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what are your views in Filtering in slower moving traffic

pedalpursuitpedalpursuit Posts: 17
edited April 2015 in Commuting general
I've always been told that you should never overtake on the nearside always on the outside, but apart from a recent incident me vs bus while I was riding a dashed cycle lane. I've always felt more comfortable overtaking on the nearside. What are your thoughts on this?

PS below is a good link to an article about filtering in slower traffic

http://www.britishcycling.org.uk/insigh ... g-part-2-0
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Posts

  • Depends on road layout but I overtake on the inside unless I intend to turn right - in which case I'll position myself on the outside.
  • I nearly always overtake slow moving/stationary traffic but cut to the inside at junctions (unless I'm turning right) and roundabouts as I don't want to be in a vulnerable position as vehicles accelerate away from the junction.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    I read the situation and choose the best option, sometimes that is on the left, sometimes the right, neither is 'wrong' both can be wrong in a particular situation.

    As for never on the left, that's wrong, but I only ever go to the left of a large vehicle if I am 100% (not 99.9%) certain I can be wholly in front of it before it would move, if not its to the right or wait behind.
  • I sit in the traffic waiting to move until I have learnt the traffic flow after several repeat journeys. After that I think I have a feel for what works and is safest. This changes as often as the traffic pattern changes. If busy I generally have lot of cars sat waiting so I pick the best option on the day. If quiet I either wait or filter on the inside if there is room or outside if not. I am patient though so I do not mind waiting.

    It really depends on the road/traffic situation you are in when you get there. As I said above you need to learn your commute traffic patterns and what works.
  • Well, i was filtering in early november through stationary, then slow moving traffic when some eejit decided to speed off and turn left (to a quiet side road) without indicating sending me (apparently, according to witnesses) cartwheeling.
    i am always more hesitant now and especially close to junctions whether i think a car is going to turn or not.
    i guess its helped me be more aware but i wouldnt say i was a boy racer or anything in the first place.
    Cube Cross 2016
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  • Surely you should default to overtaking on the outside, just like all other road traffic? Not saying it must always be so, and as far as I'm aware undertaking isn't actually illegal, but I'm surprised that most responses here seem to favour riding up the inside of a line of traffic just from a personal safety perspective.

    Apart from anything else, the right side / outside is where drivers and other road users will be looking for people to overtake. The danger of overtaking on the inside is that cars may move closer to the kerb not expecting anyone to come up that side, or as has been mentioned, may turn left without seeing you there.
  • awaveyawavey Posts: 2,368
    mcskiver wrote:
    Surely you should default to overtaking on the outside, just like all other road traffic? Not saying it must always be so, and as far as I'm aware undertaking isn't actually illegal, but I'm surprised that most responses here seem to favour riding up the inside of a line of traffic just from a personal safety perspective.

    Apart from anything else, the right side / outside is where drivers and other road users will be looking for people to overtake. The danger of overtaking on the inside is that cars may move closer to the kerb not expecting anyone to come up that side, or as has been mentioned, may turn left without seeing you there.

    its because if the traffic starts moving again youll be stuck on the outside until theres a gap for you to pull back in, which isnt a good place to be, and often youll find drivers less likely to allow you the room back because theyll have felt you were queue jumping.

    on the inside although you have to proceed more carefully and be especially aware of junctions if the traffic starts moving you are at least not getting stuck.

    but imo traffic thats queuing isnt expecting anyone to be under/overtaking on either side so theres no real right or wrong answer.
  • Around our way the outside means you'll be half into the lane coming the other way. At least on the inside you have an escape route over the kerb onto the pavement if you get squeezed.

    I think it is play it as you see it. Be cautious until you have learnt the road and traffic patterns at the times you pass by, then you can start looking at trying different ways round. I'm all for a cautious approach, at least at first.
  • I sit in the traffic waiting to move until I have learnt the traffic flow after several repeat journeys. After that I think I have a feel for what works and is safest. This changes as often as the traffic pattern changes.


    I think this is sound advice learning the flow of the traffic certainly helps with a lot of the decisions I make.
    Big Gear Rider
    Pearson Touche SS/FG
    Felt F5
  • I always go on the outside, primarily because that's where drivers will be looking. I'm generally pretty cautious though, if I can't see anywhere to pull back in I won't go.

    Never been stuck on the outside if the traffic starts to move again, although I have had to MTFU and ride faster to continue my overtake :p
  • crakercraker Posts: 2,060
    Yes outside every time, I hate being squeezed between traffic and pavement. You can see when the speed of traffic starts picking up and tuck in behind a vehicle if it accelerates. It'll either slow again (get back on the outside) or get faster (move to the left to let traffic through).

    I can't imagine anyone blocking your way because they thought you were queue jumping, for one thing they'd have to be almost bumper to bumper with the car in front at 20 mph +.
  • graeme_s-2graeme_s-2 Posts: 3,382
    awavey wrote:
    its because if the traffic starts moving again youll be stuck on the outside until theres a gap for you to pull back in, which isnt a good place to be, and often youll find drivers less likely to allow you the room back because theyll have felt you were queue jumping.
    I used to feel like this, and I understand the fear, but in reality I have never, ever had this happen. You need to keep your head up and look ahead, read the road and the conditions. If a stationary queue starts moving, it happens one car at a time, they don't all move off simultaneously. If you're looking and planning ahead it's trivial to move back into the queue as the car in front moves off and before the car you're passing moves.

    As others have said the solution is to consider your options all the time and pick the most appropriate option for the conditions. In my experience that means normally filtering on the right, or if you'll make it through at the next change of lights waiting in the queue in primary.
  • Think it also depends on the road layout - on part of my commute there is a cycle lane marked down the inside so I tend to use that for overtaking stationary traffic as most cars leave it clear - on the bits where there is no cycle lane I'm more likely to use the outside if the traffic is stationary.
  • Kieran_BurnsKieran_Burns Posts: 10,052
    This explains my philosophy:

    http://youtu.be/8xMY4K1M0bk

    Outside when moving slowly and then to the inside as I approach the roundabout where I turn left or the traffic speeds builds up (this is in a mix of 40 / 50 mph limit roads)

    Nowadays I do tend to hang outside longer and I would be more tempted to have overtaken the yellow Corsa than pass on the inside (so swung in on the clear bit, shoulder check and then overtake when the traffic built up, but it can be hard to safely get back in to turn left at the roundabout)
    Chunky Cyclists need your love too! :-)
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  • jimmypippajimmypippa Posts: 1,712
    This explains my philosophy:

    http://youtu.be/8xMY4K1M0bk

    Outside when moving slowly and then to the inside as I approach the roundabout where I turn left or the traffic speeds builds up (this is in a mix of 40 / 50 mph limit roads)

    Nowadays I do tend to hang outside longer and I would be more tempted to have overtaken the yellow Corsa than pass on the inside (so swung in on the clear bit, shoulder check and then overtake when the traffic built up, but it can be hard to safely get back in to turn left at the roundabout)

    That's pretty much what I do. I might have pulled in behind "the nice lady" rather than in front - but that would depend on our speeds.

    And yes, lots of drivers do pull in slightly to let one pass on the outside.
  • debelidebeli Posts: 582
    It depends (for me) on the road layout, traffic density and my proximity to the junction ahead... But in most cases I prefer to filter either to the offside of all lanes or between the nearside lane and the next one.

    I base this on many years cycling and motorcycling (including a long time as a courier) in London. I may be wrong, but it has served me well and it's what I taught my kids to do.

    The core thing for me about filtering is not position, but awareness and anticipation. In London in particular, I often see timid-looking cyclists whose eyes seem fixed to the front and whose hands are so tightly welded to the handlebar that any signal they do give last a millisecond and barely goes above hip height.

    I see riders who behave oddly and seem to lurk in what are clearly blindspots for quite big, scary, hurty PSVs and HGVs.

    I think quite a lot about position and favour the offside where possible and appropriate, but for me the BIG issues in busy traffic are awareness and making sure you're seen. If you are not doing that, be sure to wear clean underwear and carry a donor card. :)
  • I managed to fall off while slowly filtering up the inside on Tuesday. Tyre got caught on the painted line. No harm done besides the bruised ego and knee.
    The council have started to paint over the existing white and yellow lines on my commute making them quite high in relation to the road. Ggrrrrr.
  • PufftmwPufftmw Posts: 1,941
    Outside for preference or middle if its 2 or more lanes. Probably comes of being a motorcyclist and an ex-courier.

    If I find myself on the outside as traffic moves off, I check my shoulder then stick my arm out to move back across, then when its safe to do so, I'll do it.

    I feel safer facing oncoming traffic on the outside of a line of cars, than be on the inside where someone is possibly going to hang a left suddenly. No-one is going to hang a right when cars are continuously oncoming, so safer in my opinion. When traffic eases, then I take care and look out for right turns and gateways.
  • bigmonkabigmonka Posts: 361
    On most of my in-town commute the traffic is fairly stationary and there are cycle lanes up the inside. But I do see a lot of riders going full pelt up the inside or sitting in the blindspot of HGV/buses - definitely not a good place to be.

    Like someone above I've had a very close call with a driver who very suddenly decided they didn't want to queue anymore and so just quickly turned left into a side road from stationery.

    You also need to have you wits about you near junctions as in slow moving traffic cars will often wave each other across into side roads. I've seen the person in front of me go over a car bonnet which turned across us as the stationery car in our lane had waved them across (I believe you're told not to do this in the highway code). I saw it happen in pretty much slow motion as it was clear that it was going to happen but the rider was obliviously pedaling full speed up the inside.
  • cruffcruff Posts: 1,506
    That's happened to me more than once. I had it on Grosvenor Place in London last year - again almost in slow motion - silly moo got waved put of a side road by someone who wasn't paying attention - I was going past on the outside, avoiding the pinch point of the cycle lane. She blithely ignored me shouting at her to stop and continued across. I only landed on her bonnet because I'd braked quickly enough to avoid a serious collision, but if I'd not had my wits about me it could have been nasty. I try and slow right down at all side roads where there is stationary traffic now - I'm convinced most accidents are caused by them
    Fat chopper. Some racing. Some testing. Some crashing.
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  • Almost always filter on the 'outside' (I am sure there is the odd exception - but I can't really think of it at the moment). Personal experience is that the inside is more full of debris - and lurking drains/grates /etc. I'm also of the opinion that drivers will, if anything, look in their right mirror - and be expecting anything 'overtaking' to be on that side.

    But always observe as much as possible - be cautious and try to anticipate the worst case...
    Put me back on my bike...

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  • dgunthordgunthor Posts: 644
    outside for me
  • damocles10damocles10 Posts: 340
    I do not filter anymore.....had a nasty crash with a London cabbie letting his passenger out without pulling over. Got doored and busted my wrist and knuckles ( as an artist I need my hands ) so now I just sit in traffic and I avoid rush hour as I find cyclists just as bad as drivers.
  • bigmonkabigmonka Posts: 361
    damocles10 wrote:
    I do not filter anymore.....had a nasty crash with a London cabbie letting his passenger out without pulling over. Got doored and busted my wrist and knuckles ( as an artist I need my hands ) so now I just sit in traffic and I avoid rush hour as I find cyclists just as bad as drivers.
    I found that being in a position where you don't mind just sitting in traffic can dramatically reduce the stress levels involved in city centre cycling. Travelling at the right times and not being rushed can make it much more pleasant.
  • mlgtmlgt Posts: 366
    Agree on the above. Taxi drivers, unknown surfaces,(unless its a regular ride) parked cars etc etc

    I get stuck along Holloway road everyday on the way home and towards Highgate, but I no longer overtake unless I know its a red light. Even so I rarely do it.

    I have found Im less stressed and although still need to pre empt silly drivers (I do drive myself).
    Rather get home in 1 piece especially with 2 kids waiting for me when I get home :)
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  • roger_merrimanroger_merriman Posts: 6,155
    I do filter but only when it seems worth it, some times it's just too risky. or doesn't get me much further.

    I adjust my routes for example some times, there are quicker or nicer routes.
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