car maneuvers that make you shake your head
So we’ve overheard some strange things while riding, had drivers yell some strange things at us, and made a few embarrassing mistakes of our own. But have you ever felt like your presence out on the road makes already poor drivers even worse? Have you ever indirectly caused an accident (that you weren’t involved in)?
I’ve had people speed up to pass me, then immediately go around a corner way faster than they otherwise would (unless they always squeal their tires like that).
This summer, I was waiting for the light to change at Panther Hollow and Greenfield, cop was also there, waiting for the light. Some minivan cruises through the right turn lane, must have noticed the cop, slams on the brakes (for a yield sign) and the car behind him/her rear ends the van. The cop turned on the lights and pulled up behind the fender bender. By this time I had a green light and the intersection was clear, so I started to go. The car opposite me was staring at the crash and missed his green arrow cycle, but starts to go right after I did, as if they’re making a Pittsburgh left in front of me. I don’t want to get creamed, so I stop and wait for him. The driver decides to stop watching the accident long enough to look where he is driving and noticed me waiting for him, so then he stops (quickly), the car behind him (also distracted by the unfolding drama) rear ends this guy. I just shook my head. Poor cop probably had a lot of paperwork.
This morning I was biking into Oakland on Panther Hollow Rd, riding up to the top of the hill, just before the road construction, and I can hear a car roaring behind me. I slow down a little to give the guy time to pass before the lanes merge into a narrow single lane with jersey barriers on both sides. He passes me like a bat out of hell and immediately sideswipes the concrete barriers, hits the brakes, and continues on. Dude was in a pretty nice car too. I bet that move got him to work a whole 13 seconds faster.
Is it wrong this stuff makes me smile? I also find it amusing all this took place in a park; in my mind cars should drive slow through a park, relax, and enjoy the trees!
Many moons ago, I was descending Reynolds Avenue in Point Breeze, approaching Dallas Avenue. A driver behind decided I was too slow and attempted to pass me then turn right on Glen Arden Drive. He took the corner too hot and too wide, and smashed into a car waiting to turn on Reynolds.
During the G20, riding up Liberty, I had a bus speed up, pass and give me the right hook into the busway without slowing down at all. It was like a live action version of “speed” – I didn’t think he was gonna tip but the tires were squealing something fierce and the bus understeered WAY into the other lane, almost sideswiping a cop car that was sitting there. I’m not sure what the big hurry was; I dreamed up some scenario where the bus was whisking VIPs out of danger but from what I could see it looked like the cop just turned around and pulled the bus over… lol.
It seems as if people see you and think “hey, that’s a bike, I’m in a car, cars are faster than bikes, ergo I should be going faster than him/her,”
When I come down w allegheny commons there are always cars that MUST pass me, even though there are three wide lanes and a couple of nice sharp turns near the post office. Screeching tires and unintentional lane changes inevitably ensue. I always chuckle to myself when I see an aries k type beater or pick-up try to pass me on those curves, their center of gravity makes for an awkward transition.
Dwillen, you are right to smile in these situations, absurdity is the basis of humor. If I saw what you did I may have had to pull over in a fit of laughter.
I always laugh when a car makes a huge effort to pass me then arrives at a red light/stop sign 2 seconds before me.
i have caused a car to hit those yield to pedestrian signs that they put in the middle of the road twice… i don’t think i’ve ever caused an accident… lots of almost accidents though
This isn’t just a Pittsburgh thing. When I lived in a Platinum bike city, I ended up racing a taxi cab down a little stretch of road, he was doing his damnedest to pass me, and I was doing my best to keep pace. You could tell the guy wasn’t used to the roads, because half a block away were a series of bollards that forced car traffic to make a left turn (google street view), while bike traffic could go through. Boy, the tires were squealing when he realized I kept going, and he couldn’t.
There are a lot of times a car will go through a red light to be able to pass a bike taht went through 10 seconds earlier. Some of that is just cars going through red lights no news flash, but some of it is, “Gotta pass this guy. Gotta pass.”
It used to be I saw a lot of cars that would pass me on the race-to-the-red-light, then in the last second, pull right so there would be no room for me to re-pass them. I haven’t seen this much lately, though.
i once almost got to see a guy in a convertible drive his car underneath a box truck in front of him because he was “racing” me to a red light. i was even taking the lane. i got to give him the “HAW HAW!” ala nelson on the simpsons.
<i>It seems as if people see you and think “hey, that’s a bike, I’m in a car, cars are faster than bikes, ergo I should be going faster than him/her,”</i>
I’ve often thought that too.
My favourite was when riding down Center to turn left onto Craig (i.e. towards Fifth). Traffic was, of course, going slowly, and I was easily keeping right behind the car in front of me. A PAT bus behind me let a guy off who called me a stupid mothersomethinger and said I should be on the sidewalk, and that the bus driver oughta run me down.
I imagine he had been talking to the driver, who I imagine was indeed pissed about me, because after turning down craig, the bus saw that no traffic was coming the other way and tried to go around me. It quickly realized that, sure enough, I was and always had been not 10 feet behind a car, which was 10 feet behind another car. The bus realized it had to get back in its lane, and had to get back in behind me. This took a bit, since like I said traffic was moving slow, and I bet he thought I was going to let him back in.
When biking downtown, I usually take the whole lane. Its easy enough to keep up with traffic. I still have cars that insist on passing me when I am 5 ft behind a stopped car. They will try to push they way in between.. once traffic moves again I just make sure to accelerate faster than them and reassert my place in traffic.
You can feel that it pisses them off, but I really don’t understand where they think they are going to go.
Re-post from an earlier thread, applicable here:
I almost witnessed a wreck on McKnight at the HOV/279 merge point while I was taking my 2nd photo. Sight lines here are just about ideal for all three traffic streams, but someone coming off 279 felt it necessary to swing way left to avoid me (parked) on the side, and nearly smooshed another car in the left lane.
Two blocks the wrong way down a one way street -backwards.
Oh snap, Mick. I forgot about that one. I wonder if they think that because the car is pointed the right way they won’t get a ticket.
A couple of years ago I was riding away from town in front of the Beehive South side and following a white honda accord.
The car starts moving to the right, in the middle of that intersection towards the starucks. The car plows into a parked explorer, witch plows into a hummer witch plows into a suburban suv, all new cars, all parked in front of starucks.
I stuck around and heard someone say he fell asleep at the wheel.
A car passes you on a two-lane. There is a large pickup or SUV tailgating the car.
The tailgator feels compelled to rev his engine as he passes you, even though he is only 6 ft (90 milliseconds) behind the car.
You would think a situation this specific would be rare. It’s not.
So about two years ago I was riding through Panther Hollow near where the trail pops out onto the road. As I approached the slight bend before the light at the bottom of Greenfield I heard the sound of a big engine rev up. So I hugged the curb and watched a jacked-up Expedition make no effort to make the slight left. It went up on the sidewalk and snapped a ‘No Parking’ sign off its base like a matchstick before it swerved back onto the road. At this point I was far enough around the bend to watch the SUV blow the light and head towards Hazelwood.
Is that the no parking sign that’s still dead down there?
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