Portland Bike Forums (by BikePortland.org)

Go Back   Portland Bike Forums (by BikePortland.org) > General Discussion > General Discussion
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-01-2009, 09:21 PM
wsbob's Avatar
wsbob wsbob is offline
Senior Member
Site Admin
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,755

Earlier this evening, steelsreal posted a comment, link #: steelsreal;21510 that I found to be less than civil. I went about proceeding to respond to the inappropriately made remarks in that comment in a 'to the point', affable manner. When I got ready to post my response to SR's comment...SR's comment had disappeared. I'm presuming SR decided in good judgment to delete the comment.

As a result, I then edited mine saying that if SR offered to be nice...civil might be a more appropriate term...in future comments made, I'd withdraw/delete before midnight, the response I'd put together. That's what I've now done. Saved it to a folder as kind of a souvenir. Assuming SR had the good judgment to delete the comment and it didn't disappear some other way on its own....SR has my respect for doing so.

All of us that choose to comment here in the forums....we may not always like each others comments expressed on various subjects...but I think we're going to do a better job of staying on the high road if we make a consistent effort to have those comments reflect opinions that have some constructive thought behind them, and that deliberately seek to avoid rudeness and obnoxiousness.

If certain people want to spend everyone's time saying they hate or love various individuals or the collective group that comments here, not having any moderating authority on this weblog, I have no control over that. I, and I'm guessing that other people visiting the forums would rather hear something more relevant to the issues people riding bikes face each day, such as...; 'this will/won't work because...'. 'An idea that could improve 'X' situation is.... .'. Being funny is fine. Having fun is fine. Poking fun when people get it is fine. The bratty stuff...I hope we'll start to see people passing on that more consistently.

Last edited by wsbob; 09-01-2009 at 11:24 PM.
Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2009, 08:13 PM
Ike Whetsell Ike Whetsell is offline
Junior Member
Site Admin
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 1

Historically, when I say "on your left," the people I'm passing look left and steer directly
into my path.
Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2009, 03:13 PM
phdbd phdbd is offline
Site Admin
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 64
Default I'll be taking Williams home tonight

Undoubtedly I'll be passing folks.

As usual, I'll try my best to make sure I squeeze out a breathless '..yer left' as I come by. When I'm passing 4 or 5 people at once (like at stoplights) sometimes I'm unable to gulp down enough oxygen to get them all out. (Despite my worthy sacrifices to the traffic gods/best heroic efforts, only on quiet days without that north wind can I get every light on my way home)

If you are one the peoples that find yourself regularly passed please:

a. expect to be passed

b. do not be surprised when you look over and find me 10-12 inches from your shoulder as I go by, I'm not going to run into you.

and c. Please do not stop in the center of the bikelane at lights, there are people coming up from behind you who haven't been stopped at this light and are already traveling at speed, and will be coming around you.

Actually, Iíll just take Interstate. Itís faster and less congested, and thereís only one (car) traffic lane, not two.
Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2009, 07:11 PM
the Wumpus's Avatar
the Wumpus the Wumpus is offline
Senior Member
Site Admin
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 145

Originally Posted by phdbd View Post
b. do not be surprised when you look over and find me 10-12 inches from your shoulder as I go by, I'm not going to run into you.
And don't be surprised when I dodge a hazard you didn't see because you were passing too close and I unwittingly sweep your front wheel with my back wheel and toss you over the bars. It seems that's a risk you're willing to take, right?

Never, never, never, never pass anyone you don't explicitly trust with your safety closer than you or they could reach out and touch you. Like strangers. Unexpected things can happen. Passing distance > swinging distance = safe! For both of you!
Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2009, 10:37 PM
randy5235's Avatar
randy5235 randy5235 is offline
Junior Member
Site Admin
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 22

It is my understanding that in the vehicle code it the person doing the passing that the responsibility of safety falls to. That said passing on the right ( unless the person has signaled that they are turning left) is not a good idea.

Traffic safety revolves around the idea of being predictable.

If I am pretty certain of what you are going to do then accidents are much less likely to happen. Unpredictability is what causes most accidents.

People do not expect to be passed on the right. If creates dangerous situations and the person passing is not being a responsible vehicle operator nor keeping with the norms of standard vehicle etiquette. Thus a dangerous situation is created.

Passing on the left is perfectly acceptable. Calling out is courteous but not generally required assuming ( and still not technically required by law though) that you are passing with a suitable distance between you and the vehicle being overtaken. I feel that 2 1/2 to 3 feet is usually acceptable. When I pass people I give them as wide a berth as possible. If I do not feel that I can give them the necessary space without placing myself in danger (ie. in front of a faster moving vehicle) I slow down and wait till it is safe to pass.

This should be common sense. Apparently it is not. Does anyone like it when a larger vehicle (ie. car or truck) passes them at a faster rate of speed and in close proximity? I should imagine not. So why think that someone on a smaller vehicle (ie. bike or motorcycle) is any different?

I think the problem here is that people spend too much time thinking about themselves and their wants and needs, while spending too little time thinking about the concerns and safety of others. We all do crappy things sometimes. I am certain that I have passed closer than I would prefer to be passed from time to time say when running late for work or something. The thing here is that we all need to realize and become aware that OUR actions can and do have consequences intended or otherwise on those around us.

People we need to start trying to be aware of this and treat each other with a bit more respect and stop acting like we (individually) own the dam road.

Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2009, 08:12 AM
Haven_kd7yct's Avatar
Haven_kd7yct Haven_kd7yct is offline
Senior Member
Site Admin
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Tigard, OR
Posts: 486

phdbd says:

"and c. Please do not stop in the center of the bikelane at lights, there are people coming up from behind you who haven't been stopped at this light and are already traveling at speed, and will be coming around you."


If I'm riding along and you're nowhere near me or within my sights or hearing, and I come to a stop light and stop for it, then yes, I'm going to be in the middle of the lane.

Or, when I get to a stop light and stop for it, if you're not right there I'll be sitting in the middle of the bike lane.

I'm not being a jerk here, I'm just saying that if I'm all by my lonesome why shouldn't I be in the middle of the bike lane, where there are less hazards? Why should I have to sit in the gutter just so you don't have to slow down?

Don't be a dick and pass me up on the right and then get mad because I'm in the middle of the bike lane.

How about, be a considerate person and a) slow down a little bit, then b) check to make sure it's clear ON THE LEFT and then c) pass me ON THE LEFT.

I expect people to be considerate and follow the laws. If you can't do both, maybe you need more practice.

Oh, and phdbd, if you find yourself without breath enough to cough out a warning, then maybe you need to invest in a bell or some other noise maker so we can hear you coming and get out of your way.
Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2009, 09:45 AM
wsbob's Avatar
wsbob wsbob is offline
Senior Member
Site Admin
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,755

Yesterday, I found myself scanning through bikeforums (the other, bigger cycling forum ) for something interesting to read. In the 'Road Cycling' category, there was the following thread, started up just last Sunday:

'Roadie anger; Arlington VA; WA&OD trail this morning' Bike Forums/road cycling

The OP introduces the subject describing an encounter on a busy MUP with what seems to be the type of rider commonly mentioned in association with bad experiences on such paths and on the road as well; lycra clad...riding very swiftly with little regard for other people in this particular riding situation, and with a poor disposition to top it off. Five pages of comments...some good ones in there, for example; pg 3, comments # 57, 68, 72. Most people commenting in response seem to consider that the lycra rider should get out on the road where he can go as as fast as he wants.

phdbd's outlook on riding and passing other riders doesn't seem to me to be as unreasonable as others I've heard, but I wouldn't think it realistic to use as standard operating procedure in regards to others on the road that are biking.

"b. do not be surprised when you look over and find me 10-12 inches from your shoulder as I go by, I'm not going to run into you." phdbd

Who are you passing at that distance, at what speed, what speed differential, and where?...as in what type situation? If you know the person, they know you, and know you're back of them and possibly preparing to pass, 10-12 inches is reasonable. In regards to many other types of people riding in a position to be passed, passing at a speed above perhaps 10 mph at a distance of 10-12 inches, may be too close.
Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2009, 10:46 AM
biciclero's Avatar
biciclero biciclero is offline
Senior Member
Site Admin
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Beaverton
Posts: 239
Default Apply driving principles

I mostly try to apply the principles I learned from driving my car:

If I want to pass, I do it in the next lane over, except for some situations where the "passee" is signaling to make a left turn, or is in the process of making a right turn. This includes at intersections where others ahead of me have been stopped at a red light, and I come up just as the light turns green. If I am in my car, and there is an open lane going my way, that lane is where I go to pass all those poor suckers that were stopped at the light. I don't use parking spaces to pass another stopped car on the right, and I don't veer into an oncoming lane to go around a stopped driver that hasn't quite gotten going yet. If there is not a free lane (in the right direction) for me to use to pass, then I am going to have to pull up behind whoever has been stopped waiting for the light to change, even if it is Grandma--or worse yet, one of those lane-hogging, arrogant "cyclists".

Something that a lot of people (mostly non-riding drivers) seem to overlook is that a bike lane is a lane of traffic, and in most cases, it is a SINGLE lane of traffic. Being a traffic lane, drivers are obligated to yield to folks already in the bike lane before crossing it--just like ANY OTHER LANE (this is what they don't seem to understand; sorry for the mini-rant). Being a single lane, the safe assumption is that it is not to be used for passing someone else in the same lane. The other assumption that I should be able to make is that I possess all the pavement between the lane lines on my left and right. I should be able to swerve all I want within those lines and not fear hitting anyone (not that that is a good idea, but sometimes there are hazards to avoid).

This is already getting too long, but I think one more thing to add is that the varying widths of the bike lanes painted around here sends a somewhat confusing message. If the bike lane is 3 ft. wide or less(!) it clearly is not wide enough for passing within the lane. If the bike lane is 6 ft. wide or more, there may be enough room to scrape by another rider, but is that the intention of having a wider lane? Are we supposed to pass within the lane? On busier bikeways, I think we need to have a double-striped bike lane so there can be a "slow" and a "fast" lane and everybody knows where they are supposed to be. Of course, if there are no painted bike lanes, then some space rule must be applied when passing. I like to keep an arm's length away.
Dang! You got shocks, pegs... lucky! --Napoleon Dynamite
Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2009, 11:07 AM
ephany ephany is offline
Junior Member
Site Admin
Join Date: May 2006
Location: N PDX
Posts: 28

Wow, some great replies and I'm happy to see that there at least a few folks out there who value common courtesy on the road. It's interesting to not that folks like phbdb want everyone to cater to them (huddling on the side of the lane at stop lights in case he might be speeding up from behind, for example), but are not willing to extend any consideration to other riders.

Sounds like your basic double standard at work.

Anyone seen the front page today? Looks like we're not the only ones concerned about etiquette on the roads. Yay!
Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2009, 04:14 PM
q`Tzal's Avatar
q`Tzal q`Tzal is offline
Senior Member
Site Admin
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Betwix logic and emotion, reason and insanity.
Posts: 354

At some point this will be solved quite easily.
These aggravating and dangerous behaviors are called "Reckless driving"
Surely there is a statue, does it not apply to all vehicle drivers?
Certainly it applies to auto drivers and to motorcycle riders but does it not also apply to bicycle riders?

I'm as impatient as the next guy, my wife would say more so, and often pass at high speed but take our current freedom as precious.
If certain rude and hazardous members of the cycling public donít stop riding that way we can only expect enforcement of reckless driving standards on cyclists.
Knowledge is NOT a crime.
Reply With Quote

commuting, courtesy, manners, safety

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:52 PM.

A production of Pedaltown Media Inc. / BikePortland.org
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.