Close one!


Über Member
Cycling back on Friday evening down the hill from Clapham South heading into the Balham High St. A bit on the wet side, but not raining.

Another cyclist had been tailing me for a bit. I wasn't up for hitting the hammer and making a race of it- Friday legs and potentially slippy conditions. Bit 'trafficky' too.

Anyway, he decides to make a move halfway down the hill- I was taking it easy, wasn't engaging the quads, happy to let him go and get him off my tail. He goes past but there's a large white van ahead indicating to go left for a turning at the foot of the hill. I naturally move to the right but for some reason this fella goes up the van's left hand side forcing it to stop before the turn. The van started moving after the chap passed, but suddenly stopped again (maybe stalled). I'd anticipated the van moving into my position (it's a single lane road) and found myself on the downhill with the van's rear fast approaching. With a quick body shift I JUST ABOUT avoided ploughing into the back of it at around 23mph.

'One of those' I guess- lucky I'd slowed a bit. No idea what the other chap thought he was doing, had all the gear, looked a potentially competent cyclist.

Another one to chalk up to experience! What doesn't kill you and all ;)
You missed the "in" from "competent".

Extremely dangerous situation for both of you.


Über Member
Surely your both at fault? Him for undertaking and you for assuming the van will move out of the way, still lessons learnt and all that:thumbsup:


extimus uero philosophus
I've seen a few newbies walk into my local bike shops and buy all the pro looking kit. Having the kit, I suppose, is not indicator of experience or skill.


Senior Member
I've seen a few newbies walk into my local bike shops and buy all the pro looking kit. Having the kit, I suppose, is not indicator of experience or skill.
Glad you managed to get away with it, can be scary seeing what some people try and do on their bikes.

Which shop is that? Guessing The Hub considering where you said you were cycling from yesterday?


Über Member
Maybe the van stopped having seen you, worried if you were going to repeat the other cyclists manoeuvre?
You never really know eh? Think I was far enough right (dodged to the right of the van). Would have been farther right, be it not for the bollards. Very easy to get carried away on that little hill, especially as it's almost the home stretch for me.

Here's the googlemaps. Due to a big smelly bus in the way you can't really see the corner coming down. As you can see it's not one you'd want to be passing a vehicle on the inside whilst it's indicating.

From my view:

View towards corner.
I think it's an ingrained learning thing, as a kid one tended to pass on the inside of vehicles as 'that's where cyclists should be' and not having the speed to pass vehicles on their outside and this behavious doesn't always get unlearned in adulthood. I still find myself feeling decidedly out of place if I pass vehicles on their offside in traffic, despite their speed being lower than mine, as I always think that most motorists aren't looking for cyclists passing them on that side.
Top Bottom