Unsafe passing caught on GoPro

You’ve seen this, right? “That cyclist FORCED ME TO SWERVE and nearly caused me to crash!

I normally don’t pay that much attention to scofflaw motorists, but this guy does have a bike rack on his car, and after the third time of catching him at an intersection in spite of his hurried driving, I figure he’s fair game for incessant mockery. Since so many people seem to disbelieve the fundamental truth that people in cars often drive like idiots, I present…

Who: Me on a bike, dude in a blue Toyota Corolla California plates 5PCE708, and an unseen driver in a minivan.

When: Wednesday afternoon while finishing up a lovely ride through the redwood trees of the Santa Cruz Mountains down Empire Grade.

Where: Southbound High Street next to the UC Santa Cruz campus. 25 MPH speed limit, 85 percentile speed is probably closer to 35 MPH. I’m traveling 35 MPH in the lane to avoid the street parking “door zone.”

That’s when the driver of the Corolla decided to pass me. Cheers to him (and it was indeed a dude) for giving me adequate room. Jeers to him for forcing the minivan in the opposing lane to veer out of his way.

Here’s how it went down.

In this capture from my handlebar mounted GoPro Hero2, the Corolla straddles the two lanes of High Street. The minivan just begins to swerve into the shoulder to avoid a head on collision.


Minivan begins to swerve

Here’s the Corolla, the minivan, and me sharing approximately the same space.


Idiot driving - unsafe passing

Dear 5PCE708: Learn how to drive before you kill somebody. Will I see a letter from you in the paper claiming I forced you to swerve into the opposing lane?

This video shows that I catch the impatient driver at the very next intersection, and the one after that, and then the one after that, too. People claim bikes hold up traffic, but the reason the driver of the Corolla had to stop at those intersections was because of other cars, not because of any bikes in front of him.



11 thoughts on “Unsafe passing caught on GoPro”

  1. If you are going the same speed as most cars, why not take the lane? Using a bike lane at 35mph is clearly unsafe and can be ignored. Riding on the side of the regular lane (forgive me if you are riding in the middle and the GoPro curve is causing an illusion) only invites car drivers to pass. My commute has a ~30mph decent in a 30mph zone and any time there are oncoming cars, I make sure I’m positioned where a driver behind me won’t be tempted to pass.

  2. The Corolla driver deserves incessant mockery for not only having a trunk rack, but being lame enough to keep it on the car when he or she is not transporting bikes. There you have it. I’m a bike snob.

  3. It looked like you were over on the far right of the lane. I think of “taking the lane” to mean riding in the middle of it.

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