Tired of getting harrassed: going back to MTB?

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  • Tired of getting harrassed: going back to MTB?
  • brooess
    Member

    I get several close calls every ride and along with general abuse and harassment when road riding this year I’m seriously thinking about going back to MTB, which I’ve barely done for the last couple of years…

    I used to think I could pretty reasonably guarantee my own safety on the road by riding legally, taking primary, wearing hi-vis and helmet and lighting myself up like an Xmas tree when it’s dark.

    But this year has been one incident after another of being driven at, run off the road, close passes, verbal abuse etc etc. It’s spoiling my riding and I don’t feel safe anymore – just feels like a matter of time before I get knocked off. Even on a club ride where you get safety in numbers it’s doesn’t feel safe.

    At least with MTB I largely choose my level of risk… and the woods are a much more peaceful place to ride.

    It’s a terrible state of affairs to feel like this. Anyone else?

    grum
    Member

    Serves you right for giving up mountain biking. 😛

    Stevelol
    Member

    What grum said 😀

    There’s risk with any sport, if you’ve given up mountain biking then you may just do it again as it’s not without its downsides. If self preservation is ever your number one priority then maybe take up golf.

    For what it’s worth, you can be the safest, most sensible driver on the roads and still get involved in an accident, there are a hell of a lot of unsafe drivers out there.

    mrblobby
    Member

    Even on a club ride where you get safety in numbers it’s doesn’t feel safe.

    Club rides are about the only time I don’t feel safe! Groups are getting too big and car drivers are taking silly risks (mostly with cyclists lives) to get past.

    If on my own or with some mates we’ll pick quiet country road routes though so rarely encounter much traffic. Never a bother. Where are you riding? Can you not get away from the traffic?

    simonm
    Member

    The honeymoon is over..the dust of the Olympics…TDF settles..come back to the fold, come back..you were lost for a while, but never outcast.

    dantsw13
    Member

    Out of interest, where do you ride?

    Im down in East Sussex, and ride occasionally on the road, mainly backroads, and have been lucky to have no issues yet.

    simonm
    Member

    Then when its sunny and TDF comes through Europe next year, go back !

    Premier Icon on and on
    Subscriber

    Over the last few years as everyone else was getting on the road I decided to get off and go mtb full time.
    Now I’m in geneva for the next few months I only ride road as the infrastructure if built for it and the drivers are much more considerate ( and the laws are much tougher )

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
    Subscriber

    For 95% of my road riding, I go out on my own.
    That way I’m in control of what I do, I don’t have to worry about anyone else, I don’t have to put up with riding two abreast or think about what anyone else is doing and I can select my route at the drop of a hat, changing it almost as I go if necessary.

    It’s very rare that I get any trouble at all.

    Last time anything happened was on Sunday where we (a group of 4) were riding two abreast coming into Poynton and a van pulled up alongside, yelled abuse about us being 2 abreast then floored it up to the shared space roundabout system…and got stuck in traffic.

    Riding on my own negates all of that. Also I’m an anti-social git at the best of times!

    hughjengin
    Member

    Yep pretty much,
    I rode solely on the road with my club for the best part of a decade, before turning to the MTB which I now probably do exclusively bar the very rare occasion.
    It wasnt the verbals and general abuse that made me tired of it, but as you say the risk element. I am realistic enough to know that the odds of me hurting myself battering into a tree / rock / etc on the MTB are higher considerably that the average road ride, I am way way more likely to have hospital time doing MTB, as it is risky. However the decision and risk taking is personal, and your final fate or final seconds of life is generally not at the hands of a chav in a Saxo who wants to show his mates that he’s Ari Vatanen, or by a school run mum whos on the phone in her X5.
    So I weighed up the risk, yes I am 100 times more likely to hurt myself or break a limb on the MTB and I can handle that reality, what I cant handle is the reality and Russian Roulette element of the road ride you simply never come home from, (its happened to 4 of my friends to date). And with a wife / 2 kids and a puppy that I adore, then I am happy with what I am doing

    brooess
    Member

    I commute in London – 2-3 times a week. Strangely the closer I get to the centre the safer it feels. It’s when I’m around Dulwich + Crystal Palace where the traffic expects to be able to move that the grief tends to be worse… horns being leaned on when I pause for 2 seconds to make sure the road’s clear for a right turn…

    Weekend riding is Kent – lots of narrow country lanes with drivers ragging around at speed,,huge impatience and a sense of entitlement.

    Of course going back to MTB means having to drive, hardly part of the solution 🙁

    I commute in London – 2-3 times a week. Strangely the closer I get to the centre the safer it feels.

    I found the same commuting from South Woodford to Farringdon.

    I get abuse all the time whether I am in a car, on a bike, in a van or at the wheel of a lorry. Put a metal box around some folk and they turn into arseholes. Let it wash and all will be good.

    Big Dave
    Member

    When I moved to North Devon a few years ago I quickly realised that riding on the local A roads was a sure fire way to get squashed by a lorry or a tourist dragging around a caravan. Not wanting to give up riding on the road I built up a bike with lower gears and fatter tyres and took to the steep and badly surfaced back lanes. Its proved to be far more interesting than slogging along A roads and strangely none of the Sunday club run MAMILs seem to venture into the hillier areas so I quite often have the roads to myself.

    devash
    Member

    I feel sadder and sadder by the day reading these oh-so common threads and can totally relate all of this to my own experience road riding.

    Why are there so many angry, selfish, self-obsessed idiots in this country? And who thought it a good idea to give them a licence to drive half a ton plus of metal at speeds up to and exceeding 100mph?

    P.S. Angry van drivers – imagine if these angry working class types could harness their anger into something more productive (i.e. a political revolution)?

    TiRed
    Member

    I try and focus on the 95% plus of drivers that are considerate, hold back, give me space. THREE BMW drivers did just this on my recent commute. Very unnerving. It’s too easy to be dragged down mentally by the very few very poor drivers.

    I was just thinking about getting back on the road bike to avoid all the mud. Then someone pulled out of a junction into the side of my HUGE Volvo, which had its side lights on, on a dry sunny day and wrote it off.

    Decided to stick with off road as far as possible.

    tomkerton
    Member

    But it’s up to us too. I might not want to lose my momentum but I pull over on single lanes to let a car pass, I look out for horses and dog-walkers and make space for them. If we are considerate then we will surely get it back, bar the inveterate dickheads.

    Premier Icon adsh
    Subscriber

    Yup selling my summer project frame and haven’t done more than a couple of road rides since a saxo brushed me at a 30mph differential a year after a lorry squashed me against a wall. Then there were the near misses…..

    After mtb I feel tired and relaxed after road I feel lucky.

    I still do the odd country lane ride but A roads are history for me.

    bar the inveterate dickheads

    Unfortunately, these are often the ones who will squash you, no matter how considerately you ride.

    Maybe you’ve just had a run of bad luck. I’ve done around 6000km on the road this year and I can only remember one incident when a driver beeped the horn to come past. We were riding two abreast at the time and in my opinion there was plenty of room to overtake, although it is possible it was intended as a friendly beep just to let us know he was there. That’s it. That’s the sum total of aggression witnessed this year. All rides have started just inside the M25 too so its not like we only ride on country lanes.

    Premier Icon adsh
    Subscriber

    Maybe but I was of the opinion I wasn’t going to find out.

    Brooess – share your views. Came into MTB from being more of a roadie/triathlete and because my first XTT tri was a wake call re my lack of skills.

    Current state of roads, and those that we share them with, have made me very reluctant to go out on my road bike at all these days. This year has been 100% MTB and included nearly being wiped out on a road a couple of months ago.

    cynic-al
    Member

    brooess – Member
    It’s a terrible state of affairs to feel like this. Anyone else?

    Not at all.

    Where/how do you ride?

    Premier Icon ton
    Subscriber

    commuting into leeds on a daily basis, is a sure fire way to have some kind of tiff with a driver.
    i now ride in on the canalside, which is far nice. if i have to ride on the road, i go out of my way to choos a quiet and traffic light route.
    to be honest, i despise riding on the road nowadays.

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    For 95% of my road riding, I go out on my own.
    That way I’m in control of what I do, I don’t have to worry about anyone else, I don’t have to put up with riding two abreast or think about what anyone else is doing and I can select my route at the drop of a hat, changing it almost as I go if necessary.

    It’s very rare that I get any trouble at all.

    This. In the round I’m far more nervy with other riders around, and outright don’t like group riding – any more than about 8 can be pretty antisocial.

    This year in 4000 miles or so I’ve had one woman in London shake her fist at me because I didn’t let her out of a side road. That’s my lot.

    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    I’ve never been able to comprehend why someone would opt to ride on the road, when filthy bridleways and traffic-free mud, and gert big rocks, and trees and stuff are available 😀

    Welcome back!!

    Premier Icon pictonroad
    Subscriber

    hughjengin – Member

    the road ride you simply never come home from, (its happened to 4 of my friends to date)

    You’ve had four friends killed on bikes? This is incredible, how devastating, where do you live?

    Premier Icon on and on
    Subscriber

    The piston heads website had a very similar thread about how bad cyclists are.
    Very interesting to see the two threads running and the responses they’ve received.

    hughjengin
    Member

    You’ve had four friends killed on bikes? This is incredible, how devastating, where do you live?

    North Wales Coast.
    Rhyl CC Tragedy

    this is not the reason I pretty much finished with road cycling, I carried on for a few years after. Its just been a personal decision based on what I said before. I’ve seen what happens when people hurt themselves on a MTB, and have to spend a couple of nights in hospital. I’ve also seen what happens when fathers and sons go out for a nice Sunday club run and never come home, and despite the fact the odds of it ever happening are slim its not what I’d want for my family. This by the way is not any form of attempt to argue the point for and against riding on the road, this is just a documenting on my decision, and I would never dream of trying to portray it as right or wrong. Its just my own decision

    nikk
    Member

    Goodness, that was a horrific collision, very sad indeed.

    Busy roads are unpleasant places to be on a bike IMHO, even without tragic incidents like the one above. City is bad enough, A roads just scare me.

    andypaul99
    Member

    Just got back from a road ride and got badly cut up by a Driving Instructor (on her own), pointed to my head to indicate she was’nt thinking, she winded the window down and told me to F*ck off. I would very much like to name the company.

    grum
    Member

    “Our best estimate at the moment is that the car is driving at something like 50 miles per hour. And on a road like this, that isn’t excessive speed.

    Except when it’s icy. 😕

    hora
    Member

    broooes I stopped commuting as it wasn’t worth the increased risk to me. Sick of constantly glancing over my shoulder and I did most of my commute riding like a scolded-cat.

    Its just not worth the hassle.

    Off road your life is in the hands of your gnarr.

    On road your life is in the hands of Katie, Hamid, Kev, Fred, Mavis, June, Trudy, van diesel…..etc etc

    amedias
    Member

    Just got back from a road ride and got badly cut up by a Driving Instructor (on her own), pointed to my head to indicate she was’nt thinking, she winded the window down and told me to F*ck off. I would very much like to name the company.

    Self employed or Franchise?

    If its one of the big schools I’d be making a complaint, if a local then I’d be getting in contact to politely discuss and then make my next move based on how they handle it.

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
    Subscriber

    City is bad enough, A roads just scare me.

    Generally, I don’t mind too much commuting. Most of the time I’m going as fast as the traffic anyway which actually makes it safer – yes there are more cars but the speeds are lower and they can’t manoeuvre as much. The downside to all that is I *have* to ride fast, it’s not a ride you can just do at pootling along pace, it’s a full on effort from fast cruise to full on sprint.

    It’s actually worse during school holidays – less traffic means that what there is there now makes the most of it and boots it around at much higher speeds. Same on (some) country roads, yes they’re generally nice and quiet but because of that, (some) drivers will take the opportunity to drive at insane speeds.

    Premier Icon Kona TC
    Subscriber

    Similar to what has been posted earlier; the vast majority of my road riding is on my own or with one or 2 people max, mainly sticking to quiet roads and minimising time on roads know to be busy. I adopt a confident presence whilst riding and make sure I acknowledge drivers when they are behind me and make an effort to allow them to pass with a friendly wave, so far, touch wood, only had a problem with one of two idiots. I only wish using the M4 was as safe!

    Premier Icon tomhoward
    Subscriber

    I know a coroner who has given up cycling (never into mtb, no plans to be) altogether, on account of the number of cyclists he was dealinq with at work.

    Made me think!

    wrecker
    Member

    got badly cut up by a Driving Instructor

    Has anyone else noticed how appauling driving instructors are at driving? One up cars with the signage on are generally an indicator of an inconsiderate, reckless driver.
    All of the reasons given on this thread are why I have never tried road riding. At least off road my fate is in my own hands.

    Without getting into the debate around deaths per mile traveled (or any other measure for that matter) the number of cyclists killed pales in comparison to the number of motorists. I wonder how many cyclists who have given up riding on the road because it’s too dangerous are also motorists and have they given up driving too, I wonder?

    Big M
    Member

    My road cycling now consists of me commuting sometimes with added miles when the mood takes me.
    I’ve dropped the club runs, as it becoming more dangerous in terms of the volumes of inexperienced golfists who are now riding and the irate care drivers who are also losing patience with the golfists and their inability to ride.
    Really got back into my MTB’ing this summer and intend to keep it that way, I know the risks, where as on the road you can’t account for everyone else.

    toby1
    Member

    I have an off road, although tarmaced commute. As a result I haven’t done much riding in traffic this year and I have to admit that I’m not all that comfortable with going back to it. Apparently I’m not alone.

    Also in driving home from the cinema late last night I encountered at least 3 unlit cyclists, so the statistics are probably swaying in their favour. (Cambridge students most likely).

    Premier Icon tomhoward
    Subscriber

    last night I encountered at least 3 unlit cyclists

    I can top that, woman riding along, decent lights, only the back one was totally obsured by the big coat she had rolled up and strapped to her rack. 🙄

    Reluctant
    Member

    Fair play to the people who still ride road ~ but it’s not for me anymore. City traffic’s generally fine, ride assertively and deal with it; but it’s different out on the A roads. How can you have any control over the texting trucker bearing down from behind? Aside from general care and attention issues, there are far too many drivers busy with their sat navs and i-phones for my liking.

    unovolo
    Member

    Just got back from a road ride and got badly cut up by a Driving Instructor (on her own), pointed to my head to indicate she was’nt thinking, she winded the window down and told me to F*ck off. I would very much like to name the company.

    If its a independent I would book a lesson with her and when she turns up ,roll out with your bike gear on and see if she remembers ,then have a nice conversation about her driving and literary skills.

    I ride road too and have probably one near miss each time,I think the only reason they have not been worse is because I’m expecting some cretin to do something daft and are pretty much on the watch out constantly.

    It doesn’t make for a relaxing ride but I do get home in one piece.

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