Tertiary? Advice for a newish commuter please

Discussion in 'Commuting' started by Typo, 31 Jul 2012.

  1. Typo

    Typo Well-Known Member

    “Tertiary” I’m using here as the position you’d be in, safely outside the door zone, if there were actually a car there! I mean overtaking a parked car (“PC”) & staying in that position as there’s another PC 20 yards further on rather than swerving in towards the kerb & then moving out again.

    My regular commute includes a road with PCs one side. On my way to work, with PCs on the right hand side, it’s wide enough for an oncoming car to pass a PC with me riding in secondary. If there’s a bus oncoming, I tend to hop up on the pavement if there are no pedestrians about!

    My concern is on the way home, when I have to pass the PCs. If I ride outside the door zone, there’s no room for a car to overtake me, and to be fair most don’t try to. The problem is that there are usually long-ish stretches with no PCs. If I move to primary or secondary & let someone overtake, what happens is a few yards further on they have to stop behind a PC because of oncoming traffic & I have to wait behind them, even though there’s plenty of room for me to overtake the PC.

    So, even if there’s room for a car to overtake me, if I can see they’d have to stop soon after & impede my progress, what should I do? I tend to stay in tertiary, which appears to annoy the driver behind unless they’re looking far enough ahead to see that they wouldn’t get anywhere anyway.

  2. gaz

    gaz Cycle Camera TV

    South Croydon
    I think you are overcomplicating things.
    Tertiary sounds a lot like primary.
  3. Pauluk

    Pauluk Senior Member

    For me it may depend on the "longish stretch with no PCs" and my speed. If it were a long stretch and a car behind was on my tail and I was going relatively slowly I may let them pass then move out gradually before the next PC and before any trailing car could get to over take. If I ended up stuck behind as you describe I wouldn't worry too much as its not a big issue.

    Its about judging the situation at that moment, (distances and my speed relative to the traffic flow) then either being assertive and holding position or helpful and letting the cars pass. It does depend on certain factors really.
  4. redcard

    redcard Über Member

    Most of my commute is 2 lanes, with 1 lane of parked cars. I would never jump on the pavement, and I spend a fair chunk of the journey riding primary, as long as I'm keeping up with traffic
  5. MrJamie

    MrJamie Oaf on a Bike

    Theres a few roads i cycle on like that, its hard to cover all circumstances with an example. On the clear side i tend to ride in primary, but if theres no traffic behind me ill drop to secondary to allow oncoming cars through assuming it seems safe enough for all. Normally ill avoid roads with parked cars on my side, occasionally ill ride slowly past in the door zone which i know i shouldnt really do at all. Going through an area like that with cars overtaking too ill usually stick with the traffic flow and wait with the car for a few seconds, unless like Pauluk says im fast enough to keep ahead. If youre cycling the same route everyday though, rather than on the occasional leisure ride taking risks on a daily basis probably is even less of a good idea :smile:
  6. Pauluk

    Pauluk Senior Member

    This does raise an important issue in my mind as a fairly novice rider who rides between 10mph and 20mph.

    I will always negotiate and hold primary when going through pinch points, traffic light sequences, parked cars etc and I will move through these hazards as fast as I can, but I do have to be conscious of not becoming a nuisance to other traffic when I can't ride as fast as I would like or as fast as I should be in a given situation.

    I don't think I'm being unassertive/passive, just being practical I guess and trying to strike a balance.
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