An admitted shoe geek waxes philosophical about running, triathlon, and life in general.
Comments welcome!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015


Okay, I've been riding with some regularity for a good 35 years now, and it seems that this particular thing has been happening much more frequently this year than any other time. So far -- knock on wood -- I've never hit pavement because of a motor vehicle (I have due to other cyclists, however).

Here's how it plays out... I'm riding along a straight road, maybe going past a strip mall, nearing a driveway, intersection with no stop sign, something like that. A motor vehicle will pass me with its right turn signal flashing.

And then it just stops.

Now I don't know if it's just waiting to get a good shot at me as I pass, or being nice and letting me by -- I choose to believe the latter. And I appreciate the gesture of being attentive to others safety.

But it makes me wonder just what reasoning is going on here.

My thoughts are two:
(1) What makes this driver think it's a good thing to stop dead in the road with traffic coming up behind?
(2) If that turn was so close, why even attempt to make the pass?

Sure, I've had people burn past and almost flip the car trying to make the turn without causing me to T-bone their side panels, and it's almost always a large pick-up slurping a good $1.00 worth in fuel in the process. I just laugh.

But the ones that stop? I mean, in the first thought above, all it's doing is increasing the chances that one of us will get rear-ended.

And in that second thought, I have to wonder what was so important that the potential 3 second delay of waiting behind was unbearable, which then turned into even LONGER because... I don't know, maybe they think everyone on a bike is tootling along at the standard DUI case of 5 mph and thinks traffic law is for someone else. Then they realize too late that I'm going a bit faster than that and OH CRAP! I'm not gonna make it!

I've talked with a few of them at times, and the usual answer is "I couldn't tell how fast you were going." Really? Then, again, why would you attempt the pass? Are you in the habit of venturing into a situation like that where you couldn't tell how fast traffic was going?

What I end up doing in every case is staying behind the car and waving them through the turn. I refuse to put myself where they can't see me and risk them taking the turn as I'm passing. Sometimes it turns into a bit of a standoff, but I'll pull into the lane behind them if needed. That usually gets the message across.

It's just something I don't get. But then it seems common sense has left the building. Along with common courtesy.

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