Cycling-friendly motorists

doug5_10
doug5_10 Posts: 465
edited November 2013 in Road general
On the flipside of the Emma Way/#bloodycyclists episode, why don't we share our positive experiences/interactions with those motorists that are worthy of a smile and a wave of thanks. Just to show we're not in a battle with an army of murderous, metal-box wielding, f*ckwits (for the most part :wink: )

Had a guy yesterday sit behind me for ages on a really long, inclined, continuously blind right hander and waited until it straightened and passed me fully on the opposite carriageway (the road was easily wide enough just to nip past while barely crossing the centre line). Got a wave and a thumbs up.
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Comments

  • hipshot
    hipshot Posts: 371
    He was probably a cyclist :wink:
  • hipshot wrote:
    He was probably a cyclist :wink:

    This
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • The problem is attempting to list all experiences with courteous motorists would end in a really, really long thread.
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  • sancho_panza
    sancho_panza Posts: 183
    I always do my best to make a proper effort to show my thanks - I do the same when I'm driving. It's heartening how often the driver or passenger notices the small wave and returns the gesture.

    Sometimes, as when driving, you have to let the small things go. Someone does a dumb manoeuvre which could have had serious consequences... I just shake my head and get on with it.
  • lostboysaint
    lostboysaint Posts: 4,250
    Out for a 30 miler last night and I'd suggest 50% were in the "friendly" category (plenty of space, waiting for a proper view etc.) and 50% were just complete wankers, the highlight being the pick up truck and Saab estate that drove around us on a blind 90 deg left hand, uphill bend with inches to spare - rather surprising the oncoming traffic!

    It's noticeable that the more I help them (hand gestures to say "no" or to wave them through etc.) the better it seems to be.
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  • keef66
    keef66 Posts: 13,123
    Just starting up a hill on a right hand bend on a narrow road out of a village I was aware of something big behind me. Thought it was a tractor. Despite my mollusc like progress he (?) waited till the road straightened out and it was safe to pass. I gave a wave of acknowledgement. Turned out to be an artic with a load of chickens in crates. The whiff of ammonia in it's wake worked better than those hilarious nasal strips!
  • Camcycle1974
    Camcycle1974 Posts: 1,356
    Seems to depend on where you live a bit too. I live in Cambridge and the drivers round here are very anti-cyclist and impatient. I also cycle in Norfolk and find the drivers there much more considerate.
  • Phil Fouracre
    Phil Fouracre Posts: 207
    Might get smacked for this, but, after years of cycling I still reckon most drivers are simply quite normal, reasonable people. You will always get arses in cars, vans, lorries and yes, on bikes.
  • socistep
    socistep Posts: 88
    Might get smacked for this, but, after years of cycling I still reckon most drivers are simply quite normal, reasonable people. You will always get arses in cars, vans, lorries and yes, on bikes.

    Has been my experience of cycling in Leeds the past 10months, I don't actually find it that bad, whilst I'm going at a decent speed I don't take the p_ss, break rules etc. and always will say thanks when I've moved over or had a driver been considerate - there is one part of my commute where I go over a bridge in an S bend, 9/10 times drivers will wait for me to get round before overtaking and I'll always give them a quick wave/thumbs up.
  • adr82
    adr82 Posts: 4,002
    I always appreciate it when I allow a bus or other vehicle to pull out in front of me and I get a flash of the lights or a wave in return.
  • junglist_matty
    junglist_matty Posts: 1,731
    I make it known when they are stupid, one near incident was a stupid driver in a Peugeot flying along a narrow road with a BMW right up his arse, the pug driver overtook me with inches to spare (as there was an oncoming car) then I heard a screech of tyres, looked behind to see the beemer driver frantically slamming the brakes as there was no room to overtake, it was a bit of a brown pants moment, thankfully I was cruising about 25mph, and if I was going sub 20, I'd probably have been knocked off as he just managed to slow enough to not hit me.... I made it quite clear I was not impressed, moved right into the middle of the road to make sure he knew how I felt about it; shaking my head and waving arms before letting him past; only then did he look a bit apologetic giving a sorry shout as he passed; hopefully it taught him a lesson!

    On the other hand, I've had many drivers (including white van drivers) slow down and overtake safe, if I know they are behind and waiting to overtake I always make sure I wave a thanks to them as they pass and usually get a wave or a flash of the indicators to say thanks.....

    IMO, the more of us cyclists acting sensibly (and acknowledging safe driving) rather than being at war (and putting the blame) with motorists, the more they will be aware of us and take more care when passing, after all, in the worst case scenario's they have to slow down and sit behind for a few hundred meters before being able to overtake safely and get on with the rest of their journey.... OR they can overtake dangerously, risking killing someone to save themselves all of about 30seconds on their journey, and in most cases, to get stuck less than a mile down the road in some traffic jam or red light!
  • markhewitt1978
    markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    The considerate drivers are the ones I don't remember, they get on with their business, I get on with mine and it's all fine.

    I did try to help one last weekend, single track road with passing places, a passing place was approaching on my right, so I gestured "go around", then pointed to the passing place and slowed down. They still passed me with inches to spare.
  • IanREmery
    IanREmery Posts: 148
    I make it known when they are stupid, one near incident was a stupid driver in a Peugeot flying along a narrow road with a BMW right up his ars*, the pug driver overtook me with inches to spare (as there was an oncoming car) then I heard a screech of tyres, looked behind to see the beemer driver frantically slamming the brakes as there was no room to overtake, it was a bit of a brown pants moment, thankfully I was cruising about 25mph, and if I was going sub 20, I'd probably have been knocked off as he just managed to slow enough to not hit me.... I made it quite clear I was not impressed, moved right into the middle of the road to make sure he knew how I felt about it; shaking my head and waving arms before letting him past; only then did he look a bit apologetic giving a sorry shout as he passed; hopefully it taught him a lesson!

    On the other hand, I've had many drivers (including white van drivers) slow down and overtake safe, if I know they are behind and waiting to overtake I always make sure I wave a thanks to them as they pass and usually get a wave or a flash of the indicators to say thanks.....

    IMO, the more of us cyclists acting sensibly (and acknowledging safe driving) rather than being at war (and putting the blame) with motorists, the more they will be aware of us and take more care when passing, after all, in the worst case scenario's they have to slow down and sit behind for a few hundred meters before being able to overtake safely and get on with the rest of their journey.... OR they can overtake dangerously, risking killing someone to save themselves all of about 30seconds on their journey, and in most cases, to get stuck less than a mile down the road in some traffic jam or red light!

    Top post, well said Sir :-)
  • MartinB2444
    MartinB2444 Posts: 266
    Anyone on here coming up from Sheen to Longnor riding alongside his mate about 3.00pm. I was coming the other way and slowed right down and, when it became clear he wasn't going single file, stopped so we didn't have a close encounter. No acknowledgement of any sort. A less patient driver might have given him quite a scare. I think he was too busy yattering to notice. The sort of cyclist who really winds up drivers.
  • lotus49
    lotus49 Posts: 763
    I ride around the Yorkshire Dales (not the really steep bits, I'm not fit enough yet) but I have been very pleasantly surprised by how tolerant and considerate drivers are. They don't cut me up, rarely pass too close and so far no-one has pulled out in front of me or overtaken me only to turn left in front of me immediately.

    For my part, I always do my best not to get in their way. If a driver is patiently waiting at a junction for me to pass I sprint past them. I wave to people who have waited carefully for a safe moment to pass and pull over as early as possible on single track roads to let them past.

    I would much rather all road users acted in a civilised fashion towards each other. Emma Way is currently finding out one good reason not to be a total idiot. I hope she appreciates the lesson.
  • jouxplan
    jouxplan Posts: 147
    IMO, the more of us cyclists acting sensibly (and acknowledging safe driving) rather than being at war (and putting the blame) with motorists, the more they will be aware of us and take more care when passing, after all, in the worst case scenario's they have to slow down and sit behind for a few hundred meters before being able to overtake safely and get on with the rest of their journey.... OR they can overtake dangerously, risking killing someone to save themselves all of about 30seconds on their journey, and in most cases, to get stuck less than a mile down the road in some traffic jam or red light!

    Very well put - could not agree more.

    I am happy to report that I have cause to thank motorists for being considerate far more often than I have a need to become enraged. I make a point of thanking considerate drivers and they invariably appreciate it - I'm sure that can only be good for all of us. Most of my cycling is done on Leicestershire's country lanes.
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  • monkimark
    monkimark Posts: 1,534
    If I go on Carradar.com, do you think I'll find a thread praising me for stopping at every red light on the way into work and back?

    For what it's worth, it's a small minority of car drivers that I consider to be a problem. Plently of people go out of their way to be civil and safe on the road.
    Unfortunately, it would only take one of them acting like a pr!ck to kill me
  • crispybug2
    crispybug2 Posts: 2,915
    A few years ago (2009) I rode about 500 miles in France and at that time the difference in the treatment I received between the French and British drivers was quite staggering (I only had one car pass me too close and that car had a British licence plate!) But I have to say that in recent times and especially since last years TdF and Olympics that the driving in respect to cyclists has, in my experience, improved immeasurably.
  • overlord2
    overlord2 Posts: 339
    Let's face it there are plenty idiot cyclists out there that think everyone on the road owes them something.

    If a driver obviously shows me courtesy I give a nod or stick my had out. Even silly little things like drivers not trying to jump gaps at junctions or waiting patiently on a narrow road I acknowledge.
  • notnot
    notnot Posts: 284
    I was crossing the road today and a bus had right of way. It came to a dead stop to let me go in front. Took me a few seconds to realise this was really happening :lol:
  • marylogic
    marylogic Posts: 355
    I got let out a side street today by a large lorry who was turning right into the side street. Unfortunately I already had one foot out by the time I realised and ended up having to do the cycling with one leg in far too high a gear at 1.7 mph thing :)
    I genuinely think drivers are getting more cyclist aware and I always acknowledge good driving. I often don't bother with poor driving.
  • SpainSte
    SpainSte Posts: 181
    crispybug2 wrote:
    A few years ago (2009) I rode about 500 miles in France and at that time the difference in the treatment I received between the French and British drivers was quite staggering (I only had one car pass me too close and that car had a British licence plate!)


    This.

    Whilst riding around in Spain I notice that Spanish drivers are much more considerate and patient when it comes to over taking etc. The only close passes or near misses I get are from cars with UK or Gibraltar plates. Also whilst riding around near my girlfriends parents place near Rennes in Brittany, French drivers again are more considerate and patient.

    I hate to say it, but it seems that the idiotic drivers do seem to be British. A culture issue no doubt.
  • choldy
    choldy Posts: 28
    Riding home from work one evening last week, got passed by a fiesta that looked as if it had been coated in superglue and driven up the pointless bling aisle in Halfords, one of the 10 or so kiddlies in the car thought it would be highly amusing to lean out of the window and throw a half eaten burger at me :shock: Wouldn't have mined but I was quite hungry and I missed it :lol: Not typical of all car drivers I come across obviously!
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 40,544
    I went for a ride on Sunday with an old friend, we were riding two abreast having a chat but singling out whenever cars came up behind and waving them through when we could see it was clear. The response was great, virtually all the drivers gave us a friendly beep of the horn and waved their thanks. We did have one moment where a driver had waited patiently, started overtaking when we called him through and he then realised he was passing a left turn he needed to make so he had to jam the brakes on to get back behind us in time but that was just not knowing where he was going. Generally I find that as long as drivers can see that you aren't going out of your way to inconvenience them they are pretty friendly though there are always a few idiots who just resent cyclists especially if they perceive they are delaying them or have an advantage over them (such as being able to move through traffic).

    With some of the riding I see though you can understand why they get upset at times such as 'group riding' where the cyclists are just a disorganised mess all over the road, the old chestnut of RLJs or people who don't appear to be making effort to move faster on narrow bits of road.
  • deswahriff
    deswahriff Posts: 310
    ...they need to more of those "public information broadcasts" on the tele. ( e'g "Think Bike" for motorcyclsts.....back in the day, they told us when to dip our headlights, ffs!.....) aimed at both motorists and cyclists. They could remind everyone of best practise which might just help a bit.
    For example, on occasion, riding 2 abreast, sometime we just don't hear traffic behind, especially if windy and wearing a skull cap....we certainly don't mind a gentle toot to alert us and then single out. This is the sort of info that could be publcised.....cars often don't realise and think they're being blocked on purpose.
  • dynamicbrick
    dynamicbrick Posts: 460
    I think too many cyclists (and for that matter cars) forget it's all about the Defensive rather than Offensive - especially when you're the squishiest thing on the road. For example; I was cycling up a long gradual climb on an A-Road. Parked cars on my side. As I got to 50yds of the cars I checked behind me - sure enough, bloody great artic catching me up. Bit of mental arithmetic and I'm going to get to the cars before he passes me, then I'll have him on my back wheel for about 1/2 mile and he'll need to cross the white line to get past me. So I slowed down to a crawl and waved him past before we got to the cars. Got a toot and indicator left-right-left as thanks.

    Made no difference to my journey time, nor his really. But it kept me out of danger, meant he didn't have to watch what I was up to, and stopped the usual caterpillar of cars building up behind him. Nor did he need to put 44 tonnes into the opposite lane. Bonus is I managed to get a huge slipstream for a good 200yds.
  • joelsim
    joelsim Posts: 7,552
    IanREmery wrote:
    I make it known when they are stupid, one near incident was a stupid driver in a Peugeot flying along a narrow road with a BMW right up his ars*, the pug driver overtook me with inches to spare (as there was an oncoming car) then I heard a screech of tyres, looked behind to see the beemer driver frantically slamming the brakes as there was no room to overtake, it was a bit of a brown pants moment, thankfully I was cruising about 25mph, and if I was going sub 20, I'd probably have been knocked off as he just managed to slow enough to not hit me.... I made it quite clear I was not impressed, moved right into the middle of the road to make sure he knew how I felt about it; shaking my head and waving arms before letting him past; only then did he look a bit apologetic giving a sorry shout as he passed; hopefully it taught him a lesson!

    On the other hand, I've had many drivers (including white van drivers) slow down and overtake safe, if I know they are behind and waiting to overtake I always make sure I wave a thanks to them as they pass and usually get a wave or a flash of the indicators to say thanks.....

    IMO, the more of us cyclists acting sensibly (and acknowledging safe driving) rather than being at war (and putting the blame) with motorists, the more they will be aware of us and take more care when passing, after all, in the worst case scenario's they have to slow down and sit behind for a few hundred meters before being able to overtake safely and get on with the rest of their journey.... OR they can overtake dangerously, risking killing someone to save themselves all of about 30seconds on their journey, and in most cases, to get stuck less than a mile down the road in some traffic jam or red light!

    Top post, well said Sir :-)


    Couldn't agree more. I always act with courtesy and offer thank you gestures, many times per ride. The vast majority of drivers are considerate.

    Some drivers do have a bad impression of cyclists, and rightly so in some cases. Bad car drivers are no worse than idiot cyclists who jump red lights and ride too quickly when there are pedestrians around.

    A guy I work with has a moan at everyone else on the road every morning, peds stepping out, cars nearly knocking him off, having to slam on his brakes all the time. Wonder why it affects him so often and not me.
  • nickyboy zz
    nickyboy zz Posts: 82
    I ride a lot around the hills of the Peak District, supposedly dangerous roads filled with boy racers like the Snake Pass

    Inevitably there comes times when I am going uphill on a narrow stretch and I hold a car up. My approach is to look behind (so the driver knows I know he's there) and then get out of the saddle to show I am trying to hold him up as little as possible. I always give a friendly wave when they pass me.

    I can honestly say that I have never had a near miss, dodgy overtake etc in the past year I've been cycling. Seems bad driving follows some cyclists around and the same goes for good driving too
  • davep1
    davep1 Posts: 836
    Coming down Duncton Hill this week; cyclist heaven (long steep and wide with a wicked left right at the bottom ) and a Peugeot driver patiently left me plenty of room to really enjoy it. Gave home a big thumbs up several times. I always thank drivers that move over to pass or slow down to wait until its saFe to pass. I always let the opposite ones know the opposite too!
  • houston26
    houston26 Posts: 115
    As a bus driver I have to say that 95% of cyclists on the road actually have sense and let me pass safely when they can and give me hand signals to let me know what they're doing. The problem I see seems to be teens on mountain bikes, the lack of road knowledge and the real danger that they put themselves and others in doesn't seem to register when they think its fun to go across junctions without looking or across roundabouts the wrong way.

    Better schooling would make all the difference, maybe would result in safer drivers too