Thoughts from a 3rd cat and vet racing and commuting cyclist
Sometimes I wish I could have a timmy mallet I can hit on cars when they get too close. It's sad that many don't take the trouble to consider giving you more than 30cm's space when they go passed!
Saw a video recently on another blog (some sort of Cycle Courier competition) where creative uses were found for a D-lock.Perhaps also (a QC might be able to comment on this, though presumably not to encourage it) less risk of being nicked for "going equipped".
:-( You're not alone
Sadly I have to agree with you and the 2 comments so far. The worst offenders for me are buses and Chelsea tractor drivers.
Another stormy ride into the westerly wind today with an Artic Tip Truck passing inches from me . Returning rwo hours later to the area i live in heavy rain i called at the depot of the Truck fleet owner . The reception of my complaint was polite and positive , turns out he also rides a bike and was aware of the " Suction dangers " of a HGV and will be posting advice to ALL his drivers so as to minimize future incidents . Rarely will fleet owners take offence to being advised of their drivers' defects but i am sure that following a White Van Driver onto a clients' premises and speaking to the client will also get the message across . Confronting the vehicle driver could be a negative since they never ever break the law ! DO THEY ?
Parrabudy, a bit off topic I know but I was discussing with a club colleague the other day the pros and cons of time trial-ing on busy main roads and the possible advantage/ disadvantage of being passed at speed by HGV's and other vehicles.Your reference to "Suction dangers" seems to support my view that any advantage gained by "riding the bow wave" of passing traffic is more than offset by the deleterious effects of being sucked off line and buffeted by the vehicle as it passes.Any comments? I do not race so my only experience of being passed in this way was years ago when I used to commute to work on a bike myself. These days I ride only for pleasure and tend to keep off the main roads.
In my experience, the cars most likely to pass too close are New Minis and the big BMW not-exactly-a-four-wheel-drive. New Minis are also, in my experience, the most aggressive drivers (by far and away - worse even than the big Audis and BMWs).
Martin - do you plan to make representations to the current GLA enquiry into cycle safety? I believe the deadline for written comment is 12 July. Email for comments is firstname.lastname@example.org. I wrote in, copying my GLA member John Biggs and CyclistsintheCity where a fair chunk of my narrative can be read.Better still you could attend their open mic meeting on 12 July.
I am picking up my new Mini this afternoon from the dealership. As a cyclist, fellow cyclists have nothing to worry about from me. We should be careful about tarring groups of road users in our comments ("All cyclists run red lights and ride on the pavements while eating babies"; and "Mini drivers are the worst"). However, I will still reserve my opinions about Volvo drivers ;-)
My close encounter of the dangerous kind came last week when a bus swerved into a cycle lane forcing me off my bike. I got the bus number, both route and individual bus id, wrote to the bus company and asked them to explain what the bus was doing in the cycle lane (it was not a shared bus/taxi/cycle lane you see) and why the bus swerved. My reply was full of appologies and reassurances that their drivers are trained to the highest standards.
Just wanted to leave a message to say well done for chasing Mr (dick) Lomas to his conviction. Certainly makes you realise the importance of having evidence when prosecuting these twats.
Fair enough, fellow Anonymous. It's probably just confirmation bias, or maybe there are just a lot of new Minis where I live who drive badly :-)
When driving, cycling or walking on UK roads I have always experienced people acting aggressively, making bad judgements and being apparently oblivious to any road laws. I'm sure ALL of you think you are better road users than the average person but you can easily make mistakes, not spot something, or get distracted just like anyone else. I've had just any many close calls in a car as on a bike, and like everyone else I try to avoid getting into dangerous situations. I hate this self righteous crap that assumes that you have never made a mistake that has put someone in a dangerous position on the road without realising it. You are just more vulnerable on the road as a cyclist, accept it, nobody is out to kill you. And if you say you ALWAYS spot cyclists or anyone else for that matter in good time to slow down and give plenty of space, especially in bad weather, I say that's rubbish. We accept that driving is exceptionally dangerous by making everyone have insurance by law, but people hop on their bikes thinking everything will be just fine, what do you really think is going to happen in the wind and the rain on a busy road?
Do indeed write in to the enquiry: timetable is as follows:This investigation will take place over Summer/Autumn 2011. The stages will include:Agreement of terms of reference: 14 June 2012Desk-based research/gather written views and information: July –September 2012;Formal meetings: 12 July and 11 September 2012Produce findings: by December 2012.