Forum home Commuter cycling forum Commuting chat

Cycling at night during the rush hour in central London...

mooniomoonio Posts: 802
edited September 2009 in Commuting chat
Is really scary! I forgot how bad it was last year, but tonight i was cruelly reminded when at least 5 drivers tried to bum rush me. :shock: 1 of them was even an ambulance driver with no light or siren on!!

How does everyone else cope with hectic night time commuting?
«1

Posts

  • itboffinitboffin Posts: 20,049
    moonio wrote:
    Is really scary! I forgot how bad it was last year, but tonight i was cruelly reminded when at least 5 drivers tried to bum rush me. :shock: 1 of them was even an ambulance driver with no light or siren on!!

    How does everyone else cope with hectic night time commuting?

    It's very important to be seen but you already know that and equally important to ride defensively and sensibly that said most drivers on their way home aren't going to give you much leeway, so take care and assume everyone is out to kill you.
    Rule #5 // Harden The censored Up.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.
    Rule #12 // The correct number of bikes to own is n+1.
    Rule #42 // A bike race shall never be preceded with a swim and/or followed by a run.
  • mooniomoonio Posts: 802
    Thanks, btw what happened to the 'today i will mostly be eating thread'? it seems to have disappeared....
  • mooniomoonio Posts: 802
    its ok i found it
  • itboffinitboffin Posts: 20,049
    moonio wrote:
    Thanks, btw what happened to the 'today i will mostly be eating thread'? it seems to have disappeared....

    it pops up every once in a while i'm ashamed to admit today was very very healthy - was but Guinness made it all better :lol:

    Racing this weekend you see :wink:
    Rule #5 // Harden The censored Up.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.
    Rule #12 // The correct number of bikes to own is n+1.
    Rule #42 // A bike race shall never be preceded with a swim and/or followed by a run.
  • mooniomoonio Posts: 802
    Cool, I found it..I'm using it as a food diary, as I also decided I want to race :)
  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    Night riding is good fun. You have to have your wits about you, but it's good fun. :)
    FCN 2-4.

    "What happens when the hammer goes down, kids?"
    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • mooniomoonio Posts: 802
    I wish I found it fun too, but its just a bit crazy when all you can see are cars head lights behind you and no idea how fast they are moving etc
  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    Like most things, you just get used to it. :)
    FCN 2-4.

    "What happens when the hammer goes down, kids?"
    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • fossyantfossyant Posts: 2,549
    Good lights....or in my case...far too good lights......
  • mooniomoonio Posts: 802
    I have 2 back lights and lots of reflectives, plus a flashing front light. but the problem isn't the cars not seeing me, its me not being able to see the cars properly which I find scary.

    Besides what is it with UK car drivers? I just spent the weekend in Belgium where the majority of people were on bikes, and car drivers attitudes to them were totally different, treating them decently, being patient and giving them lots of space. Why is the UK so different???? :?
  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    moonio wrote:
    Besides what is it with UK car drivers? I just spent the weekend in Belgium where the majority of people were on bikes, and car drivers attitudes to them were totally different, treating them decently, being patient and giving them lots of space. Why is the UK so different???? :?

    Yup. See the "strict liability" thread.
    FCN 2-4.

    "What happens when the hammer goes down, kids?"
    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • pastryboypastryboy Posts: 1,385
    moonio wrote:
    Why is the UK so different???? :?

    Because everyone is generally miserable and therefore less interested in anyone else.
  • OK - this isn't maybe of much practical use, but you're safest when you're travelling as close as possible to the speed of the traffic around you. Fast when they're fast, slow when they're slow. Works in the dark as well as the day.

    Remember, contrary to how it often feels, no one wants to hit you, and no one is trying to make contact*. Remember that.

    Dark nights and greasy road surfaces, without or without iron (eg manhole covers) in the road = heart racing fcuking hell, OTOH. And not in a good way.

    *Unless your name is itboffin. They all hate him. And who can blame them?
    Swim. Bike. Run. Yeah. That's what I used to do.

    Bike 1
    Bike 2-A
  • cjcp wrote:
    Night riding is good fun. You have to have your wits about you, but it's good fun. :)

    +1 I love riding at night in London. Just ride assertively and make sure you have good lights!
    2015 Canyon Aeroad CF SLX
    2020 Canyon Ultimate CF SLX
    2020 Canyon Inflite SL 7
    On the Strand
    Crown Stables
  • PorgyPorgy Posts: 4,525
    cjcp wrote:
    Like most things, you just get used to it. :)

    After 20 years of commuting in London I'm stuill not used to it. :cry:

    Still I persevere - the good outweighs the bad - and as the man said - I asusme everyone is out to kill me. 8)
  • PorgyPorgy Posts: 4,525
    Greg66 wrote:
    OK - this isn't maybe of much practical use, but you're safest when you're travelling as close as possible to the speed of the traffic around you. Fast when they're fast, slow when they're slow. Works in the dark as well as the day.
    [/size]

    I was going at 35 mph down Shooters Hill last night - and ahead of all the traffic and still the feckers tried to over take me :evil:

    Twice I got forced back into the gutter in order to avoid being hit. In the end I resorted to fixing the driver behind me with an evil glare and waving my right arm about. that one stayed behind me.

    Not sure this was to do with it being dark - but somehow it feels worse when it's at night.
  • I use a different route in the winter to the summer becuase I find the kings Road rush hour in the dark too dangerous. its all the side roads, pedestrians and general chaos (other bikes don't help either).

    Perhaps look at route alternatives that are better for dark commutes?
  • snookssnooks Posts: 1,521
    Oh and if you do have lights make sure you're not covering then up with a jumper tied around your waist, like the girl I pointed it out to last night

    "S'cuse me, Sorry, just to let you know, you can't see your back light because of your jumper" :)
    "Thanks, it does that often"
    :shock:

    If it does that often...why not sort it out?
    FCN:5, 8 & 9
    If I'm not riding I'm shooting http://grahamsnook.com
    THE Game
    Watch out for HGVs
  • R_T_AR_T_A Posts: 488
    moonio wrote:
    I have 2 back lights and lots of reflectives, plus a flashing front light. but the problem isn't the cars not seeing me, its me not being able to see the cars properly which I find scary.

    Not sure if you have one, but have you considered a mirror? You can get quite subtle ones nowadays. I don't have one, but maybe this would help you*.

    *Or hinder. Who knows? :lol:
    Giant Escape R1
    FCN 8
    "Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life."
    - Terry Pratchett.
  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    Porgy wrote:
    cjcp wrote:
    Like most things, you just get used to it. :)

    After 20 years of commuting in London I'm stuill not used to it. :cry:

    Still I persevere - the good outweighs the bad - and as the man said - I asusme everyone is out to kill me. 8)

    The good does indeed outweigh the bad. :)

    I know I said you get used to it, but I do think that some routes into London are a little better than others. For example, when I rode out to Crystal Palace in August, I found it really gnarled-up in places, possibly because the route took me through more high streets than my typical route. But I think this route has more buses on it than my route home. I found the same with the route I did years ago from the City to Tooting Broadway: I didn't find it a particularly enjoyable route.

    My present route *feels* a bit faster, a bit more open (e.g. Embankment, Putney Common, Richmond Park), with the exception of the New King's Road and the first part of the Lower Richmond Road. You also have the lights along Emabnkment, on the London Eye and the HoP.

    So, I think the features of your particular route affects whether a night time commute is enjoyable.

    I'm preparing myself for strenuous objections. :)
    FCN 2-4.

    "What happens when the hammer goes down, kids?"
    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • in many ways I actually feel safer commuting home in the evenings now that the nights are drawing in

    with powerful lights front and rear, I am much more visible to other road traffic than during the Summer evenings when I am not using lights


    just be aware of the risks of using proper off-road front lights whilst commuting

    I got pulled over by the Police in Covent Garden and asked to "tone it down" as apparently my Light & Motion Stella 200 was blinding motorists and could potentially cause a road traffic accident! :oops:
    Call 01372 476 969 for more information on UK\'s leading freeride park - Esher Shore www.eshershore.com
  • biondinobiondino Posts: 5,990
    Greg66 wrote:
    *Unless your name is itboffin. They all hate him. And who can blame them?

    Perhaps all his punctures are caused by the provisional wing of the RAC?
  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    lurpak.jpg
    FCN 2-4.

    "What happens when the hammer goes down, kids?"
    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • in many ways I actually feel safer commuting home in the evenings now that the nights are drawing in

    with powerful lights front and rear, I am much more visible to other road traffic than during the Summer evenings when I am not using lights


    just be aware of the risks of using proper off-road front lights whilst commuting

    I got pulled over by the Police in Covent Garden and asked to "tone it down" as apparently my Light & Motion Stella 200 was blinding motorists and could potentially cause a road traffic accident! :oops:
    I would have thought that they were wrong in law. As far as I am aware, a BMW with twin headlights puts out rather more light than any commercially available trail light (with the possible exception of some of the Lupine ones). So whereas you could be required to point it down, I would have thought that your light was merely brighter than they expected *on a bicycle* but less bright than lights carried by their own vehicle.

    Anyone able to clarify?....
  • So whereas you could be required to point it down, I would have thought that your light was merely brighter than they expected *on a bicycle* but less bright than lights carried by their own vehicle.

    that makes sense to me, but perhaps not to the Police Officers who stopped me?

    it could be the 200 lumen flashing mode that frazzled their eyes, and caused their intervention

    I've had many motorists (normally taxi drivers) and pedestrians shout at me, or raise their arm to cover their eyes

    I am not bothered, at least they know I am coming through...

    my light is there to keep me safe
    Call 01372 476 969 for more information on UK\'s leading freeride park - Esher Shore www.eshershore.com
  • pastryboypastryboy Posts: 1,385
    Well there's specific rules on using foglights but I think anything else is down to common sense and judgement.
  • jedsterjedster Posts: 1,717
    ESHER,
    I've had many motorists (normally taxi drivers) and pedestrians shout at me, or raise their arm to cover their eyes

    I am not bothered, at least they know I am coming through...

    my light is there to keep me safe

    can I just point out the blindingly (no pun intended) obvious idiocy in your post. You aren't going to be safer if drives and peds are forced to cover their eyes.

    You numpty. :lol:
  • hooliohoolio Posts: 139
    Sounds like the police were applying the common sense they rarely get any credit for. If you're merrily travelling along with distracting and blinding flashing lights, you're not really helping road safety. :)

    Car lights may have higher outputs, but they are specifically shaped by the headlight so as to not dazzle other drivers. Bike lights aren't!
  • secretsamsecretsam Posts: 4,947
    Be assertive
    Be seen
    Be safe

    It's just a hill. Get over it.
  • Greg66 wrote:
    Remember, contrary to how it often feels, no one wants to hit you, and no one is trying to make contact*. Remember that. [/size]

    Sadly that is not true as I found out yesterday. After over 10 years of daily London commuting someone (WVM) deliberately drove into me/my bicycle on my way into work. I know it was deliberate because he gave me the finger before he knocked me to the ground. Incredibly I had hardly any injury other than slight roadrash, saved by landing on my rucksack on my back and the fact that there was no traffic behind me as I lay in the middle of the road. Unfortunately I did not see his number plate or any other defining characteristic - hence the police where unable to take it any further. So, remember that - there are people who try to make contact - thankfully few and far between.
    Time VRS Pro-Team 08 – weekend steed
    Condor Moda - commute
    Scott something or other - manky old MTB
Sign In or Register to comment.