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To not have overtaken these cyclists?

(52 Posts)
OhMrBadger Sun 02-Apr-17 13:26:18

I passed my driving test a short time ago and I'm slowly building up confidence, doing longer drives etc.

This morning I drove a route that takes an area of outstanding natural beauty. It's very hilly and the road is very windy so there are sections with double white line between lanes.

It's a beautiful day so there were loads of cyclists out and obviously labouring up the hills. I found myself at the front of a queue of traffic behind a cyclist.

I couldn't see clearly enough in front of me to be able to overtake safely. So I hung back until it was safe to go. But so many cars behind me were beeping! DH was in the passenger seat and said not to stress as I was doing the right thing.

This happened twice on the same stretch of road.

So now I'm back at home and fretting over it all. I'm replaying hideous head-on crash scenarios in my head or having to swerve back and knocking a cyclist off their bike.

So, WIBU to hold back until i was 100% sure it was safe to overtake?? Surely not?

ScarlettFreestone Sun 02-Apr-17 13:33:46

If you couldn't see to overtake then you were quite right to wait.

Never take a decision based on what some idiot in the car behind thinks, they can't see what you see.

khajiit13 Sun 02-Apr-17 13:35:41

From what you've described YANBU. I hate the pressure of being at the front of a queue in scenarios like you describe but try not to let it get to you. It could cause you to make snap seconds decisions that are just dangerous. You did the right thing.

shaggedthruahedgebackwards Sun 02-Apr-17 13:36:53

You did the right thing

Unfortunately there are a lot of motorists on our roads who would rather perform a risky overtaking manoeuvre than wait a few minutes until it's definitely safe

ivykaty44 Sun 02-Apr-17 13:38:44

If you killed a cyclist through people pressure you'd be doing a whole lot more than fretting.

Well done for driving safely and taking the lives of others seriously.

Cyclist are mums, dad's, sisters brothers, grandad, grandma's, uncles, aunts and they deserve to be treated with respect as you showed.

Spam88 Sun 02-Apr-17 13:39:40

If you weren't certain you could safely overtake then you shouldn't have overtaken - you absolutely did the right thing.

OhMrBadger Sun 02-Apr-17 13:39:44

Thank you. I'm an older new driver and I still have that 'playing with the big kids' feeling about it. I am definitely gaining in confidence but I'm naturally cautious.

Scarlett you are absolutely right. They probably had no idea it was a cyclist. Although, they would have already passed zillions of them!

willconcern Sun 02-Apr-17 13:41:24

I am a road cyclist and I wish all drivers were so considerate!

Jaynesworld Sun 02-Apr-17 13:42:49


Just imagine you overtook and a car which had children/babies inside was coming the other way. You could have been in a serious head on collision so you did the right thing. smile

Jaynesworld Sun 02-Apr-17 13:44:09

Completely forgot about the cyclists who would be seriously injured blush

wettunwindee Sun 02-Apr-17 13:44:52

Well done for not giving in to the pressure.

Maybe you were right, maybe wrong. Unless any of us were in exactly the same position as you, who knows. Even the car can make a difference ie. speed of overtaking.

Two things are for sure though, the people beeping behind you were in the wrong and no one was injured or worse because of your driving: at worst, people arrived somewhere a couple of minutes later than they may have.

Don't fret over it. You'll get confidence as you get experience: maybe confidence to have overtaken there, maybe confidence in your decision that it would have been dangerous.

Pigface1 Sun 02-Apr-17 13:46:22

OP, some drivers are prepared to die to save a few minutes (or even seconds). I'll never understand it.

I know exactly the kinds of roads and the situation you are describing and I can imagine exactly how you felt.

But you couldn't see clearly enough to overtake. So you didn't overtake. That is always, always the right thing to do. You don't need anyone on here to tell you what could have happened if something had been coming the other way!!

OhMrBadger Sun 02-Apr-17 13:48:08

Thank you all. I hate overtaking cyclist at the best of times as they are so vulnerable.

Gatehouse77 Sun 02-Apr-17 13:48:29

You stick to doing what you believe is the right thing, as you did. Hard as it can be sometimes, you have to ignore people who are trying to make you do something that feels wrong.

Your confidence will come in time and from knowing that you're doing it right.

MetalMidget Sun 02-Apr-17 13:49:09

You did the right thing. I've had similar happen when I've waited to overtake safely - anyone flashing and beeping is an arsehole who shouldn't have a license.

One of my mom's elderly neighbours was killed by a stupid, reckless driver who couldn't wait. She tried to overtake on a narrow road just before a bend and another car came from the other direction. She swerved to avoid a head on collision and knocked the neighbour off his bike. It was a really short road too - if she'd waited less than a minute, she would have been at the junction and he'd either gone in a different direction, or she'd have been on a long, wide and straight road with him, much easier overtake.

I still feel a painful sadness when I see his wife walking their dog alone.

ivykaty44 Sun 02-Apr-17 13:51:31

It amazes me motorists will sit in traffic like this for hours but can't wait behind a driver overtaking carefully for five minutes

ScarlettFreestone Sun 02-Apr-17 13:52:48

Don't let it put you off driving on country roads either Badger, it's a skill born of experience.

MarchEliza Sun 02-Apr-17 13:54:45

I am just learning myself and am not confident in judging distance so I avoid overtaking cyclists except on wide empty roads.

You were absolutely right - imagine how much more awful if you'd risked it, fluffed it and injured someone?? You'd never want to drive again.

wettunwindee Sun 02-Apr-17 13:56:42

I hate overtaking cyclist at the best of times as they are so vulnerable.

There's no need for that. Just leave a good gap (1.5m + ) and only pass when it's safe.

museumum Sun 02-Apr-17 14:01:28

A solid central line means that you shouldn't cross it to overtake.
On the type of road you describe it sounds like there wasn't room to overtake the cyclist safely without crossing the central line so you chose the right thing to do.

ChrisYoungFuckingRocks Sun 02-Apr-17 14:11:29

If it's not safe to overtake, then don't do it. Period.

I've been in your situation, as I'm sure most people have been. Pay no attention to the idiots behind you.

The thing I hate most is when one car at the back decides to overtake three cars and a truck in one go! Terrifying.

Acornantics Sun 02-Apr-17 14:11:56

On a daily basis I get beeped at for not overtaking cyclists in what I consider to be risky situations; unless I can see a clear straight road ahead, with space to overtake with at least a car's width between my car and the cyclist, then I ain't overtaking, no matter what the genius behind me thinks.

On a separate note, we live in an area populated by a brilliant network of cycle paths and it's really frustrating to see cyclists on a busy road when there's a dedicated cycle path running parallel to it; why do cyclists do this?

TheMysteriousJackelope Sun 02-Apr-17 14:13:34

You did absolutely the right thing.

The cars behind you didn't have the same view of the situation as you did. Trust me, when they got to the head of the line immediately behind the cyclists they would have had second thoughts too.

You will get this from time to time no matter how experienced a driver you are. I was trying to pull out into fast moving nearly bumper to bumper traffic in Orlando. The man behind me was laying on the horn. I guess he expected me to ram the cars in the road in front of me to make a space for myself. I have over 20 years of driving experience at that point and it made me uncomfortable too. I really wanted to go back and ask him if he needed help as he was emitting distress calls, or if he seriously expected me to kill myself and my children just so he could get to Disney a few minutes earlier?

limitedperiodonly Sun 02-Apr-17 14:15:11

It may well have been safe to overtake, but you're a new driver, so it's understandable that you were nervous. With more experience, you'll know when and where to go past cyclists with safety.

I've been driving since 1984 and one of the first things I learned after a very nasty near miss that someone forced me into, was to ignore impatient bastards behind me. We were all novices once.

Frankley Sun 02-Apr-17 14:15:44

I live in an area of AONB with narrow roads (and lovely views). Groups of cyclists appear every weekend all over the area. I have learnt to avoid using my car at weekends and make sure I do my shopping in the week.
What you can do is pull over and let all the cars following you pass. Then see how long it takes the first one of them to pass the cyclist!

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