open topic, for anything cycling related.
6 posts • Page 1 of 1
With caution, with trepedation and with the sure knowledge that I won't see the git about to leap out in front of me - mind you, I treat all situations in traffic the same way.
You can't always give them the clearance you want thanks to traffic next to your shoulder - it's even worse when they are parked across a bike lane (which guarantees there isn't enough room on the road for a car and yourself to be next to the parked car at the same time). If stopping is required, I'll stop.
One thing you will NEVER find me doing, is recommending a course of action for a situation described so loosely - every situation is different and often, you don't know exactly what you are facing until you are deep into it.
But in general -
- don't move out into the moving traffic without knowing what is there
- give the doors of that car as much clearance as practical
- have your brakes covered
- assume the world is populated by homicidal maniacs - that's unfair to the vast majority of motorists, but even the best drivers (and riders) make mistakes.
Check over shoulder
Move out into lane gradually
Pass car with at least 1.5m clearence
Move back left only if there is a long run with no cars
Be assertive about how much space you need, don't pass too close to the car door because you'll get squeezed & door prized.
Don't swerve suddenly into or out of the lane. Motorists need to be able to judge your intentions.
If there is no room in the lane to move into, stop & give way. Being patient never killed anyone.
If you can move the same speed as the traffic, stay in the lane. e.g, busy areas with a lot of cars parking & leaving, normally you're better off in the lane where they can see you easily.
There was a guy who was killed a week ago by getting doored that hit the news. There was also another girl who was doored as well who ended up in the ICU at POW hospital.
Beware the door zone, take your space, ride predictably and take it easy out there. No matter how wrong the car driver is the cyclist will always come off the worst in any collision.
Hitting a door is generally a worse accident than being struck from behind by a car.
Should you be hit by a conventional, modern car, you will be scooped onto the bonnet & windscreen, which are designed to crumple and take some of the force of the impact. You will have room to slide onto the road, and overall your body only takes a fraction of the energy of the collision.
People with bull bars, high 4wds and trucks are much worse in this scenario.
If you hit a door, you will wear the energy from all the speed you have at the time of impact. This is like driving a car into a cement wall.
I don't mean to sound morbid or anything, just trying to illustrate that you shouldn't ride in the door zone just to give cars more space to pass.
I treat parked cars as loaded weapons ready to go off even if it looks empty.
You never know if the driver is leaning across to get something out of the glove box and just out of view.
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