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Drivers' Atttitudes

ladybeeladybee Posts: 34
edited January 2010 in Road beginners
So, after years of struggling about with my one-bike-does-all cheapo hybrid, I just got myself a road machine (a Scott Addict), only to take it out and be treated like the scum of the roads by car drivers!

I've done an awful lot of biking on the roads on my hybrid, and on a mountain bike, but never have I ever had so many idiots overtake aggressively, beep, keep less distance, and just generally be right tits.

Was this just bad luck or has anybody else found drivers treat people on a road bike differently? I didn't realise my new bike came with a Please run me over now invisible sign...

(in positive news it was a bloody awesome ride, i'm still buzzing from it :D)

Posts

  • BhimaBhima Posts: 2,145
    Simple. Ride so they can't squeeze past you. This is not just bad luck. Unfortunately, it's normal.

    I don't let drivers overtake usually. If they want to get past, they have to wait until the opposing lane is free, unless there are special circumstances such as when going uphil, or if I know there's a good and safe overtaking opportunity approaching. When I was a beginner, I got sick of drivers after a couple of weeks of it, so only use the right-hand half of the lane now. Not had any trouble for about a year.

    Also, if you've got a "head down, in pain, trying to go fast" look, they'll usually give you a bit more space than normal.
  • clantonclanton Posts: 1,288
    Umm, don't follow Bhima's advice.

    Take a strong secondary position for general riding so that you are visible and cars need to make a positive move to overtake you rather than just fly by.

    Take primary position (ie the middle of the road) when needed ie pinch points etc.

    Be courteous to drivers and treat them with respect and the majority will respond in kind.
    Be as assertive as you need to be but don't seek confrontation (like by riding on the right hand side of the road).
  • ladybeeladybee Posts: 34
    Lol well everyone has different opinions! I'm pretty non-aggressive on the roads anyway, and am pretty sure I wasn't riding any differently in that way on the road bike. Am just a bit perplexed as to why drivers were acting so differently when they see some drop bars and a faster bike!
  • dennisndennisn Posts: 10,601
    I tend to think that the people who are "aggressive" toward cyclists are the same people
    who are aggressive toward all other vehicles on the road. They just have road rage in them no matter what you drive or ride. Nothing really personal. It's just that, to them, EVERYONE else out there is an *sshole.
  • BhimaBhima Posts: 2,145
    edited January 2010
    clanton wrote:
    Umm, don't follow Bhima's advice.

    Be as assertive as you need to be but don't seek confrontation (like by riding on the right hand side of the road).

    Why not? I've not had any issues in ages. When there IS an issue with a stupid driver, you have to be confrontational, otherwise drivers just take the pi55 - outweighing how much you would be taking the pi55 by riding in the middle of the road.

    Drivers can kill you, but you can't kill drivers, so there's a massive difference between you being confrontational and them being a menace and sqeezing past. If your life is at stake, why risk it?
  • clantonclanton Posts: 1,288
    There is a difference between being confident and assertive and claiming your rightful place on the road and being confrontational. In a confrontation with someone in a car/van or whatever the cyclist will always lose. Don't risk it.
  • ladybeeladybee Posts: 34
    Can. Worms. Open?!
  • hopper1hopper1 Posts: 4,389
    Riding aggressively is ok, if you're able to back it up when required.
    I assume ladybee is a lady, therefore less likely to go toe to toe with a toss pot driver!
    Just keep your head when being hassled, keep to your line and don't be intimidated.
    You'll still come across the odd t1t...
    I'll probably tempt fait now, but, I have only come across one idiot in the last two-three years :wink:
    Start with a budget, finish with a mortgage!
  • BhimaBhima Posts: 2,145
    clanton wrote:
    There is a difference between being confident and assertive and claiming your rightful place on the road and being confrontational.

    True. I mean, SOMETIMES you have to be confrontational, like if the guy behind is not leaving enough stopping distance, or is beeping at you, etc... Of course, I wouldn't go out there putting two fingers up at every driver I see. :lol:

    I don't see riding on the second half of the lane as aggressive/confrontational but some cyclists do. This is where opinion takes over and there's no right answer.

    Can of worms closed.
  • bobtbuilderbobtbuilder Posts: 1,537
    ladybee wrote:
    Can. Worms. Open?!

    Everyone is going to have their own opinion on it. However, I think everyone will agree that a key point is not ride right up against the kerb, and to ride at least in the secondary position. You need to leave yourself somewhere to go if a motorist passes too close to you.

    Personally, I try and take a courteous but assertive approach to my riding.

    I also find that making eye-contact with motorists (especially in urban areas) helps.

    All that aside, some motorists are just d*cks.
  • ladybeeladybee Posts: 34
    So noone else finds they get treated differently on different types of bike then? Maybe it was just bad luck today; but if next time I go out on the road bike and it happens again, I'll get even more cynical.
  • BhimaBhima Posts: 2,145
    Only ever used another type of bike for getting around town/shops/etc, so have no idea how motorists react to different types.

    I assume most don't notice/care.
  • MattC59MattC59 Posts: 5,408
    WooHoo......... who found Pandors's box again ??

    I always ride about about 2ft from the edge of the road. On the A4 near Newbury, this means 2ft from the white line on the left. This line indicates the edge of the carriageway, and the road is sh*t on the wrong side of it.

    I also carry a full length frame pump under the top tube. This is handy when you get the proper idiots who decide they're going to stop and have a go at you. It's only happened once to me, but he cut short his advance when he saw me brandishing said frame pump like a bat :D
    Science adjusts it’s beliefs based on what’s observed.
    Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved
  • BhimaBhima Posts: 2,145
    Well, whatever you do, this is NOT recommended. :lol:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4XxCZagAjk
  • MattC59MattC59 Posts: 5,408
    Bhima wrote:
    Well, whatever you do, this is NOT recommended. :lol:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4XxCZagAjk

    good shot though !
    Science adjusts it’s beliefs based on what’s observed.
    Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved
  • bompingtonbompington Posts: 7,674
    I seem to remember reading some stuff about research that shows that the more "serious" you look, the less space drivers give you: the guy who went round with a video & measuring gear on his bike for a start, he found that people gave him less space when he wore a helmet (just to throw another can of worms into the mix) - and more space when he wore a blonde wig...
    I'm sure that's not the only research I've read about, but I can't be bothered to go searching just now - anyone got any links?
  • ladybeeladybee Posts: 34
    bompington wrote:
    I'm sure that's not the only research I've read about, but I can't be bothered to go searching just now - anyone got any links?

    Is this what you're on about? http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/s ... ioncode=26

    "This study shows that when drivers overtake a cyclist, the margin for error they leave is affected by the cyclist's appearance. The effect of appearance was found to be even more important when Dr Walker donned a blonde wig. Drivers gave him an additional 14 cm when they thought he was female"

    Interesting! There's a link at the bottom of the times page too, looks like there's been a lot of research done on it. I like the idea that I looked "serious" :D The worse the drivers, the more pro I'll feel from now on. ;)
  • clantonclanton Posts: 1,288
    Ladybee to answer the original question which has been kinda missed - I ride a road bike for training and I commute to work (in winter at least) on a slicked up MTB with mudguards. I don't particularly notice any difference in the way motorists behave towards me between these bikes.
  • BobbinogsBobbinogs Posts: 4,841
    ...and more space when he wore a blonde wig...

    I have hair with ginger tendancies (it's strawberry blonde I tell yah) and (so far) have only met courteous drivers. Its either something to do with cycling in the country or drivers figuring I have had enough bad luck in my life already :wink:
  • bobtbuilderbobtbuilder Posts: 1,537
    ladybee wrote:
    So noone else finds they get treated differently on different types of bike then? Maybe it was just bad luck today; but if next time I go out on the road bike and it happens again, I'll get even more cynical.

    I only have road bikes, so I can't comment on that bit!
  • Rich HcpRich Hcp Posts: 1,355
    Not had a any real problems on either my roadie or mtb in 5 years.

    I ride in a semi-defensive way, try to keep a visible position, not get in the way and always give a wave of thanks if I feel someone has waited a while to get past.

    Not all drivers are numptys, and there are also numptys on bikes.
    Richard

    Giving it Large
  • I think it depends partly on where you're cycling. I'm lucky living up in the N Pennines, where the roads are pretty traffic-free. When roads are fairly quiet, there's far less chance to encouter an already frustrated motorist.

    Most drivers here are very courteous and allow plenty of room; indeed, while I was out on Sunday there were at least three occasions during my 2-hour ride when drivers waited patiently behind me because they could see the road ahead was twisty and potholed and therefore not great to be overtaken. I of course reciprocated by waving them past at the earliest opportunity and also giving them a thumbs-up to show my appreciation. Riding assertively yet with consideration and courtesy to other road users works well most of the time - of course, there's always the odd [email protected]
  • willbevanwillbevan Posts: 1,241
    I found i've had less trouble with drivers passing and being agressive since I got a bright rear light, use it day and night. Had plenty of comments that its seen over a 1/2 mile away in daylight and is the most prominent thing in vision. not cheap mind you, one of the dinnote 400l twin tail lights,.

    Expensive, but not as much as your life!

    The isntances of cars flying past me not caring how close they were has decreased drymatically, but on the flip side, the instances of cars passing me with a wide birth and almost hitting on coming traffic has increased dramatically as well. i.e. tonight over 33 miles, 3 isntances of idiots doing this on corners and a summit. Purely on a selfish point, would prefer the car hits another car than me :(
    Road - BTwin Sport 2 16s
    MTB - Trek Fuel 80
    TT - Echelon

    http://www.rossonwye.cyclists.co.uk/
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