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Regarding my expectations of a cyclist?

(50 Posts)

I drive to work along a long country road. The road is the link between two towns about 12 miles apart.

For the purposes of clarity, although not relevant to my question there is a cycle path along a disused railway that runs more or less parallel to the road along its entire length.

The road is very busy and fast but bendy with hidden dips. There are only two places where one can safely overtake, and during busy periods is it highly unlikely you can overtake at all. About one third along this road there is a junction controlled with traffic lights.

When there is a cyclist on the road it is clearly very difficult to safely pass, given that you should allow a cyclist as much room when overtaking as a car. So we drivers inch along behind the cyclist and every mile or so the first car manages to pass.

Then when we get to the junction, the four cars that have managed to overtake are stopped at the red light, and the cyclist passes the lot of them on the left, takes up position at the front of the queue, and when the lights change we resume our slow journey, and dice with death overtaking moves behind them.

AIBU to expect the cyclist to maintain their position in the queue of traffic?

Is there a reason they need to leave the junction from the white line, or could they not just hang on to their place as the fifth vehicle in the line?

lljkk Fri 30-Nov-12 07:36:48

The cycle path is smooth, flat, well maintained with a fine gravelly surface.

I know the sort OP means. They are ok for tootling, but higher puncture risk and much slower (much higher resistance) than using the road. Like most cycle paths they are meant for children, not vehicles that can easily move at 20-25mph on the open road. Commuters tend to avoid.

OP didn't mention whether the cycle path has to give way to cross traffic at every single junction. Check out Germany or Denmark where the cycle paths are paved in smooth tarmac and often have right of way at cross roads.

PSMo5: I have been known to shout out the window to cyclist to use the cycle path.

That is horrendously rude thing to do. shock

JumpJockey Thu 29-Nov-12 22:59:53

I was shouted at, told to "get a move on" and then called a "bloody idiot" by a car driver this morning. My error was to slow down (in order to avoid being run over) after he overtook me, then very soon afterwards indicated left to turn off th road. Apparently by stopping and allowing him to make his maneuvre, I was doing something wrong. Made me wonder, if he was so keen for me to cycle on before he turned, why did he overtake me in the first place?

PrideOfChanur Thu 29-Nov-12 22:41:52

"Also those bloody flashing seizure inducing "lights" they have on these days need to be banned. Which idiot invented them and why are they all the rage all of a sudden?"

Possibly because even those cyclists who haven't been in an accident are well aware that anything that makes them more visible to cars might just be a good idea??

EndoplasmicReticulum Thu 29-Nov-12 22:38:37

"Motorists 'advice' to cyclists is never useful and always unwelcome. "

I don't know about this. I did shout at a cyclist the other day "why don't you have any lights on your bike? It's dark!"

He didn't hear me though as I didn't open the window. I was shouting to myself, really.

He didn't even have a reflector thing at the back, or any bright clothing.

joanbyers Thu 29-Nov-12 22:32:06

Not many cycle paths around here. The odd cycle lane, a reasonable bit of muddy bridleway, and a few 'shared' pavements, but not much you could consider a cycle path.

psychomum5 Thu 29-Nov-12 21:16:11

gravel won;t bother cars. They are well hard wink

I will concede to gravel being horrid on bikes. I have fallen off my bike on gravel paths. They are bumpy and slippy. Mind, I have no sense of decent balance so it might be me.

I have also been knocked off my bike by a car. My fault too.....but this was when I was 16 and didn;t actually appreciate that swerving in front of cars is bloody hard for cars to avoid.

I love cycle paths.

WilsonFrickett Thu 29-Nov-12 21:14:54

Posted too soon. And if there's 3000 houses on a street, does that mean 1500 drives backing on to the cycle path? Because that's 1500 accidents waiting to happen.

<blows op a kiss>

scurryfunge Thu 29-Nov-12 21:13:57

Most cyclists are also motorists - they have every right to be on a road. Slow down a little or set off earlier if your journey is so important .
When cycling, my rule is to make eye contact with the driver - if you can't do that, assume they don't know you are there.

WilsonFrickett Thu 29-Nov-12 21:12:53

Yep, I've had my worst falls on gravel.

dexter73 Thu 29-Nov-12 21:10:58

If the cycle path is gravel then my dh wouldn't cycle on it anyway. He doesn't have a mountain bike and it is very hard for a road bike to cycle on gravel. Can you imagine if the road was gravel?

apostropheuse Thu 29-Nov-12 20:58:43

Maybe you should give up cycling since it's so dangerous then sayayetaepie.

You're obviously not enjoying it any more than the non-cyclists.

sayayetaeapie Thu 29-Nov-12 20:53:07

also in Glasgow

cycle paths that go nowhere or run for 500 yards then disappear and are covered in broken glass. more punctures from bramble bushes. Lots of fun not getting something thrown at you (or taken off you) by the neds. If it's a busier path then you're sharing with dog walkers and wee kids - no thanks. Splashety splash through slippy leaves and mud or ice at the moment. Try the roads and it's 3 inch deep potholes and drain covers coming loose.

or dodge the other cyclists wearing black with no lights.

Or maybe get the bus ah hang on there isn't one

gah...

apostropheuse Thu 29-Nov-12 20:43:11

You should cycle in Glasgow City Centre.

It's the done thing to cycle on roads, on cycle paths, on foot paths and in pedestrian precincts - at top speed of course. I think you're awarded extra points for narrowly missing pedestrians. It's also perfectly acceptable to get irate with pedestrians for having the audacity to walk in the precinct. You're allowed to ring your bell and shout and them too!

It drive me bloody insane!

Gosh, I had no idea there was this level of vitriol. Guess I should've done hey? This is mumsnet where a scrap can break out over well um anything

Let's all kiss and make up now and realise that most of us have been both motorists and cyclists

joanbyers Thu 29-Nov-12 20:32:20

"I have been known to shout out the window to cyclist to use the cycle path."

I shout back "Why don't you walk".

or just "fuck off".

Motorists 'advice' to cyclists is never useful and always unwelcome.

"Is the penny not dropping that you are not getting anywhere faster since the cyclist is catching up at the lights?"

That's on the first, shorter stretch of the road. On the next 10 miles I might hope to average more than 25mph thus reaching my destination sooner

And no, I'm not bashing cyclists. I like exercise, I like fresh air, i like freedom and personal choice. I'm all for anyone getting around however they like. I just wondered about a particular thing that seemed, for want of a better word, unfair.

The cycle path is smooth, flat, well maintained with a fine gravelly surface. But I did say from the start that my problem is not whether the cyclist should be using the path or not. S'up to them innit

I just wanted to know if it was the done thing to 'jump the queue' and why and I've found out. I see the reasons now

Thanks for e

psychomum5 Thu 29-Nov-12 20:24:38

the cycle path is on the pavement. There are no houses so no reasons for cars to be on said pavement. It is there due to the dangerous part of the road.

It is massively wide enough for people and the bikes. I have used it. It is well maintained and in fact, given more attention than the road.

I have driven down the road, I do daily on the school run. It is the busiest road in the town, and cyclists have been given a massive priority to keep them safe.

There is at least one accident per week, sometimes several, along that road (it is LONG.....the house numbers that are down that road go up to over 3000!). This particular stretch is by the shops, conversely, and there is in fact four parts where the road splits to allow for people to stop at the shops.

If there is a well maintained cycle lane there is no excuse, ever, to be on the road.

I am obviously not talking about all cycle lanes, some are poor, but this one is not.

Cyclists are not all blameless you know.

cars are not all guilty.

and accidents happen. But some can be avoided.

Fakebook Thu 29-Nov-12 20:19:55

I think cyclists should just be banned during the winter months. Also those bloody flashing seizure inducing "lights" they have on these days need to be banned. Which idiot invented them and why are they all the rage all of a sudden?

TiggyD Thu 29-Nov-12 20:15:14

"what is certain, a cyclist died. And if he had been on the cycle path, he wouldn;t have. "
Unless they had to avoid a child running around on the cycle lane and had swerved...
Or they skidded on wet leaves...
Or a car reversed out it's driveway...
Or a sudden puncture from broken glass on the cycle path...
Or they had to go on the road for a bit anyway due to cars parked on the cycle path...
etc...

Beograde Thu 29-Nov-12 20:10:53

PsychoMum - I can't believe you just said that about it being the cyclist's fault - crikey! As mentioned, the car obviously was driving dangerously if it didn't give the cyclist enough space.

Back to the point of the thread, I really wonder how much time is added to one's daily commute as a result of a bicycle, and how much due to traffic congestion.

TiggyD Thu 29-Nov-12 20:09:09

The cyclist can pass as it's a queue of traffic and their lane is moving less slowly than the other.

When cycling normally, the cyclist, like any slow moving vehicle, should pull over and let the queue behind them pass every now and then.

Cycle paths are often best avoided. Sometimes very dangerous things when shared with pedestrians, covered with leaves, constantly having to stop at side roads, parked cars on them, icier than roads, driveways crossing them etc.

TweedSlacks Thu 29-Nov-12 20:06:57

"wasn;t the cars fault, that was proven. The cyclist swerved around a drain, the car was unable to swerve due to a lorry next to it, and it was actually to short a time to react, and the road is a narrow dual carraigeway."

No , cause it wasn't . If the car hadnt been there the cyclist would have died anyway.

Cyclepaths are often poorly maintained , covered in broken glass , branches and leaf mulch . None of which are very plesant to cycle on .

There is often no option but to use the carriageway , then entitled motorists (who do not need to swerve for drains as thier wheels dont disappear into them) drive over cyclist as they 'pay road tax' which allows them to do whatever they feel like.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 29-Nov-12 20:04:40

Why shouldn't a cyclist have to slow down for things like drains or potholes? Why does the Highway Code infer its ok for them to swerve in front of a car??

psychomum5 Thu 29-Nov-12 20:01:47

I am only repeating what I remember. I didn;t witness, and it was a while back now.

The place where it happened tho, I have had a couple of close calls with cyclists. That one part is where the road suddenly widens into three lanes for a roundabout (with traffic lights) and you can sometimes get past the cyclist if there are not three cars in the road, and the lights are green.

Typing it here makes me think that the actual outcome was that it wasn;t the fault of the car driver, it was accidental death for the reason of the cyclist swerving with no warning. Again not 100% certain.

what is certain, a cyclist died. And if he had been on the cycle path, he wouldn;t have.

WilsonFrickett Thu 29-Nov-12 19:54:36

I'm surprised that was proven as not being the car's fault tbh, as it says in the Highway Code to leave space for cyclists as they may have to swerve suddenly for obstacles the car driver may not see (like potholes and drains).

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