IAM New Book "How to be a better cyclist"

thirdcrank
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Re: IAM New Book "How to be a better cyclist"

Post by thirdcrank »

MartinC wrote:... I'm not sure whether the IAM rebranding John Franklin's ideas as their own is helping or just perpetuating the underlying problem. ....


He is shown as one of the authors.
MartinC
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Re: IAM New Book "How to be a better cyclist"

Post by MartinC »

thirdcrank wrote:He is shown as one of the authors.


Ah, sorry, wasn't implying plagiarism just that that some of his content was being presented under the IAM's brand. It's good stuff and repeating it does no harm. HMSO have already published his work on behalf of the nation but we should be grateful that such and august body as the IAM has deigned to endorse the bits they consider appropriate too!
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NUKe
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Re: IAM New Book "How to be a better cyclist"

Post by NUKe »

DougieB wrote:I suggest the negative commenter's actually have a look at the current road craft manuals, to see what they are really about. they are not 'know your place' manuals, nor are they 'must do better' manuals. nor are they 'how to drive cyclists off the road and keep it for car drivers'.

they are mainly about 'road craft' (funny that), not how to drive or motorbike. the assumption is that you already know how to handle your chosen machine. the manuals talk about position, forward vision and planning. many cyclists I see, and from the comments I read, would benefit. the assumptions and "I'm right" attitude is generally what I took the 'road craft' to be trying to breakdown.


Well said Dougie.

I for one like the Motorcycle roadcraft and the principles of position hazard perception can be applied to all vehicles. I did my IAM test on Motorcycle and sidecar. I bet I am one of the few people with a certificate from the IAM that says Motor tricycle. I took the test as the drving of an outfit is so far removed from a motorbike or car I need someone to say that I was at least competent to be on the roads.

I am certain that anything the IAM turns out for cyclists will be well balanced a good read. I'll be buying it when its released.

Mind you I can't see the IAM introducing a cycle test.
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psmiffy
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Re: IAM New Book "How to be a better cyclist"

Post by psmiffy »

I think I read somewhere that it is best to judge a book on the contents rather than the cover -does it matter who publishes something as long as the contents are good - the more readily available good advice there is for people learning to cycle or wishing to improve their cycling skill/roadcraft the better
DavidT
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Re: IAM New Book "How to be a better cyclist"

Post by DavidT »

"How to be a better cyclist. Advanced Cycling. The essential guide."

This book has now been published and I have my copy.

Only a quick overview so far, but it seems full of excellent advice, - which we were expecting given John Franklin's input. John Franklin includes a very well expressed Testimonial at the start, which emphasises the shared ground of road safety.

The book is well presented with loads of photographs (which has pleased my wife no end as the staged ones seem to be largely taken in Peterborough! :) ).

The book seems very robust with respect to taking primary positions, and selective use only of cycle facilities. Not only does the HC now support our position/rights, but so does the Institute of Advanced Motorists. Surely to be welcomed?

Chapter and section headings include, amongst others, Observation, Hazards, Riding Plans, Positioning, Conservation of momentum, Negotiation, Filtering etc etc.

For those of us that are IAM members or otherwise Advanced driver trained it is interesting to note that the System of Car Control has been lifted entirely to become the Planned System of Cycling - also using IPSGA (Information/Position/Speed/Gear/Acceleration) with respect to dealing with hazards. IPSGA is refered to throughout with examples, as Roadcraft.

As I have only speed read so far, I may stand corrected, but I feel there could have been more on conflict resolution/avoidance with motorists. Roadcraft has a section on behaviour at the wheel and the avoidance of "Red mist" (admittedly, and inevitably biased towards emergency drivers) but something similar here may have been useful? Especially judging by some of the posts about pursuing confrontation, that we often get on the forum :wink:

If you have already read Cyclecraft then perhaps there is not much new content here, but as an IAM member I am happy with this publication. Education, education, education? :wink:
drossall
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Re: IAM New Book "How to be a better cyclist"

Post by drossall »

I haven't read it, but I'm generally in favour and will probably try to get a copy. It's simple - if you're dealing with someone who thinks that cyclists should keep out of the way, the fact that the IAM say "rubbish" is much more powerful than that a manual written by cyclists for cyclists does.

I don't understand the turf war bit. We need all the support we can get. And most cyclists are motorists as well anyway.
AlanD
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Re: IAM New Book "How to be a better cyclist"

Post by AlanD »

How many squids is it?
DavidT
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Re: IAM New Book "How to be a better cyclist"

Post by DavidT »

£9.99
thirdcrank
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Re: IAM New Book "How to be a better cyclist"

Post by thirdcrank »

David T

A very interesting account of your first impressions. I'm with you about the conflict avoidance thing - I've posted loads of times that I think the whole psychological thing is not fully appreciated in road safety. This is a very wide field. I think, for example, that in some respects the IAM unwittingly contributes to this. By this I mean that there is a lot of value in everybody striving to be better road users and there is a big onus on drivers to improve. OTOH some members of the IAM seem to think that passing that test is a sign of their superiority, rather than of their taking their responsibilities seriously. I've no problem with the IAM taking a joint approach with cyclists and any other road users such as pedestrians and equestrians. A pity that The Institute for very careful road users who know they could do better and are working towards it won't all go on one radiator grille badge. :wink:

Another aspect of the psychological aspect as it affects safe cycling is assertiveness, even boldness when appropriate. While aggression is generally counter-productive, meekly riding in the gutter can also put a cyclist in danger.

IMO It's valuable to have a cyclist's POV endorsed by an organisation held in high regard by many drivers and ipso facto by people in authority who do tend to be drivers themselves. It's hardly likely to be much use in those curt exchanges of view at the roadside, but it could silence some lounge bar experts. I'd also suggest that if any cyclist who was completely sure that he was following the advice in this book was officially challenged in some way eg by the police taking notes (especially with the words "you need not say anything ....") then a polite reply that "I was closely following the advice to cyclists from the Institute of Advanced Motorists" should prompt any decisionmaker to check what that advice said. It might just stop the juggernaut before the need to call the CDF. Just a thought.
DavidT
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Re: IAM New Book "How to be a better cyclist"

Post by DavidT »

As ever, I appreciate your comments TC.

I honestly think that one of the best things I learnt through IAM training was just to chill at the wheel - so to speak. Good anticipation allows you to keep cool when someone cuts you up - whether on a bike or in a car, after all you saw it coming didn't you? Congratulate yourself, not swear at the other party. This was demonstrated to me by a police driving instructor with many useful anecdotes and examples of predicting what happens next. Seeing someone actually do something a bit daft actually became a positive (in part at least :roll: ), as it had been predicted. A very effective technique I would suggest, for avoiding tension.

Also the fact that the horn is there as a warning device and never, again - never, a rebuke. In direct contrast to the understanding of most of my driving aquaintances at work!

Having said that, my patience is not that of a saint - I can certainly have my moments but they are fewer and further between than before I went through the IAM teaching. Similarly, goodness only knows I make mistakes on the bike and in the car, but again a lot less than I used to. (And certainly the car ones are no longer significant! He says, touching wood)

As for that badge. Your suggestion is too late, mine's already ordered :wink:
IvanWilsonBSE
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Re: IAM New Book "How to be a better cyclist"

Post by IvanWilsonBSE »

Having skim read the book it looks clear and sensible - especially linking the IPSGA driving system into the process.

I would, however, take issue with one section of the book. Page 78 talks about limit points on corners and shows the cyclist taking a road position to maximise the view around the corner. If he were on a motorbike or in a car this would be fantastic advice - and as many cyclists are MC and car users it is a good message for their general road use, HOWEVER, on a bicycle it is insanity to place yourself in such an exposed position with the potential of high speed traffic cornering behind you when you are travelling at relatively low speeds. There is no real gain in a cyclist taking up such a position - the forward view would be good enough from closer to the verge and this position would be a safer one for the cyclist.

I have shown this section to several people and all have said that it would make them think twice before accepting advice from the rest of the book! An unfortunate response for what is, in many other ways, a great guide.
drossall
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Re: IAM New Book "How to be a better cyclist"

Post by drossall »

I haven't read the book (yet - will get a copy), but surely it's dependent on context?

On an A road with fast traffic, that sounds unnecessary and dangerous. On a one-car-wide minor road where many of us ride, with sharper bends, it's risky to allow a car behind to overtake approaching a blind corner, and it's safer to be able to see what is coming the other way.
mark a.
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Re: IAM New Book "How to be a better cyclist"

Post by mark a. »

And if you're in a position to see round the corner better, you're also automatically in a position so that a car coming behind you can see you earlier and more clearly.

(Again, depending on context.)
cjchambers
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Re: IAM New Book "How to be a better cyclist"

Post by cjchambers »

IvanWilsonBSE wrote:On a bicycle it is insanity to place yourself in such an exposed position with the potential of high speed traffic cornering behind you when you are travelling at relatively low speeds

On a blind left hand corner, it is absolutely essential to move out from the edge. The edge of the road is a very dangerous place to be because you're invisible for longer to traffic approaching from behind. The idea isn't to hide at the edge and 'stay out of the way' so that drivers can drive past as if you weren't there - the idea is to maximise visibility so that they can react in good time and overtake in an orderly fashion.
kwackers
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Re: IAM New Book "How to be a better cyclist"

Post by kwackers »

cjchambers wrote:
IvanWilsonBSE wrote:On a bicycle it is insanity to place yourself in such an exposed position with the potential of high speed traffic cornering behind you when you are travelling at relatively low speeds

On a blind left hand corner, it is absolutely essential to move out from the edge. The edge of the road is a very dangerous place to be because you're invisible for longer to traffic approaching from behind. The idea isn't to hide at the edge and 'stay out of the way' so that drivers can drive past as if you weren't there - the idea is to maximise visibility so that they can react in good time and overtake in an orderly fashion.

I fully agree - some time ago I almost learned this the hard way as a bus shot round the corner at speed catching my jacket!
Coming up to blind left handers, I now move out to primary and hold it until I'm going out of view of traffic coming up the rear then move back to secondary (actually closer to the kerb than that).
What you've got to bear in mind is that round a blind bend the line traffic uses tends to hug the kerb on the apex.
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