Aibu to think it's high time some cyclist haters realised that for every cyclist on the road it means there is one less car.

(200 Posts)
rottentomatoes Fri 12-Jul-13 11:11:37

On my bike this morning and as is so common a motorist shouted some abuse at me. Why? Because I held the driver up for about 20 secs until they could over take me when the road widened even though I was cycling absolutely legally.

AIBU to think it's high time motorists stopped this and thought about the fact that for every cyclist there is one less car or person squeezed on the overcrowded train system.

chrome100 Fri 12-Jul-13 11:14:03

I agree! Some people are just very impatient.

NotYoMomma Fri 12-Jul-13 11:14:24

the problem with these threads is that everyone overgeneralises and its just so pathetic.

there are shit, unsafe and abusive motorists

there are shit, unsafe and abusive cyclists

hth

persimmon Fri 12-Jul-13 11:14:49

I've never shouted abuse at a cyclist but have had one shout abuse at me for being too 'fucking slow' going over a series of 12 speed bumps.. Also, the only time I've ever been knocked over was by a cyclist who - surprise surprise - ignored a red light.
I think all road users should respect each other's space.

Abra1d Fri 12-Jul-13 11:16:02

FEWER.

FoxMulder Fri 12-Jul-13 11:17:07

I would happily make that trade

YouTheCat Fri 12-Jul-13 11:19:04

Bollocks - unless you know every cyclist and know whether they can drive/have a car or not.

For every stupid arsed cyclist ON THE PATH usually, I have to step into the road or fling myself into a sodding hedge because they won't slow down or use the fucking cycle paths.

There are crap cyclists. There are some awful drivers and there are some really stupid pedestrians out there.

Hercy Fri 12-Jul-13 11:19:26

To be honest, I'd rather have the cars. The way some cyclists (including motorcyclists) meander across the road (overtaking one car, undertaking the next) in London traffic is highly disconcerting! I do wonder if some of them have a death wish...

Pennyacrossthehall Fri 12-Jul-13 11:22:45

NotYoMomma
^there are shit, unsafe and abusive motorists

there are shit, unsafe and abusive cyclists^

100% spot on summary.

rottentomatoes Fri 12-Jul-13 11:22:54

"Research by Westminster Council found that 68 per cent of crashes between drivers and cyclists are the fault of the motorist, compared to 20 per cent which are the fault of the cyclist"

Just saying

rottentomatoes Fri 12-Jul-13 11:23:32

There seems to be more shit, unsafe motorists.

somebloke123 Fri 12-Jul-13 11:23:48

As someone who both cycles and drives in London I agree with NotYoMamma.

I got shouted at my some pillock behind a wheel the other day because he couldn't get past on a piece of road where there wasn't enough room for him to overtake anyway. There is no obligation for cyclists to ride in the gutter just to shorten some moron's car journey by 10 seconds. In fact in such a situation for the cyclist to take up a central position in the lane is now recognised as the best thing to do.

I generally find most drivers OK but then it only takes the odd one to seriously spoil your day.

But I have no sympathy with cyclists who drive like maniacs on the pavement or regard stopping at red light or going the correct way down a one way street as purely optional.

Pennyacrossthehall Fri 12-Jul-13 11:27:00

Also, however, there is an issue of perspective, which distorts cyclists responses.

If a driver steers their car to within four inches of me on my bike because they are too impatient to wait until it is safe to overtake:

- the risk to them is almost nil. Maybe the potential to lose a tiny bit of paint.

- the risk to me is injury. Or, worst case, death.

As a result, my response (probably shouting, because there aren't many other options) may seem extreme to the driver because of their perspective.

rottentomatoes Fri 12-Jul-13 11:27:18

But as a driver I do not get abused just because I am in my car, that has never happened to me ever.

I have been abused on my bike though for simply just being a cyclists regularly. Including some quite nasty vulgar words followed by much laughing by the abusers that had nothing to do with the road or transport mode. Just because I was seen a someone to abuse because I was on a bike.

Pennyacrossthehall Fri 12-Jul-13 11:28:03

I'm also agreeing with everything somebloke123 said.

livinginwonderland Fri 12-Jul-13 11:28:06

That "research" is just by Westminster Council. It's harldy representative of the whole country hmm

"There seems to be more shit, unsafe motorists."

Well naturally because there are more motorists than cyclists. If the number of cyclists went up and the number of motorists went down those figures would change.

rottentomatoes Fri 12-Jul-13 11:32:15

livinginwonderland

So because it's only from Westminster council, the area with highest percentage of cars on the road btw, we should just disregard it? How strange?

rottentomatoes Fri 12-Jul-13 11:33:45

Amazingbouncingferret

I was referring to the research not my opinion.

I think it takes nerves of steel to cycle on the roads. Motorists and potholes being the biggest fear.

More cycle lanes would be good, but I have read on other threads that cyclists prefer to use the road anyway.

Everyone should just use the roads respectfully and carefully. No need for shouting at each other.

livinginwonderland Fri 12-Jul-13 11:36:10

Nope, not disregard it, just take it for what it is - research done in a certain area of London, where there are WAY more cars on the roads than cyclists, so of course there are going to be more accidents where the motorist is repsonsible. There are more of them!

Pobblewhohasnotoes Fri 12-Jul-13 11:36:37

I would never cycle in London as I don't think it's safe.

However cyclists who ignore pedestrian crossings and the green man drive me nuts! Bloody rude.

livinginwonderland Fri 12-Jul-13 11:37:31

And I say all this as someone who has been abused by a cyclist who decided to try and cross the road in front of me when there was a full stream of traffic coming in the opposite direction, so I had to slam on my breaks because he hadn't looked, and he had to break to avoid hitting the cars in the opposite direction.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Fri 12-Jul-13 11:42:23

Oh, and the ones that ride on the pavement and ting the bell at you to move out the way. I'm the one who should be on the fucking pavement.

Pennyacrossthehall Fri 12-Jul-13 11:43:00

Sparklingbrook
Everyone should just use the roads respectfully and carefully. No need for shouting at each other.

Absolutely. And if everyone followed the rules ( both drivers and cyclists ) it would all work just fine.

livinginwonderland
And I say all this as someone who has been abused by a cyclist .....

If you're suggesting that in your whole life no driver has ever "abused" you, I would be staggered.

rottentomatoes Fri 12-Jul-13 11:44:15

livinginwonderland

but there are also more cyclists so your idea that the stats are skewed because there are more cars on the road doesn't make sense.

You can't ignore that for whatever reason in one part of the country 68% of accidents were due to the motorist and only 20% the cyclist. It's a fact, I am not trying to say anything other than pointing out a fact.

Everyone on the roads seems in a bad mood lately. Is it the hot weather? I only have to do 6 miles 4 times a day but blimey it's horrible.

pinkmoomin Fri 12-Jul-13 11:48:24

I got verbal abuse last Sunday morning from some Lycra wearing idiot, thinking he's Bradley Wiggins, for blocking his way as he tried to undertake me at a traffic light. I don't have a problem with commuting cyclists, but racing cyclists can be very aggressive on the roads in leafy Surrey.

Gubbins Fri 12-Jul-13 11:49:58

What non-cyclist don't seem to realise is that the red light jumpers and pavement cyclists piss of most of us on bikes even more than they piss off drivers.

The vast majority of cyclists are law abiding and those of us who are know that the law breakers just make things more dangerous for the rest of us. Unfortunately no-one notices the phalanx or riders waiting at the lights, they only spot the Boris bike wobbling through them to cross against the red and tar all of us with the same brush. I have been rear ended by a car whose driver expected me to run a red light.

Gubbins Fri 12-Jul-13 11:50:49

of, not or

I think that is called filtering pink I that you should let them do it. Someone tell me that's right? Or is that motorbikes?

TBF you would have left them behind when the lights changed. confused

DuelingFanjo Fri 12-Jul-13 11:55:19

"What non-cyclist don't seem to realise is that the red light jumpers and pavement cyclists piss of most of us on bikes even more than they piss off drivers. "

this ^^

and the ones with no lights or incorrect lights too.

pinkmoomin Fri 12-Jul-13 11:58:19

Yes, please can someone clarify if you should leave a gap between your car and the pavement to allow a cyclist to undertake. Whichever, this guy was an aggressive and abusive wanker.

I might have dreamt it pink. There was something about it on a motorbike thread where i got flamed for suggesting they could queue up at the lights behind the car in front. confused
Then I got accused of being jealous that that they didn't have to do that. or something. confused

<never going on a motorbike thread ever again>

VivaLeBeaver Fri 12-Jul-13 12:05:18

Pinkmoomin, are you one of those car drivers who passes a cyclist and then as you come to a halt in the traffic jam ahead stick your left side right up to the kerb so a cyclist can't safely pass you?

As a cyclist the amount of cars that do that is unbelievable. They put themselves in an unnatural position just about touching the kerb in a manner they'd never normally do. Very obvious it's done for the sole purpose of stopping me passing them.

And when someone does that I do tend to think fuck it and go round the other side and overtake the stationary traffic on the right instead. Though normally if its just stationary traffic which I can't safely pass I will put myself in a central position and wait. Though that pisses the cars of that then get stuck behind me S when the lights change I may be slower than them. But if I go to the left they overtake me and then pull over to stop me coming past them when the list change again <sigh>

edwinamerckx Fri 12-Jul-13 12:09:27

pinkmoomin cyclists, particularly inexperienced ones often hug the kerb and filter up the inside - it's what gets them killed by left-turning lorries. A lot of road design actually encourages this and you will often see short lengths of cycle lane on the left leading up to an advanced stop box at traffic lights.

It's crap design, abetted by the fact that a lot of drivers don't use their lefthand wing mirror and are very poor at signalling left. I have on many occasions been overtaken by a car that then immediately turns left in front of me, often without signalling, requiring me to brake sharply.

Motorcycles should NEVER filter up the inside - they should almost always go on the outside (or occasionally between both lanes of waiting traffic). They can get away from the lights much quicker than cars and are too wide to go up the inside safely in any case.

MavisSnapdragon Fri 12-Jul-13 12:10:32

I've lived in Oxford for 4 years. I can count on one hand the number of times I've seen cyclists stop at a red light and wait for it to change. I can also count on one hand the number of times I've seen a car ignore a red light in the same way in that time.

The Westminster research, if road users in that area are broken down into say 3% cyclists and 97% drivers, for 20% of the accidents to be caused by cyclists would show that cyclists are more dangerous. Without those figures, the 68% vs 20% is pretty meaningless.

Pinkmoomin, I've often wondered if there is something in the manufacture of lycra that makes normal people turn into total arseholes when they put it on. It's often the lycra clad cyclists that will cycle next to a cycle path, in the middle of the road, etc.

I was sort of right then Viva. I let cyclists undertake me because I thought that was the rules. I have noticed people doing as you describe.

HeffalumpTheFlump Fri 12-Jul-13 12:12:31

Notyomomma - 100% spot on.

I do get pissed off though when I'm waiting at traffic lights indicating to go left and a cyclist weaves through the traffic far too close to the cars, then goes up the left hand side of me going straight over as I'm about to turn. That's not cool.

CloudsAndTrees Fri 12-Jul-13 12:15:04

I rather have other cars on the road, they go faster than cyclists and don't require me to wait behind them for five minutes on the country road I have to use to get to work, which has a very large number of bends in it.

Pennyacrossthehall Fri 12-Jul-13 12:18:41

HeffalumpTheFlump
I do get pissed off though when I'm waiting at traffic lights indicating to go left and a cyclist weaves through the traffic far too close to the cars, then goes up the left hand side of me going straight over as I'm about to turn. That's not cool.

When cycling I wouldn't do that. Mainly because of the significant risk that the driver wouldn't see me and I would get seriously injured in the resulting collision. I believe that this is is the main type of accident in which cyclists are killed in London traffic.

Pennyacrossthehall Fri 12-Jul-13 12:21:08

CloudsAndTrees
I rather have other cars on the road, they go faster than cyclists and don't require me to wait behind them for five minutes on the country road I have to use to get to work, which has a very large number of bends in it.

Five minutes? Next time, see how long you are actually stuck behind the cyclist and reassess.

If the radio is one, five minutes would be a lot longer than one entire (average) song from start to finish.

edwinamerckx Fri 12-Jul-13 12:22:38

Mavis really? Here, it is absolutely compulsory for at least two cars to roll through the traffic light after it turns red - in fact not to do so will often result in angry beeping from the white van (usually) behind you. I see far more cars and vans jump lights every days then bikes - simply because there are many more cars then bikes.

Cyclists often don't use cycle lanes because they are littered with parked vehicles, broken glass, potholes and you are a sitting duck for vehicles turning left without indicating or checking mirrors. Shared pedestrian/bike lanes are even worse - it is simply not safe to cycle down them at 20mph+ when they are full of pedestrians, dogs, kids on scooters etc.

sparkling it's not a question of letting cyclists, or any other road user, undertake. It's not your job to enforce the highway code. Road users of any kind are allowed to undertake stationary or slowly moving traffic in queues if they are able to do s - rule 268.

Filtering through slowly moving traffic by cyclists and motorcycles is also legal and recognised in the highway code - rule 211.

HeffalumpTheFlump Fri 12-Jul-13 12:22:39

Penny - Luckily I'm an avid mirror checker! It happens a lot round here, especially at a particular junction by the hospital which is somewhere I unfortunately frequent!

But Penny some motorists don't indicate so how is the cyclist supposed to know they are turning left? <worries>

Yes, sorry edwin bad choice of words probably. I meant as opposed to not letting them IYKWIM.

CloudsAndTrees Fri 12-Jul-13 12:27:14

I have timed it before, it really can be that long. This is a particularly long stretch of road I'm talking about, and there is literally no part of it where it is safe to overtake a cyclist because the numerous bends mean you can't see far enough ahead to be able to do so.

moonbells Fri 12-Jul-13 12:29:36

Thought experiment for everyone wink

If I slow down on my 6 mile country wiggly road to work and wait for a decent gap/straight bit so I can safely overtake a bike, and so does everyone else who passes the cyclist on his/her journey, does the total extra fuel used in going at a non-optimal speed then accelerating past the cyclist negate the CO2/other emissions saved personally by that cyclist?

Would love to know. Course the solution to that is everyone should cycle, or use hybrid cars so they run on electric at the low speeds, but in the real world, what is best?

(I also wish they'd tell us the true carbon footprint of solar cells or wind turbines ie include what was emitted during manufacture but that's another question entirely!)

Pennyacrossthehall Fri 12-Jul-13 12:29:39

CloudsAndTrees I have timed it before, it really can be that long.

Then I believe you. If I was holding someone up for that long, I'd find a way to let them pass.

HindsightisaMarvellousThing Fri 12-Jul-13 12:29:49

Agree with CloudsandTrees as we live in a rural area flooded by cycling clubs at weekends, and they are IMO inconsiderate road users

Single cyclists are easy to navigate past on winding barely-wider-than-single-track roads round here but so many weekend cyclists travel two abreast, or in packs of 10+. And I drive a quiet deisel car, so they don't hear me approach behind them until I've been there for a bit, and then they have to move into single file so I can get past them. It is a real pain on weekend mornings, unlike the runners, single cyclist and horseriders that are also out at the same time.

Hooting at them on approach seems rude, so I drive behind them for a bit and then have to rev the engine so they realise I'm there. And then they probably think I'm rude for revving at them. Sigh.

edwinamerckx Fri 12-Jul-13 12:30:12

And Mavis - The relative numbers of cycles and cars in the Westminster study is irrelevant to the argument - 100% of the accidents studies involved 1 bike and 1 motor vehicle. In 68% of these accidents, the motorist was found to be at fault.

If you can somehow interpret this as showing that cyclists are more dangerous than cars, then I suggest you apply for the Fields Medal as you have clearly invented a whole new branch of statistics, previously unknown to the mathematical world.

LRDYaDumayuIThink Fri 12-Jul-13 12:30:35

I think a lot of cyclists get a rough deal and a lot of car drivers need to learn that cyclists are actually allowed to be doing things like riding two abreast, turning right, etc. etc.

However, car drivers have (at least in law) to pass a test and be insured.

Cyclists do not.

So no, I don't feel that brilliant about seeing numbers of cyclists 'instead' of drivers. I worry that they're cyclists who shouldn't be on the road at all. This is often the case because, like mavis, I'm in Oxford which is student central, and many cyclists are teenagers who have no clue about the rules of the road.

At the moment, in order to get to my house I go over a bridge where traffic is controlled into a one-way system with traffic lights. There is also a pedestrian footpath beside it. Many sensible cyclists use this system fine. Many other sensible cyclists, who are slow because it's up a steep hill and they're cyclist at rather less than walking pace, choose to push their bikes up the footpath instead (I'm not saying anyone should have to, just explaining that there are options).

And some twits run the lights.

On a one-way bridge.

Where there is literally no space for the bus to get out of their way.

The other day I came up behind two cyclists who had met going opposite directions on the bridge, who'd stopped to have a chat.

hmm

If those are people who could be in cars, I am thanking god they're not, I can't begin to imagine how dangerous they'd be.

Fakebook Fri 12-Jul-13 12:31:34

Not really. Could be one less pedestrian too.

Pennyacrossthehall Fri 12-Jul-13 12:32:10

Sparklingbrook
But Penny some motorists don't indicate so how is the cyclist supposed to know they are turning left?

Which is why I (and, I'd guess, the other posters on this thread who are evidently experienced cyclists) have to assess all traffic on the basis that the drivers are idiots, to allow for the substantial minority that are.

xylem8 Fri 12-Jul-13 12:34:11

nearly all the cyclists I see are 'sports' cyclists and so do not mean a car off the road.

pinkmoomin Fri 12-Jul-13 12:34:57

I agree Hindsight is the packs of Lycra clad weekend cyclists that are a real road menace around leafy parts of the country.

LRDYaDumayuIThink Fri 12-Jul-13 12:35:28

... Realizing how contadictory my grumpy post is. grin blush

I'd rather they'd just learn some common sense/rules of the road. I'm not sure it makes me 'glad' they're cycling as opposed to anything else.

Gubbins Fri 12-Jul-13 12:37:12

Mavis,
It's often the lycra clad cyclists that will cycle next to a cycle path, in the middle of the road, etc.

Yes, because that's usually the safest place to ride. There are several cycle lanes I could ride in on my commute into work. The first is full of broken glass and is an incredibly bad, potholed road surface. The second is on the outside of a line of parked cars and would put me in the perfect position to be doored by one of them. The third I ignore as I turn right at the next junction so need to position myself for that and the fourth is full of pedestrians who seem to think it is an extension of the pavement. (It's an on road cycle lane, not a shared pavement.)

So I ride in the primary position in the centre of the lane, just where the highway code recomends. Don't worry, I shouldn't hold you up. The average speed of traffic in central London is 10mph and I can go much faster than that. Even if you can't pass me immediately, it's only going to mean you join the back of your next traffic jam a couple of seconds later.

CloudsAndTrees Fri 12-Jul-13 12:38:47

Then I wouldn't mind waiting for you Penny! smile

It's when you go past little lanes or the front of drive ways that turn off the road where the cyclist could safely stop and allow cars to pass that it becomes frustrating. It just seems incredibly selfish.

Pennyacrossthehall Fri 12-Jul-13 12:39:22

LRDYaDumayuIThink
...car drivers have (at least in law) to pass a test. Cyclists do not.

In general almost every single adult cyclist you come across will also be a driver. University towns might be an exception. I know many cyclists, but do not know any who do not have a driving licence.

I also redacted the insurance point. As soon as I am required to have insurance to cycle, I'll buy it. I suspect that it will be very cheap, because my potential to cause damage on my bicycle is very limited.

...some twits run the lights. On a one-way bridge.

I watched cyclists do essentially the same thing - riding round blind bends on the wrong side of the road - last weekend. I rode on the right (left) side of the road and wondered how often you could do that before you got yourself killed.

edwinamerckx Fri 12-Jul-13 12:41:17

Penny agreed. A lot of cyclists could really benefit from using the OSM/PSL drill taught to motorcyclists and advanced drivers (as could a lot of car drivers...)

Regarding club cyclists, I'm surprised at some of the comments as group cycling is usually an extremely disciplined affair with the back marker responsible for keeping a lookout for cars and shouting "car back". Also, two abreast riding is not usual for group rides, although I suppose that the lead rider of a chain gang dropping to the back of the draft line could be interpreted as that - they should tuck straight into the line on hearing "car back" though.

Certainly in my club, running a light would get you a fine and a suspension, and failing to indicate (not just left and right, but slow down, pothole, hazard etc too) would get you a severe bollocking from the road captain.

When I'm going straight over at a junction with traffic lights, I make eye contact with the lead driver and indicate forward (arm pointing straight forward) so they know that I haven't just neglected to signal left.
Is this weird? I've never had any issues doing this, and I'd rather signal too much than too little.

LRDYaDumayuIThink Fri 12-Jul-13 12:42:34

Well, yes, that's why I mentioned it was a university town, penny!

I'm well aware it's a very specific population of cyclists. I just don't come across anything like it when I go to visit my parents, or go off elsewhere. It does scare me, though, how unregulated it is. A lot of them simply shouldn't be on the road.

Gubbins Fri 12-Jul-13 12:45:22

I've been beeped at by cars for not running the red light at road works with contraflows. I've also been shouted at by someone for not going the wrong direction down a contraflow cycle lane on a street that's one way for cars, two way for bikes. Apparently his need to go fast was greater than my need to not break the law.

Can't win!

Eve Fri 12-Jul-13 12:46:10

I'm a horse rider & regularly get abuse from cyclists that I shouldn't be on the road.

II do point out to them that they are not in charge & I'm also a car driver of a massive 4x4 and would they like me to treat them with same attitude.

MrsHoarder Fri 12-Jul-13 12:47:45

Clouds its most frustrating "safely stopping" your bike to let a car past, it takes entry to get back up to speed and as soon as you do there's another car there. Better to take the lane, keep peddling and let cars pass when there's space for them to overtake.

edwinamerckx Fri 12-Jul-13 12:49:34

InMySpare not weird at all. I do exactly the same and usually get a cheery wave or a thumbs up back. The majority of drivers here are nice and considerate - lots of very posh 4x4s with cycle racks on the roof so maybe a bit more consideration for cyclists as there is probably one in the family (rich banker husband usually ) Some of the cheeky buggers try to chat me up at the lights, asking about my bike etc. smile

Its the white vans and kids in clapped out hatchbacks that are the most inattentive - not actively malicious but just incredibly poor at signalling, lane discipline and mirror checks.

Aetae Fri 12-Jul-13 12:52:59

To be honest, what annoys me most about cyclists is their holier than thou attitude. Yes, it makes me cross when they run red lights or right on the footpath. Yes, it makes me cross when they don't follow the road rules. Yes, it makes me cross that they think it's ok for them to do 10 mph when a car doing the same speed would be loudly honked at for obstructing traffic.

But the most annoying thing is how most cyclists seem to think they're single-handedly saving the fucking planet and as a result should be given some special dispensation when it comes to road usage (when they don't pay for that road use nor do they have to pass any tests to prove they can use it correctly).

edwinamerckx Fri 12-Jul-13 12:53:28

Eve really??? I always shout "'bike behind" when coming up to horses (human voice and all that), slow down, give a wide berth and get a cheery wave in return. As does every cyclist (and rider - many of them are both) I know. You must have some bloody miserable cyclists where you live.

Pennyacrossthehall Fri 12-Jul-13 12:54:05

Eve
I'm a horse rider & regularly get abuse from cyclists that I shouldn't be on the road.

I would never abuse a person riding their horse and usually slow then call out that I am coming past to warn them. I am, however, wryly amused by the number of drivers that will storm past me on my bike with inches to spare then come to an almost complete halt behind the horses in front of us.

This does take us back to NotYoMomma's summary right at the start . . .

weeblueberry Fri 12-Jul-13 12:55:22

For the cyclists who are saying it's only 10 seconds they're holding up a driver, wouldn't it then be fair sometimes if you have a MASSIVE queue of traffic behind you (which seems to happen a lot where I live due to quite narrow roads) to pull over for 10 seconds yourself and let the huge queue of drivers go past?

BlessedDespair Fri 12-Jul-13 12:55:28

I like them if:

- They are insured
- They obey the highway code
- They don't think they are above everyone else
- They accept that not everyone wants to travel at 5mph and pull in where possible if they have a queue of vehicles behind them

The exact same thing can be said for ALL road users (including people on foot)

In the last week 3 cyclists have run a red light in front of me!

Gubbins Fri 12-Jul-13 12:56:04

Do we? Oh. I have to say none of the many cyclists I know thinks they're saving the planet, but perhaps you know more than I do.

I let the 'paying for road use' comment pass as I'm sure you must be joking if you're trying to imply that you can still think that's the case with cars.

Pennyacrossthehall Fri 12-Jul-13 12:57:05

I just remembered - on one occaision another cyclist and I came up behind a horse rider who was unable to control her horse and it sidled across the road until it was walking on the far right hand side. The rider in front of me, having slowed to walking pace, then went past on the left . . . to be greeted by a mouthful of abuse from the rider.

Again: see NotYoMomma's summary

VinegarDrinker Fri 12-Jul-13 12:58:21

Love how the only actual stats on this are always ignored by posters grin

I had a twat in a sports car yell out of the window for me to cycle faster the other week. I was so flabbergasted I couldn't think up a witty reply. Luckily he had the grace to look somewhat shamefaced when I pulled up at the lights and he saw my 39 week bump and the toddler on the back.

If you doubt that random unjustified abuse by motorists is a very real part of life on two wheels just jump on a bike yourself and see.

RoooneyMara Fri 12-Jul-13 13:01:06

I always say the same bloody thing on these threads.

Why are we fighting? I ride a bicycle, a motorbike and drive a car.

NO ONE is any better than anyone else, only that there are idiots and wankers on all forms of transport.

What is NEEDED is separate paths and roads for different types of vehicle...so more cycle lanes and paths, would mean cyclists would be safer and cars wouldn't get so frustrated with them.

A cyclist going up a long hill, on a narrow road, with a queue of cars behind them all in first gear is nOT environmentally sound, in the bigger picture.

But I think cycling is brilliant. I am very conscious as a cyclist of not getting in anyone's way.

Let's not fight - let's just adapt the world a little better so that everyone can drive or ride more safely.

VinegarDrinker Fri 12-Jul-13 13:01:20

Oooh yippee the "road tax" argument. Road tax does not exist. It's a vehicle emissions tax. I pay exactly the same amount as any other zero emissions vehicle.

edwinamerckx Fri 12-Jul-13 13:03:07

Aetae of course they pay for road use. Roads are paid for out of general taxation.

Or would you also argue that someone driving a Kia Rio 1.1 or a Yaris Hybrid doesn't have the right to use the road because they are zero-rated for road tax?

I pay £370 road tax a year - does that entitle me to cycle in your mind?

On the school run it's all country lanes and near the end there is a massive hill. I often sit behind cyclists stood up in the saddle, puffing and panting their way up. there's no room to pass safely even if they were in the gutter, so no choice but to pootle along at a safe distance behind them, and yet I still feel horrible about it, as if I am stressing them out by being behind them in first gear.

theodorakisses Fri 12-Jul-13 13:10:35

Is this one of the threads where the OP thinks cyclists are superior and anyone who doesn't will be name called. boooring (almost as boring as listening to the anti-car cycling mafia banging on and on and on and on...)

edwinamerckx Fri 12-Jul-13 13:11:31

Sparkling - no it encourages us to pull out the stops smile Are you sure there is no room to pass? Obviously I don't know the road so can't say.

In my experience when I am driving, it is often not the cyclist/horse/agricultural vehicle that is the bottleneck, but the car sitting immediately behind who is too timid to overtake. Knock it down to second gear and foot flat on the floor until it hits the red line people! (ok, maybe not with horses...)

Elderly ditherers in Nissan Micras, I'm looking at you...

CloudsAndTrees Fri 12-Jul-13 13:13:57

Better to take the lane, keep peddling and let cars pass when there's space for them to overtake.

Better for you doesn't mean better overall. It's actually not better for me just because it takes you longer to get back up to speed again. It would be better for me if you stopped and let me pass.

You are the one that has chosen the method of transport that will inconvenience other people, so you are the one who should take the extra time that you need to stop and get back up to speed. Why should anyone else be forced to take that for you?

edwinamerckx Fri 12-Jul-13 13:14:27

theodora yes, when you buy a bike at Evans or Halfords, they give you a membership card for the anti-car cycling mafia. It's the rules. If they ever found out that I have 2 cars and 4 motorcycles in addition to the bikes, I'll be sleeping with the fishes.

VinegarDrinker Fri 12-Jul-13 13:18:41

" You are the one that has chosen the method of transport that will inconvenience other people"

biscuit

CloudsAndTrees Fri 12-Jul-13 13:20:43

Why the biscuit? Not that I don't love jammy dodgers, I happen to be a big fan, I just don't see the need when what I said was true.

RoooneyMara Fri 12-Jul-13 13:22:10

Honestly I think some of you just prefer to fight than to think or engage constructively.

<gives up and wanders off to fit baby seat in Bakfiets>

RoooneyMara Fri 12-Jul-13 13:23:07

Clouds. as a car driver I KNOW that cycling inconveniences cars...and as a cyclist I know that cars massively inconvenience cyclists.

NO ONE CAN WIN THIS ARGUMENT.

CloudsAndTrees Fri 12-Jul-13 13:25:20

I'm don't cycle on roads, only in country parks or on river routes, so I'd be interested to know how I as a motorist inconvenience cyclists. Being genuine btw.

theodorakisses Fri 12-Jul-13 13:26:05

I don't like cyclists who act like they own the road. That doesn't mean I hate all cyclists but some are so bloody rude. Same could be said for twatty van drivers as well. Some pram pushers are inconsiderate and dangerous as well. Anyone who is aggressive and threatening and dangerous is as bad as the other, whether wearing a thicko grin and a high viz vest, skin tight luminous lycra or a frothy silver cross, it's the ignorance and unreasonable behaviour not the mode of transport. Luckily I have never had to encounter 50 twatty thicko builders or aggressive parents stopping me from getting from A to B, unlike the cyclists, that's the only difference.

VinegarDrinker Fri 12-Jul-13 13:26:06

It's an utterly ridiculous generalisation.

I can see that in rural areas bikes can cause tailback.

But where I live, the only effect me and my family cycling has on drivers (and yes, like 99% of cyclists I also have a driving license) is a positive one. One less car, for a start, as the OP says.

theodorakisses Fri 12-Jul-13 13:27:32

Not everyone hates cars though. some of us rather like them and do not see them as a burden.

VinegarDrinker Fri 12-Jul-13 13:28:57

Motorists, in general, inconvenience cyclists by killing significant numbers of them every year. The low level abuse is mostly just unpleasant rather than dangerous but I'd rather my 2 year old hadn't leaned the sign for wanker (from a motorist who failed to read and/or understand the cycle contraflow signs) at quite such and early age.

VinegarDrinker Fri 12-Jul-13 13:29:50

Whether you love, hate or are indifferent to cars, one less of them means you get where you want to get to faster.

edwinamerckx Fri 12-Jul-13 13:30:20

Clouds all road users inconvenience each other. Imagine how much easier life would be if you were the only person on the road? I wouldn't say that cars particularly inconvenience me on the bike, other than occasionally swerving out, or turning without indicating. In the car, I don't get particularly inconvenienced by bikes (or horses or tractors), it might be a 20 second hold up but it's not the end of the world. So perhaps we could all just learn to get along?

And on the motorbike, everyone else is basically a mobile bollard to be dispatched into the mirrors as quickly as possible anyway smile

NUFC69 Fri 12-Jul-13 13:30:43

I live in a rural county where there are many cyclists. Most car drivers and cyclists behave nicely towards one another, although there is the odd spat. I try to cycle on Sustrans tracks which are great, although we do share with pedestrians and cars some of the time. I remember when cycle lanes were put in a few years ago; there was money from the government if councils put them in, so you have this really odd situation of cycle lanes which are, literally, a few yards long. Insanity!

Like other people have said, though, I have learned (the hard way) not to cycle too close to the gutter as it encourages cars to overtake where there is not room because of cars coming in the opposite direction. My closest shave was when I was cycling up a country lane and there was a van waiting at a road junction to join my road. I could see him from a distance and there was nobody anywhere near him (think he might have been on the phone, though - not sure). Literally as I was going to go past the front of his van, he decided now was a good time to start off. I guess he had looked right and left and not seen any vehicles and just not noticed me on my bike!

Have to say as as cyclist, it does make me very careful when I am driving and I come across cyclists.

RoooneyMara Fri 12-Jul-13 13:32:00

Clouds I wondered if you actually wanted an explanation.

To start with, cars are very fast and dangerous and they mean that I don't like to cycle on the road at all. Or let my children do so. So we end up using the car a lot which is sad (and perpetuates the problem for other cyclists or would-be cyclists). That is one way.

Cars also pump out huge amounts of noxious gas, which can give rise to breathing issues in cyclists and is very very unpleasant. That's another way.

Cars cause congestion on roads that would otherwise be safely passable

Cars cause pollution which affects the wider climate

Cars often don't see cyclists and cause accidents to them

Shall I go on?

The fact is a world with all cycles or all cars would be much easier, and the best we can do, is to segregate and be courteous to one another.

I avoid roads when cycling so as NOT to inconvenience my fellow car drivers.

You can't just demonise one form of transport and btw - the bikes were there first. wink

RoooneyMara Fri 12-Jul-13 13:33:11

'And on the motorbike, everyone else is basically a mobile bollard to be dispatched into the mirrors as quickly as possible anyway'

Edwina - I know a lot of motorcyclists who do ride that way, but I never do - I'm not in it for speed. I don't see the point.

CelticPromise Fri 12-Jul-13 13:33:40

Motorists inconvenience me as a cyclist by pulling in close so I can't filter at traffic lights, not letting me out when I indicate to turn right, passing me too close in a dangerous way, belching fumes in my face... I'm a car driver too and I know it's annoying to get stuck behind a cyclist for a long time, but that's life innit. We're all entitled to use the road.

VinegarDrinker Fri 12-Jul-13 13:34:03

Actually cycling in London the biggest hazard by far is pedestrians - especially in zone 1. Most of my most terrifying moments on a bike have been as a result of a pedestrian walking out in front of me without looking. Second up - lorries, just so fucking huge and dangerous to share the road with (see: pretty much all London cycling fatalities). Third on my hit list would be black cabs, especially ones that suddenly pull over for a fare without indicating. So normal family cars are actually fairly far down my list of "inconveniences".

CloudsAndTrees Fri 12-Jul-13 13:34:09

I think there's a difference between an inconvenience caused just by being there, and an inconvenience caused by not driving or cycling properly.

A driver that swerves or turns without indicating is actively doing something wrong, they aren't causing an inconvenience just by being there.

RoooneyMara Fri 12-Jul-13 13:35:00

Lorries need a whole other thread. And a whole other system of roads just for them.

RoooneyMara Fri 12-Jul-13 13:35:39

Clouds, see my post for ways in which cars are inconvenient to cyclists just by being there.

Sirzy Fri 12-Jul-13 13:36:15

I have no issue with most cyclists. I do have issues with the the idiots who drive through lights, on pavements or generally disregard rules of safe driving. I have only once had to shout at a cyclist and that is when he cycled straight into my wingmirror in his hurry to get past me when I was stopped at traffic lights.

Basically some people are idiots and the form of transport they use doesn't change that!

VinegarDrinker Fri 12-Jul-13 13:36:27

A cyclist isn't causing an inconvenience just by being there, either.

edwinamerckx Fri 12-Jul-13 13:38:19

Rooney neither do I, I was just trying to play up a different stereotype smile I ride motorbikes by the book (that would this book) and I hope it makes me a better driver and cyclist too.

CloudsAndTrees Fri 12-Jul-13 13:39:16

I really did want an explanation!

I don't think the pollution thing counts, because that is just part of modern living. We need things to be transported by vehicles on roads.

Drivers causing harm to cyclists are actively doing something wrong, unless the cyclist is at fault, so aren't causing an inconvenice just by being there.

Traffic congestion is a fair point, but then we all choose to deal with that when we choose to use the roads. We don't choose to be held up by selfish cyclists that could pull over but instead refuse to let you past.

RoooneyMara Fri 12-Jul-13 13:40:13

Ooh I want that book! smile

Sorry if I sounded uppity. I didn't mean to - it just is so bizarre that so many people seem to want to overtake the entire population just because they have a bike, isn't it?

Is that why people ride them? I prefer to potter at 30mph grin

BlessedDespair Fri 12-Jul-13 13:40:14

VinegarDrinker Fri 12-Jul-13 13:29:50

Whether you love, hate or are indifferent to cars, one less of them means you get where you want to get to faster.

Unless you get stuck behind a cyclist or a horse rider/tractor .... On a twisty road with blind bends, high hedges and blind summits smile

CloudsAndTrees Fri 12-Jul-13 13:40:17

X posted twice! I disagree that cyclists don't cause an inconvenience just by being there. They have inconvenienced me plenty of times just by being there.

RoooneyMara Fri 12-Jul-13 13:41:11

Clouds I think you'll find it hard to sustain a solid argument based on your final paragraph.

VinegarDrinker Fri 12-Jul-13 13:42:42

We obviously live in very different areas Clouds

I have never cycled on a rural road and never caused a tailback so I don't think we have any common ground at all when discussing and making lazy judgements about "cyclists" as a supposedly homogenous group.

edwinamerckx Fri 12-Jul-13 13:45:44

Rooney well, pottering at 30mph isn't really on my agenda, but I see an awful lot of very dangerous riding by the summer weekend warrior brigade on sports bikes. My main roadbike is plenty quick enough and I use it for my main commute because if I were to drive I would be inconvenienced by all the other cars (who in turn are no doubt being inconvenienced by pushbikes...)

Riding a motorbike means you are never really inconvenienced by any other road users, although obviously has a few drawbacks.

CloudsAndTrees Fri 12-Jul-13 13:48:21

The judgement about cyclists is no more lazy than the ones made about motorists!

I'm not trying to sustain an argument, I'm just putting across the fact that cyclists piss me off on at least a weekly basis by the fact that they are too selfish to pull over an allow the cars that do build up behind them to pass.

I appreciate that many cyclists don't do this, just as there are many car drivers that don't cause a problem to people riding bikes. But some cyclists do use the road without any consideration for anyone else, so it's been nice to read on this thread that at least some cyclists would pull over.

RoooneyMara Fri 12-Jul-13 13:49:29

Yes it is very inconvenienet to feel obliged to pull over, though! If I lived in Amsterdam everyone would be riding and it wouldn't be necessary.

I often wish there were no cars.

CloudsAndTrees Fri 12-Jul-13 13:51:05

But you wouldn't feel obliged to pull over if you weren't holding anyone else up!

theodorakisses Fri 12-Jul-13 13:51:43

I think that's the whole point. The warriors do sometimes use their numbers to prove a point and inconvenience people. Normal cyclists come in for un called for abuse.

VinegarDrinker Fri 12-Jul-13 13:51:49

I have never needed to pull over because in London the average speed of traffic is usually even slower than my fat, pregnant, toddler-laden efforts. Therefore I do resent being called an inconvenience merely for existing.

edwinamerckx Fri 12-Jul-13 13:55:46

CloudsAndTrees I do pull over if I build up a queue behind me and there is no opportunity for people to pass safely - it's a good idea even if only from self interest as frustrated drivers often do dangerous things, such as attempting to pass on blind corners or crests.

I also indicate to a following driver that it is safe to overtake when they cannot see that the road ahead is clear but I can.

This is all part of being a considerate road user, which is something that many car and van drivers, who make up the majority of road users in this country, could also benefit from. Correct observations, use of indicators and vehicle positioning would be a nice start.

whatsthatcomingoverthehill Fri 12-Jul-13 13:55:59

"I'd be interested to know how I as a motorist inconvenience cyclists"

I don't think RoooneyMara was meaning you individually, or all cars. I commute on my bike and i get 'inconvenienced' most days. There are various forms this can take - parking in cycle lanes, overtaking then turning left in front of me, not leaving enough room when overtaking, pulling out in front of me etc. Most of these 'inconveniences' are dangerous to the cyclist, which may explain why many of us are pretty bolshy.

An example from coming in this morning: a car overtook me about 50m away from a junction, so they didn't actually get past me before the turning. We were both then turning left, and they turned at the same time as me, roared past me, despite there being a queue 100m away, and pulled back right in front of me. It was satisfying to think that she would be queuing for another 10 minutes as I overtook her and gave a cheery wave.

Gubbins Fri 12-Jul-13 13:58:30

I cycle in the city where even the best behaved driver can cause me inconvenience. Congestion slows down cyclists as well as cars and I am able to travel a lot faster when there are fewer cars on the road. At some point where there is a reduced number of cars per meter of road the balance will tip to where it's the bikes causing the hold-ups, as they do to you, Clouds, but that is certainly not the case in central/suburban London. I can pretty much guarantee I will beat a car over any journey of less than 10 miles. And I'm not a speedy racing cyclist, I'm an unfit middle aged commuter on a hybrid.

theodorakisses Fri 12-Jul-13 13:59:28

Yes but those cheery waves can come across as quite aggressive. I am not saying you are, but it is the same to me as any other sarcastic/rude gesture.

littleducks Fri 12-Jul-13 14:06:29

As a car driver cyclists are fine, reasonably predictable. Bike riders on/off pavements, no lights (and often black or very dark clothes) going across it the wrong way down roads very scary.

As a pedestrian (London) cyclists are terrifying especially when trying to cross a road, where they frequently ignore the red lights at pedestrian crossings.

Sirzy Fri 12-Jul-13 14:08:56

I also indicate to a following driver that it is safe to overtake when they cannot see that the road ahead is clear but I can.

Although done with good intention as a driver I would rather be 'stuck' behind a vehicle until I could see it was clear. Perhaps that stems from being in an accident where the other driver was told by someone else - overtook and hit us head on.

Iwillorderthefood Fri 12-Jul-13 14:08:57

I try my very best to look out for cyclists, however when I have checked and re-checked my mirror to turn , with my indicator clearly visible, and had a cyclist swerve suddenly into the path where I am turning from behind me, this is ridiculous.

I also object to cyclists speeding over the pedestrian phase of the crossing,usually when my children and I are crossing, often within mm of us.

Oh and the adult, who made us all dive for the hedge yesterday whilst she cycled down the pavement ringing her bell for us to get out of the way, makes my blood boil.

There have also been many incidents where motorists have just not seen the cyclist too, which have horrified me.

Please note that I promote green modes of transport for a living, and support cycling wholeheartedly. There are idiot motorists and cyclists everywhere on the road and pavement.

whatsthatcomingoverthehill Fri 12-Jul-13 14:22:57

I get fed up with people regard cycling dangerously as equivalent to someone driving dangerously. We've see it on this thread again:

"there are shit, unsafe and abusive motorists

there are shit, unsafe and abusive cyclists"

The difference being that the unsafe motorists are far far more likely to kill or seriously injure someone else than the unsafe cyclist, who is primarily putting themselves at risk. Cyclists very occasionally do hurt others, but it is incredibly rare. For instance, in 2008 there was 1 pedestrian death involving a cyclist, but it doesn't say who was at fault. Incidentally, the same year, 8 cyclists were killed during collisions with pedestrians.

edwinamerckx Fri 12-Jul-13 14:23:11

Sirzy - very true, and absolutely your call. And of course if you are given an indication that the road is clear and act on that without confirming yourself, it doesn't look good in an accident. It's just something I've always done on both bike and horseback and as I'm mainly on quiet rural roads people are ok with it.

I also give a 'hold back' signal if I can see an obstruction that perhaps a car driver getting ready to overtake might not be able to see (e.g. oncoming vehicle round a blind right hand corner). Again, I think most people are grateful for this kind of communication.

VivaLeBeaver Fri 12-Jul-13 14:24:53

I have two vehicles, so as I pay two lots of "road tax" does that give me twice as much right to be on the road as everyone else? No, thought not. So thenot paying tax argument is very silly.

I'm insured, I don't run red lights, I admit on my morning commute there is a 5m section of pavement between cycle lane and road that I cycle on. It's 6:30 am and no pedestrians about, if there were I'd get off and push.

I give way to pedestrians on shared use paths, even the ones weaving about all over the place with no idea I'm there and dogs running about out of control.

I give way to horses and will happily wait behind them until safe to pass.

On single track, narrow roads if there's a car behind me I will pull in when safe to do so. However I couldn't be expected to keep doing that every minute if there were a lot of cars, I'd never get anywhere.....never been on a narrow road that busy though.

In town though the cars hold me up more than I hold the cars up. I'm always stuck in a queue of traffic, struggling to legally filter as they block me. So car drivers aren't courteous enough to pull over to let me through even though in heavy traffic I'm faster.

whatsthatcomingoverthehill Fri 12-Jul-13 14:25:39

"Yes but those cheery waves can come across as quite aggressive. I am not saying you are, but it is the same to me as any other sarcastic/rude gesture."

Good. It was meant to be. She was driving dangerously for no reason putting me at risk, yet you consider a sarcastic wave to be a problem? What I really wanted to do was knock her wing mirror off, so I thought I'd done quite well to restrain myself.

VinegarDrinker Fri 12-Jul-13 14:27:51

Good point, Viva - if cyclists should pull over for motorists on country roads, motorists should definitely pull over/make room for cyclists in town!

edwinamerckx Fri 12-Jul-13 14:33:24

overthehill If the intent is sarcasm, then that's a problem. It's in the same category as abusive gestures, verbal abuse and aggressive use of the horn. At best it achieves nothing, at worst it might provoke potentially violent retaliation.

Most likely, it will perpetuate ill-feeling against cyclists in the recipient.

The reaction to any road incident should always be 'what could I do better in future to avoid an incident like that?'

BlessedDespair Fri 12-Jul-13 14:57:25

It's easier to report a dangerous driver than a dangerous cyclist. I think bikes should have reg plates and be insured before being allowed on the road

whatsthatcomingoverthehill Fri 12-Jul-13 15:07:57

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

whatsthatcomingoverthehill Fri 12-Jul-13 15:08:46

"It's easier to report a dangerous driver than a dangerous cyclist. I think bikes should have reg plates and be insured before being allowed on the road"

And how many incidents do you know of where cyclists have needed insurance due to damage to someone else that was their own fault?

VivaLeBeaver Fri 12-Jul-13 15:12:37

I think setting up and running a scheme of cycle registration and even insurance would cost more money than would make sense. You'd need a whole other dvla size organisation.

Plus a cycle isn't big enough to carry a registration plate that would be big enough to be visible.

rottentomatoes Fri 12-Jul-13 15:17:01

mavissnapdragon
"The Westminster research, if road users in that area are broken down into say 3% cyclists and 97% drivers, for 20% of the accidents to be caused by cyclists would show that cyclists are more dangerous. Without those figures, the 68% vs 20% is pretty meaningless."

That's the most ridiculous logic I have ever heard. It's not meaningless at all. It shows that accidents involving cyclists are far more often the fault of the driver. It's irrelevant how many cars cyclists pedestrians or pigeons are on the road FFS!

BlessedDespair Fri 12-Jul-13 15:29:28

It might be more expensive and time consuming but it would be so much easier if they were....

- Same cyclist runs red lights every week, would finally be able to report him >_<
- Cyclists who never have lights on or wear hiviz when its dark. If they were driving a car the police would pull them over
- The cyclist who hit the side of my friends car (causing a nice big dent), completely cyclists fault

I have insurance for my horse and rider insurance for me. His bum is probably big enough for a reg plate ;)

lustybusty Fri 12-Jul-13 15:31:32

edwina (and any other bicycle&motorbike&car users)
In the area I live, in summer especially, there are a lot of push bikes and motorbikes, along with a huuuuuge amount of cars. Where am I best locating myself in the road, when in traffic jam/waiting at roundabout/waiting at lights? Obviously, ideally, I'd be far enough from the kerb (3-4ft) to allow a cyclist easy passage, with a similar or more gap to the right for motorbikes. But, this is not possible. If I'm too far left (allowing the motorbikes past on the right) I get cyclists banging on the boot (happened 3 times in the last 4 weeks). If I'm too far right (allowing push bikes through on the left) I get motorbikers giving me the "wanker" as they scream past me (twice in 4 weeks).
I am trying to be considerate (I will give a cyclist the same room as I give a car, whether following or overtaking, and if I see a motorbike approaching in my mirror I pull way left to give them more room to pass safely), but this issue I'm struggling with. Or do I just say "fuck the lot of you", be an inconsiderate driver and leave not enough room both sides? grin

VivaLeBeaver Fri 12-Jul-13 15:33:00

Would you really ring up and report a car running a red light? I don't think the police would prosecute even if you did, it would be their word against yours and they'd just deny it. T be honest I'd think it was a waste of police time. Fair enough if the police catch them at it, whether cyclist or car and do them for it.....but then a reg plate would make no difference.

whatsthatcomingoverthehill Fri 12-Jul-13 15:35:58

BlessedDespair

Do you report drivers who've run red lights, and do you really think the police could/would do anything about it if you did?

whatsthatcomingoverthehill Fri 12-Jul-13 15:40:51

lustybusty

You don't have to be in any position on the road, as long as you're not in a cycle lane etc, so I wouldn't think about it and ignore them/tell them to fuck off (whichever is your preference).

BlessedDespair Fri 12-Jul-13 15:45:14

If it was the same car almost causing an accident on an almost daily basis then yes. Safer to report it and hope for the best than watch him hit by a car I'd like to think

If the police do nothing then I won't feel like I did nothing if I do see him get hit. Regardless of the fact that it will be his fault and really is only a matter of time...

BlessedDespair Fri 12-Jul-13 15:48:06

Also wonder why cyclists are the only road users allowed to do time trials cough, cough, race

LondonMan Fri 12-Jul-13 15:52:10

And Mavis - The relative numbers of cycles and cars in the Westminster study is irrelevant to the argument - 100% of the accidents studies involved 1 bike and 1 motor vehicle. In 68% of these accidents, the motorist was found to be at fault.

If you can somehow interpret this as showing that cyclists are more dangerous than cars, then I suggest you apply for the Fields Medal as you have clearly invented a whole new branch of statistics, previously unknown to the mathematical world.

So in 68% of accidents, the car driver is at fault. If the ratio of cars to bicycles is exactly 68%, then an individual car driver is as likely to be at fault in an accident as an individual cyclist. (Number of "at fault" accidents divided by number of "vehicles.") If the ratio is much higher, then each individual car driver is much less likely to be involved in an accident than each individual cyclist.

To illustrate, assume 68000 drivers, 32000 cyclists, 100 accidents, car driver at fault 68 times and cyclist 32 times. 68/68000 = 1/1000 car drivers at fault, 32/32000 = 1/1000 cyclists at fault. If in fact there are (say) 84,000 drivers and 16,000 cyclists, the 68/84000 car drivers at fault = 0.08% compared to 32/16000 = 0.20% cyclists, so each cyclist more than twice as likely to be at fault.

(I don't really care about this issue - but I want that medal.)

lustybusty Fri 12-Jul-13 15:53:12

whatsthat thanks, I know I don't have to be in a certain position, I was just sorta scouting for opinion, iyswim. Think I'll put the roof down, take up a massively inconvenient (but legal) road position and tell the haters to do one. grin

NoComet Fri 12-Jul-13 15:54:32

No there sodding isn't, round here 90% of them are recreational cyclists, being smug about keeping fit.

rottentomatoes Fri 12-Jul-13 15:55:42

pobblewhohasnotoes
"However cyclists who ignore pedestrian crossings and the green man drive me nuts! Bloody rude."

The research also revealed that there were 133 collisions between cyclists and pedestrians in the past three years. Of these, 60 per cent were caused by the pedestrian, while 40 per cent were caused by the cyclist.

rottentomatoes Fri 12-Jul-13 15:56:33

and to add

"About 28 per cent of these incidents were caused by pedestrians failing to look properly, and only 8 per cent were caused by cyclists ignoring traffic lights."

Pennyacrossthehall Fri 12-Jul-13 15:57:10

@ LondonMan
The critical factor is 68 per cent of crashes between drivers and cyclists are the fault of the motorist

So the survey is of the small subset of the large population of drivers and cyclists that have already collided. The numbers of each in total are no longer relevant.

cumfy Fri 12-Jul-13 16:00:02

Surely car drivers are the people who have chosen a mode of transport which inconveniences others.

There simply wouldn't be any traffic jams if everyone rode bikes! QED.

rottentomatoes Fri 12-Jul-13 16:09:44

Londonman

You're totally missing the point. You can't take the total number of cars and cyclists into account. The stats are not trying to show who is overall safest on the road the figures of car to car and bike to bike van to car etc etc crashes are not taken into account.
It is simply showing that contrary to belief the vast majority of accidents involving a bike and a car are the car drivers fault.

rottentomatoes Fri 12-Jul-13 16:12:10

@londonman

your argument is like someone saying which is bigger y or z and the stats show z but you argue actually x is the biggest with no stats to back it up.

It's not up for question.

yamsareyammy Fri 12-Jul-13 16:17:34

where I live, cycling is done for fun.
And they have cars.

op, do you have a car?

I suggest that your subject heading is wrong. What you really mean, is that those who use their bikes for work ourposes, are indeed not clogging up the roads with a car.

rottentomatoes Fri 12-Jul-13 16:22:55

I do have a car Yamsareyammy but I use it for holidays and heavy shopping trips. The rest of the time I cycle/walk for commuting and general errands. I could drive to work, run errands so when I am on my bike there is one less car on the road.
I think there are many people who do the same as me.

bobbywash Fri 12-Jul-13 16:25:23

Lies, damned lies and statistics. What no survey ever mentions is defensive attitudes of cyclists. IIRC one of the biggest causes of cyclist death or injury is at left turns, where cyclists are on the inside, or undertake to a junction, and the vehicle turns left, either into or across the cyclist.

Statisticly driver to blame, practically hard to say. I don't sit in the blindspot of vehcies on a left or right hand junction to minimise the risk.

Whilst it's admirable to cycle, it's dangerous, some cyclists scare me when I'm driving some don't. Those that rail against car drivers as a generic group, should have better things to worry about.

This is the equivalent of a fox hunting, what's feminism or political thread. No right or wrong answer, just a view that is unlikely to change. So unless you want confontation why start it. So OP yes YABU for starting a never ending argument thread and no YANBU for wanting road users to behave courteously to each other.

RoooneyMara Fri 12-Jul-13 16:38:02

'CloudsAndTrees Fri 12-Jul-13 13:51:05

But you wouldn't feel obliged to pull over if you weren't holding anyone else up!'

There's nowhere else to go. You can't ride on the path, you can't ride on the road.

rottentomatoes Fri 12-Jul-13 16:39:50
Minicooper Fri 12-Jul-13 16:42:09

As I drove dc to school recently, I drove through a green light and had to do an emergency stop as a cyclist flew through the red light. He sped off as I recovered - then realised it was my ex-husband! Don't think anyone would have believed it was an accident if I hadn't been able to stop in time. grin

Samu2 Fri 12-Jul-13 16:44:22

I hate cyclists who think they can ride on a path. There are tons of them near me and they sound their little bell to get me out of the way.

There are no cycle paths on these roads so they just ride of the pavement instead and then get pissed off if I don't quickly move out of their way. It's a pavement! you are not meant to be on it.

That is a huge pet peeve on mine, especially when they bomb around the corners then tut when I am there.

amicissimma Fri 12-Jul-13 17:06:39

I'm a cyclist and a car driver. I generally use my bike instead of the car, so I'm definitely one fewer car on the road.

Since I've been reading these threads, specially about red-light jumping (which drives me mad, too, btw), I've been making a mental note and have found that considerably more vehicles go through red lights than cycles do. Only this week I had to dodge a motorbike and then a huge supermarket lorry who went through the red pedestrian light while I had the cheek to cross on the green man. The lorry gave a huge blast on his horn, too.

I've also been thinking about the complaints about bikes holding cars up and have noticed that I spend a lot of my time sitting on my bike waiting for cars to squeeze through a small space, or to manoevre into, or out of, a parking space, or to make up their minds which lane they want, never mind, just queuing because there are so many of them. Certainly I'm held up by vehicles more than by bikes, whether cycling or driving. (17 minutes in a cul de sac, yesterday, while a van unloaded, for example.)

It's so true: consideration on all sides, a bit of patience, and use of indicators would make life easier and safer, for everyone.

WMittens Fri 12-Jul-13 18:16:15

Aibu to think it's high time some cyclist haters realised that for every cyclist on the road it means there is one less car.

Yes, because that's bullshit - one cyclist may mean one less bus passenger.

If I started cycling to work, my three passengers would then drive themselves, so in that situation there would be an extra cyclist and two extra cars on the road (worst case scenario).

BoneyBackJefferson Fri 12-Jul-13 20:09:50

rottentomatoes
unless you can verify no bias on the part of the person doing the report then the results are rubbish.

You would also need to ratify where the data originated.

london has proved how easy it is to twist statistics.

rottentomatoes Fri 12-Jul-13 20:22:04

WMitten
"Yes, because that's bullshit - one cyclist may mean one less bus passenger."

Did you read my OP in full? see below

AIBU to think it's high time motorists stopped this and thought about the fact that for every cyclist there is one less car or person squeezed on the overcrowded train system.

VinegarDrinker Fri 12-Jul-13 20:23:17

Boney the Westminster stats are from the police

rottentomatoes Fri 12-Jul-13 20:23:18

boneybackjefferson

So in that case we should never ever use statistics to prove anything.

LustyBusty Fri 12-Jul-13 20:59:43

rottentomatoes yep. "Lies, damn lies and statistics" you've heard of this quote?

BoneyBackJefferson Fri 12-Jul-13 21:09:35

vinegar

Police reports tend to be "cyclist hit by car" they rarely say that the cyclist ran a red light at a busy junction. The "fault" is often not only with the driver of the car.

rottentomatoes

Statistics are a very unreliable means of imparting information, the non existant international league tables for schools are a case in point.

VinegarDrinker Fri 12-Jul-13 21:13:59

They analysed all the collisions. Then allocated them to,three groups - driver at fault/cyclist at fault/no fault, both at fault or unable to tell.

However if it suits you to believe that the Council and the Met are part of an anti-driver conspiracy you just carry on with that.

BoneyBackJefferson Fri 12-Jul-13 21:29:15

I don't believe that there is an "anti-driver" conspiracy, that is a fallacy that you have chosen to try and undermine the arguement that statistics are often twisted and misread for the purpose of bias.

As you have mentioned it what is the criteria to fit in to the three groups?

VinegarDrinker Fri 12-Jul-13 21:39:20

I'm not aware of that info being in the public domain, but if you google Westminster cycling strategy there is more detail of the accident analysis and results in the draft report.

WMittens Fri 12-Jul-13 21:40:28

AIBU to think it's high time motorists stopped this and thought about the fact that for every cyclist there is one less car or person squeezed on the overcrowded train system.

Yes, and I've addressed that point: it's bullshit.

One cyclist does not equate to one less car.

One less person on the 'overcrowded'* train system - what has that got to do with driving a car? Maybe I'm being a bit cold-hearted, but when I drive to work I don't really care if it's crowded on the train.

*Which certainly doesn't apply to train routes I travel on regularly, to Leeds and London at peak times.

BoneyBackJefferson Fri 12-Jul-13 22:01:53

VinegarDrinker

"Westminster cycling strategy" so nothing to gain from twisting stats there then? hmm

lets also not forget that rottentomatoes initial stance was that the stats (even though they are from one part of the country) were representative of all incidents in the country.

anyway NotYoMomma's post early on the thread pretty much sums it up for me.

VinegarDrinker Fri 12-Jul-13 22:21:36

Yes, as I said, the Council and Met clearly have a hidden agenda hmm

BoneyBackJefferson Fri 12-Jul-13 22:24:25

you are the one that keeps mentioning the local council and the Met, As far as I am aware they are a separate entity to the Westminster cycling strategy.

But as you are so sure that I believe in an anti-driver conspracy I will leave you to it.

VivaLeBeaver Fri 12-Jul-13 22:26:08

An interesting statistic… If one third of all short car journeys were made by bike, national heart disease rates would fall by between 5 and 10 percent (Bikes not Fumes, CTC, 1992). Info from BikeBiz.

VinegarDrinker Fri 12-Jul-13 22:29:14

It's Westminster Council's cycling strategy document,which references the Met's statistics.

Anyway I'm off to bed.

WMittens Fri 12-Jul-13 22:36:32

An interesting statistic… If one third of all short car journeys were made by bike, national heart disease rates would fall by between 5 and 10 percent (Bikes not Fumes, CTC, 1992). Info from BikeBiz.

The interesting thing about statistics is that they conveniently ignore real life, especially predictive statistics from studies funded by a party who has a vested interest in said prediction being true.

My DH is an avid cyclist and in reply to the OP, he often cycles to our destination while we go in the car, so no, that is one cyclist that would not mean another car on the road! grin
I love him dearly, but he is such an entitled cyclist - it's the only thing we really disagree on. He finds it funny when he counts the cars stuck behind him on the country roads and there are more than 40 of them. I think he should pull over and let them pass when there is a drive or somewhere convenient to do so. He says that he has as much right to be on the road as they have.
He doesn't jump the traffic lights - that's illegal, but he will weave in and out to get to the front of the queue.
Him and his friends will happily cycle two abreast, because they can do so legally. I think it shows consideration if they cycle single file.
There is a huge difference between legal obligation and consideration for other road users. If we all showed that consideration, whether in a vehicle, on a bike or as a pedestrian there wouldn't be a problem.

McGeeDiNozzo Sat 13-Jul-13 05:22:53

As a disabled pedestrian I am fucking sick to the back teeth of a minority of cyclists, which is far too significant a minority for me to keep quiet.

I have had one incident in my life where I was almost killed by a motorist. I have had upwards of fifty where I was almost seriously injured by cyclists (all men).

I am actually afraid of cyclists. If I see a bike coming towards me, I freeze like a frightened rabbit.

Motorists are a far greater danger to cyclists than cyclists are to pedestrians, but cyclists are enough of a danger to pedestrians for it to be a serious issue. This canard of 'but look at motorists and what THEY do!!' is evasive, doesn't address the real issue and has gone on long enough.

Sort your fucking act out.

McGeeDiNozzo Sat 13-Jul-13 05:23:50

I am so extreme on the issue as to believe that all cyclists should be required to get a proficiency licence before they can ride.

McGeeDiNozzo Sat 13-Jul-13 05:26:46

(My DP is actually an avid cyclist, and we've stopped discussing the issue because we know it will only lead somewhere bad. My opinion is hateful and ridiculous, of course, and I know it).

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 13-Jul-13 13:47:06

Justforlaughs

Highway code 169

"Do not hold up a long queue of traffic, especially if you are driving a large or slow-moving vehicle. Check your mirrors frequently, and if necessary, pull in where it is safe and let traffic pass."

you may also want to refer him to item 66 as well

but your husband is a dick

blobandsnail Sat 13-Jul-13 16:22:39

I disagree. I hate loathe, detest and would quite like to harm a lot of recreational cyclists!

I live in a beautiful part of the country with bendy roads which seems to attract the idiots in Lycra. Today was a prime example of why they irritate me. Driving home on a bendy road, two lyraists riding along two abreast taking the whole road. Not caring that to go round them cars, vans and HGV's have to go to the other side of the road and effectively give them enough space as if you were overtaking a car. This was unsafe due to the nature of the road. The visibility on this stretch of road is appalling and you only have to see the flowers along the road and the statistics on deaths there to see this. However despite this they carried on peddling merrily. I tooted my horn as an indication that they could surely go single file to make it easier for traffic to overtake. No, that was too difficult for them and instead I got the finger. If a car overtaking them had gone head on into an oncoming car (quite possible) would the cyclist be to blame? Yes! Would anything be done to them, no.

I've also have a lycraist go straight through a red light and into the side of my car at a junction. Because apparently red lights meant nothing to him. Neither did the dent in the side of my car!

When cyclists pay for insurance I might give them more respect. Until then they can get off the roads.

And for the record i am all for environmentally friendly methods of transport and healthy lifestyles . But selfish idiots on bikes do themselves no favours.

LustyBusty Sat 13-Jul-13 16:38:06

blob rule 163 of the Highway Code says "give motorcyclists, cyclists and horse riders at least as much room as you would when overtaking a car" so even if there was only one cyclist you would still have had to go onto the other side of the road. And if you had had a head on collision whilst overtaking the cyclist (1, 2, or 200) it would be YOUR fault because YOU were driving dangerously (overtaking whilst not being able to see)
<non cycling Highway Code reader here>

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 13-Jul-13 17:09:05

LustyBusty

Read rule 66

"You should

never ride more than two abreast, and ride in single file on narrow or busy roads and when riding round bends"

LustyBusty Sat 13-Jul-13 17:12:39

I didn't say the cyclists were in the right....! They were doing wrong. I don't disagree with that. What I do disagree with is blob saying "cars etc.... Had to effectively give them as much room as if it was a car". Which she should have been doing anyway, whether it was 1 or 2...

theodorakisses Sat 13-Jul-13 17:34:45

The Highway Code? As far as I can tell, motorcyclists are the only people who have read it.

Maya1974 Sat 13-Jul-13 17:55:52

A cyclist, trying to race an Audi Q5. As if.

VivaLeBeaver Sat 13-Jul-13 19:19:49

Through a busy city centre more than possible.

Down the A1 not so likely.

grin

WMittens Sat 13-Jul-13 22:11:11

BoneyBackJackson

The rules you quoted say "do not" and "should" which means they are not legal requirements, they are more like advice. Only HC rules which state "MUST" or "MUST NOT" are enforceable, although the other rules can help to determine liability.

Erato Sat 13-Jul-13 23:00:24

WMittens that's not true. The Highway Code intro says:

Many of the rules in The Highway Code are legal requirements, and if you disobey these rules you are committing a criminal offence. You may be fined, given penalty points on your licence or be disqualified from driving. In the most serious cases you may be sent to prison. Such rules are identified by the use of the words ‘MUST/MUST NOT’.

Although failure to comply with the other rules of The Highway Code will not, in itself, cause a person to be prosecuted, The Highway Code may be used in evidence in any court proceedings under the Traffic Acts (see The road user and the law) to establish liability. This includes rules which use advisory wording such as ‘should/should not’ or ‘do/do not’.

Erato Sat 13-Jul-13 23:02:11

In other words, the police can and do use the "should" clauses to penalise road users - eg that's why they can tow a car parked at a dropped curb.

WMittens Sat 13-Jul-13 23:12:02

Erato

Erm, that's exactly what I said.

How is towing a car the same as being prosecuted? hmm

WMittens Sat 13-Jul-13 23:13:36

From the very paragraph you posted:

Many of the rules in The Highway Code are legal requirements, and if you disobey these rules you are committing a criminal offence. {...} Such rules are identified by the use of the words ‘MUST/MUST NOT’.

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 14-Jul-13 09:10:16

WMittens

I have seen people made to pull over by the police for holdiong up traffic, whether they got fined or cautioned I have no idea.

But my post was in response to someone whose husband finds it funny to hold up traffic.

I believe that there is a statement in the HC that says something like
You should treat other road users with consideration, do you think that as it is only a piece of advice we should ignore it?

extremepie Sun 14-Jul-13 10:10:48

Clouds, just FWIW, I am in the 1% of cyclists who do not have a driving license (and never have done) so I don't CHOOSE to travel by bike to work - it is my only option. Unless you are suggesting that I rely on other people to give me lifts everywhere?

Since I don't really fancy walking 5.5miles each way to and from work, I take a bike. Especially after finishing an 11hr shift. Before you argue that I could take a bus....well, I can't. I live in a rural area where there is 1 bus in and out of the village and I finish work after the buses have stopped running! There are no cycle paths at all so I have to ride on the road (in a lot of places there are no pavements so I don't have that option!)

So I cycle because I have no other choice, and before you say that I choose not to drive, well, I suppose I do but I choose instead to pay my bills and rent, something that I could not afford to do if I had to fork out for : licences (provisional and full)
driving lessons
cost of car
fuel
insurance
MOT/other car maintainance payments etc..

Also, I do not cause a hold up when I cycle, nor have I ever caused an accident. I have several lights (including a spare in my bag in case of failure), always wear a high viz and I always stop at red lights.

So you can take your stupid generalisations and shove them up your exhaust :D Sorry to be rude my your comments really wound me up!

Funnily enough, I used to get a fair bit of abuse when I lived near London but since moving to a rural area I have had a single negative remark, no one hoots at me and they always leave me plenty of room when overtaking. It would be nice if drivers were like that everywhere smile

MrsFruitcake Sun 14-Jul-13 10:18:19

Most of the cyclist around here have death wishes and treat the roadds as if they were their own personal ones.

Living in a pretty village means that we get lots - the ones out for a Sunday pootle with their kids and then the ones wearing the proper Lycra gear. One of that variety shouted at me the other day when I drove up the lane and he came towards me on the other side of the road - I slowed right down and left lots of room for him to pass yet he still stopped the bike and called me a 'fucking posh bitch' which was surprising. What did he want me to do?

Erato Sun 14-Jul-13 10:33:48

Penalise and prosecute aren't the same I agree. But my point is that the 'should' clauses are far more than 'guidelines'. They may not be criminal or civil offences under the law but they are not optional in any way. The police can fine or otherwise penalise you for disobeying them (eg my car towing example, which is a should clause in the HC) or they can use them as evidence in a dangerous or negligent driving charge. It was your use of 'guidelines' that's incorrect.

WMittens Sun 14-Jul-13 10:52:39

Erato

But my point is that the 'should' clauses are far more than 'guidelines'.

Also from your copy and paste:
This includes rules which use advisory wording such as ‘should/should not’ or ‘do/do not’.

Key word: advisory - they are 'optional' in the sense there is no penalty for not following the advisory rules (apart from the aforementioned establishing liability) and therefore very little incentive to follow them (if a road user chooses not to).

I'm not suggesting they should be ignored, quite the opposite - everyone should learn, memorise and obey the HC, especially the part about consideration for other road users; however, I think it's important to understand what the HC is and what it is not (or rather its constituent rules). The main reason I read the HC (and Roadcraft, and exploring advanced driving training with IAM or RoSPA) is that I want to become a better driver, and would rather be a little part of the solution than part of the problem.

Erato Sun 14-Jul-13 13:09:37

Either they are optional, or they are not. Something cannot be slightly optional. Your summary "they are 'optional' in the sense there is no penalty for not following the advisory rules (apart from the aforementioned establishing liability)" is that they are optional, because as you say there is little incentive to follow them and people do not.

My point is that they are not optional, and that disobeying any or all of them can lead to (among other things) a prosecution for careless or inconsiderate driving. Someone breaking the 'should' clauses is not just being annoying and not a good person, they are actively disobeying the rules of the road, which causes danger to other road users. I'm really sick of the libertarianism and dislike of being told what to do that floats around the UK with regard to this kind of thing.

WMittens Sun 14-Jul-13 16:12:55

My point is that they are not optional, and that disobeying any or all of them can lead to (among other things) a prosecution for careless or inconsiderate driving.

And that is downright incorrect - read the paragraphs you posted again, it explicitly states what the fucking wordings mean.

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