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Overtaking distance - what's all that about

Posted: 18 Nov 2020, 5:58pm
by The utility cyclist
So, went out to collect some leather lock on grips from the next town along, coming back the journey seemed to be pretty strange, 90% of drivers actually giving a good overtaking distance and shock horror some that actually went all the way over into the next lane - that was in a 30 zone as well. :shock:
Sorry but I'm just not having it, I want my close passes back, it just doesn't feel right drivers being half decent and not having any excuse to cuss/throw my hands up in disgust :lol:
I honesty think it was the first ride I had had in years where that happened, is this just another one off or is there any semblance of improvement where you are?

Re: Overtaking distance - what's all that about

Posted: 18 Nov 2020, 6:00pm
by Cyril Haearn
My prayers have been answered at last, +1!

Re: Overtaking distance - what's all that about

Posted: 18 Nov 2020, 7:45pm
by peetee
It is weird the way that happens sometimes. I tried to work it out and came to the conclusion that, usually, if you ride during commuting or school-run hours the risk takers are out en mass. Avoid those times and you can relax for most of your journey. Oh, and don’t forget that going home time start at 12 noon on Friday. :roll:

Re: Overtaking distance - what's all that about

Posted: 18 Nov 2020, 8:04pm
by tim-b
Hi
You're wearing a number 19 rugby shirt?
Regards
tim-b
PS IME if one passes well then most of those following that can see a good example follow it

Re: Overtaking distance - what's all that about

Posted: 18 Nov 2020, 9:07pm
by The utility cyclist
tim-b wrote:Hi
You're wearing a number 19 rugby shirt?
Regards
tim-b
PS IME if one passes well then most of those following that can see a good example follow it

Black 3/4 lengths and black snug fit Showers pass jacket 8) though was a n0.11 in rugby league, and anywhere they'd have me in union.
What was really freaky was people actually using their indicators in an urban environment, three of them at different times :shock:

I rarely get the good example being followed by same, it's often there is less space to oncoming vehicles so more likely to be a significantly closer overtake.

Re: Overtaking distance - what's all that about

Posted: 18 Nov 2020, 9:23pm
by Bmblbzzz
I found this in lockdown 1 and for quite a long time afterwards. It's the lower traffic volumes, I think, that mean people are less impatient; they can go wide because it's not long to wait for an opportunity to do so. See also: late at night in a rural area.

Re: Overtaking distance - what's all that about

Posted: 19 Nov 2020, 9:13am
by tykeboy2003
peetee wrote:It is weird the way that happens sometimes. I tried to work it out and came to the conclusion that, usually, if you ride during commuting or school-run hours the risk takers are out en mass. Avoid those times and you can relax for most of your journey. Oh, and don’t forget that going home time start at 12 noon on Friday. :roll:


Without doubt the worst driving occurs just before the schools chuck out. Parents desperate not to be late collecting their precious progeny, yet not allowing plenty of time for the journey. Numpties.

Re: Overtaking distance - what's all that about

Posted: 19 Nov 2020, 12:46pm
by ChrisP100
The utility cyclist wrote:So, went out to collect some leather lock on grips from the next town along, coming back the journey seemed to be pretty strange, 90% of drivers actually giving a good overtaking distance and shock horror some that actually went all the way over into the next lane - that was in a 30 zone as well. :shock:
Sorry but I'm just not having it, I want my close passes back, it just doesn't feel right drivers being half decent and not having any excuse to cuss/throw my hands up in disgust :lol:
I honesty think it was the first ride I had had in years where that happened, is this just another one off or is there any semblance of improvement where you are?


I commute early in the morning. Traffic is always fairly light, and most drivers are pretty good with their overtaking. The odd one or two get a bit close, but no real dramas. My commute home can be a bit sporty sometimes, especially on Friday's when my ride home coincides with school kicking out time.

This morning however, as I was approaching a junction on my left I had a quick look over my shoulder before moving out and away from the junction. There was a car probably 40-50yds back and pretty much in the middle of the road. By the time I was upon the junction, the same car was cutting right across me turning left. :x

What made it even worse is the person had just been using the road as a shortcut because I caught up with them at the bottom of the hill.

Ah well. Lived to fight another day I suppose :D

Re: Overtaking distance - what's all that about

Posted: 20 Nov 2020, 11:28am
by james01
I sometimes have to use a local B road. It's the cyclist's nightmare - fast traffic, and exactly the "wrong" width. It's just wide enough for some motorists to risk passing a cyclist when there's traffic coming the other way, so it's a pretty fraught journey. What is interesting is that I feel far safer at night. I'm well equipped with dynamo plus flashing lights plus reflectives and find that no drivers attempt to squeeze past if another car is approaching, and when they pass they give far more room than in the daytime.

Re: Overtaking distance - what's all that about

Posted: 20 Nov 2020, 11:39am
by kwackers
james01 wrote:I sometimes have to use a local B road. It's the cyclist's nightmare - fast traffic, and exactly the "wrong" width. It's just wide enough for some motorists to risk passing a cyclist when there's traffic coming the other way, so it's a pretty fraught journey. What is interesting is that I feel far safer at night. I'm well equipped with dynamo plus flashing lights plus reflectives and find that no drivers attempt to squeeze past if another car is approaching, and when they pass they give far more room than in the daytime.

I had a road like that on my commute and found similar.

This one ran downhill, so going out I would sit in the middle of the lane but then I could hold 30mph+ fairly comfortably so didn't feel like I was getting too much in anyone's way.
Coming back I'd struggle holding 10mph so would cycle apologetically near to the kerb.
In the end I used a different slightly longer route for the way back because I didn't feel it was safe.

With regards overtaking, I think there has been a slow but generally improving picture over several years.
It is fairly random though. Sometimes I can go months and have no issues and then have several in a couple of miles.

Re: Overtaking distance - what's all that about

Posted: 20 Nov 2020, 11:43am
by tykeboy2003
kwackers wrote:With regards overtaking, I think there has been a slow but generally improving picture over several years.
It is fairly random though. Sometimes I can go months and have no issues and then have several in a couple of miles.


Agreed, probably 70%-80% of overtakes are good, leaving a good 6 feet clearance or even going right over the other side of the road - then suddenly out of the blue a vehicle squeezes past within a foot and sometimes without slowing in the slightest.

Re: Overtaking distance - what's all that about

Posted: 21 Nov 2020, 9:52am
by elPedro666
james01 wrote:I sometimes have to use a local B road. It's the cyclist's nightmare - fast traffic, and exactly the "wrong" width. It's just wide enough for some motorists to risk passing a cyclist when there's traffic coming the other way, so it's a pretty fraught journey. What is interesting is that I feel far safer at night. I'm well equipped with dynamo plus flashing lights plus reflectives and find that no drivers attempt to squeeze past if another car is approaching, and when they pass they give far more room than in the daytime.
Was just about to say the same; definitely find people giving me/us a lot more space in the dark on the whole. I figure that as a you're basically just a light source (or twelve ) without a definite a shape, they are either more wary, or more inclined to treat you more as just another vehicle. We do try to ensure that our lighting is pretty much on a par with most vehicles though, sure that contributes to it!

I'm a trendy consumer. Just look at my CLT-L09 using hovercraft full of eels.

Re: Overtaking distance - what's all that about

Posted: 22 Nov 2020, 5:02pm
by fastpedaller
I was riding at midday today through one of our villages which has a county road with a width ok for a car in both directions. I approached a junction which has a 90 degree LH bend, followed by a 90 degree RH bend about 15Metres away (with another road branching off straight at the second bend if that makes sense). I heard a car approaching from the rear, and to my horror, it overtook my on the LH 90 degree bend but I was given sufficient overtaking clearance. The approaching car which came around the next bend, however, had to take emergency action! nearly a head-on crash (the possible outcome of which I attempted to mitigate by attempting to go quicker and taking the road leading off) crikey a bit scary (for myself and surely the approaching motorist, who did no wrong). Some idiots out there. Rant over.

Re: Overtaking distance - what's all that about

Posted: 22 Nov 2020, 5:32pm
by rjb
These signs are beginning to appear in Taunton. Spotted one near a school.

download.png
download.png (10.25 KiB) Viewed 252 times


Will it remind the school run drivers. Not too sure there. :(

Re: Overtaking distance - what's all that about

Posted: 22 Nov 2020, 8:32pm
by foxyrider
rjb wrote:These signs are beginning to appear in Taunton. Spotted one near a school.

download.png

Will it remind the school run drivers. Not too sure there. :(


They would actually have to read it, as the majority of drivers seem incapable of reading any roadsign i fear their impact is likely to be, well zero.

When i started riding, mid '70's, close passes were rare, cars were smaller, there were fewer of them, it wasn't an issue. In the last decade in particular, cars have grown by a good 50% in size, households have a vehicle for every eligible person which means that there is more on street parking, more hazzard, our space on the roads is forever being squeezed.

There does seem to be less close passing post Covid but maybe thats due to less traffic? Dunno but the close passes still seem to be the same classes of driver, female SUV drivers, older drivers in modern cars, tradesmen in vans. Oh i know other drivers do it too but if i had to put money down i'd go for these three. In most instances they don't even realise they are doing it, certainly the old drivers in modern cars, they've always sat in that position in the road, the fact that their latest wheels are maybe half a metre wider or more than the Ford Anglia they learnt in never crosses their mind.

I ride a lot of miles, mostly rural but neccesarily in urban areas too, so i see a broad spectrum of driving quality, a lot of which is very poor. Yesterday for example, i had several cars sit behind me when i expected they could safely pass, one close pass then immediate right turn, two late passes resulting in immediate hard braking and a close pass by a bus. Only one of those, the bus was in an urban setting the rest were on B roads.

My biggest bugbear is actually oncoming traffic on narrow/single track lanes, the default often seems to be drive as fast as you can, the bike will get out of the way, except often theres nowhere for the bike, ie me to go, no safe exit from the carriageway at all. I've become quite adept at fitting through gaps under 50cm wide, its either that or hit them head on, given their speed of approach there is no other alternative. Often, if they just slowed a little, we could pass much safer for both parties. On the same roads they don't try to pass from behind so its illogical why they do it head to head so to speak.