/ An odd altercation/knowing the boundaries

Please Register as a New User in order to reply to this topic.
Trevers - on 18 Sep 2016
I had a rather odd altercation today, cycling in Bristol. I was following my girlfriend, who's not such a confident road cyclist, and sticking outside of a cycle lane which is painted in the door zone of a row of parking spaces (stupid design!)

At this point I got overtaken with a bit more than 1ft of space by a largish 4x4 vehicle. I made a 'stay wide' gesture. He then pulled into a petrol station and got out, and as I passed I called across to say that he hadn't given me enough room.

The guy ran over to me and started shouting at me, making it understandably quite hard for me to keep my cool, but I think I managed it. He was shouting that I didn't need to overtake there (I wasn't overtaking!) and that I should've been in the cycle path (sorry Mate, but no I definitely shouldn't have been). I pointed out the row of parked cars and the obvious danger.

He then started shouting at me that he's a road cyclist, and does 15k a year, that I should check him out on Strava. And therefore I had no right to be lecturing him on how to drive around cyclists. What the actual eff? I don't care whether you've won all the grand tours, I deserve some space. It was depressing to hear this bollocks coming from someone who claims to cycle regularly, he should know better. Clearly a nutter with an ego problem.

The problem is I'm still not great at judging when to point someone's bad driving out and when to let it go. I was polite and restrained, but if someone's going to take risks with my life, I absolutely reserve the right to express my unhappiness with it. I'm not going in to start an argument. I have had positive results before, but I'm also well aware that there'll be a small fraction of unhinged people who will escalate things towards violence.

I'm wondering whether other cyclists have some sort of strategy or checklist for deciding whether to engage with a driver or not following an incident?
eschaton - on 18 Sep 2016
In reply to Trevers:
a can of mace.
Chris Harris - on 18 Sep 2016
In reply to Trevers:

> I'm wondering whether other cyclists have some sort of strategy or checklist for deciding whether to engage with a driver or not following an incident?

If it's a BMW with tinted windows & lowered suspension in the Meadows area of Nottingham, I tend to let it go.

Yummy Mummy on the phone in her 4x4 in West Bridgford will get an earful & some gesticulations.






birdie num num - on 18 Sep 2016
In reply to Trevers:

Whenever I knock, or nearly knock a cyclist off their bike I normally find a cheery wave out of the car window smooths things along a bit.
Trevers - on 18 Sep 2016
In reply to Chris Harris:
> Yummy Mummy on the phone in her 4x4 in West Bridgford will get an earful & some gesticulations.

What if she's not yummy, or is in the Meadows area?
Post edited at 17:01
Yanis Nayu - on 18 Sep 2016
In reply to Chris Harris:

I do a similar sort of risk assessment.
gethin_allen on 18 Sep 2016
In reply to Trevers:

Whether you are in a cycle lane or cycling down the centre of a dual carriage way anyone passing should pass safely and leave you enough space.
As far as the bloke being a cyclist, you get knobs in all walks of life. I'd have taken him up on the offer of following him on strava and then reported him to the plod/stalked him.
Yanis Nayu - on 18 Sep 2016
In reply to Trevers:

When someone passes too close to me (which I'd say averages about once for every 10 miles of pedalling), I swing my right arm out, which no doubt they never even see, but I do find the next car always passes wider.

I've tried to catch some especially bad offenders with a view to booting the side of their car in, but luckily never managed it. A car passed within inches of me once - I though "F*ck me that was close!", when the caravan it was towing practically grazed my arm. I reckon I averaged about 600watts for the next two minutes trying to catch it at the traffic lights at the top of the hill and re-arrange the bodywork of their Marauder 3000.
andy - on 18 Sep 2016
In reply to Yanis Nayu:
This blog from the Brum police is encouraging.

https://trafficwmp.wordpress.com

Creating all sorts of the usual debate on FB, some of my favourites being those that accuse the police of "entrapment ". Presumably the "honey trap" of a cyclist riding along the road is just too tempting for any right thinking driver to resist, so is just unable to hold back from zooming past 20cm from his elbow.

That and the usual whatboutery to which the answer is simply "with limited resources, and 84% of serious collisions involving bikes being the fault of the driver, where would you concentrate your efforts?"
Post edited at 18:41
wurzelinzummerset on 18 Sep 2016
In reply to birdie num num:

> Whenever I knock, or nearly knock a cyclist off their bike I normally find a cheery wave out of the car window smooths things along a bit.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9lmCpIzhFo
Dave the Rave on 18 Sep 2016
In reply to Trevers:
Has this done the rounds yet? Apparently the driver got several bollickings.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-37307626
There are better longer versions with uncut expletives
Post edited at 19:48
cb294 - on 18 Sep 2016
In reply to Dave the Rave:

It is an absolute scandal that Sky did not sack the guy right that evening.

CB
Yanis Nayu - on 18 Sep 2016
In reply to cb294:

> It is an absolute scandal that Sky did not sack the guy right that evening.

> CB

The more I see that the worse it gets. I'm surprised the police aren't involved.
Yanis Nayu - on 18 Sep 2016
In reply to andy:

> This blog from the Brum police is encouraging.


> Creating all sorts of the usual debate on FB, some of my favourites being those that accuse the police of "entrapment ". Presumably the "honey trap" of a cyclist riding along the road is just too tempting for any right thinking driver to resist, so is just unable to hold back from zooming past 20cm from his elbow.

> That and the usual whatboutery to which the answer is simply "with limited resources, and 84% of serious collisions involving bikes being the fault of the driver, where would you concentrate your efforts?"

I saw that; it's a good initiative.
JJL - on 18 Sep 2016
In reply to Trevers:

> I was ...sticking outside of a cycle lane

> At this point I got overtaken with a bit more than 1ft of space

> I made a 'stay wide' gesture.

> I called across to say that he hadn't given me enough room.

> Clearly a nutter with an ego problem.

Yes. What the hell is "outside of"?
Trevers - on 18 Sep 2016
In reply to JJL:

It's fairly simple, the cycle lane is more or less the width of a car door, and the cars are parked with their doors abutting the cycle lane. So I position myself slightly to the right of the solid lane for sufficient clearance. It's nothing than anyone with an ounce of common sense or perspective would have an issue with.
Yanis Nayu - on 19 Sep 2016
pwo - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Trevers:
Mate of mine has a standard response which goes "you have two choices mate, you can either reel your neck in and f**k off and leave me alone or you can have a free swing at me. Anything after that is self defence". Mind you he can really handle himself. Personally I just ignore them and carry on just muttering to myself.
KevinD - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Yanis Nayu:
> This hard-of-thinking moron has an interesting take on it:

Former economics editor no less.
I like the idea that using a camera and reporting people driving badly is vigilantism. Lets hope it doesnt catch on since it might make the next batman even shitter than the batman vs superman movie.
Post edited at 08:38
girlymonkey - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

Oh my word. My particular favourite from this is that he would advise everyone to give up cycling because the roads are too congested. Can he not see how cyclists are reducing the congestion, and encouraging more people to cycle would reduce this congestion further?!
MG - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Trevers:

Perhaps bear in mind that drivers may not be immediately apologetic and even quite argumentative when approached, due to being challenged. Afterwards however they may reflect and think a bit more in future. Or not. You'll never know in any particular case but overall polite comment is probably beneficial
Trevers - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

> This hard-of-thinking moron has an interesting take on it:

Is this guy Jeremy Clarkson in disguise?

https://www.flickr.com/photos/carltonreid/10739147314/in/photostream/lightbox/
Dauphin on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Trevers:

Mini pump wrapped around the grid normally gets the message across. Tuff love.

D
Neil Williams - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Trevers:
> I'm wondering whether other cyclists have some sort of strategy or checklist for deciding whether to engage with a driver or not following an incident?

Yes. Never engage face to face, it will never bring benefits; just ride off. Report to the Police if appropriate.
Post edited at 09:48
johnjohn - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Trevers:

When he mentioned Strava, you should have shouted "STRAAAVAAA!!" in his face. Us strava users respond well to a bit of a challenge...
Neil Williams - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to cb294:

> It is an absolute scandal that Sky did not sack the guy right that evening.

How do you know they didn't? Peoples' employment status and disciplinary matters are rightly confidential.

The cyclist should have braked for his own safety, though; he was not riding defensively. A coach is a massive threat - if one does something silly, there is no point asserting your priority. Your priority was useless if you are dead.
Neil Williams - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Yanis Nayu:
> This hard-of-thinking moron has an interesting take on it:

He's got a point, hidden among anti-cyclist rhetoric.

ALL road users need to act primarily defensively at ALL times, accept that some people are idiots, some people are incompetent, and some people are the best drivers/cyclists and simply make errors of judgement.

If somebody does something stupid, let them do it. Then maybe next time you do something stupid (you will, nobody is perfect) someone else will let you get away with it. Road deaths would plummet if everyone worked this way.

Better scenario involving the coach - coach misjudges overtake, cyclist backs off to help coach driver finish misjudged overtake, perhaps waving him in when he is fully past, cyclist loses 10 seconds, coach driver feels like a muppet, but nobody dies and everyone gets where they are going.
Post edited at 09:58
Trevers - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Neil Williams:

1) It has resulted in positive interactions for me before

2) Why should I ride off and leave them to continue going round in the belief that their driving is fine? If I've been scared by someone's driving, they should know about it.

3) My experience of reporting stuff to the police has been negative. Presenting unequivocal evidence of deliberately dangerous driving resulted in them threatening to slap me with a Section 5 public order offence for my choice of language after the incident. Yeah I know that was just one officer, and he was probably bluffing, but it's shaken my faith in their ability or will to do anything. In this instance I didn't have the camera running anyway so there was zero point.
KevinD - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Neil Williams:

> Better scenario involving the coach - coach misjudges overtake, cyclist backs off to help coach driver finish misjudged overtake, perhaps waving him in when he is fully past, cyclist loses 10 seconds, coach driver feels like a muppet, but nobody dies and everyone gets where they are going.

Or driver keeps driving like a f*cking muppet and next time has a head on collision with a tanker that didnt stop in time.

As for cyclist backing off. Did you see the actual incident? No time to back off and even if there had been would have been busy keeping control rather than braking as well.
GrahamD - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Trevers:

I love the way these posts are always from the perspective that:"my riding is 100% fine, absolutely no room to suggest that I might, even ever so slightly, contributed to a situation".
Neil Williams - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to KevinD:

> Or driver keeps driving like a f*cking muppet and next time has a head on collision with a tanker that didnt stop in time.

> As for cyclist backing off. Did you see the actual incident? No time to back off and even if there had been would have been busy keeping control rather than braking as well.

Yes, I watched the video. When I saw the oncoming lorry, and saw that the coach had pulled out to overtake it without enough room, I would have been immediately on the brakes, whether I was riding a bike or driving a slow-moving motor vehicle.

If the cyclist was not in a position to emergency brake without losing control he was going too fast.
Neil Williams - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to pwo:
> Mate of mine has a standard response which goes "you have two choices mate, you can either reel your neck in and f**k off and leave me alone or you can have a free swing at me. Anything after that is self defence".

The law does not see it like that, FWIW. Self defence has to be proportionate - blocking rather than attacking, for instance, or just enough incapacitating violence, if necessary, to be able to flee. The legal assumption is that fleeing, if possible, is always the right action.
Post edited at 10:13
cb294 - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Neil Williams:

Disagree completely. Are you suggesting a cyclist should stop and leave the road every time a coach or lorry comes up to him from behind? The cyclist was using the road in an entirely safe manner, the coach had a duty to stay behind until he could see that he could pass with sufficient safety margin, which in this case meant using the opposite lane, and would not have to pull back onto the line while next to the cyclist. As it was, he decided on purpose to pass the cyclist, as he could always run him off the road in case of oncoming traffic.

To me, deliberately playing with someone else´s life in this way should result in an immediate lifetime ban from driving. Sky can shove their "apologies" whereever, they need to document action, and confidentiality be damned.

CB
Neil Williams - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to cb294:
> Disagree completely. Are you suggesting a cyclist should stop and leave the road every time a coach or lorry comes up to him from behind?

No, where do I suggest that?

> The cyclist was using the road in an entirely safe manner, the coach had a duty to stay behind until he could see that he could pass with sufficient safety margin, which in this case meant using the opposite lane, and would not have to pull back onto the line while next to the cyclist. As it was, he decided on purpose to pass the cyclist, as he could always run him off the road in case of oncoming traffic.

Correct. But the cyclist is still vulnerable, and still needs to act defensively as soon as they notice a problem, or their stubbornness is putting their life at unnecessary risk to gain 10 seconds. Hopefully not 10 seconds on a Strava segment, as that has no place on a public road - if you want to race in a manner where seconds matter, go to a track, whatever you are driving or riding.

> To me, deliberately playing with someone else's life in this way should result in an immediate lifetime ban from driving. Sky can shove their "apologies" whereever, they need to document action, and confidentiality be damned.

He probably needs a dangerous driving charge. But what the employer does remains confidential.

FWIW, if we are going to give lifetime bans for that, we need to give lifetime bans for ALL such incorrect road use. Including the same magnitude of sanction for dangerous cycling, which can still be a threat - e.g. if another road user has to swerve to avoid a red-light-running cyclist.
Post edited at 10:19
MG - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Neil Williams:

He may have braked. I can' really see what the cyclist could do there - even if he had been stationary, the coach was way, way too close. You can hardly expect people to jump into the bushes every time a vehicle is behind them.
Neil Williams - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to MG:
> He may have braked.

It doesn't appear from the video that he did, FWIW. His speed does not appear to substantially decrease.

While their roads are very dangerous for many other reasons, I really like the way overtaking is thought about in India - it is a *three* party exercise - the person doing it, the oncoming traffic *and* the person being overtaken all cooperate to ensure it can be executed as safely as possible in what are often terrible road conditions.
Post edited at 10:21
Trevers - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to GrahamD:

> I love the way these posts are always from the perspective that:"my riding is 100% fine, absolutely no room to suggest that I might, even ever so slightly, contributed to a situation".

Are you suggesting my riding did?
MG - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Neil Williams:

> I really like the way overtaking is thought about in India - it is a *three* party exercise - the person doing it, the oncoming traffic *and* the person being overtaken all cooperate to ensure it can be executed as safely as possible in what are often terrible road conditions.

WHAT!!! Have you been on Indian roads? Bloody terrifying!
cb294 - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Neil Williams:

The cyclist managed to stay on the bike, and did not run into the verge risking a crash where he might have ended up in front of the rear axle of the coach. Excellent, defensive cycling! What more do you want? Stopping when you hear the traffic coming up is the only more defensive thing I can think of, hence my slightly tongue in cheek comment.

Sky earn their money in the cycling business. The least they can do is to report their driver to the police, make this public, and state the fact that he was disciplined (possibly not what the disciplinary measures were). However, the simple fact that employees have been sacked is reported all the time in all kind of businesses, again the terms of the sacking are the only thing that is confidential.

As it is, my already low opinion of the team has completely bottomed out....

CB
Neil Williams - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to MG:

> WHAT!!! Have you been on Indian roads? Bloody terrifying!

Yes.

They are terrifying for reasons *other* than the view that everyone is reponsible for everything going on around them.

Take our much better roads, but add the idea that defensive driving is the only way to drive. They'd be much better than both.
Neil Williams - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Trevers:
> Are you suggesting my riding did?

Any driver or rider who doesn't admit that, at some point in their driving/riding career, they have made a mistake which has only not caused an incident because of someone else noticing it, is being a little arrogant.

So yes, yours has. So has mine. So has every single other driver, cyclist or pedestrian on UKC, or indeed, anywhere in the world, ever.
Post edited at 10:28
MG - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Neil Williams:

> They are terrifying for reasons *other* than the view that everyone is reponsible for everything going on around them.

My experience is rather different. More three or four columns of humans, camels, bikes, cars, flocks of sheep in each direction playing chicken with each other.
Trevers - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Neil Williams:

> Any driver or rider who doesn't admit that, at some point in their driving/riding career, they have made a mistake which has only not caused an incident because of someone else noticing it, is being a little arrogant.

> So yes, yours has. So has mine. So has every single other driver, cyclist or pedestrian on UKC, or indeed, anywhere in the world, ever.

That's absolutely not the same as suggesting that my riding style specifically contributed to some driver's decision to play Russian Roulette with me.
MG - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Trevers:

I think my comment above about reflecting on behaviour after a near miss applies to cyclists as much as drivers. Just possibly you could have done nothing better or safer in this case, but that would be unusual.
Trevers - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to MG:

> I think my comment above about reflecting on behaviour after a near miss applies to cyclists as much as drivers. Just possibly you could have done nothing better or safer in this case, but that would be unusual.

Honestly, half of the reason I record rides is so that I can get a second view on any incidents that occur, whether I missed any details, whether my positioning was correct etc. etc. In this specific incidence, not cycling is the only thing I could have done safer. The guy was simply a murderous nutter.

I responded sharply to Graham's comment because he seemed to be suggesting that omission of self-criticism was admission of guilt. i.e. victim blaming.
ads.ukclimbing.com
GrahamD - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Trevers:

> I responded sharply to Graham's comment because he seemed to be suggesting that omission of self-criticism was admission of guilt. i.e. victim blaming.

Err, I think you might be illustarting my point quite well here. You are seeing thing in black and white terms here whereas there are often (usually) shades of grey. Since we only ahave a one sided account of events here it seems fair to allow for the possibility that there was another side to the story.
Mark Kemball - on 19 Sep 2016
KevinD - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Neil Williams:

> If the cyclist was not in a position to emergency brake without losing control he was going too fast.

You failed to understand what I actually wrote. Have you ever been passed at that sort of distance and speed by a HGV/coach? There is enough to be concerned with without adding braking to it.
I remember seeing a video of one company training its coach or hgv drivers (cant remember which) to understand this by sticking them on exercise bikes and then doing a close pass.

It is amazing that you can actually manage to try and blame the cyclist in this situation. The cyclist braking would have made f*ck all difference. Unless they were checking behind and getting off the road and doffing their helmets to their betters.
Indy - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to KevinD:
> It is amazing that you can actually manage to try and blame the cyclist in this situation.

You're completely right.... cuz EVERYONE knows cyclist are always 100% right about everything.

Oddly nearly ran over a cyclist yesterday who thought that red lights didn't apply to her. Got a finger jesture and some abuse when I honked at her. Next time I'll let her see the underside of my 2 tonne car.

BTW I've cycled around 900 miles a month since May.



Trevers - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to GrahamD:

> Err, I think you might be illustarting my point quite well here. You are seeing thing in black and white terms here whereas there are often (usually) shades of grey. Since we only ahave a one sided account of events here it seems fair to allow for the possibility that there was another side to the story.

I've sent the footage to the police, uploaded it to youtube, written a blog post around it and discussed it with a solicitor and other sympathetic police officers. Do you think I haven't analysed every detail of it?

It would be an utterly pointless exercise for me to comb the footage and determine that I should have been 2 inches to the left and travelling 2mph quicker a distance 110m after the traffic lights when the guy was quite deliberately driving in a dangerous and threatening manner. There's several orders of magnitude difference between our relative contributions and to focus on mine is laughable.

Despite trying desperately hard, the officer couldn't identify any mitigating circumstances for the driver leading up to the incident, and had to resort to stuff that happened after.
Trevers - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Indy:

> You're completely right.... cuz EVERYONE knows cyclist are always 100% right about everything.

For crying out loud, he's referring to a specific situation for which video footage was posted above. What a pointless, antagonistic comment to make!
KevinD - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Indy:

> Oddly nearly ran over a cyclist yesterday who thought that red lights didn't apply to her. Got a finger jesture and some abuse when I honked at her. Next time I'll let her see the underside of my 2 tonne car.

They were probably worried that the straw man you have just erected might fall on them.

> BTW I've cycled around 900 miles a month since May.

well done you are my f*cking hero.

Indy - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Trevers:

...... but the points worth making though.
Indy - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to KevinD:
> well done you are my f*cking hero.

Blushes.... thanks.
KevinD - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Indy:

> ...... but the points worth making though.

what point? I have never met anyone arguing cyclists are always right. Even presumed liability countries have exclusions. In my experience an idiotic cyclist is liable to be an idiotic driver as well so I far prefer them on a bicycle.
rj_townsend on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Trevers:

For some unknown reason I have just wasted five minutes of my meagre existence reading this thread, and can only suggest that this section of the forum change from "cycling" to "Trolls 'r' Us".

Quite frankly I am sick and tired of listening/seeing/reading about poor innocent cyclists feeling victimised and feeling the need to give a driver a mouthful, followed by idiotic drivers trying to explain and justify the unexplainable and unjustifiable. It's like being in a playground.

Grow. The. F*ck. Up.
Indy - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to KevinD:
The cycle lobby in response to 1000's of cyclist caught jumping red lights, not having lights on bikes etc. Both legal requirements was to annouce a "Police war on cyclists".
Post edited at 12:02
Indy - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to rj_townsend:

Dangerous motorist need to be delt with unfortunately too many cyclist are being allowed to get away with being dangerous i.e. no lights, cycling on the pavement, jumping red lights etc. and they need to be delt with just as much as the motorist.
Timmd on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Neil Williams:
> there is no point asserting your priority. Your priority was useless if you are dead.

As somebody who cycles everywhere, it's a very good point that there's not much good in being 'right and dead'.

I've no opinion on the rest of your post not having seen the link. I know I'm not a perfect cyclist, and try and ride defensively and leave room for mistakes by other people, but it's very hard not to react when you've just been put in danger by somebody in a car etc.
Post edited at 12:17
KevinD - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Indy:
> The cycle lobby in response to 1000's of cyclist caught jumping red lights, not having lights on bikes etc. Both legal requirements was to annouce a "Police war on cyclists".

Can you give examples of this and also explain exactly how they deviate from the "war on motorists" which is trotted on by the car lobby?
I would love to see some cases where the "cycle lobby" is arguing for not having "lights on bikes".
I would also be interested to see the cases relating to red lights since there is a good case to be made for certain changes to those rules to increase safety. However I am not aware of anyone advocating ignoring lights completely.
I am guessing you might be referring to the city of London case. Where peoples primary objection was it being in the name of cycle safety whilst resolutely ignoring bad driving.
Post edited at 12:15
timjones - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Trevers:

The only observation that I would make is that if you start a conversation by shouting at someone across a garage forecourt then there is a good chance that any ensuing discussion will not go well.
Trevers - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to timjones:

> The only observation that I would make is that if you start a conversation by shouting at someone across a garage forecourt then there is a good chance that any ensuing discussion will not go well.

But this is the point I was originally trying to make. I need to make it clear to the driving that I was unhappy with his passing and why. But how does one do this when one's heckles are raised without getting the driver's back up too?
timjones - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Trevers:

> But this is the point I was originally trying to make. I need to make it clear to the driving that I was unhappy with his passing and why. But how does one do this when one's heckles are raised without getting the driver's back up too?

Do you need to make it clear?

If you've already communicated your opinion with a "stay wide gesture" what do you gain by confronting them? Why do you feel the need?
Timmd on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to timjones:

> Do you need to make it clear?

> If you've already communicated your opinion with a "stay wide gesture" what do you gain by confronting them? Why do you feel the need?

I don't know if you've ever felt endangered by somebody's driving while cycling, but it can be very hard 'not' to say something in explanation about why you've waved your arm etc, and for it to come across in an angry/confrontational way - just from being perturbed at feeling physically endangered.
timjones - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Timmd:

> I don't know if you've ever felt endangered by somebody's driving while cycling, but it can be very hard 'not' to say something in explanation about why you've waved your arm etc, and for it to come across in an angry/confrontational way - just from being perturbed at feeling physically endangered.

Not recently whilst cycling but only last week whilst driving. There is no difference in terms of the emotions experienced and the ability to handle them.

An immediate response is natural but if you give yourself the space to take a few deep breaths and calm down there is rarely anything to be gained by allowing your anger to grow and seeking further confrontation. If you can't communicate calmly and clearly then it may just be best to back off.
Neil Williams - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to KevinD:
> You failed to understand what I actually wrote. Have you ever been passed at that sort of distance and speed by a HGV/coach? There is enough to be concerned with without adding braking to it.

Yes, it's not an awful lot of fun, I'll give you.

> It is amazing that you can actually manage to try and blame the cyclist in this situation.

Suggesting that someone could reduce the risk to themselves in a situation created entirely by the actions of others is *not* the same thing as blaming them, and I really wish cyclists on here would stop thinking it is.

For instance, if someone pulled a knife at me on the street, and I was not cornered, I might be very well advised to run away as quickly as possible to somewhere safe and seek Police help. If I didn't do that, or failing that comply with their request for my money, phone or whatever, I'm more likely to be stabbed. That isn't saying it's my fault, as a knifing is the fault of the person doing it. It's saying I could protect myself better, and would be well advised to do so.

So it is on the roads - if some idiot does something dangerous, the best approach is, if at all possible, to give them room to do it so it cannot hurt you. Then, if appropriate, report it to the Police and/or their employer if known, for further action to be taken as appropriate. If you have a camera, you also have excellent quality evidence for doing so.

TBH, even if the coach was being competently driven, sitting behind me it is a threat that increases with time. As a cyclist I am very much motivated, for my own safety, to want it to pass as soon as safely possible.
Post edited at 14:15
Sir Chasm - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Neil Williams:

I'm not sure we've watched the same video, at what point do you think the cyclist should have braked?
andy - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Indy: have you read the west midlands' blog? They've analysed 500+ serious accidents and the majority was the fault of the motorist. So they've decided to use their scarce resources where they'll have most effect. And that's by prosecuting motorists. As they say - when people start getting prosecuted for something they tend to stop doing it.

I cycle through Brum nearly every day. And I see occasional cyclists go through red lights. I see quite a few riding on pavements (quite a lot are shared use) . Generally slowly and carefully, very rarely shooting through at speed ŕ la London courier. And every day I see far more cars and lorries go through red lights at speed as they try to "nip through on amber". Which d'you think is more dangerous, and where would you use your resources?

On the FB discussion there was a spectacular bit of victim blaming where someone suggested that if cyclists didn't "irritate" motorists by doing things like filtering through the traffic then perhaps people wouldn't feel they have to get past them! The ultimate excuse for the "punishment pass".

Neil Williams - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Sir Chasm:
This video, just to make sure we are?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-37307626

As soon as I became aware of the coach attempting to pass and not having room to do so (which would be as soon as I saw the coach beginning to pass) I would have been hard on the brakes to give him the room to do so, knowing he would be likely to move in very quickly to avoid a head on collision.

If he had time to shout "idiot" 3 times he had time to brake hard. Someone who was putting all his energy into preventing himself leaving the road would not have the spare mental capacity to shout "idiot".
Post edited at 14:50
timjones - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Sir Chasm:

> I'm not sure we've watched the same video, at what point do you think the cyclist should have braked?

I don't think that the video allows us to pass judgement on whether or not the cyclist braked.

In answer to your question regardless of your chosen mode of transport the sane answer is to brake as soon you realise that you are about to be cut up by someone executing a reckless or misjudged overtake.
Sir Chasm - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Neil Williams:
You can't tell he didn't brake. He didn't shout "idiot" 3 times before the coach passed him. And if you can't brake and shout at the same time you shouldn't be on the roads.
Notwithstanding your superior skills, I suspect all this chap saw at the time was the coach that nearly took him out, the impending head-on collision being lower down his list of concerns.
Sir Chasm - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to timjones:

> I don't think that the video allows us to pass judgement on whether or not the cyclist braked.

And yet there seems to be plenty of judging.

> In answer to your question regardless of your chosen mode of transport the sane answer is to brake as soon you realise that you are about to be cut up by someone executing a reckless or misjudged overtake.

I'm not convinced that braking in that specific situation (not some other one we can imagine) would have helped much, or done anything to improve the cyclist's safety.
MG - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Neil Williams:

> Suggesting that someone could reduce the risk to themselves in a situation created entirely by the actions of others is *not* the same thing as blaming them, and I really wish cyclists on here would stop thinking it is.

I agree. However, I think you are picking the wrong incident to highlight this. From the video, there really is very little the guy could have done in this instance. Slamming the brakes on would have made minimal difference, and he may have done so anyway, it isn't clear.
Jim Hamilton - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Neil Williams:

You could risk being tail ended by following traffic by automatically braking hard – once the coach is pulling back in the cyclist can judge how much braking to do, if any, to avoid being hit.
deepsoup - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Indy:
> .. they need to be delt with just as much as the motorist.

Just as much? Since resources for traffic policing seem to be limited, to say the least, I rather think they should be dealt with according to the scale of the problem. Inconsiderate cycling can be quite annoying. Inconsiderate driving kills and maims people, lots of people.
KevinD - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Neil Williams:

> Suggesting that someone could reduce the risk to themselves in a situation created entirely by the actions of others is *not* the same thing as blaming them, and I really wish cyclists on here would stop thinking it is.

Perhaps you shouldnt use examples which come across as victim blaming then? Or indeed try and throw some shit at the cyclist by trying to imply strava might be involved.
I am perfectly aware of defensive cycling and do practice it. In this case I cant see much, aside from riding further out which would have had the f*ckwits raving, that might have helped. Certainly braking would be bugger all use. Even if he slammed the anchors on do you really think the coach driver would have pulled in any quicker?
KevinD - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to deepsoup:

> Just as much?

The link Andy gave on Sunday night is good for this. the West Midlands Police take on the relative issues.

https://trafficwmp.wordpress.com/2016/09/09/junction-malfunction-and-a-new-dawn/
deepsoup - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to KevinD:

Oh, that is good. I didn't read it before, thanks for posting the link again.
Neil Williams - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to KevinD:
> Perhaps you shouldnt use examples which come across as victim blaming then?

The Strava issue aside (which was generalised, as someone else had mentioned it upthread) none of my posts are victim blaming. They are suggesting that the cyclist could, in the face of the coach driver acting in a way that threatened his life, act better in order to protect himself. That is not victim blaming, no more than suggesting it's a good idea to lock your house otherwise your stuff might get nicked, and it's a good idea to get contents insurance in case it does to minimise the impact on you.

> I am perfectly aware of defensive cycling and do practice it. In this case I cant see much, aside from riding further out which would have had the f*ckwits raving, that might have helped. Certainly braking would be bugger all use. Even if he slammed the anchors on do you really think the coach driver would have pulled in any quicker?

If he'd braked to a near-stand the coach would have passed in less time - think about it.
Post edited at 16:04
Trevers - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Neil Williams:

> If he'd braked to a near-stand the coach would have passed in less time - think about it.

But might that not have potentially put him in danger from vehicles following the bus? Who might have been following closely, might not have seen the cyclist until the bus overtook him, and also might not have seen the oncoming traffic.

I broadly agree with some of what you're saying, but really picked a poor example to highlight it.
Neil Williams - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Trevers:

Fair point I guess. (I should also clarify that none of this discussion prejudices the fact that the coach driver was a dangerous idiot, first of all for having started the dangerous overtaking manoeuvre, and secondly for not aborting it by braking and tucking back behind the cyclist).
Trevers - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Neil Williams:

> Fair point I guess. (I should also clarify that none of this discussion prejudices the fact that the coach driver was a dangerous idiot, first of all for having started the dangerous overtaking manoeuvre, and secondly for not aborting it by braking and tucking back behind the cyclist).

I think there's a constructive argument that can be had over how might the cyclist had best ridden to deter any dangerous overtakes. On the other hand I think it's sometimes a bit pointless arguing over what he ought to have done during the overtake. We've come to several different conclusions between us, and he had only a fraction of a second to react. You might say he should have programmed himself to brake on reflex, but honestly my first instinct would not be to increase the speed difference between myself and the overtaking vehicle.
timjones - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Sir Chasm:

> And yet there seems to be plenty of judging.

Welcome to UKC!

> I'm not convinced that braking in that specific situation (not some other one we can imagine) would have helped much, or done anything to improve the cyclist's safety.

The gains would only have been minimal but if it saves the crucial few inches it's a winner. I have to confess that I would have hit the brakes hard, welsh cyclists must have balls of steel '

KevinD - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Neil Williams:

> If he'd braked to a near-stand the coach would have passed in less time - think about it.

I have. Its the difference between bugger all and f*ck all. If you watch the video carefully eg the last time he shouts idiot isnt the point the coach finishes passing him, you might notice there isnt much time.
Also, as I am sure you are aware, when braking hard your bike is liable to bounce around. If you think about it you might spot why that really isnt desirable in this scenario.
Timmd on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to timjones:
> Not recently whilst cycling but only last week whilst driving. There is no difference in terms of the emotions experienced and the ability to handle them.

> An immediate response is natural but if you give yourself the space to take a few deep breaths and calm down there is rarely anything to be gained by allowing your anger to grow and seeking further confrontation. If you can't communicate calmly and clearly then it may just be best to back off.

I'm wondering if the amount of vulnerability one feels is proportional to how hard it is to stay calm? I've felt caught up before in wanting to let people know why what they were doing wasn't a great idea or dangerous for me, and started off in a civil way - only to be met with hostility because I'm questioning their driving. After which it's sorely tempting to follow their lead and tell them to eff off in return.

'Some' drivers seem to drive around in a bubble of perfection/entitlement, and will ask cyclists if they pay road tax and have insurance if you say they were a bit close, with no apparent desire to concede that they may have been able to drive a little bit better. It just seems to be a part of how things are. I have noticed more consideration from drivers in general though, re hanging back and then leaving room when going past, so it isn't all bad.
Post edited at 18:36
Yanis Nayu - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to timjones:

> Do you need to make it clear?

> If you've already communicated your opinion with a "stay wide gesture" what do you gain by confronting them? Why do you feel the need?

I both drive (about 1000-1500 miles a month) and cycle (about 600 miles a month mostly in the countryside). I very, very, very occasionally have my life put at risk by other drivers while driving, and I'm generally pretty relaxed about it. I have my life put at risk unnecessarily by drivers while I'm cycling about once every 10 miles I would estimate, often with no justification at all - not that these are justifications but I'm talking about situations where I haven't held them up, the road is wide and straight and there's nothing coming. They will overtake me giving me 1-2' of clearance and the far verge maybe 6' clearance or more. Go figure, as they say. They don't give one iota of a shit about my life. And in those cases I get really f*cking angry, in a way I don't in the car. My emotional response is quite different.

Not directed at you, but to those that say "Ah, well, cyclists break the rules too". Of course they do, but at a HUGELY lesser risk to other people. Ultimately, a significant minority of drivers don't care what risks they take with cyclists' lives, they just hate them for slowing them down for a minute or two.
Yanis Nayu - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to timjones:

> Welcome to UKC!

> The gains would only have been minimal but if it saves the crucial few inches it's a winner. I have to confess that I would have hit the brakes hard, welsh cyclists must have balls of steel '

Unless you skid on the gravel at the shitty side of the road you've been forced into. I don't imagine your brake modulation would be too sophisticated in the cirumstances, and if you come off to the right you're dead. I don't think I would have braked, mainly from the initial surprise and then from concentrating on steering.

As an aside, if you were out shooting and someone took a pot shot right over your shoulder at a pheasant, how would you react?
cb294 - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

This, in much better words than I could put them.

CB
Neil Williams - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

> And in those cases I get really f*cking angry, in a way I don't in the car. My emotional response is quite different.

That's quite interesting, as I find I react about the same way in both cases. If I'm going to get "passive aggressive" it is usually one of those incredulous shrugs of the shoulders.

> Not directed at you, but to those that say "Ah, well, cyclists break the rules too". Of course they do, but at a HUGELY lesser risk to other people. Ultimately, a significant minority of drivers don't care what risks they take with cyclists' lives, they just hate them for slowing them down for a minute or two.

This is very true, but it does breed dislike in other road users which is harmful in the long run, so cyclists who do break the law shouldn't use it as a justification to do so.
Trevers - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Neil Williams:

> That's quite interesting, as I find I react about the same way in both cases. If I'm going to get "passive aggressive" it is usually one of those incredulous shrugs of the shoulders.

Honestly, you have the patience of a saint, I'm jealous. It not only feels far more visceral on a bike, but there's the unfairness of being put in a dangerous situation by someone sat safely in a big metal box.
ads.ukclimbing.com
Neil Williams - on 20 Sep 2016
In reply to Trevers:
> Honestly, you have the patience of a saint, I'm jealous.

I really don't

> It not only feels far more visceral on a bike, but there's the unfairness of being put in a dangerous situation by someone sat safely in a big metal box.

I think my belief in the idea that "we're all just trying to get somewhere" overrides a lot of it - I do (as you've noticed) have very strongly held views on the use of the roads and the idea that there is no room for competitiveness or anger on the roads at all. Or maybe because my fear response tends towards flight rather than fight, which means a shock tends not to get me aggressive anyway.

Not saying I don't respond to road-based idiocy, but it tends to be very highly sarcastically rather than aggressively.
Post edited at 09:05
timjones - on 20 Sep 2016
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

> Unless you skid on the gravel at the shitty side of the road you've been forced into. I don't imagine your brake modulation would be too sophisticated in the cirumstances, and if you come off to the right you're dead. I don't think I would have braked, mainly from the initial surprise and then from concentrating on steering.

It's hard to judge very much from the short video clip that is on offer, I often wish that these videos showed a bit more of the run up to the incident so that it was possible to get a better idea of the road and other circumstances surrounding the incident.

> As an aside, if you were out shooting and someone took a pot shot right over your shoulder at a pheasant, how would you react?

I'd have to admit that I don't shoot in the company of others because I don't perceive pest control as a sport but I suspect that my first reaction would be to duck ;)
JdotP - on 22 Sep 2016
In reply to Trevers:

It is often hard not to start shouting foul language at motorists who behave in this manner, but as others on this thread have noted it could all too easily lead ton undesirable confrontation. I therefore have a compressed air horn on my road bike (Hornit) and let off steam by giving that a blast instead
coinneach - on 22 Sep 2016
In reply to JdotP:

I am SO glad I live and cycle in the countryside . . Just back from a thirty odd miler during which 2 (two) transit type vans pulled in to the verge on single track roads to let ME pass.


Please Register as a New User in order to reply to this topic.