Is there any good reason a cyclist would do this?

(33 Posts)
RobinsAreTerritorialFuckers Fri 08-Jul-16 10:44:39

Coming up to a roundabout, there are two lanes, plus a cycle box at the front. There is also, for what it's worth, a subway under the roundabout which is bike-accessible, for people who choose to use that. Traffic lights at the junction, so plenty of time to get into the cycle box, which was empty.

I was in the left-hand lane, signalling left. In front of me there was one car, but with plenty of space to its left. Three cyclists were to the left of us, in a row so that the first one was ahead of me (beside the front car) and the last was level with me. When the light turned red I saw her stick her arm out, wave to the others, then wobble and grab her bike again. So I figured she wasn't steady. In retrospect it is possible she thought this was a signal.

When the lights turned green, the cyclist in front started to cycle out in front of the front car and to the right (the car was a bit slow off the mark). Car ziggles forward and cyclist stops. Then all three started trying to move right across in front of the cars. I'd started to move but stopped over the junction.

It was all slow so no chance of hitting anyone - though there was plenty of honking from people behind who couldn't see why we'd started then stopped - but is there any reason a cyclist would choose to turn right from the left-hand lane, rather than using the cycle box or cycling in the correct lane? confused

Flacidunicorn Fri 08-Jul-16 10:52:27

Maybe they were lost and weren't sure of the turn they needed.

kittykarate Fri 08-Jul-16 10:54:52

I can't quite visualise it but is it possible that the cyclist got funnelled to the left by the cycle lane design? Some are really tricky to get out of, especially if you need to get into the outer lane to turn right. I don't get why she didn't shuffle into the ASL while the lights were on red.

RobinsAreTerritorialFuckers Fri 08-Jul-16 10:55:01

I expect so - but why would you do it like that? If you're lost in a car, you don't change lanes on a roundabout (or not without a lot of care), and you certainly don't just signal left and move across into the traffic hoping everyone will wait for you.

honeysucklejasmine Fri 08-Jul-16 10:56:27

Erm, i can only guess they were lost as I can see no other reason they would do that.

RobinsAreTerritorialFuckers Fri 08-Jul-16 10:58:34

kitty - I don't think so. There wasn't a cycle lane, just a box at the front of the two lanes.

MaudlinNamechange Fri 08-Jul-16 11:01:47

You don't always know, when the lights are red, if you have time to get into the bike box. If you start moving and then the lights change it can be worse than staying where you were, if your moving forward alongside a vehicle means you are now no longer visible in its rear mirrors. On a bike it is very easy to get pushed into the left, even if you don't want to go that way.

I have had vicious abuse on a bike from motorists who don't understand that I am using the RH lane not to annoy them, but because a fiddly junction is coming up (in like 30 feet, not half a mile!) at which I really want to be positioned correctly.

Bike boxes often have no bike lane to allow you to get into them and whether they do or not, the stationery cars, and sometimes motorbikes between them, often block the way.

I'm lazy and cautious and if it all looks like it's going wrong, I will often get off and press the button to do it on foot with the help of the green man smile Motorists hate that too.

RobinsAreTerritorialFuckers Fri 08-Jul-16 11:03:09

Thanks, maud, that's helpful.

There wasn't a pedestrian crossing there - so that wasn't an option.

Birdsgottafly Fri 08-Jul-16 11:03:54

They did it because they haven't a clue about how to ride on a road, which is the dangerous downside of just being able to get on a bike and go.

They may have been lost, but you still don't do that.

NavyAndWhite Fri 08-Jul-16 11:06:04

No idea.

Hardly worth thinking about though confused

RobinsAreTerritorialFuckers Fri 08-Jul-16 11:09:25

navy - really? You don't ever want to think about how you could better avoid accidents? Trust me, I do!

I hope I'd have been slow enough anyway, but if I'd not seen the cyclist wobble, I probably wouldn't have been watching as carefully.

My brother cycles and he has told me quite a lot of things I wouldn't otherwise know to look out for. It's worth trying to see from a cyclist's point of view.

ThisPanCanCan Fri 08-Jul-16 11:24:53

I ride a lot in heavy traffic. I'm trying to visualise this incident but it isn't toally clear enough to be able to say exactly why the bikists did this. Possibly because bike riders wrongly conform ot the notion they must ride in the gutter, and only then struggle t ocross 2 lanes of road to turn right.

othe rthan that I'm not really sure why it's worth a thread over. Slightly quizical manoevre is all it looks like.

NavyAndWhite Fri 08-Jul-16 11:29:02

navy - really? You don't ever want to think about how you could better avoid accidents? Trust me, I do!

Well yes of course. But these were cars that were just moving from sitting at traffic lights.

Tiggles Fri 08-Jul-16 11:31:39

The highway code says cyclists can go right around a roundabout in the left hand lane...
Rule 77

You may feel safer walking your cycle round on the pavement or verge. If you decide to ride round keeping to the left-hand lane you should
•be aware that drivers may not easily see you
•take extra care when cycling across exits. You may need to signal right to show you are not leaving the roundabout
•watch out for vehicles crossing your path to leave or join the roundabout

RobinsAreTerritorialFuckers Fri 08-Jul-16 11:34:52

Thanks tiggles.

I'm not clear from that whether it means cyclists should give way in that situation. 'Vehicles crossing your path' sounds as if cyclists are supposed to give way to anyone else, but I'm not clear how that would work.

BeardMinge Fri 08-Jul-16 11:35:24

Probably because a lot of cyclists, particularly novices, get nervous about assertively moving across lanes at junctions. Maybe they didn't think they had time to all get up the left hand side and into the advance stop box before the lights changed to green, or maybe they were lost, who knows.

Rubbish cycling from all three of them, but you see an awful lot of drivers making stupid, hesitant manoeuvres, or changing their mind at the last minute all the time too. There's a lot of clueless road users out there.

Tiggles Fri 08-Jul-16 11:41:13

It's odd isn't it. I guess it means you should be ready to take avoiding action as people may not realise what you are doing - as is very clear from a lot of responses on this thread, hence it says 'watch out' not ''keep stopping'. Personally, as a bit of a wimpy cyclist I tend to get off and walk around big roundabouts unless there is very little traffic.

DataColour Fri 08-Jul-16 11:41:37

I think they just got themselves in the wrong lane, realised this and tried to position themselves on the right side. Which I think is not on.
As a cyclist you can just continue on the left hand side on a roundabout and then take the exit you need (indicating left before turning).

carefreeeee Fri 08-Jul-16 11:44:51

Maybe they weren't confident enough to go ahead on the front car in the box.

It does sound a bit dangerous what they did.

However, as a cyclist, whatever you do is wrong and I have had plenty of abuse for using those boxes, or using right lanes (surprising how many people will over take on the right when a cyclist is in the right lane with their arm sticking out)

If there is an accident the cyclist will come off worst, so drivers should just be patient and give them space. Overall they are reducing pollution and delays on the road

voluptuagoodshag Fri 08-Jul-16 11:48:13

I think it sounds like they got stuck in the left before realising they needed to be in the right. Good cycling practice is that you should approach any roundabout in the middle of the lane, in the flow of traffic. It's perfectly legal and referred to as the 'primary' position, or 'taking the lane'. It is much safer as they are more easily seen, can assume the correct position easier for their next manoeuvre and they are not weaving in and out of the traffic flow. Riding to the left is referred to as the 'secondary' position and where considerate cyclists ride once it's safe to do so.
I would always take the lane and wait in turn with the traffic flow. So much safer and assertive. Takes balls of steel sometimes though as other traffic often assume that I should be in the cycle lane or box no matter what.
These cyclists made a poor judgement but we all make mistakes and thankfully there was no accident.
P.S. I'm a cycling instructor.

NewLife4Me Fri 08-Jul-16 11:50:13

I don't know but cyclists shouldn't be on todays roads, especially children who haven't passed a cycling proficiency test.
It was fine in my day, hardly any cars on the road and simple one lane traffic, it's too dangerous now.

voluptuagoodshag Fri 08-Jul-16 12:04:45

Newlife4me I agree to a degree but might put a lot of folk off cycling, which would be a shame. Any cycling proficiency is taught in schools at primary level, and even then it's voluntary for schools so not available to everyone. Most of these kids will likely not be on a bike again in traffic until well into adulthood, so likely that they'll have forgotten most of what they learned. There is precious little in the Highway Code about cyclists. There is a default assumption in the British psyche that cyclists should cycle to the left where taking the lane is perfectly ok but you'll not find much info on it unless you become an instructor or redo your cycling proficiency. Some more carefully targeted awareness campaigns would be a start.

ThisPanCanCan Fri 08-Jul-16 12:13:17

By the same token perhaps cars shouldn't be on the road as they do appear to be the source of so much danger - or perhaps be prosecuted more as a deterrrent.

InsufficientlyCaffeinated Fri 08-Jul-16 12:28:54

ThisPan I agree. Cars & bigger vehicles are causing the damage, not cyclists. If we acknowledge that cars are dangerous then why do we allow them in public spaces around people?

Anyway, to get to the point in question, I'm finding it really difficult to visualise the scenario but it sounds like they found themselves in a dangerous position & tried to correct it. May have annoyed the drivers but safer to do it when everything is only just moving again & therefore slow rather than when vehicles are moving. Often bad infrastructure forces you in to a dangerous position. When I first started riding I religiously stuck to those cycle lanes that are just painted lines on the road but then quite often they are keeping you to the side and then a big lorry or bus comes along side you and you're unintentionally on their inside, the most dangerous place you can be. Nowadays I see those lanes as exclusion zones and ride outside them and also avoid ASLs as they just lure you to the front but then if traffic moves again you can find yourself in a bad position if you haven't reached it.

Everybody makes bad choices on the road sometimes & it is annoying but bad choices don't deserve to be punished by death so if a road user is more vulnerable (ie not protected by a metal box) then as frustrating as it may feel, just give them some time and space to correct themselves

lljkk Fri 08-Jul-16 12:46:59

If I understand correctly what happened...

When local (English) kids are taught cycling profiency in yr5, they are taught to make right turns from the left hand curb. Yes, they must stop and wait on left NO MATTER WHAT and only proceed to turn right when they feel it's their turn. They fail proficiency if they don't turn following these instructions. Part of the routine is supposed to be, wait until there is no traffic either way before commencing the rt turn.

OP's observed cyclist could be confusing what they were taught with what the environment offered.

fwiw, when I did cycling proficiency (another country) I was taught to turn in the opposite way. Or we would have failed. Before turn, must wait in outside edge of my lane. I even got yelled at by a cop for not doing this (then I told the cop I did the turn against the rules because I didn't want to be in the cop's way since cop obviously wanted to make the same turn in his cruiser.. Cop accepted that, too).

Funny enough, we were talking in office this morning about how cyclists have to assume all other road users are blind, or maybe outright trying to hit us. So as a cyclist, can be hard to know where to safely wait on the road.

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