Mocha Express
Commentaries
Thought provoking commentary on
Business, Technology, Organizations, and Organizational Dynamics
to clarify my thinking and engage in intelligent conversation.
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3.1 Highway Shoulder Slalom

February 09, 2013


"Bluurrrp......Bluurrrp......Bluurrrrp....."

Were they trying to high me or what?

The sound of the tires hitting the rumble strip between me on my bike and the line of traffic was scary!
Why, oh why, were they moving onto the shoulder and rumbling the rumble strip???

So, there I was.  A beautiful, sunny February day where I had the excellent luck to be on vacation in Hawaii, on the Big Island,... riding over "Donkey Hill" on the Iron Man route from town to Waikoloa.
"Bluurrrp......Bluurrrp......Bluurrrrp....."
It seemed to be about every 5th car or so...
Always about 200 feet ahead of me.....

What was going on here?
I know some folk didn't particularly care for the "visitors".  But this was crazy!

Then I caught someone in the act!
As they drove by "that crazy woman on the bike on the hill in 90 degree hot sun", they looked back over their shoulder to watch....
...and the car drifted in the direction of their gaze!
"Bluurrrp......Bluurrrp......Bluurrrrp....."

Of course!  As they teach you when, your car is skidding, the car will "go where you look" (so don't look over the cliff!).

These guys were just gawking!

What to Do?

With the "cause" in hand, I tried to think about what to do, since it didn't exactly make me comfortable.

Then, one time, I happened to notice that when I eat or drink while riding, it didn't happen!
Why?
Well, if I am occupied messing with a Gu packet or a water bottle, the bike slaloms a bit.  Not out of control, but it wonders a 6" or a foot left and right.

This seems to make the drivers nervous!
They all seem to moved away over towards the center line, away from that crazy, out of control cyclist.

With this knowledge, I tried something: when sets of cars passed, I would "ride a slalom course".
Sure enough, they all moved over to the center line, and, if no one was coming, sometimes even over the line.  If the road didn't have a shoulder and "I was riding the white line", it worked even better: by "wandering" from one side of the 4" white line to the other (dodging the reflectors), they all moved away from me on the road.

Now this is part of my cycling technique.
If there is traffic and they seem to want to crowd me on the side of the road, why I just act like a crazy newbie with little bike control: I do a small slalom....
...and all the drivers move over to the center line to give the crazy person some room.

This even works for the idiots who intentionally are "trying to come close" to "scare" the cyclists.
Funny how they a) pay attention, and b) shy away from someone who appears to be wandering.

Bottom Line

The Slalom fixed the "Blurrrrp,....Blurrrp" problem.  I still seem to have a problem with the "3 days/2 nights" vacationer folk dashing about in their jet-lag daze.  For example, a lady in a convertible didn't like it that on Alii Drive in downtown Kona with sideways tight onto the travel lanes, that I was speeding (at 18mph in a 15mph zone) and wanted to zoom around me but the oncoming traffic was stop and go.  She had her chance when, at the uphill stop for the light at Kuakini, she pulled up beside me because I was only 18" from the curb and she could get her fender in 6" from my handle bar.
(As she stopped, since there were no pedestrians and a less than kind driver, I scooted up on the sideway, made the right turn back into the bike lane and when on my way.

Moral:

People will take advantage of your predictability, even if it isn't really there and they don't really have that much skill.


Recent Commentaries
in Mud Splats Book

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2.5  A Long Distance Ride
STP: MudSplats - June 20, 2015
4.5  Hydration Bowel Cleansing
STP: MudSplats - February 25, 2015
4  Fueling
STP: MudSplats - February 25, 2015
4.4  NYT - Fats or Carbs?
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4.3  WSJ - Ease Up On Water
STP: MudSplats - June 28, 2014
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STP: MudSplats - January 21, 2014
4.1  Carb Loading, Sarb loading!
STP: MudSplats - May 24, 2013
2.4  Of Aerobars
STP: MudSplats - May 17, 2013
2.3  Gu'y Wonder Legs!
STP: MudSplats - April 10, 2013
2.2  Of Tires and Rims Strips
STP: MudSplats - April 09, 2013
2.1  Checked Your Tires?
STP: MudSplats - April 08, 2013
2  Bike Experiences
STP: MudSplats - February 09, 2013
3  Bike Technique
STP: MudSplats - February 09, 2013
3.1  Shoulder Slalom
STP: MudSplats - April 05, 2012
1  Introduction: Mud Splats on my bike

Mud Splats
       Chapters

1   Introduction: Mud Splats on my bike
  April 05, 2012
2   Bike Experiences
  April 08, 2013
2.1   Checked Your Tires?
    April 09, 2013
2.2   Of Tires and Rims Strips
    April 10, 2013
2.3   Gu'y Wonder Legs!
    May 17, 2013
2.4   Of Aerobars
    May 24, 2013
2.5   A Long Distance Ride
    March 14, 2017
3   Bike Technique
  February 09, 2013
3.1   Shoulder Slalom
    February 09, 2013
4   Fueling
  February 25, 2015
4.1   Carb Loading, Sarb loading!
    January 21, 2014
4.2   Fattening Up The Greedy Piglets
    June 28, 2014
4.3   WSJ - Ease Up On Water
    February 24, 2015
4.4   NYT - Fats or Carbs?
    February 25, 2015
4.5   Hydration Bowel Cleansing
    June 20, 2015
Carpe Diem: What you can envision, you can achieve!sm
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