open topic, for anything cycling related.
Ah, I completely forgot the close call I had today. I was riding around the round about near Lake Burley Griffin, coming from the city centre. A large truck with a long trailer close calls me on the round about, and then, as he is driving around it, completely takes up the entire bike lane. If I had been right there, dead.
"Try not. Do...or do not. There is no try." -Yoda-
That is my take as well. If for only a few seconds ...
Welcome to Canberra...
While not yet a cyclist myself (early next year I'm hoping to join you!) I did see a corker of a "moron motorist" moment on my drive into work this morning..
Travelling north on North Lake Rd in Perth, pretty heavy traffic in both northbound lanes. I was in the right lane and could see a cyclist up ahead in the left lane.. All of the cars appeared to be giving them as much room as they could so all good there. I had a large truck/semi-trailer combo (car carrier I think from memory) in the left lane next to me and he had obviously seen the cyclist too as he started indicating to move right well before we got near the cyclist. I accelerated to move infront of the truck (i was a few metres behind his cabin initially, with clear lane for about 30-40m behind me) and make space for him to move into my lane and as the truck attempted to do just that a tool in a red SS commodore that had been behind him decided that he would use the space to overtake the truck instead - after the truck had started to move across..
BLOODY stupid!! The idiot in the commodore put himself in danger (he went hard up against the island to fit between the truck and the centre island - i'd be surprised if his wheels didn't scuff the curb), the truck driver in a very difficult position and the poor cyclist in an incredibly dangerous position - the trucky still came over as far as I believe he reasonably could have without running the SS completely off the road, but there still wouldn't have been much space between him and the cyclist - I know I certainly wouldn't have liked to trade places with the cyclist at that time!!
The net result of his stupidity? He got to sit in front of the truck at the next red light instead of behind it.
A douche bag is what a douche bag is..... (and he probably then blamed the cyclist for causing the problem).....
What is it with cycling? 30+ kmh and lycra???!!!
+ 1 and the poor truckie could have easily have been blamed for not passing safely.
Jumped on the bike for a quick blast along the riveloop today. Not even 300m from the front door I come across some D-bag that decided to swerve infront and cut me off to access a side street instead of waiting 2 seconds. Now that I know the street the guy lives on I'll be paying my respects later on in the week
The helmet angle looks like there's a decent amount of room but thats due the nature of a wide angle lens high up.
2012 Oppy A4
Totally the driver's fault but you can reduce the risk of these dangerous passes by riding in the middle of the lane as you approach the roundabout (check over your shoulder first, of course).
That was my assessment too.
To play the devil's advocate.. It seemed you claimed the lane much earlier than necessary in that video - from what I can see there was plenty of opportunity for you to politely move across to allow the motorist to pass well before the roundabout. How long had they been behind you prior to overtaking? I know that I for one would be incredibly frustrated if I had been sitting behind a cyclist in the middle of the lane, when he had ample time and room to move across and allow me through without inconveniencing or endangering him in any way..
Not defending the overtaking over the painted island as it is very much illegal - but it certainly doesn't hurt anyone to be polite every once in a while instead of just having to be "right" ..
Edit - To clarify, I am meaning this for discussion (still learning this whole safe cycling business /expectations / etc) not a direct "you should have moved across!" - I would like to see what others think/would do in this situation..
I believe this may have been filmed with a wide angle lens (maybe a GoPro). This will make objects look further away, and the distance available clear of an object much larger than it really was. I reckon that driver cut in very close, and the cyclist had a short distance (maybe <50m) before the roundabout when the video clip began.
I think the cyclist did what was safest rather than just "being right" and in most cases would have worked. Without a rear facing camera it's hard to say for sure but I've been in a situation many times where the approaching car simply maintains their speed and expects to pass the cyclist before reaching the roundabout. The fact they had to go over the painted island and cut in close shows they misjudged it badly whilst the cyclist got it pretty right.
When approaching a roundabout its good practice to check behind well beforehand and take the lane in a smooth action. The trick in the timing is to choose the point at which a car approaching the roundabout at a reasonable speed (and slowing) would no longer be able to safely pass. For safety, slightly sooner is better than later. What you don't want to do is to be trying to check behind whilst on the brakes and trying to avoid hitting the kerb all at the same time.
As a cyclist going through a roundabout you are not going to delay a car any more than another car would. If anything, you will often get through faster and the car can safely pass after the exit.
Helmets! Bells! Rego!
My rear-view mirror is a great asset in this situation - monitoring traffic approaching from behind is second nature and causes no veering off track.
+1 to the previous two posts. Too many years and kilometres experience there to ignore.
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
London Boy 29/12/2011
Thanks for your thoughts guys.. I hadn't considered the effect of a wide-angle lens and viewing it again with that in mind it does appear to be much closer than what I had initially thought.
Rear-view mirror is definitely on my shopping list before I start commuting.. For what they cost, I really can't see a reason NOT to have one.
it's also worth giving a hand signal to show your intent, this gives drivers clear warning and also removes the SMIDSY element, i get the feeling a lot of drivers convince themselves "i'm just driving along, not my fault if a cyclist gets in my way".
True that Jules.
I'm heading south on Spencer St, taking the lane, headed for South Wharf on a roundabout route towards Footscray this arvo when I get the horn from the obligatory black euro P plater between Collins and Flinders. Not exactly much room to move over there and even if I could it would have got him a whole bike length in the queue at the Flinders St lights. I stopped and gave him the ol' Gallic shrug only to cop a mouthful and an energetic "Keep Left" gesture. Not sure if he liked the kiss I blew him just before the light changed, he blasted his way into the right lane, cutting off the other cars before roaring off into the queue at the ped crossing in front of Jeffs shed.
London Boy 29/12/2011
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