Why am I invisible on roundabouts?

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
stork
Posts: 208
Joined: 18 Feb 2008, 8:19pm

Re: Why am I invisible on roundabouts?

Postby stork » 9 Jul 2011, 7:42pm

cadseen wrote:I usually fly around them behind a car !!! use them as protection.
I just found faster is safer !!

Image


At least until the 'shield' vehicle stops suddenly and unexpectedly, and especially if its brake lights are also faulty or sunned out -- as I discovered the hard way once.

aprildavy
Posts: 247
Joined: 3 May 2010, 11:48am

Re: Why am I invisible on roundabouts?

Postby aprildavy » 9 Jul 2011, 10:58pm

I was brough up in Glasgow and moved south at the age of 26, lived in Oxford for 2 years, then Dorset for the next 25 years.

I am happy cycling in traffic, having cycled trouble free in Glasgow (heavy city traffic) for years.

However, IMHO there are very definite differences in driving styles between where I was brought up in Glasgow and in the South.

I remember remarking to my mum when visiting her in Glasgow - "Why do drivers in Glasgow jump red lights" they don't do that so much in Dorset. She replied, "Yes, but in Dorset they overtake on blind bends and overtake in crazy places". This got me thinking.

I do negociate a major roundabout on my occaisional commute. It has 4 entries, one a dual carriageway, the opposite side being a fast country road. I turn right and do exactly what a car would do. That involves taking up the centre of the right hand lane on the approach. When there is a gap, I indicate right and then I sprint like mad into the inner lane and indicate right. As I pass the 1st exit on my left, I indicate right again, and look all around before chaning lanes into the left hand lane for the final exit.

It's one of the reasons I moved from my bar end shifters on my trusty dawes galaxy to a cervelo S1 with the integrated brakes/shifters. I just could accelerate to 17-20 mph fast enough on the galaxy. If I had to negociate the roundabout at 12mph (say) it would be too dangerous.

I also wear the yellow Gore top, or the Endura Lumite yellow jacket, plus two cateye 530 lights on in the daytime, plus a double red flashing rear laight.

What more can you do? Not a lot. I suspect this car driver would have pulled out in front of a car!

The thing that car drivers don't realise is how fast you can be going on the road. They see a bike, and think you are doing 10-12mph like a lot of people. If you are going faster you ahve to cover the brakes and back off when being overtaken, expecially by tractors and trailers who are barely moving faster than you are and think they are well apst when they are not.

I do think there are differences in driving styles upa nd down the country - just like accents, attitudes etc.

Enjoy the South - there are some great rides to be had!

cadseen
Posts: 44
Joined: 3 Jun 2011, 7:26pm

Re: Why am I invisible on roundabouts?

Postby cadseen » 10 Jul 2011, 7:36pm

stork wrote:
cadseen wrote:I usually fly around them behind a car !!! use them as protection.
I just found faster is safer !!


At least until the 'shield' vehicle stops suddenly and unexpectedly, and especially if its brake lights are also faulty or sunned out -- as I discovered the hard way once.


Ride slightly to the side :D
Your right, its a thin line, you have to be confident on roundabouts but also be prepared for idiots :D

itshimitis
Posts: 32
Joined: 6 Jul 2011, 1:08am

Re: Why am I invisible on roundabouts?

Postby itshimitis » 10 Jul 2011, 9:15pm

aprildavy wrote:I was brough up in Glasgow and moved south at the age of 26, lived in Oxford for 2 years, then Dorset for the next 25 years.

I am happy cycling in traffic, having cycled trouble free in Glasgow (heavy city traffic) for years.

However, IMHO there are very definite differences in driving styles between where I was brought up in Glasgow and in the South.

I remember remarking to my mum when visiting her in Glasgow - "Why do drivers in Glasgow jump red lights" they don't do that so much in Dorset. She replied, "Yes, but in Dorset they overtake on blind bends and overtake in crazy places". This got me thinking.

I do negociate a major roundabout on my occaisional commute. It has 4 entries, one a dual carriageway, the opposite side being a fast country road. I turn right and do exactly what a car would do. That involves taking up the centre of the right hand lane on the approach. When there is a gap, I indicate right and then I sprint like mad into the inner lane and indicate right. As I pass the 1st exit on my left, I indicate right again, and look all around before chaning lanes into the left hand lane for the final exit.

It's one of the reasons I moved from my bar end shifters on my trusty dawes galaxy to a cervelo S1 with the integrated brakes/shifters. I just could accelerate to 17-20 mph fast enough on the galaxy. If I had to negociate the roundabout at 12mph (say) it would be too dangerous.

I also wear the yellow Gore top, or the Endura Lumite yellow jacket, plus two cateye 530 lights on in the daytime, plus a double red flashing rear laight.

What more can you do? Not a lot. I suspect this car driver would have pulled out in front of a car!

The thing that car drivers don't realise is how fast you can be going on the road. They see a bike, and think you are doing 10-12mph like a lot of people. If you are going faster you ahve to cover the brakes and back off when being overtaken, expecially by tractors and trailers who are barely moving faster than you are and think they are well apst when they are not.

I do think there are differences in driving styles upa nd down the country - just like accents, attitudes etc.

Enjoy the South - there are some great rides to be had!


I was riding in Swansea today coming back from Mumbles, and it's interesting to see car driver's/passengers faces when you are doing just over 20mph and overtaking them. Unfortunbately it sometimes brings out the worst in them and they feel it's somehow wrong to be overtaken by human powered traffic! I find it spurs me on. I used to get people pointing at the glass strewn cycle track on which I had several punctures, and on which you have pretty little if any legal rights. I'd sooner ride on the road where I know where I have right of way, and have a better chance of getting a bit of speed while avoiding the beer bottle debris that lies on the pavement. Didn't stop a policeman ordering me to use the cycle path alongside the A483 going east out of Swansea - and yes I got a puncture as a result.

User avatar
[XAP]Bob
Posts: 16971
Joined: 26 Sep 2008, 4:12pm

Re: Why am I invisible on roundabouts?

Postby [XAP]Bob » 10 Jul 2011, 11:14pm

itshimitis wrote:
aprildavy wrote:I was brough up in Glasgow and moved south at the age of 26, lived in Oxford for 2 years, then Dorset for the next 25 years.

I am happy cycling in traffic, having cycled trouble free in Glasgow (heavy city traffic) for years.

However, IMHO there are very definite differences in driving styles between where I was brought up in Glasgow and in the South.

I remember remarking to my mum when visiting her in Glasgow - "Why do drivers in Glasgow jump red lights" they don't do that so much in Dorset. She replied, "Yes, but in Dorset they overtake on blind bends and overtake in crazy places". This got me thinking.

I do negociate a major roundabout on my occaisional commute. It has 4 entries, one a dual carriageway, the opposite side being a fast country road. I turn right and do exactly what a car would do. That involves taking up the centre of the right hand lane on the approach. When there is a gap, I indicate right and then I sprint like mad into the inner lane and indicate right. As I pass the 1st exit on my left, I indicate right again, and look all around before chaning lanes into the left hand lane for the final exit.

It's one of the reasons I moved from my bar end shifters on my trusty dawes galaxy to a cervelo S1 with the integrated brakes/shifters. I just could accelerate to 17-20 mph fast enough on the galaxy. If I had to negociate the roundabout at 12mph (say) it would be too dangerous.

I also wear the yellow Gore top, or the Endura Lumite yellow jacket, plus two cateye 530 lights on in the daytime, plus a double red flashing rear laight.

What more can you do? Not a lot. I suspect this car driver would have pulled out in front of a car!

The thing that car drivers don't realise is how fast you can be going on the road. They see a bike, and think you are doing 10-12mph like a lot of people. If you are going faster you ahve to cover the brakes and back off when being overtaken, expecially by tractors and trailers who are barely moving faster than you are and think they are well apst when they are not.

I do think there are differences in driving styles upa nd down the country - just like accents, attitudes etc.

Enjoy the South - there are some great rides to be had!


I was riding in Swansea today coming back from Mumbles, and it's interesting to see car driver's/passengers faces when you are doing just over 20mph and overtaking them. Unfortunbately it sometimes brings out the worst in them and they feel it's somehow wrong to be overtaken by human powered traffic! I find it spurs me on. I used to get people pointing at the glass strewn cycle track on which I had several punctures, and on which you have pretty little if any legal rights. I'd sooner ride on the road where I know where I have right of way, and have a better chance of getting a bit of speed while avoiding the beer bottle debris that lies on the pavement. Didn't stop a policeman ordering me to use the cycle path alongside the A483 going east out of Swansea - and yes I got a puncture as a result.

Tell the policeman that he should reread the highway code. Just because he is uniform doesn't mean he is right.
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.

thirdcrank
Posts: 28682
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Why am I invisible on roundabouts?

Postby thirdcrank » 10 Jul 2011, 11:45pm

[XAP]Bob wrote: Tell the policeman that he should reread the highway code. Just because he is uniform doesn't mean he is right.


Just a couple of points

Don't make bullets for others to fire.

Then have a look at the Marie Vescoe threads on here. IIRC, there was some bitter criticism then of a police officer who didn't do anything about cyclists on a busy main road.

I've always been concerned that the increase in farcilities would eventually lead to this sort of thing and I'm surprised it doesn't happen much more often. As the HC explains, farcilities such as these are not compulsory, but AFAIK, the courts have always upheld the power of police to direct traffic. Of course, anybody who is on the receiving end of something like this can give a it go, and like DC at Telford in slightly different circumstances, they might be acquitted but I suspect most normal people would prefer to avoid the aggro in the first place. (I don't think DC enjoyed the experience one little bit.) I'm generally pretty confident of 'knowing my rights' but I'd be very slow to refuse to comply with a traffic direction from a uniformed police officer.

My own suggestion would be that anybody on the wrong end of something like this who was sufficiently aggrieved to want to take it further should comply, preferably after making sure they had the officer's details and then complain. I've no idea what line the IPCC would take, but IMO it would be preferable to a roadside escalation.

Alan D
Posts: 1665
Joined: 27 Mar 2008, 1:29pm
Location: South Oxfordshire

Re: Why am I invisible on roundabouts?

Postby Alan D » 11 Jul 2011, 1:16pm

Why are you invisible on roundabouts?
Because you are not a threat to the motorist who is safe in his armoured box!
If it were a Challenger Tank that could go straight over and crush any car that pulls out, it would be a different matter.
I find that a willingness to make a very LOUD SHOUT! at the blind motorist usually helps them to reconsider.

LollyKat
Posts: 2891
Joined: 28 May 2011, 11:25pm
Location: Scotland

Re: Why am I invisible on roundabouts?

Postby LollyKat » 11 Jul 2011, 4:44pm

Alan D wrote:I find that a willingness to make a very LOUD SHOUT! at the blind motorist usually helps them to reconsider.

Apparently a freon horn is very effective :twisted: .

kwackers
Posts: 13810
Joined: 4 Jun 2008, 9:29pm
Location: Warrington

Re: Why am I invisible on roundabouts?

Postby kwackers » 11 Jul 2011, 4:47pm

LollyKat wrote:
Alan D wrote:I find that a willingness to make a very LOUD SHOUT! at the blind motorist usually helps them to reconsider.

Apparently a freon horn is very effective :twisted: .

Does that give a blast of cold air? :lol:

User avatar
gaz
Posts: 13778
Joined: 9 Mar 2007, 12:09pm
Location: Kent, car park of England

Re: Why am I invisible on roundabouts?

Postby gaz » 12 Jul 2011, 10:40pm

arc wrote:How did she not see me?


You are Harry Potter and I claim my five pounds.
Hand wash only. Do not iron.

itshimitis
Posts: 32
Joined: 6 Jul 2011, 1:08am

Re: Why am I invisible on roundabouts?

Postby itshimitis » 13 Jul 2011, 1:03am

Alan D wrote:Why are you invisible on roundabouts?
Because you are not a threat to the motorist who is safe in his armoured box!
If it were a Challenger Tank that could go straight over and crush any car that pulls out, it would be a different matter.


What like this Devon County Council motorcycle awareness video from a few year's back?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=masAsJeyIVQ

(made me chuckle anyway)

PDQ
Posts: 481
Joined: 6 Oct 2010, 11:54am

Re: Why am I invisible on roundabouts?

Postby PDQ » 13 Jul 2011, 10:06am

One thing not mentioned is eye contact with the drivers. It's important. It lets you know they have seen you and has the desired effect; mostly.
You have to be prepared to be very defensive. But also to stand your ground. As has already been stated the roundabout often feared by the most hardened cyclist. And every roundabout configuation has an optimum way of negociating it. Genenally once you been seen and are onto the roundabout I think moving fast with the traffic is safest. But you really need to watch everything. It is a moment of the highest concentration.
A big fast multilane main road roundabout outside of urban speed limits is a place to be avoided if at all possible.

User avatar
[XAP]Bob
Posts: 16971
Joined: 26 Sep 2008, 4:12pm

Re: Why am I invisible on roundabouts?

Postby [XAP]Bob » 13 Jul 2011, 11:37am

itshimitis wrote:
Alan D wrote:Why are you invisible on roundabouts?
Because you are not a threat to the motorist who is safe in his armoured box!
If it were a Challenger Tank that could go straight over and crush any car that pulls out, it would be a different matter.


What like this Devon County Council motorcycle awareness video from a few year's back?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=masAsJeyIVQ

(made me chuckle anyway)


I really like that!...

For easier reference: http://ezvue.net/smidsy
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.

User avatar
Phil_Lee
Posts: 726
Joined: 13 Jul 2008, 3:41am
Location: Cambs

Re: Why am I invisible on roundabouts?

Postby Phil_Lee » 13 Jul 2011, 11:15pm

One thing not mentioned so far is the geometry of the approach to many roundabouts, being designed to facilitate fast motor vehicle entry, brings motorists out at an angle which perfectly hides the traffic already on the roundabout (and therefore with priority) behind the A pillar of many cars.
The only ways of reducing the risk presented by that are loud noise (shout or airzound) or to assume that they will NOT give way correctly.
Using a larger vehicle as a shield can be a useful strategy, and not limited to roundabouts.

Vorpal
Moderator
Posts: 17388
Joined: 19 Jan 2009, 3:34pm
Location: Not there ;)

Re: Why am I invisible on roundabouts?

Postby Vorpal » 14 Jul 2011, 11:11am

I am wary of using larger vehicles as shields, especially on roundabouts. A vehicle that shields me also hides me. IMO, eye contact and covered brakes are more useful.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom