€must Pass Cyclist” Motorist Mentality € Do Cyclists Encourage It?

Discussion in 'Commuting and Road Safety' started by predagin, Jun 18, 2015.

  1. predagin

    predagin New Member

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    Most cyclists are aware of this phenomenon. This is the urge many/most motorists have that practically forces them to get ahead of any cyclist in front of them ASAP. Blind curves, hills, stop signs just ahead, oncoming traffic and more… matters little many times.

    My theory is that cyclist behavior at least partially promotes this mentality. Here’s why…

    In practically every area I’ve ridden in or been to, almost all cyclists ride as far out of the way as possible. Curb or gutter hugging, riding in door zones or on scrappy unsafe shoulders and sidewalks, etc., seems to be the rule. Stay out of the way of the large and powerful motor vehicles by any means possible to ensure safety, seems to be the thought process behind this behavior. It can seem wise on the surface, but it can also encourage overtaking when it would not be safe to do so.

    When motorists consistently observe this cyclist behavior, it is what they become accustomed to. Cyclists always stay, or move out of their way. Having to slow and wait behind a cyclist for even a few seconds can really can be quite foreign to them. Maybe it’s different in your area, but this is what I see.

    I question if this common “Staying Out of the Way” tactic doesn’t promote the common “Motorist Must Pass Cyclist” mentality.

    Maybe if more cyclists were a little more assertive (especially in narrow lanes and other situations that call for it) it would help dispel the Motorist Must Pass mentality, and lead to safer, more comfortable road interactions for everyone.
     
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  2. Totalarmordestine

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    I don't think it matters whether it's a cyclist in this situation. I know many people who drive as though if they're not passing then they're not winning.
     
  3. tarverten

    tarverten New Member

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    Cyclists are typically slower than other vehicles which means that most other road users will want to pass them, that's just the way it works when there are variations in speed. Unfortunately this apparently leads to a persecution complex or feeling of inferiority for a few people. Heck, I knew someone who got mad at people who didn't walk up escalators because they were holding them up.
    Its important to remember that for most people driving is just something that stands in the way of their destination. Where as for cyclists the journey is most often just as important as the destination, therefore there's a conflict from the get go even without the difference in speed.
     
  4. tarverten

    tarverten New Member

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    Cyclists are typically slower than other vehicles which means that most other road users will want to pass them, that's just the way it works when there are variations in speed. Unfortunately this apparently leads to a persecution complex or feeling of inferiority for a few people. Heck, I knew someone who got mad at people who didn't walk up escalators because they were holding them up.
    Its important to remember that for most people driving is just something that stands in the way of their destination. Where as for cyclists the journey is most often just as important as the destination, therefore there's a conflict from the get go even without the difference in speed.
     
  5. blastguardgear

    blastguardgear New Member

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    People riding too far to the right, either out of a lack of understanding of safety or an ignorance of the law, likely does encourage aggressive overtaking. I have invested a lot of time and effort convincing a small fraction of the people who ride down the short main drag of my quirky neighborhood to move out of the door zone (it's actually marked with sharrows) and it appears to me that the motorists are behaving in a less-aggressive manner this year compared to years past.
     
  6. thepieeatingjay

    thepieeatingjay New Member

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    I agree 100 % that some cyclists encourage dangerous overtakings, but I disagree with you 100% as for how they do that. In my experience the problem is NOT cyclist who ride on the far right. They are the solution and example for everyone to follow. The problem are cyclists who block the road by riding in the middle of a lane at a speed way under the speed limit. This to me is just asking for trouble and a recipe for disaster. Blocking the road as a cyclist or motorist for that matter, will undoubtly lead to dangerous overtakings. People have no choice but to take risks if someone is blocking the road.

    It is as if some cyclists think they are entitled to the center of a lane but without the responsibilities, as if the speed limits of the road do not apply to them, just because their vehicle is slow in nature. Ridiculous. In Denmark every road has speed limits. When you ride in the center of a lane you have to be within +/- 10 km/h of that guideline, otherwise you have to be as far right as humanly possible. So as a safety rule of thumb, I always ride on the far right on any road. I take pride in respecting motorists and I can sence a mutual respect when they see that I'm trying to make it easy for them to overtake. Most of them cross the middle line even though I have made enough room for them. On the other hand, if I decide to be confrontational and block the road, not only will they overtake me, they will do it at a much higher speed and much closer to me.
     
  7. shadowsupernature

    shadowsupernature New Member

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    As usual we're seeing the two extremes here......the motorists does because the cyclists does because the motorists does because the cyclists does because........

    If everyone, yes, even including cyclists, were willing the share on an equitable basis in a pragmatic manner most of our problems would go away. Unfortunately there are rotten apples in every barrel.
     
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