Cyclists undertaking

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janesmith1950

Original Poster:

2,065 posts

30 months

Wednesday 30th August 2017
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On my morning commute, I have a mile or so run down a wide(ish) 40mph road (see pic, the A65 from Rawdon to Horsforth, for anyone interested).

For the most part it is downhill, meaning cyclists can be moving along at 25-35mph.

Passing them early in the journey is normally pretty straightforward, however further down the hill, traffic typically increases and moving speed can drop to 30mph or.

At this point, I fairly regularly experience cyclists wanting to pass me back on the nearside (this is on stretches prior to the cycle lane, for those with local knowledge).

I'm on two minds as to best practice here; do I leave as large a safe gap as I can to my nearside to enable the cyclist, close the gap before the cyclist approaches to deter or do nothing to influence?

WilliamWoollard

1,822 posts

128 months

Wednesday 30th August 2017
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If they're coming through leave space, if they're hesitating - make space.

FWIW If I was cycling there I'd be considering going down the middle.

CrutyRammers

9,133 posts

133 months

Wednesday 30th August 2017
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If there is room I'll always leave space.

S100HP

8,980 posts

102 months

Wednesday 30th August 2017
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janesmith1950 said:


On my morning commute, I have a mile or so run down a wide(ish) 40mph road (see pic, the A65 from Rawdon to Horsforth, for anyone interested).

For the most part it is downhill, meaning cyclists can be moving along at 25-35mph.

Passing them early in the journey is normally pretty straightforward, however further down the hill, traffic typically increases and moving speed can drop to 30mph or.

At this point, I fairly regularly experience cyclists wanting to pass me back on the nearside (this is on stretches prior to the cycle lane, for those with local knowledge).

I'm on two minds as to best practice here; do I leave as large a safe gap as I can to my nearside to enable the cyclist, close the gap before the cyclist approaches to deter or do nothing to influence?
Why pass them in the first place if you know you're going to have to slow shortly?

janesmith1950

Original Poster:

2,065 posts

30 months

Wednesday 30th August 2017
quotequote all
Go offside of a car on a busy commuter route full of central islands and refuges at 30mph? That would be a bit mental.

As for leaving space to the nearside- my issue is that to leave sufficient space for them I would need to straddle the centre line/enter the hatched area, which might not be on when the cyclist chooses to enter my nearside.

That's the 'dilemma'.


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janesmith1950

Original Poster:

2,065 posts

30 months

Wednesday 30th August 2017
quotequote all
S100HP said:
Why pass them in the first place if you know you're going to have to slow shortly?
You don't know that you will. Even where you do, you might have a mile at 40mph before the traffic slows. There's no reason to avoid making appropriate progress to sit behind a cyclist at 28mph, just in case the traffic slows at some point out of view.

Just to make sure I'm clear- I'm not critical of cyclists or looking to impede them to suit my own progress. I'm asking about scenarios where they put or are looking to put themselves into unsafe positions that require my attention and/or action.

Vincefox

20,566 posts

107 months

Wednesday 30th August 2017
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The correct answer is to do whatever is safest for ALL road users. If you can move right safely to allow cyclists to filter on your NS, then yes. If you can justify that doing so would be dangerous to other road users, then they'll have to wait.

WilliamWoollard

1,822 posts

128 months

Wednesday 30th August 2017
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janesmith1950 said:
Go offside of a car on a busy commuter route full of central islands and refuges at 30mph? That would be a bit mental.
Not really. It's often safer than squeezing down next to the kerb and giving drivers the dilemma you mentioned in the OP. If I'm in the middle I've got more space, only have to get close to vehicles as I pass any centre islands, and I have control over when I get there so I can time it so I'm not directly along side anyone. If the traffic slows right down or stops there is much less chance of me getting doored by an escaping passenger or being turned into.

I'd weigh each situation up individually, but it's often better to be going down the outside where I have some control over the space, than squeezing down next to the kerb where I have none.

keirik

884 posts

78 months

Wednesday 30th August 2017
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Looking at your picture it looks like there should be plenty of room to move to the right without crossing the hatched area and leave the near side to the cyclists, unless you're in a BFO truck, so I would do that.

As a cyclist I would then take responsibility for my own life and decide whether or not to overtake or undertake or neither.

janesmith1950

Original Poster:

2,065 posts

30 months

Wednesday 30th August 2017
quotequote all
keirik said:
Looking at your picture it looks like there should be plenty of room to move to the right without crossing the hatched area and leave the near side to the cyclists, unless you're in a BFO truck, so I would do that.

As a cyclist I would then take responsibility for my own life and decide whether or not to overtake or undertake or neither.
On that piece of road, if I passed a cyclist without crossing the centre line or encroaching on the hatched area, you would justifiably feel squeezed and that I had passed more closely than is comfortable (and outwith the demands of the HC).

The situation I describe is where the traffic is flowing and a cyclist approaches from behind. They have 3 choices; overtake on the nearside, overtake on the offside or maintain position.

My question relates to what should I do to avoid encouraging the cyclist to put us both in a position of conflict/danger?

keirik

884 posts

78 months

Wednesday 30th August 2017
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janesmith1950 said:
On that piece of road, if I passed a cyclist without crossing the centre line or encroaching on the hatched area, you would justifiably feel squeezed and that I had passed more closely than is comfortable (and outwith the demands of the HC).

The situation I describe is where the traffic is flowing and a cyclist approaches from behind. They have 3 choices; overtake on the nearside, overtake on the offside or maintain position.

My question relates to what should I do to avoid encouraging the cyclist to put us both in a position of conflict/danger?
I agree, but if they're passing you the perspective is different, as they aren't cutting you up with a couple of tonnes of metal. and as I said, move to close to the hatched area, leaving the space for them to undertake if they want or to overtake.

If you're still travelling at a normal speed (I'd say anything 20mph or above) then take the dominant lane position.

janesmith1950

Original Poster:

2,065 posts

30 months

Wednesday 30th August 2017
quotequote all
keirik said:
If you're still travelling at a normal speed (I'd say anything 20mph or above) then take the dominant lane position.
That's the position I'm asking about (if I'm in stop-start or very low moving traffic I'll naturally leave sufficient nearside space for cyclists).


jodypress

1,625 posts

209 months

Wednesday 30th August 2017
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OP, looking at the pic with my cycling hat on, any one that is comfortable riding at 25mph+ would be more than comfortable riding down the outside of traffic.
I do and it's by far the safest for visibility etc.

Biggest issues in London doing that are Peds on phones and u-turning black cabs smile

With my car hat on I'd just stay in the middle of the lane and not swerve either side, that way it leaves the cyclist to chose which side they may wish to go.

Carlson W6

738 posts

59 months

Thursday 31st August 2017
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I go offside when overtaking cars.

I'd never go nearside- it invites being sandwiched.

Solocle

866 posts

19 months

Thursday 31st August 2017
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Carlson W6 said:
I go offside when overtaking cars.

I'd never go nearside- it invites being sandwiched.
yes
I never overtake cars on the inside when cycling. It's rare I get an overtake at all - but, in one instance, it was a lone car with an old biddy driving. I overtook as if I were a car. It gives you more space if they veer for a start.
As for queues, I've been in a few for lights, but I will just stop behind a car and not overtake at all. There's just not a lot of point when the light will turn green and the cars you've just overtaken now have to overtake you. They might get a little annoyed when they overtook you a few hundred yards previously.

xjay1337

10,966 posts

53 months

Thursday 31st August 2017
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Carlson W6 said:
I go offside when overtaking cars.

I'd never go nearside- it invites being sandwiched.
Indeed.

lyonspride

1,446 posts

90 months

Friday 1st September 2017
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Carlson W6 said:
I go offside when overtaking cars.

I'd never go nearside- it invites being sandwiched.
Problem there is that being pushed into an oncoming car is going to hurt more than being pushed into the kerb and drivers check that side more often looking for "queue jumpers" to brutally murder. With the term "queue" often being applied to all roads at any speed, which is why people get so damn upset when overtaken.

SVS

3,459 posts

206 months

Friday 1st September 2017
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Carlson W6 said:
I'd never go nearside- it invites being sandwiched.
As a cyclist, I'd wondered about this. Does anyone know what Cyclecraft recommends?



DocSteve

606 posts

157 months

Sunday 3rd September 2017
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lyonspride said:
Carlson W6 said:
I go offside when overtaking cars.

I'd never go nearside- it invites being sandwiched.
Problem there is that being pushed into an oncoming car is going to hurt more than being pushed into the kerb and drivers check that side more often looking for "queue jumpers" to brutally murder. With the term "queue" often being applied to all roads at any speed, which is why people get so damn upset when overtaken.
Offside is almost always safer (clearly it is situation dependent). You are right if I think what you are saying is that drivers check their offside more when in traffic than the nearside - i.e. they don't expect traffic of any sort in the nearside and therefore may unpredictably move closer to the kerb without looking. As a cyclist, staying safe in these situations includes awareness of space available - which as pointed out above is likely to be considerably greater when offside. However, there are other considerations - if there are junctions, however minor, drivers may turn into them without looking behind; there may be little room available due to road narrowing or wide vehicles approaching; there may be junctions to the nearside from which vehicles may turn right into your path; drivers may suddenly decide they've had enough of the traffic and pull into a clear oncoming lane to execute a U-turn. The point is that as a cyclist you need to be aware of all of these possibilities and look out for driver/vehicle behaviour for clues and give yourself enough room. Passing on the nearside almost never allows you to do this and even in non-separated cycle lanes one has to be very careful.

Coming back to the original question, the only reasonable course of action once aware of the cyclist is to not do anything that would endanger them. Moving nearside to "block" them might seem like a way of preventing their almost inevitable accident at some point but in reality you are just one of many and it will just antagonise, possibly cause them to do something more dangerous and almost certainly won't educate them. Another thing to watch out for on routes like this where there are lots of cyclists is different cyclists taking the offside and the nearside. I have experienced this as a cyclist - taking the offside approach and there being a cyclist behind me taking the nearside. A driver's response should they have only seen one is likely to endanger the other so both driver and cyclist need to be aware in this scenario. As a cyclist I would again ensure I have enough room / hold back anticipating a possible manoeuvre and as a driver simply maintain the position and remain aware of the cyclist(s).

Sorry, rather longwinded answer!

lyonspride

1,446 posts

90 months

Sunday 3rd September 2017
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DocSteve said:
in reality you are just one of many and it will just antagonise, possibly cause them to do something more dangerous and almost certainly won't educate them.
And that's the crux of the issue surrounding cyclists and in fact most road users, many drivers think it's their job to "educate" others, when half the time they're driving to the "myway code" and making it up as they go along. What we end up with is millions of drivers with entirely different ideas of what they should/shouldn't be doing, using their vehicle as a weapon in trying to enforce their values on our most vulnerably road users.

10+ years ago people used to just let everyone get on with it, but now the roads are a battleground, with everyone trying to control everyone else.