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Close call - reminder to me to ride more defensively ...

RoastieRoastie Posts: 1,968
edited July 2009 in Commuting chat
.. and assume the worst.

E&C Roundabout:

I came in from the south intending to take Borough High St to London Bridge. I had a clear run into the roundabout, there were some vehicles in the inside lane of the roundabout, but this was not an immediate problem as the inside lane splits into two for traffic going to London Bridge and others, and the lane I was in effectively runs onto the bus lane to Borough HS. The white van to the right of me is not signalling left as we head towards the first exit (A302). I assume, from the lane the van is in, that he is continuing right around the roundabout. I had quite a bit of momentum coming into the roundabout and, loathe to lose it, continued about 5mph faster than the van in the middle lane (this being my other mistake, I think).

As I'm turning onto the bus lane approaching the tube station and road to Blackfriars, the van, unexpectedly and without signalling, starts heading for the first exit. The next few seconds were terrifying. I was *just" in front and to the left of the van, so nearly in front. At this point it seemed inevitable that the van could clip my rear wheel and I'd be a gonner. I tried to change my course but really was just bracing myself for hitting the deck.

Van Man must have seen me in time and also taken evasive action because somehow I now found myself headed at speed towards the pavement. I didn't register any anger from Van Man - he was probably as shaken as me - but I did find an involuntary torrent of abuse emanating from my vocal chords.

My mistakes aside (trust me, I am annoyed with having taken such an unneccesary risk), why is lane discipline in roundabouts so terrible? I find the same when in my car. Some people think (and it is almost the norm) that you can circulate on the inside of a multi-lane the roundabout and then head for whatever exit you choose. Do these people think that lane markings are there just for effing decoration? Gets my goat.

That said, I really should know better. :(

Posts

  • Agent57Agent57 Posts: 2,300
    There's a chance that he didn't know where he was going in the first place, or wasn't familiar with the roundabout in order to make sure he was in the correct lane. Then suddenly he realises he's not where he should be, and makes a f*ckwit manoeuvre. Of course, that's no excuse, and he should have just driven round for another pass (if it was even the case).

    But yeah, generally lane discipline on roundabouts is censored . The roundabout closest to my home is marked out in lanes, but even so people still cut them so they don't have to bother turning their steering wheels a few more degrees. :roll:
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  • lardboylardboy Posts: 343
    I had a reminder this morning as well. I was coming from Stockwell onto the South Lambeth Road heading to Vauxhall and had constant green lights all the way so far. This had probably gone to my head and I was weaving and ducking more than usual, carrying a bit too much speed into the start of SLR. I saw the bus in front slowing, so drifted over to the right without looking behind me. This prompted a beep from the motorbike that was sitting next to my back wheel and a little lecture about road awareness when the lady on the bike passed me a couple of seconds later.

    I'd like to apologise for not saying sorry, and also thank her for not being arsey when I blanked her. I rode a little more safely all the way in, and still managed a respectable 15mph average for the run.
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  • Rich158Rich158 Posts: 2,348
    Glad you came out of it unscathed. It's the reason I avoid the E&C roundabout like the plague.

    Had a similar one on the A2 in my car this morning. On a 4 lane section going up the hill towards Bluewater we're all sitting at about 50'ish when the HGV on my inside decides he needs to keep his momentun up and starts to pull out (without indicating) as I'm about 2/3rds of the way along him. The only options were to either hit the brakes - hard - and hope whoever's behind me has ABS as well, or hit the gas and tailgate the poor sod in front of me. taking the latter option I still have no idea how he missed me, at one time he was about 6 inches from me. :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil:

    Vans and trucks are all the same, bloody shite drivers sho shouldn't be on the road :twisted:
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  • I should have ridden more assertively this morning...

    On Fulham Road there is a bit where they are doing work and it's down to one lane with the temporary traffic lights. I waited patiently until green (at the front of the queue) started riding down the single lane when a female motorist overtook me and nearly ran me into the road works. I should have ridden slap bang in the middle of the lane so there was no chance of passing me. I was going quickly enough and it is a short section, so there was no need for it really.

    What annoyed me even more was that she had one of those "child on board" signs on the back of her car - as if other road users should be more considerate to her.

    Why is it that the people who have those signs never take them down and when there is no child on board they drive like total twunts??
  • Agree with Rich158 - I avoid E&C roundabout - it's terrifying. I use side street routes around it. E.g. Rockingham Street which even has a nice cyclist only set of traffic lights, although they can take quite a while to change (but at lesat I'm still alive :shock: )
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  • BassjunkieukBassjunkieuk Posts: 4,232
    Glad to hear you got away safely Roastie! E & C can be rather dicey sometimes and even more of a pain if your forced to stop and wait at an entrance slip, I normally go for the get it over with as fast as possible approach and gun it round. Relying on my spidey senses and acceleration to keep me out of trouble :-) Lane discipline on that roundabout is non-existent but then I've also come un-stuck when in the car as I suddenly remember I can't use the lanes the same way I do on my bike ;-)
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  • HeadhuunterHeadhuunter Posts: 6,494
    I was in a similar situation yesterday as I turned right from OKR on the Bricklayers Arms roundabout to head towards Tower Bridge. I was in the inner most lane and slowed at the lights, but they started to go green so I accelerated. Just as I did so a woman driving a car who was stopped at the lights in the innermost lane decided to gun it to get ahead of all the traffic and turn off towards Borough, cutting across the traffic moving from the lights. I had no choice but to go with her as she basically cut me up...

    Luckily I wasn't going very fast so I just braked and went with her towards Borough rather than to my chosen exit. She didn't signal or anything and just looked at me through the car window as if to ask what are you doing there? Silly cow...
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  • Am I just the biggest wuss around? :oops:

    I go on the pavement* around the Bricklayers' Arms roundabout. Bricklayers' Arms falls into the same bucket as E&C - far too full of crazy mo-fo car drivers desparate to save a few seconds to risk cycling around.

    * Shared use path with those blue signs of ped and bikes, before you all start.
    Never be tempted to race against a Barclays Cycle Hire bike. If you do, there are only two outcomes. Of these, by far the better is that you now have the scalp of a Boris Bike.
  • HeadhuunterHeadhuunter Posts: 6,494
    Usually I find Bricklayer Arms roundabout is fine. I use it every day and I think this is the 1st problem I've had. Generally the traffic is moving too slowly to be much of a problem or is stopped at lights
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  • alex16zxalex16zx Posts: 153
    I completely sympathise, but by their very nature, lanes on roundabouts will always have to be cut across in certain scenarios (although obviously not this one) and as such I will always watch every car in every lane to check where they might exit the roundabout. This comes more from my experience in my car rather than on the bike though.
  • BassjunkieukBassjunkieuk Posts: 4,232
    alex16zx wrote:
    I completely sympathise, but by their very nature, lanes on roundabouts will always have to be cut across in certain scenarios (although obviously not this one) and as such I will always watch every car in every lane to check where they might exit the roundabout. This comes more from my experience in my car rather than on the bike though.

    I dunno, I have used a few very large roundabout and nowadays I am finding that it is possible to follow lane markings correctly and arrive at your desired exit. Admittedly these are generally where you have 3+lanes (or at least enough lanes for the exits -1)
    I think what annoys me more is people who fail to indicate at all, there have been numerous occasions when I've had to be bl00dy psychic to figure out where some drivers are going!
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  • CafewandaCafewanda Posts: 2,788
    I always say a "thank you Lord" when I safely, somehow, manage to navigate the E&C roundabout. The homeward journey is far more dangerous than the morning I find.
  • BassjunkieukBassjunkieuk Posts: 4,232
    Cafewanda wrote:
    I always say a "thank you Lord" when I safely, somehow, manage to navigate the E&C roundabout. The homeward journey is far more dangerous than the morning I find.

    Getting on from Borough High Street can be a mare! You have to hit it just right otherwise your stuck and lose all momentum :-(
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  • CafewandaCafewanda Posts: 2,788
    Cafewanda wrote:
    I always say a "thank you Lord" when I safely, somehow, manage to navigate the E&C roundabout. The homeward journey is far more dangerous than the morning I find.

    Getting on from Borough High Street can be a mare! You have to hit it just right otherwise your stuck and lose all momentum :-(

    Famous for it as it happens too frequently! :oops:
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