We were coming back home, when my wife decided to take an alternate route due to some motorist crashes on Texas121. As a result, we were tootling along Northwest Highway through Grapevine when I saw a real, live Yeti. Below is my proof.
Fooled ya! Actually, my REAL proof is below. While he was not quite riding in "the line of sweetness," he was definitely riding fairly assertively. I think we made him a little nervous when my wife slowed down and shifted into his lane behind him so I could get proof that wild Yeti DO exist, but we tried not to alarm him unduly. He was an older guy, but not anyone I recognized. It definitely was NOT Chandra or Doohickie.
"That car is going to hit him" my wife screamed at me. Actually, it was a white pickup. And it really DID pass him in a manner that would have concerned me had I been the rider, though it was not really quite such a close call as my wife imagined it would be at the time. You see, vehicular principles are somewhat akin to lion taming. You, as the operator of the bike, are directing your motorists, because they mostly don't know how to behave around cyclists any more than YOU would know how to properly behave around lions. However, if you do the wrong thing, they may very well bite something off you are fond of off. Then you'd become the subject of newspaper "accident" articles in which people will say it served you right. This cyclist made a BAD mistake, and almost paid a high price for it. He tried to be "nice." It is a mistake that many have criticized Reed Bates for NOT making. Sometime, not long after we passed him, the white pickup in the photo below came up behind him. Unlike MOST of the traffic, the pickup driver wasn't paying enough attention to what was going on, and he got boxed in behind the cyclist. The cyclist, in a misguided attempt to be courteous, moved right. The driver took that as a signal to pass without a lane change. Look at that lane and tell me a cyclist and a full size pickup can coexist peacefully in it. Well, even the pickup driver realized the folly of THAT notion before impact actually occurred, and he did a straddle pass that got him beyond the cyclist. He then got a little spooked by me taking pictures of his vehicle in all its glory, and slowed down a whole bunch after I got my shot of him; exiting the road shortly thereafter.
Lesson observed - if "taking the lane," go steady when someone comes up behind you. Hence this post's title. That pickup would have simply changed lanes and my post would have been much briefer. If you are going to ride off to the right all the time (near that fog line), at least you have not sent contradictory messages to following motorists, and they have more time to decide whether to risk sideswiping you or not. That added time adds to your safety compared to sending the WRONG message too late. I was lucky. My wife saw all this and she now knows better why I would NOT alter course in a similar situation. That pickup wound up partially changing lanes anyway, but with a lot of unnecessary drama. Everyone concerned would have been better off had the cyclist gone steady so that the pickup driver could decide early that a lane change was mandatory. Instead, the cyclist almost got bit. Sometimes, granite shopping is very educational, and it reconfirms THE LAND ROVER RULE...