Is it just me or ....

Beating the system - the cycling commuting section

Is it just me or ....

Postby Fletcher » Sun Nov 15, 2009 2:38 pm

...... do others feel really uncomfortable when road riding and a jittery driver in a car is too nervous to overtake?

A good example of this happened today. On a wide, two way road, I was about a metre from the gutter as there's glass everywhere due to the popular bar nearby. There's plenty of room for cars to overtake but one driver was hesitant and sat behind my right shoulder. It was flat & I was doing about 30km/h. I don't like cars sitting behind me in that situation so I signalled, moved closer to the gutter and stopped, so they had to overtake. I then realised about 8 cars were lined up behind the jittery driver and the abuse I copped from the drivers of those cars was unimaginative but sharp. I couldn't hear much of it but it ain't hard to lip read "You F...... F......!"

The notion of claiming lanes is all well and good, and I have done it once or twice on a narrow road when it was the only safe way to ride, but on a wider road I'm much more comfortable with cars overtaking.
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by BNA » Fri Nov 20, 2009 5:11 am


Re: Is it just me or ....

Postby V17L » Fri Nov 20, 2009 5:11 am

I hate it with cars sitting that close, one slip and its nots so good for the cyclist, some drivers don't understand that cyclists are softer than tyres and metal.
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Re: Is it just me or ....

Postby familyguy » Fri Nov 20, 2009 2:09 pm

Its the new-to-scooter riders that get me. They figure "hey, I'm small, I can share a lane with this guy", then roll by with a +2km/h speed differential.

If someone wants to sit behind me and not overtake, I move right, and keep them at bay until I think they can get around me. Maybe it annoys people, but it wont get me squeezed at slow speed.

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Re: Is it just me or ....

Postby m@ » Fri Nov 20, 2009 2:22 pm

I've noticed the same thing as the OP more than once - particularly bad if you're going up a steep hill, hence slowly - you can end up with a big queue of impatient, angry drivers even though it's been safe to pass for ages - just because the person at the head of the queue is being a nervous nelly. Of course, the aggro drivers don't blame the nellie - they blame you :roll:

That said - at least their heart is in the right place. I'm probably a bit guilty of it myself at times - a lot of commuters on my route and have been driving a lot lately. I've noticed that in my Barina (narrow and very good visibility), I am not comfortable with less than about a 2m gap when passing - the drivers that speed past and nearly smack you with the wing mirror either have superb spatial awareness, or miss you more by luck than judgement :?

Must say I also don't like it when I'm driving behind a cyclist on a bit of narrow, winding, uphill single-lane and they wave you to overtake on a blind corner. Overtaking 'blind' in that scenario would be stupid, and 'he told me to' won't wash if you have a head-on with an oncoming vehicle!
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Re: Is it just me or ....

Postby Fletcher » Sat Nov 21, 2009 2:37 pm

Yes it's a bit nerve racking. There's one section on my commute which I've changed to riding on the path adjacent to the road,because it's not wide enough. On monday morning I was riding on the road in this spot, a car was driving beside me and forced me right into the gutter, where I ran over a coat hanger and it got caught in my front wheel. Pretty dangerous actually, I could have ended up crashing on the road in peak hour :shock:
I've also taken to signalling for cars to overtake if they're sitting there for too long - not on blind corners though :wink:
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Re: Is it just me or ....

Postby Nobody » Sat Nov 21, 2009 9:08 pm

Wave the person past. If he/she doesn't get the message, slow down suddenly or stop. He/she should soon get the message.
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Re: Is it just me or ....

Postby im_no_pro » Sat Nov 21, 2009 11:39 pm

Nobody wrote:Wave the person past. If he/she doesn't get the message, slow down suddenly or stop. He/she should soon get the message.

Is that before or after they accidentally ram your for suddenly slowing down/stopping? That's the last thing I would be suggesting someone does with a potentially nervous driver behind them.
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Re: Is it just me or ....

Postby steambao » Mon Nov 23, 2009 12:46 pm

Yep, I usually just result to riding on the footpath or stopping on the gutter (usually behind a parked car) so cars can overtake me if it feels too narrow or dangerous. Then again, I'm not too confident in
cycling DEAD STRAIGHT and inline around a corner in the road.
I don't blame the driver for being too nervous to pass as I myself am learning how to drive and find it extremely hard to judge.
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Re: Is it just me or ....

Postby casual_cyclist » Mon Nov 23, 2009 1:16 pm

Fletcher wrote:...... do others feel really uncomfortable when road riding and a jittery driver in a car is too nervous to overtake?

I do. Happens in my car too.

On the bike, where there is plenty of room to overtake and they are just sitting there it makes me nervous. I want to wave them past.

In my car, I hate people driving so close I can't see their headlights in my rear vision mirror (and I drive a hatchback with great visibility :shock:) and I hate it when they keep pulling right and back, right and back as if they are about to overtake and then don't. I often pull over and let these drivers past. I think I shouldn't because that is just reinforcing their bad driving but then common sense takes over and I realise that being in the right will be no comfort when I am in hospital.

I have not had to pull over and wait for cars to go past when riding yet.
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