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on coming overtaking cars(13 posts)

on coming overtaking carsgerald
May 15, 2001 4:41 AM
How common is it for the cars traveling in the opposite direction to overtake each other and hence end up driving straight towards you in your lane. Since they have usually accelerated and you have the combined speed of the car and bike it seems maddness for people to do that a foot or two away from you. Here in Germany on country roads I get it once every trip. I give the driver the finger which may not be very smart if it distracts them. Are there any laws about the distance you should pass a bike by in the US and you should you even overtake if there is a bike in the other lane. German drivers are crazy anyway.
To cheer you upluck-to-be-alive
May 15, 2001 4:50 AM
On my commute to work this morning, got overtaken by a school bus - drived arsed it up, got halfway past me, realised that he has blown it, pulled in again and sandwiched me between the side of the bus and a parked truck. Thank god I was wearing a helmet, as I went straight into the side mirror, having been bounced down the side. Amazed not to have bent frame.

At least yours missed you...
re: on coming overtaking carslonefrontranger
May 15, 2001 7:24 AM
The laws in the U.S. all vary by the state you're in, though generally they agree that a bicycle should be treated and abide by the same rules as a motor vehicle. I lived in Ohio, and the law there states that an (overtaking) driver must pass a cyclist in the far lane, i.e. cross the centerline to overtake.

Here in Colorado, there's no such law other than a very restrictive "single file" rule for cyclists. This means that on narrow roads without shoulders, drivers pass you within the lane, making for some very skinny riding, especially as they usually choose to do this when there's oncoming, the morons (this is why we all race 'cross out here, right?).

Where in Germany? I lived in Hamburg for a time. I agree, the German drivers are am Arsch. Your roads are much narrower than ours as well.
Bad KarmaBrian C.
May 15, 2001 7:51 AM
This happens all the time to me:
You're out on a quiet, country road and haven't seen a car in 20 or 30 minutes; then, you notice two cars - one on the horizon in front of you and one behind you.
You start to consider your options - you could stay put and hope the car ahead will get there first, thus allowing the car behind to give you wide berth when it passes; or, you might get into the oncoming lane, if the car behind is gaining on you more quickly, then shoot back to the correct lane after it passes and before the car in front of you gets there.
Incredibly, after not seeing a car in almost half an hour, these two oncoming cars will pass each other exactly where you happen to be on the spacetime continuum. Sometimes, the space is tight and you're forced to bail out for the shoulder.
Then you don't see a car for another 20 minutes.
I stop for a drink.
the tails side of the coinBreck
May 15, 2001 9:51 AM
& you as a driver out on that stretch of highway will do the same thing. i as a desert driver hve noticed this phenom. you see the biker and the oncoming car. you slow as you favor passing the biker after the other car. you see the car ahead not yet to the biker and futher slow. the other driver is doing the same thing. you slow, he slows, ditto, ditto nd s you get nearly upon the biker you start watching the biker and slow and pass at the exact trifecta instant.

the trick is to kikk the DOHC 245 horse 4WD V8 truck in the pants, and make the biker a pin point in your rear view. blink the lights as you do this to the other driver. don't beep at the biker as you blow by with your right wheel on the center divider. hay dude gret to be a biker huh? i back off when the needle nudges 105, thoough now whe's into it and wants to play. god i would kill myself in twin turbo porsche! the Tundra will have to do.

your biggest fear should be come from behind solo driver on the deserted stretch. have had them crowd me off the shoulder with no traffic atall and in a broken-striped plenty passing zone & one jeep driver even with kids in the car. hey kids check out the biker?

road biking light OCLV w/down tube shifters ...mountain, desert, straight roads, curved roads, heavy traffic, light traffic, no traffic ... i've seen it all but still wonder as you do what are these guyz thinking. in the truck i never wonder ... having too much fun (ain't never had too much fun -Commander Cody) with the bike rigged up in the back like the Prancing Horse it iz.

Bad KarmaRichard Schneider
May 16, 2001 11:34 AM
The solution to this situation is to move to the center of your lane until the car going the opposite direction has passed. Then move over and let the one in your lane pass.
motorcycles are worse...gromit
May 15, 2001 8:20 AM
There are a lot of high end road machines the roads near me. Nothing worse than a bunch of 1000cc Yamahas or Ducatis coming straight at you with their headlights on at 100mph. Especially if they have had their silencers removed. The noise is enough to make me wobble...
motorcycles are worse...Jim Burton
May 15, 2001 11:34 AM
No s#%t about the noise level. It seems just...well...rude!
re: on coming overtaking carsTurtleherder
May 15, 2001 8:55 AM
The problem here in the rural Midwest are the grain trucks. The farmers get used to driving big machinery around the roads and they don't have an appreciation of less weighty modes of tansportation. A fully loaded semi of dump truck passing two feet away from you at 60 mph causes alot of wind buffeting. I do not believe that any harm is meant, they just do not know what happens to the bike after they pass.
Same here ...roads belong to them.Breck
May 15, 2001 10:00 AM
i saved this as it was intended for mikes post...
roads belong to "them"

on the serious side roads belong to the busses, cars and trucks if you have not noticed. i drive bout 30,000 road miles a year in the truck and at the peak biked about 10,000 road miles the one year 1996.

have never had serious encounter with a motorized vehicle since 1963 when the Coca-Cola vending truck hit me in my VW Beetle and sent me spinning down the highway on the drivers side like a bowling ball hitting the pin. Ground off the right door handle and got dizzzy seeing the asphalt spinning sound thru the glass that thankfully did not break. had a few sew me up MTB experiences and one cracked helmet. a few near misses & touchy-feely the cars on the road bike but saw it
instantanio coming and all at low speeds. my 1999 iron-man road bike bud and others i notice re not always 100% alert and will "wander" about on the road and are not paying attention at all times. is this you?

you gotta pay close attention on the bike and even eye contact with the other driver means absolutely nothing. stay away from schools during the kid-transfer times. when riding down a line of cars keep a hawk eye out for if anyones in the car, about to get in the car, just parked, just anything. slow down and be prepared to brake when riding down the line of parked cars. stop at the lights & put your foot down. be aware of who's around you at all times. look behind when a car/ truck is passing you on "deserted" roads as these guys know there are no witnesses.

ride like the poor end of the physics equation you are, E = 1/2 MV squared. that is the force from the inelastic collision is a function of the relative mass of you and the other vehicle and increases as the velocity (speed) squared. stop and get off the bike if you are on a bad shouldered road and a semi is coming. the passing wind-suck will rock you & clipped in on the twitchy road bike could send you into the shoulder, go down or worse. some truckers enjoy this show i can assure you from much personal experience.

mountain biking can get you hurt but greatly increases your avoidance skills on the road. rod biking can get you killed regardless of fault. why as in WHY do you think you own the road because of a few laws in or out of your favor. the only law counts is old Newton's in this macro universe. figure it out. no law is in your favor riding the
rods whether you be in the car or on the bike. no-brainer.

if you're continally having encounters of the kind you're mentioning then you need the wake up calls. except for kids and late evening dusk rides the bike/car death accident rates are low. maybe get a mountin bike and learn some skills or try riding off Westheimer in downtown Houston, Tex. at 5PM for some real thrills. it's just beyond me why you guyz don't get it. is your IQ same as your big ring :?) but hey i'm just a kid at 58 years & 51 IQ myself.

unedited and cheers
roads are a shared resourceDuane Gran
May 15, 2001 11:07 AM
From your message I would gather that the advice is to get off the roads? I realize that we are going to lose in a collision, however I think it is a calculated risk. Personally I decrease my risk by choosing safer roads, but that isn't always an option. You do give some good advice, and for that your post is certainly appreciated.

I tend to think that as a group we need to do more to educate the public about the presence and ligitimacy of bicycles. I'm reminded of these bumper stickers that say "motorcycles are everywhere". Motorcyclists share a lot of our frustrations and they lose out in collisions too. I think they have been more effective at promoting themselves as legitimate road patrons than we have. I apologize as I don't have a suggested next step, but that might be the subject for another day.
before the horseless carraige ...Breck
May 15, 2001 12:44 PM
...the early oil companies such as Standard Oil of New Jersey made kerosene for the lamps in place of whale oil and the roads belonged to carriages & bikes. Rivers were the main source of freight commerce. In today's California the automobile & trucks are a necessity for transportation. All my bike parts arrive UPS. Only 8% of the diamond lanes carry commuter & two in a car traffic. Since you can not ride your bike on the freeways and can not always afford to live within work commute distance, get the kids ready for school, do the chores, etc. and use local streets & the myriad of top signs and lights for the 60 mile round trip, one is forced to use the bike more for aerobic benefit and pedal power pleasure, never for the sweaty commute to work. Take the bike on the rack to race weekends, trail heads, etc. & have the fun. Don't forget to lock the car or leave the water bott, etc. in the truck bed while away on the ride.

I never give advise and ride the road bike more than most; just typically respond against cookie-cutter mentality. The old ideas are not working. Time to get off our position and throw away the ideas that have never worked and never will. Go back to the basics and try and see where the equation is wrong. I won't give up my bike. And don't care who rides or not on the roads or on the trails with the Eco-freaks clouding the pond on all sides of the issue/s. Let them apostle-ize while i ride. I get it all the time road and trail ...the dog barks but the caravan moves on, etc.

Motorcyclists are old west cowboys just like we are. They want their freedom even if it's just on the week ends with the Outlaw look and the modern clone Harleys, or the Jap Crotch Rockets whom a friend of mine prefers who is not wanted on the board as his/her views re as little understood as mine.

Engineers can solve technical problems and put the man on the moon. Social solutions are more difficult as we have no spokes person personality such as Charley Heston, et. al. The next step like the dilemma in Frost's "the road not taken" is that there are too many side trails we get off on. The main trail is elusive and over grown with conflicting needs; becomes very faint and we get side tracked.

In this ever complicated system more special needs arise and want your ttention and generally political power and monies to solve the Problem at hand. Only so much to go around and we need jobs first of all to maintain our "standards" be it the latest new shoes for the kids, tires for the car, or up-grade our bike ...not cheap anymore.

...but we will hang in there on this journey and not be discouraged. Rub the Buddha's jadeite belly and make our wish. It always comes true. It's working for China, so why not me/we/US.

What about Italy?Murph
May 18, 2001 4:00 AM
What if you're in the car and you see an oncoming car passing?

Here in Italy it's common to see cars passing on a 2-lane road when there's oncoming traffic. The cars in both lanes move far enough to the side to leave a "passing lane" which is centered over the line in the middle of the road. This freaked me out the first time I saw it.

When cycling in Italy, it doesn't really bother me when oncoming cars pass partly because the cars are small here and take up less of the lane and partly because drivers are aware of cyclists and accustomed to sharing the road (even though they get p.o.'ed like American drivers when a group of cyclists hogs the road). I still try to avoid left-hand turns in traffic, but I trust Italian drivers much more than Americans.