BrownOnionThighs wrote:On my usual 10km commute to work today (Niddrie -> Parkville, in Melbourne), at about 5:40 am I was passing a construction site and a truck was parked right across the bike lane (no probs here, he was just waiting to turn into the site).
As I approached the truck, I had a look over my shoulder and started to move out. Suddenly out of nowhere comes a flash of red and white spandex - I saw the other cyclist just in time and barely avoided a collision. This guy had decided that silently passing me with about 30cm of clearance on my right would be a good idea just as I was approaching a truck which was straddled across the bike lane.
Was this a bicycle lane, strictly as defined in the Road Rules (Rule 153), was the other rider riding in the same lane as you (even if it wasn't a bicycle lane), and did either of you actually cross the lane markings ?
It seems the other cyclist was not riding abreast of you (given his much higher speed). As you've described it, it appears this other cyclist was overtaking you - possibly in the same lane either because you were in it all the time, or you both had changed lanes before he was abreast of you.
There is an obligation on cyclists to use the bicycle lane where practicable. So, if it was strictly a bicycle lane, for him to be complying with this law, he would need to have been behind you in the bicycle lane prior to the obstruction where the truck was. Then, either both of you had to veer to the right of the bicycle lane, or across into the adjacent lane.
Road Rules Definition - Overtake wrote:overtake, for a driver, means the action of:
(a) approaching from behind another driver travelling in the same marked lane or line of traffic; and
(b) moving into an adjacent marked lane or part of the road on which there is room for a line of traffic (whether or not the lane or part of the road is for drivers travelling in the same direction); and
(c) passing the other driver while travelling in the adjacent marked lane or line of traffic
You were virtually overtaking a parked vehicle, and this clown wants to overtake you. He is very much like some complete tool bags drivers who will attempt to overtake another vehicle which is already overtaking another vehicle (drive long enough and you will see fools doing this).
There are obligations under Rule 140 No Overtaking Unless Safe To Do So for not overtaking when there is not a clear view of approaching traffic. Unless he has x-ray vision, I doubt he could see all the approaching traffic (e.g. vehicles ahead of the truck presenting dangers).
There is a further stronger obligation under Rule 144 Keeping a Safe Distance When Overtaking. I don't think passing within 30 cm of another cycle (i.e within elbow distance) satisfies this.
This sort of behaviour might be acceptable on a race track or in a racing bunch - but it's not reasonable in everyday riding. And ringing a bell or calling passing before executing an illegal manoeuvre does not make it legal (and neither does using a car horn legalise illegal driving).
While it is illegal to ride on the road without a bell (see Rule 258), your gripe should not be about the bell but rather about the illegal overtaking.
Having a mirror on your bike might be useful in that you could see trouble coming and brace yourself for it, but ultimately it would be more useful if the offending cyclist learned to ride legally and with consideration for other road user's safety.
Lastly, if it was a real bicycle lane, are you really sure that parking as the truck was doing was allowed by the signage at that point or relevant legislation for your state ? As I read the Australian road rules, stopping and parking vehicles in bicycle lanes is generally not allowed - see Rule 188 (buses, taxis, and emergency, council or utility vehicles may be exempted under other legislation). As your near-miss shows, allowing stopping or parking of vehicles in bicycle lanes can defeat the point of them. Do bicycle lanes in your state have signs which permit parking or was the truck one of the exempted categories ?