What do you do when some cager is riding up your butt?

Whether cruising down the highway or enjoying a ride down a pleasant back road, often you'll get "that guy" determined to place their front bumper on top of your back tire, no matter what speed you're going. Tailgaters are not only annoying, but they're also dangerous, particularly to motorcyclists who have a great deal more to lose by being rear-ended than a car. MCrider gives us some hints about how to deal with tailgaters when you're on a motorcycle.

If you find some car riding your backside without even buying you dinner first, check your speed. Are you legitimately going too slow? If you are, accelerating to the speed limit might take care of the problem all by itself. New riders may not feel comfortable riding fast, particularly on the highway. I sure didn't, and that's OK. The skill comes with time and practice, but until then, try sticking to roads with lower speed limits that you're more comfortable with.

Assuming that you are riding at a reasonable speed, adjust your lane position to see farther up the road. Often you may be going slowly because of a car in front of you that's going too slow. Rather than gluing yourself to their bumper, look past them so you can see up ahead and have much more time to react to what's on the road ahead. This will help you avoid having to brake hard and possibly get mowed down by the tailgater.

Along those lines, increase your following distance to traffic ahead of you. Counterintuitively, this means slowing down, rather than speeding up to get away from the tailgater. Personally, I find that sometimes a few rapid light taps of the brake, to flash the brake light, may be enough to warn someone that they are invading your space. If they didn't mean to do so, this, alone, can cause them to back off and give you some room. Regardless, this once again gives you more room to maneuver, react, and avoid having to hit the brakes hard and use up the tailgater's quite limited following distance.

Finally, there's always the option to pull over and let the tailgater by. It's not a race out there on the street. While the tailgater may not get there any faster, at least they'll be chewing on the bumper of the car ahead of you instead of your back tire, putting them in danger instead of you. Naturally, you'll want to continue to keep your distance in case the tailgater causes a crash ahead of you. But now you can focus your attention ahead of you, where it belongs, instead of dividing it between traffic ahead and a tailgater behind you.

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