Primary or secondary

Discussion in 'Commuting' started by magnatom, 21 Feb 2008.

  1. magnatom

    magnatom Guest

    Some people on here and elsewhere have commented on my apparent overuse of the primary position. I don't think I do overuse it. My videos are usually of incidents and these often happen at the same spots on my commute. Because I know these are hot spots I tend to keep to primary. Thus it probably appears that I am there all the time!

    Anyway I though I would try taking secondary a bit more along a particular stretch of road. This is what happened


    I'll be taking the primary from now on!!:smile:
  2. BentMikey

    BentMikey Rider of Seolferwulf

    South London
    I wouldn't pay too much attention to the opinions of those folks on cyclecraft. Sure, listen to what they have to say, but don't take any pain from their criticism. IIRC several of the recent posters have said that they would use poor or very poor riding strategy when discussing specific situations on here. All IMO of course, but based on holding up their approaches to both cyclecraft and the actual practical national standards training I've been on.
  3. Maz

    Maz Legendary Member

    I'm guessing it was a close shave type video Mag (can't see youtube at work). Do what you feel is safest, that's the key.

    How about trying 'tertiary position' aka pavement?!!
  4. JamesAC

    JamesAC Senior Member

    I've been having thoughts about Primary and so on. The more I cycle, the more I'm convinced that, for my own safety, I should adopt Primary whenever I feel it appropriate.

    A couple of days ago a WVM gave be a blast on his horn, and a huge mouthful when he eventually (ie 5 seconds later) passed me, because I was in primary. Had I been in secondary, he would have "gone for it" - and run me off the road. So f*ck him.

    Today, there was a bit of a head wind, so I couldn't maintain my usual 30 er 25 er 15 mph. So I took a bit of a Secondary. Coming down off the railway bridge, there's a side road to the left and traffic island in the middle. A bint is on my tail .. the nearer we get to the hazard, the closer to me she gets. At the last minute, she overtakes, and then swerves left. I really thought she was going to turn left into the side road. I yell, well, shriek, really, I'm doing a good 15.5 mph by now. Slam on the anchors. Change my underpants. No more secondary for you, missus!!

    So, my resolve is hardened. If it suits me, I will adopt Primary. When I think it's safe, I'll move back to secondary.

    An aside: yesterday as I tootled along in primary, I was aware of a car hanging back a bit. We got to a safer bit, and I moved over, and a police car overtook me with care and consideration. If I'd caught him up at the TL's I'd have complimented him!
  5. JamesAC

    JamesAC Senior Member

    There's more

    I choose not to use ASL's if I'm going straight on at a junction. Instead I adopt Primary in my place in the queue. If I filter to the front then a) I put myself at risk of being creamed off (;)) by a car pulling out or cutting in, ;) the cars I've just filtered past will try and get past me as soon as the TL's turn green, creating a big hazard for me.
  6. Wolf04

    Wolf04 New Member

    Wallsend on Tyne
    Seems like fairly conclusive evidence Mag. Primary it is!
  7. frog

    frog Guest

    This is a very good time of year to review your cycling road postions. The mornings and evenings are getting lighter and the drivers are getting bolder, or even less caring, in their risky overtaking actions.

    Over the past three weeks I've had more near misses than I've had all winter. I'm looking at each incident very critically and each time a more primary position would have benefitted me and deterred the driver.

    Lets be careful, and assertive, out there people ;)
  8. OP

    magnatom Guest

    I should probably point out that I wasn't bowing to any pressure (God forbid!)

    However, I wanted to see what effect it would have, if any on this stretch of road (which some could argue I should be riding in secondary as I might hold up traffic).

    This was only the second occasion I cycled this road in the secondary and I was surprised by how close that one was. I felt it necessary to swerve!

    It's a nice piece of evidence to show anyone who suggests that I should be in secondary or hugging the gutter!;)
  9. domtyler

    domtyler Über Member

    Unless you are cycling on a long straight stretch of clear road with no junctions/side roads, parked cars, driveways, pedestrians or any other kind of hazard you need to position yourself in primary position. If not you will soon wish you had.

    Apart from this morning when some w@nkshaft undertook me using the cycle lane for extra space, c**t. He got to the light all of 1/3 second before me whereupon I position myself directly in front of his vehicle and unclipped, rearranged my clothing etc. as the lights went green and pulled off nice and gently, all the time with him bleeping furiously behind me!! ;) Tosspot.
  10. OP

    magnatom Guest


    I have never knowingly pulled in front of a car that has just annoyed me just to hold them up. Honest, I haven't. Honest......;):laugh:
  11. the reluctant cyclist

    the reluctant cyclist Über Member

    I'm not sure which one is "best" they both seem to have their uses at certain times don't they? I try and trust my instinct but find that it doesn't really matter for "close shaves" as they are just a daily occurence now!

    I have to say, I love Magnatron's videos - especially the heavy breathing and the talking to himself as he cycles along - classic!
  12. OP

    magnatom Guest

    I'm not talking to myself, I am talking to my audience here on cyclechat :evil:
  13. fossyant

    fossyant Ride It Like You Stole It!

    South Manchester
    I have one particular stretch of road - only 200 yards but two lanes going the same way, but usually quite heave traffic, if you don't take Primary on the inner lane, someone will knock you off.

    I've only done it once in 6 months, as it's at the top of a long climb and I was feeling tired... some van missed me by millimetres trying to squeeze past.

    Last night, I'm in primary and can see another cyclist in secondary just up the road - what's going on, folk trying to squeeze past him - he wasn't going very fast as I'd taken a few minutes out of him going up the hill (he'd gone through the lights as I arrived at the bottom of the hill). Had I caught up with him (I turned off at this point), I'd have kindly told him he needed to be further out, and told him what I could see from behind him.
  14. the reluctant cyclist

    the reluctant cyclist Über Member


    To the casual road user you must sound like you're giving yourself a little running commentry as you cycle along!

    I can't talk I sing along really loud when I cycle the towpaths - hopefully I won't bump into anybody I know!!

    Looking forward to the next instalment - bloke that moaned at you for being in the "middle of the road" was a classic but not as good as the "gentleman" peeing in the middle of the cycle lane! I thought I'd seen it all but perhaps not!
  15. Tynan

    Tynan Veteran

    mix it up all the way in, strong secondary where it's safe, primary where's it not safe to do otherwise or where I'm traveling fast enough to blend with traffic, gutter where I need to pass slow or stopped traffic, right side where I think it's safe (ish) and lane splitting where I'm going faster than moving traffic, usually Nags Head to Finsbury Park, that's one quick piece of my route

    ASL when I can get to them without bother, especially if there's traffic wanting to turn left, I'll start in lane where it suits
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