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Passing in the same lane?

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by rid3r, Mar 25, 2010.

  1. Hi all,

    I'm about to take my first ride in the mountains this weekend and have a question:

    Since I'm a newbie, no doubt I will be going slow. Since the mountains generally have a single lane in either direction, what happens when a faster bike approaches you from behind sitting on your a$$ waiting to zoom by, do I:

    1) Move over to the left of the lane (without stopping) and signal him to go (wouldn't that put me in danger since I'm too close to the edge? like leaves, gravel, etc..

    2) Ignore him and keep riding at my own pace (as this is really MY lane), and let him pass me at his own accord and safety

    3) Pull over and stop, and let him pass? Wouldn't this be a pain for you, and also some roads do not have enough space to pull over?

    I'm abit stumped.. what do you guys and gals reckon?

  2. door number 2, the worst thing you want to do when another rider approaches you is to start moving about and lane wondering... nothing pisses me off more when a rider can't decide what lane position they want.

    just continue on at your own pace holding your lane position and they will get past you in due course when safe to do so.
  3. 2. Move to the left wheel track when you get onto a straight (where they can pass you safely), start slowing down gradually and with your left hand (so you still have throttle control) wave them past a few times..

    Easy enough.
  4. I usually move a little to the left and motion with my right hand they can pass if they like. Often get a wave as they go past, so I must be doing the right thing.
  5. I like it if the rider in front waves me past or indicates to the left. That way at least I know he has seen and acknowledged me so it is safe to pass whithin his lane and not have him wander across on me because he hadn't actually seen me and was just riding on the left.
    That's what I try to do if I notice a faster rider closing on me anyway.
    If he dosen't wave or indicate I will just wait until a section where it is safe to pass him using the oncoming lane. No point trying to rush past everyone straight away and causing an accident.
  6. Moving around in your lane makes you more visible to cars, because you are a moving object relative to the rest of the traffic and the human eye is designed to detect motion.

    Also, if you are up in the hills, a good cornering line will use up most of the width of the lane.

    Those are just the first two reasons for moving about in your lane that spring to mind. I didn't include the obvious things like moving to avoid debris or other surface hazards. If it pisses you off, maybe you should ask yourself why the rider is doing it?
  7. if its safe move to the left, slow a bit and tap your brakes or put on a left indicator. hold your speed until he overtakes as it can take a few seconds for them to react.
    worst thing is being behind a slower bike and not being sure the rider in front knows you're there.
  8. Definitely this. Make a judgment call on the road condition near the edge, but better this than risking someone that feels they have to make a desperate move to get past you. That puts you both at risk.
  9. Zenali I am not talking about moving in the lane for obstacle/hazard avoidance or cornering which is a natural part of safe riding.. I am talking about people that swing around the lane for no apparent reason on nice straight stretches of road. There is a reason for riding staggered, hard to do if someone is always jockeying.

    Moving back and fourth is not so smart as it exposes your tyres to all the crap in the lane centre and makes you unpredictable, just like a cage thats all over the shop and when you know someone is approaching you for an overtake like the OP stated, keeping your line is absolutely the safest thing you can do. For them and you.
  10. If you are near an intersection and there is oil and crap in the middle of the road, then it is definitely better to stay in one wheel track or the other. It isn't such a worry on roads that don't have stop-start traffic though. And if the rider is wandering around in the lane unintentionally then that is a bit of a worry.

    I agree with the staggered formation too - but that isn't what we're talking about here. Presumably if they were riding in formation then the slow guy wouldn't be worried about the fast guy wanting to overtake, because they'd all be the same speed.

    But making irregular changes to lane position does make you more visible. In fact, at Stay Upright they teach you to make a small swerve in your lane if you are worried about whether an oncoming car (maybe indicating a turn across your path) has seen you or not. The sudden change in direction attracts their attention. Sure, they might think you are a nut job for swerving all over your lane, but at least they are looking at you now, instead of looking through you.
  11. Thanks heaps guys / gals for helping out a newb.

    You guys are fantastic and a wealth of knowledge...

  12. if your that new to riding don't worry about it, concentrate on what you are doing, remember any rider that catches you in the twisties is riding faster and will pass when they see fit or safe, the only thing i would advise is just don't gas it up on the straights (that is the safest place for anyone to pass and really it's where you should want other to pass), so if you hit a straight, don't wind the throttle to the stop if you see a bike behind
  13. Some interesting comments here. But stop the arguing guys, and help out.

    First and foremost: It is your lane, and you can do what you want with it. Never worry about what a bike behind you is up to, unless you think they are a threat to your safety, and then just get out of their way ASAP. (Crazy newbies on large capacity bikes often fall into that category. Just let them pass and then help them pick their bike up off the road when you catch up to them later.) Use as much of the lane as you want, at any time. Move about in it if you want, anytime. I reiterate; It is your lane, use it as you will. Therefore, number 2) above applies always.

    Next truth: If someone comes up from behind you fast, they probably know how to ride. They will get passed you when they want to, and when they feel they can do it safely. As a newbie, the first few times this happens you will most likely feel that they were way out of control, cut far to close to you, and there is no way that they will make it around the next corner. Then you will watch them fly around the corner and disappear into the distance. Some riders have real SKILLS.

    If you want to invite a following bike pass you: Some people just don't like a bike following them close, and keep watching it their mirrors, worrying about it. My advice, as above, is don't even think about them. You have enough going on in front of you to think about, especially as a newbie. I don't know why no-one has mention it yet, but there is a universal sign for a motorcyclist to use if they want a following bike to overtake. It is, MOVE TO THE LEFT OF THE LANE, AND STICK YOU RIGHT FOOT OUT. This has been the understood way of acknowledging a faster following rider, indicting they should pass, for as long as I have been riding. It means you see them, and are happy for them to pass IN YOUR LANE if they want or need to. Use it, but do it on a straight if at all possible. Even a short one. This mean you shouldn't have a problem with debri on the edge of the road. Don't slow down unless you think they will run out of road. Do not brake. Hold a constant speed. What is best is to come out of a corner, and rather than accelerating, move over and hold the same speed you took the corner at. Following riders should not pass in your lane if you haven't indicted to them this way.
    Note that sticking a foot out is also used to indicate a hazard on the road, but it is usually easy to tell if a rider means there is a hazard, or you should overtake. The move to the left for one thing, and usually a hazard warning is a quick point, while to indicate an overtake you should hang your leg off for a while (usually until they get the hint) and swing it a bit if they need encouragement. Sometimes even fast riders will want to sit behind you and watch your lines, so don't worry if they don't overtake. Once you have indicated, they know that you know they are there, and will overtake in their own time.

    Finally, don't be an arsehole: I see Stewy just beat me too this point, but it is an important one. If a bike catches you from behind, the rider is faster than you in the corners, but his bike may be no faster than you on a straight, and possibly won't out-brake yours. So, don't be an arsehole and wind the throttle on coming out of a corner if there is a bike close behind you wanting to overtake. This can make overtaking impossible or very dangerous for both of you. The rider caught up to you, so (s)he is a faster rider than you. There is no reason to try and stay ahead of them. You may exceed your own abilities trying to do so. They will be away from you in no time, if you just let them pass. It is just good manners, really.

    PS: Never do number 3), unless you actually feel threatened and need to get off the road. Slow riding is the most vulnerable time for a motorcyclist, and slowing to get off the bitumen and onto a dirt verge is asking for trouble.
  14. Agreed, #2 is the answer. And indicating with your extended right leg to the other rider that it's safe to pass is the accepted and generally understood signal.

    As for speeding up, since the OP asked the question and asked as he is anxious not to hold up faster riders, I think this bit of "advice" is unnecessary and inflammatory into the bargain.
  15. You have said this is one of your first rides in the Hills so your priority is your own safety.
    This means you don’t want to be paying to much attention to the guy behind you. If you know he is there, and you don’t want him there then set up to let him pass. Don’t do this in any place where you really want to be paying attention to the road, so do it on a good straight. Make sure it is one where the road surface near the edge is good.
    Move into the left wheel track (No further than that). Roll off a little at this point, but not a whole lot. As Rodrick pointed out, when you are going slower than traffic is when you are at greatest risk.
    Most people stick the foot out to invite a pass, some people indicate. I am not a fan of indicating because for me that sais you are moving over to the right wheel track. I personally don’t like sticking the foot out mainly because I am 6 foot tall on a sports bike, but the foot out is the normal accepted invitation to pass. I lift my left hand and wave it over the shoulder in an action that indicates for them to pass. I have never had any one confused about it, so it seems to work.
    I wouldn’t advise inviting cars to pass, they are to wide and can’t accelerate fast enough to get past you safely (Unless they are a Porsche).

  16. MEH get over it :roll: the OP will not always be at the same skill level, all new riders learn quickly, so why not put that information out there for them to think about. In the end all it does is hopefully make overtaking safer for everyone
  17. Thank fukn gawd!!! This is what I was taught yet so many people I ride with have no idea what it means... ](*,)

    Story short, ride your bike, in the corners the entire lane is yours, on the straight pull over to the left if theres a bike up your arse and do the right foot out thing. It's not hard, people are trying to make it to complex on here.
  18. but what if you are going down hill, with a tail wind and your front brake is a bit weak and you really need to use the back brake?
  19. Agree with the foot signal. Almost everyone (except a few Netriders, apparently ) understands this. Do it on a straight or a safe passing area and move over a little to the left. Easy.
    Don't panic, don't slow down to a crawl, don't change your line in a corner. But DON'T speed up.