"Passin N' Gassin"
Dedicated to the folks that pass me and then "gas out" a block or two later.
In probably 25% of my rides I encounter this phenomenon. I am traveling at a consistent rate of speed to be passed by a much faster rider. 2-5 blocks later, while maintaining the same speed, I pass the same rider traveling at 50 percent of the speed of which they passed me.
Intended as humorous, here is an encounter or two. I will use a visual aid to better explain the first one.
Green Box: While traveling south bound on the I-5 bridge into Hayden island I notice someone right on my tail. We are traveling ~20mph.
In between Green and Yellow Box: I travel a little faster than I usually do so I am not a hindrance to the rider behind me. At the crosswalk at safeway I notice they are 50 yards or so behind me. I am happy I am not slowing them down and realize if they want to pass me they can at the upcoming M.U.P..
Yellow Box: I am traveling about 14mph and they pass me hunched over in their drops cranking hard at around 19mph.
At the three way split at marine drive we separate.
Orange Circle: While I am turning onto Union Ct. I see them enter Delta Park. They are sitting completely up right and traveling at 8-10mph. I chuckle to myself and shake my head.
Pink Box: I (blue line) stop at the Vancouver Ave bridge to answer a phone call. 10 minutes later I see a rider coming towards me at a slower rate of speed in the distance. As they get closer I realize it was the same rider. My hunch from the Orange Circle was confirmed. They passed me JUST to pass me.
~~~~~~~~~~~ Story 2
I catch up to a person waiting at a red light in the bike lane. It appears that they are riding home from work. I wait ten feet or so behind them. During our wait at the red light, they look behind them and stare at me for an uncomfortable 3-5 seconds. They had sunglasses on but I am pretty sure they were staring at either me, my bike or both. I make a friendly hand gesture and without recognition they spin back around to look at the light.
The light turns green and they take off like a bat out of hell on their mountain bike. They are a block or two ahead of me when we start to climb. 2 blocks after we start to climb I close the gap and ride at a polite distance behind them. We are traveling ~12 mph for 100 yards or so when I feel that I should pass them rather than tail them for who knows how long. I kick up my speed to my usual 15-16 mph and pass them. No more then 5 seconds after passing them they come burning past me at 20mph.
I was thinking about pacing them from a distance and seeing how long they could keep up the pace. However, my turn came and I turned.
I refrained from mentioning age or gender for a reason. In both cases it was obvious that they passed me at an unsustainable pace JUST to pass me.
Am I ignorant? Are these race challenges, egos or inexperienced riders with a sense of pride? How do you tell the difference?
Hope you enjoyed the stories. Share some of your chuckle worthy moments!
I've always assumed it was ego, hubris or just plain testosterone poisoned machismo.
I weight >220lbs, I ride a large steel frame bike with loaded panniers that stick out like little parachutes.
But after lurking the IHPVA "trikes" forum for years I learned that the only way I'd keep cycling for years would be to maintain an 85~95 RPM cadence so as not to destroy my knees. It works great too.
With all that inertia to waste in starts and stops I've learned to maintain a consistent pace.
From my years of driving large tractor trailers I learned more of how to interpret what traffic is going to do before it happens.
I have a disturbing ability to intuit and memorize traffic light patterns.
What this has all added up to is that I am the evil bastard that can cruise up to a red light without ever slowing down because I know when it turn; often I will slow my pace almost imperceptibly synchronizing with a "green wave" several blocks away.
I can see who is going to try to right hook me and just pass them on the left.
I plan far enough ahead to realize that time saved on a MUP is lost at crossings where MUP traffic has no priority or ability to cross safely.
Because of all that when I see cyclists that speed up to pass me and other cyclists just to slow down I just feel sorry for them that they have so little self worth that they must remind themselves every few minutes that they are better than all of the rest of us because they are faster.
I think the speed up/slow down routine may be a form of conditioning regimen some people are using. I used to know someone that used the word 'intervals' to describe riding a series of sprints, broken with slow down periods. Apparently annoying for some people that have to follow them, but maybe it helps to know not everyone is doing it to be a cowboy.
about 1/3 the way up the bridge we fly past them... turns out they were in their highest gear and intentionally working hard and slow up that bridge... but on the flats they were going fairly quick...
so if they're all decked out in lycra on a race bike I assume they're training... if it's just a 20's hipster on a steel frame retro bike then it's probably that they're overly competitive or inexperienced...
A is to B as C is to D (A:B::C:D)
I'll blame the vehicular cycling for coloring my view of other road users as aggressors; I can't possibly be to blame for my prejudices. /sarcasm
when i first saw the title of this thread i thought it referred to passing gas. then i thought, maybe this is a means of accelerating propulsion.. soon nobody in the peloton will be taking epo or whatever, they'll just be scarfing down beans the night before the race. this will have the added benefit of dropping whoever is sitting on your wheel with a carefully timed release of 'propellant'.
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