Why So Close

Equipment and On Road Behaviour, Laws and Rules. Cycling Promotion and Advocacy

Why So Close

Postby stanevelyn » Fri Nov 05, 2010 5:53 pm

Recently I was almost run off the road by a Bus. I am a roadie and generally do not use shared pathways as the speed difference between me and pedestrians is too great to be safe. When I contacted the bus company they said that the drivers had double white lines which they are not allowed to cross, and that for my own safety I should use the shared pathway.

They seem to have forgotten that a bicycle has the same rights as any other vehicle on the road, and in the NT where I am, a distance of at least 1 meter is required when passing a bicycle. They also seem to have forgotten that when passing another vehicle is not safe, then the vehicle intending to pass should sit back and pass when safe to do so. It was simply a matter of the bus driver pushing their way through with no regard for anyones safety, and no knowledge of their obligations.

I have also had road trains (3 trailers) pass me with little more than 12" gap at highway speed, however they are too fast to glimpse their identity. I know that we all have had issues with trucks and buses however the lack of awareness and consideration of the road rules by so called professional drivers and their employers is an area of great concern. Whats the general consensus out there?
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by BNA » Fri Nov 05, 2010 5:59 pm

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Re: Why So Close

Postby Missy24 » Fri Nov 05, 2010 5:59 pm

1. most people don't realise that a bike is classified in the same class as a vehicle when on the road

2. i ride road - i'm confident in my skills, but I have no idea whats behind me, as long as I don't get hit it really doesn't bother me

3. I know about the road trains... and that was awesome but scary all at the one time... we had warning that it was coming and pulled over
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Re: Why So Close

Postby KenGS » Fri Nov 05, 2010 6:04 pm

How close to the kerb were you? If you were far enough out then no way he could pass without crossing the lines. Also, don't accept the line from the bus company. Clearly they don't have a strong policy on safety.
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Re: Why So Close

Postby stanevelyn » Fri Nov 05, 2010 6:26 pm

I was less than 1 meter from the side of the road (white line). It was broad daylight, visibility was good, straight flat road, and I had a flashing red light turned on at the rear.
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Re: Why So Close

Postby KenGS » Fri Nov 05, 2010 6:31 pm

Then ride one metre out from the kerb or more. Drivers normally give you as much clearance as your distance from the kerb. So if you want a metre clearance ride one metre out.
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Re: Why So Close

Postby stanevelyn » Fri Nov 05, 2010 6:35 pm

Thanks,

I'll give it a go and see how I fare.
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Re: Why So Close

Postby trailgumby » Fri Nov 05, 2010 6:36 pm

+1 to riding "big" - own the lane. If I can see/hear a bus behind me, and I have enough time I start edging right to take the lane. I've over being nearly brushed by passing vehicles,

You might want to start riding with a camera and then you can engage in a little name and shame. Since that was done locally, Forest Coach Lines drivers seem to be a lot more respectful of cyclists. It made the front page of teh loca paper and then main Sydney news bulletin at 6pm the following day.

http://manly-daily.whereilive.com.au/ne ... on-camera/

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNUvEGD2Oa4&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwKEuf5fmrc&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]

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Re: Why So Close

Postby stanevelyn » Fri Nov 05, 2010 9:38 pm

Thank you,

Your videos clearly illustrate what happened regarding the road trains that went past me, however they were doing at least 80km/h. The bus did not cut me off so severely but passed me as close as your video shows. This bus would have also been doing at least 80km/h.
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Re: Why So Close

Postby trailgumby » Fri Nov 05, 2010 9:44 pm

I can't take credit for the videos, that was someone else. But it may be me very soon...
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Re: Why So Close

Postby zero » Tue Nov 09, 2010 11:54 am

Basic problem with buses in Sydney is most recent purchases are 3m wide over the mirrors. Many lanes in Sydney are 2.9m wide, and very few are over 3.5m, and extremely few are in the 4.5m or so region that would actually make the pass suitably safe when giving you clearance against kerb seams and gutters.

Thus its not possible for them to share many lanes with you, and then it becomes basically a question of how far the bus driver is willing to move over into the next lane, and giving him no option but to fully foul the next lane, reduces the frequency that they come stupidly close to you, and gives you some room to move over into if they start leaning on you.

Tour buses with dog boxes are a particular curse, because the drivers always forget about them when passing, and move the dog boxes into your space.
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Re: Why So Close

Postby mactype » Tue Nov 09, 2010 12:01 pm

KenGS wrote:Then ride one metre out from the kerb or more. Drivers normally give you as much clearance as your distance from the kerb. So if you want a metre clearance ride one metre out.


Good advice, however I've found it has its own drawbacks. They either sit behind you on the horn or overtake and then swerve in as they complete the overtaking move. Which I hate.
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Re: Why So Close

Postby J-C90 » Tue Nov 09, 2010 1:13 pm

zero wrote:Tour buses with dog boxes are a particular curse, because the drivers always forget about them when passing, and move the dog boxes into your space.


I find most any vehicles towing a trailer to a problem - at least the truckies tend to have a good idea of the space their vehicle and trailer occupies, even if they do appear to come a bit close at times. Cars towing trailers are the worst, a few times now I've almost been taken out by a trailer when a car has moved back into the lane I'm occupying before the trailer has cleared me!
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Re: Why So Close

Postby casual_cyclist » Tue Nov 09, 2010 1:26 pm

mactype wrote:
KenGS wrote:Then ride one metre out from the kerb or more. Drivers normally give you as much clearance as your distance from the kerb. So if you want a metre clearance ride one metre out.


Good advice, however I've found it has its own drawbacks. They either sit behind you on the horn or overtake and then swerve in as they complete the overtaking move. Which I hate.

Wow! I ride all kinds of roads in and around Perth and in 2 years and over 10k of cycling I have only been "tooted" twice for taking up a lane. Something interesting is that both times it was a dual carriageway road and the other lane was empty (I checked) :roll:
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Re: Why So Close

Postby zero » Tue Nov 09, 2010 2:05 pm

casual_cyclist wrote:
mactype wrote:
KenGS wrote:Then ride one metre out from the kerb or more. Drivers normally give you as much clearance as your distance from the kerb. So if you want a metre clearance ride one metre out.


Good advice, however I've found it has its own drawbacks. They either sit behind you on the horn or overtake and then swerve in as they complete the overtaking move. Which I hate.

Wow! I ride all kinds of roads in and around Perth and in 2 years and over 10k of cycling I have only been "tooted" twice for taking up a lane. Something interesting is that both times it was a dual carriageway road and the other lane was empty (I checked) :roll:


Dependant on your speed too. Have yet to be tooted on my roadie at all, (its a bit hard to get honked at when you are drawing away from them after all), and have never been honked at descending on the MTB.

The only time it actually happens to me, is when I'm near a line of parked cars AND 1m from the parked cars = lane line divider, on flat headwind or climbing conditions. Obviously its stupid to ride closer than 1m because of dooring risk, and its stupid to ride along the lane line, because that is the way to maximise the chance of being clipped. So the only safe position is within the lane, and that irritates the self important driver, who is not capable of comprehending dooring risk.
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Re: Why So Close

Postby ft_critical » Wed Nov 10, 2010 8:23 am

I was riding along a country road with no hard shoulder. It was raining and a lady was walking towards me on the edge of the road with a big bright green golf umbrella. Now this is pretty early and a quiet road, but there were two cars approaching on my right. I knew there was at least one car that had come up behind me. What are the odds eh? Middle of no-where and we all meet at the same point. I had slowed to try and avoid an incident. The landcruiser with trailer stepped on it and just made the pass, the lady with the golf umbrella jumped out of the way. And we all survived. It just amazes me that a cyclist, pedestrian and four cars (there was one behind the Landcruiser) can all converge on the same point in the middle of no-where.
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Re: Why So Close

Postby The Womble » Wed Nov 10, 2010 9:05 am

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Re: Why So Close

Postby tyred » Thu Nov 11, 2010 4:33 pm

I've ridden down the Stuart Hwy a few times and generally the road trains give you plenty of room. One time though a road train was getting passed by another so he couldn't budge. I reckon he was less than 200mm from me and two other mates :shock: :o Grey nomads towing caravans are the worst though, they give you no room whatsoever :evil:
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Re: Why So Close

Postby stanevelyn » Thu Nov 11, 2010 7:47 pm

The Stuart Hwy is where these incidents took place with me. The NT road rules state that a bicycle is considered a vehicle, at least 1 meter should be given when overtaking a cyclist, and only overtake when safe to do so otherwise slow down until it is safe to overtake.
Obviously there are people in the NT who either by sheer ignorance of the road rules, or not knowing the rules are driving dangerously. I can't see why some Police don't take to the roads and highways on bicycles (plain clothed) with a video on their helmets. (It would also benefit the environment).
Once a few dangerous driving tickets start to be issued, word will quickly spread and the behaviour of motorists will start changing.
Hopefully for a better and safer ride.
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Re: Why So Close

Postby il padrone » Thu Nov 11, 2010 8:01 pm

stanevelyn wrote:Obviously there are people in the NT who either by sheer ignorance of the road rules, or not knowing the rules are driving dangerously.

Probably not helped by a culture of 'no speed limit' on open highways and current 130kmh :?: limit. People can't accept the concept of slowing to the speed of a 20-30kmh cyclist. They need more serious 'education', via hard-edged enforcement.
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Re: Why So Close

Postby silkishuge » Thu Nov 11, 2010 8:22 pm

Is it possible to look for alternate routes that are less busy. I try to avoid busy roads. I don't really believe in fighting for my rights, just to get home safe.

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Re: Why So Close

Postby ft_critical » Thu Nov 11, 2010 8:43 pm

tyred wrote:I've ridden down the Stuart Hwy a few times and generally the road trains give you plenty of room. One time though a road train was getting passed by another so he couldn't budge. I reckon he was less than 200mm from me and two other mates :shock:

This reminds me of my near death experience. I was cycling along Kanpachi dori, a three lane ring road, in TokyoI was being overtaken by an articulated truck around a bend in the road. It is quite narrow in Tokyo, similar to the Pac Hwy in Sydney. The side of the truck was getting closer and close and I was moving more and more into the gutter. Finally, I bailed, I wrenched up on the spd pedals and threw myself on the pavement on my side. The wheels of the truck went over the gutter at the apex of the bend, not by much, but I would have been toast. And you have to understand that all happened in a few seconds.

That really scared the hell out of me.
Last edited by ft_critical on Thu Nov 11, 2010 9:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why So Close

Postby trailgumby » Thu Nov 11, 2010 9:11 pm

casual_cyclist wrote:Wow! I ride all kinds of roads in and around Perth and in 2 years and over 10k of cycling I have only been "tooted" twice for taking up a lane. Something interesting is that both times it was a dual carriageway road and the other lane was empty (I checked) :roll:

Can you move over here please? I want to ride with you. :wink:
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Re: Why So Close

Postby Max » Fri Nov 12, 2010 6:00 am

silkishuge wrote:Is it possible to look for alternate routes that are less busy. I try to avoid busy roads. I don't really believe in fighting for my rights, just to get home safe.


True enough, but at the same time, if we don't speak out for our rights, they're not really rights at all. The squeaky wheel gets the oil, you know?

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Re: Why So Close

Postby martinjs » Fri Nov 12, 2010 3:23 pm

On the highway at least I think we as cyclist should be flexibly, after all is it fair to ask a road train weighing up to 200 tonnes to slow down to 50k's and hour or less and wait behind us until the road clears?

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Re: Why So Close

Postby cyho11 » Fri Nov 12, 2010 11:59 pm

trailgumby wrote:
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwKEuf5fmrc&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]

From: http://sydneycyclist.wordpress.com/


Is it ironic that at 1:07 the cyclist isn't wearing a helmet?
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