headlight and tail light/brake light" and so decided to follow you to keep you safe from other cars? I know, placing too much faith in humanity, but you are likely better off with someone following you rather than trying to pass you when they don't feel competent to do so...
 

rochrunner

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Rochester Hills
I think that, at least around here, some people don't know that it's legal to cross a double yellow line to pass a bike. There's a road I often use to get into town -- narrow two-laner, 25mph, striped dbl-yellow for most of the way -- and I'll occasionally get someone who simply will not pass me even though there's no one in sight coming the other way. I can only assume that they think it would be illegal to cross the center line even though they'd only be there for a hundred feet or so.
 

voidedwarranty

Well-Known Member
I think that, at least around here, some people don't know that it's legal to cross a double yellow line to pass a bike. There's a road I often use to get into town -- narrow two-laner, 25mph, striped dbl-yellow for most of the way -- and I'll occasionally get someone who simply will not pass me even though there's no one in sight coming the other way. I can only assume that they think it would be illegal to cross the center line even though they'd only be there for a hundred feet or so.
That would at least make more sense. What I'm talking about is a quiet neighborhood road. No painted lines, 5-6 cars wide or better with no cars parked on the street and me as far over to the side as is physically possible without starting to ride on lawns and they don't overtake. Pet peeve maybe but it just drives me nuts and activates my anxiety because it's at night.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
Double yellow = limited sight distance. If a car is passing you while on the wrong side of that double yellow, or more commonly straddling it, and an oncoming car, or worse, a truck, shows up out of nowhere while this "pass" is in progress, any guess who's going to loose?

There's little doubt who has the legal right of way, but you are in a situation where even if you are right, you are about to get your butt handed to you. Common sense would have you getting out of the way.... whatever it takes. ;)
 

voidedwarranty

Well-Known Member
Double yellow = limited sight distance.
Not exclusively.

I definitely get that there are sparsely populated areas with hills and turns where this is 100% the case. In densely packed urban environments however, it has nothing to do with sight lines. Where I live, you are simply not allowed to move in to oncoming traffic to make a pass, anywhere. Double yellows simply mean: do not pass.
 

ChezCheese:)

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Kitsap Co, WA
It throws off your timing, that's why it is annoying. Traffic flows when everyone follows the rules of right-of-way and everyone can expect people to do so. But I suppose it is better than the alternative, where people take glee in running you off the road...
 

voidedwarranty

Well-Known Member
It throws off your timing, that's why it is annoying. Traffic flows when everyone follows the rules of right-of-way and everyone can expect people to do so. But I suppose it is better than the alternative, where people take glee in running you off the road...
Agreed and when I'm on a single lane busy road I totally get it and make room or take an escape route off the road when and where I can to allow cars to keep moving.

This specific area where this keeps happening is a quiet neighborhood road as wide as a 3 Lane highway, with no cars on it and they insist on riding behind me. It cranks up my anxiety. "Are they following me? Why?" "are they going to throw something at me?" "are they going to try and jump me if I slow down?".

I once stopped at a stop sign and waited for the car to go and they wouldn't go.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
@voidedwarranty: I can perfectly understand your sentiments! It is the best if all participants of the traffic act according to the rules, no exceptions. (I would be more happy if every driver stopped before the marked bike-path road crossing but few do!) I can only wonder: Perhaps the drivers who let you go (against the rules) are cyclists themselves and are trying to be polite?
 

Catalyzt

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Yeah, I get that, and it's less of a problem here, but it definitely annoys me when it does.

Slight tangent: I have discovered that I have to be really careful and chill out after a strenuous ride, because while I do get a terrific blast of endorphins, there's some irritability and paranoia that comes with that as well. I've actually had a lively discussion about this with college athletes I work with, and they report similar symptoms.
"Are they following me? Why?" "are they going to throw something at me?" "are they going to try and jump me if I slow down?".
Sometimes, this is a very real concern, and sometimes it's totally in my head. Last week, I was convinced this truck was following me, and the driver was gonna do something bad as I wound uphill on winding canyon rounds at my usual 8 MPH in ECO and NORM. Because I was revved up and not thinking clearly, I decided to really pour it on. I was very surprised to find that even with my dinky little 40nm mid-drive motor, I could double my speed if I pedaled as hard as I could and then shifted quickly into high-- and I was able to maintain that higher speed with little effort once I got up there. At 16 MPH, the curves in the road are sharp enough that I could outhandle the truck. I pulled away from him. (And I burned a LOT of electrons. Tank was already low, but that was definitely less efficient, back of the envelope, that little sprint cost me a mile or two of range.)

And then realized I was just out of my mind, he wasn't chasing me at all.

A few days earlier, I found myself yelling at a few drivers who did California stops (e.g., only slowed down) at stop signs and then drove right in front of me. What jerks! How dare they! I have a bright front and tail light-- not extreme, but just bright enough for night-riding on trails.

Then, last week, the tables were turned and it happened to me when I was driving-- I didn't see a bike at a stop sign, despite their having perfectly adequate front and rear lights.

I definitely feel pretty silly after those things happen.