Sunday, June 19, 2011
Car Driver Behaviour
Went for a bit longer ride last Sunday. I think I have confirmed my suspicion that the best way to annoy car drivers is to ride at a speed that is a bit less than the speed limit but close to their speed. This seems particularly true when it's a spot where they have a hard time to pass you safely. We have two roads in Maple Ridge that I try not to ride very often as there is a lot of car traffic on them as it one of only three routes going east-west. I stopped riding along Old Dewdney Trunk an year or so ago when I was passed without proper care. It is a narrow, two lane road without shoulders, a deep water filled ditch on one side and a barbed wire farm fence on the other with power poles near the edge of the road. I was heading east, nearing a right angle corner when a pickup truck passed me forcing the on coming car to veer far to the right near the ditch. I saw the situation developing and moved as far to the right as I could and braked to let the truck in. The truck was by me when I looked and saw the driver in the oncoming car. He had big eyes and a rather pale look on his face. I recognise this look from white water paddling where the paddler is much less than comfortable with the situation they are in. In fact, they have suffered a good scare and just barely survived. The road I was on Sunday is part of this same route but a bit further east. It's also narrow but only has shallow ditches on either side with power poles on one side. I had just ridden along the previously mentioned section so I could use the washroom at a park along the road there. As I was leaving the park a couple of roadies rode by. I decided to see if I could catch them but they made it through the next traffic light and I had to wait. At the next light I caught up and realized I was riding much faster that they were so I just stayed on the same road as it's the flatest route to where I was going. I was riding along at about 40 kph with a bit of oncoming traffic when first one car and then a second passed me having become impatient sitting behind me. Both times they probably should not have passed as there wasn't really enough space to do so safely. By the way, the speed limit there is 50 kph but most folks drive at 60 kph or more. Less than a km from where I was passed there is a short bike lane where they could have safely gone by.