Wearing earphones

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
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Re: Wearing earphones

Postby Vorpal » 23 Jul 2014, 11:32am

RichardPH wrote:I would argue with the assertion that riding a metre out is the position adopted by many, that implies a majority, try doing a survey of all the cyclists you see in traffic and make an honest appraisal.

I ride appropriately, very occasionally that means moving out and stopping the car behind from passing, under these circumstances I'm going at the speed of the traffic and there is no chance that a half concentrating driver will mistake me for a faster moving powered cycle and pile into my back wheel. I do find the '1 metre out' dogma both dangerous and illogical, I'd rather use my experience and ride according to the conditions, frankly DfT guidelines seem to be for people with no common sense and no imagination of the real world and real drivers.

1 metre out is not dogma. It is pratice, and practice the should be adjusted according to prevailing road codnitions. Including riding further out when appropriate. It puts a cyclist where other road users expect to see other vehicles; in the lane of travel. I ride out further if I am going fast enough to keep up with traffic. It makes sense (common or otherwise) for a cyclist to act as the operator of a vehicle, when amongst other vehicles. I have done so in a number of countries and am quite comfortable with it. The only reason to keep left on the carriageway, is to stay out of the way of larger vehicles. There isn't enough space to do this completely, so I would prefer to give drivers the best possible chance to see me, and force them to overtake properly instead of squeezing by. I will add that people who ride as close to the kerb as they can, often do so in an attempt to get out of the flow of traffic, not to stay with it. John Forrester (A US American cycle campaigner) believes that most people have a fear of traffic from behind, but statistics tell us that traffic from behind is not the cause of the majority of crashes.

I suggest that you get the book Cyclecraft by John Franklin and have a read. Try some of the things he recommends, and see fi it doesn't improve your everyday experience cycling. I learned much from it, despite some years of experience cycling before I read the book.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

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Re: Wearing earphones

Postby RichardPH » 23 Jul 2014, 11:53am

To bicycler and Vorpal I would simply say that my record of 50 years free from collisions with motor vehicles is much better than my friend [used as an example many replies ago] who has two broken bones in the past 10 years courtesy of collisions with motor vehicles. He advocates riding a metre out because somebody else said it was a good idea, whilst he's a really nice guy sometimes he doesn't think about safety for himself, and this gets him into trouble.

Doubtless you both will continue to ride the way you do and I most certainly will continue in my habits, why would I need to change?

As for bicycler's inference that I'm in no position to give advice about driving habits, FYI my last accident was 40 years ago and my last and only moving violation in the car was an SP30 30 years ago, so my honesty about my driving recollections probably reflects that I'm not holier-than-thou about the realities of life and human behaviour.

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Re: Wearing earphones

Postby Bicycler » 23 Jul 2014, 12:35pm

We all make mistakes and we should all aim to learn from them. There is no such thing as perfect cycling or driving and no-one who cannot improve. That requires recognising when our actions fall below an acceptable standard. I just find it slightly worrying that you consider the times when your own driving has fallen to the level of 'autopilot' to be perfectly natural and acceptable.

Unfortunately, this view seems to be becoming the norm as evidenced by this quote (reported on another thread) from a driver who hit a cyclist who was perfectly visible:
"I don't think it's fair because I wasn't driving dangerously, I wasn't driving erratically," "I just failed to see someone who was on the road."
Last edited by Bicycler on 23 Jul 2014, 12:36pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Wearing earphones

Postby Ayesha » 23 Jul 2014, 12:36pm

In the eighteen months I’ve been delivering small parcels around central Birmingham, a motorist’s face has only come into collision with my fist once.
He poked his head out of his window because his stereo was so loud. I happened to be looking at my wristwatch at that very moment.