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Supporting other cyclists(27 posts)

Supporting other cyclistsblakester
Oct 8, 2003 11:08 AM
Do any of you try to specifically wave, "thumbs up" or other things to say hi or supprot to cyclists you see or people on group rides? (I meant while you are driving or being driven.. but it also could pertain to when you are biking by them.
I've noticed a correlationlotterypick
Oct 8, 2003 11:19 AM
WHen I have my cardboard aero rims set up, I don't get any waves or acknowledgement.

When I bring my MTB that's too small and my lady bug helmet with thigh high cotton socks and my pro keds, I get only small acknowledgement but no one talks to me.

I think I'll wear my USPS jersey and my white shorts next. Maybe I'll get more.
group ridesfiltersweep
Oct 8, 2003 12:13 PM
I am very respectful when encountering respectful cyclists. Unfortunately, there are all sorts of disrepectful riders...

I often hate encountering most cyclists on group rides- they tend to be rude and annoying riders... generally riding 3-4 abreast... I'll take care to pass them in my vehicle only to have them sneak by me on the right at the next light, rather than hold their position in the queue, which forces me to pass them again. This is equally annoying when it is a solo rider. This level of disrespect annoys me even more, since I generally assume they are essentially provoking other drivers to have negative attitudes about cyclists. You'd think half the group rides were critical mass rides.

Not every group ride is like that, but the ones that stick in memory often are.

I generally don't wave at strangers... maybe it has something to do with living in a city.
Interesting topic, once again... riding etiquette...funknuggets
Oct 8, 2003 12:34 PM
Your following statement is an interesting one that I would like to discuss.

"I'll take care to pass them in my vehicle only to have them sneak by me on the right at the next light, rather than hold their position in the queue, which forces me to pass them again."

I do this... most of the time, however I want to ask others their general thoughts or practices. If it is a busy intersection, I will hold my space behind said passing vehicle. However, if Im at a relatively light traffic intersection, and traffic stacks up behind me, I will ride up to the intersection, wait til the light turns green and go to the far lane and basically track stand or creep slowly, out of the way and let all the cars pass and just hop in when the last car goes by. Would that be viewed more negatively by drivers than being directly in front of them directly in traffic? I do realize staying in line is the legal way, but from a driver appeasement perspective which is better?

Sometimes I guess we cannot do right either way. Im just one man, one rider trying to make the world a better place to ride...

I had the same reaction to Filter's commentScot_Gore
Oct 8, 2003 1:08 PM
On a road that is wide enough for cars to pass me on the left, I always pass them on the right when they are stopped.

They pass me on the left, when they are moving at cruising speed, and I pass them on the right when I'm moving at cruising speed. It's always seemed to me to be the natural order of things and not a source of aggrivation for either the driver or the rider.

Passing the same cyclist a 2nd time when I'm driving has never bothered me.

If I come to a light with 5 cars waiting for the green and stop in the sixth position, I don't end up in queue, I end up stopped on the curb next to car number 6's quarter panel because driver 6 pulls up to the car bumper in front of him, not behind me.

I could stop this by taking the lane, but that dosn't make sense to me, it's not where I was riding before I stopped and I'm not going to ride there when the light changes either, I'm going to move to the right and the cars are all coming by me in any event.

If the roads so narrow that I don't fit on the right, I take my place in line. If the roads that narrow it also means many cars are going to have a hard time coming around me when they are competing with on-coming traffic. I take it as a sign that it's time to find a different road.

Up here in the Great White North (Minnesota) most roads are built wider to accomdate the plowed snow that gets stacked up in the winter. Therefore, I may enjoy more room than some of you warmer clime riders. Filter's up here too, so it's an interesting to hear his POV.

My thoughts

If you want to be treated like a vehicle, ride like a vehiclebimini
Oct 8, 2003 3:49 PM
Which means, abid by the traffic laws. Cars don't pass on the right at lights, motorcycles don't pass on the right at lights, what makes bikes so special.

I try to follow the rules of the road. I travel the same 2-3 routes every day, at the same time every day (small college town). Which means I will be passing the same drivers.

Why PiZZ them off. I want to get home safe so I can ride another day. Besides, it's great interval training. Recover at the lights and then when it's green, it's off to the races. No problem pacing the city traffic to the next light.
Just for arguements sake...biknben
Oct 8, 2003 4:28 PM
I'm going to twist your statement around. My state law prohibits crossing a solid yellow line to pass another vehicle. Should all cars wait until the yellow line is dashed to pass?

A bike
b IS
special! Cars are allowed to pass one whenever they want. Think about it the next time you're stuck behind Granny while driving. You can't pass her whenever you want. You have to wait for a dashed line. Then think how fortunate you are to be allowed to pass bikes.

Most states require that bikes stay "as far right as safe and practical". If I happen to pass cars while abiding by this law, then so be it.

I'm not rude about it. If I'm on a really narrow road and someone had to wait to get by me, I won't pass them at the next light. They were considerate enough to wait behind me before passing and I will return the favor by not forcing them to do it again. Every traffic light is unique. At some I will stay in line simply because there isn't enough room. In most cases, if there is room, I'm passing on the right.

I may have to bring my camera with me on my commute tomorrow. I may have to show you guys the 1/2-mile backups I encounter at some lights.
Just for arguements sake...lemmy999
Oct 8, 2003 5:40 PM
Good points by everyone. I once was in an area where you can ride a 6 mile loop and it is a divided 2 lane road where each line is very wide. There are many runners and bikers on this road. One day a car came by my then later I came up on it and it was going slow looking at the houses. I didn't know if I should pass on the right or left or not at all. I figured since they can pass me, I can pass them, but I didn't know which side to pass on.
Just for arguements sake...Saddle_Sore
Oct 9, 2003 7:15 AM
I liked this bit of your post...

"I may have to bring my camera with me on my commute tomorrow. I may have to show you guys the 1/2-mile backups I encounter at some lights"

I'm sorry, but a pi$$-ant 1/2 mile queue is nothing compared to what we get in the UK. Typical rush-hour traffic in an afternoon (between 1630 and 1900 hours) can result in queue's of over 1.5 miles at junctions round where I live.

The most annoying thing about trying to navigate through these queues are those drivers who pull right in toward the kerb because they cannot stand the thought of someone getting past them even if they are on a bike.

I always make a point of getting round these idiots - they have no consideration for other road users. The more cycle lanes that get put down the better, so I have even more legislation on my side when I bawl them out for encroaching into my road space :|
To reinforce what Ben saidScot_Gore
Oct 9, 2003 7:53 AM
I do ride like I'm a vehicle, I ride like the vehicle is a bicycle, not like it's a car. If the traffic laws were applied as if all vehicles on the road were the same then cars would never be able to pass me without abiding by this law.

Subd. 3. Passing. The following rules shall govern
the overtaking and passing of vehicles proceeding in the same
direction, subject to the limitations, exceptions, and special
rules hereinafter stated:

(1) the driver of a vehicle overtaking another vehicle
proceeding in the same direction shall pass to the left thereof
at a safe distance and shall not again drive to the right side
of the roadway until safely clear of the overtaken vehicle;

That would require cars to move completely into the on-coming traffic lane until completely past my bike. I don't have that expectation as rider or a driver. The law even recognizes this difference between the vehicles. Just an inch down the page is this exception to the above rule.

(3) the operator of a motor vehicle overtaking a bicycle or
individual proceeding in the same direction on the roadway shall
leave a safe distance, but in no case less than three feet
clearance, when passing the bicycle or individual and shall
maintain clearance until safely past the overtaken bicycle or

By indivdual I'm assuming they mean pedestrian, roller blader, skateboarder, segway(?), etc.

Minnesota Passing on the RightScot_Gore
Oct 9, 2003 7:37 AM
Here's Minnesota traffic law for passing on the right:

Subd. 4. Passing on the right. The driver of a
vehicle may overtake and pass upon the right of another vehicle
only upon the following conditions:

(1) when the vehicle overtaken is making or about to make a
left turn;

(2) upon a street or highway with unobstructed pavement not
occupied by parked vehicles of sufficient width for two or more
lines of moving vehicles in each direction;

I think section 2 means it's OK for me to pass on the right as long as there's room to do so. I can do it on a bicycle and not in my car because a bike and car combination meet the criteria for having two or more lines of moving vehicles, where a car and car combination dosn't.

Minnesota Passing on the Rightfiltersweep
Oct 9, 2003 7:58 AM
Then there is the principle of "its better to be alive than be right." Not that it is that dangerous to pass on the right, although I was once hit by a car who turned right without signally as I passed... it is the same principle that there are certain roads I just won't ride my bike one- even if it is "legal."

BTW- I rode a Segway the other day- it still seems easier to just walk....
Have you been following the story of the Dept of Admin worker.Scot_Gore
Oct 9, 2003 8:48 AM
First Article:
2nd Article:

This guy lives in Roseville and commutes to the Capital on his Segway. He did it a few weeks, he was bringing the Segway to his desk and plugging it in to re-charge for the trip home. A bike commuter complained that if he can't keep his bike at his desk, why can the Segway come in. So, justice prevailed, he's told to keep it in the bike lockers. But wait, the bike locker dosn't work, he can't charge there and our cold weather will kill the battery in any event.

A solution was found, he can purchase indoor heated parking and they'll get him power to plug into.

I'm glad he found a way to make his alternative work, but I found myself grinning more than and thinking, hey genius ride a bike to work. I strongly suspect he'll be driving in Dec, Jan, Feb. His toy won't work sub 20 degrees I'm pretty sure.

Makes you wonderfiltersweep
Oct 9, 2003 9:48 AM
I'd bet the guy had his "ham-radio" license by the age of 12, wore a tuxedo T-shirt to his SR. prom, etc...

I really don't understand the Segway at all (after using one last week). Americans already don't get enough exercise. Indoors, the Segway is slow and awkward- walking is easier. Outdoors it is slower than a bike, needs to be recharged, has limited range, and has the same accessibility issues that a bike has.
Oct 9, 2003 7:53 AM
There is a difference between something like Dodd Road, around highway 110 where there is a wide shoulder with a painted white line and something like Minnehaha Parkway, where there is no shoulder, and in fact, there is a concrete curb.

On Dodd Road or Highway 13, I'll ride freely on the shoulder- and cars really don't need to pass me- I am actually on the shoulder- an entire group can fit on the shoulder. Minnehaha is a different story (and the posted speed, BTW, is 25 mph- which is easily manageable riding with a breeze at my back)... I'll take the lane at a light. It keeps drivers happy. No one ever tries to squeeze by me in their cars.

I've ridden with Scott and have found him to be a very courteous rider.

I don't like passing the same cyclist twice. It is rude to take the lane when it suits them, then ride around traffic when it is more convenient- especially as a slower moving vehicle. If they need to take a lane, they should stay in the lane at the light.
I agreeScot_Gore
Oct 9, 2003 8:19 AM
On a street that's narrow, you take the lane and keep it wheither you're moving or not. On a street that's wide you ride to the right and proceed much like you would on a 2 lane road in your car.

On a 2 lane (in the same direction) road. When you have 4 cars stopped at a red in the left lane, you don't stop in the right lane in the 5th position, you pass them on the right and take the 1st position in a new line.

On the bike it's the same concept. It's a new queue, the bike queue.

Filter, my commute to work is on East Bush Lake Road by the ski jump. I bet you know the road. There's about 2 feet of shoulder and 2 lights. Northbound in the AM, commuters backup behind the first light to around the entrance to Richardson Nature Center and fill the distance between the 1st and 2nd light. If I didn't use the shoulder to pass on the right I'd advance 8-10 cars per cycle through both sets of lights. I've never seen a cyclist adopt that kind of behavior. And I've never seen a car who seemed to mind. BTW: mostly they don't have to pass me twice. I'm long gone by the time they get through thier own 8-10 car per cycle advance.

I agreefiltersweep
Oct 9, 2003 8:35 AM
I'd do the same thing on that road... if there is any shoulder at all, it makes all the difference in the world.
my takecholla
Oct 8, 2003 11:57 PM
my take: On most of the streets on which I ride, there is a bike lane. Since I am in a separate lane, I pass on the right approaching a red light, and wait at the light. I never interfere if a vehicle wants to cross my lane to get into the right turn lane. If I didn't do this, I might still be waiting, now, at one of the more crowded intersections.
I would only do that in a specifc Bike Lane...russw19
Oct 9, 2003 10:10 AM
But I wouldn't do it in a traffic lane. If the lane I am in has a bike lane that is painted and marked and set aside for me on my bike, then it's my lane and I will ride to the light in it. Just like in a 4 lane road (2 lanes each way) if there is not a car in the right lane, you would drive all the way up to the light. But if there is just one lane and no specific bike lane, I take my rightful place behind the car in front of me in whatever position I am in in the line of traffic. It's the law in most states, but that doesn't mean that people follow it, nor does it mean you would likely get a ticket if you don't. But I also won't creep past a car (while I am driving my car) on the right to make a right hand turn if they are waiting for the light to turn so they can go straight. I also won't pass a car making a left hand turn on the right (one lane road each way) even if there is room to go around them on the right. It's a huge pet peeve of mine and highly illegal in Florida. Most of the time that happens, a car is using a bike lane or shoulder to do so. It puts anyone in the bike lane at risk and annoys the heck out of me. That is the bike lane... if you aren't on one, stay out of it.

People these days are in such a big hurry to get home and microwave their dinners and ignore their kids and watch reruns of America's Stupidest Home Videos that they often forget that one moment of stupid inattention can end someone's life. Just obey the laws and if you get that fed up with traffic, move out of the city or take the damn bus.

Rant over....

Bike Lane vs ShoulderScot_Gore
Oct 9, 2003 10:31 AM
I'm beginning to think this is a regional thing. What you call a bike lane, I call a shoulder. What you call Soda, I call Pop. But I'm not sure, so somebody post back with their opinion.

Look at this photo, that's what I call a shoulder, is that what some of you call the bike lane ?

In my region bike lanes are on or off road lanes with bike symbols painted on the road surface and often "roadies" stay off them. Shoulders is where we ride and we pass on the right in them all the time.

I share the lane, the cars can share the lane. ...TFerguson
Oct 9, 2003 12:59 PM
Why is it that the driver "passed" the bike, but the bike "sneeked" round the car?

I share the lane, the cars can share the lane. ...filtersweep
Oct 9, 2003 4:56 PM
Because the car needed to wait until there was no oncoming traffic to pass, and had to cross the center line to do so- and actually passed on the left.

The bike rode around the car to the right where there was no lane or shoulder- essentially did not give the car its lane.
You must live in a very polite place. ...TFerguson
Oct 10, 2003 9:34 AM
The cars pass me every day whether there is oncoming traffic or not. Two construction semis meeting beside me at 65 mph on a road with no shoulders is very common. But I have to admit, the semis don't "sneek"!

That depends on the area you are in...biknben
Oct 8, 2003 3:42 PM
You'll get a lot of mixed feeling about that statement. It may be applicable in the area you are in but not for others.

In my area, cyclists tend to ride on the secondary roads but we have to cross the major ones every so often. I end up with lights every few miles. Traffic is a problem and these lights get backed up. There is no way I'm going to wait through 2 or more cycles of a traffic light. That is obsurd. I could end up waiting five or more minutes just to get through an intersection.

If there are only a couple cars waiting I'll take my place in line. If it's backed up, I'll will move ahead to a point where I can make it though on the next green. When possible I'll move up to the light.

My justification is this: Cars pass me when I'm too slow. I pass them when
i they
are too slow.

In contrast, I notice positive attitudes since I actually stop at the light and wait. No one seems to mind that I move ahead if I wait at the red light like everyone else.
Supporting other cyclistschar
Oct 8, 2003 6:52 PM
Yeah, I wave to them and usually shout out something in French, Italian, Spanish or German. It helps to have a cycling cap on when doing so.

Next up is to build my foreign language skills cause I really don't speak very well [in other languages.]

Better support is to have floor pump while travelling and a couple of tubes and tires sitting in the back to help the cyclist on the road.

Driven but rarely drivin'
I was just wondering this very thing this morningjma24
Oct 9, 2003 7:57 AM
I have a 17.5 mile commute that goes 4 lane road - mixed use trail - 4 lane road. I noticed just this morning that the people on bikes on the trail (there aren't many, many 3 or 4 coming the other way over the course of 9 miles) are almost exclusively eyes down. But the people on bikes on the roads, those coming from the other direction, almost always wave. It's like an acknowledgement that we are both in the same predicament, dodging cars. I had even thought about asking y'all if this was typical, for cyclists to wave at each other out on the roads.

If this made more sense, I wouldn't have posted it. But it seems counterintuitive. Seems like the folks on the path, it being a safer, more intimate and controlled setting, would be more prone to a wave.
I was just wondering this very thing this morninginnergel
Oct 9, 2003 1:26 PM
I wave at other cyclists on the road when I'm riding. But mostly I do this when the other cyclist and I are riding by ourselves. It's kind of like a comraderie (sp?) thing. I also wave to cars as an indication of thanks when they wave me through a light or intersection or give me plenty of room when they pass or whatever. If they get a good feeling from letting me pass safely, maybe they'll do it for everyone else as well.

On another note, when I'm driving with my daughter in the Tahoe with me (I live in TX, so sue me), she always rolls down the window and cheers/claps for all the cyclists on the road, regardless of where we are. They are all pretty suprised at the gesture and end up with a big smile on their faces.