to wonder what was the "right" thing for the cyclist to do?

(62 Posts)
5Foot5 Thu 15-Sep-16 17:13:57

Seriously this is not a cyclist bashing thread. We encountered a potentially awkward car/bicycle situation at the weekend and I am really not sure what would have been the best way to tackle it so I am asking for opinions on here - especially from cyclists.

We were driving on a small country road with numerous twists and uphill stretches and had been following some bicycles for quite a way. Fair enough - they had every right to be there and were making the best progress they could, we had to follow because there was nowhere we could pass safely.

Just before we reached our destination we came to a stretch of this road which is only wide enough for one line of traffic and is light controlled. This stretch of road goes over a slight rise so cars at either end cannot see whether there is anything still coming in the opposite direction, i.e. when the light changes to green you have to trust that it is OK to set off.

When we approached the light it was still red but when it changed to green the cyclist set off ahead of us, hence we had to crawl behind in first gear all the way along. Now this is not an especially short stretch of road so it was quite feasible that the lights would change before we were through and we might find ourselves meeting oncoming traffic who thought it was safe for them to go.

DH was getting quite agitated about the cyclist having gone ahead of us instead of letting us go first. While I can understand his frustration and concern about meeting traffic coming the other way I am still not sure what the cyclist could have done for the best. Whatever he did he risked meeting oncoming traffic.

Would he have been better getting off to push in these circumstances?

WWYD. Was DH BU to be annoyed in expecting the cyclist to let him go first?

Runningupthathill82 Thu 15-Sep-16 17:17:45

Your DH was BU.

RedHelenB Thu 15-Sep-16 17:19:28

Surely the lights must allow time for a cyclist to get through?

Zampa Thu 15-Sep-16 17:22:59

DH was being U.

5Foot5 Thu 15-Sep-16 17:23:17

RedHelenB I think it quite likely there isn't enough time for a cyclist to get through. This cyclist looked like quite a fit guy but it was slow progress because some of it was up hill. A less serious cyclist would struggle to complete it in time.

heron98 Thu 15-Sep-16 17:25:12

if the cyclist gave way to every car at the light they'd never get through - they are never going to be fast enough to beat them. You need to go at the front in that position as a cyclist or you risk being trapped on the wrong side of the road when the lights change as well.

What heron said.

Your DH was BU

acasualobserver Thu 15-Sep-16 17:28:35

Seriously this is not a cyclist bashing thread

That may not be your intention. But, after teachers, there is not a single group of people who Mumsnet despise more.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Thu 15-Sep-16 17:33:37

DH was BU. And if the traffic lights don't give time for a bicycle to go through please write to your local council to complain - that is incredibly dangerous shock

5Foot5 Thu 15-Sep-16 17:36:29

acasualobserver I hadn't got that impression actually. Quite the reverse - whenever there is a cycling thread it usually seems to turn in to motorist bashing!

I should add that even if DH was BU to feel annoyed he did not let it affect his driving. He did not harass or harangue the cyclist in any way but stayed a safe distance behind and only passed when it was quite safe to do so. He may have been muttering and cursing in the privacy of our own car but the cyclist wouldn't have known that smile

I guess it just struck me that this was an awkward road situation and didn't know what was the best way for the cyclist to tackle it and hence what it was reasonable for us to expect.

FinnMcCool Thu 15-Sep-16 17:37:50

DH was BU.
So in the end was there actually enough time for you to get through the lights? If there was then he was just ranting.

fitzbilly Thu 15-Sep-16 17:40:18

The lights should be timed to allow a cyclist through provided they are at the front of the queue and set off as soon as the lights change. So the cyclist was right to go first.

If the lights don't stay green long enough for a cyclist then you need to let you local council know.

KERALA1 Thu 15-Sep-16 17:41:05

If cyclists have to let every car pass them they would get stuck at lights? Dh is a cyclist and has the physical scars caused by twattish drivers to prove it (one idiot pulled out fast of stationary traffic the other a van driver swerved into him with no warning).

yabvu Thu 15-Sep-16 17:41:13

Your husband was agitated because another legitimate road user dared to be in front of him? I think you know who is unreasonable...

You may think it didn't have any effect on his driving but I bet that on other occasions it has and will.

What possible reason did he have for expecting the cyclist to let you overtake?

I'd love for him to get the right to reply here and try to justify his annoyance.

littlemissneela Thu 15-Sep-16 17:43:23

From what I read recently in an article on tne BBC after the Jeremy Vine vs car driver incident, you need to treat cyclists the same as you would a car, ie giving the same amount of space for overtaking.
I suppose its a bit like being behind a tractor. You just hope they are either turning off soon, or they are kind and oull over into a layby to let the queue pass.

YelloDraw Thu 15-Sep-16 17:45:12

WWYD. Was DH BU to be annoyed in expecting the cyclist to let him go first?

Nah, as a cyclist i'd have let you go first if you'd been following me for ages! Why wouldn't you?

Safer to let you go ahead at the lights than to have you cross behind me and try and overtake.

5Foot5 Thu 15-Sep-16 22:26:16

So in the end was there actually enough time for you to get through the lights? If there was then he was just ranting.

It is a relatively quiet road so as it turned out there were no cars at the other end anyway, hence I don't know if we would have had time to get through IYSWIM.

What possible reason did he have for expecting the cyclist to let you overtake?
Fair enough, but I recall a thread on here only very recently where it was pointed out that the HC says slow moving vehicles should consider pulling over where it is safe and possible to do so and it was suggested that cyclists might do this. Given we had been patiently following this cyclist for a quite considerable distance we had hoped that, since he had to momentarily stop anyway for the lights, he might have let us go through ahead.

You may think it didn't have any effect on his driving but I bet that on other occasions it has and will.
confused What's that all about!? I was in the car and I could see for myself that, despite feeling frustrated, he continued to drive safely and considerately. How can you reach the conclusion that he will do differently another time? And are you saying you have never, ever been in a driving situation yourself where you have felt irritated or annoyed with another road user but have not let it affect your common sense and judgement?

FindoGask Thu 15-Sep-16 22:33:48

I am a cyclist and usually have no trouble claiming my space on the road, but would go against the grain on this thread and say that in the situation you describe, if a queue of cars had been behind me for a while on a narrow rural road with no opportunity to overtake, I would stop and let them past, in the same way I would if I was driving a car slowly in the same environment. It's only polite if you're going significantly slower than most other traffic not to hold people up for too long. I wouldn't have done it at the lights though in case there wouldn't have been time for me to go through having let the cars through first.

NoBetterName Thu 15-Sep-16 22:46:50

You realise that if you went through on green, even if the lights change, you have priority and cars coming from the other side should wait, right? (even if the lights change to green for them. Green does not mean "go" it means, "go if it it clear and safe to do so"). Or was the junction blind for traffic coming the other way (i.e. they wouldn't be able to see whether the road was clear or not).

Either way, your DH was being an inconsiderate and poor road user. If there is no safe place to pass, he doesn't have the right to do so and shouldn't expect the cyclist to pull over for him.

maninawomansworld01 Thu 15-Sep-16 22:51:55

I cycle quite a bit and I'd have let you in front at the lights.
If a cyclist has been holding up traffic for a while then they should let motorists pass when it's safe to do so and the lights were probably as good a place as any.

Okay, he didn't technically HAVE to let you by but it's just considerate.
It's the twattish, entitled attitudes of some cyclists that pisses people off and causes tempers to fray.

arethereanyleftatall Thu 15-Sep-16 23:16:16

I'm a cyclist. I would have let you go first in this situation (assuming you were the only car), and then pegged it as fast as i could to keep as close behind you as poss. I would have felt that was safer than run the risk of head on collision.

MrsMook Thu 15-Sep-16 23:23:21

I had a similar experience with convoy lights at road works on a busy road. I ended up behind a cyclist with children in a trailer, peddling very slowly up a steep hill. Once we had passed through the lengthy roadworks, there was no opportunity to pass safely due to the stationary traffic waiting for the roadworks on the opposite side.

Cyclists need respect from motorists, but forcing long strings of traffic to move at walking pace behind them is selfish and inconsiderate. It was also potentially creating a hazard through the backlog in the roadworks, particularly from adjoining roads within that zone where the traffic flow is out of sync with the signals.

Osolea Thu 15-Sep-16 23:40:34

I don't think your dh was being unreasonable. It's not unreasonable to be irritated as a road user when another road user is being inconsiderate.

5Foot5 Fri 16-Sep-16 00:09:20

Either way, your DH was being an inconsiderate and poor road user

How!? He was frustrated and annoyed when the cyclist went through the lights ahead of us but the only way this frustration was expressed was in his muttered curses. In his driving he followed at a safe distance and did not attempt to pass. Nevertheless we were both anxiously watching the road ahead anticipating oncoming traffic.

Actually I suppose the cyclist, being a little higher than us, would have had More of a view of the road ahead and therefore more notice if something was coming.

MakeItStopNeville Fri 16-Sep-16 00:14:54

Was it just one cyclist or a group?

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