- Today's commute – What else can I do?
come on here to vent your frustration then watch as everyone tells you its your own stupid fault!
That’s not what’s happening at all.
As has been pointed out, none of us were there, so we don’t know for sure what happened and wether or not the OP was being dangerous. However those of us who don’t experience this kind of problem on our urban commutes do wonder why other people’s experiences are different.
The aim is to share what we do to avoid trouble – which I think the OP alluded to in the thread title. We should not assume the OP is a risk taking lunatic, nor should we assume that all the motorists in his town are homicidal.
I often see competent confident cyclists do things that I can imagine going bad. Like for example riding full pelt up the inside OR outside of a traffic queue. This is a bad idea because you just don’t know when a muppet driver is going to get fed up and suddenly do a U-turn, for example (ask me how I know…). Filtering should always be done cautiously, but some cyclists seem to think that they have a right to a cycle lane on the inside or outside, as I used to.
I’m not accusing the OP of this, I have no idea of course, but it’s worth putting our safety tips and experience out there on the internet, because it might help someone.Posted 5 years ago
It will pass, there’s a period of about a month around clock-going-back time where drivers are completely unaware of anything.
It coincides with bad weather, darkness, drop in temperature (and therefore misted windows, need for wipers) and most drivers are far too incompetent to cope with all those variables all at once.
Nov -> Dec is a bit of a confluence of factors, everthing comes together to make riding on the roads during rush hours trickier…
TBH much as I like my job I’m not so keen to get there five moinutes earlier that I’ll take chances…
Especially at this time of year, when the traffic backs up I at lights or junctions, I seldom bother to filter towards the front, if I do I do it slowly round the outside where I can…
Just because there’s an ASL there it doesn’t follow that you HAVE to get to it, IME setting of 3-5 cars back from the front, you’ll still get throuhg on most traffic light filters and won’t have to tangle with so many arsey/dozey/stupid drivers…Posted 5 years ago
Why is going on the inside “suicidal”,
Because as the OP found, car’s have a habit of pulling that way without checking, because unlike every other check you’re taught to do for your driving test 9,999 out or 10,000 times there isn’t anything there.
Even as a cyclist I probbaly don’t check over my shoulder before the cyclepath chicaines from the road onto the pavement on my commute.
Argue the rights and wrongs all you like, you’ll be dead right, car drivers should look first, but unfrotunately you’ll be dead as well as right, as the OP found, filtering on the inside is dangerous.
Yes it’s victim blaming, yes women should be able to walk through the dodgy unlit alleyway drunk in a short skirt after midnight, yes cyclists should be able to filter up the inside. But just once in a while it’s worth getting a taxi home after a night out or not filtering up the inside because it just isn’t safe.Posted 5 years ago
This is not a preventative measure, but I would advise joining CTC or British Cycling. The insurance and legal assistance is invaluable if you are unfortunate enough to be involved in an incident.
It’s impossible to remove all risk, no matter how experienced, careful or well trained you are. I was knocked off by a motorist earlier this year, and I was wearing hi-viz, running front and rear lights, and cycling on a segregated cycle path (not an on road cycle lane).
Filtering on the left may be appropriate in certain circumstances. You have to evaluate the situation and decide the safest approach.Posted 5 years ago
I have a couple of spots on my commute where there is very slow queuing traffic at a series of traffic lights.
-First day waited with cars – took 30mins to do 2 milesPosted 5 years ago
– Second day went on the outside, this seemed to infuriate drivers on the other side of the road
– Third day, made my way along the inside, there is no left turns, so can’t see a problem in doing this?
Why is going on the inside “suicidal”, most bike paths run on the inside…
Think the op has demonstrated why. Passing a side road drivers do not check their offside mirror before turning.
That’s true, but I’m not sure the outside is necessarily significantly better. Two fairly frequent examples of people pulling out right into the other lane without looking are to nip into a right turning a bit further up and to turn round and go back if there’s a big queue. And there’s no warning of that- at least you can see the side roads on the left coming up.Posted 5 years ago
Filtering and overtaking (on the right) each have their own pitfalls and dangers, aslong as you’re aware of them and take precautions carry on – the alternative is to sit in a line of traffic then once the cars get moving a load of drivers will overtake you, with varying degrees of safety, then you’ll end up further down the line and it’ll take you longer than in a car. Car drivers in a stationary line of traffic will not look left or right, they just do their dumbass manoeuvre oblivious to anyone except the car directly infront and behind – you’re lucky if they check for oncoming traffic. Ignore the “you filtered, you idiot” and “you overtook, what a dumbass” generalised comments and take each situation as it comes, decide which is the best course of action (including waiting behind the cars) and apply that.
(Wonders why the brand of car is relevant at all here)
People like to add something about the perpetrator of their ire, if he could see the driver he may have commented on them instead, all we have is faceless boxes. OP isn’t generalising on all drivers of X car in this instance.
That’s true, but I’m not sure the outside is necessarily significantly better.
aye, I’ve had more near misses filtering (probably due to the default position of cycle lanes) but I’ve had worse outcomes overtaking. Like I said drivers tend not to look in either wing mirror when they pull out of stationary traffic.Posted 5 years ago
there is no left turns
Other than the grammatical error, I would be going cautiously up the inside if the outside was too risky.Posted 5 years ago
Third day, made my way along the inside, there is no left turns, so can’t see a problem in doing this?
Fair enough – we’re saying there can be a risk doing this, but if you’ve taken that into account then go ahead. I use both inside and outside, sometimes in the same queue, as I deem appropriate. But I almost always do it slowly – you never know when someone’s going to open a door!
It’s just that some people don’t take the risks into account and bomb up the inside like it’s their own lane.Posted 5 years ago
Pinky I think you need to get some flails with flashing lights in them on the ends of your handlebars to be more visible and do some damage to the ‘tards trying to run you over.
😀Posted 5 years ago
Two fairly frequent examples of people pulling out right into the other lane without looking are to nip into a right turning a bit further up and to turn round and go back if there’s a big queue. And there’s no warning of that- at least you can see the side roads on the left coming up.
Agree that there’s a chance people turn right with no indication, but I’d still bet they turn left without indicating more often, or as the OP found, swing left in order to make room to turn right, in which case they probably even indicate right while going left!
I just don’t feel safe filtering on the left for long distances, at least on the right you can see oncoming trafic and avoid it.Posted 5 years ago
Car drivers in a stationary line of traffic will not look left or right, they just do their dumbass manoeuvre oblivious to anyone except the car directly infront and behind – you’re lucky if they check for oncoming traffic. Ignore the “you filtered, you idiot” and “you overtook, what a dumbass” generalised comments and take each situation as it comes, decide which is the best course of action (including waiting behind the cars) and apply that.
+1 to this, especially the bit about waiting behind cars sometimes being the best course of action. One big lesson I’d say I’ve learned over the years is that being a little further up the road is not always the first consideration. If you need to wait a minute behind a car, then wait.Posted 5 years ago
I just don’t feel safe filtering on the left for long distances, at least on the right you can see oncoming trafic and avoid it.
I don’t really feel safe on either side. If somebody turns across you either way you don’t have much room for manoeuvre, and that’s not a position I want to be in.Posted 5 years ago
Is traffic better/worse on some of the days? If it is then perhaps run to work on those days and ride to work on the days it is better? 4 miles is a nice distance.
Not much else you can do apart from ride extremely defensively really. As someone who’s just started driving again after 5 years I can tell you there feels like there’s an overwhelming amount of information to process. Some people are not very good at it. All you can do is protect your neck.Posted 5 years ago
If it is that dangerous you are close enough to walk / jog and don’t bother with the bike at all.Posted 5 years ago
OP sounds like my standard commute TBH 🙁Posted 5 years ago
It is a bloody nightmare I have one big set of lights (stick to the outside) and 3 mini roundabout all of which on a weekly bases I’m nearly killed on. The roundabouts are the worst TBH 🙄
Not wanting to have a pop at the op but I just don’t get half the complaints some cyclists have about other traffic. I ride busy town centre streets regularly and don’t have anywhere near the amount of grief some others seem to have.
I’ve been commuting almost solely by bicycle or motorbike since 1997 when I stopped driving for a job. I’ve done it on fast roads, quiet ones, cities, towns and villages and I just don’t, in general, have any issues. I know people that rant daily about this that or the other **** on the road and I just look on perplexed, because I don’t have it happen to me.
I’ve thought long and hard about this and I’ve come to the conclusion it’s not luck.
I think it’s a combination of (my) attitude, and skill
(Skill might be the wrong word, but I’ll stick with it for now, I’m not trying to show off, OK?)
My attitude is this:
It doesn’t matter who’s at fault, ALL that matters is that there’s no accident. NOTHING else matters.
This involves several things:
Staying relaxed. Nothing gets to me. I’m chilled and calm on the road.
This means emotion doesn’t take over and make me do stupid stuff.
I achieve this by (on the motorbike) going pretty steadily and (on any bike) using all my senses to obtain information and using skill to actually plan and act on that information. ACT on it. Not just ‘ohh look at that’ — BANG!
Actually do something about what I see, based on what I’ve learned.
What have I learned?
“It doesn’t matter who’s at fault, ALL that matters is that there’s no accident”
I accept that I can avoid any situation, so if something does happen (And I’ve had a few incidents) I learn from it. I take it on my own shoulders. I work out what I could have done to avoid it and modify my riding as a result.
I also look at the journey as a whole, not as one car after another. So what if someone wants to block me? I’ve passed 500 cars already. No stress here….
I take responsibility for my own actions. I don’t put myself in silly places. I make myself visible but never assume I’ve been seen. I don’t turn my brain off. I sit back, and I watch…..
That’s all I can put it down to. Attitude*, learning and technique. 🙂
*mostlyPosted 5 years ago
My commute is mostly country lanes and I hardly meet any cars, but for the next few years I’m going to see a massive increase in traffic due to Hinkly Point C.Posted 5 years ago
I’m not looking forward to it, I’ll be retiring as soon as I can. 😕
Ok, so nobody answer my questions on page 1.
So does that mean you do ride in such a stupid way that you don’t adapt to the situation? eg. “This is the hard and fast rule: passing on the left is wrong.”Posted 5 years ago
Surely you see there are situations where its perfectly safe and other times where you wouldn’t do it?
I rarely have issues on my commute. I tend to go by the rule “if it’s moving don’t filter unless you have your own lane” (and that tends to be a bus lane rather than a cycle lane, which gives me more room to swerve if necessary). I use different routes to and from work because I know where the hotspots are and that some roads are much worse in one direction than the other.
In a queue I’ll often nip past a few cars while they are stationary and then slot back in when they start to move even if that means slowing down. If I get to a queue at traffic lights and know I’ll get through in the next change anyway I don’t bother filtering. And if a queue is absolutely impossible to filter past safely I’ll get off and push the bike along the pavement. The part of my commute where I’m likely to be delayed is so short, and the total delay so minimal that it’s just not worth it. I’ve been over a car bonnet before now and I’d rather not repeat it.Posted 5 years ago
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