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Helping Cyclists Get a Bad Name

spen666spen666 Posts: 17,709
edited December 2010 in Commuting general
Over the last few days, I have hadcause to drive my car through streets broad and narrow .... in London and have to say the behaviour of many cyclists (not all) that I saw was such as to make me realise why other road users seemingly dislike cyclists. Examples of such behaviour include:

a) A high % riding with no or ineffective lights. You can buy a set of lights for £20. Surely your life is worth this much. This is usually combined with wearing dark and non reflective clothing to complete the stealth effect

b) changing lane/ position / turning across traffic without looking. Typically riding in gutter up to rear of parked vehicle then trying to ride round it from 1" away from rear bumper, but without ever looking behind to check it is safe to change position

c) riding on pavement and ringing bell "angrily" at anyone who dares to be walking on the pavement- more ringing etc when not a shared use pavement.
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  • bigmatbigmat Posts: 5,111
    spen666 wrote:
    Over the last few days, I have hadcause to drive my car through streets broad and narrow .... in London and have to say the behaviour of many cyclists (not all) that I saw was such as to make me realise why other road users seemingly dislike cyclists. Examples of such behaviour include:

    a) A high % riding with no or ineffective lights. You can buy a set of lights for £20. Surely your life is worth this much. This is usually combined with wearing dark and non reflective clothing to complete the stealth effect

    b) changing lane/ position / turning across traffic without looking. Typically riding in gutter up to rear of parked vehicle then trying to ride round it from 1" away from rear bumper, but without ever looking behind to check it is safe to change position

    c) riding on pavement and ringing bell "angrily" at anyone who dares to be walking on the pavement- more ringing etc when not a shared use pavement.

    a) and c) I agree with. For b), you should be able to anticipate that the cyclist you are following is going to have to pull out to overtake the parked car (unless you think its going to just ride into the back of it?) and leave sufficient space to account for that. If your driving makes it unsafe for the cyclist, then your driving is censored . maybe that isn't the best example of what you were referring to though, I agree cyclists should always shoulder check before making a significant change indirection, seems to annoy me more when I'm cycling than driving!
  • Mr PlumMr Plum Posts: 1,097
    I'd agree with all 3, with the addition of kids who ride all over the road as if their half cut making it impossible to anticipate their next move.
    FCN 2 to 8
  • Mr Plum wrote:
    I'd agree with all 3, with the addition of kids who ride all over the road as if their half cut making it impossible to anticipate their next move.

    whilst texting
    Weaseling out of things is important to learn. It's what separates us from the animals! Except the weasel
  • How much is this the fault of cyclists? And how much is it the fault of the 'system'?

    Be nice if the authorities would actually try and enforce road traffic laws. But, of course, dealing with minor infringements is a waste of a Police Officer's time. That's why we need a system where minor laws are not dealt with by the police. Get a more cost-effective way of enforcing road traffic laws and you will get fewer road traffic infringements.

    The Italian example is a good one, and where they have a dedicated road traffic police on wages a lot lowere than 'proper' Police Officer's.
  • hatbeardhatbeard Posts: 1,087
    MatHammond wrote:
    you should be able to anticipate that the cyclist you are following is going to have to pull out to overtake the parked car (unless you think its going to just ride into the back of it?) and leave sufficient space to account for that.

    I wish more cyclists could understand this concept as well, the amount of times in the 7 weeks I've been commuting I've gone to pull around a blockage in the bus/cycle lane done a shoulder check only to see someone trying to speed past me so they end up level with me right at the pinch point but not far enough over that I can get round the obstacle as well. usually meaning I either have to a) stop completely at the obstacle or b) break hard enough that I can pull in behind them but typically losing enough momentum that I can't comfortably merge with the passing traffic anymore.
    Hat + Beard
  • spen666spen666 Posts: 17,709
    MatHammond wrote:
    you should be able to anticipate that the cyclist you are following is going to have to pull out to overtake the parked car (unless you think its going to just ride into the back of it?) and leave sufficient space to account for that.


    It is the duty of the cyclists/ motorist or whoever to ensure it is safe to pull out or change lane, n ot the duty of the person in the correct lane to stop/ swerve to avoid numpty.

    Cyclist/ motorist etc sahould be looking ahead, anticipate and SIGNAL and LOOK before the manouvere.


    I am talking about situation where cyclist is changing into lane - eg 2 lanes going same direction and cyclist/ motorist or whoever changes lane at last minute, no signa, no warning, no look.
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  • ChiggyChiggy Posts: 261
    A commute cyclist travels at between 5 and 10 m/s. That's 50 to 100 metres in 10 seconds. That's how far you should be looking ahead at the traffic in the road. 10 seconds is a lot of time to observe, signal and manouver.
  • fnegronifnegroni Posts: 794
    spen666 wrote:
    It is the duty of the cyclists/ motorist or whoever to ensure it is safe to pull out or change lane, n ot the duty of the person in the correct lane to stop/ swerve to avoid numpty.

    But, a cyclist can change position from secondary to primary within a lane, to avoid a parked car or width restriction, and the driver is actually supposed to give space for this to happen at any time during an overtaking maneuver.
  • ChiggyChiggy Posts: 261
    When a cyclist moves from secondary to primary, they LOOK, signal and then manouver.

    The 'look' is called the "Life saver".

    If it were true that a cyclist can change from secondary to primary to strong primary and back to secondary without looking or signalling, then its OK for me to ride along in an 'S' shape all the way home.

    Now that would give cyclists a bad name.
  • ChiggyChiggy Posts: 261
    As a matter of point, if the parked cars are widely spaced, like three cars lengths apart, ride in primary between them. Don't weave.
  • jds_1981jds_1981 Posts: 1,858
    spen666 wrote:
    It is the duty of the cyclists/ motorist or whoever to ensure it is safe to pull out or change lane, n ot the duty of the person in the correct lane to stop/ swerve to avoid numpty.

    I'd nominally agree, but on the other hand the driver really should use their hazard perception to anticipate. I know that when I drive (more so then when I cycle even) and cycle I'm generally predicting where traffic may go. If I see a vehicle approaching an obstacle I anticipate it will probably try to merge.. I thought most people would get used to this in London?
    FCN 9 || FCN 5
  • notsobluenotsoblue Posts: 5,838
    I was shopping in Westfield at the weekend and loads of people almost walked in to me, I had to take evasive action on numerous occasions to avoid collision! Then on the way home I was just minding my own business walking to the bus stop when this bloke who was texting while carrying lots of shopping walked out in front of me without looking and I got hit by one of his bags. He didn't even notice...

    So many dreadful people giving pedestrians a bad name.
  • HeadhuunterHeadhuunter Posts: 6,494
    notsoblue wrote:
    I was shopping in Westfield at the weekend and loads of people almost walked in to me, I had to take evasive action on numerous occasions to avoid collision! Then on the way home I was just minding my own business walking to the bus stop when this bloke who was texting while carrying lots of shopping walked out in front of me without looking and I got hit by one of his bags. He didn't even notice...

    So many dreadful people giving pedestrians a bad name.

    You're probably being sarcastic but this is soooo true! In central London the number of people doing clueless things is astounding. I give you stopping in a group at the top of an escalator/just outside an exit/at a junction of several passageways to consult a map/wait for a friend etc etc. If you have to stop walking you need to "pull over", it's bloody London there are 7 million people + tourists trying to get through. Another thing is big lines of pedestrians taking up an entire pavement and not budging when they see you coming towards them, even looking at you as if to ask how very dare you? I'm bloody 6'3", I don't blend that well into the background! Make space I'm not going to fly over you...
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  • Mr PlumMr Plum Posts: 1,097
    notsoblue wrote:
    I was shopping in Westfield at the weekend and loads of people almost walked in to me, I had to take evasive action on numerous occasions to avoid collision! Then on the way home I was just minding my own business walking to the bus stop when this bloke who was texting while carrying lots of shopping walked out in front of me without looking and I got hit by one of his bags. He didn't even notice...

    So many dreadful people giving pedestrians a bad name.

    You're probably being sarcastic but this is soooo true! In central London the number of people doing clueless things is astounding. I give you stopping in a group at the top of an escalator/just outside an exit/at a junction of several passageways to consult a map/wait for a friend etc etc. If you have to stop walking you need to "pull over", it's bloody London there are 7 million people + tourists trying to get through. Another thing is big lines of pedestrians taking up an entire pavement and not budging when they see you coming towards them, even looking at you as if to ask how very dare you? I'm bloody 6'3", I don't blend that well into the background! Make space I'm not going to fly over you...

    That's not just London, that's everywhere!
    FCN 2 to 8
  • HeadhuunterHeadhuunter Posts: 6,494
    Mr Plum wrote:
    notsoblue wrote:
    I was shopping in Westfield at the weekend and loads of people almost walked in to me, I had to take evasive action on numerous occasions to avoid collision! Then on the way home I was just minding my own business walking to the bus stop when this bloke who was texting while carrying lots of shopping walked out in front of me without looking and I got hit by one of his bags. He didn't even notice...

    So many dreadful people giving pedestrians a bad name.

    You're probably being sarcastic but this is soooo true! In central London the number of people doing clueless things is astounding. I give you stopping in a group at the top of an escalator/just outside an exit/at a junction of several passageways to consult a map/wait for a friend etc etc. If you have to stop walking you need to "pull over", it's bloody London there are 7 million people + tourists trying to get through. Another thing is big lines of pedestrians taking up an entire pavement and not budging when they see you coming towards them, even looking at you as if to ask how very dare you? I'm bloody 6'3", I don't blend that well into the background! Make space I'm not going to fly over you...

    That's not just London, that's everywhere!

    Yeah but there are just so many people in London that when people block entrances etc it causes more of a pile up and there is less space for evasive action...
    Do not write below this line. Office use only.
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