Close passes help

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1982john
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Close passes help

Postby 1982john » 15 Jul 2018, 10:06pm

Recently I'm finding a loss of confidence on the road due to the sheer number of close passes that happen. The other night there was 3 in the space of 15 miles on quiet B roads during my evening ride. What makes me angry is there is no need, they just don't seem to care.

I don't know if this is something that has got worse or I'm just noticing them more. I always ride solo and make up a diminutive figure on my road bike. I notice when touring with full panniers I always get a little more space.

Is there any advice to help with these? I am contemplating getting a helmet cam. Maybe that will make people think about giving me more space? However, I think from their view what they are doing is fine so it may not affect the drivers.

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meic
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Re: Close passes help

Postby meic » 15 Jul 2018, 10:12pm

It does seem to come in waves. Hopefully either the spate has run out or your imperviousness to close passes will return soon.
Yma o Hyd

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Close passes help

Postby [XAP]Bob » 16 Jul 2018, 7:58am

Orange flag from the chainstay?

I’m not suggesting blame here - but where on the road are you cycling - it might be worth cycling further out, to make it obvious that you need to be overtaken rather than ignored/passed in a straight line. Much harder once confidence is ebbing :(
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

Rob Archer
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Re: Close passes help

Postby Rob Archer » 16 Jul 2018, 8:44am

In my experience drivers pass me leaving roughly the same amount of space as I leave between me and the kerb. So if I ride about 1.5m out they tend to give me 1.5m of space. If i really don't want to be overtaken closely (or at all) on approach to a junction, traffic island, or when cars approaching from the other direction, I move out into the centre of my lane. The problem is that this requires confidence to do, particularly if your habitual road position is less 'positive'. The other issue is that a minority of driver's won't understand why you're 'blocking' them and hoot, yell and swear. Ignore them then give them a wave and smile as they pass. I really confuses them!


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meic
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Re: Close passes help

Postby meic » 16 Jul 2018, 8:56am

There is a small but noticeable fraction of motorists who will endeavour to squeeze between you and the white line in the middle of the road. If you ride far enough out that they can not do that most of them will then overtake you using the other side of the road as they should.
Where as they are a minority they are a very noticeable and upsetting minority, they will even insist on squeezing between you and the white line on a mile long straight road with just the two of you in sight as far as the eye can see. The thing which gives them away is that they will slow down so as to be able to carry out this manouvere "safely".
There still remains those who will pass you with no clearance no matter what you do (except going where cars can not).
Yma o Hyd

thirdcrank
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Re: Close passes help

Postby thirdcrank » 16 Jul 2018, 9:11am

Cyclecraft contains some useful advice on assertive riding to reduce danger.
http://www.cyclecraft.co.uk/

Before buying a camera, I'd think through what you hope to achieve. I infer from your post that you believe it would deter close passing. I'm not sure about that, partly because I don't know how many driverswould notice you had one, unless it was a big one.

One problem with the type of wide-angle lens generally fitted to these cameras is that they distort the view making everything look further away so they don't necessarily provide compelling evidence and this seems to be particularly the case with close overtaking.

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foxyrider
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Re: Close passes help

Postby foxyrider » 16 Jul 2018, 10:02am

Sometimes road position can make a difference but not always.

For example, on Thursday last I approached a TI where I turn right, done it hundreds of times over the years, look, signal, pull into outside of the now 2 lanes. However on Thursday an people carrier decided he had to overtake me at this point despite me being in primary with my arm still indicating my intention to turn.

The approach to the island is complicated by a left turn just before it, the road is marked with hatching and a right turn 'lane' for traffic leaving the island plus a curbed reserved pedestrian crossing point. So because this driver thought he should pass me he not only started verbally abusing me but also had to cross the hatching into the opposing lane across a junction. Not only that but he then had to stop for the other traffic in front which allowed me to actually repass him and continue on my way. Not only did he not gain anything, he then actually turned left so he was in the wrong lane anyway!

How to stop close passes? It's not infallible but a wider bike (luggage or a marker arm) does help although I do still get CP's with panniers. IMV cameras act as no deterrent to bad drivers, they might back up your fears after the event, act as evidence but that's it.

Better driving instruction and maybe Police sting operations are the best hope for change. I am finding that a lot of the CP's are actually being made by older, more 'experienced' drivers - they will also be the ones pulling to the left to block you at junctions and in traffic (even when there's a cycle lane marked). They aren't and never will be cyclists, to them we are obviously low life scum because we can't afford to travel by tin box.

Possibly the best way to change this is to complain about it to all your non cycling friends each time it happens - changing the view of drivers is the only way to improve things.
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1982john
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Re: Close passes help

Postby 1982john » 16 Jul 2018, 2:17pm

[XAP]Bob wrote:Orange flag from the chainstay?

I’m not suggesting blame here - but where on the road are you cycling - it might be worth cycling further out, to make it obvious that you need to be overtaken rather than ignored/passed in a straight line. Much harder once confidence is ebbing :(



I was going to ask should I be cycling further out. As I don't cycle with other cyclists I'm probably doing some things wrong. When I see other cyclists (usually ones that overtake me) I always look to see where they are on the road.

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meic
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Re: Close passes help

Postby meic » 16 Jul 2018, 2:36pm

As they didnt actually hit you, you could say that you were justified in riding that far in.

I have experimented and I vary my road position depending on many things. On roads with little or no on coming traffic I almost always ride so that they can not squeeze between me and the white lines on narrower roads and over to the left on roads where there is adequate* room to pass between me and the lines.

*adequate being a pragmatic decision based on avoiding too much aggravation rather than the sort of spacing I would actually like to have.
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Marcus Aurelius
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Re: Close passes help

Postby Marcus Aurelius » 16 Jul 2018, 4:10pm

It’s so bad now, that unless I actually get nudged, I don’t consider it ‘close’. Only last weekend I got nudged, by a close passer, unfortunately for him, the car behind was a police car, he got pulled, and was being spoken to, as I passed.

jatindersangha
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Re: Close passes help

Postby jatindersangha » 17 Jul 2018, 8:04am

Marcus Aurelius wrote:It’s so bad now, that unless I actually get nudged, I don’t consider it ‘close’. Only last weekend I got nudged, by a close passer, unfortunately for him, the car behind was a police car, he got pulled, and was being spoken to, as I passed.


Did you not have a word with the police and tell them you wanted the driver prosecuted?

If you get "nudged" by a car then the driver really shouldn't be on the road at all...

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Close passes help

Postby [XAP]Bob » 17 Jul 2018, 8:39am

1982john wrote:
[XAP]Bob wrote:Orange flag from the chainstay?

I’m not suggesting blame here - but where on the road are you cycling - it might be worth cycling further out, to make it obvious that you need to be overtaken rather than ignored/passed in a straight line. Much harder once confidence is ebbing :(



I was going to ask should I be cycling further out. As I don't cycle with other cyclists I'm probably doing some things wrong. When I see other cyclists (usually ones that overtake me) I always look to see where they are on the road.


Wrong is a strong word - suboptimal maybe...

My ‘normal’ position is at least on the left hand tyre track on the road - around junctions or narrowi sections I’ll take the centre or even the right hand tyre track depending on conditions.

The logic is that you are
- less vulnerable to punctures from debris swept to the gutter
- less affected by road furniture (drains etc)
- in the place where motorists are looking for other road users
- in a position where a motorist needs to make at least some movement to overtake (and once they make some movement most will actually overtake)
- giving yourself some ‘bail out’ room on the left in case of an idiot in a box
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Close passes help

Postby [XAP]Bob » 17 Jul 2018, 8:39am

Marcus Aurelius wrote:It’s so bad now, that unless I actually get nudged, I don’t consider it ‘close’. Only last weekend I got nudged, by a close passer, unfortunately for him, the car behind was a police car, he got pulled, and was being spoken to, as I passed.

I’d have stopped and chatted with the officer as well...
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

brooksby
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Re: Close passes help

Postby brooksby » 17 Jul 2018, 11:49am

Marcus Aurelius wrote:It’s so bad now, that unless I actually get nudged, I don’t consider it ‘close’. Only last weekend I got nudged, by a close passer, unfortunately for him, the car behind was a police car, he got pulled, and was being spoken to, as I passed.


You got "nudged"? So - actual contact? You really ought to have stopped too, if only to hear what cr@p the motorist came out with!

Stradageek
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Re: Close passes help

Postby Stradageek » 17 Jul 2018, 12:42pm

I'd recommend the 'cycling further out' technique above all else.

Cycling with a trailer, panniers or on a recumbent bike or trike is also pretty much 100% effective

There is a risky but effective final option which I've employed only when I can hear or see how fast the car behind is approaching. I simply employ a strategic wobble. Helps the approaching driver realise how much you could move and therefore how much space to leave to avoid getting the car scratched