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That's what my friend Tim called it. Unless it was the 'Hand of God' that saved me, it was a practice I started not long ago after 55 years of riding.
I was driving on the interstate watching a motorcyclist pass vehicles ahead of us. He would start from the typical position in the left rut of a lane, glance over his shoulder, then sweep all the way across the lane on his left to the far left rut. He did the same big swoopy passes whether passing on the left or right. In the heavy traffic it occurred to me that once he committed to the pass there was no adjusting his course if someone didn't see him (or in his quick head-check he didn't see them) and took the spot he was headed for.
I don't know what my typical passing pattern was before this but in that moment I decided I was not going to do that. I was going to make a more guarded move across the lane line then re-confirm no one had moved in too close from behind (or my/their blind spot(s)) while I was watching the vehicle I was passing.
A few weeks ago in the middle of day one of a ten day, four thousand mile trip, I had the following experience on a two lane mountain road southeast of Mt. Hood Oregon. I was the first of four bikes in line. I was following a pickup truck going less than the 55 mph limit. I was watching for a safe passing place for several miles. Cars were stacking up behind us. Finally, there was a long straight that should enable all of us to pass. As I accelerated to about 60, I eased over the line, clicked down a gear and just as I throttled up I glanced in my mirror. I don't know if I actually adjusted my line because the sports car that had pulled out from somewhere way back in the line blew by me so fast it felt like he moved me out of his way. It actually felt like he touched my left leg. The road was clearly too narrow for both of us in the lane. There was no shoulder at all for him swerve onto even if he could have. I know it is difficult to judge someone's speed as they pass you but his engine was wound tight and he was gone in a few heart beats.
At the next stop my friends said they watched in a moment of horror as they knew there would nothing left of me but pieces.
Another 'aha' moment happened the next day when my friend who was directly behind me (and not as experienced) said he just realized that when I pull out to pass he usually just follows because he has grown accustomed to me passing when it's safe for both of us. The reality of this moment weighs on me so I share it hoping it will help someone else.
 

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Thanks for taking the time to write this. A good reminder for us all. I typically go from left rut in the slow lane to the right rut in the fast lane. The other practice that I started last year after a driver didnt see me (he was merging, and swept across 3 lanes of traffic), I was watching his head (I try to make eye contact), is.... I now ALWAYS use Hand/Arm signals when merging and changing lanes on the highway. Given that I usually wear hi-viz yellow, the extra hand/arm movement seems to help even though Im also using the turn signals on the bike.

Thanks again for this Dallas, glad you and your buddies were all ok !
 

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Yup. Been there myself too many times to count. As a result of these instructional moments I have developed a routine for things like passing that I try to live by religiously. The elements of the routine(s) are all about updating and confirming my situational awareness (SA) and clearly communicating intent before I commit. I won't bore you with what they are, but I will say I'm hard on myself when I catch myself being lazy. The biggest danger I bear is ASSUMING I know what my SA is and not CONFIRMING it before I commit. I also tend to treat cagers I encounter as though they're deaf, dumb and blind. It's just an attitude thing.
 

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@dallas, the exact same circumstance happened to me on the way to the Grand Tetons NP. Except it was a big Ford P/U 3 cars behind me that started passing the line before he reached the broken center lines. I had my 21 year old Niece with me and thanked God that we were spared from calamity.
 

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If I'm in a line behind a slower vehicle I always down shift while still in my lane, check traffic and blast by. You still have to be aware of cars in front of you that may pull out with the same idea but a car in front is easier to see than a car behind. My standard riding buddies and I also have a hand signal we use to let each other know when we are going for a pass.
 
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