Current Riding Situation.

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
Golflad
Posts: 11
Joined: 1 Aug 2017, 12:44pm

Current Riding Situation.

Postby Golflad » 15 Jun 2020, 4:35pm

As a lifelong cyclist and now aged 76 I find myself really doubting my own ability to survive in the current climate of road user. I did Lands End to John O'Groats in 1999 and C to C in 1998. Ride out with my wife 3/4 times a week. Yesterday we did one of our favourite local rides of 14 miles in a loop from home (Dinnington in South Yorkshire). Through the neighbouring village of Woodsetts the street lined with parked cars I saw a car approaching from behind (I have a rear view mirror) which made me ride closer to the parked cars and yes, someone flung a door open and just missed having me off. I stopped but the driver did a runner, The car behind also stopped and gave me a blast of horn and gestured for me to get out of his way!! It made me feel very vulnerable and shook me up. Carried on the ride and down a narrow lane two pedestrians coming towards us, we moved out to observe the 2 metre distancing and another cyclist came through the lot at a fast rate. Could not believe it. Then on another lovely lane towards Letwell we approached a right hand bend and around the corner came three cyclists riding abreast. Unbelievable. Finally on Kingswood Lane riding towards Laughton a van overtook and almost touched us with the wing mirror. All of the above on 1 local ride. I really do not know what to do. I consider myself a very experienced cyclist but enough is enough. I am getting to the point of not going out at all. Any thoughts or suggestions on any of the above?

rotavator
Posts: 452
Joined: 6 Jun 2016, 9:50pm
Location: North Wales

Re: Current Riding Situation.

Postby rotavator » 15 Jun 2020, 4:44pm

With respect to passing parked cars, you have to put your own safety first and keep at least 1 m away from them; if you hold up following vehicles that is their hard luck, they will have to wait for a safe place to pass you.

User avatar
mjr
Posts: 15691
Joined: 20 Jun 2011, 7:06pm
Location: Norfolk or Somerset, mostly
Contact:

Re: Current Riding Situation.

Postby mjr » 15 Jun 2020, 5:02pm

Golflad wrote:[...] I saw a car approaching from behind (I have a rear view mirror) which made me ride closer to the parked cars [...]

How did it make you do that? That was a mistake.

and yes, someone flung a door open and just missed having me off. I stopped but the driver did a runner,

But that was two mistakes by that driver.

The car behind also stopped and gave me a blast of horn and gestured for me to get out of his way!! It made me feel very vulnerable and shook me up.

:-( And two mistakes by the driver of the car behind.

Carried on the ride and down a narrow lane two pedestrians coming towards us, we moved out to observe the 2 metre distancing and another cyclist came through the lot at a fast rate. Could not believe it.

Some cyclists are idiots too.

Then on another lovely lane towards Letwell we approached a right hand bend and around the corner came three cyclists riding abreast. Unbelievable.

Less unbelievable than the previous one. Three abreast is legal but inadvisable. If the right-hand one was on the wrong side, that's worse.

Finally on Kingswood Lane riding towards Laughton a van overtook and almost touched us with the wing mirror.

Careless driving :(

All of the above on 1 local ride. I really do not know what to do. I consider myself a very experienced cyclist but enough is enough. I am getting to the point of not going out at all. Any thoughts or suggestions on any of the above?

Thoughts are above. Other than that: hold your line, stay out of the door zone and try to see the other loonies coming. I don't know which police area you are in and whether they'd pay any attention to video camera footage if you had it and anyway that's only an after-the-fact wrap-up.

Hopefully it was just one of those one-off bad rides. If you feel too shaken by it, see if there's a local Bikeability adult trainer who could do a level 3 refresher ridealong with you?
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

Cyril Haearn
Posts: 13550
Joined: 30 Nov 2013, 11:26am
Location: Between the woods and the water

Re: Current Riding Situation.

Postby Cyril Haearn » 15 Jun 2020, 5:16pm

Avoid eye contact if possible
Wear a yellow vest with text on so you resemble a policeperson

Really the solution is to use traffic-free routes where possible, I do not find it boring, sky, colours, weather, vegetation change a lot
Entertainer, intellectual, idealist, PoB
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
We love safety cameras, we hate bullies

Marcus Aurelius
Posts: 1514
Joined: 1 Feb 2018, 10:20am

Re: Current Riding Situation.

Postby Marcus Aurelius » 15 Jun 2020, 5:20pm

Yes, you’re not alone in your thinking here. Road usage standards have bombed in the last few years. Hence the reason that I started ( briefly ) recording things, having never previously bothered in umptysomething years of road riding. Some things I’ve witnessed recently are just beyond comprehension. Some of it could be explained by the amount of distractions fitted to most new modern cars, but not all, by any means. I’ve even found myself doing things I would never have done in years gone by regarding how I ride. The point you made about passing parked cars was particularly interesting. Until recently, I wouldn’t dream of getting within a meter of a parked car, however, now I’ve found it’s a case of I’d rather chance a door from a parked car, than take my chances with a ‘barger’ approaching from in front. It’s increasingly common for some motorists to drive straight at me, despite the fact I’m well into the lane, and trying to squeeze down is really not going to work. I try and make sure I still keep a wide berth from any obviously occupied parked cars, and if I’m reasonably sure there’s no one in the car, I’ll risk getting a bit closer than I ever used to, rather than risk a distracted moron driving straight into me. It’s not so bad once out of the urban environments, but riding in congested towns is becoming increasingly risky, in my experience.

Marcus Aurelius
Posts: 1514
Joined: 1 Feb 2018, 10:20am

Re: Current Riding Situation.

Postby Marcus Aurelius » 15 Jun 2020, 5:26pm

Cyril Haearn wrote:Avoid eye contact if possible
Wear a yellow vest with text on so you resemble a policeperson

Really the solution is to use traffic-free routes where possible, I do not find it boring, sky, colours, weather, vegetation change a lot

A peculiarity of the new situation we find ourselves in due to the ongoing Covid situation, is the amount of very obviously novice riders, who haven’t developed sufficient awareness, using the infrastructure / traffic free routes. Add in the proliferation of the sorts of idiots that think it’s a really good idea to hoist sick mingers, and / or ride along whilst messaging on their devices, in the increasingly busy infra, and I’d rather take my chances with the motons.

reohn2
Posts: 39412
Joined: 26 Jun 2009, 8:21pm

Re: Current Riding Situation.

Postby reohn2 » 15 Jun 2020, 5:27pm

On occasion I've wondered why all the idiots have all come out at once :?
I can put up with the odd loonie,but sometimes there's a <insert your collective term for loonies here > of them once in a while :?
That said riding less than a door's width from parked cars is a recipe for disaster IMO and something I never do,if a car behind me sounds his horn I just ignore it if I'm busy attending to my own safety :wink:

Loonie cyclists seem to be on the increase since the virus hit,I've developed a seventh sense for them now,some of them just aren't aware,some are just daft :lol: :wink:

Take care but don't stop riding :wink:
-----------------------------------------------------------
I cycle therefore I am.

rmurphy195
Posts: 1753
Joined: 20 May 2011, 11:23am
Location: South Birmingham

Re: Current Riding Situation.

Postby rmurphy195 » 15 Jun 2020, 7:49pm

Totally agree with the loony cyclists thing - they will keep trying to squeeze past when there's no damn room. Shhoting past on the inside across a T junction while I'm waiting to turn right (cars coming). Riding off as I approached without looking. Squeezing between me and a kerb on the right while I'm lining-up to avoid a pothole at a squeeze point. And these are the experienced guys/ladies, not the obvious novices! (Same ride as the one I just poseted up the "Just One Of Those Days" video in "On The Road")

They are getting as bad as the JoggerNaughts.
Brompton, Condor Heritage, creaky joints and thinning white (formerly grey) hair
""You know you're getting old when it's easier to ride a bike than to get on and off it" - quote from observant jogger !

User avatar
foxyrider
Posts: 4965
Joined: 29 Aug 2011, 10:25am
Location: Sheffield, South Yorkshire

Re: Current Riding Situation.

Postby foxyrider » 15 Jun 2020, 9:57pm

I have ridden the roads the OP uses many, many times, they are generally fairly quiet but i think that in itself can breed bad riding like the 3 abreast incident as people 'forget' that there may be others on the lane - i've had similar experiences myself and the 'miscreants' are usually deep in conversation, seemingly oblivious to the rest of the world. To be fair, i've encountered all those situations many times regardless of Covid restrictions or not, to get them all on one ride is rare but you could add the pass and braker's, ditherers that wait till you reach them before pulling out, no signal turner's, verbal abuse, the windscreen washer joker's etc, etc.

I do a lot of miles / kilometres / chains or whatever your preferred unit of measure is, so perhaps i don't notice some of the traffic issues that more occasional riders worry about but one thing i do know, you can't afford to be timid. Riding in the gutter or close to parked cars just encourages the morons to try and pass, space or not. If you want to be seen, and i presume we'd all agree thats a good thing, riding assertively will do far more than a reflective vest that could be a bin man, roadside mechanic or other sensible user of hi viz, do wear bright clothing though.

The vast majority of drivers are not out to kill you even if it sometimes feels that way! :wink: Smile, give them a friendly wave, if they've waited for you, acknowledge that, if they think you are a sentient being just maybe they will be more aware of the next cyclist they encounter, i did say maybe :lol:
Convention? what's that then?
Airnimal Chameleon touring, Orbit Pro hack, Orbit Photon audax, Focus Mares AX tour, Peugeot Carbon sportive, Owen Blower vintage race - all running Tulio's finest!

John Holiday
Posts: 493
Joined: 2 Nov 2007, 2:01pm

Re: Current Riding Situation.

Postby John Holiday » 16 Jun 2020, 11:05am

We need to ride assertively, but defensively. You are part of the traffic and should ride in that manner, and not defer to other road users.
Try to make eye contact with other road users. Riding close to the kerb only invites drivers to push past.
Always acknowledge a driver's patience by giving a wave.
Safe cycling.

Oldjohnw
Posts: 4498
Joined: 16 Oct 2018, 4:23am
Location: Northumberland

Re: Current Riding Situation.

Postby Oldjohnw » 16 Jun 2020, 11:16am

One says make eye contact and one says don't.

I wonder why no eye contact?
John

User avatar
mjr
Posts: 15691
Joined: 20 Jun 2011, 7:06pm
Location: Norfolk or Somerset, mostly
Contact:

Re: Current Riding Situation.

Postby mjr » 16 Jun 2020, 11:27am

Oldjohnw wrote:One says make eye contact and one says don't.

I wonder why no eye contact?

I think the usual argument is that they think you've seen them and will avoid them when they fail to yield.

I don't often make eye contact because I know I can be fooled into thinking that means they've seen me and ultimately that doesn't matter. What matters is how their heavyweight lump of a vehicle moves.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

Golflad
Posts: 11
Joined: 1 Aug 2017, 12:44pm

Re: Current Riding Situation.

Postby Golflad » 16 Jun 2020, 6:22pm

Many thanks everyone. Some very good, helpful advice there. I think we have tried to forget our last ride, it was just uncanny that all that happened on one short ride. We are both determined to keep riding (My wife was stronger than me) despite hearing her scream when the car door was flung open!! I did mean to include in my initial post that we both wear Hi-Viz tops and both have front and rear cat-eye lights which were switched on. Thank you all once again. Ken & Pam.

User avatar
TrevA
Posts: 2438
Joined: 1 Jun 2007, 9:12pm
Location: Nottingham

Re: Current Riding Situation.

Postby TrevA » 16 Jun 2020, 6:53pm

I would say, get yourself a front and rear camera and report any motoring miscreants along with your filmed evidence. I recently reported a really bad left hook to the Police, I even got a photo of the bloke and his van + reg no, but the Police said not enough evidence to follow it up.

So I refitted my cameras and now ride everywhere with front and rear view recorded. I don’t look at the footage unless something of note happened, but road incidents are becoming increasingly common, and I intend to be prepared for any future ones that occur.

There’s a company called Chilli Tech that sell bullet cameras reasonably cheap.

https://www.chilli-tech.com/action-came ... r-cyclists

Although it says “Helmet Cam” it can be mounted on the handlebars.
A cart horse trapped in the body of a man.
http://www.jogler2009.blogspot.com

Grandad
Posts: 1165
Joined: 22 Nov 2007, 12:22am
Location: Kent

Re: Current Riding Situation.

Postby Grandad » 17 Jun 2020, 12:48am

Although it says “Helmet Cam” it can be mounted on the handlebars.

Will doing this create a less steady picture?