How do YOU handle tailgaters?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by mylastbike, May 18, 2018.

  1. mylastbike

    mylastbike Been here awhile

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    I have about 2 miles of two lane road (one lane in either direction) on my commute with a 40mph speed limit. The typical speed of vehicles on this road is about 55-60mph (dead straight, open country road). I got a warning from police once so now I always do 40mph (and it's been crawling with police ever since). Every day now in both directions I get tailgated, even when the majority of the route allows for passing. I'm very much a Type B personality, but one of the few things that infuriates me is a tailgater especially when they won't take the option to pass.

    Two lane road and you are being tailgated. How do you typically handle the situation?
    #1
  2. ydarg

    ydarg Miscreant

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    Let off the throttle to slow them down then open it up. They may get the point or may get pissed off.

    Or if it really bothers you, pull over and let the dorkwad pass.

    In before someone says brakecheck.
    #2
  3. mylastbike

    mylastbike Been here awhile

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    I actually tried your first suggestion this morning but I guess the dumbass didn’t get the clue. I never brake check a cage out of self preservation but I will roll off the throttle or look back at them with my hand up in a “what gives?” gesture.
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  4. metropolis2k

    metropolis2k Been here awhile

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    I'd never brake check because you're not going to come out of that situation well. I usually make a motion with my hand pushing backwards towards them and drivers get the hint. I've never had issues doing that. If I'm particularly concerned I get out of the way (in any direction) as quickly as I can rather than hang around to see what might happen.
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  5. DR Donk

    DR Donk Been here awhile

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    I did the pushing backwards hand motion to a tailgater and it worked! I was amazed. :clap The worst thing to do is to flip them off. That's like waving a red cape at a bull!
    #5
  6. CRP6001

    CRP6001 Photographer

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    Stand up on the pegs and look back at them.
    #6
  7. Hi-De-Ho

    Hi-De-Ho Mad Scientist

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    Install Hyperlites on the back of your bike. Then install them so that they are only ON when you "feather" the brakes, and not on halfway as running lights.
    This way, when you do "touch" either brake lever, the Hyperlites will "flash" On...with a repeating 10 flash.....and really get the drivers attention.

    If done right, you can feather the front brake lever, just enough to actuate the Hyperlites, and causing the Hyperlites to FLASH, without really engaging the front brakes.

    You are not "brake-checking" the driver behind you, but showing them a repeating 10 flash bright LEDs, that...again..if NOT hooked up as halfway on running lights, and only hooked up as brake lights, will be an entire new light that the driver behind you sees, that was not on before...as a running light.

    I use these Hyperlites when sitting at a stop sigh, or red light, and a car approaches me from behind....I will let up off my front brake...hit it again, and it flashes the Hyperlites to get the drivers attention...to say...STOP.

    http://www.hyperlites.com/
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  8. Suncoaster

    Suncoaster Been here awhile

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    As a last resort -

    Pull out into the incoming lane (when clear) as if to overtake, then hit the brakes hard.
    He'll go right by you.
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  9. Schmokel

    Schmokel I got peed on today.

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    Grip it and rip it.
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  10. CaptCapsize

    CaptCapsize Been here awhile

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    A trick that has worked for me, is to make the bike wobble, so it looks like you are about to lose control. The tailgater backs off, so they won't run over the out of control idiot on the bike. If they think you are going to crash they will give room so it won't involve them.
    #10
  11. 51%

    51% ReadyToRide

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    In my experience usually turning my head and shoulders to look them full in the face does it. For those too oblivious or angry I'd pull over and let them go.

    Maybe you can enlist one of the ever present cops if it's happening in his view. Can't hurt to pull over and ask them to help.
    #11
  12. Eatmore Mudd

    Eatmore Mudd Mischief on wheels.

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    Riding like I'm drunk has been working for me.
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  13. flei

    flei cycletherapist

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    Fucking tailgaters! I hate them. I say give 'em the ole brake check. What could possibly go wrong?
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  14. EastRoad

    EastRoad Road Viking

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    there's a few things in my arsenal...

    most of the time if it's just a tad too close to be comfortable I rapidly tap the rear brake a few times - JUST TAP but I DO NOT BRAKE... I've fine tuned the lever to first activate the brake light before the brake actually engages... so that just flashes my tail-light

    some get the hint, some don't.

    if I CAN I let them pass...

    If I can't:
    if that doesn't help I usually slightly look back and make a back-off-sign with my hand (flat palm downwards, waving up/down a bit)...
    in 90% of the time they get that.

    I sometimes - say in dense traffic - engage my emergency flashers... ... for some reason that seems to help.
    if that doesn't help I usually get off the throttle and repeat the hand motion.


    in the Very Very rarest case this doesn't work... and depending on the situation and the danger-factor involved and the inability to stop / move aside to let them pass I might accelerate beyond to the point where I have the desired safety distance again - IF possible. if the traffic is too dense than I'm just trying to be extra cautious always keeping an eye on the rear view mirror and search for the first option to let the idiot pass, usually followed by flipping the bird, simply because.

    as an extrema ratio sort of last resort (say I truly feel my life being threatened...)
    I SLOWLY STOP... come to a complete stop... and get off the bike and knock on the cager's window and calmly and kindly explain the situation.
    had to do this ONCE... and it worked miracles... maybe because I'm such a charming chap .
    #14
  15. BetterLateThanNever

    BetterLateThanNever Long timer

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    ... and the first thing the driver does is check for damage to his car. What the hell has become of us. :fpalm
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  16. filmfan

    filmfan Long timer

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    My usual first step for situations like you describe where there is an open passing lane is to slow until they can't bear it anymore and they pass me. Sometimes that's 2 mph and 1 millisecond, occasionally a lot more.

    I've also used all of the tactics described already. Which works best depends on the specific situation, and the "driving style" of wherever you are. For example, in places where drivers are typically impatient, around here, Boston comes to mind, slowing a tad works almost instantly.
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  17. EastRoad

    EastRoad Road Viking

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    And after that probably walks over to the half-dead rider and beats the remaining daylight out of him.
    Just not on camera.

    aye, that vid was pretty sick.
    but again, that's why you don't pull a stop...
    #17
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  18. jwhuls

    jwhuls Been here awhile

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    My favorite answer to this came from a friend many years ago. he would slam his center stand to the road. sparking like hell. they would always back off.
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  19. GunNut37086

    GunNut37086 Been here awhile

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    two words....ninja caltrops

    [​IMG]
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  20. Turtletownman

    Turtletownman Been here awhile

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    Four lane divided highway running at least five over-tailgater will not pass. Two lane flat straight no double yellow they will not pass. Do those econo box cages not have enough horsepower to run faster without drafting a motorcycle. They even do it with my 2500 four wheel drive truck.
    THEY ARE A$$HOLES that's why!
    #20
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