Beginner - losing confidence in safety

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Marcus Aurelius
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Re: Beginner - losing confidence in safety

Post by Marcus Aurelius »

SEsycul wrote:Thanks so much everyone - this is far more than I expected and really helpful.

I should say that I'm not exactly cycling in central London - and nor do I intend to! I'm in one of the more "leafy" boroughs (but still obviously encounter a fair bit of traffic).

The avoiding getting doored tips all make sense and I'll keep them in mind as I plan to go out tomorrow.

One more question - I've seen using your lights in the daytime as something that helps - is that right? And what about bells to warn pedestrians etc? Is that advised?

Will take a look at the book too - thanks.

A static day time light is of little extra use, you’d need a pulser to be most effective, as far as bells go, they are a good idea, but be aware that most ‘ting ting’ type bells get easily drowned out when there’s traffic about, or people are using headphones.

https://www.thehornit.com/the-hornit-db140-new

I have one of these. It’s superb, and 140dB is loud enough to get the attention of the doziest headphone engrossed pedestrians.
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Re: Beginner - losing confidence in safety

Post by Vorpal »

Marcus Aurelius wrote:
SEsycul wrote:Thanks so much everyone - this is far more than I expected and really helpful.

I should say that I'm not exactly cycling in central London - and nor do I intend to! I'm in one of the more "leafy" boroughs (but still obviously encounter a fair bit of traffic).

The avoiding getting doored tips all make sense and I'll keep them in mind as I plan to go out tomorrow.

One more question - I've seen using your lights in the daytime as something that helps - is that right? And what about bells to warn pedestrians etc? Is that advised?

Will take a look at the book too - thanks.

A static day time light is of little extra use, you’d need a pulser to be most effective, as far as bells go, they are a good idea, but be aware that most ‘ting ting’ type bells get easily drowned out when there’s traffic about, or people are using headphones.

https://www.thehornit.com/the-hornit-db140-new

I have one of these. It’s superb, and 140dB is loud enough to get the attention of the doziest headphone engrossed pedestrians.

I'm sorry, I can see the point of the loud horns when it comes to motor traffic, but it's not nice to use them to get pedestrian attention.

For daytime lights, I think it's more a matter of circumstances under which you ride. On a dreary, drizzly day, a light is more use than a summer day, when it might be taken for a reflection and someone miss the cyclist there.

Opinions differ, as well. Some folks think that daytime lights contribute to the war to up the ante, with ever-increasingly bright lights, etc. Other think that people who use them may engage in risk compensation (change your behaviour, believing you are more visible).

For me, I try to think when I'm riding about how visible I am to other users, where the sun is, are there obstacles, blind corners, blind summits, etc. I probably think about my visibilty at least as much as what other might do.
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Re: Beginner - losing confidence in safety

Post by foxyrider »

On the subject of 'dooring', i've never been victim myself but four of my club mates were taken out in one 'flung door' incident a few years back, passing a row of parked cars which narrowed the road width considerably and going up hill. No indication of car occupancy but a door flew open and bent and broken bikes and bodies ensued - this was in the Peak District! Dooring isn't just an urban issue, you need to be aware of the dangers wherever you are riding. :wink:
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SEsycul
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Re: Beginner - losing confidence in safety

Post by SEsycul »

Vorpal wrote:I'm sorry, I can see the point of the loud horns when it comes to motor traffic, but it's not nice to use them to get pedestrian attention.


I was wondering about these horns. They do seem to raise the tension between the cyclist and pedestrians and can see some pedestrians getting annoyed by being "horned" at. Is that the case?
Cyril Haearn
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Re: Beginner - losing confidence in safety

Post by Cyril Haearn »

'No indication of car occupancy' :?
If the driver is small or is bending down or across one might not see them even if looking carefully

Best to keep 2m away always (when not possible, go very slowly)
Keeping 2m away causes another problem, undertaking by PoBs :(
..
Cycling is the greatest but cycling on roads with motor traffic is far too dangerous, I am much too scared to even try it even in a small town or on quiet lanes
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Cyril Haearn
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Re: Beginner - losing confidence in safety

Post by Cyril Haearn »

SEsycul wrote:
Vorpal wrote:I'm sorry, I can see the point of the loud horns when it comes to motor traffic, but it's not nice to use them to get pedestrian attention.


I was wondering about these horns. They do seem to raise the tension between the cyclist and pedestrians and can see some pedestrians getting annoyed by being "horned" at. Is that the case?

Welcome on board
I think some people talking about using loud horns are 'joking' :(
A bell is the best way to communicate with walkers, almost all of us use one
..
A loud horn might be useful to wake up mortons who drove with music on and windows closed
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Philip Benstead
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Re: Beginner - losing confidence in safety

Post by Philip Benstead »

SEsycul wrote:Hi there.

I'm new to this forum.

I'm getting back into road cycling and love it. I used to cycle in the Peak District and moved to London and now have a very different cycling experience of cycling in south east London. It's definitely, um, different!

I've only just got back on my bike and got it back to a good and safe condition. I've been out on two short rides.

However, I'm a bit of a nervous wreck with how vulnerable I feel. I have three young kids and a wife, and feel as though an accident is inevitable, maybe soon, maybe in years to come. I haven't done anything untoward, but even yesterday a van pulled out in front of me leaving me with just seconds to brake to a complete stop.My legs went to jelly and my heart was racing. And that's a fairly near miss just two rides in.

So I guess I'm looking for reassurance and advice - how do you tackle that anxiety of worrying about being swept off the road? Or is Britain just not safe for road cyclists? Or is London just not the place to be? (Should say, I'm in the Greenwich borough, so not exactly in the most urban areas, but still, it's not the Peaks!). I really want to commit to this and feel the benefits, but I also don't want to be a nervous wreck!

Thanks!



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Re: Beginner - losing confidence in safety

Post by mjr »

SEsycul wrote:I should say that I'm not exactly cycling in central London - and nor do I intend to! I'm in one of the more "leafy" boroughs (but still obviously encounter a fair bit of traffic).

Central London's generally a lot easier: lower speeds (lots of 20mph and lots of traffic lights slowing cars down), more bus lanes, more cycleways, more "except cycles" ways through. Looking on https://www.cyclosm.org/#map=15/51.4800/-0.0002/cyclosm might reveal some 20mph (light blue), cycleways (dark blue) and "except cycles" (blue arrows) which might make your journeys nicer.

One more question - I've seen using your lights in the daytime as something that helps - is that right?

Nope. It breaks up your outline and makes you harder to place. In bright sunshine, they're irrelevant. It can also leave you without lights when you really need them and you're never going to outshine the cars.

And what about bells to warn pedestrians etc? Is that advised?

It is by me. Others prefer to shout "excuse me", "hello" or less comprehensible things.
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Marcus Aurelius
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Re: Beginner - losing confidence in safety

Post by Marcus Aurelius »

SEsycul wrote:
Vorpal wrote:I'm sorry, I can see the point of the loud horns when it comes to motor traffic, but it's not nice to use them to get pedestrian attention.


I was wondering about these horns. They do seem to raise the tension between the cyclist and pedestrians and can see some pedestrians getting annoyed by being "horned" at. Is that the case?

If they’re ‘annoyed’ they’ve noticed you.
Marcus Aurelius
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Re: Beginner - losing confidence in safety

Post by Marcus Aurelius »

Cyril Haearn wrote:I think some people talking about using loud horns are 'joking' :(

Nope, they are great at stopping ‘zombies’ walking in front of me.

Cyril Haearn wrote:
A loud horn might be useful to wake up mortons who drove with music on and windows closed

That as well.
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Re: Beginner - losing confidence in safety

Post by Cyril Haearn »

I should never never use a loud noise to alert a walker
It might cause her to die from shock, heart attack. Or she might be so shocked she would attack and maybe kill me

Slow down instead, use the bell, wait. Simples
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Re: Beginner - losing confidence in safety

Post by Jdsk »

SEsycul wrote:One more question - I've seen using your lights in the daytime as something that helps - is that right? And what about bells to warn pedestrians etc? Is that advised?

I don't use lights during the day unless it's misty or raining etc. But I'm increasingly attracted to very bright flashing LEDs that are on all the time.

I call rather than use a bell. My wife uses a bell with just the right amount of noisiness and that also works fine.

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Re: Beginner - losing confidence in safety

Post by tykeboy2003 »

SEsycul wrote:One more question - I've seen using your lights in the daytime as something that helps - is that right? And what about bells to warn pedestrians etc? Is that advised?


In my opinion no to the daytime lights, unless it's a dark overcast day. I think it's best not to advertise the fact that you're a cyclist; when I have lights on, I never have them flashing. If the motorist sees your rear light flashing, he/she will go into "it's a cyclist, must overtake" mode. Better to keep him/her thinking that you could be a motorbike/scooter and they will probably be more cautious.

Bells yes, particularly on shared use paths. However, the main problems here will be elderly people and joggers with earphones in, neither of whom will hear the bell till you're right on them, so be ready to shout.
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Re: Beginner - losing confidence in safety

Post by eileithyia »

I haven't read through all replies but briefly skimmed.

Many people will probably have said similar things.

Road training to teach you about positioning and being alert.

A flashing front light might be useful.

My main comment would be is BE Vigilent.... watch what drivers are doing at junctions... if you see a vehicle approaching or at side road give way, look at them... have you had eye contact or do they appear to be looking past you watching for something travelling at 30mph.... be ready to make some adjustment to what you are doing.... be that braking or a swerve...... I find a shouted 'Look out' is as effective as trying to grab for a bell.

Watch out for doors.

Also be aware of the 2 lanes approach to a give way if you have the right of way, a driver on the 'inside' lane may not have seen you.... esp if the driver on the outside lane starts to edge forward as you pass them..... roundabouts can be particularly dodgy for this type of situation.....
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Philip Benstead
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Re: Beginner - losing confidence in safety

Post by Philip Benstead »

SEsycul wrote:Hi there.

I'm new to this forum.

I'm getting back into road cycling and love it. I used to cycle in the Peak District and moved to London and now have a very different cycling experience of cycling in south east London. It's definitely, um, different!

I've only just got back on my bike and got it back to a good and safe condition. I've been out on two short rides.

However, I'm a bit of a nervous wreck with how vulnerable I feel. I have three young kids and a wife, and feel as though an accident is inevitable, maybe soon, maybe in years to come. I haven't done anything untoward, but even yesterday a van pulled out in front of me leaving me with just seconds to brake to a complete stop.My legs went to jelly and my heart was racing. And that's a fairly near miss just two rides in.

So I guess I'm looking for reassurance and advice - how do you tackle that anxiety of worrying about being swept off the road? Or is Britain just not safe for road cyclists? Or is London just not the place to be? (Should say, I'm in the Greenwich borough, so not exactly in the most urban areas, but still, it's not the Peaks!). I really want to commit to this and feel the benefits, but I also don't want to be a nervous wreck!

Thanks!
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Philip Benstead | Life Member Former CTC Councillor/Trustee
Organizing events and representing cyclist in southeast since 1988
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