How Do You Deal With Traffic Coming From Behind?

Lovacott

Über Member
I ride a fairly quiet route at a fairly quite time of the day and I experience about a dozen overtakes on my ten mile commute.

On the narrow lanes which make up the best part of my route, overtakes are not an issue because I decide when the overtake happens. There is not enough room on the lane for both of us at the same time so I will pull into the next farm gate or layby to let the car pass. This is always appreciated by the motorist and I'll get a tail light flash or wave as they pass me by. One very pretty young girl actually blew me a little kiss on Thursday.

On the main roads however, I have adopted the strategy of road hogging so that overtaking cars are forced to the other side of the road. I do this because I've found that if I keep tight to the left, cars will overtake me on my side of the road and leave very little gap. Also, I have nowhere to go if someone gets too close.

Of course, road hogging pisses people off no end so instead of friendly waves or blown kisses, I get revving engines and shaking fists.

Luckily, main roads make up a very small part of my commute but I am wanting to get out more at weekends on some of the busier roads and do longer distances.

How do you cope with traffic coming from behind?
 

MontyVeda

a short-tempered ill-controlled small-minded troll
pretty much the same as you, but i only 'road hog' (AKA take primary or take the lane) when i feel it's too narrow for them to safely overtake (eg, chicanes, parked cars on the other side of the road, danger of being left hooked). Mostly on urban roads I'm in secondary (a few feet from the curb) and far more often than not, motorists pass me leaving plenty of space.
 

neil_merseyside

Veteran
Location
Wirral
Taking the lane isn't road hogging it's a sensible precaution. I ride in the left hand tyre area of road as it is usually smoother and debris free, but I will ride in the centre of the lane to stop cars squeezing past. I will never grovel in the gutter, too much debris, full of potholes, gratings and the like which risk an unintended steering deflection in front of a car, or into a kerb and a face plant.
 
OP
Lovacott

Lovacott

Über Member
Mostly on urban roads I'm in secondary (a few feet from the curb) and far more often than not, motorists pass me leaving plenty of space.
I'm very confident in heavy traffic on urban roads because most of the time, I'm keeping pace or even doing the overtaking myself (approaches to lights, roundabouts etc). This makes up the last mile or so of my commute home in the rush hour. I spent ten years commuting in London where cycling was the quickest way to get from A to B (and still is).

Down here in Devon though, it's the A roads with little traffic which concern me. Cars hare along at 70mph and don't like having to decelerate slightly for a few seconds whilst they wait for an opportunity to pass.

I use a bar end mirror (life saver) so I know what's going on behind and it scares the shoot of me when I see a van closing in on me at speed.

I hog the middle wherever I don't think it's safe to overtake and move left when the road opens up with no oncoming traffic (safe to overtake).

In spite of my strategy, I had a big artic almost side swipe me on the A377 yesterday as it breezed past me as if I wasn't there.

My daughters friend has horses and she reckons that only about 8/10 drivers slow down for horses even though it is generally accepted that everyone should slow down for horses.
 

snorri

Legendary Member
I'm very confident in heavy traffic on urban roads because most of the time, I'm keeping pace or even doing the overtaking myself (approaches to lights, roundabouts etc). This makes up the last mile or so of my commute home in the rush hour. I spent ten years commuting in London where cycling was the quickest way to get from A to B (and still is).
Down here in Devon though, it's the A roads with little traffic which concern me. Cars hare along at 70mph and don't like having to decelerate slightly for a few seconds whilst they wait for an opportunity to pass.
Police and road safety groups inform us that rural cycling is more dangerous than urban cycling, it's not motor traffic volumes, but their speed that gives rise to the danger.
It's probably just the same in Devon, but I don't know what we can do about it apart from campaigning for segregated walking and cycling routes as an alternative to roads with 60mph speed limits.
 

mjr

Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
Police and road safety groups inform us that rural cycling is more dangerous than urban cycling, it's not motor traffic volumes, but their speed that gives rise to the danger.
They are pretty much guessing, though. Urban cycling number estimates are poor. Rural ones almost don't exist, based on count points on A roads which miss most cyclists.

It's probably just the same in Devon, but I don't know what we can do about it apart from campaigning for segregated walking and cycling routes as an alternative to roads with 60mph speed limits.
That, plus more "Quiet Lanes" closed at one end or gated to discourage non-resident through traffic, plus lower speed limits and average speed cameras. In the immediate, make the most of so-called "lost lanes" or at least try to use signposted cycle routes (where not bonkers) because other cyclists will be there too (especially tourists) and there is safety in numbers.
 
OP
Lovacott

Lovacott

Über Member
Why call it that? You’re not doing anything that every car driver isn’t already doing, namely occupying your lane.
True. I should have typed "road hogging" instead of road hogging.

Everybody down here accepts being slowed down by a tractor pulling a tank full of slurry taking up 3/4's of the road because the slurry tank is 3/4's of the road wide.

They seem to object to a 3 foot wide bike doing the same thing?

No sh it.
 

Drago

Flouncing Nobber
Location
Poshshire
Maintain a primary, exact distance as appropriate to road, layout and other users. Wider out past junctions, parked cars, pedestrians etc, closer left approaching right hand curves.

And then do that which few cyclists bother - look somewhere other than 10 degrees either aide of dead ahead, and thus maintain superior situational awareness which allows you to respond earlier than you otherwise would have been able. That 1 second extra reaction time difference could save your life.

And then give a cheery wave to those that do treat you with respect. Its a nice feel good thing, and they'll be more inclined to continue to drive sensibly. If its a local road the odds are they'll encounter you again, so all the more reason to foster good relationships with other road users.

None of it is dfficult. As adult road users this should be second nature, but its frightening how it seems not to be so for so many people.
 
Top Bottom