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Roundabouts !!!

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by pbar, 27 Mar 2008.

  1. pbar

    pbar New Member

    I know roundabouts differ, but generally speaking, how do you use them?
    Take a typical, medium sized one, with 2 lanes as you approach it, and 4 exits in total. You want to turn right, so do you -

    1. stay in the left hand lane, in secondary position, signalling right as you pass the exits.
    2. stay in the left hand land, in primary, signalling right.
    3. use the right hand land, in primary.
    4. use the right hand land, in secondary.
    5. another method.

    I tend to use option 1, it's legal and easy, but not too sure it's safest.
    Thanks!
     
  2. wafflycat

    wafflycat New Member

    Location:
    middle of Norfolk
    Option 1 is most definitely not the safest. Take the roundabout as you would in a car: get in the correct lane for the turn you're making and signal your intentions clearly. Keep your eyes & ears open to react as needed.
     
  3. domtyler

    domtyler Über Member

    Your method is the very worst possible, extremely dangerous and you will certainly end up getting knocked off at some point if you continue.

    You should lane up as if you were on a motorbike, be extra vigilant and ride as fast as you can, sticking to the centre of your lane and making yourself as visible as possible. You are highly likely to be missed as people in cars change lanes willy nilly and get ready to exit, make mistakes, get confused &c. Your positioning and speed control is everything you must be ready to put yourself in the safest position that you can at all times.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    pbar

    pbar New Member

    Okay, I have tried a few like that, and I always think that's how they should be taken. But, I'm always unsure about the riding position when doing that.
    Generally speaking, should I be in the primary or secondary position in that outside lane as I approach.
     
  5. wafflycat

    wafflycat New Member

    Location:
    middle of Norfolk
    domtyler has the correct approach on this
     
  6. OP
    OP
    pbar

    pbar New Member

    So, you would approach in the right hand line, riding in the centre (primary).
    The issue I have with that, is that isn't it difficult to cross back over to your exit's secondary position because of the traffic to your left.
    I guess speed is essential here, as quick as you can!
    And perhaps staying in primary position until you're away from the exit?
     
  7. domtyler

    domtyler Über Member

    Any junction is a potential take out zone for a cyclist, you need to be at your very highest state of awareness going through or past any junction, even if it is just a small side road.

    RABs are many junctions squeezed into one small pinch point, a nightmare for cyclists and the most dangerous place to be. This is why it is essential that you lane up early and stick to a primary position all the way through the RAB and beyond (as you rightly point out). Change lanes as you would using any other vehicle, once you have gone past the exit prior to the one you will be using, indicate, take a good look behind you and move to the outside lane ready to exit.
     
  8. wafflycat

    wafflycat New Member

    Location:
    middle of Norfolk
    No, it's not difficult. Simply be a part of the traffic and *indicate* your intentions. I've never had problems on roundabouts such as those you describe and I think this is due to my road positioning/clear signalling of intentions. There's remarkably few motorists out there who want to intentionally run us over when we're on our bikes and we can help ourselves from being run over unintentionally by cycling *assertively*

    Assertively does not mean aggressively, by the way, it means being clear about what we are doing, especially in terms of road positioning and signalling. And for drivers to see us, we need to be where they are looking.
     
  9. col

    col Veteran

    If im turning right,ill use the right lane,as if in a car in the middle of it, as no one is going to be able to pass you,and most drivers understand and wait behind untill you clear the roundabout,signal clearly and give a thumbs up for their patience,puts a smile on their face, and look all over all the time,because there is always one.
     
  10. byegad

    byegad Guru

    Location:
    NE England
    I find that I position myself in much the way I would in a car. I tend to work hard to keep my speed up so I am travelling about as fast as a slow car. Also on really big roundabouts, if I can, I wave a driver through in between exits, even changing lane for him if it's clear. If it's busy I occupy the lane just as I would on a car or motorbike. Looking like you know what you are doing and visibly working hard, I over do the apparent effort if need be, most drivers are very patient.
    Also a cheery wave as you exit the roundabout and it becomes clear for following traffic to pass means next time the guy behind will treat a cyclist better, this is MOST important when the following driver seemed anxious to be past.
     
  11. OP
    OP
    pbar

    pbar New Member

    Thanks for the replies, appreciate it.
    So, basically, it's pretend you're in a car, but be loads more alert and assertive.
    What you guys describe makes perfect sense. It's the exit that has troubled me once or twice, with cars to the left of me making it difficult to move across.
    Gonna do what you say though, and get some practice first on some quiet one's, or at quiet times, to gain more confidence.
     
  12. byegad

    byegad Guru

    Location:
    NE England
    pbar; You look into the eyes of the driver you want to let you in while signalling. Eye contact means they realise you are a person, and ensures they have seen you before you make the change.
     
  13. BentMikey

    BentMikey Rider of Seolferwulf

    Location:
    South London
    pbar, I would strongly suggest you buy Cyclecraft by John Franklin and read through it. You might also want to get some cycling lessons from your local council, these are often cheap or free.
     
  14. Joe24

    Joe24 More serious cyclist than Bonj

    Location:
    Nottingham
    Signal right and move over to the correct lane, so the one close to the roundabout. Keep signaling right, enter the roundabout and go round in primary, look over my left shoulder near the exit i want, signal left and slowly drift over when it is clear. So pretty much how a car will take it.
    Hold primary and when you go past an exit look at the cars, and if you think they might go look straight at the driver to try and get eye contact. Be very assertive and signal in advance.
    Done alot of roundabout like this, the busier and faster they are the faster i go.
     
  15. wafflycat

    wafflycat New Member

    Location:
    middle of Norfolk
    The above is a seriously good tool to use. I cannot rate it highly enough.