Dealing With Cars.

JayKay3000 Posts: 163
edited September 2012 in Road general
I keep getting put off riding my hybrid bike because I'm not too fond of cars.

I do drive and find it a useful yet boring activity that helps to move the bike around.

However, recently I've been doing a lot of mountain biking and aside from the short commute through town I don't ride my hybrid any distance any more. I was doing 70 mile fully loaded rides. I love mountain biking on good trails and look at the hybrid as something I should use rather than want to. It's become like the car, just a tool.

The point is that when I do get inspired to ride I find it difficult to enjoy the ride due to the cars. Back roads are worse because you are forced to move and your rhythm is interrupted as they can't get past and in town they try and kill you. I flinch every time a car or lorry passes on the main roads and often am left feeling more stiff on that side.

My short commute is mostly cycle paths so I only have to deal with dangerous dogs and in town there are a lot of cycle paths.

How do you battle feeling like a non-human when riding your road bike and being able to get on with and enjoy your ride.

Before the mountain bike I did not have this problem, cars were something that were there and I would focus them out as they did not bother me. I would go at my pace and not care about them. Perhaps age is against me? I know when I mountain bike that it's going to be my fault so I can accept the danger. When looking into the garage to go for a ride, the mtb just seems like the safer and more fun option.


  • Tom Dean
    Tom Dean Posts: 1,723
    JayKay3000 wrote:
    they try and kill you.

    No they don't.
  • estampida
    estampida Posts: 1,008
    and you need to relax

    if your that on edge when a lorry comes up behind you 1 day you will throw yourself under the wheels.......

    and as most of its is cycle path the time you are exposed to danger is kept to a minimum (unlike driving where every moment in a car moving has an associated risk to it)

    not many people have died on a tow path on bike

    how many folk die in cars in 30 zones every year.....
  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Firstly, select a route where you are less likely to encounter traffic or ride at a time when there is less traffic.

    Learn to be bold where necessary - just because you're on a bike, doesn't mean you should ride in the gutter and let traffic push you out the way. Particularly be wary when traffic may be turning across in front of you.

    That said - assuming riding prime position doesn't mean riding like a knob like the guy I encountered riding whilst driving the other night. He was at a local roundabout taking the first exit about a third of the way around (there is also a perfectly acceptable cyclepath nearby which is one of the few I use frequently)- so I was in the outside but there was plenty of room to pass him on the outside prior to the exit. Trouble was he tried to straight-line, cutting across both lanes to get to the exit and nearly hit the side of my car, yelling in complaint. What a complete ar$e!
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • Mikey23
    Mikey23 Posts: 5,306
    Something we have to deal with. There are four major routes out of here, all challengingly hilly and all populated with cars. If I didn't deal with it I wouldn't go anywhere. Having said that, I don't find it easy and can be quite nervewracking
  • alihisgreat
    alihisgreat Posts: 3,872
    I come to love lorries overtaking because of the aero effect :lol:

    Try cycling further from the edge of the road.. I find that cars give me more room if I'm closer to the middle of the lane.
  • ^ this, makes 'em think more about their overtake.
  • Definitely worth a read, from British Cycling: ... ding-home0
  • Mikey23
    Mikey23 Posts: 5,306
    Good stuff thanks. Would be helpful if motorists would read this as well...
  • careful
    careful Posts: 720
    I read the British Cycling stuff with interest and, while I agree with the main message about primary and secondary positioning, I found it confusing. Surely keeping in line with the offside (i.e the drivers side) of a car in the same position would put you well past the centre of the lane, not in the first third of it. I think they meant to say "near side", not "off side". Secondly, looking behind you enables you to see the position and judge the speed of closely following cars. it also makes the driver more aware that you may be about to signal a change direction (equivalent to the mirror-signal sequence for drivers). I dont fancy looking round for long enough to make eye contact though - sounds good but how realistic is it?
  • wheezee
    wheezee Posts: 461
    That's an interesting piece, and I find I do most of that naturally.

    Unfortunately it raises the hackles of a lot of motorists. If the present government wasn't so committed to the advancement of the motor industry, there'd be a place for a new Public Information Campaign to educate drivers and new cyclists as to what is safe and "legal".

    I'm not convinced by the idea that professional drivers are safer than the rest, though. Round these parts, the taxis and bus drivers are among the most impatient and aggressive of the lot.
  • Thanks for the tips guys. Bit tardy on the reply as I've been working and enjoying my mtn bike too much.

    I have had taxis overtake when I'm in bright clothes in the day and have my arm out, knowing they are behind me. I'm 6ft7. I'm not that small, but then again I've had cars pull over into the wrong lane on round abouts without indicating, ignore give way signs and run pedestrian crossing with people on them so I'm probably just being prejudice not to mention some of my co-workers say they sometimes run red lights in the morning because they are tired.

    I'm reading a book about a guy who cycles across the world and it seems that india is a LOT worse. I don't have the right frame of mind to do road cycling at the moment and no challenges set to make it worth riding it any major distance.

    Maybe when I get bored of battering myself on black runs on my hardtail mtb I might pick up the road bike before adding a full suss to the line up.