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Thread: Passing Etiquette

  1. #1
    Administrator 20774's Avatar
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    Passing Etiquette

    I don't know if something like this has been discussed, but I encountered a, er, "situation" coming back from the National. I dropped straight down on US 65 to pick up Hwy 7 in Arkansas...lovely road! I have the road mostly to myself (even lovelier!) but I ended up coming up to the back of a 5-bike group...a Harley trike in the back, three other Harleys, and a Goldwing mixed in. I think they were heading to Russellville for lunch. Anyway, the ride captain was running a little under the speed limit but because of the all the accordion affect, they were basically impeding my, uh, "technique" as it were.

    The road being pretty twisty and the /7 not up to light speed, I didn't see how to get around them. Is it poor etiquette to pick one off and a time and ride like that? I didn't think so...me being a foreigner in their group and all. So, I hung back and finally decided to drop back to a slow speed so I could speed up and catch them again. I could only go so far back because I had already passed a car and they were slowly gaining...soon we were all together.

    Eventually, I got a nice downhill section passing lane and I let 'er rip...got passed the whole bunch, waved my nicities to the leader, and began to smile again.

    What's the proper thing to do in this situation? I got no indication from tail-end-Charlie to pass...not sure if he could see me anyway...
    Kurt -- Forum Administrator ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  2. #2
    IBA #44567 Ken F's Avatar
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    Kurt, not sure what the "proper Etiquette" is, but what I usually do is follow for a few minutes, and if they don't move over to the right side of the lane to let you by, I begin to pick them off one by one.

    My feeling is that if they were being courteous they would realize they are holding you up, and move to let you past. If they don't they are fair game.

    Ken
    IBA #44567
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    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
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    He who hesitates is lost.
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    Nick Kennedy
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    This is a interesting situation that comes up on most rides. I rode Hwy 550 in Colorado today [San Juan Skyway and Red Mt. Pass ] with a friend and we passed a lot of slow riding bikes and cars. So much depends on your frame of mind. If you want to not putt putt along you've either got to just pick em off and get on with it or pull over and take a break. We made all clean passes today and had a glorious ride.
    Nick Kennedy

  5. #5
    Registered User der verge's Avatar
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    Im with Ken on this. Give them a chance to make way. If they don't move, treat them like dominoes.
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  6. #6
    Outlander Omega Man's Avatar
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    For me, there are a lot of variables in the situation you described Kurt. As far as etiquette, for me it only seems to work when all involved have the same idea of what etiquette is. A rider that come up on such a group has no idea if they are all together or ended up together. It would have to be a real "tight" riding group to have thought out a "what to do if someone wants to pass" strategy.
    It sounds like you did it as best as it could be done- looked at the situation, figured what it would take to make the pass safely, and made a good clean pass. I prefer a good clean pass but if a half a dozen riders are stretched out- a flick of the high beam and one or two at a time is OK. They will know what you are trying to do and unless they are completely inconsiderate, will help you through. Nice
    "Well they say.. time loves a hero but only time will tell.. If he's real, he's a legend from heaven If he ain't he was sent here from hell" Lowell George
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    yeah, the nice thing about riding and driving in Europe, is they "Get it" when it comes to speed, and passing.... so if you come upon someone and they're slow, they'll do everything they can to let you pass.... my attitude is if they're so clueless as to impede you, then you need to do what ever you need to get around them safely.... if on the other hand they're "With it" and they move over, then I'd go thru and wave at the requisite leader as a sign of thanks...

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    Pusser's Pyrate Society Zygmund's Avatar
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    Had the experience yesterday with two groups of baggers and waited for an opening, zooooom, waved and they waved back!
    No harm, no foul!

    '02 R1150RT

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    Registered User arthurdent's Avatar
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    I've ridden with groups more than I'd like to admit so I'll weigh in and give a "what if" to see how it feels.

    Groups with a good ride leader will keep it together and set up smaller groups that can be passed with opportunities. Poor ride leaders make one great group with no real rules, except that "the entirety of their group is sovereign territory" blah blah blah. Take another road.

    So how would you appreciate a cage moving into your group and leapfrogging one by one? not so much I bet. We had this happen on Friday. Not once but three times and two of them were street racing each other. At least the third guy just blew on by everyone.

    I advocate caution and prudence when the group is entirely HD. No sense poking a bear with a stick.

  10. #10
    Pusser's Pyrate Society Zygmund's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brewmeister View Post
    " Scottie " we need warp drive.Eye eye captain your all clear.
    '02 R1150RT

  11. #11
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    Depends on what bikes we are on...and how long the parade is.

    It's rare that anyone moves over into a single line and signals us by. What's aggravating is the 5-10 under the posted limit. You are impeding traffic. Everyone behind you is going to pass sooner or later.

    If it's coming into a town, I'll wait until they typically stop, or we maneuver around if it's multi lane. If it's out on the open road and they still are spread out, we don't feel bad for leapfrogging...on the warp drive K12S's, we pass several per opening.

    We've been passed by cages and if we are being roadhogs and spread way out, we deserve to be leapfrogged as well...doesn't happen often I must say

    It's part of the conversation in the tailgating thread...we are not the road police and don't try to play one on the road. If I'm slower than you, We'll move or wave you by.
    Seems there was a long thread after Johnson City and folks from the rally not moving over for faster folks on a lot of the twisty routes...it's not always the "other guys".
    Steve Henson
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  12. #12
    rsbeemer 22600's Avatar
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    Hi Kurt

    It appears you handled the situation in the proper manner; you waited until it was safe to pass.

    I don't think we can rely on drivers and riders using any kind of etiquette on the road. I say, we can't rely or depend on it. A lot of peoples manners and etiquette goes out the window when they get behind the wheel or bars in this case.

    When a rider or driver comes up behind me, I move over to the right side of the road and let them go. I want to do this again another day; one little bump from a cage or nudge from a bike and you're plowing up the side of the road.

    If I come up behind a cage, a bike or a group of bikes, I pass when it's safe whether it's one at a time or all at once. It depends entirely on the group of riders, the road conditions and the bike's condition. As I pass, I usually wave and smirk, ( I mean smile) and have never had a problem with anyone.

    No group of bikes own the road and if they get bent out of shape because you're in their "so called space" , that's their problem.

    I have to say, that in the last 5 years the bikes on the road have quadrupled. So what we have is a large population of new riders learning how to ride and how to conduct themselves properly, or not.

    Kurt did the right thing because he has manners and wanted to do what he thought was the right thing in this situation. The guys he passed might have been good guys too but just no idea about passing etiquette or even what the word meant.

    DW
    1978 R100rs MOA#22600 125cc Kymco
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  13. #13
    Kbiker BCKRider's Avatar
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    When you want to pass a compacted group of slow bikes on a twisty road, the first thing is to guage their following distance from the bike in front of the trailing bike. If it is less than two seconds, I would not try to nip them off one or two at a time. You are going to scare them. They are in"group tourist" mode. A pass could lead them to do something stupid, because you know they are not checking their mirrors.

    Been there, followed a large slow group of goldwing riders very slowly over a lovely road, and just kept following them. That was MY stupidity. Should have pulled over for 10 minutes, passed the cars when safe, and never again seen that large group of bikes.

    There is nothing wrong about riding below the speed limit so you can better enjoy the scenery. But whether you are on your own or a member of a group, leave enough room so others can safely pass.
    Doug
    1992 K100RS

  14. #14
    Administrator 20774's Avatar
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    Thanks...a lot of this echoes my thoughts at the time. I think the thing that really detered me from leapfrogging them was they were following pretty close to each other and I was only going to get one at a time...not two or three. So, I would be placed in between two riders for quite a few curves. I'm sure they would have respaced to allow me in. But then I'd be following the next person in front pretty close, probably causing them to check mirrors a bit too often. In that situation, none of us would have been enjoying the road.

    Personally, I don't like riding in large groups like this. Keeping a close formation means you're watching front and back to keep in position. That leaves little time to look around and enjoy things. Plus, there is no way all five bikers were riding at the same level or had the same overall abilities.

    I'm glad I got my chance to zip past and continue my "journey"!
    Kurt -- Forum Administrator ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  15. #15
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by R1200RClassic View Post
    yeah, the nice thing about riding and driving in Europe, is they "Get it" when it comes to speed, and passing.... so if you come upon someone and they're slow, they'll do everything they can to let you pass.... my attitude is if they're so clueless as to impede you, then you need to do what ever you need to get around them safely.... if on the other hand they're "With it" and they move over, then I'd go thru and wave at the requisite leader as a sign of thanks...
    +1

    Glad you finally got out of the way of the riders in front of you

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