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Riding around parked cars?

jusgrayjusgray Posts: 154
edited May 2008 in Commuting chat
While out today I found that when I came across 1 parked car then a gap of about 200m so swerved in for this distance until the other car came up, I then found myself swerving out again to go round this other car.

Now, should I just stay in my straight line or swerve in then back out?

I also got cut up by a learner driver that got way to close at a set of lights so out of instinct I kicked out with my foot (I dont know why :shock: ) but when I looked I had put a slight dent in his car door, he never got out so I just rode of.

Would this be classed as criminal damage or could I claim some form of self-defence?


  • BentMikeyBentMikey Posts: 4,895
    Don't swerve in and out of spaces between parked cars, especially if the gap is only 30m or less. Instead signal and negotiate your way in and out as you need to, taking the lane past the cars with at least 5ft between you and the parked cars, and stay out in the lane when passing the shorter than 30m gaps between the cars. Ducking in and out is risky behaviour. Don't ride in the door zone: ... r-zone.htm

    Best of all, I would recommend getting and reading Cyclecraft by John Franklin which covers this in much more detail: ... anklin.htm
  • jusgrayjusgray Posts: 154
    Cheers for the reply mate, very good links.

    Thank you.
  • GambatteGambatte Posts: 1,453
    To me a good argument for self defence - you were notifying him he was too close. If he'd left adequate room you wouldn't have been able to do it
  • andrewc3142andrewc3142 Posts: 906
    As above, don't swerve in and out of parked cars and, if anything, provided you are going fast relative to the traffic, keep in primary position and don't leave room for overtaking, but plenty for opening doors ...

    But putting dents in car doors is definitely not a wise thing to do from a self-preservation standpoint,
  • jusgrayjusgray Posts: 154
    But putting dents in car doors is definitely not a wise thing to do from a self-preservation standpoint,

    I dont even know why I did it, instinct I suppose.
  • Jusgray
    I dont even know why I did it, instinct I suppose.

    Self preservation, it's the fight or flight response.
    If you see the candle as flame, the meal is already cooked.
    Photography, Google Earth, Route 30
  • SmellTheGloveSmellTheGlove Posts: 697
    I'd say that a cyclist staying a car's width out from the kerb for 200m or so (obv. depends on the conditions) could well wind up some drivers unnecessarily. Like other posters above, I reckon staying out for a distance of 30m or so is just about OK.
    Just don't "swerve" anywhere if at all poss.
    "Consider the grebe..."
  • BentMikeyBentMikey Posts: 4,895
    If I'm passing 200m of parked cars, then I'm going to be riding well out in the lane for 250m or so. I'm not keen on risking a dooring, they cause the most killed and seriously injured cyclists in London, and my safety is more important than a following driver's convenience.

    If I'm riding around the Vauxhall gyratory, for example, I'll take the lane the whole way around, and that's a lot longer than 200m on my south to north route.

    On the other hand, if there's a safe stretch to let drivers past, then I'm happy to help them out.
  • mrchrispymrchrispy Posts: 310
    dont worry about the dent, if s/he is close enough to touch then the are too close.
    screw them
  • andrewc3142andrewc3142 Posts: 906
    One reason for keeping up a good speed. In central London, much of the time it's possible to keep up with the cars. OK, there's often some idiot who tries to overtake, pulling alongside and then moving in to push you into the gutter when you're going along with the traffic. Best to let them go and suffer their own private problems - inadequacy, anger-management, or whatever.

    The cyclists that worry me most are those who wobble along slowly in the gutter, pulling out to go round parked cars, without leaving space for the door, etc. Great to see them out on 2 wheels but scary stuff.
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