Bike Creep

The other day I was enjoying the wonderful cool autumn weather on my ride home.



When all of the sudden I was interrupted.


And I realized there was something lurking over my shoulder.


I thought he was trying to pass me… but he didn’t.


I know drivers complain about tailgators. But they should consider themselves lucky that they can’t feel that stranger’s breath on their cheek.


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46 Comments on "Bike Creep"

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It is strange, that person biking so much as you never heard of PELOTON.

Or did I missed something obvious? 😀


@batat: what, exactly, does a peloton have to do with bicycle commuting? I think you missed the fact that the other rider was “creepy” and thus unknown to bikeyface. the same cannot be said of a typicale bicyle pack, in which the members are all part of a team, and are well-known to each other.

@bikeyface: it’s great to see the ol’ houndstooth helmet back. Thanks for another great post.

Paul Johnson

It’s not a peloton lane, and lane splitting is illegal, even in a bike lane, typically. That said, when I get the bike creep, I can 1) usually see ’em in my mirror, and 2) intentionally swerve towards them. Being 240 pounds and having a bike with an oversize luggage rack and very sturdy fenders, even if we do make contact, I’m not the one going down.

Lee Hollenbeck

I call them stealth drafters on the MM bike path. Mirror helps, I just wave them on. In cases where is is not safe to pass, I just hang back at least 3 bike lengths.

Beauty! While most of us are capable of riding a very smooth pace in a very straight line, this is one of those times when becoming unpredictable helps a lot. Look unsteady by wavering on the bike and using a pedal-coast-pedal-coast nonrhythmic pace. Turn to look at the jerk, and take your handlebars with you when you look back. You’ll soon persuade them that it’s in their own best interest to get clear of you – ahead of behind. (As an aside, “practiced unsteadiness” on the bike is a well-proven defensive tactic to scare the beejesus out of motorists, causing… Read more »

“…ahead OR behind…”

Kris R
Normally I am mildly amused at the pictures you draw, but this one not so much, probably because I encounter the flip side of this a bit. I guess this is timely because yesterday I was the, “bike creep” to some lady riding up Queen Anne hill. She was on a racing bike, earbuds in; I was on my big MTB. I was riding up through Seattle to get to a store at the top of a fairly big hill. I approached a lady also riding up the hill, who looked back, saw me, sped up slightly as I approached… Read more »

Hello neighbor!

I find this behavior weird and unpleasant. Maybe they think they have a good reason, but they’re in my personal space and make me feel uneasy. If I have to swerve or stop suddenly, they’re going to crash into me even if I call out a warning. Pass or don’t pass, there is no try.

I do have someone sidle up next to me and ask about my lighting system several times a week, and none of them creep. They just speed up a bit, hang out to my left at a safe distance, and say hello.

Lee Hollenbeck

Sorry, there is no reason to within 2 bike lengths if you are not passing. Just wait some. Racing, don’t you know
cat 6 commuter racing ?

Kris R
Lots of people in the comments so far are saying, “just ride 3+ bike lengths behind them” In October 2012, right before I was assaulted in the international district this is exactly what happened to me. The rider followed me at a distance so they could assault me when I rode to a less populated area of the international district. So now, I’m uneasy whenever someone could be following me at a distance. That’s what I find creepy behavior – someone following me at a few bike lengths. I’ll take feeling uneasy over being backboarded in to an ambulance after… Read more »

Or the alt-creep that passes you very quickly on the left, and has no front or back lights. Screw that guy, man.

Becky 2

Or the alt-creep who passes silently on the right while you’re waiting at a red light.

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