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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.

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.

Justforlaughs Fri 12-Jul-13 22:51:12

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


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


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.


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


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


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


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
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


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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