Would you have said something?

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Would you have said something?

Postby jan19 » 13 May 2015, 4:49pm

This has been nagging away at me since Sunday, and I'd be interested to know what others would have done....

I was out for a ride, using a local 'B' road which weaves its way between a few local villages. Its wide enough to have a line down the centre, but isn't in a great condition in a number of places, meaning you have to be pretty alert for potholes and as the verge is pretty grotty you've got to ride quite wide. Not normally a problem as the road is fairly quiet and cars can overtake easily enough.

I was part way up a hill when I was overtaken by a small car. It wasn't going particularly fast, but it passed by me rather closer than I would have liked. Not near enough to me to be actually dangerous (ie it wasn't likely to hit me) but enough to give me a bit of a surprise. A little further up the hill were two more cyclists (they'd overtaken me a little while back) and again the pass was rather close, made worse by the fact the car must have taken the brow blind - luckily nothing was coming the other way.

At the next village, I saw the car pulled up on the other side of the road (ie facing the same way I was going, but with the driver's side against the kerb). Standing behind the car organising some walking boots was an elderly man, and as I passed the car I saw an elderly lady in the driver's seat, probably also sorting out her boots. Now, I had time to think about stopping and saying something to them, but in the end I didn't and rode by. It would have been my word against theirs, and they didn't actually collide with either me or the other cyclists, but slightly closer and it could have been unfortunate. I see plenty of close passes when I commute, but I don't usually have the opportunity to talk to the driver. Would anyone else have stopped and spoken to them?


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Re: Would you have said something?

Postby Mark1978 » 13 May 2015, 4:55pm

To be honest I probably would have done the same. I would like to think that I could have a polite word as in "Do you realise you passed me far too closely?" But it's hard to stop it turning into an argument which achieves nothing.

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Re: Would you have said something?

Postby mjr » 13 May 2015, 5:01pm

I may have said something to them and after that time, it would probably be one of my polite "Excuse me. You were scarily close when you overtook me back there" ones. That usually gets a good response.

Some of my heat-of-the-moment ones break Highway Code rule 147 "do not allow yourself to become agitated or involved if someone is behaving badly on the road. This will only make the situation worse." But hey, feeling that I could have been in a collision if they'd sneezed does tend to make me agitated and I feel I was already involved through no choice of my own! :lol:

Happily, these are relatively rare for me.
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Re: Would you have said something?

Postby The fat commuter » 13 May 2015, 5:11pm

Depends - you could have stopped and said, "nice day, going far, blah, blah, blah...". Then, once they're on your side, mention that they were a bit close as they went past you - gave you a bit of a shock, etc.

Obviously trying to say something when your adrenalin is up a bit, made worse by the uphill cycling, is a bit difficult and sometimes a polite word can end up seeming aggressive.

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Re: Would you have said something?

Postby mercalia » 13 May 2015, 6:15pm

give them a piece of your mind I say - too old to hit you? maybe wake them up from their doziness?

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Re: Would you have said something?

Postby Heltor Chasca » 13 May 2015, 6:21pm

I would have done the same. I think you did well to enjoy yourself...b

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Re: Would you have said something?

Postby Postboxer » 13 May 2015, 7:45pm

Maybe ask them 'did you see the car that just came through here? It overtook three cyclists far too closely and went over a brow of a hill blind, they were lucky there was no-one coming!'

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Re: Would you have said something?

Postby Mike Sales » 13 May 2015, 7:50pm

Experience taught me that there is no point in letting the slightest hint of aggression or even reproach creep into your words on these occasions. I still have a word though, if I get the chance. My approach is to say something on these lines.

"I was really scared back there, I thought you were going to knock me off."

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Re: Would you have said something?

Postby Pete Owens » 13 May 2015, 9:04pm

That is probably the best opportunity to have a word. You are far more likely to keep it civilised than in the adrenaline fueled heat of the moment just afeter an incident.

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Re: Would you have said something?

Postby Psamathe » 13 May 2015, 9:16pm

I would have said something as it is one of the few situations (talking directly to the driver) where you can influence future behaviour (and possible same them problems in future (e.g. overtaking in dangerous situations).

As others have said, keep it friendly, maybe pointing out that cyclists do have to swerve out sometimes to avoid hazards that would not cause problems to cars. Maybe point out the most cyclists will pull in at the next safe place to let cars pass. etc.


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Re: Would you have said something?

Postby Tangled Metal » 13 May 2015, 10:46pm

Of course if the person having a word is male and the driver was female there could be an element of intimidation as you're reprimanding them through their car window. Not so in this case as both cyclist and driver were female, but it is something to consider. Intimidating behaviour is not right IMHO.

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Re: Would you have said something?

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 13 May 2015, 11:12pm

I get this almost everyday I go out.

Today I was cut up entering a "S" bend with major roadworks the car was so close that I thought it might touch me.
Its already been advertised in press that 3 riders fell off in a week on same road.
I am not likely to fall off but I might be knocked.

They are so close that no one could skilfully drive that close and do it repeatably without collision and its me not a wall or another car :x

Then again today a driver attempted to overtake coming out of a junction on a blind bend with me in front.
They hesitated to overtake on a steep brow then shot past the other side.
On monday a driver with a "Child on board" sticker in rear window overtook me close to a roundabout they hit the traffic jam.

Just another day.

It matters not that the road is narrowing they will still try to cruise on by even if it blatently obvious that there will be a collision, they don't even think that the cyclist has to move out of the way so not to be knocked off........which we do all the time.

NOT GOOD ENOUGH and no amount of officials pretending to launch some safety campian will change a darn thing.................
Last edited by NATURAL ANKLING on 14 May 2015, 8:27am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Would you have said something?

Postby TonyR » 13 May 2015, 11:36pm

The secret as taught in all good assertiveness training is not to focus on what they did but on how it made you feel e.g. "when you passed me back there it felt very scary and uncomfortably close" rather than "you made a scarily close pass back there"

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Re: Would you have said something?

Postby Valbrona » 14 May 2015, 2:46am

May I ask, are you off to an appointment at the optician's? or Did you leave your glasses at home?
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Re: Would you have said something?

Postby Elizabethsdad » 14 May 2015, 6:34am

TonyR wrote:The secret as taught in all good assertiveness training is not to focus on what they did but on how it made you feel e.g. "when you passed me back there it felt very scary and uncomfortably close" rather than "you made a scarily close pass back there"

The selfish git in the ugly fat white 4x4 certainly knew how I felt about his close pass on the approach to a roundabout yesterday. And since he took the time to then stop and have a go at me for being upset with lack of driving consideration he couldn't have even been in that much of a hurry. I am still hacked off about it the morning after - mostly because I wish I had been able to just let it go and not provoke a confrontation - but then yesterday was a particularly difficult day with things not going so well at work and our childminder letting us down, so it wasn't going to much to push my button at that point.