Advice on crossing crossroads

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
Invisible_Jong
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Advice on crossing crossroads

Postby Invisible_Jong » 9 Oct 2018, 3:32pm

So three days ago, when I was cycling pass a cross road, I wanted to turn right, as I started cycling right, a car came out from the LEFT going to the right, which I didn't see, and I panicked as I was afraid since I didn't complete the turn yet, so I started cycling as fast as I could to be faster than the car in making that turn (I was afraid to stop as I thought stopping or slowing down in the middle of the road is a bad idea). When I completed the turn, I heard the car was right behind me, so I panicked and I ducked to the pavement road where I crashed and fell off my bike.

So anyways, I learned my lesson that I need to look carefully before crossing a cross road with no lights and I didn't need to duck as I can just cycle near the edge, but any advice when cycling through a crossroad with no traffic lights? Those are always my biggest fear

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Si
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Re: Advice on crossing crossroads

Postby Si » 9 Oct 2018, 3:57pm

Option one: get some cycle training - go to your local council's website and search for bikeability, or to the CUK website and look at the list of bikeability instructors.
Option two: buy John Franklin's 'Cyclecraft' and read it.
Option three: (noting that this is general guidence and each situation should be taken on its merits, and assuming that you are on the major road)

Look behind - this lets you know what's happening behind and also gives following drivers a hint that you are about to do something.
Signal right if it will benefit you.
Move to the centre or right side of your lane (not the road, but your lane)....your signal will have warned following drivers that you are about to do this and your look behind will have let you identify a gap to move into. It's easier if you move out gradually as you approach rather than swerving across someone's front bumper!
Make eye contact with those who may cross your path - this won't stop them doing something stupid but at least it will give you more warning it they are not looking or if you are obscured by an 'A' pillar.
If there is no one coming from the opposite direction and going straight on then do a final check behind to make sure no eejit is over taking you and make your turn if safe to do so. If there is someone coming from the opposite direction then stop, still in the middle or right side of your lane with your front wheel just shy of the middle of the road you are turning into. Once clear, check behind again and go.

...or summut like that.

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Re: Advice on crossing crossroads

Postby Vorpal » 9 Oct 2018, 3:59pm

Use the right side of the lane (between the middle of the lane, and the middle of the road), signal for the right turn, and look all aorund before making your turn.

Don't cycle on the edge. That will only encourage motorists to try to squeeze past when it may not be safe.

Also, get yourself a copy of Cyclecraft, and/or take some Bikeability lessons.

p.s. tried to post the same time as Si, who wrote a rather more detailed answer!
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mjr
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Re: Advice on crossing crossroads

Postby mjr » 9 Oct 2018, 4:11pm

I don't quite understand the problematic situation: did the car pull out across you when it should have given way?

Invisible_Jong wrote:So anyways, I learned my lesson that I need to look carefully before crossing a cross road with no lights and I didn't need to duck as I can just cycle near the edge, but any advice when cycling through a crossroad with no traffic lights? Those are always my biggest fear

I feel that cycling near the edge is usually a very bad idea because it seems to encourage motorists to try to overtake without changing lane and it leaves you nowhere to go if the motorist pulls left too soon: that 75cm minimum distance from the kerb is your safety space, your wiggle room and sometimes your escape route. Look up positioning (where on the road to cycle most safely) in "Cyclecraft" - or IAM's "Advanced Cycling" by the same author is almost the same. Consider getting some Bikeability cycle training if you've not had some yet or for some time.

Which brings me to my advice on cycling through a crossroads with no traffic lights. Firstly, look behind and when possible, move to a fairly central position in the approach lane. No-one should be overtaking you through a junction (highway code rule 167), so it's not obstructive to do that, plus if you put yourself more like where the driver of a car travelling along the road would be, then you're more likely to be where drivers would look. Many have a bad habit of looking only for things than can hurt them - other motorists - not people cycling.

I would not use the right edge of the lane when turning right. I turn right off a single-carriageway A road almost every trip and my experience is that moving to the right of the lane encourages following motorists to close-pass on the left (so-called "undertaking") and oncoming motorists to drive at your outstretched right arm. Almost all right turns wide enough for a motorist to pass on the left have right-turn "pockets" painted on the road. I'd usually never be within a metre of the centre line until I start the turn and most often hold so-called primary position.

Secondly, obey any marked/signed/painted priority - if you have a give-way or a stop line across your lane, then give-way or stop and do not try to sneak up the left side of a lane when turning left. Failing to give-way is a depressingly common cyclist-at-fault crash type.

Thirdly, if there's no marked/signed/painted priority, or if all four arms have give-way lines, then give way to your right, as if there's a very very small mini-roundabout in the middle of the crossroads.

Fourthly, if you have to wait, keep looking around and only move off when you think you can clear the junction before another vehicle with higher priority would have to avoid you.

Finally, be ready with an emergency turn if it all goes wrong and another road user usurps priority. Practice emergency turns in a safe place - you may be surprised how tightly you can turn, or you may surprise yourself by turning too tight and throw yourself onto the grass! I think emergency turns are important because I agree with one bit of the opening post: the middle of a crossroads is not a great place to do an emergency stop.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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foxyrider
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Re: Advice on crossing crossroads

Postby foxyrider » 9 Oct 2018, 4:34pm

Wot they have said! Look, signal, manoeuvre - just the same as in a car

Own the road, don't be timid about it, don't let yourself be bullied by impatient/poor drivers. Oh and please don't wear all black, there are plenty of sensible but bright jerseys/jackets available out there, wearing one might just save your life.
Convention? what's that then?
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mjr
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Re: Advice on crossing crossroads

Postby mjr » 9 Oct 2018, 5:17pm

foxyrider wrote:Oh and please don't wear all black, there are plenty of sensible but bright jerseys/jackets available out there, wearing one might just save your life.

No, they do nothing. Please don't give out bad advice like that - it's bad enough that this evidence-free [inappropriate word removed] is in the highway code. There is even some evidence that so-called "conspicuity aids" can hurt, especially in rural areas, maybe because other evidence suggests what matters is contrast with your background. When I wore a yellow hi-viz jacket (bad idea because I cycle among farms of daffodils, tulips, oilseed rap, corn, wheat and so on), I had far more SMIDSYs than now when I wear black, grey or dark blue.

Personally, I think the best thing you can do is to look like a person because motorists will be looking for other motorists first and other people second. They will not be looking for roadworkers in bright jackets when there haven't been any roadworks signs.
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thirdcrank
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Re: Advice on crossing crossroads

Postby thirdcrank » 9 Oct 2018, 5:56pm

When I wore a yellow hi-viz jacket (bad idea because I cycle among farms of daffodils, tulips, oilseed rap, corn, wheat and so on), I had far more SMIDSYs than now when I wear black, grey or dark blue.


That sounds to me like implicit acceptance that a rider needs to stand out against the background.

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mjr
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Re: Advice on crossing crossroads

Postby mjr » 9 Oct 2018, 7:10pm

thirdcrank wrote:
When I wore a yellow hi-viz jacket (bad idea because I cycle among farms of daffodils, tulips, oilseed rap, corn, wheat and so on), I had far more SMIDSYs than now when I wear black, grey or dark blue.


That sounds to me like implicit acceptance that a rider needs to stand out against the background.

Yes, and there are far fewer black and dark blue backgrounds than one might think.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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foxyrider
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Re: Advice on crossing crossroads

Postby foxyrider » 10 Oct 2018, 8:46am

thirdcrank wrote:
When I wore a yellow hi-viz jacket (bad idea because I cycle among farms of daffodils, tulips, oilseed rap, corn, wheat and so on), I had far more SMIDSYs than now when I wear black, grey or dark blue.


That sounds to me like implicit acceptance that a rider needs to stand out against the background.


Not only that, I didn't say wear hi viz, I said don't wear black. I hate hi viz, I consider it counter productive in daylight and unless it's reflective, useless in the dark. Do wear red, yellow, pink, green, orange, purple, white, khaki, blue. You don't have to look like a lycra alien - there is plenty of 'normal' clothing that isn't black.

From experience and observation, a cycle rider dressed all in black becomes almost invisible in anything except full sunlight and in low light anything that offers some contrast is better. Most of us are not riding through daffodils all the time!
Convention? what's that then?
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pwa
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Re: Advice on crossing crossroads

Postby pwa » 10 Oct 2018, 9:27am

One basic problem seems to be a lack of confidence in your right to be on the road. You are there by right, and you have as much right to your bit of road as anyone around you. If you are acting correctly, any car behind you will just have to wait. You don't have to get out of the way. Once in a while you might choose to pull over and let a faster vehicle past, but that is because you want to, not because you have to. I drive, and when I cycle I do it as if I am in a car, demanding the same rights and following the same basic rules.

Do some reading on things like positioning at junctions.

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Re: Advice on crossing crossroads

Postby thirdcrank » 10 Oct 2018, 10:07am

I can't help feeling there's a certain amount of irony in your username: as a matter of interest, is their some reason that it includes "invisible?"

The point is, the better other road users can see you, the safer you are likely to be, although some will overlook you no matter what. As you must have noticed, there's debate over the value of hi-viz, but I think most experienced riders agree that adopting a prominent position is important.

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Re: Advice on crossing crossroads

Postby mjr » 10 Oct 2018, 10:29am

foxyrider wrote:From experience and observation, a cycle rider dressed all in black becomes almost invisible in anything except full sunlight and in low light anything that offers some contrast is better.

As long as there's some lighting, black is one of the highest contrast options available, being one extreme of the brightness range, except when viewed against a completely solid black background - and those are very rare on lit roads. (On unlit roads, what you wear is basically irrelevant compared to your lights.)

Anyone who feels things in black are almost invisible should go for an eyetest and maybe not go out unaccompanied, lest they get squashed by one of those very popular black cars.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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slowster
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Re: Advice on crossing crossroads

Postby slowster » 10 Oct 2018, 9:17pm

mjr wrote:As long as there's some lighting, black is one of the highest contrast options available, being one extreme of the brightness range, except when viewed against a completely solid black background - and those are very rare on lit roads.

I'm not familiar with any of the evidenced based research on this subject, but my own impression of noticing other cyclists and pedestrians is that I notice people in black cycle kit much later than those who wear brightly coloured kit (especially black tights/trousers and long sleeve jerseys, i.e. with no lighter [and rapidly moving] bare legs or arms).

I agree that if the environment in which you ride a lot includes fields of oil seed rape, then hi-vis yellow is potentially a poor choice, although more so during the flowering season. However, wooded areas are probably far more common, and my experience is that black kit stands out poorly when riding in the shade of tree lined roads, even more so if light levels are low or there is dappled sunlight which makes the shadows particularly dark and hard to interpret.

To imply that black is a good choice because of its potential for contrast is disingenuous, since it ignores the impact of colour. In my experience in most of the UK countryside most of the time bold non-natural colours stand out best. So my own preference is for red and royal blue (not dark blue).

One of the best demonstrations of the effectiveness of bright colours vs. black and similar dark shades, is seeing how obvious some people are in the open countryside away from the roads. Horseriders wearing hi-vis stand out from a long distance away, and likewise walkers and off-road cyclists in brightly coloured clothing; so much so that they are often impossible to ignore. I sometimes think that the visual impact of their clothing is a form of visual pollution in places where open countryside is so limited and has to be shared by many people. Conversely mountain bikers wearing black are often much more difficult to spot, which I think is a good thing off-road.

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Re: Advice on crossing crossroads

Postby Vorpal » 10 Oct 2018, 9:44pm

There is evidence previously discussed on these forums, that bright colours are easier to see from further away.

There is mixed evidence about the wearing of perspicuity garments. A few studies found that cyclists wearing them had slightly more collisions than cyclists who did not wear them.

We don't know the reasons for this. Possible causes that have been put forward is that:
motorists observe the cyclist, then 'dismiss' them as a non-threat, or not deserving of attention
the cyclists take more risks, believing they are more visible (risk compensation)
or there other behaviours which tend to be associated with cyclists who wear perspicuity garments that have an influence, such as helmet wearing, use of segregated facilities, road positioning, etc.

It does seem that motorists pay more attention to 'ninja' cyclists. But there have also been some studies that found motorists were less likely to identify cyclists correctly when they were wearing black.

There's a long thread viewtopic.php?f=7&t=117138&start=15 about the use of hi viz, and also a couple of previous threads.

Cycling Weekly has a pretty good (though somewhat biased) summary of information https://www.cyclingweekly.com/news/late ... ist-358674 The Danish study mentioned has some issues. They are explained on the other forum thread.
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Re: Advice on crossing crossroads

Postby brynpoeth » 11 Oct 2018, 9:30am

mjr wrote:
foxyrider wrote:Oh and please don't wear all black, there are plenty of sensible but bright jerseys/jackets available out there, wearing one might just save your life.

No, they do nothing. Please don't give out bad advice like that - it's bad enough that this evidence-free <i>[inappropriate word removed]</i> is in the highway code. There is even some evidence that so-called "conspicuity aids" can hurt, especially in rural areas, maybe because other evidence suggests what matters is contrast with your background. When I wore a yellow hi-viz jacket (bad idea because I cycle among farms of daffodils, tulips, oilseed rap, corn, wheat and so on), I had far more SMIDSYs than now when I wear black, grey or dark blue.

Personally, I think the best thing you can do is to look like a person
..

Try putting a baby carrier on ones back stuffed with a jersey to look like a baby
That might make the motons "think"
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