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In defence of motorists

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by cd365, 17 Mar 2011.

  1. cd365

    cd365 Veteran

    Coventry, uk
    Whilst driving last night, I was coming down a road cars parked on both sides, a couple of cars ahead of me and some cars coming towards me, hence a bit of squeezing through. I then noticed the cars ahead of me (about 50m) overtake a cyclist.

    The road in front of me was now clear, i.e. no oncoming traffic, so coming up to the cyclist I gave him plenty of room as I prepared to overtake, about 200m down the road a car turns into the road and starts to head towards me.

    I then realised the cyclist was going a lot faster than I had anticipated; the road was a slight downhill gradient so he was probably doing 22-25mph. I was probably only going 5mph faster than him. Hence me putting a bit of a squirt on to make sure I can pull in in-front of him at a safe distance.

    Did think if I was the cyclist I wouldn't have been too happy but in my defence when I started the overtake the road ahead was clear!
  2. gaz

    gaz Cycle Camera TV

    South Croydon
    Was the speed limit 30mph?
  3. 4F

    4F Active member of Helmets Are Sh*t Lobby

    Sorry but that is not in defence of motorists, it just sounds like poor driving as you should have guaged the speed of the cyclist before attempting the overtake.
  4. cd365

    cd365 Veteran

    Coventry, uk
    The speed of the road was 30mph.

    The road was clear ahead, the cyclist was not doing the speed limit, I was perfectly entitled to overtake. The problem arised when a car entered the road from a side road. Now unless I can predict the future there was no way for me to see that was about to happen!

    Maybe I should have built up a lot of speed and flew past him? Would that have been a better overtake?
  5. gaz

    gaz Cycle Camera TV

    South Croydon
    It is the speed limit and not a target. You don't have to overtake.
    As cyclists we are perfectly entitled to cycle on shared use cycle paths, doesn't mean we have to.

    Obviously you choose to overtake another vehicle whilst on a busy road (you mentioned parked cars on either side) which means reduced visibility of cars trying to pull out.
    Was it the right time to overtake the cyclist? Clearly not as you had an issue when a vehicle pulled out of a side road.
    You state it was about 200m away when it pulled out. That is further than you think. 30mph is slightly less than 12meters by second, which means that it will be slightly more than 8 seconds for two cars that are both traveling at 30mph towards each other to crash over 200meters. 8 seconds is plenty of time to pass a cyclist doing between 22-25mph. hell usain bolt could even do it!

    I'm clearly just picking at what you said but if you are going to try and say that it's always the motorists fault (the overtakee) then you will get some people disagreeing with you. Obviously there will be circumstances that can arise that won't make it the overtakee's fault, but i wouldn't say this was one.
  6. Dan B

    Dan B Señor Member

    nuff said
  7. Jim_Noir

    Jim_Noir New Member

    Would you have overtaken a car that was doing 25 on that road?
  8. Hydra

    Hydra Occasional Pepper Carver

    Seems to me that it would have been better not to overtake. If you had to exert more energy and build up more speed to do so, it seems unnecessary to me
  9. Bongman

    Bongman Über Member

    I witnessed a similar situation while in a friends car.

    He went to overtake a cyclist, giving him plenty of space. In order to do this he was half in the oncoming lane (with no oncoming traffic)

    About half way into the overtake, a car appeared at a side road on the right, and started to pull out (turning left). My friend was forced to take evasive action by moving back towards the cyclst to avoid a collision. Turning it into quite a close pass.

    The cyclist, shouted at us (I assume he was unaware of the car pulling out and why my friend had to avoid it).

    I thought his overtake was well planned and safe. The oncoming car should not have pulled out (even when turning left) without ensuring it was clear
  10. BSRU

    BSRU A Human Being

    In the same situation I would not have speeded up I would have slowed down and gone back behind the cyclist then waited for a better opportunity assuming one arises.
    You stated the cyclist was doing 22 to 25mph and you were passing 5mph faster than the cyclist, so you were travelling at 27 to 30 mph already before your spurt which implies you had to break the speed limit to complete your overtake.

    If you gave the cyclist plenty of room then he probably wouldn't have really noticed, unless you then got in his way later.
    I like motorised vehicles to safely overtake me with a big as gap as possible and with a small as possible speed differential.
  11. Reiver

    Reiver Whistling down the hills, tearing up the climbs

    Middle Marches
    You ain't supposed to overtake near a road junction.

    Faster cyclists do seem to get into more conflicts with motorists, my following thoughts are not a defense of the car van or lorry driver just how I see their viewpoint;
    Most cyclists are doing about 10 -15 mph its very easy to misjudge the speed of a cyclist doing nearer 30 and pull out in front of him.
    Drivers feel compelled to overtake cyclists, when they come across one doing about 25 (in the primary) in a built up area conflict is very likely. The car or van will try and pass, they will have to break the speed limit to do so. They are also likely to have little experience of of overtaking in a built up area, therefor the scenario of it all going pear shape is very likely.
  12. Crackle

    Crackle Pah

    The onus is on the car pulling out to check it's clear and that includes overtaking vehicles, that's why you look both ways. In your situation CD365 I may have braked or I may have braked and moved in but not accelarated: Probably. After all you never really know as it depends, you learn from each situation.
  13. John the Monkey

    John the Monkey Frivolous Cyclist

    Sounds much like the safer option to me as well.

    Speeding up risks something else happenning with less time to react to it. Slowing, and slotting back in gives far more margin for error.
    Not my experience at all - slower cyclists get the p*ss taken with greater regularity, in my experience.

    I have way fewer problems with impatient dolts if I'm maintaining 20mph than when I'm grovelling into a headwind at 15/16mph. I do think the type of bad driving one experiences is geographical though - I've no doubt that Manchester has different problems to other places.
  14. jugglingphil

    jugglingphil Senior Member

    Drivers of all vehicles should look both ways before pulling out, but frequently do not.
    All drivers have to evaluate possible dangers all the time, in this case, parked cars, cyclist, junctions,etc.

    In the end what you thought was a perfectly safe manoeuvre didn't quite work out as planned. Not really sure why your posting on an internet forum.
  15. cd365

    cd365 Veteran

    Coventry, uk
    The road is wide enough for two cars to be parked opposite and for two cars to safely pass each other.

    On my overtake I had given the cyclist at least 6 feet of room much more than the other 2 cars I had just watched overtake.

    I don't understand some of the points some people are making. When I started my overtake it was safe to do so, i.e. no oncoming traffic, I was giving plenty of room to the cyclist, had checked the road ahead for pedestrians and any cars wanting to move into my space, ie.e parked cars and side roads. I felt that my manoeuvre was not dangeous in any way.

    What changed was a car pulling out further down the road as I was overtaking. I then felt I needed to speed up (to the speed limit because I had slowed down whilst preparing my overtake) to ensure that I did not cut into the cyclists space. If the car had not pulled out down the road I would have just pootled past the cyclist having made what I would have felt was a safe and justified overtake.