Pinch Points in the Road - Can I do More?

Discussion in 'Commuting' started by John the Monkey, 11 Oct 2007.

  1. John the Monkey

    John the Monkey Frivolous Cyclist

    My commute has a stretch of fairly fast road with traffic islands on it - (for the benefit of those who know the area, it's Manchester Road, just between the bridge over the motorway and the lights in Cheadle).

    The road is pretty wide, but it can be hairy if people try to beat me to the gap between me and the traffic islands, so I generally adopt primary and belt along as fast as I can (20-23ish Mph, not great, but there you go :angry: ) Last night I got passed about 2-3 bike lengths ahead of the traffic island - not pleasant.

    If there anything else I can do at these bits of road, or should I just resign myself to the fact that for some people, reaching the queue of traffic at the lights is *really* *really* important... :blush:
  2. asterix

    asterix Comrade Member

    Limoges or York
    Yes, I'd like to know the answer to that.

    In York they put one on the Bishopthorpe road next to the former Terry's factory. It's a 30 limit going to 40 and I've had the same experience a few times and wanted to shake the driver by the neck. ..but they never stop to discuss the matter:sad:
  3. Arch

    Arch Married to Night Train

    Salford, UK
    There's one just before I turn off left of a main road (from Stonebow/Hungate (don't know street names around there!), to go up past the Merchant Adventurers Hall and the Oxfam shop, for Yorkies), where cars often try to squeeze past (also leading to a queue at lights). I ride out as far as I dare, based on the individual circumstances, and look behind me very often as I approach it, usually with a very determined scowly expression. Then, once I'm sure the following car is under control, I indicate the left turn and turn just after the island. If I happened to want to go straight on, I'd just move back in a little after the island.

    So I think using primary position, coupled with frequent over the shoulder looks to get eye contact is the best you can do.

    That said, if I sense that someone really is going to try and barge by anyway, just as the road narrows, I'm ready to dive in a bit to evade them. Discretion being the better part of valour and all that.
  4. Jacomus-rides-Gen

    Jacomus-rides-Gen New Member

    Guildford / London
    As they approach behind you glance back and hold your right hand out, palm towards them in a "stop" sign.

    My ex-gf was a psychology student and studied social conditioning as her dissertation, it involved things like the "stop" hand signal that nearly all people obey immidiately and then think about it.

    I use this a lot, also as a turn signal and it is fantastically effective - try it and you will be amazed.
  5. domtyler

    domtyler Über Member

    They are a menace to cyclists these things, absolutely awful. I think Arch has just about got it right, hold primary or even further out to ensure that you have taken the lane, coupled with judicious use of the lifesaver (quick look over the shoulder) plus a decent lick of speed is about as good as you can do.
  6. Sh4rkyBloke

    Sh4rkyBloke Jaffa Cake monster

    Manchester, UK
    I have a couple of similar places on my commute into Manchester - the road splits into 2 lanes and I'm in the RH lane to turn at some lights. Whilst approaching the lights I'm happy to take the line between the lanes and allow traffic to pass on both sides of me (rather than slowing them), but where the lights are is a nasty chicane and I move to the centre of the lane (after a look over my shoulder) to stop anyone passing. I have been known to also put my hand out on the right in a sort of 'stop there' type signal just to emphasis what I want them to do.

    I treat them like little pets. :blush:
  7. magnatom

    magnatom Guest

    I think Arch and Jacomus-rides-gen have got it right. I have on a number of occasions used the palm 'stop signal' and it does work. Yes they get a bit peeved but that really doesn't matter. Also as Arch says keep as super primary a position as you can, just be sure not to leave a gap down the left which they can nip down.
    Looking at them also works and I sometimes add a slight shake of the head to indicate my disapproval.
  8. Emu

    Emu New Member

    The worst thing about them is that you can hear the vehicle getting closer and closer and you know that they're not slowing down. It doesn't always work but I find looking over my right shoulder usually makes the driver slow down and therefore not overtake.
  9. stephenb

    stephenb Über Member

    agree with all the above re positioning and stop signal - a few wobbles also tends to make them back off
  10. Jacomus-rides-Gen

    Jacomus-rides-Gen New Member

    Guildford / London
    Seriously, use the palm trick, it might sound a bit unlikely, but it really really works.
  11. Cab

    Cab New Member

    I think Magnatom is right that Arch and Jacomus have got it right.

    The often forgotten thing that makes primary position extra handy is that you have more room to escape into if the worst happens.
  12. magnatom

    magnatom Guest

    :blush: I think your right as well cab, so that means.....:angry:
  13. OP
    John the Monkey

    John the Monkey Frivolous Cyclist

    Thanks everyone - I'll try the "Stop" thing if I reckon someone's going to cut it as close as the motorist last night did. (I already do a lot of looking over my shoulder on this bit, as they scare the bejesus out of me here). I may try a bit of magnatom style discussion also, as I quite often catch the malefactors at the lights (seriously, they usually gain 2-3 seconds on me, and I am not fast).

    Cab, this bit of road really underscores the importance of primary for me - the problem with adopting secondary, even a good secondary, is that they can still pass, but with an unsafe amount of space between you and them (if they don't want to hit the traffic island). As you say, primary discourages that and allows an escape route if necessary.
  14. gambatte

    gambatte Middle of the pack...

    S Yorks
    I think Magnatom is right that Cab is right that he (Magnatom) is right that Arch and Jacomus have got it right.

  15. magnatom

    magnatom Guest

    No.... I think your wrong there.....:blush:
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