Why do some cyclists seem so hopelessly unaware of other traffic?


I was riding up the hill on St. Aldates in Oxford earlier. It's a big wide road which it needs to be because there are lots of bus stops/parked delivery lorries/taxis stopping etc.

Anyway I was about 100 metres behind a pair of cyclists who were going pretty slowly grinding big gears while I was catching them quite quickly. I was keeping an eye on them because they left it until the absolute last minute to pull out to overtake a parked van and did so without any shoulder checks causing them to almost be hit by a passing bus.

As I caught up with them there was a double decker bus which I was hoping to get a tow up the hill from. They were cycling in the gutter as I passed them following the bus. Slightly further up the hill the double decker slowed down because another bus in front needed to overtake a parked van. As it turns out the double decker was about to stop anyway and indicated left while starting to pull in. I noticed this, dropped back a little and adopted a strong primary so I could overtake it.

However at exactly this moment the couple caught up with me and I noticed in some disbelief them trying to overtake the stopping bus down the inside. I was expecting just about expecting the first cyclist to get crushed when he only then realised the danger he was in and braked suddenly. Amusingly the second cyclist then bumped into the back of the first cyclist though fortunately she didn't knock him off.

I'm not sure where I'm really going with this but it doesn't surprise me that buses and HGVs are involved in so many cycling accidents when cyclists like the couple I saw are so unaware of other road users and their intentions.


Ride It Like You Stole It!
South Manchester
There are plenty of them - you wonder... many can drive so why does being sensible go out of the window ?
That annoys me, the weaving around in and out instead of just going in a straight line.

Had 2 similar big-gear cyclists in front of me, one of them turned left into a side street. Then rode across the side street to the inside of the give way lines and pulled out of the junction again. Did the exact same at the next side street, and the same pulling in and out of every gap greater than 10 feet.


Senior Member
I can not answer your question, but I can confirm both your observations and surprise !!
Even here in "cycle friendly/aware" Germany I constantly see cyclist pulling out, joining roads from pavements etc all without looking. Even trying to undertake slow moving buses and lorries.
Even if they do trust in the default-car-drives-fault here, it does no good having "I was in the right" on your gravestone !!
Chalk it up to another mysteries-of-the-human-psyc. !!


Legendary Member
To answer the OP: because cyclists are people, and in any random grouping of people, a proportion will be morons.


Crankarm said:
Being Oxford, probably students. The same happens in Cambridge. Students - they should have more brains. Candidates for Darwin Awards :thumbsup:.
Granted Oxford does have it's fair share of student cyclist morons (don't get me started on the RLJs/pavement/pedestrian zone cyclists), but this couple looked early 30s. The one who nearly got crushed was wearing a chopper style helmet but I doubt that would have helped much if he had got stuck under the rear wheel of the bus.

I guess I'll just put it down to people being stupid. But you'd think that they would at at least realise that undertaking a slow moving bus which is stopping is a bad idea because their straight-line-gutter-hugging path is now blocked!
Probably kin to the chap who undertook my artic at traffic lights in Cardiff. I was indicating left, the lights were in the middle of changing to green and I was just about to pull away. Fortunately, I'd been watching him in the mirror (in disbelief), but he was roughly level with the back of my tractor unit when the lights changed and would have been flattened by the trailer if I hadn't been watching for him.


Legendary Member
I am normally very forgiving of any cyclists' actions - after-all we all know how idiotic car drivers can be as well. But I did see something the other day that made my heart stop.

I was cycling down the high street - busy, parked cars, quite narrow. A van was looking to pull right out a side-road, and edged forward a bit in front of me. At that point I started waving and pointing to the other side of the van, like a madman. The van driver stopped and looked left, to see a cyclist gutter hugging the wrong side of the road, and then amble centimetres from his front bumper. I was too bemused to say anything to the cyclist.

I cannot begin to imagine what he thought he was doing.


Reminds me of cycling to work a few weeks ago in the morning, noticed a cyclist ahead in silhouette under a railway bridge on a sraight road with a reasonable cycle lane.

I carried on mostly looking at the surface ahead and cars overtaking, looked up a moment later to see a chubby teemager about to ride into me as he was actually going the wrong way in the cycle lane!

Too shocked to say anything other than 'What the F....' as I deftly swerved to avoid him!
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