It's no wonder they call me Reluctant!

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the reluctant cyclist

Über Member
This morning I was on a dual carriageway and I wanted to turn right. For some distance before the right turn I held my lane and made sure that I wasn't shoved to the side of the traffic against the kerb. A short while before the right turn I stuck my arm out and started to move over. There were lots of cars in the right hand lane of the dual carriageway so I couldn't just go straight over but had to sort of hover at the edge of the left hand lane for a while sticking my arm out a lot but not quiet all the way as there was no room to stick it into the traffic. I did spot a gap in the traffic just before the turn so stuck my arm out all the way and tried to move over into the right hand lane.

I will hasten to add that I have done this manoeuvrer many, many times and every other time have had no trouble whatsoever that close to the right hand turn as the driver has always let me across. This morning however the woman in the car I was trying to pull out in front of decided that there was no way she was going to let me do this and accelerated up the outside lane so I was forced to steer back into the left hand lane to avoid being badly maimed or killed!

The car that had been behind me in the left hand lane then beeped at me for england for getting in his way and the one in the right hand lane did the same! Basically all the drivers going mad at me whilst I was stuck in-between the two lanes of traffic. Luckily the lorry driver in the outside lane then flashed me to go across and I went.

Now I don't think that I did anything wrong but maybe I did - what do you lot reckon? I think that the "lady" driver in the outside lane was wrong to accelerate into the gap so quickly while somebody was trying to turn right and that the bloke in the inside lane should have been aware that there was a cyclist in front of him and been a bit careful.

All comments will be taken on board (although I might sulk a bit if you are mean to me!).


nothing in moderation
i had a similar problem in edinburgh last week, compounded by the bus in the left lane obscuring me from the view of the cars in the left hand lane.

the next time i needed to go that way i used the ped crossing and used the pavement for the 10 yards needed.

the reluctant cyclist

Über Member
It was on the Hagley Road (not my favourite road) - I had gone straight over at the lights by Quantum Pub and was trying to turn right down Meadow Road to get to Birmingham City Centre through Edgbaston instead of all the way down the Hagley Road.

I wouldn't mind but nobody was going anywhere fast as about 100 yards down the road was standstill traffic (as usual) in BOTH lanes.

It is true about the lorry driver - I always find them very couteous and considerate. I think that the standard of driving has got worse on the roads since I have been commuting (7 years).

I have got to the point where I want to rap gently on the windows of cars that overtake me close enough for me to do that!:ohmy:


Bird Saviour
was in a long queue of traffic at lights today, primary position. when the traffic started to move the bint in the car behind me over took and pulled in front. of course, she didn't actually get anywhere because the lights changed back to red (which i knew they would) and so she was sitting in front of me. perfect.

she jumped out of her skin when i rapped my knuckles on her back window and started having a fit at her (would have moved up the side but no room dammit). it was quite funny to see her jump. she nearly went through the roof. Ha! bet she won't overtake the next cyclist in primary position.
I was overtaking another cyclist last night, I signaled well back from him, had a look behind me, there was an Audi a fair bit back, but at a safe distance, I start to pull out, when I hear the Audi's engine screaming as the driver decided to floor it, I swear he missed my hand by mm's. I passed him further up the road and he wouldn't even look at me as I paused at his window. Complete idiot!!!!


Well-Known Member
You did nothing wrong. Highway code rule 143:

DO NOT overtake where you might come into conflict with other road users. For example when a vehicle is indicating right, even if you believe the signal should have been cancelled. Do not take a risk; wait for the signal to be cancelled.

They should have yielded to your right-turn signal. No decent driver would think of overtaking a car with its right turn signal flashing, bikes should be treated no differently.


Rider of Seolferwulf
South London
I'll second what others have said, Reluctant, it sounds like you did everything perfectly, and were confounded by a couple of muppet drivers. The beeping just tells you they were trying to do something they shouldn't have been.


New Member
You were right, Reluctant. But dual carriageways are really difficult places to ride, they're treated like motorways by motorists, most of which believe we shouldn't be on dual carriageways at all. There isn't an easy way to solve this.

I presume you've already considered finding an alternative route?
As the others have said you were in the right. Cab is right about dual carriageways though. I have most of my problems on one. I find I need to be ultra assertive to avoid trouble, i.e. move out early, slow cars down if you have to (delays are still often minimal) take the primary and ignore cars hooting at you.

Have you tried moving out earlier into the right hand lane?


New Member
In principle I'd be well within my rights riding on our local dual carriageway. As thats the A14 and essentially a death trap, I'd sooner not :ohmy:


Legendary Member
TRC - possibly no help in your particular instance but if I was on a DC I would make sure I had a Hi-Viz waistcoat on (even in sunlight)
Leave it flapping so even the dimmest cager might see you


Velo, boulot, dodo
In practice I find it difficult to always avoid dual carriageways, often they form part of the most direct route (when cycling to get somewhere I don't usually want to go much further than I need to- a bit further maybe). Depends on the road, might take a detour for a really nasty junction.


Married to Night Train
Salford, UK
the reluctant cyclist said:
I have got to the point where I want to rap gently on the windows of cars that overtake me close enough for me to do that!:biggrin:

I haven't used it in anger yet, but I've often thought that my riding crop would make a lovely thwack against a car, and being about 18" long, would enable me to reach better... I normally carry it sticking out of my pannier, but a couple of times I have carried it in one hand, sticking out from the bars slightly, and I think I got a few mm more space when I did.

Plus, I can thrash the bike to make it go faster uphill...:ohmy:


Legendary Member
OK, I know I'm going to get into trouble for this reply. I've got into trouble on a board before for my thoughts with this...... Firstly, obviously, I wasn't there, and I don't know the situation, but:

i. I know it's legal right of a cyclist to be on a dual carriage way, but I question if it's practical given the speed differentials (on the assumption that most people drive 60 or above on most dual carriageways), particularly if you are crossing lanes. As other people have pointed out, I'd use a different route if possible.

ii. Given the situation you describe, would it be more appropriate to stop to one side of the road, then walk across? (again, assuming a practical possibility). Yes, yes, before anyone screams at me, I know that this behaviour gives off the signal that a bicycle is not a vehicle, but I don't care if (my) personal safety is involved!

From your post it sounds like you did everything correctly and according to highway code and it sounds like some of the drivers behind you were complete idiots, but of course that doesn't mean to say what you were doing is a good idea (again, don't know your exact situation, just surmizing from your description). I know I have the legal right to cycle some places such as a dual carriageway, but just because I can be dead right legally isn't going to be of any comfort or use to me.

Been a few years now, but I regularly rode on the A1 between Newark and Worksop -don't think I'd do that now!


Über Member
The other thing to point out, which I have no doubt that RC will correct me on if wrong, is that at this point the road is not a dual carriageway (having a divide between two carriageways) but a single carriageway with two lanes in each direction.


RC, you need to be more assertive in this situation, commit to the manoeuvre and pull out in front of the woman. I don't believe that many people would intentionally drive into someone, even if they are on a bicycle.
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