Forum home Commuter cycling forum Commuting chat

Cycling Road Craft around Motorbikes in Traffic Queues

wolfsbane2kwolfsbane2k Posts: 3,019
edited June 2019 in Commuting chat
Quick Q, assuming there are motorcyclists in here.

Filtering through traffic towards a parked bus, aware that there is a learner motorbike sat in the queue ahead of me. Notice as I pull alongside the motorcyclist the last passenger gets on, so pull in beside them, nod hi to them, and wait.

Bus starts to move off, and I nod at the motorcyclist and use my hand to indicate he should go first, and I drop in behind him.

A few seconds later we hold up in traffic while someone turns left, and just before we go, the motorcyclist is doing all kinds of shoulder checking (left, right, left, right, left, right), apparently just trying to find me, and eventually notices I'm track standing about a meter almost directly behind him, and he has a go at me for my road position.

Now, I wanted to keep priority in the lane, and felt that this was the best spot - I didn't want to be in his "blind spot" in case he forgot to shoulder check, don't filter on the inside, and it's not as though i'll run into the back of him, so thought that was the safest place to be...

I was grateful that he was looking around for me before moving off, but not quite sure what I did wrong - i seem to recall that motorcyclists are taught to zig-zag queue in traffic, so assume he thought I'd do the same...

So, errr, question is - what is the best road position to be if you filter through traffic to and pull in beside motorbike because there's clear space?
Intent on Cycling Commuting on a budget, but keep on breaking/crashing/finding nice stuff to buy.
Bike 1 (Broken) - Bike 2(Borked) - Bike 3(broken spokes) - Bike 4( Needs Work) - Bike 5 (in bits) - Bike 6* ...

Posts

  • So your road positioning was identical to his?

    Motorcyclists can be a rum bunch.
  • tgotbtgotb Posts: 4,714
    In that sort of situation, I often pull up alongside the motorcyclist, so that we're standing side by side, with the motorbike on my right (assuming they stop well enough to the right for there to be a decent gap, which is generally the case).

    When the vehicle in front moves off, we're then able to accelerate away at our own speeds, and I'm not stopping the motorbike overtaking that vehicle if they want to.

    The notable exception to this is Putney Bridge, Northbound, with the new post-Hammersmith-Bridge-closure traffic levels. Here you treat the motorbike as an equal, stick your elbows out, and ride as you would in the later stages of a devil race. Leaning can help.
    Pannier, 120rpm.
  • tootsie323tootsie323 Posts: 199
    Experience. And thick skin.
  • wolfsbane2kwolfsbane2k Posts: 3,019
    So your road positioning was identical to his?

    Motorcyclists can be a rum bunch.

    Yep, exactly where he was.
    TGOTB wrote:
    In that sort of situation, I often pull up alongside the motorcyclist, so that we're standing side by side, with the motorbike on my right (assuming they stop well enough to the right for there to be a decent gap, which is generally the case).

    When the vehicle in front moves off, we're then able to accelerate away at our own speeds, and I'm not stopping the motorbike overtaking that vehicle if they want to.

    in this case, while waiting behind the bus, he was in the centre of the lane, and I was to his right, just left of the central white line. As we'd moved off, he'd stayed in the same place so I there wasn't space to 3/4 him on his left, which was my preferred position.
    tootsie323 wrote:
    Experience. And thick skin.
    Yep - The ranting at me doesn't bother me, but best to learn properly from experience by asking a "calm" motorcyclist..

    I think a major contributor here is they were a learner rider, and might have been the first time he's had a cyclist do that to him.

    Just spoken to a colleague who rides a motorbike daily, and he's amazed at the number of cyclists who filter on the right through traffic here, especially on dual carriageways, as he's not seen it before, and he's had to learn a few new tricks to ensure he's looking properly for them, especially with the constraints of visibility from a motorcycle helmet.
    Intent on Cycling Commuting on a budget, but keep on breaking/crashing/finding nice stuff to buy.
    Bike 1 (Broken) - Bike 2(Borked) - Bike 3(broken spokes) - Bike 4( Needs Work) - Bike 5 (in bits) - Bike 6* ...
  • timothywtimothyw Posts: 2,482
    Problem is directly behind him is a blind spot for him - can't see you in the mirror, can't easily turn his head all the way round to spot you.

    Position yourself so that you are in his mirrors, you should still be able to occupy the lane while doing this.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Yes I'd have been slightly to his inside. He'd be able to see you there but it's no Biggie.
  • -Dash-Dash Posts: 179
    I think a major contributor here is they were a learner rider, and might have been the first time he's had a cyclist do that to him.

    I'd have asked him "Have you even done a theory test?!". I'm a motorcyclist myself and it still baffles me that we let some people out on the road with no idea how the roads are supposed to work. The CBT instructors always have challenges teaching the non-car drivers as they barely know how roundabouts work, yet they still get a pass and are let out on their own after 3-4 hours "training" (mostly car park, probably about 45 mins on the road). I suppose this could be applied to cyclists but cyclists are less of a risk to themselves and others...
  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 24,670 Lives Here
    TimothyW wrote:
    Problem is directly behind him is a blind spot for him - can't see you in the mirror, can't easily turn his head all the way round to spot you.

    Position yourself so that you are in his mirrors, you should still be able to occupy the lane while doing this.
    I'd agree with this, sounds like he should have explained his reasoning rather than just have a moan.
  • elbowlohelbowloh Posts: 7,078

    Just spoken to a colleague who rides a motorbike daily, and he's amazed at the number of cyclists who filter on the right through traffic here, especially on dual carriageways, as he's not seen it before, and he's had to learn a few new tricks to ensure he's looking properly for them, especially with the constraints of visibility from a motorcycle helmet.
    Which is exactly what you're told to do if you ever to a bike safety course
    Felt F1 2014
    Felt Z6 2012
    Red Arthur Caygill steel frame
    Tall....
    www.seewildlife.co.uk
  • prawnyprawny Posts: 5,417
    I've always ridden my bike the same sort of way I'd ride a motorbike in traffic so always filter on the right. Other than maybe putting yourself in his mirrors Im struggling to see what their issue was. That said, if traffic is bad I try to get infront of bigger bikes because they can't fit through the gaps so easily and are more likely to hold me up. I'll pull in and let them through if it opens up a bit though.
    Saracen Tenet 3 - 2015 - Dead - Replaced with a Hack Frame
    Voodoo Bizango - 2014 - Dead - Hit by a car
    Vitus Sentier VRS - 2017
  • figbatfigbat Posts: 680
    If I was in this situation, as the motorcyclist, I would make sure I found you in my mirrors and, if not, turn my head to see you directly. Then, having located you I'd get on with my day.

    If I was the cyclist I firstly wouldn't be track-standing (largely through lack of capability to do so) but I would probably subconsciously position myself where I knew the biker could see me - I want everyone knowing where I am (both on the bicycle and the motorcycle).
    Cube Reaction GTC Pro 29 for the lumpy stuff
    Cannondale Synapse alloy with 'guards for the winter roads
    Fuji Altamira 2.7 for the summer roads
    Trek 830 Mountain Track frame turned into a gravel bike - for anywhere & everywhere
Sign In or Register to comment.