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Road Rage

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  • thegibdogthegibdog Posts: 2,106
    I think the differing experience between towns and countryside is also to do with some drivers perceptions of different cyclists. If you're in town then other road users are more likely to see you as someone just getting from A to B whilst if you're out in the countryside you're more likely to be seen as a leisure cyclist and some drivers will think of you as a nuisance who doesn't need to be on the road.
  • As far as I'm concerned, my dad was a cyclist and motorcyclist too (as am I) and when he taught me to drive he told me that you can read the Highway code all you like and you can sit on/in whichever vehicle you're using and claim your rights as a road user until you're blue in the face, but when you've been knocked off your bike or run over because you've refused to avoid a risk because it was your right to be there, you might not get a chance to have your say, so you just make sure you keep yourself to yourself and keep out of every other idiot on the road's way and the best way to stay safe on the road is just to assume everyone else is a bad driver and probably hasn't even read the highway code instead of relying on their ability to drive properly and potentially putting your life in a complete stranger's hands.

    +1 I was always advised to cycle as if everyone on the road is trying to kill you :lol: so far so good, touch wood!
  • jugglerjuggler Posts: 417
    I live in a country area, so my experience and opinion might be slightly influenced by that. But my view is that if the road is wide enough for two cars to pass each other and if the road is wide enough for a car to overtake another car, then it is perfectly ok for two cyclists to ride abreast.

    I have rarely experienced a car tooting the horn behind me when 2 abreast, when i would have thought it safe to overtake 1 cyclist, let alone 2... actually on the lanes around here, 2 abreast can be a good defense mechanism as, when on my own, on virtually every ride, i get overtaken at an inappropriate place, i.e. if an oncoming car came around the bend at that exact same moment at speed, i might be the one who comes off worse, not being protected by half a ton of steel car.

    If the road is not clear ahead and it is not wide enough for a single cyclist and an overtaking car and an oncoming car to be accomodated safely, then drivers should not be overtaking. I can only see the driver getting annoyed if the road is clear and 2 cyclists are preventing overtaking (actually a rare occurence in my experience)... mostly impatient drivers want to squeeze past and overtake when they shouldn't, and the only person getting in danger of serious injury is the cyclist).
  • Luckily I've not received any harsh abuse, a few close passes which you could put down to the elderly population of the area where I live. The only interaction I've had is when a car passed and someone made a gesture which I believe was implying where's your road tax ?
  • whats the etiquette of single filing after riding in a group/2 abreast,
    does the rider on the outside fall to the back or power up to the front?
    The dissenter is every human being at those moments of his life when he resigns
    momentarily from the herd and thinks for himself.
  • I dont really want to get into the rights and wrongs as its regurgetated every 6mths on every cycling forum. Personally i dont like riding two abreast at any time there is a car about. Forget my rights etc i just dont feel safe at all being in the middle of a lane as a car passes. If i am gonna have an incident i want to be as close to the verge as possible. Give me a 10-20mph ditch into the verge over a fall in front of a car any time.

    Anyhow, the reason i wanted to post up was that i completed my 1st night ride last night. Very experienced MTB rider at night but you dont get much traffic. Last nights ride started with my lights going to 1/3rd power after 10 miles so i ended up trailing my mate for the next 25 miles. Anyhow i have to say that we rode the entire route in single file and 100% of the cars were both couteous and safe. Many flashed their hazard lights to acknowledge our understanding of making their lives easier and we had a great ride.
  • thegibdogthegibdog Posts: 2,106
    I was on the end of a torrent of abuse on my commute this morning which included being asked if I was a car and being told to get out of the middle of the road. This despite the fact I was approaching a red light at the time so wasn't slowing down his journey at all and was avoiding a car reversing on to a main road...

    I expained my reasoning to the car driver and he said fair enough, didn't get an apology from him though. Left me wondering whether he was just aggressive when behind a wheel of a car or he was a full time nutter.
  • andyrrandyrr Posts: 1,577
    I think that a very large proportion of the aggression that us cyclists are on the receiving end of is due to car drivers just not thinking that we deserve to be on the road ahead of them.
    This may well be something they subconsciously do but it can seem such an automatic thing that happens that they aren't necessarily trying to eliminate you but their actions can so easily have that effect :
    Very recent example :
    Bus on the road ahead, behind it 1 car, I am behind it.
    Bus pulls in to LHS for a bus stop.
    Car behind slows to a stop (doesn't immediately go for an overtake)
    I slow down so I'll be sat behind that car - I am sat roughly in the middle of the lane, it's an normal urban road, single carriageway.
    As I slow down the car behind overtakes me and then moves across so that I have to move slightly over to the left so that I don't get hit by them.
    As not 2 minutes ago a car did a similar thing but this time at a roundabout where he then proceeded to turn sharp left across me to take the 1st exit whilst I went straight-ahead I am a bit P'd off.
    So, this time I firstly knock hard on the drivers passenger-side mirror then, as there is no reaction and I am still suffering the red-mist, I bang on their rear passenger-side window. Driver (female) stares blankly ahead before they move off once the bus moves.
    What did they achieve - close to zilch, they got ahead of a cyclist on the way to work, saved 2 seconds maybe.
    I'm wearing high-vis vest, 2 rear lights, no chance for anyone with reasonable eyesight not to see me so their only excuse is either extreme impatience, a desire to kill me or just ignorance of my right to some road space.

    Many of us cyclists, to survive into our advancing years, have developed good skills at recognising danger or the risk of danger. This is not the case with all cyclists - I know some that seem to have near stand-up fights regularly but in the main we are constantly reacting to possible and actual problems and things like riding 2-abreast or switching to single-file should be evaluated along with the myriad (good word !) of other considerations so that your journey is actually as uneventful as possible.
  • wyadvdwyadvd Posts: 590
    I know this might sound strange, but the narrower a road is , the safer it is for the cyclist to be riding two abreast. Motorist reactions are just conditioned neurosis. Has anyone read "Effective Cycling" by John Forester?

    If you ride in the gutter, when your side of the road is so narrow that an overtaking car would absolutely have to cross the white line to overtake you safely, (such that the path of an oncoming vehicle would be obstructed during such an overtaking manouvre), then it is safer if the widest part of the cycling group (or lone cyclist) is positioned about a third of the way into his side of the road at least, which would allow for two abreast cycling, no problem. (the car would be crossing the white line anyway, you would hope!)

    On a busy A road , where the lane width may well be wide enough for the car to overtake the cyclist and for the car not to impinge on the opposite side of the road at all (my favourite type of road safety wise regardless of how busy it is btw), then the cyclist is safest positioned fairly close to the edge of the road, and not doubled up.

    If the cars are in a hurry , then they should use the trunk A roads.
  • I have lost count of the number of people who find the need tyo shout 'doper' out the window at me when im out. Ive had a fork thrown at me aswell, crazy...Oh and i had a yogurt thrown at me the other day by some kids.
    "You riding or Hiding", Stupid question!
    "I'll get my bike"
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