Abused For Defending a Group of Cyclist's Whilst Driving

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Abused For Defending a Group of Cyclist's Whilst Driving

Postby [XAP]Bob » 11 Mar 2010, 2:54pm

james01 wrote:
[XAP]Bob wrote:[

That's exactly what they should be doing anyway. It's not hard, if you are going to cross the centre line then make a decision and really cross the dratted thing.


Agreed. This is one of the hardest concepts to get non-cycling motorists to understand. Some of my closest calls have been elderly timid drivers who prefer to risk scraping my elbow rather than crossing a white line, even with an empty road ahead.


One of whom lost their wing mirror to me last year - and wondered why I was apoplectic when he stopped.
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Re: Abused For Defending a Group of Cyclist's Whilst Driving

Postby Tonyf33 » 11 Mar 2010, 8:26pm

[XAP]Bob wrote:
Tonyf33 wrote:...2 riders abreast ensure that a car ... would in most cases HAVE to move completely over the centre divide to the other lane


That's exactly what they should be doing anyway. It's not hard, if you are going to cross the centre line then make a decision and really cross the dratted thing.

WHY? The arguement I'm making is that cyclists in single file are far easier to traverse & IMO safer for the cyclist too. If I'm overtaking a single file group I can give them oodles of space yet not have to go completely over the other side of the road, this means I dont need to wait until the other side of the road is completely clear for a long distance ahead (whilst this isn't always the case it is on most A roads). By positioning myself half over the line well in advance gives any oncoming traffic ample time to be aware that I am overtaking.
Quite often as has been mentioned it is almost impossible for a larger/wider vehicle to overtake 2 cyclists abreast and give them as much room as they would want even when going as far over the other lane as possible. Many cyclists don't seem to appreciate this fact and will ride 2 abreast regardless thus holding up traffic needlessly.
I've seen buses not been alble to overtake safely because of this even though the road ahead was completely clear for an overtake in normal circumstances.

thirdcrank wrote:
Tonyf33 wrote:I can't possibly see how 2 cyclists can take up the same as one :? ...


It depends on how you interpret "take up."

The Highway Code recommends:

163
Overtake only when it is safe and legal to do so. You should (...)

give motorcyclists, cyclists and horse riders at least as much room as you would when overtaking a car


On that basis, two cyclists riding side-by-side would only take up the same room as one - " a car's worth." OTOH, if you take the view that a cyclist only takes up the room of the width of their body, then clearly two occupy more than one and if you begrudge even one the right to be on the road, the second is a source of outrage.


I am talking about how much physical space widthways.Thus the inside rider riding secondary and the outside rider approx 30-50 cm apart would take up more width of the road than a single file rider in primary, I dont see what was ambiguous about that? I give cyclists a lot more overtaking space than cars, cars overtaking other cars are 2-3 feet apart most of the time, certainly I wouldn't give more if there was no need to(eg the car been overtaken was driving erratically then I'd give more)
Also overtaking a bicycle is somewhat different, relative speeds are generally further apart for car/cyclist than car/car, road positioning when approaching from behind is not the same. I wouldn't be overtaking another car on an A road unless they were crawling way under the speed limit and the road ahead was clear because car drivers make more erratic/unpredictable manouvres at much higher speed than cyclists(so less reaction time for all concerned).

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Re: Abused For Defending a Group of Cyclist's Whilst Driving

Postby thirdcrank » 11 Mar 2010, 8:35pm

Tonyf33

To take your view to its logical conclusion, you would ride a motorbike on the grounds that motor vehicles would take up less room if their passengers were in single file (that's always assuming there were any passengers in your car.)

kwackers
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Re: Abused For Defending a Group of Cyclist's Whilst Driving

Postby kwackers » 11 Mar 2010, 8:44pm

Never having ridden in a group I can't comment from a riders perspective, but last weekend whilst driving through Cheshire I came across 20-30 cyclists in a huge group. Hard to say how many wide they were but they occupied the entire lane.
Once the oncoming traffic had cleared it was a trivial task to overtake, had they been strung out single file I doubt it would have been possible for some miles - unless of course people insist they leave space for cars between every rider.

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Re: Abused For Defending a Group of Cyclist's Whilst Driving

Postby horizon » 11 Mar 2010, 9:59pm

kwackers wrote:Never having ridden in a group I can't comment from a riders perspective, but last weekend whilst driving through Cheshire I came across 20-30 cyclists in a huge group. Hard to say how many wide they were but they occupied the entire lane.
Once the oncoming traffic had cleared it was a trivial task to overtake, had they been strung out single file I doubt it would have been possible for some miles - unless of course people insist they leave space for cars between every rider.


I too came across a group of about thirty people side by side today, all laughing and joking and going very slowly. I had to wait to overtake as it was impossible to pass at that point due to oncoming traffic. Fortunately however they all pulled over at a bus stop and I was able to cycle on my way unobstructed. Later on however I came across several couples side by side and had to go well onto the other side of the road to overtake. I think motorists have to realise that although they may want to chat etc, by driving two abreast they make life very difficult for cyclists trying to overtake.
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Re: Abused For Defending a Group of Cyclist's Whilst Driving

Postby Phil_Lee » 12 Mar 2010, 12:28am

mw3230 wrote:It seems so simple to me - when there is traffic behind slip into single file - especially on narrower or more busy roads. Such is one of the skills an experienced cyclist develops and it demonstrates courtesy and consideration to other road users and in the spirit of 'do as you would be done by' others may reciprocate.


This is exactly the wrong thing to do.
When the road is narrow and busy, it is dangerous for the cyclist to be overtaken, so it's perfectly reasonable to take steps to prevent it. When the road widens enough to make it safe, or the oncoming traffic has passed and there is sufficient space, the considerate cyclist will move over to make it clear that a safe overtaking opportunity has arisen.
Making things easy for people who want to overtake dangerously close just encourages them, and then they get the idea that a rider making proper use of primary and secondary positions is being discourteous.

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Re: Abused For Defending a Group of Cyclist's Whilst Driving

Postby Pete Owens » 12 Mar 2010, 1:40am

Tonyf33 wrote:I can't possibly see how 2 cyclists can take up the same as one :? Most cyclists I see riding two abreast (& this includes club runs & casual riders alike) take up 2 metres minimum widthways. That's a minimum of 50cm from edge of road which is secondary + 2x55cm rider widths (that is conservative as I take up a minimum 62cm measured) plus another 30-50cm between them(a lot of cyclists cannot ride as close to each other as they do in the pelaton!)

A lot of A roads in the UK are only 6-7m in width,

A width that is almost optimally nasty for cyclists.
It is not wide enough to permit safe overtaking in the face of oncoming traffic, but not narrow enough to make this obvious to some impatient motorists who will aim for a gap a few cm wider than their wing mirrors, rather than wait a few seconds for a safe opportunity to overtake.
(EU min standard is 7m I believe), 2 riders abreast ensure that a car(approx 1.7m wide) giving 1 metre overtaking space would in most cases HAVE to move completely over the centre divide to the other lane, riding single file would mean a greater opportunity to pass cyclists with enough room for both the cyclist and for oncoming cars. Lorries are a differing matter altogether though.

OK - a bit of maths for the situation where you come up behind a single cyclist riding (inadvisably) in secondary with a stream on oncoming traffic on a 7m wide road.

- 0.5m - minimum advisable distance from edge of road
+ 1.0m - dynamic envolope of cyclist (0.75m elbow to elbow + 0.125 either side as a certain amount of side to side motion is inevitable).
+ 1.0m - absolute minimum clearance for overtaking a cyclist at low speed (though I don't consider that adequate and would not drive that close to a cyclist)

+ 0.5m - distance opposing traffic keeps from the kerb (assuming they are all driving very carefully and precicely and have anticipated your stunt)
+ 1.7m - width of opposing vehicles - assuming they are all small cars.
+ 1.0m - clearance

Add this together and it comes to 5.7m leaving 1.3m of tarmac for you to attempt to squeeze your 1.7m car through.

Unfortuanately there are a few motorists too impatient to wait for a safe oportunity and will head for any gap that is physically wider than their vehicle (and if they are going to take a chance with safety margins it will be at the expense of the road user who presents least risk to themselves) hence the need to adopt a primary position on such roads.

The vast majority of drivers are careful and responsible and will change lanes just like the picture in the highway code (we tend to notice the minority of close overtakes rather than the vast majority of uneventful ones). To competent drivers the key issue is not the width of a group of cyclists that they are overtaking, but the length. By riding side by side rather than inline you are actively helping them to overtake safely.

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Re: Abused For Defending a Group of Cyclist's Whilst Driving

Postby mw3230 » 12 Mar 2010, 7:32am

Are motorists who squeeze dangerously close to cyclists simply heedless of the danger, or genuinely of the opinion that there is enough safe space for them? It's difficult to know the answer, probably impossible to know. Both of the above (and I think they are a small proportion of the driving population) are infinitely preferable to the self important, impatient idiot who seems to be at the root of the complaints voiced in this thread.

The rights and wrongs of cycling in traffic are clearly posted already but we cannot get away from the fact that an important part of the skills we need when cycling at any time is a self preservation awareness and as such, we can never simply switch off and watch the scenery. Self preservation must dictate those times when it is easier to accede to the traffic rather than stand up for our rights. In the cycle versus motor vehicle contest there is a inevitable loser.
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Re: Abused For Defending a Group of Cyclist's Whilst Driving

Postby reohn2 » 12 Mar 2010, 8:20am

Just to put my 2d worth forward,I agree with the two previous posts,personally I find that it all depends on the situation as to when to file out or ride abreast.Its the conditions(both weather and road),road width,traffic,reletive traffic speed,and number of cyclists in the group,etc.
I know of cyclists who will doggedly stay abreast when conditions dictate otherwise ie fast traffic A road narrow enough to make motorvehicle overtaking dodgy to say the least.
It boils down to being aware of the situation a group find themselves in,we would all like to be in a perfect world but due to other traffic and the ever presence of the less than competent motor vehicle drivers, but lets not forget there are also quite few less than competent cyclists on our roads too.

As Pete Owens said we tend to focus on the one bad egg rather than the vast majority of good drivers who do overtake,unfortunately its the bad egg that will cause all the problems.
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Re: Abused For Defending a Group of Cyclist's Whilst Driving

Postby EdinburghFixed » 12 Mar 2010, 9:04am

Tonyf33 wrote:
[XAP]Bob wrote:
Tonyf33 wrote:...2 riders abreast ensure that a car ... would in most cases HAVE to move completely over the centre divide to the other lane


That's exactly what they should be doing anyway. It's not hard, if you are going to cross the centre line then make a decision and really cross the dratted thing.

WHY? The arguement I'm making is that cyclists in single file are far easier to traverse & IMO safer for the cyclist too. If I'm overtaking a single file group I can give them oodles of space yet not have to go completely over the other side of the road, this means I dont need to wait until the other side of the road is completely clear for a long distance ahead (whilst this isn't always the case it is on most A roads). By positioning myself half over the line well in advance gives any oncoming traffic ample time to be aware that I am overtaking.


It's funny, because your explanation of why you'd like people to ride in single file, is the exact same explanation people will give for why they don't. :)

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Re: Abused For Defending a Group of Cyclist's Whilst Driving

Postby [XAP]Bob » 12 Mar 2010, 2:14pm

Tonyf33 wrote:I give cyclists a lot more overtaking space than cars, cars overtaking other cars are 2-3 feet apart most of the time, certainly I wouldn't give more if there was no need to(eg the car been overtaken was driving erratically then I'd give more)


That's absolutely NOT how I read the highway code.

It is saying leave as much tarmac as you would if there was a car, not leave as much air between your wing mirror and their handlebars as you would the wing mirror of another car.

The difference in huge...
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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Re: Abused For Defending a Group of Cyclist's Whilst Driving

Postby meic » 12 Mar 2010, 2:37pm

Unfortunately, I have always seen the highway code as meaning leave the same distance between you and the cyclist as you would between you and a car.
It is thoroughly ambiguous and gives people ample wiggle room for anything except actually hitting you.
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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Abused For Defending a Group of Cyclist's Whilst Driving

Postby [XAP]Bob » 12 Mar 2010, 3:24pm

meic wrote:Unfortunately, I have always seen the highway code as meaning leave the same distance between you and the cyclist as you would between you and a car.
It is thoroughly ambiguous and gives people ample wiggle room for anything except actually hitting you.



IMHO that's clearly not what the picture shows though - and I don't think it was the intention of the author either
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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Re: Abused For Defending a Group of Cyclist's Whilst Driving

Postby drsquirrel » 12 Mar 2010, 5:10pm

[XAP]Bob wrote:IMHO that's clearly not what the picture shows though - and I don't think it was the intention of the author either


Seconded, the picture is very very clear... sadly the picture cannot be easily quoted.

Tonyf33 wrote:WHY? The arguement I'm making is that cyclists in single file are far easier to traverse & IMO safer for the cyclist too.


Maybe if you are talking about 2 bikes, singled out maybe easier to overtake than 2 side by side (maybe!), but when you are talking about 30 cyclists in a row, that is a very long line you need to clear before pulling in and "completing" the overtake.

What you need to understand from what we are trying to say... is that a single cyclist sits out further than the left cyclist in a pair, thus the cyclist on the right is around about the secondary to primary position, where a single cyclist would probably be anyway... thus taking up almost no extra room than a single line.

Something like this...
Image

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Re: Abused For Defending a Group of Cyclist's Whilst Driving

Postby thirdcrank » 12 Mar 2010, 5:32pm

meic wrote:Unfortunately, I have always seen the highway code as meaning leave the same distance between you and the cyclist as you would between you and a car.
It is thoroughly ambiguous and gives people ample wiggle room for anything except actually hitting you.


Have you looked at the Highway Code recently, or rather, have you looked at the current HC? The current para 163 is accompanied by a pic of a car overtaking a cyclist in a way which supports my interpretation above.