How to improve

Discussion in 'Commuting' started by Crock of Gold, 14 May 2008.

  1. Crock of Gold

    Crock of Gold Guest

    I've been commuting into work since the Summer, now.

    I have improved in terms of being roadwise but still have the same kind of incidents that people talk about on this forum.

    My question is this - can theory (reading about advice on forums such as this and elsewhere) and practice by oneself be enough?

    Can I improve and cut down on incidents by actually going on a course or riding with a more experienced cyclist for a couple of trips to see how they cope with the road?

    I figure that it is my attitude that needs changing - I have a quick temper and am almost stubbornly assertive - which has it's advantages but does cycling 600 miles a month through London as I do require a more controlled and calm mind whilst remaining assertive and defensive?
  2. tdr1nka

    tdr1nka Taking the biscuit

    Can you elaborate on the kinds of incidents you keep having?
  3. domtyler

    domtyler Über Member

    I find that I predict just about all incidents now before they happen, as in not much comes as a shock and takes me totally unawares. I still do shout at people occasionally but only when I feel like it and they have not usually put me in danger, just feel like telling them off.

    In short, it is experience that counts and you can't get that on a course. Having said that I am sure that you could learn something if you did choose to go on one.

    And as tdr1nka says, post about specific incidents and we can all laugh at you analyse them together! :sad:
  4. Wolf04

    Wolf04 New Member

    Wallsend on Tyne
    Agree with Dom. I think I predict most situations. Havent had to use the Airzound in weeks other than to let people know I'm there when their reversing for example. I think if you assume that other road users are going to cock up at every oppotunity and ride accordingly you won't go far wrong.
  5. Trillian

    Trillian New Member

    learning to let it go is vital, if someone cuts you up and you're still on the bike and not been hit feel free to yell "pillock" or "stay in your own lane" etc (try not to swear, makes it not as bad if they hear you) but they'll be round the corner and gone in a few mins. hold a grudge and you'll end up dog fighting on the road (happens to a mate of mine on his motorbike often, latest was him saying thanks for someone moving to let him past! they took it as a sign of aggression!)

    if you are hit / knocked off / fall off then its a case of politely pointing out that they hit you, that its the equivalent of having hit another vehicle and that you need insurance details etc
  6. mr_cellophane

    mr_cellophane Guru

  7. summerdays

    summerdays Cycling in the sun Moderator

    I think riding with other people is interesting ... they are bound to do somethings differently and may make you question your way or confirm something is correct. A work friend who I often end up cycling with, have often discussed how differently we position ourselves etc... but interestingly we both think the other is better at giving consistant clear signals... (probably means we both think we need to improve our signaling.) I'm the slightly more assertive rider... and think my positioning is slightly better than hers (I could of course be wrong:biggrin:).
  8. Tynan

    Tynan Veteran

    I find riding faster allows for more primary and less of a speed differential with traffic and things go a lot smoother, otherwise it's all experience really

    although sadly you're always vulnerable at some point when you're tired or distracted and some accidents really are unavoidable if you're to make any progress at all, I was a whisker away from being doored last week and there's very little you can do if someone's determined to pull out suddenly on you, especially if you're erm ... going fast
  9. OP
    Crock of Gold

    Crock of Gold Guest

    Close overtakes, overtaken then cars turning left, cars going in the opposite direction too fast along narrowish lanes etc...

    ...nothing out of the ordinary it seems that people write about here. I do all the things that people advice here as well - travel as safely fast as conditions allow, primary, secondary, act as a car - I know the theory and can put it into practice.

    It's just that I do tend to react too overtly, I think and I just need to, as others have pointed out here, accept it as "background urban cycling collaterall" and not get annoyed all the time.

    My new mantra - only react overtly if it is truly dangerous.
  10. Tynan

    Tynan Veteran

    pannier on the outside rear has worked wonders for me

    I'm always puzzled why most I see put them on the inside
  11. I agree with that Tynan - don't have a pannier myself but I see some huge things in London, ready to kneecap jaywalking peds instead of adding a bit of 'TIR' to the bike and rider...
    With commuting I think it is important to remember that it is a journey, not a race.
    I no longer ride in the gutter - the road is my space too.
    It is surprising how careless vehicle actions can be outweighed by fair weather cyclists acting the arse.
    And also surprising that more people cannot share a smile and relax instead of waiting at lights like a speedway rider waiting for the wire to go up!:evil:
  12. BentMikey

    BentMikey Rider of Seolferwulf

    South London
    +1 to Tynan.

    Aperitif, I don't think it's possible for pedestrians to jaywalk in most of London.
  13. 4F

    4F Active member of Helmets Are Sh*t Lobby

    That is until you see another commuter :evil:
  14. yenrod

    yenrod Guest

    Take back seat so to speak - if your on the road everyday you need to exist everyday.

    So, I imagine every road users going to do the worst thing they can in a manouvre ! Even though they mostly dont, but still.

    Just relax...dont rush in, think how you will 'come out' of any situation prior to entering it AND never unless its life and death (and not a dramatic 'over the top' - making' of a situation either) do you speak to a cardriver.

    Think all the ride and not the next meeting with a car driver.
  15. OP
    Crock of Gold

    Crock of Gold Guest

    "zen" is the phrase people use here.

    I'll have to try it.

    I've always avoided it due to it's hippy connotations (I know, how sad) but it is the way forward.
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