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 The 2 seconds (max) rule when passing a car MUST
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fz6yamaha
Standard Member
242 Posts


USA

Peer Review:

Posted - 04/10/2005 :  10:42 PM                       Like
have a BACKUP plan. Today I went for a ride up at the GA mountains, on my way back I have to take interstate I-985 (5 lanes highway) no problem ( I've been on interstate b4), so it was kind of crowed it and I decided to go to the HOV lane (you know for bikes and 2 or more persons in a car) I was following this cage (suv) for a while on the hov lane(4 second rule) far away from it, this cage decided to go to the left lane (I guess to let me pass it), I said ok, its a nice person its letting me go for it, ok I will. When I just decided to pass it, I usually stay couple of seconds behind not NEXT TO IT, BEHIND (in that spot they can see you in their mirrors), and then I apply FULL Trotle to pass it (usually will pass in about 2 seconds or less) but this person for some unknown reason decided to pull back in MY LANE, so there I was going faster than the cage but caught up in the middle, I could not go forward because the cage was taking MY WHOLE LANE, PRETTY DAMM SCARY, so, no panic I said, ok, slow down, check the little shoulder on the left, but slow down, do not lock the brakes, stay calm and I backed off.
SO, NEWBIES (LIKE ME) REMEMBER ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS HAVE A BACUP PLAN (what if?, the stupid cage decide to pull back) and try to make those 2 seconds the fastest in your life your ever life, DO NOT STAY NEXT TO A CAGE MORE THAN THE NECESARY TIME TO PASS IT IN 2 SECONDS OR LESS.
I still do not know te reason for this cage to do something like that, the cage has plenty of room on the lane it decided to go, so I do not know why it pulled back in to my lane when I was passing it.
I did scared the c...p out of me but I stayed focus and kept thinking how to come out it well.
So remember DO NOT PANIC, HAVE A BACKUP PLAN, AND MAKE SURE YOU PASS IT AS FAST AS YOU SAFELY CAN.

By the way, this time I apply the tecnique of studying the turns and not applying brakes (if its not an emergency) and it went really smooth. I appreciatte your advices guys.

Cash Anthony
Female Administrator
1470 Posts
[Mentor]


Houston, Texas
USA

Honda

Magna 750

Posted - 04/11/2005 :  8:08 AM Follow poster on Twitter  Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
Congratulations on smoothing out your curves and studying your turns.

Getting the maneuver over quickly when you're passing another car definitely makes sense when you're in the oncoming lane of traffic...but I'm having trouble seeing the situation you described.

Is the HOV lane on the far right side of the freeway, instead of the far left side (as it is here in Houston)? If you had five lanes, I assume you meant the freeway was a 10-lane freeway, and you had five going in your direction? Is your HOV lane not one lane but two, or did the vehicle you were following move out of the HOV lane and then back into it again?

Hmmm.

I'd say the main thing is that the driver of that car never saw you.

But could you be a little more specific, please?


Cash

Edited by - Cash Anthony on 04/11/2005 8:08 AM
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TedGamble
Standard Member
214 Posts


Murfreesboro, TN
USA

Honda

GL1800A

Posted - 04/11/2005 :  9:00 AM
In traffic, we have to continually ask ourselves, "What would I do if..."

My strategy on the interstate is to NEVER ride directly beside a car unless I get trapped. I constantly adjust my speed to avoid that position. Like you, I speed up to pass, then resume my regular speed once past. I NEVER ride on another vehicle's rear quarter because this is the worst spot for visibility. Keep your head on a swivel and always have an escape route, no matter where you are. Keep talking to yourself every minute of the ride.

Good job on being alert and keeping it upright.
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chris
New Member
18 Posts


United Kingdom

Posted - 04/11/2005 :  9:03 AM
I agree with Cash.

"When I just decided to pass it, I usually stay couple of seconds behind not NEXT TO IT, BEHIND (in that spot they can see you in their mirrors), "

This guy was sitting in the cage's blind spot long enough for the cager to look in his mirrors, see nothing for a couple of seconds and then assume the motorcycle went elsewhere and move back in. Pretty dumb to sit there if you ask me.

Either sit further back or further out. Don't sit in that corner. The ideal position to sit before overtaking is right behind the driver so they can see you in both rear view mirror and side mirror. Then when you make your decision to go, go for it. Don't hesitate.
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fz6yamaha
Standard Member
242 Posts


USA

Posted - 04/11/2005 :  11:29 AM
I will try to describe it better. THe HOV in GA is on the far left side, so is that lane and the barrier (the concrete wall that split the freeway) on the left side. The cage was driving the HOV, SO I was, behind the cage, center lane (in the middle of my lane) making sure the person could see me in the rear mirror (we are talking about 3-4 seconds following distance-SO THEY could defintly see me in the mirror) I could say I rode there for about a minute, they have plenty of time to see me in the mirror.
So, after following in the center of my lane, this cage decided to get out of my path, and I said cool, they do not want me on their back and they are gonna let me pass, so long story short, cage got out of my lane, I decided to speed up and pass in less than 2 seconds, and in the middle of my passing (right when you pass the cage rear wheels) the cage decides to pull back in the lane. I went as far left as I could, and slowed down quicly so I would not be hit by the cage, I went so far left that I almost go into the shoulder, but not so. The cage then just speed up (while I was cursing them out-inside my head) and left, after it did that, the cage spent couple of seconds and It did it again but this time far away, so I just realised this person did not know what was doing or was not paying attention at the time.
So, I am pretty sure I was not in the blind spot at any time, I make sure they see me b4 I pass them. I drive a cage everyday at work for about 9 hours, so I seen people doing stupid stuff all day long. When I am on the bike I am not willing to take risks that I can not control, like a d..m head cager.
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fz6yamaha
Standard Member
242 Posts


USA

Posted - 04/11/2005 :  12:48 PM
"This guy was sitting in the cage's blind spot long enough for the cager to look in his mirrors, see nothing for a couple of seconds and then assume the motorcycle went elsewhere and move back in. Pretty dumb to sit there if you ask me. "

What do you define like blind spot?, the middle of my lane while I was behind the guy? I was not ever NEXT TO THE GUY, just at the passing moment (fraction of a split second)'cause I have to (less than 2 seconds).For what I've been learning, I am supposed to make sure that the guy sees me, so if I am right behind him for over a minute (high beams in my baby-daylight)and we are riding (in my case- he was driving) and he pulls out, I make sure he sees me AGAIN on his left mirror b4 I pass him and then I go for it, if he decides to pull back I do not know what else I could have done.
Of course now I know I could go a lot faster in those 2 seconds, but as far as blind spot I do not think I was on his, anyway he did it again to another car right after he did it to me.
After that I know the HOV lane is cool but you have less room to manuever with the wall on your left, so I decided to go to my 3rd lane on the freeway where I am doing my 360o check out.
I try to stay out of blind spot at all cost, but sometimes when you are passing (passing moment-at those 2 seconds)you happend to be in the blind spot for a fraction of a second and there is nothing we can do because we have to make the pass.
I think I will be getting a louder horn.

Thanks for the tip thoug, made me think twice about me being on the blind spot but I am pretty sure I was not.
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chris
New Member
18 Posts


United Kingdom

Posted - 04/11/2005 :  2:20 PM
I am talking about the hesitation - when he moved over and you stayed at his rear quarter for a couple of seconds.

It always helps them notice your presence if you are more positive about your overtake. ie if they see you coming up fast behind, holding your position then they expect you to blast past when they move over - if you don't then they might be thinking you had your chance.

Change down a gear before you overtake too, so you get the revs - it shouldn't take you 2 seconds to pass a cage. I am thinking you are just winding on the throttle.

Also, if you think a drivers looks unaware, you can sound your horn before you decide to pass him. If you see him look in your mirror at you then go and give him a thank you wave as you go past. That way at least he knows you're there.
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fz6yamaha
Standard Member
242 Posts


USA

Posted - 04/11/2005 :  10:32 PM
Ahaaaaaaa, ok, now it makes more sense to me what you said first. You right about that. It had happend to me, I see a fast biker riding behind me and I do move over, but if I see it hanging in there (I still look out for the guy though) I may think they guy did not wanted to pass me after all.
I got it know determination is what we are talking about.
Thanks
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Cash Anthony
Female Administrator
1470 Posts
[Mentor]


Houston, Texas
USA

Honda

Magna 750

Posted - 04/12/2005 :  10:19 AM Follow poster on Twitter  Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
Here's the part I'm still having trouble with in visualizing your situation:

quote:

I said cool, they do not want me on their back and they are gonna let me pass, so long story short, cage got out of my lane, I decided to speed up and pass in less than 2 seconds, and in the middle of my passing (right when you pass the cage rear wheels) the cage decides to pull back in the lane. I went as far left as I could, and slowed down quicly so I would not be hit by the cage, I went so far left that I almost go into the shoulder, but not so




You said earlier that you were riding in the center TRACK of the HOV lane, behind the car.

Here, in most places on the freeways, our HOV lane is ONE lane, and it has concrete barricades on both sides. Once you enter it at a specific gate-type entrance from the fast lane, you are in it and you cannot get out until you get to a point far down the highway where there is an exit gate and ramp back onto the regular freeway lanes.

Here, in our HOV lanes there is NO shoulder; there is nowhere to go to the side, except that it is wide enough that you might conceivably be able to pass a car if you're on a bike. But two cars could not drive next to each other or do a normal pass in our HOV lanes in Houston. Passing, in general, is highly discouraged by the structure of our HOV lanes: it may not be impossible, for instance if there's a stalled car you might be able to get by (just), but I sure wouldn't recommend it as a driving maneuver. It would be very easy to get squished against the barricade if the other driver wanted the center track of that one lane, which he would be entitled to have.

You mention moving 'almost to the shoulder', and since you are passing on the left, I assume you mean that there is some kind of shoulder in your HOV lanes in Georgia on the left side.

You also said the other driver decided "to pull back into the lane", but if there is only one lane between two concrete barricades, like there is here, the driver had only moved over to the right-hand TRACK of a single lane when he thought you were going to pass, and then when he thought you weren't going to pass, he moved back to the center track.

That is how I see the situation from my experience of HOV lane construction here, which makes the whole decision to pass a vehicle at all somewhat iffy. That's why I asked for specifics: your HOV lanes may be different where you live. I'm pretty sure ours are posted "NO PASSING" at the gate where you enter the lane.


Cash
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nomad dan
Advanced Member
1276 Posts


Denver, Colorado
USA

Kawasaki

06 Vulcan Nomad 1600

Posted - 04/12/2005 :  5:22 PM
Cash, his post made perfect sense to me so I’m assuming his HOV lanes must be like ours.

With ours it’s the far left lane, but only a solid white painted stripe separating it from the “fast lane”. There is still a break down lane to the left of the HOV lane and then the wall.

I have seen in California the cement curbing that keeps you in the HOV lane, but here it is only a solid painted stripe, so even though it isn’t necessary, some vehicles out of habit move over if someone comes up behind them, though it isn’t the way an HOV lane is supposed to work.

So his post made sense to me because I’ve had the same thing happen to me, minus the move back over and nearly hit me part. I come up behind someone, they move over putting them in the fast lane, then they come back after I’m past. Not how an HOV lane is supposed to work, but it happens.
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Cash Anthony
Female Administrator
1470 Posts
[Mentor]


Houston, Texas
USA

Honda

Magna 750

Posted - 04/12/2005 :  9:58 PM Follow poster on Twitter  Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
Thanks, Nomad Dan.

We have a few stretches of freeway on the outer edges of the city here in Houston that don't have the double concrete barricades but instead have the barricade only on the left-hand side, between the two innermost lanes in each direction; and that inside lane is painted with a solid line separating it from the other lanes of traffic in the same direction and with a diamond marking on the roadway itself, so that the innermost (fastest) lanes are reserved for high-volume traffic. They are also designated HOV, meaning "High occupancy vehicles" only, just like the ones we more commonly see here, with the double barricade; but you don't have to go through a gate and ramp to get into them. They also run out before the 'real' ones start, farther into the city.

These painted HOV lanes still don't have any shoulder, and again, there's no room to pass. You can physically move out of the HOV lane back into the regular fast lane if you want to cross the solid line, but it's clearly illegal, as well as dangerous and unexpected.

I know people do cross over from the HOV to the fast lane and back again sometimes, but my experience in California (where that kind of lane marking is a lot more prevalent) is that the 'crossing back and forth' is a perennial cause of crashes and is regarded by most drivers as very foolish and not to be done (not to mention that you can get a big ticket for doing so there).

I understand that that situation is more common where you ride (and maybe deemed a courtesy); I just haven't seen it done here, with people frequently crossing back and forth the HOV markings just to let another vehicle pass.

When I used to live in Europe and drove on the Autobahns all the time, the fast lane was reserved for *really* fast driving, so you simply didn't linger there for long. If you decided to overtake a slower vehicle and moved left into it, and then forgot to move back to the right after you'd passed, you'd soon see a car flashing its lights and approaching your mirror *VERY* fast.

I mean, so fast it would scare the pants off anyone. One second you've checked your rear view mirror and nothing is there, and the next thing you know you are almost being rear-ended.

I never wanted to stay in its path of a car moving that fast, and I was never prepared to speed up to match or exceed their speeds, so then it was a matter of trying to stay calm as you pulled over, expecting to get clipped as the car behind you flew by.

So you moved over, but there was really not much lane-changing done there, either. You were expected to find a place in the queu and stay put. You either drove a fast car and traveled at high speeds in the fast lanes, and you expected the way to be clear in your lane for as far as you wanted to go, or you drove at more modest speeds and stayed out of the way in the other lanes. It seemed pretty cut and dried to me...kinda "sane or insane", take your pick.

I've not driven in Houston's HOV lanes more than once or twice in my life, and never on a bike. I rarely drive with a passenger in my car, much less two, so I don't usually qualify on four wheels; and when I'm on the bike I prefer not to ride in the HOV lanes because I can't exit when I want to, nor maneuver out of trouble if it crops up just in front of me. I don't mind negotiating the regular traffic in the other lanes and having to stay aware of what's beside and behind me, but the main thing is, I don't want to give up my exit options that much. If I pass someone who swerves back into my lane at the wrong time in the other lanes, I do have the odds in my favor that one of us, me or the other driver, won't be so much in the wrong place, or else so limited in options, that we have nowhere to go but down, for me, or into a wall or another car, for him.

I like fireworks, but I don't much like to see sparks fly so near my leg...!

Just an opinion...


Cash
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nomad dan
Advanced Member
1276 Posts


Denver, Colorado
USA

Kawasaki

06 Vulcan Nomad 1600

Posted - 04/13/2005 :  10:46 AM
I wish there was the level of thinking and skill that is used in Europe used here.

On the subject of HOV lanes, we have only had them for 3 years here and I wish that there was some enforcement of the proper use of HOV lanes. People generally stay in them like they are meant to, but I have many times seen people use them as a passing lane to get around a car blocking the fast lane; and the mentioned move right from the HOV lane to the fast lane to let a car pass coming up from behind in the HOV lane.

I always use the HOV lanes here when I’m on my bike. I like being furthest left so that I only have to worry about cars in my lane and to the right of me and have the breakdown lane that we have left of the HOV lane to move into if need to ovoid something or someone. Except for drive times our freeways aren’t so congested that you can’t easily move to your exit when you need to.

Another rant that I could get on is improper use of the fast lane. The European way would be fine with me if we were allowed to go fast here, but as we are not, I use it for a travel lane but always move right when a faster car comes up behind me. I try to do it in such a way that if the vehicle behind had the cruise control set, they wouldn’t have to change it to get by me. One of the things I hate is me keeping a constant speed, car comes up behind me gaining at a constant rate, I move over, it slows and doesn’t get past me.

Another thing that I expect is that if I move to the right, and the car that was slowly overtaking me sees that I’m going to get boxed in unless they accelerate a little more, to do so. I hate it when I use the courtesy of moving over and they seem oblivious to the fact that unless they give it a little gas, I’m going to get boxed and lose 15mph because they didn't gain 5 mph.

There is plenty more that I could rant about, but I’ll leave it for another thread
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chris
New Member
18 Posts


United Kingdom

Posted - 04/13/2005 :  2:26 PM
quote:

Another thing that I expect is that if I move to the right, and the car that was slowly overtaking me sees that I’m going to get boxed in unless they accelerate a little more, to do so. I hate it when I use the courtesy of moving over and they seem oblivious to the fact that unless they give it a little gas, I’m going to get boxed and lose 15mph because they didn't gain 5 mph



That happens in the UK too. It makes you wish you hadn't bothered moving for them at all doesn't it?

My other pet hate is a car that sits right on your tail and when you move over it doesn't overtake you.

Our motorways (freeways) are regularly congested though. It is often difficult to get across to the exit from the fast lane at any time of day so we need to get across very early.

just out of interest, what is the speed limit on your freeways? Our motorways have a 70mph limit.

Edited by - chris on 04/13/2005 2:27 PM
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timbo
Advanced Member
594 Posts


Uxbridge
United Kingdom

BMW

R1100S

Posted - 04/13/2005 :  2:42 PM
One thing I would add to Cash's point about the German Autobahns - She is right, they do drive incredibly fast!

I was driving from Frankfurt to Strasbourg one night a few years ago (in a car), tooling along at about 80/85 mph. I see a car appearing really fast in my rear view mirror and shortly after he blasts past doing perhaps 110mph. "Gosh - he's going really fast" I thought.

Before he had got out of sight a second car had screamed past me at probably 140mph+ and was flashing the previous car to get out of the way!

I am assured by my German colleagues that it is perfectly normal

Tim
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fz6yamaha
Standard Member
242 Posts


USA

Posted - 04/13/2005 :  8:27 PM
nomad dan had it right about the HOV, there is not barricade on each side here in GA, its just another lane but marked how nomad dan described it.
Apreciatte all the info guys it really helps.
Here in GA as far as I seen the speed limit in "some" freeways could be up to 70mph, I have not seen anything faster. But on the regular freeways that go around what we call the perimeter (of the atlanta city)is about 55mph, but everyone is doing at least 70-75, past 80 and you got yourself a ticket pretty much.
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nomad dan
Advanced Member
1276 Posts


Denver, Colorado
USA

Kawasaki

06 Vulcan Nomad 1600

Posted - 04/14/2005 :  9:44 AM
quote:
Originally posted by chris

[quote]
just out of interest, what is the speed limit on your freeways? Our motorways have a 70mph limit.



In many parts of the west it is 65mph in cities, and 75mph in rural areas, in my area the rule of thumb is that you go 75mph or get run over in the 65's and better not go over 80 in the 75's.

speeds have crept up in the past 10 years here. I used to set my cruise control in my car for about 73mph in the 65's never getting pulled over for 8mph over, and on a 20-30 mile trip I was often never passed by another vehicle, I was the fastest one out there. Now at 75 I'm only in the top 1/3rd, and only passing the other 2/3rds by a few mph.

I pass state troopers at the speeds I posted and never worry about a ticket, though most slow back down for them just in case. That's my anti-athoritarian side coming out
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md2lgyk
Male Standard Member
228 Posts


Harpers Ferry, WV
USA

Honda

Shadow VLX

Posted - 04/14/2005 :  12:50 PM
Most of the HOV lanes around here (greater Washington, DC area) are simply the leftmost lane marked for HOV use. No special barriers or anything. The area where I live and travel the most doesn't have any, so I have little experience with them.

I definitely concur with the previous advice to never stay beside a car any longer than it takes to pass. When passing, which I do rarely anyhow, I keep my thumb on the horn button. I've also retrofitted my bike with a much louder horn.
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