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Digitally interfaced with a Ford Focus driver

daddy0daddy0 Posts: 686
edited January 2015 in Commuting chat
This morning I had to take avoiding action when navigating a mini roundabout as a motorist didn't see me in time and pulled into the roundabout when it was my right of way (from my left). Happens most mornings at this particular RAB and I was ready for it so was able to stop then ride around the car when it looked like he wasn't moving out of my way. I thought nothing of it until the guy gives me two full blasts of his horn. My reflex action was to extend to him my middle digit as I rode off. He then wheel spins after me (had been turning right, but turned left to chase me). Expecting some fisticuffs at dawn I pull over and await his approach. His reason for being a total d1ck: "you approached the RAB too fast, I didn't stand a chance"... I only had a chance to shout "I was only going at 10mph" before he wheel spins off again. *He* was the one going too fast, and it would've been me not standing a chance if we'd collided FFS.

Looking back I'm not proud. Trouble is, this sort of thing happens very rarely to me so I'm always caught off guard. You live & you learn, but at least I got the hand gesture right this time. :twisted:

So what would you have done differently?

Posts

  • leeefmleeefm Posts: 260
    I'm the same. Doesn't happen often, so when it does, I don't think, and extend my gratitude with the deepest sincerity.

    I don't feel proud too, as I think that it just turns yet another motorist into a cyclist hating bigot. I really must be more calm and try and educate and diffuse if possible - easier said than done in practice.
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  • Without wanting to sound like I'm making excuses for the driver, how good is your side visibility? I don't know how dark it is when you're commuting in the morning, but an awful lot of bike lights are pretty hard to see from the side. If the same thing happens most mornings, then perhaps you need to think about either getting different lights, spoke reflectors or a different route.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 57,871 Lives Here
    Problem is in these incidents, and we all have them, is that once people lose their rather fragile and thin calm, on either side, who was in the right and who wasn't becomes irrelevant.

    It's only relevant when you don't want it to be - i.e. when there's a proper accident as opposed to a near miss.
  • Without wanting to sound like I'm making excuses for the driver, how good is your side visibility? I don't know how dark it is when you're commuting in the morning, but an awful lot of bike lights are pretty hard to see from the side. If the same thing happens most mornings, then perhaps you need to think about either getting different lights, spoke reflectors or a different route.

    Good, by the sound of the driver's claim that the cyclist was travelling too fast.
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  • leeefmleeefm Posts: 260
    It's only relevant when you don't want it to be - i.e. when there's a proper accident as opposed to a near miss.

    Quite right. I think best just to leave well alone, give thanks for not being spread over the road, and only engage in a calm manner if they are pushing you to do so.
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  • daddy0daddy0 Posts: 686
    It was daylight, cars were driving without headlights on. The issue is that the junction marking on the road the driver was coming from is too far back which invites drivers to proceed into the RAB before they can see if there is any traffic coming from their right. That and some drivers don't look out for bikes.

    As I said - I was ready for it, had slowed and pulled to the middle/right of my lane so as to make myself more visible, which, BTW, p1$$e$ off the motorists behind me as they try to overtake whilst approaching a junction - one of my fav manoeuvres!

    The driver seemed like he was already a cyclist hating bigot TBH. I didn't mind that he'd almost mown me down, but I did care when he beeped me. I don't think motorists realise how loud those things are from outside the vehicle, they always make me jump, even when they're not aimed at me.
  • In those situations for both parties the adrenaline is flowing and fight or flight comes into it. The fight instinct will push both parties to arguing they are right, whatever the situation. It goes against everything your body and brain is doing in order to back down and admit fault.

    You can only hope that after a few hours to reflect on it perhaps the driver will think, yeah, I was going to fast and not looking properly.
  • It isn't always on a bike either, I turn right at a roundabout off a dual carriageway where most traffic goes straight on, so despite my big orange flashy light going it's often touch and go if the other traffic is going to stop - had some close calls :(
  • Daddy0 wrote:
    It was daylight, cars were driving without headlights on.

    In which case there's little you can do. To be honest, I hate mini-roundabouts, they always seem to have these problems. I say again, is there another route?
  • timothywtimothyw Posts: 2,482
    This thread is useless without google streetview and a strava trace that shows how fast you were really going.
  • daddy0daddy0 Posts: 686
    is there another route?

    Not really. Although I am yet to try the cycle path that goes along the A2, but this route would require joining 50mph dual carriage way at some point and mixing with drivers fresh off the motorway still in 80mph mode - probably why I've not tried it yet.

    As long as you know its quirks the RAB in question is fine TBH - I was never in any real danger.
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    It may be daylight and cars driving without headlights on - still a flashing front light could be beneficial for you.

    "you approached the RAB too fast, I didn't stand a chance" = SMIDSY ... so time to think about your visibility - you're obviously a slight lad riding in such an aero position that even the air can't see you ... ;)
  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 24,808 Lives Here
    I use an Exposure Joystick on flash in daylight now, it doesn't help if people don't look but it might help if they do. Kind of like a crash helmet, it might not make any difference but it might so it's worth a go. I think I get fewer people pulling out on me now.
  • Same reason I've bought a Lezyne Zecto drive for the front and back, with it's 'daylight flash' mode.
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    I'll be totally honest - I don't normally have a front light on during the day - but then there aren't many junctions on the roads I ride where cars can or would pull out on me. My main concern is being hit from the rear - so I always have a rear light fitted - most of the time it's on too - unless it's a bright day and even then there's the risk through trees ....
  • rjsterryrjsterry Posts: 21,004
    The OP reminds me of an incident on the RAB on Mitcham Common. I was heading south, taking the third exit onto the A237, and someone was edging forward from the Croydon Rd, well past the white line. As I passed, I mouthed the word "Wait!" at the driver, who took this as some sort of challenge. He followed me down the A237, partially overtook, then forced me into the kerb before driving off. It was fairly half-hearted, but clearly intended to intimidate. Best to just shrug and try and keep out of their way, when people act like that.
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  • daddy0daddy0 Posts: 686
    rjsterry wrote:
    The OP reminds me of an incident on the RAB on Mitcham Common. I was heading south, taking the third exit onto the A237, and someone was edging forward from the Croydon Rd, well past the white line. As I passed, I mouthed the word "Wait!" at the driver, who took this as some sort of challenge. He followed me down the A237, partially overtook, then forced me into the kerb before driving off. It was fairly half-hearted, but clearly intended to intimidate. Best to just shrug and try and keep out of their way, when people act like that.

    I was half expecting this to happen to me too which is why I pulled over as soon as he revved after me. I've had someone push me into the kerb before (we were both going over 40kph at the time and they mounted the kerb in order to get me!), not much fun.
    TimothyW wrote:
    This thread is useless without google streetview and a strava trace that shows how fast you were really going.
    I did check back on Strava, but Strava is not accurate enough to analyse the incident. It says I was going at 33kph just before the RAB and 10 just after it. I wasn't going at 33 as I came into the guys view though, I checked my speed and it was around 18kph and falling as I came up to the junction marking. Also, I managed to stop before hitting the car, he didn't manage to stop until he was already on the RAB - if he'd kept going there would've been no problem as I'd clocked what was happening before he did was prepared to ride around the back of him. BTW the car in front of me zoomed over the RAB, and the car behind me was following very closely as if I was going too slow - my speed isn't the issue here.

    FWIW here is a link to the streetview of the RAB:
    https://goo.gl/maps/7b7ew

    I was heading west on the B260 going straight on at the RAB. As you can see from the Streetview, because the junction marking is too far back, the driver of the grey car has edged over their junction marker in order to see whats coming from their right. Because of this I try to ride in the middle or to the right of my lane when I approach this RAB, which I was doing on this occasion (this p1$$es off the cars behind - you can't win). I think the guy did see me but thought he could make it across but then had second thoughts and slammed on the breaks too late, causing him to come to a halt blocking my path. I'm starting to think he might have actually done it on purpose... (either that or he has very very poor judgement - either way he's dangerous) So when I stopped and then rode around the front of his car I think I royally p1$$ed him off.
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    Daddy0 wrote:
    and the car behind me was following very closely as if I was going too slow - my speed isn't the issue here.
    At a quick glance he may not have seen you but clocked the car .... seriously - a flasher may've helped ...
    Daddy0 wrote:
    FWIW here is a link to the streetview of the RAB:
    https://goo.gl/maps/7b7ew
    There's one locally to me with similar bad visibility from a minor road - you just have to pray that the traffic coming from the right has slowed down and is prepared to stop - I can see why there's a roundabout there, because otherwise the minor road traffic don't often get a chance to get out - but it's a pita - if only drivers were more considerate!
  • timothywtimothyw Posts: 2,482
    Daddy0 wrote:
    TimothyW wrote:
    This thread is useless without google streetview and a strava trace that shows how fast you were really going.
    I did check back on Strava, but Strava is not accurate enough to analyse the incident. It says I was going at 33kph just before the RAB and 10 just after it. I wasn't going at 33 as I came into the guys view though, I checked my speed and it was around 18kph and falling as I came up to the junction marking. Also, I managed to stop before hitting the car, he didn't manage to stop until he was already on the RAB - if he'd kept going there would've been no problem as I'd clocked what was happening before he did was prepared to ride around the back of him. BTW the car in front of me zoomed over the RAB, and the car behind me was following very closely as if I was going too slow - my speed isn't the issue here.
    Aha, so you were going too fast for that poor unfortunate driver to stop! He has to pay road tax you know.
    Daddy0 wrote:
    FWIW here is a link to the streetview of the RAB:
    https://goo.gl/maps/7b7ew

    I was heading west on the B260 going straight on at the RAB. As you can see from the Streetview, because the junction marking is too far back, the driver of the grey car has edged over their junction marker in order to see whats coming from their right. Because of this I try to ride in the middle or to the right of my lane when I approach this RAB, which I was doing on this occasion (this p1$$es off the cars behind - you can't win).
    Fuckem. Drivers really ought get the idea that it isn't safe to overtake at junctions, especially roundabouts.

    Yeah, pretty stupid bit of road design that, roundabout with a blind corner. And looks like a bumpy one to have to ride over when someone does pull out on you. You were in the right, driver was in the wrong, sad reality though is drivers are so used to looking for cars that bikes often don't even register, hence why he only stopped at the last moment. No point getting upset about it, I'd probably have told him to censored off myself in the heat of the moment but it doesn't achieve anything.

    If there is anything you aren't doing to improve your front visibility (eg head torch, daytime flashing light, bright clothes) it might be worth doing but with that sort of junction you just have to be on your guard and ready to stop (as you were).
  • timothywtimothyw Posts: 2,482
    Slowbike wrote:
    Daddy0 wrote:
    and the car behind me was following very closely as if I was going too slow - my speed isn't the issue here.
    At a quick glance he may not have seen you but clocked the car .... seriously - a flasher may've helped ...
    Yep, this. You can't win though, as if the car behind you was infront of you, he wouldn't have seen you behind the car and would have pulled out then too...
  • daddy0daddy0 Posts: 686
    Up until now I have resisted turning the flasher on during the day. Reason being that when I drive I find it a bit distracting when other people cycle past me with them on - but I guess thats the point. I left it on this morning once the sun came up - I'm learning!

    Think I should work on my visibility anyway, not much reflective stuff on any of my gear.
  • MrSwearyMrSweary Posts: 1,699
    I'm going with "D-Lock the f**ker..."
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  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    Daddy0 wrote:

    Think I should work on my visibility anyway,

    A Flame Thrower may help concentrate their little minds .... ;)
  • daddy0daddy0 Posts: 686
    MrSweary wrote:
    I'm going with "D-Lock the f**ker..."

    :D

    Don't carry one I'm afraid. Although I was fully expecting Mr Focus to need some physical attitude adjustment. The last time someone pursued me like that they did get out and tried to start a fight with me (over 2 years ago now). This one wisely stayed in his safe metal box however. Still, it makes me think "what if I wasn't a guy in the later years of his prime?" Its chumps like this that put people off riding on the roads. As someone said earlier in the thread - hopefully my middle finger made him reflect on his shoddy driving and conduct once he'd calmed down.
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