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Stubborn suburban mule

Discussion in 'Commuting' started by Crock of Gold, 28 Jan 2008.

  1. Crock of Gold

    Crock of Gold Guest

    Am I stubborn son of a mule, plain stupid or right?

    Picture a suburban road, with cars parked down one side. There is room for a car and a bike to pass each other but only if the cyclist stays no more then a couple of feet from the kerb. Cars can travel about 30-40, though the limit is only.

    I cycle about a two feet out from the kerb. However, cars can't wait and always try to shoot thtough, expecting you to enter the kerb. You don't so the car/4x4 does a sharp left by half a foot (still at some speed) and you end up gesticulating to the driver. Which really stresses me out.

    Having read some of the posts here, should I do the following? Take the primary (be aware these drivers aren't cycle primary route savvy) and when (as they always do) pull out to zoom past me then I should move to about two feet from the kerb. That way, in theory, the primary will give me more swerve room and I will be planning to move towards that kerb anyway, as I know the driver will try to squeeze past me.

    Cheers....Advice welcome.
  2. 4F

    4F Active member of Helmets Are Sh*t Lobby

    Sit in primary and let the tossers wait until it is safe for you to pull into secondary and there is enough room for them to overtake. If they beep their horn, cycle slower ! :cry:
  3. magnatom

    magnatom Guest

    You should aim to never get closer than 3 feet from the curb. So in this instance I would suggest you should take the primary. How long is the road and how long would they be held up for? I bet it would be a matter of seconds.
  4. Crock of Gold

    Crock of Gold Guest

    Thanks for the answers all. To clarify - we are only talking a few seconds for a car to wait - ie the lenghth of four or five parked cars.

    The crux of the matter appears to be this - the approaching cars. So, they see me cycling towards them two feet out from the kerb. So they pull out, being unable to wait. Even if I'm three feet out from the kerb, they will pull out.

    Therefore, you (and me) have convinced me that primary is the only option.

    Ironic thing is that now I can cycle across central London with confidence, I need to start getting to grip with the rat-runs of the Suburban backwaters.

    But you know what? I really don't mind giving way and moving from primary if the cars slow down. At 20 mph there is room for error. However, at speeds of thirty and fourty I really don't want a car near me.

    Thanks all.

    By the way - any other tips are welcome...
  5. magnatom

    magnatom Guest

    That seals it then. Take a firm primary position and claim your road space. If needed, this also provides a get out route.
  6. 4F

    4F Active member of Helmets Are Sh*t Lobby

    You could also employ "the professional wobble" if it looks like they will pull out. Puts a bit of doubt in their mind about your ability and they will often back off unsure what you are going to do. :cry:
  7. Tynan

    Tynan Veteran

    yep, if you're feeling unhappy/unsafe than it has to full on primary, that's what's it for

    you're doing everyone a favour
  8. sheddy

    sheddy Veteran

    Can bikes be fitted with Bull(shoot) Bars ?
  9. BentMikey

    BentMikey Rider of Seolferwulf

    South London
    Just to confirm, you're riding on the empty kerb side, and not the side with parked cars?

    I'd probably follow the advice above. If riding next to the parked car side, I'd be 5 feet away from the cars because of the door zone.
  10. John the Monkey

    John the Monkey Frivolous Cyclist

    One thing I think Fossyant said rings true - as I recall it was that the parts before and after the city are the dangerous ones, because it's where people try to make up time after/before crawling through the city centre.

    Another suggestion, if people do wait patiently as you negotiate the cars, give them a "thanks" wave to let them know you appreciate it. If you commute at the same times, hopefully the "regulars" will get to know you and be more ready to give you the room.
  11. Arch

    Arch Married to Night Train

    York, UK

    I think that's the case, in which case, I believe that Crock has the right of way, since the vehicle which has to pull out round an obstruction is the one that should wait, or so I've always been told.

    Not that it necessarily makes those drivers more likely to wait, I realise, but it's useful mental fortification, having the moral highground.:biggrin: (As long as the instinct for self preservation cuts in in time...).

    As for other tips - I find that very frequent glances over my shoulder can make a following vehicle back off or hesitate a bit - whether it's because they think it means I'm about to move out to the right, or because I'm making the briefest of eye contacts, or because I am possessed of a glance so fearful it turns people to stone, I don't know, but it often works. So if you are approaching this bottleneck and are aware of a car behind, look back, briefly but frequently and see if it works. Just make sure you're also taking in what's coming the other way.
  12. 02GF74

    02GF74 Über Member

    ooooh, wish you people stop posting topics like this 'cause I am off on one again.......


    You need to be about 2 foot from the kerb to avoid debris plus an "excape lane" to escape to should the need arise.

    EFFING STUPID CAR DRIVERS - what will they achieve by trying to get past you?:?? They are too EFFING STUPID to realise that they save no time whatsoever as they will come up to the car in front that is holding them up, or a set of traffic lights, road junction, etc.

    So to asnwer your question, you are correct in your road positioning.
  13. JamesAC

    JamesAC Senior Member

    I agree with this. It's taken me about a year, but now I find that if I commute at my regular time, motorists I encouter seem not to be to surprised that I'm there; some even hold back for me. I wave a cheeful and very large "thankyou" pour encourage les autres. If I commute later or earlier than usual, then I encouter traffic which seems not to know what to do if a bike is around, and I seem to spend more time shouting and gesticulating than waving thanks.

    Any doubt, move (with care) into primary. As soon as it is safe to do so, move (with care) back into secondary. If a driver has held back during this, give a little wave of acknowledgement as (s)he comes past: the driver will appreciate your appreciation of his or her superb driving skill, and will fell more inclined to put it into practice next time he (or she) encouters a cyclist.
  14. Crock of Gold

    Crock of Gold Guest

    Cheers everyone...:thumbsup:
  15. cupoftea

    cupoftea New Member

    If cars are sounding their horns don't worry, at least they've seen you!