/ Why you shouldn't tuck in

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Tim Chappell - on 25 Aug 2012
I had a sharp reminder of this today, just outside St Michael's Golf Club on my Saturday pootle round Fife. A #99 bus passed me at 45-- I was doing 20ish--literally an inch from my elbow.

I honestly thought he'd got me and I was going to die.

I caught up with him at the bus stop in Leuchars village and Had Words. He was really apologetic, to my surprise.

Conditional: if I'd been riding 3 ft from the verge instead of 6 inches, he might have hooted at me but he wouldn't have tried to overtake.

Moral: don't guttersnipe. Ride 3 ft from the verge and let them hoot. That way you'll live longer.

Dom Whillans on 25 Aug 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell:
agreed... i stay as far left as i feel is safe; often that means i verge (pun intended!) on actively being seen by drivers. Apart from the personal safety aspects, the side of the road is where all the tyre-munching crap lies.

PS, if anyone can explain what those small strips of steel are by the side of the road (about 3mm x 1mm x 100mm) i'll buy them a pint.
NeilMac - on 25 Aug 2012
In reply to Dom Whillans:

Wondered this myself. My guess is that they're balancing weights shed from car wheels. Happy to be corrected.
Tim Chappell - on 25 Aug 2012
In reply to NeilMac:

All sorts of things to avoid in the verges. Can be particularly dangerous on dual carriageways, where shredded lorry-tyres are a recurring feature.
Baron Weasel - on 25 Aug 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell: Good advice Tim - had a hair raising moment with a small coach last week on way back from C2C near Sedbergh which could have been avoided if I had just taken over the carriage... next time!!!

Talking to a friend who teaches adults who have never learned to ride (community project stuff) and he teaches people to be confident in their use of the road and only to let cars pass when it is safe for the same reason.

Baron Weasel
tim000 - on 26 Aug 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell: as a bikeability instructor one of the first things we teach is to ride away from the curb/gutter . normally 1 meter from the curb. this means that cars can see you and have to think about how to go round you .
Jimbo C - on 26 Aug 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell:

Agreed, make your bike as wide as possible. On busy roundabouts I always used to go round bang in the centre of my lane even though it may have annoyed the odd motorist.
malaz90 - on 26 Aug 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell: I am the same as tim000. Bikeability instructor. I also move away out a little bit on junctions as cars tend to creep out, as well as moving in to the centre of the lane when coming up to an island as cars have cut me up there.

J
nniff - on 26 Aug 2012
In reply to Dom Whillans:

>
> PS, if anyone can explain what those small strips of steel are by the side of the road (about 3mm x 1mm x 100mm) i'll buy them a pint.

Bristles off road sweeper brushes? AT least, that's what I've always assumed them to be.
In reply to Tim Chappell: I've only just started road biking, and I've been wondering how far left to be.

At the moment I try and stay far left to give drivers plenty of room to pass, but some of them really take the piss and overtake at 60+ without bothering to turn their wheel a fraction and giving me a bit of space :(

On the other hand I'm quite cautious on bends (only right-hands for some reason?!) and take up the whole lane to give myself plenty of room to manoeuvre.
tim000 - on 26 Aug 2012
In reply to malaz90: what part of the country are you . im in cheshire.
Tim Chappell - on 26 Aug 2012
In reply to Nick Smith - UKC:
> (
> some of them really take the piss and overtake at 60+ without bothering to turn their wheel a fraction and giving me a bit of space :(


It's funny, isn't it, how being a cyclist affects your driving... I would never do that, because I've been on the other end of it and I know what it's like.
Dom Whillans on 26 Aug 2012
In reply to nniff:
> (In reply to Dom Whillans)
>
> [...]
>
> Bristles off road sweeper brushes? AT least, that's what I've always assumed them to be.

You sir, are a star and I owe you a pint. You've just answered one of life's little questions for me.
a lakeland climber on 26 Aug 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell:

The Guardian are calling for Cycling Proficiency to be made part of the driving test. The idea is that once drivers know what it's like being a cyclist on the roads they'll be more careful around cyclists when driving.

I think it's Denmark (but could be Holland) where kids at secondary school have to cycle or walk to school. May be wrong on this - if anyone from those countries is reading this thread then put me right!

ALC
ThunderCat - on 26 Aug 2012
In reply to Dom Whillans:
> (In reply to Tim Chappell)

> PS, if anyone can explain what those small strips of steel are by the side of the road (about 3mm x 1mm x 100mm) i'll buy them a pint.

Cycle lots, but I don't recall seeing these. I notice the question's been answered already though - I'll probably see them lots now that I'm looking for them.

One thing I've noticed recently in the manchester / salford area is that one or two of the roadside drain covers have changed from the old traditional design of having the slats running sensibly from left to right (so that if you ride over them it was like painlessly crossing a small cattlegrid) - the new versions have the slats running parallel to the curb, so if you ride over them there's a fair chance your wheel will fall into the grid, and you'll faceplant the road.

Only noticed a few, but it seems like a massively obvious design flaw.

ThunderCat - on 26 Aug 2012
In reply to a lakeland climber:
> (In reply to Tim Chappell)
>
> The Guardian are calling for Cycling Proficiency to be made part of the driving test. The idea is that once drivers know what it's like being a cyclist on the roads they'll be more careful around cyclists when driving.
>

If I was king, you wouldn't be allowed a driving licence unless you'd spent a month as a cyclist.

In reply to ThunderCat:
> If I was king, you wouldn't be allowed a driving licence unless you'd spent a month as a cyclist.

And a motorcyclist, and a lorry/bus driver!
stewieatb on 27 Aug 2012
In reply to ThunderCat:

Mate. If you're close enough to the kerb to fall down a storm drain, you're too bloody close.
rallymania - on 27 Aug 2012
In reply to ThunderCat:

i thought those were "outlawed" to stop councils being sued

might be worth a call / email to your local council roads department?

my understanding is they all got replaced when cyclists started falling down them and ruining their 100plus front wheels and claiming for all sorts of injuries, so almost all councils replaced them with "right angle to the direction of travel" designs

Tim Chappell - on 27 Aug 2012
In reply to stewieatb:
> (In reply to ThunderCat)
>
> Mate. If you're close enough to the kerb to fall down a storm drain, you're too bloody close.



True, but it's still going to happen.
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NearlyDutchDan - on 27 Aug 2012
In reply to a lakeland climber:

No such requirement in NL as far as I know. But you wouldn't need it as everyone has a bike and they use them as much as poss :-)

> (In reply to Tim Chappell)
>
> The Guardian are calling for Cycling Proficiency to be made part of the driving test. The idea is that once drivers know what it's like being a cyclist on the roads they'll be more careful around cyclists when driving.
>
> I think it's Denmark (but could be Holland) where kids at secondary school have to cycle or walk to school. May be wrong on this - if anyone from those countries is reading this thread then put me right!
ThunderCat - on 27 Aug 2012
In reply to stewieatb:
> (In reply to ThunderCat)
>
> Mate. If you're close enough to the kerb to fall down a storm drain, you're too bloody close.

Sometimes you do have to duck in nearer to the curb than you'd normally ride though - agreed?

ThunderCat - on 27 Aug 2012
In reply to rallymania:
> (In reply to ThunderCat)
>
> i thought those were "outlawed" to stop councils being sued
>
> might be worth a call / email to your local council roads department?
>
> my understanding is they all got replaced when cyclists started falling down them and ruining their 100plus front wheels and claiming for all sorts of injuries, so almost all councils replaced them with "right angle to the direction of travel" designs

I'm trying to remember exactly where it was - I don't think it's on my normal route through Chorlton...I'll take a snap of it when I see it again...
stewieatb on 27 Aug 2012
In reply to ThunderCat:

Agreed, yes. The comment was meant to be slightly more flippant than it appeared. I do sometimes have to come within a foot of the kerb, but usually only because a white van driver has decided that a cyclist may be considered as a thin plane lamina...
MaranaF - on 28 Aug 2012
The other danger about riding too close to the curb, especially on skinny wheels, is the little stones that get kicked to the side from cars. They can act like marbles
ThunderCat - on 28 Aug 2012
In reply to stewieatb:
> (In reply to ThunderCat)
>
> Agreed, yes. The comment was meant to be slightly more flippant than it appeared. I do sometimes have to come within a foot of the kerb, but usually only because a white van driver has decided that a cyclist may be considered as a thin plane lamina...

:) It's generally good advice though, especially seeing as last year some twunt went and stole about ten of them in a row, all along a very busy road leading into Manchester...


FrankBooth - on 29 Aug 2012
In reply to tim000:
> (In reply to Tim Chappell) as a bikeability instructor one of the first things we teach is to ride away from the curb/gutter . normally 1 meter from the curb. this means that cars can see you and have to think about how to go round you .

I tend to take a position that's around 1-1.5 Metres beyond the width of any parked cars and stick to that position even if parked vehicles thin out. This means that on occasion I'll be a good 3.5 metres into the road but I think this provides a clearer message to cars rather than sporadically weaving in and out.

The whole 'non verbal communication' thing is key to safe cycling - make plenty of eye contact, be polite and courteous where possible but don't be afraid to assert your right to personal safety.
gingerdave13 - on 29 Aug 2012
ThunderCat - on 29 Aug 2012
In reply to gingerdave13:
> (In reply to ThunderCat) could send it into these guys ;-)
> http://homepage.ntlworld.com/pete.meg/wcc/facility-of-the-month/

I really hope that those are photoshopped, and not real... :(
Static - on 29 Aug 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell:

With respect to all the above opinions, does riding in the middle of the road really reduce the chance of near death experiences?

The other day I saw two elderly gentlemen cyclists going along side by side at about 5 mph and the car driver behind them having what looked like an epileptic fit presumably due to the red mist.

Were they really safer than if they had been single file?

I am a cyclist by the way, before I get shot down in flames.

biped - on 29 Aug 2012
In reply to FrankBooth:
> (In reply to tim000)
> [...]
>
> I tend to take a position that's around 1-1.5 Metres beyond the width of any parked cars and stick to that position even if parked vehicles thin out. This means that on occasion I'll be a good 3.5 metres into the road but I think this provides a clearer message to cars rather than sporadically weaving in and out.

I do this too, and have done ever since I saw a motorcyclist go under a bus when a someone parked opened their car door on him. He didn't survive. If there's traffic building up behind me though I'll pull in and let them past, consideration, PR and all that.
Tim Chappell - on 29 Aug 2012
In reply to Static:

Sometimes, yes. Probably mostly, yes. Of course there are exceptions, and of course you have to use your judgement.

One thing that inclines me to tuck in again: how incompetently motorists overtake me when I stand off the kerb a bit. I'm a yard off the kerb, where I should be, and it's a big wide road, but they're going right onto the other side of it to get past. With traffic coming towards them. Honestly, they are so crap at it.

Still, on the whole, I'm staying out, especially when the road narrows, e.g. at a traffic island.
captain paranoia - on 29 Aug 2012
In reply to stewieatb:

> but usually only because a white van driver has decided that a cyclist may be considered as a thin plane lamina...

Before or after...?
stewieatb on 29 Aug 2012
In reply to captain paranoia:

<applauds>
Mal Grey - on 30 Aug 2012
In reply to ThunderCat:

You can see it on google streetview: https://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=Boston+Manor+Road,+London&hl=en&ll=51.488486,-0.313819&...

I forgot how much I like that website!
ericinbristol - on 30 Aug 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell:

I have pretty much given up cycling on the roads in Bristol after a consistent approx. 2,000 miles a year for many years. After many serious near misses, quite a few less serious incidents (no way out from cycling straight into a suddenly opened car door etc etc), it felt like it was only a matter of time before I got properly splatted, I had had enough. No matter what I did to do it right on the road, it's a very vulnerable place to be. (As for the sodding bike lanes that suddenly run out etc gaah!).


Tim Chappell - on 30 Aug 2012
This morning on my way to St Andrews I made a point of staying out. I've also started moving even further in mid-lane when I can see things coming the other way, and don't want people to overtake me till they've passed.

This new policy tends to divide drivers into two roughly equal groups: those who take the hint when I move out because there's a bus coming the other way and our side of the road is quite narrow; and those who overtake me anyway and nearly go into the bus.

Some people are amazingly stupid.
EeeByGum - on 30 Aug 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell:
> This morning on my way to St Andrews I made a point of staying out. I've also started moving even further in mid-lane when I can see things coming the other way, and don't want people to overtake me till they've passed.


Hmmm - my experience of this is that regardless of where you are on the road, people will still try to pass you and if there isn't enough room between you and oncoming traffic to pass, you are the one that gets squeezed. I think that trying to dictate (as a cyclist) how other people should manoeuvre their vehicles around you is a direct road to hospital. There is nothing I hate more than being tailgated by an impatient driver so I usually just slow down, pull over and let them pass safely. I can totally understand how drivers get wound up by cyclists taking up the whole lane, regardless of whether it legal or safe to pass and that isn't a good thing for cyclists.
Guy - on 30 Aug 2012
In reply to EeeByGum: Keeping out does influence cars coming up behind you and as you say there will still be some who squeeze through but by being out it gives you somewhere to be squeezed in to rather than straight into the hedge/curb/barrier.....
Tim Chappell - on 30 Aug 2012
In reply to Guy:


On the whole, I think it's safer to stay out. Part of the problem is very familiar-- motorists have no idea just how fast bicycles can go. And they're programmed to think that bikes should always be overtaken at once.
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John Rushby - on 30 Aug 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell:

Amazing. The pissed up wanker got 18 months. He'll be out in 10!

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/farmer-edward-adams-jailed-over-paralympian-simon-richard...
Tim Chappell - on 30 Aug 2012
In reply to John Rushby:


"Dangerous driving"? FFS.

If you caused someone to fly 26 ft through the air and sustain these injuries by any other means than a car, the charge would be GBH.

What's so special about doing it with a car?

Having said that, I'm not sure 18 months is letting him off all that lightly. Would he have got more if he'd been convicted of GBH?
Tim Chappell - on 30 Aug 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell:

... to this question the answer appears to be "possibly". Sentences for GBH vary from a year to life. GBH does not require intent, so it is an applicable charge.
Tobias at Home - on 30 Aug 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell: What does fck me off, when waiting to overtake a bike, is when they pootle along oblivious to the car behind them. If you are going to block the road, don't do it inconsiderately. apart from the obvious impoliteness, it also encourages the driver to overtake you in an unsafe manner thus putting yourself at risk.

actually this isn't a bike rant, the same applies to visiting drivers and tourists walking down the highstreet...

(not aimed at you tim :-) )
andy - on 30 Aug 2012
In reply to Tobias at Home:
> (In reply to Tim Chappell) What does fck me off, when waiting to overtake a bike, is when they pootle along oblivious to the car behind them.

It would me too - but unless they're wearing headphones they probably are aware of you. The benefit of drivers who also ride bikes is that they tend to be able to recognise when you're holding the lane in order to stay safe, as opposed to riding along the middle of the road because they can't be arsed to move over. The tricky bit is perception - I got hooted at by an old gimmer on Sunday because he clearly felt I was riding too far out into the road and holding him up - but this was a line of parked cars, all of which had disabled badges (yellow line in Skipton where all the disabled cars park) and drivers of such cars, often elderly, have a tendency to open doors unexpectedly without looking. I rode a metre or so away from the cars, which of course from his point of view was stopping him overtaking - in my mind it was stopping me getting splatted!

tony on 30 Aug 2012
In reply to Tobias at Home:
> (In reply to Tim Chappell) What does fck me off, when waiting to overtake a bike, is when they pootle along oblivious to the car behind them.

But how do you know they're oblivious to you? It may be that they know you're there but can't (or don't want to) do anything to facilitate your passing. I can think of places where I cycle where it's not easy to do anything - I'm reluctant to move to the left if I don't think it's safe to be passed. Fortunately, most drivers round here are really good at holding back until it's really safe to pass.
Tobias at Home - on 30 Aug 2012
In reply to tony: i meant behaving as if they were oblivious to me.

if i feel a road is too narrow for a car to overtake me i ride in the middle and bust a gut to reach a point where i can pull over again. recently there seems to be a lot of people near me who are out for a gentle ride, block the road and do nothing to minimise their effect on the traffic behind them.

for the record, i'm generally very good at waiting for bikes just not when they won't help make it easy for me....

on the flip side, my misanthropy extends to car which overtake me at the start of a descent and then ruin the downhill by sitting in front of me :)

i think i just have end-of-summer rage here tbh....
Jim C - on 30 Aug 2012
In reply to Jimbo C:
> (In reply to Tim Chappell)
>
> Agreed, make your bike as wide as possible. On busy roundabouts I always used to go round bang in the centre of my lane even though it may have annoyed the odd motorist.

As a driver I have no problem with cyclists on the road 1M out or bang in the middle, but as a pedestrian I hate those that insist on cycling on the pavement for their whole journey, as it's 'too dangerous' on the road !

fxceltic on 30 Aug 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell: the advice for cycling should be/ is the same as driving, which is to say you should drive/ ride as "high profile" as it is safe to do.
This means keeping as far right as is reasonable and away from the gutter, and in a car relatively close to the centre line. This, in both cases, protects both you and others around you.
Tobias at Home - on 30 Aug 2012
In reply to Jim C: Are there shared pavements in the UK? In Geneva there are cycle lanes painted onto some footpaths if there wouldn't be space on the road.
tony on 30 Aug 2012
In reply to Tobias at Home:
> (In reply to Jim C) Are there shared pavements in the UK? In Geneva there are cycle lanes painted onto some footpaths if there wouldn't be space on the road.

There are in some places, but in my experience, it's not very common. In general, provision of cycling paths is very patchy and in places, very poor.
balmybaldwin - on 30 Aug 2012
In reply to tony:

The shared use pavements are just useless

1) they give the impression bikes shouldn't be on the road
2) pedestrians are oblivious to the fact a cyclist may be travelling, and generally ignore the markings indicating which side they should walk on
3) I suspect pedestrians hate them too
4) unless they are very quiet then the progress made on them on a bike is little more than walking pace
5) an awful lot of them look like this: http://homepage.ntlworld.com/pete.meg/wcc/facility-of-the-month/September2007.htm
a lakeland climber on 30 Aug 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell:

I think I posted a link about this on another thread but the verdict is now in: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-mid-wales-19421724

ALC
climbingpixie - on 30 Aug 2012
In reply to Tobias at Home:

> if i feel a road is too narrow for a car to overtake me i ride in the middle and bust a gut to reach a point where i can pull over again. recently there seems to be a lot of people near me who are out for a gentle ride, block the road and do nothing to minimise their effect on the traffic behind them.

I've seen this too. I don't have a problem waiting behind cyclists until it's safe to pass but I don't think it's unreasonable to expect them to put some effort in! I've been stuck behind a cyclist coasting gently downhill before and it makes me want to wind my window down and shout 'pedal FFS'! Uphill is obviously a different matter and I'd like to apologise to any of the drivers who got stuck behind me slowly hauling my fat arse up the Cow and Calf on Tuesday :)
Liam M - on 30 Aug 2012
In reply to climbingpixie: I agree that you should try and put a bit of effort in to get to a point where someone can safely overtake where reasonable. This generally involves kicking around corners or out of junctions, often putting on a slightly overdramatic sprint if my legs are feeling cooked to show I am trying even if not actually going that fast.

I am becoming convinced one of the best survival techniques in heavier traffic is a kick like a mule!
Tim Chappell - on 30 Aug 2012
In reply to Liam M:
> (to show I am trying even if not actually going that fast.


This is nice of you, but we mustn't get into thinking that we're *obliged* to do anything of the sort.

If one car finds another slower road-user is in front of it on the road, in a place where it can't safely overtake, then it has to put up with it.

Doesn't matter whether it's another car, a bicycle, or a ten-wheel gypsy caravan pulled by twenty-five technicolor tapirs. The driver behind has a duty to back off and wait till he can overtake.

End of.
Tobias at Home - on 30 Aug 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell:
> (In reply to Liam M)
> [...]
> If one car finds another slower road-user is in front of it on the road, in a place where it can't safely overtake, then it has to put up with it.
>

that's great advice tim and i wish everyone was a saint but the reality is the cyclist is increasing their odds of being in an accident if they don't at least make it look like they are trying to get out of the way.

it really isn't about what is right - of course a road-user shouldn't put anyone else at risk - it is about minimising the odds that you're going to be hurt as a cyclist - irritating a driver who will respond by overtaking where the road is still narrow and force you into the gutter doesn't do that.

put another way, if you can't be bothered to show consideration to me, why should i be bothered about not scaring you off the road?
Tom V - on 30 Aug 2012
In reply to fxceltic:

This is a new one to me. Where does it say that car drivers should be as "high profile" as possible? There seems to be a lot of "high profile " drivers on the motorway, most of them in the central carriageway when they should be moving left.
captain paranoia - on 30 Aug 2012
In reply to John Rushby:

"Judge Williams described Adams' version of events during his trial as "instinctive lies" - and said the sentence he imposed reflected the serious harm and injury Mr Richardson had been caused."

Like hell it does...

As you say, he'll be out (and probably back on the roads) in 10 months or so.

I despair at the pathetic sentences handed out to morons like him and Dyche. You'd think that we didn't have enough jail spaces. Oh, we don't, do we? But that's no excuse for not giving them life bans.
Tim Chappell - on 30 Aug 2012
In reply to captain paranoia:

Do you really think 12 months in jail is soft? How would you like it?

Judges have to keep proportionality in their sentencing. Adams didn't do this deliberately. If he had, the judge would and should have sentenced him to longer. He's shown remorse. If he hadn't, again, a longer sentence would have been appropriate.

As I said above, my main gripe is different. It's that I think it's nonsense to treat serious assaults or killings *committed with a car* as if those are somehow different from other assaults or killings.
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John Rushby - on 30 Aug 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell:

He was reckless aforethought.

The f*cktard got pissed.
ThunderCat - on 31 Aug 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell:
> (In reply to captain paranoia)
>
> Judges have to keep proportionality in their sentencing. Adams didn't do this deliberately. If he had, the judge would and should have sentenced him to longer. He's shown remorse. If he hadn't, again, a longer sentence would have been appropriate.

While the accident wasn't deliberate...getting behind the wheel whilst pissed was hardly accidental...:)


Tim Chappell - on 31 Aug 2012
In reply to ThunderCat:

Sure. But injuring by negligence usually attracts a lower sentence than injuring deliberately. And so it should.

The trouble with cases like this is, everybody wants--I know I want--a court sentence that will make it all right for the victim of the crime. The trouble is, there is no such sentence. There never is.
BruceWee - on 31 Aug 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell:

Didn't that bus driver who deliberately hit the cyclist in Bristol only get 17 months?

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