Ask the Expert: Why do Men Overtake me Seconds After I Have Passed Them?

We ask experts to answer your burning questions

Sizing up the girls in front, are we?

Why do men always insist on overtaking me two seconds after I have passed them during my commute? 

Ah, the eternal question. We’ve all been happily cycling along and chosen to safely overtake a gentleman on his bicycle. Then moments later a blur of lycra beside your right shoulder indicates that said gentleman was not content to sit behind you.

The assumption by many is that this is a reponse to the ‘insult’ of being overtaken by a woman. So we thought we’d ask the editor of the UK’s leading performance road cycling website RoadCyclingUK – George Scott –about this strange commuting phenomenon in the hope that he could dispel our worries.

People are so hyped up when they’re commuting. They’ll play cat and mouse with anyone.

“Unfortunately some men, subconsciously, don’t want to be beaten by a woman,” says George. But for most male cyclists, he believes that the overtaking game has nothing to do with the perceived ‘insult’.

“I don’t think if you get overtaken by a woman you think ‘oh my god! I have to overtake them again!’ I think it’s more because people are so hyped up when they’re commuting. They’ll play cat and mouse with anyone.”

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Also, George’s general obliviousness to the issue is reassuring. Like many men we know, when asked about the issue he was a tad surprised that it was even a thing. And this is probably because he’s concentrating so hard on the training benefits of his ride.

“If you ride down the embankment in London, it’s like a traffic light Grand Prix. You just sprint off the lights towards the next set of lights. You have fun and go hard so long as it’s safe.”

Do you have any questions for the experts? Let us know in the comments below or email [email protected]

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