Equipment and On Road Behaviour, Laws and Rules. Cycling Promotion and Advocacy
Hi everyone, recently I had a crash that ended with me laying on the road with a broken collarbone. End result was several weeks off work, a smashed helmet, buckled rear wheel, RD a little out of shape and a bit of bark off in a few places. Could have easily been worse, we both( the bloke who was half wheeling me and me) ended up in the middle of the lane, fortunately there was no following traffic other than 2 cyclists who stopped and called the ambulance and helped out. Very grateful for the assistance.
My beef is with the bike who sat with his front wheel on my back wheel without letting me know he was there. I had passed him 300 metres ago, and I guess he suddenly decided that he could go a little faster up that hill than he was going when I passed him. When I passed him I shouted "passing", just as I did before I passed the bike before that, just as I do EVERY time I come up on someone and want to go past.
Anyway, the point of this post is to ask why so many riders do not announce their presence as they approach and start to go past. Surely it's not the responsibility of every one else to swing your head around every minute or 2 to check that no-one is sitting on your wheel.
So, I am asking if we could all show a little courtesy and just holler out "passing" or "good morning" or "hey" as you come up a bike, before you pull alongside. This simple action can help to avoid bikes clipping each other and hopefully prevent damage to us and our rides.
I think I only need warnings if someone is doing something I NEED to know about and that is likely to surprise and could result in misfortune. Say, if they have to thread closely by me. Or there is a right exit that I may be stupid enough to take without checking. Or some obstacles that may confuse him or me or otherwise compromise situational awareness.
I have around 500 cyclists pass me every morning. After three hundred of so calls and bells methinks I would cease to notice the calls and bells that are of significance. I think I'd rather people improved their passing in some aspects but certainly not be belled by everyone going past me.
But I would agree that people do not give warnings anywhere near as often as they should.
+1 for the rear-view mirror.
Would you drive your car without one? Why do you think it's safe to ride a bike without one?
i do not see a need to call passing for every overtake...... unless there is a good reason of course, then it is a necessity
Totally agree. Riders who dismiss the idea of a mirror on their bike are probably those annoying drivers that never seem to look in their mirrors!
That’s my biggest fear. That’s why I ride solo, Some riders are so inconsiderate, they sneak up behind and when they pass, you can feel their body heat so close. I hate it. Just say “rider on the right” and what is worse is when they come up and try and over take on the left when one is already over taking on the right. I always say rider on your right. I don’t over take on the left. As that is the direction you would ride in when being overtaken. The thing is, many cyclists don’t know there are rules to riding that is also why I have stopped riding in organised fun rides. I look behind me but not every 2 min, just when I need to change lanes or change direction, I also look when I can hear a car, but sometimes you cant hear a bike which is sitting on your wheel. Just say you are there.
This is a wheel sucking issue more than a passing one.
If I find a wheel sucker, I usually slow down a bit and wave them to pass. If you slow down, you take away the advantage they are getting. The only other option is to drop them on the next hill.
A way to prevent it happening is rather than just pass normally, wait behind them (a couple of metres of more behind) and recover a bit. Then when fresh again sprint past them with a convincing overtake. That way they are less likely to wheel suck as it will take more effort on their part to catch your wheel. Sure this will cut into your average time, but I think it makes it safer for both of you.
I really dont see the point at shouting at another rider as you go past..... if you are passing close enough to warrant a warning, you are passing in an unsafe manner.
whan driving, do you shout at the other driver, or do you leave enough room to pass safeley?
you have answered it "Passing close enough to warrant a warning" No need to get so close, it is only a few that would do it, but it is extremely scary, How do they know I am going to hold my line so evenly for the next 20 meters. There could be a stick or something and I need to move slightly and if someone is right there coming up fast and way to close BOOM, just leave some room.
Which then begs the question - how close is too close?
Seems to me that if the second rider was half-wheeling as the OP has stated, and there was contact then only he would fall.
And if he was half-wheeling and not actually overtaking, why would he call?
That both fell suggests that the second rider was actually already alongside, and the first rider probably should by then have been aware of him.
We both came off. As I said, I had passed him and carried on at my speed which was obviously faster than him ( because I passed him). Some few hundred metres later I found myself inbetween the kerb and the step up to the tarmac. This road must have been resurfaced a couple of times because the tarmac was about 4 or 5 inches higher than the kerb gutter. I was unaware that old mate had decided to pick up his pace and half wheel me, as far as I knew he was still working on the hill that I had passed him on. So, as I brought my bike off the kerb and up onto the tarmac my front wheel came up onto the tarmac and my rear wheel caught for just a second. When my rear wheel came up I moved back onto the tarmac. My bike probably moved 5 or 6 inches to the right and bingo, old mate and I went down. If I had known he was there I would have slowed and let him pass and then done what I needed to do. I believe that the onus is on the bike at the back to either stay clear or announce their presence. I, as the bike in front, should be able to ride my line at my pace. Of course, if I were riding with a friend or a group I would indicate my intention to change direction, but in this instance I was riding solo and someone else chose to tuck in on my wheel, without any indication that he was there. I don't know if he was in the process of passing me, maybe he got his 2cnd wind and wanted to go past, or if he was drafting, but either way he was half wheeling me and if he had called a "I'm here", "nice view" "hot potato" or anything else he wanted to say, I'd have known he was there and niether of us would have gone down. Alternatively, he could have just given a bit more space.
It appears that some do not think it is worthwhile giving another rider a quick shout to let them know that they passing, and that's fine if you take a wide berth, and the bike you are passing holds his line. And why should the bike you are passing hold his line, not ride around a pot hole or glass or whatever. Doesn't he have the right to change his line. Sure, in traffic you have a look around, but you can't tell me that you check before EVERY line change, you're kidding. But, what does it cost to just call out when you are 5 metres away? How would you feel if someone you didn't know rode right on your wheel uninvited and unannounced?
All I'm saying is, how about a little courtesy amongst ourselves.
Well, I have zero tolerance for uninvited wheel suckers, and I don't disagree with the courtesy of calling out your intentions either.
But trusting (expecting) others to do the right thing is risky, and you unfortunately have quite nasty injuries to show for it.
It's very common for overtaken riders to try hold your wheel. Obviously some situations are difficult to avoid, but the best defense against such incidents is to be aware.
I must say that I have a few concerns here. Firstly, certainly it is a requirement for any following rider to keep clear. How far constitutes "clear", and whether this rider had done that is a matter for some judgement.
How did you manage to place yourself there? I would never ride in the gutter, except very slowly if I really decided it was worthwhile scooting past queued stationary traffic. I'd suggest that this is a lesson to learn - if you want to claim space to use the road, ride wider on it.
The 'onus' falls both ways. Check your road rules - overtakers must keep clear (but no legal requirement to ding a bell, call, cough or say "hot potato"). The vehicle being overtaken must hold a predictable line and not speed up. Veering back onto the tarmac from the gutter and another 5-6 inches would, I suspect, be seen as changing your line - requiring a signal and you to keep clear.
Balance of probabilities - I would judge it equal fault. Share the costs and move on. Both riders have some things to learn and brush up on.
I obviously need to start taking drugs so that I can appreciate the argument being made here that the vehicle in front is somehow responsible for the stupidity of the person behind.
The 'vehicles' are not operating within marked lanes, the lead bicycle is the 'line of traffic'. The following 'driver' is solely responsible for maintaining a safe distance when overtaking. Any lunatic who thinks that the 'vehicle' ahead has to hold their line while you try and brush their arse with your bars deserves to have an inverted seat post placed where the sun don't shine.
It's riding a bicycle, not rocket science, how hard is it to maintain a safe distance?!?!! By definition - if you take the lead rider out, either by hitting them from behind or taking their front wheel out by cutting back in front, you screwed it up and failed to pass safely!
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Two second rule should apply. It's still enough to gauge an overtake and just like cars, rear vehicle is usually in the wrong for not maintaining safe distance.
Half-wheeling a stranger seems iffy to me, at least introduce yourself before teaming up!
I am not a fan of all manner of crap hanging off my bike.
My bike doesn't have a blind spot or 4 like a car does, my neck turns easier on a saddle than in a seat a I turn and look, pretty easy really and vision is pretty much 360deg at will !
All these dings of bells etc, if there were 500 bikes, I'd zone out a bit too.
Half wheeling a stranger, asking for trouble if he doesn't know you're there.
You wouldn't do it on a motorbike, in a car or any other vehicle so unless you're in a peloton, why the hell do it ??
I wouldn't over Analyse it, just accept he made a mistake and caused a accident.
You can argue the semantics of it with the magistrate, but such a rule exists.
As I said earlier - debatable, a matter for judgement. If the other rider was simply half-wheeling, yes - one line. But if he was wider and overtaking, then he had formed another line. By his own account the OP seems to have moved up to a foot sideways. If it was me, riding behind a guy who had rolled into the gutter, I may well assume he was pulling over to stop, and prepare to pas him. How much other traffic was around at the time? This also may influence the riders' respective movements.
All semantics anyhow. It just shows two things to me:
1. the great value of having and using a mirror to know exactly who is on my tail.
2. the value of correct lane placement to avoid unwanted veering while riding in traffic.
Neither of these situations describe what happened to the OP as I read his tale. And I am still perplexed as to how he went down when the other rider was behind, half-wheeling allegedly ???
And can you find the "negligent driving" offence in the road rules? Bicycles move sideways to avoid obstacles, all cyclists have observed the behaviour. It is a foreseeable event.
Sent from my iThingy...
I would have to agree with Twizzle.
I have never understood how you could not know that someone was on your wheel. Even with headphones I have enough situational awareness to keep track of my surroundings.
Regardless this rider should not have been half wheeling. I agree with twizzel the rider/vehicle behind has the responsibility to hold a suitable place on the road which is safe.
Mind you I dont have a problem with riders drafting off me, probably because of the amount of racing I have done I just expect riders to jump on.
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Like the "foreseeable event" that riding into the gutter is pretty likely to bring you unstuck.
Whatever you think
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