open topic, for anything cycling related.
Had a moron on my favourite roundabout this evening. Come into the roundabout, fair bit of traffic going the other way but all going straight. I come in, it's dark, I have my very bright front light going. Car comes up to the roundabout on my left and looks like he's about to plough straight through. I keep riding, looking like I can't stop (I can) and he comes to screeching stop. Sometimes we do have to assert ourselves but it can be a balancing act.
I must say I do find it perplexing that cars are so hell bent on getting past bikes before roundabouts, they are generally so slow through roundabouts it takes them a couple of hundred metres to catch me after we go through, and, no, I won't let them share the roundabout.
There are only a couple of places where I claim the lane but I do it every time. I do believe in being consistent and I don't pass cars in these spots. If there is not room for them to pass me then there is not room for me to pass them. That said, claiming the lane is an essential tactic on the roads - it is the safe way to ride. Since I am a commuter I'm not holding them up anyway.
Riding: Cannondale Quick Speed 2
On 2+ lane roads, you should claim the lane whenever it isn't big enough for you AND a car to share. If the car can't fit in the lane next to you safely, then to overtake he needs to go into the next lane... He can only do that if there are no cars there...so if there are no cars there, what's the difference between edging driving on the line, and just simply changing lane and then changing back when he's passed you? If you don't claim the lane, although most will just edge out across the lane, the odd car will just buzz right past you....until they clip you, and you're off your bike.
I don't think anybody is disputing lane claiming as not being the best way of keeping safe. Choosing to expose yourself where lane claiming is required is what I disagree on.
Not sure what point you're trying to make about effort? Why choose the cycling option which requires effort, then take the stand of riding a dangerous route to minimise effort? In my opinion you should be trying to minimise risk.
Saying a cyclist shouldn't have to go out of his way to save inconveniencing a motorist by a few seconds is a moot point.. It means a cyclist doesn't want to inconvenience himself by travelling a safer route.
In amplification and elaboration of my previous posts:
My strategy is to stay out of the way of motorists as far as possible and where appropriate. Where conditions and safety considerations make it sensible to ride wide, I shall do so, but only for the length of the dangerous section in question.
Arrogance, thumbing my nose at motorists or other road users have no place in my riding philosophy, I'm more than happy to share the road respectfully, and hope others will return that respect.
My goal as a commuter is to make it to and from work safely; I have a family at home, and I'm an independent contractor - I simply cannot afford to be gung-ho in my riding style.
Lastly, as far as my particular incident goes, the video shows me riding wide as appropriate for the conditions, i.e. on approach to the circle, through the circle, and where the width of the road is severely constricted by the center island/traffic calming devices through the ~90 degree corners.
I ride through there every day, it's about 500m from my house, and, almost without exception, I'm faster through the entire stretch than the residents driving along there. Most people drive sensibly in this area, there are lots of young kids about.
This guy chased me down to make a point, no question about it.
Here's a video from today that shows a non-psycho driver that turned with me and overtook me just after the turn. I rode at a similar speed, perhaps a little slower (the car was holding me up ), and a similar line, riding wide where the situation demands it. As you can see, I'm not likely to hold up anybody driving sensibly through this section...
Last edited by TailWind on Wed Jun 26, 2013 6:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Soma Double Cross 2012 - Commuter || Giant CitySpeed (Alfine 8 IGH) - Commuter || Bakfiets Long 2011 - Cargo Bike
Taking the lane is trying to minimise the risk.
Though truly minimising the risk might be not riding at all or riding at 10kph on a nearby path. (In my circumstance this was the other option.) However I chose to ride on the road because it is much quicker and I consider it to be quite safe. I also chose to claim a lane through one section like I normally do because it is safer.
There aren't many dangerous routes. I would view a 2 lane country road with 30 motorists per hour to be more dangerous riding conditions than Parramatta Rd at any time of the day, and have sampled both often enough to make that judgement call.
Looks like a fine example of roadcraft to me but so did the first. Know those "safe" areas well, they don't stop the MGIFs unless you take ownership and typically leave you zero escape room when the pucker factor is off the clock.
I still can't figure out the logic of those who traverse a stretch of speed humps at 50/10/50/10/50, especially the ones that start a game of MGIF and have trouble realising that my average is similar or faster.
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
London Boy 29/12/2011
I agree with this, but unfortunately it fails to stop the grumpy sods who fail to understand why you're doing it from acting like pigs. I'm finding there are more of those on my commute of late, unfortunately. I'm not sure what the answer is, I'm already choosing routes that minimise my exposure to traffic.
Cameras do help, though, drivers seem to be better behaved. Also helpful is wearing a fluoro gillet and having my rear flashy on during the day. By making me more visible it encourages drivers to plan their moves earlier.
Have any of you experienced having items thrown at you? I ride on rural roads. Inner-city burbs are generally pretty good and tolerant but I feel in semi-rural areas, there's a great portion of bogans, higher speeds and the isolated feeling between just you and a driver and maybe the feeling they can 'get away with it'. Aside from 4WD's that don't know how to overtake safely, I've had a large number of dangerous run ins. I haven't got video gear installed but the other day I was slowing up a hill where a plastic packet was thrown at me. The driver the missed as I was able to slow before it hit me, but it could've ended up pretty bad. I guess there's nothing you can do without getting video camera's installed.
An electrician using thongs as an earthing device is also minimising risk.. Risk of injury is still pretty high I think.
Up to you if you want to rely on the warm fuzzy feeling of lane claiming as being legal and putting a safety bubble around you. Only goes so far in reality..
You can't control the bogan that is a total menace on the road.. But you can control your exposure to them by choosing a safe route. Apparently thats either walking or ring on the footpaths for you? is your neighbourhood made up exclusively of arterial roads?
Well I guess it depends on your perception of risk. A friend of mine was recently assaulted on a shared path. A man attempted to pull her off the bike. I've been hit in face by a bat (flying marsupial, not cricket). Sometimes roads at least feel safer. The other problem with Vbplease's solution is for each person who stops riding on a particular road, cycling there becomes rarer and more out of place. I'd much rather see the trend go the other way and cycling be normalised for any road that's not a freeway/tollway. That way safety improves on average for everyone, everwhere.
You are staring at the exact reason we have video cameras.
Note that throwing objects from a moving car is a far more serious crime (in the eyes of the law) than most non accident driving infringements.
I also choose to reduce my risk by having a rear vision mirror, in addition to lane claiming where necessary. Knowing what is happening behind me is key to giving me a greater chance of avoiding a possible incident.
If you believe the safest way for you is to do what you do, then that is great, but I have found that changing my behaviour to claim the lane as opposed to sticking to the left of the lane has helped me reduce my stressful incidents with motorists who don't give me adequate room as they now do a proper overtake.
At the end of the day we all want to survive and get to our destinations (preferably without added stress).
Yes, that was my point. Claiming the lane puts you in a legally correct position, but also a more vulnerable position physically. Yes your more visible and it will stop 90% of those who might have tried to squeeze you otherwise. But there's still 10% that will squeeze you anyway, at that point your position on the road comes down to luck.
I'll still ride major roads (I prefer 2 lanes which gives cars an option to change lanes) and I still claim lanes when necessary. But I don't push the issue.
I still think the biggest failing on tailwinds original video is the traffic calming. It's forced him to claim the lane which gave the moron behind him no option to get around. Rightly or wrongly it's sparked a situation that could have ended significantly worse than it did.
Tailwind. Correct me if I'm wrong. The first vid you overtook the moron and crossed the lane. The moron was unable to follow you across, so therefore he didn't get up to you until you were already up to speed and into the traffic calming. Then the second vid shows a car crossing directly behind you and overtaking you before your up to speed and while the roads wide enough to safely get past. The second driver might have just the same screw loose as the first, but they've cleared you so they're happy. This is regardless of whether you can keep up with them.
I hate shared paths. Bicycles are to pedestrians on them as cars are to bikes on roads. Throw in the fact that most are unlined just causes more room for catastrophe.
+1 cycling should be a stress reliever, not builder.
Shpox - your not going to stop people throwing stuff at you, or other cyclists. However once you report their actions to Police, once they realise they were caught on camera, and hopefully they get some sort of fine, they may then change their actions.
I also ride on "rural" roads and have had stuff thrown at me. I have reported one and supposedly they got an infringement notice. The other one my camera was obscured so I couldnt get the number plate, otherwise I would have reported them. They threw a 3/4 full bottle of gatoraid at me and at speed, I am so lucky it didnt hit.
The cost of video equipment is minor compared to what most people pay for their bikes and gear....but I do know that by running video equipment I have at least a chance at getting back at these idiots who want to put my life at risk for their own giggles.
Ok, let me try to address this.
Moron was sitting at turn, chose not to cross despite a couple of gaps. I filter to front as always. Moron could have turned, but chose not to (in my judgement I wasn't impairing his view of oncoming traffic. Maybe he was on the phone. Or texting or something...I didn't look into the cab).
I went, he didn't. I was up to speed, modified my line to go wide for the approach to the circle. I hear the ute at high revs, I keep going at reasonable speed, knowing that the area is traffic-calmed. Moron doesn't care and points 2 tons of steel and plastic at me.
Car is behind me halfway down the right turn lane already. I need to claim this lane, because to my left is 80 km/h traffic, to my right is a kerb. I don't want to tangle with either. Driver behaves sensibly and follows me through the turn. I hang left (as I do in the first vid), sensible driver overtakes when safe at the wide section, and I then move into the middle on approach to the circle. Rest of the clip shows that I keep up with sensible driver, the point here being that there is no cause for a road-rage outburst because I wouldn't be holding up someone driving to conditions.
Let me stress again - this is a pretty quiet residential area, kids ride their bikes around here, walk around and play here. The section is traffic-calmed. There is no excuse for MM's actions.
While all roads may lead to Rome, there just aren't that many going to my place from 500m away...none of the alternatives are "safer", nor should I be forced to detour that close to my house. As for getting off/pulling over - if this was necessary for every potential troublespot, I wouldn't be able to commute by bike. It would simply be too inefficient and take too long. The 40km back home already takes me almost two hours because I choose paths over the roads and most roads I am forced to use have traffic circles, choke points, traffic calming devices.
As was mentioned earlier in this thread, bikes need to become a regular and legitimate form of transport in the motorist's mind, not just viewed as some exotic nuisance sent to try their patience.
Soma Double Cross 2012 - Commuter || Giant CitySpeed (Alfine 8 IGH) - Commuter || Bakfiets Long 2011 - Cargo Bike
Someone should start a 'claim-the-lame?' argument thread so we can go back to bitching about moron motorists in this one.
I was waiting on a busy corner in the Adelaide CBD this evening and saw a driver turn right in front of 50km/h traffic. He realised his mistake and tried to turn tighter and quicker to avoid the oncoming traffic but still only narrowly avoided being t-boned thanks to some quick braking by the other driver. Less than 30 seconds later I watched a BMW driver queue across the same intersection and then lay on the horn for 10-20 seconds when the cars in front of him weren't moving before the lights changed.
Well no actually. It isn't the fact that claiming the lane is legal that makes so many cyclists do this, it is because it is safer. Yes, there are the small minority of drivers who will attempt to squeeze you no matter that you have claimed the lane, but the first effect of claiming the lane is to stop the majority from passing you as they aren't given the space. The second effect of claiming the lane is even more significant, if the moron tries to pass too close and you are already near the side of the road you have nowhere to go, if you claimed the lane you have space to move into if you have to. Hardly luck, more good planning.
I saw a complete fool today. On Clarendon St I could see an idiot who decided to do a U turn over tram tracks and straight in front of traffic at peak hour. Now I remember being told that U turns over tram tracks is illegal, it is a little more complicated: U turns are illegal over a solid centre line, these lines are drawn just about everywhere there is a tram track so effectively it is illegal to U turn over tram tracks. Anyway this idiot is just sitting in front of and blocking traffic while other motorists blow horns at him. He's sitting there because not only did he turn in front of traffic, he also attempted the U turn when there was plenty of traffic going the other way. Eventually someone let him in. Then a funny thing happened, another car U turned right behind him. That's strange I thought. Until the second car completed his U turn and I could see red and blue lights coming out of the back window. Last I saw the cops were booking said moron
Riding: Cannondale Quick Speed 2
On the claim the lane a topic, I can see both arguments as having validity. It is necessary and generally safer but there are a cohort of drivers, typically younger males, who will react aggressively to this
I'm lucky I can choose a route that is safe and has fewer cars.
That said I claim the lane where I need to but there aren't many places I need to. Less exposure = fewer encounters with aggressive oxygen thieves. Doesn't improve driver behaviour for others but I want to get home safe and incident free.
At the end of the day I choose a route with less traffic as it also means:
Less exhaust, fresher air.
I just enjoy my ride more with less traffic.
Woohoo!!! Although who is going to book the cops for their u-turn (just kidding ). Glad to hear that MM got a ticket for his actions.
The most vulnerable position physically on the road is a "right side sprawl" because the rider unexpectedly lands in the path of a motorist who wasn't previously aware of their possession of a travel lane by their position. In a right side sprawl the only vehicle that won't kill or seriously injure a rider is another cyclist. The second most vulnerable position is an emergency swerve to the right, because again, the rider will not have alerted passing motorists to their need for increased clearance. The further left they are, the more likely that -all- emergency courses are to the right, and the more likely that the emergency swerve will be necessary because of the lack of observation time between cross traffic not stopping at an appropriate point, and cross traffic fouling their line - ie it is harder to brake for an emergency when very far left because you have less time.
Not only is all of the above true, but near the gutter has a kerb seam, if a rider put the wheel on the wrong side of that, they may subsequently struggle for balance, and when the wheel comes off the seam, it may well be a significant over correction too. The closer they are to the kerb, the more often they will need the kerb seam area to run the wheel into to balance the bike. The edge of the road generally will have a lip (same deal), and if their wheel runs up against the gutter, which is near inevitable if they persistently ride close to it, they will lose their balance because they can't balance with their wheel against it. In fact the very first time I rode close to the gutter, that is exactly what happened to me - kerb seam interfered with steering, over correction ran the front wheel against the gutter face, followed by total lack of steering.
I had a trifecta today....
First one, Melrose Drive and I'm northbound passing Marist school. The line of oncoming traffic turning from Melrose into hodgson crescent is a regular event every morning so i've usually got eyes on the one that feels they MGIF. So as i'm approaching the corner there are about 2 or 3 cars that clearly have time to pass safely in front of me. But the 3rd or 4th driver in the white car clearly doesn't. But he comes anyway. If i hadn't grabbed my brakes i would've been hitting his left hand side door. So i haul the brakes, sit up, lift my left hand off the bars as if to say Say What are you doing you idjit? Whether it was a "pretend he wasn't really a MGIF driver rather than a DGAF driver, the pathetic wave (possibly of apology?) didn't cut it.
so i ride on.
And soon i'm riding on the green strip at the Hopetoun circuit off ramp. Many cars have successfully passed me and gone straight ahead or off to the left (down the ramp to deakin/yarralumla). Suddenly I hear the sudden and panicking decelleration immediately to my right and a horn honk. There's a bright red new ute that has decided it has to turn left across me RIGHT NOW! I look at him and he looks at me and I pedal on. (I wonder why he couldn't have seen me from the 200 metres preceding, but that's another point). He guns it to try to get in front. But there isn't room. So he brakes again. The car behind him then honks. Obviously I'm still riding straight ahead. Mr red ute then doesn't have a clue what to do and guns it again, but by now we're almost over the turn off lane. So he crosses the painted triangle and scurries on down to a line of cars waiting at the stop sign below.
Mr Red Ute's number??? "For Play". Says it all really. Maybe if he had his mind on the job of driving instead...?
And number 3 - I was zooming down Flynn Drive towards the roundabout at the corner of the lake (Flynn, Alexandrina etc) . There were no cars in the lane next to me for most of the way. Experience has also shown that the entrance to the rdbt is a serious and dangerous squeeze point if i were to stay in the green bike lane as 95% of the cars that reach the rdbt drift well left and end up in the middle of the green bike lane. So as I'm approaching the roundabout I glance back and see a car approaching pretty quickly behind me. The vibe of the thing felt like it was going to be a MGIF MGIF driver so i suddenly grew balls of steel and held my line. I did a couple of serious head checks as it still gained on me. It was seriously sitting 8-10 inches off my back wheel and still gaining as I had to brake slightly to hold my own line. I did about 3 head checks and felt like yelling BACK OFF! as it wouldn't have taken much for him to run straight over me. Maybe he felt comfortable, but it waaaaaay tooo close for me to feel confident in. I have no idea whether he was really trying to pass but he certainly didn't leave anything to chance.
Let's hope the trek home is completely uneventful. Other than that, the ride was lovely. A balmy -5 is soooo much nicer than -5.
Ahhh Commodore ute drivers, special breed aren't they?!
Had near miss this morning only a few hundred metres from home. Left home at about 6am with my AYUPs blazing away (low beam) and 3 (yes three) rear blinky red lights and I want to drop in at the local shops and dispose of a small bag of rubbish. At the driveway to the shops is a white Landcruiser ute wanting to come out. I was approaching from his left. I had no idea what direction he wanted to go in because he was too important (or more likely to stupid) to use his indicator. He seemed to be stopped there so I presumed he was doing the right thing and waiting for me to turn before going. Bzzzzzz WRONG! Just as I was turning in front of him I see the ute lurch forward as if to go but I predicted this would happen (I must be clairvoyant _ ) and so was ready to take evasive action.
I then rolled down the hill to the otherwise deserted shopping centre carpark and Mr I've Got Balls When I'm SItting In My Ute 100 Metres Away Yelling At You started abusing me. Couldn't quite catch what he was saying, something about nearly running me over. No !! BAN ME NOW FOR SWEARING !! Sherelock, do ya reckon I hadn't noticed that? You are a sharp one. I yelled back at him asking him what his problem was and for him to come back down to the carpark to "discuss" the matter but he didn't want to (scared of skinny guy in lycra riding a bike ). So I sprinted back up the hill to see him but he drove off. He must of been watching me in the mirror becasue he was only driving slowly but a bit too fast for me to catch him. I decided I had better things to do with my time than chase idiots around so I turned around and rode off. Adrenaline is a great thing, I can't wait to see how many Strava records I got on my ride this morning!
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