Abused For Defending a Group of Cyclist's Whilst Driving

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Tonyf33
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Re: Abused For Defending a Group of Cyclist's Whilst Driving

Postby Tonyf33 » 8 Mar 2010, 6:06pm

A lot of problem when overtaking cyclists for motorised vehicles is caused by the varying widths of roads, sometimes it's easy to pass other times it isnt plus a lot of people are poor at judging closing distance and fail to plan overtakes well before they get to the back of the cyclist(s).
As a car driver I would far rather overtake a longer line of single file cyclists than try to overtake a bunch riding two abreast. A lot of roads are plenty wide to give enough space for a comfortable overtake (if cyclists are single file) by going over the centre line and still be safe for oncoming cars to pass you.
By riding 2 or even 3 abreast not only do you limit the view of the road ahead for cars intending to overtake especially as they tend to be below the height of the cyclists body (apart from 4x4 vehicles and the like) but by doing so you increase the chance of the car getting right on your 'arris before pulling out at a sharp angle instead of a smooth change in the steering which is easily possible if planned correctly.
Both sets of road users need to be more considerate in certain circumstances, just because we are as much entitled to be on the road & be safe it doesn't mean we have to needlessly halt/slow the flow of traffic.

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

Postby meic » 8 Mar 2010, 6:52pm

bensonboo wrote:Does the same princple apply to scooters and motorcyclists? Imagine the outcry if they started riding two abreast on 'safety' grounds...


I have frequently ridden two abreast on the motorcycle and you may have noticed that the Police do too.
However on the motorbikes the additional rider is the one on the inside not the one on the outside, so it only bothers the motorcyclists themselves.
Yma o Hyd

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

Postby toontra » 8 Mar 2010, 7:34pm

meic wrote:I have frequently ridden two abreast on the motorcycle and you may have noticed that the Police do too.
However on the motorbikes the additional rider is the one on the inside not the one on the outside, so it only bothers the motorcyclists themselves.


Why would it bother other motorcyclists if the outer rider is in his normal position? Oh, unless it prevents them from undertaking. As a general category, motorcyclists win hands down in terms of the percentage truly atrocious, selfish, intimidatory and downright dangerous driving, ruining many a cycle ride on some of the country's most beautiful and remote roads. Speeding, racing, overtaking when unsafe to do so, etc. These aren't kids I'm talking about, these are adults (albeit behaving like kids).

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

Postby meic » 8 Mar 2010, 7:56pm

I have to admit there is some truth in what you say and I certainly was a bit too fast in my younger days.
However in a world populated by cars and trucks, I want to know how some one going much too fast balancing on two wheels can be selfish and intimitary, while all parties know full well who gets hurt in any crash?
Same goes for overtaking in unsafe places, they frequently do so, especially when in packs but who pays the price for their mistakes? Mostly them unlike cars and trucks where it is mostly someone else. This does make them less of a danger to others than the cars and trucks as the statistics show.

Oh and when I said about only bothering themselves, I meant the two motorcyclists who are riding two abreast would only bother themselves (as in each other).
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drsquirrel
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Re: Abused For Defending a Group of Cyclist's Whilst Driving

Postby drsquirrel » 9 Mar 2010, 8:44pm

Maybe the driver thought you were only out following the cyclists?


As for cycling 2 abreast, whenever I see it (or do it), the outer cyclist is generally in less than primary anyway, if anything I would say the rider furthest out is often in secondary (if I have someone to my right, I will ride slightly closer to the kerb side).

As for overtaking, it's much harder to overtake a line of 10 than pairs in a line of 5.

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

Postby CREPELLO » 10 Mar 2010, 2:34pm

drsquirrel wrote:As for cycling 2 abreast, whenever I see it (or do it), the outer cyclist is generally in less than primary anyway, if anything I would say the rider furthest out is often in secondary (if I have someone to my right, I will ride slightly closer to the kerb side).

As for overtaking, it's much harder to overtake a line of 10 than pairs in a line of 5.
Agree with all that. Makes me think that the controversy of cycling two abreast is over-egged. The cyclist's footprint isn't very big, in the form you describe, which is how I would cycle in a pair. The inner cycle can often go further to the left, not needing to take a defensive position as a single cyclist would.

mw3230
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Re: Abused For Defending a Group of Cyclist's Whilst Driving

Postby mw3230 » 10 Mar 2010, 2:44pm

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.

Of course there are road hogs (to use that old fashioned expression) and these can be motor or pedal powered but that surely shouldn't stop the majority acting responsibly. I was always encouraged to strive to emulate the standards of the best rather than sink to the standards of the worst. A fairly good rule of thumb for all aspects of life?
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EdinburghFixed
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Re: Abused For Defending a Group of Cyclist's Whilst Driving

Postby EdinburghFixed » 10 Mar 2010, 3:39pm

The problem is, going into single file will encourage the motorist to overtake if you're not careful about what you're doing. That might be fine if there's enough room for a safe pass (but then, there would be less need to come out of two abreast if that were so, excepting the odd road which has such wide lanes that it can accommodate cyclists and traffic in one lane).

Fundamentally I think the issue is not so much about the space taken up by two abreast (which as discussed, is the same in every meaningful way as a single line adopting a positive road position) but the fact that it does not demonstrate suitable subservience to following motorists.

I spent the best part of 100 miles on A roads at the weekend in such a position that every single following vehicle had to wait for a gap in oncoming traffic to pass. Do you know how many close overtakes I had? None. How many horn beeps? None.

If I had been in exactly the same position with another rider to my left, it would have been a riot of apoplexy. In that respect, I agree with being judicious about riding abreast, but not because it facilitates people to overtake when it's not appropriate.

Safe cycling starts when you realise that putting your bike on the road means taking space away from, and inconveniencing, motorists- and that's ok.

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

Postby szegerely » 10 Mar 2010, 4:20pm

I cycle along a stretch of road every morning and evening that has queues of cars, all patiently sitting behind one another, often going at less than walking pace and often completely stationary.
They seem to be able to coexist with one another doing that so whay can't they be as patient when behind a cyclist who is certainly making better progress than the cars I experience are?
Even 40 foot long lorries sit there crawling along without trying to overtake, and there are rarely any cars coming the other way.

Tonyf33
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Re: Abused For Defending a Group of Cyclist's Whilst Driving

Postby Tonyf33 » 10 Mar 2010, 7:19pm

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, (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.

This doesn't preclude the fact that on faster roads secondary(or something less than primary) can/should be adopted if no potential hazards, certainly primary is more effective/prudent when in slower moving traffic and round town.
I just get the impression that many cyclists are happy to hold up traffic so long as they themselves can make forward progress. We share the roads with the big metal projectiles, I don't see a problem with just riding smart and pulling in a little if it means traffic can flow easily past you rather than them sitting right on your rear wheel with a diluted view of the road ahead which makes the overtake even harder?

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

Postby drsquirrel » 10 Mar 2010, 7:45pm

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, (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.

This doesn't preclude the fact that on faster roads secondary(or something less than primary) can/should be adopted if no potential hazards, certainly primary is more effective/prudent when in slower moving traffic and round town.
I just get the impression that many cyclists are happy to hold up traffic so long as they themselves can make forward progress. We share the roads with the big metal projectiles, I don't see a problem with just riding smart and pulling in a little if it means traffic can flow easily past you rather than them sitting right on your rear wheel with a diluted view of the road ahead which makes the overtake even harder?


If I have a cyclist to my right, I feel safer nearer the left because the rider on the right is holding the position to promote safe passes for me, even if that cyclist is in secondary (and thus being inside I am less than secondary). CREPELLO re-iterated this point above too.

There is nothing wrong with a car having to pass clear into the next lane, if it's clear enough to go half into, it's clear enough to go fully into.

I think 2m is too much of an exaggeration.

Saying all this though, I don't really like cycling in a group (well drafting is nice), even if we are tight side by side (we are talking in a metre or so). If I ever try to ride along side my wife I get the same hassle anyway, though it's so much easier for 2 people to single out, than 10...

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

Postby thirdcrank » 10 Mar 2010, 7:51pm

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.

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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, 1:38pm

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

Postby Flinders » 11 Mar 2010, 2:40pm

Even a cyclist riding singly and well to the left should still be given as much room as two cyclists side by side when overtaking.
I was on a narrow rural road this week, and moved to the left to make it easier for the very polite driver behind me to overtake as soon as we got to the next straight bit. Unfortunately, due to the frosts, the edge of the road had suddenly broken away big time- as I checked behind, my front wheel suddenly met a huge drop and slid sideways off the road . I kept control of the bike, and kept going, but made quite a wiggle. Had some car been overtaking me and leaving me only a bike's width, I'd have been in trouble.

(BTW I'm happy to say that the motorist made an impeccable overtake when the time came, leaving both of us safe and happy.)

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

Postby james01 » 11 Mar 2010, 2:49pm

[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.