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Beeping advice for motorists.

Discussion in 'Commuting' started by Cab, 19 Nov 2007.

  1. Cab

    Cab New Member

    Top tip for motorists.

    A cyclist is on a narrow road, he's in front of you. Its a two way road, and the cyclist has decided to be right in the middle of the lane; where he is now, you physically can't overtake him because of oncoming traffic. Which is a problem. Now, if the cyclist were to move over into the gutter you could get past, although it would be a squeeze.

    What you need to know in this situation is that the cyclist knows that you're there. He's no more likely to move over and let you pass if you honk at him, you're not alerting him to your presence. In fact, he'll take your act as needless aggression, you're asking him to move over to a place where it isn't safe for you to pass him.

    So all you have done is you've informed the cyclist that he can't trust you, you've told him you're really rather impatient. What'll happen now is the cyclist will hold his position all the way along the road, until he's absolutely sure he can get to a safe place to allow the overtaking with no possible risk of you making a dash to get past him.

    Oh, and if you think that making feints on to the other side of the road into the traffic is going to help, you're way out there too.
  2. alecstilleyedye

    alecstilleyedye nothing in moderation Staff Member

    good stuff cab, but you're preaching to the choir.
  3. fossyant

    fossyant Ride It Like You Stole It!

    South Manchester
    A good ride in then.....

    You have to laugh though, some folk get so worked up, goodness knows what they are like when they get into work. Saw one bloke beeping away a few weeks ago to some other motorists because they had blocked a junction due to heavy traffic, really going for it, and it was before 8.00am - yikes
  4. Cab

    Cab New Member

    Yeah, I know, its just that I found the whole thing quite amusing ;)
  5. frog

    frog Guest

    I'm cultivating the habit of wobbling when I get beeped. Always try to swing out rathe than in as it confuses the living daylights out of the buggers.;)
  6. Cab

    Cab New Member

    I'll throw a wobble to gain more space if it looks like someone is going to overtake too close. But if they've beeped me then I want them to know that I'm not incompetent, I'm where I am on the road because thats the right place to be.
  7. magnatom

    magnatom Guest

    I react in a similar fashion when I am tailgated (when driving the car). I will slow down, not to try and annoy them (although it does), but to ensure that if they do crash into the back of me, that it is at a slower speed.

    Nothing else you can do, although a cheery wave as you part is a nice gesture!
  8. I react similarly to a beeping motorist, visa versa if a motorist tends to be respectful of me, I pull over at a safe place and let them by.
  9. John Ponting

    John Ponting Über Member


    Cab, I always enjoy your posts even though I am convinced that some/many have been embellished.

    BUT (re the quote) HOW ?? Does the cyclist give a cheery wave to acknowledge the presence of another road user? Does the cyclist look over their shoulder from time to time? Does the cyclist remove the MP3 earpieces? Does the cyclist suggest that the other road user waits ONE or maybe TWO minutes?

    btw I agree with you on the more agressive motorists and their (apparent) self importance that makes them need to overtake. But there really is nothing wrong with the shortest little beep to let somebody know that they are there. Respond in like manner and move over a bit when the road/traffic conditions allow. Hurts nobody - unless they overtake, pull in too soon and then stop outside a newsagent or turn left without signalling.
  10. col

    col Veteran

    I was walking in a cycle lane the other day,couldnt use the path,because it had been dug up,thinking away to myself,as you do,then next thing a cyclist bombed passed ,shouting move over you idiot to me.Mmm sounds familiar i thought.;)
  11. BentMikey

    BentMikey Rider of Seolferwulf

    South London

    I think it's almost never necessary or even good driving to beep a cyclist. They almost certainly already know you're there because they can hear much better than you can. Often even with earphones in.
  12. Cab

    Cab New Member

    Doesn't happen, I assure you. You simply don't have to embellish posts about the wierdness of people in Cambridge.

    Sorry, but I disagree. If there is a car behind a cyclist, then unless the cyclist has earplugs in and music turned up full, or is actually deaf, the cyclist knows that the car is there. Honk me 'cos I'm in primary position in a busy road, and I'll make absolutely sure that I don't move over until I know that there is no possibility that the car could make a dash for the gap I'm creating as I do it. Wait patiently behind me and I'll make the most of less likely passing points to let the car go. Simple survival strategy really; if the car behind turns out to be driven by someone really impatient, I've got to be more assertive to remain safe ;)
  13. gambatte

    gambatte Middle of the pack...

    S Yorks
    I always ride with the assumption there is someone behind me
  14. magnatom

    magnatom Guest


    You can quite easily tell the difference between a 'I'm behind you' honk and a 'get outta my way' honk, by the style of driving. You will often find that the honker is sitting 1m from your back wheel and, as Cab has indicated, makes aggressive attempts to pass you despite the lack of space. If someone was just letting you know they were there, I am sure they would be keeping a safe distance.

    In my time cycling on the road I have had many kind gestures from motorists, but I have never been honked at just to let me know they were there. I have a a number of occasions been honked at in an attempt to get me out of the way.

    I fairly certain that cabs honk was something along these lines

    As an aside I am honking a lot at my oldest boy at the moment. However, thats because one of his favourite books has a Gosling in it, and apparently the only thing they can say is 'honk'. Now you know:biggrin:
  15. gambatte

    gambatte Middle of the pack...

    S Yorks
    Depends what you mean by ‘to let them know you’re there’

    I’ll admit I honked at a couple of, what appeared to be, club cyclists a few months ago. But then again it was an average width, straight country lane. Intermittent traffic, national speed limit.

    These 2 guys were side by side 15-20mph (max) chatting away to each other. Guy on the left in secondary, guy on the right about 1’ from the white lines down the middle.

    Single file, in secondary (or primary) I would have been able to wait for a gap in the oncoming traffic and pass on the other side of the carriageway, easily giving 3ft of room. (As I’d already done with the previous bunches of riders). I actually followed these guys like this for about half a mile, waiting for them to have the ‘grace’ to at least both move to primary.

    Eventually they got the shortest honk I could give. They moved….