From a van driver's point of view...

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
dodger
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Re: From a van driver's point of view...

Postby dodger » 7 Nov 2012, 5:31pm

Much of my road cycling is in narrow lanes here in Cornwall and plenty of that is hilly. Either way, if I hear a vehicle behind me I pull over at the next suitable spot and usually wave an acknowledgement to the motorist for waiting. I expect them to wave back or also acknowledge. Same thing if they are approaching with little room.
When I'm driving I try to do the same. The problem is that there are ignorant motorists AND cyclists who don't consider other road users.
Most of the traffic I encounter is fine, but I do have trouble hearing modern cars behind me at slow speed, so I guess I might P off someone now and then by carrying on. Much as they P me off by not acknowledging, driving too close and, of course, when approaching, just expecting that I must always give way. Don't you hate it when a vehicle sails right past a suitable passing place and you end up squashed into the hedge!!

thirdcrank
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Re: From a van driver's point of view...

Postby thirdcrank » 7 Nov 2012, 5:40pm

What hexhome will say if he posts on this thread.

(ie This is an anticipatory +1)

spoonful
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Re: From a van driver's point of view...

Postby spoonful » 7 Nov 2012, 6:03pm

horizon wrote:
spoonful wrote:It was a good 20 mins at about 10mph, dropping to 7-8mph as the cyclist got tired. It's a long, bendy gentle uphill between Guildford and Godalming where a car could nip past safely, no problem. Doing the same in a heavy truck is risky though...even dropping a gear and flooring it didn't mean I would be able to accelerate fast enough to get past before the next curve. I don't think the cyclist realised that heavier vehicles simply can't get past safely.


I think we do which is why we don't always let them past. :wink:

I am reading in this that you were too slow to get past. How quickly would you have gone had the cyclist pulled over? I am a bit concerned that you say drivers get angry over small delays - should they be on the road? Are they sufficiently skilled?

I can't help but sense a bit of hostility here...I'm a keen cyclist too, around 100 miles a week commuting. Also, please note that although the company is based in London, a lot of our jobs are spread all over the country...Birmingham, Cardiff, Essex and a whole lot more in the midlands. I end up driving all over the country on a busy week, despite driving not being my main job role.

I would have gone around 20-30mph, slowing for corners etc as any sensible driver would. Believe it or not, I know what it's like to cycle up a long hill too! There are loads of inconsiderate car drivers too, who pass lay bys and squeeze past me with inches to spare.

Thanks to all the cyclists who do pull over where safe and convenient. It makes a lot of people's jobs a lot less stressful.

spoonful
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Re: From a van driver's point of view...

Postby spoonful » 7 Nov 2012, 6:16pm

meic wrote:I have only pulled in to those passing places something like twice a year, almost never do any vehicles wait for me to reach them before attempting an overtake. If I ever have a vehicle stuck behind me for a minute it feels intense, three minutes is an eternity to have a vehicle stuck behind you and it is literally one in ten thousand or less that will do that, if it came to it.

It is rare that I'm stuck behind a cyclist for so long, but it happens to a lesser extent frequently on fairly wide side roads, where someone's in the centre of the road with enough space for a car but no more. When cycling, I get in close to the verge, slow down and signal for the driver to pass. Most good truck drivers know their width better than car drivers, and as long as you signal, it's nice and easy for them to slip past knowing that the cyclist is expecting it.

Edit: I do agree there are a lot of awful car drivers around who don't know their width, safe passing distances and are unaware of other vehicles' blind spots! I've had multiple wing mirrors smashed by 4x4s passing far too fast on narrow lanes. One woman even turned around, flagged me down and tried to blame me after passing at 30-40mph ad smashing her mirror! was stationary...

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horizon
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Re: From a van driver's point of view...

Postby horizon » 7 Nov 2012, 6:35pm

spoonful wrote:I can't help but sense a bit of hostility here...


spoonful: my apologies - it wasn't meant to sound hostile. To cut a long story short, there was something in your post that I cannot fully explain in a few words. I feel the same way whenever this issue comes up. Despite the fact that what you wrote was eminently reasonable (see below), something grates. It is something to do with one road user being presumptive about another. On the surface all sounds OK, but there is an underlying assumption ... I cannot put my finger on it in words, I''m sorry.

Thanks to all the cyclists who do pull over where safe and convenient. It makes a lot of people's jobs a lot less stressful


That includes me BTW and I have no problem with it at all - it almost always involves a friendly wave on both sides.
When the pestilence strikes from the East, go far and breathe the cold air deeply. Ignore the sage, stay not indoors. Ho Ri Zon 12th Century Chinese philosopher

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horizon
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Re: From a van driver's point of view...

Postby horizon » 7 Nov 2012, 6:44pm

scottmac wrote:
horizon wrote:QUICK QUIZ

Please read the following and then answer the question:

1. A man is cycling up a long steep hill on his way to work. He is hot, he is sweaty, it is raining. His legs are aching. As he draws a deep breath he breathes in vehicle fumes. He must do this for the next 10 minutes.

2. Behind him, a man in a van is following him up the hill. This man is sitting on a comfortable seat, listening to the radio and adjusting the heating to his preference. His power steering involves no effort. He is warm and dry. He must do this for the next 10 minutes.

One of these men gets angry - which man do you think it is?

Sod these stupid questions, for starters... :roll:


scottmac: there may be a forum issue here - I'm not sure.
When the pestilence strikes from the East, go far and breathe the cold air deeply. Ignore the sage, stay not indoors. Ho Ri Zon 12th Century Chinese philosopher

Vorpal
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Re: From a van driver's point of view...

Postby Vorpal » 7 Nov 2012, 6:50pm

I was tempted to sarcastically echo spoonful. But I thought better of it, and decided instead to explain, nicely. 8) It can be quite difficult for a cyclist to get going again on a hill. In fact, some cyclists may not be at all able to start again. I have a friend who has a muscular weakness in one leg that makes such things extremely difficult for him. If he is cycling with others and has to start on a hill, he usually asks for a little push. If he's on his own, he just doesn't stop unless it's an emergency.

Generally, I am quite pleased if I get a large vehicle behind me on a a winding hill, going either up or down. Because with a large vehicle behind I am *much* less likely to get stupid overtakes. If there is an opportunity to pull over safely and let a queue pass, I will do so. I am may not to do so for only one or two vehicles, and I may not do so in every circumstance, but if I don't, there is generally a good reason; I wouldn't carry on just to irritate the van driver behind (however tempting that might be sometimes :wink: )
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

Vorpal
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Re: From a van driver's point of view...

Postby Vorpal » 7 Nov 2012, 6:53pm

scottmac wrote:
horizon wrote:QUICK QUIZ

Please read the following and then answer the question
<snip>..?

Sod these stupid questions, for starters... :roll:


Please discuss things nicely. 8)

Thanks for understanding.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

spoonful
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Re: From a van driver's point of view...

Postby spoonful » 7 Nov 2012, 7:01pm

Vorpal wrote:I was tempted to sarcastically echo spoonful. But I thought better of it, and decided instead to explain, nicely. 8) It can be quite difficult for a cyclist to get going again on a hill. In fact, some cyclists may not be at all able to start again. I have a friend who has a muscular weakness in one leg that makes such things extremely difficult for him. If he is cycling with others and has to start on a hill, he usually asks for a little push. If he's on his own, he just doesn't stop unless it's an emergency.

I'm a cyclist too. :D I do know how difficult it is to start on a steep hill, but when it's a long gentle climb, I personally will pull over to let a large vehicle past. Ill even do it on a more extreme slope too...but that's just me. I didn't consider that some people might have trouble starting again though, thanks for pointing this out.

Most of the time on tight bendy country roads, cyclists are often going almost the same speed, if not a tad faster than me so overtaking simply isn't needed just to gain 1-2mph

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hubgearfreak
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Re: From a van driver's point of view...

Postby hubgearfreak » 7 Nov 2012, 7:32pm

i was a van delivery driver for several years. lots of cars blocked my way, as did lorries and farm vehicles. every day on almost every road some motorised thing or other would be hindering my progress. both parked ones and moving ones. the total extra added to my working day must have been in the region of an hour or three.
as for cycles blocking my way, maybe for a few seconds on some days.

i've got perspective on the 'problem'. perhaps you ought to as well. and i'd still like to know the location of this hill.

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scottmac
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Re: From a van driver's point of view...

Postby scottmac » 7 Nov 2012, 7:37pm

Vorpal wrote:
scottmac wrote:
horizon wrote:QUICK QUIZ

Please read the following and then answer the question
<snip>..?

Sod these stupid questions, for starters... :roll:


Please discuss things nicely. 8)

Thanks for understanding.

Sorry if I upset anyone, but if we could channel everyone's energy on these forums into one solution to stop road deaths/incidents instead of whining, then I would get back on my bike.

I also drive a van and I take care when overtaking a cyclist because I used to be a cyclist.

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meic
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Re: From a van driver's point of view...

Postby meic » 7 Nov 2012, 7:47pm

spoonful wrote:
meic wrote:I have only pulled in to those passing places something like twice a year, almost never do any vehicles wait for me to reach them before attempting an overtake. If I ever have a vehicle stuck behind me for a minute it feels intense, three minutes is an eternity to have a vehicle stuck behind you and it is literally one in ten thousand or less that will do that, if it came to it.

It is rare that I'm stuck behind a cyclist for so long, but it happens to a lesser extent frequently on fairly wide side roads, where someone's in the centre of the road with enough space for a car but no more. When cycling, I get in close to the verge, slow down and signal for the driver to pass. Most good truck drivers know their width better than car drivers, and as long as you signal, it's nice and easy for them to slip past knowing that the cyclist is expecting it.

Edit: I do agree there are a lot of awful car drivers around who don't know their width, safe passing distances and are unaware of other vehicles' blind spots! I've had multiple wing mirrors smashed by 4x4s passing far too fast on narrow lanes. One woman even turned around, flagged me down and tried to blame me after passing at 30-40mph ad smashing her mirror! was stationary...


Yes it is nice and easy for them but it is very dangerous for me. There is not enough room for a car a cycle and a lorry to pass each other on that road. If another lorry comes down the road when one is "slipping past" me guess who gets squashed.

I have tried it and I have tried cycling to the left and letting trucks overtake me NEVER AGAIN. You say most good truck drivers know their width better than car drivers, well I have to go up that hill on a regular basis and that means I meet both good and not so good truck drivers. I have not had the experience of great big mincing HGV wheels coming for me as I am pushed off the edge of the tarmac since I started riding up that hill far enough out that people can only overtake me if they go on the other side of the road, ie that the risk is shared equally by myself and them, instead of just by me.
Yma o Hyd

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hubgearfreak
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Re: From a van driver's point of view...

Postby hubgearfreak » 7 Nov 2012, 7:55pm

spot on meic.

i've also met with a 'good lorry driver' passing me up hill when it wasn't safe to do so. a 16 tonner inches from my right hand was nearly enough to loosen my bowels, although i'm certain he didn't feel the same fear.

Mike Sales
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Re: From a van driver's point of view...

Postby Mike Sales » 7 Nov 2012, 8:18pm

spoonful wrote: It's a long, bendy gentle uphill between Guildford and Godalming where a car could nip past safely, no problem.


Do you mean the Old Portsmouth Road, the A3100?

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Mick F
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Re: From a van driver's point of view...

Postby Mick F » 7 Nov 2012, 8:28pm

horizon wrote:QUICK QUIZ

Please read the following and then answer the question:

1. A man is cycling up a long steep hill on his way to work. He is hot, he is sweaty, it is raining. His legs are aching. As he draws a deep breath he breathes in vehicle fumes. He must do this for the next 10 minutes.

2. Behind him, a man in a van is following him up the hill. This man is sitting on a comfortable seat, listening to the radio and adjusting the heating to his preference. His power steering involves no effort. He is warm and dry. He must do this for the next 10 minutes.

One of these men gets angry - which man do you think it is?
The issue here is ON HIS WAY TO WORK.

I have been these two men.
On my way to work - no difference.
On my way home from work - BIG difference.

How can a man stressed out from work lose his stress by being in a car on his way home?
Mick F. Cornwall