You've been there.
You've had it happen to you.
There you are, happily rolling along in the #2 lane, traffic's light and you're making good time. You've got the cruise control set to hold at a steady 65 when suddenly here he comes: The "Leap Frogger" - that driver who cannot seem to figure out whether he wants to be in front of you or breathing your diesel dust.
Could be a car. . . or a pick-up. Maybe a bob-tail truck or an SUV, but rarely an 18-wheeler. The worst offenders, though, are the Weekend Professional Operators (WPOs) piloting their Winnebuggys on that magical getaway to indulge in the Jelly Belly factory tour.
So he signals, pulls out into the #1 lane, goes around, signals and pulls back into the #2 lane in front of you, taking away your safety sight lines up ahead.
And then promptly slows down. . .
Since the WPO only gave you half a bus length of clearance, you've got to get on the service brakes to slow and match his speed, which of course is now 57.5 mph. The lady standing in the aisle with her white dress drinking red wine is not happy she almost spilled her drink, as you get boxed in behind WPO due to traffic.
Clear now, you signal, pull out into #1, hit "Resume" on the cruise and roll on by WPO in his Winnie with the 20' overhang behind the rear axle. Give him plenty of clearance, signal and return to the #2 lane, continuing on your journey.
Here he comes again. . . and does the same thing.
So you repeat the leap frog. . .
And he does it a THIRD time!
Hmmmm. . . This does not make me look good as a professional if I'm always having to brake for someone who's really not paying attention to what they're doing, and/or thinks it's an amusing way to entertain HIS passengers: "Look at me play with this bus, everyone!"
When the fourth leap frog comes, it's now time to bring out the Professional Bus Operator's secret weapon. Yup, we've got a secret weapon to be used against WPO's in their Winnebuggies with 20' overhangs behind the rear axle who decide they want to play "Leap Frog" with the bus driver:
The "Bow Wave!"
You know the "Bow Wave" - it's that massive amount of air that the front of your coach tries to push it's way through at speed, and has got to go somewhere as the Detroit happily sings it's song in the rear of the coach. Yeah. . . that one.
Time for WPO's lesson. . .
Signal and pull out into the #1 lane, giving the appearance to WPO that you're going around him again, but this time. . . this time:
As soon as the front of your coach pulls just past his rear bumper, you match his speed, sit back in the seat with a total poker face and watch WPO's driver's mirror for the reaction.
Let's see: 20' of overhang behind the rear axle, enough "sail" area to power a catamaran in the sidewall, and a 60 mph cross-wind pushing on Winnie. . .
Oh, the facial expressions are priceless!