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To always wait for a very big gap to overtake cyclists

(116 Posts)
ladymabel Sat 26-May-18 16:49:42

My question - how do mumsnetters overtake cyclists? I’m a new driver. There’s loads of cyclists where I live on both the urban and country roads. They give me the heebie jeebies.

People ahead of me overtake them with ease without crossing the centre line but I just can’t do that. I have to wait for a big gap ahead and go into the other lane to overtake.
I only drive a small car! Is this something I should continue to do or do I majorly need to assess my spatial awareness.
I know you shouldn’t pass them on blind bends but even on a slight bend I won’t overtake as it just doesn’t feel safe to me.
I actually feel cyclists should ride in the middle of the road so everyone would treat them like passing cars.
Tips and hints welcome

underthestarcover Sat 26-May-18 16:50:34

Bbcrgfvvb vg

Ruffian Sat 26-May-18 16:53:47

Don't post with your mouth full underthestarcover

CruCru Sat 26-May-18 16:54:16

Yes, please leave a nice big gap when you overtake cyclists.

MrsHathaway Sat 26-May-18 16:54:21

I learned to drive in a cycling city (as a cyclist). I was taught to pass a cyclist as though they're as wide as a car as they might wobble or swerve to avoid a drain, pothole or broken glass.

That's not always completely practical, but it's a useful way to think about it. Cyclists can be irritating but they're very vulnerable compared to cars and deserve the courtesy of another foot or two of space.

bluerunningshoes Sat 26-May-18 16:54:45

that's exactly how you should do it. don't get into bad habits overtaking cyclists (motored or not) too close.

jamoncrumpets Sat 26-May-18 16:55:00

Biiiiig gap. I'm in a fast metal box, they're not.

FourEyesGood Sat 26-May-18 16:55:05

I’m cautious too. Cyclists should always be given a wide berth (I read that it should be a space as wide as a standard car). Much better to wait and annoy drivers behind you than risk the safety of the cyclist (and you).

randomsabreuse Sat 26-May-18 16:55:41

On a wide road you may not need to cross into the other lane, provided you can give the cyclist as much space as you would a car - about 1.5 metres is good.

Bends - depends on the direction and if you can see - so hedges/trees close to the road = bad, flat grass = good - but be ready and looking so you can go when you can see the road is clear. Sit wide when looking to overtake a cyclist because it shows cars behind you are trying to overtake so they might not overtake you either not seeing (or caring about) the cyclist.

Don't necessarily trust the cyclist- you are responsible!

alittlequinnie Sat 26-May-18 16:56:40

You are supposed to wait until you can go into the other lane to overtake a cyclist.

The highway code shows a picture of just this.

The police in the midlands are highlighting close overtakes I think by stressing a policeman should be able to stand in between the bike the car overtaking it.

I am usually the person on the bike and time and time again people overtake me close enough for me to touch.

Keep overtaking wide - don't be intimidated into trying to squeeze past.

GreatDuckCookery Sat 26-May-18 16:57:40

Take your time, don't be hurried by drivers behind you and leave an adequate space when passing. I understand it's scary when you've just passed your test but it gets easier with time.

Just remember how vulnerable a cyclist is and that being as careful as possible is what matters the most.

rememberthetime Sat 26-May-18 16:58:35

I was taught to give as much space as physically possible - Ie go to other side of the road.

My driving teacher's son was killed by a driver overtaking him when he was on his bike and not giving enough room. the driver clipped him and killed him. So my instructor was particular about this. Understandably.

Spudlet Sat 26-May-18 16:58:59

As a cyclist, may I thank you? Far too many people squeeze past me on country lanes, even when I have a small child on the back - I always smile at the (also many) people who give us space as it is appreciated!

Basically, my practice when driving is to give the cyclist as much room as I possibly can and not to squeeze past. If that means waiting, I'd rather wait than try and squeeze by and scare, or worse still hit, a very vulnerable road user. Always remember that a cyclist may be affected by the road surface or the wind far more than you and could easily wobble sideways - especially if the bike has luggage or a child on board. Give them the space to do so without being in danger of being hit.

As the driver it is your responsibility and also your prerogative to overtake when you judge it to be safe to do so and not before. As you gain experience your judgement will become honed and you may well feel comfortable overtaking in situations that as a new driver you would have avoided, but that shouldn't mean overtaking when it is unsafe. There are impatient arseholes on the road who won't like this. Let them get on with it. You have as much right to be there as anyone else.

Amanduh Sat 26-May-18 17:03:22

Yadnbu. I am not a new driver and yesterday down a v v bendy country lane at least 4 cars put themselves in a lot of danger. I won’t OT unless I have a big, big empty clear and wide stretch.
Three accidents there in a fortnight requiring hospitalisation.
Also people are twats

ladymabel Sat 26-May-18 17:03:38

It’s interesting to hear everyone’s responses.
Yesterday a few cars ahead of me were overtaking a cyclist on a busy B road into my local city. I stayed behind him and I’m glad I did - he kept moving out to avoid drains and if I’d overtaken him at that point it could have been a disaster.

Fadingmemory Sat 26-May-18 17:05:33

You are right to wait for a big gap. Ignore impatient drivers who are behind you. I always wait - have had a licence for over 40 years. Cyclists should not be or feel hemmed in. They may swerve to avoid something in the road or wobble. There are both cyclists and drivers who are inconsiderate or who ride/drive dangerously - you definitely do not sound like one of them.

Nothisispatrick Sat 26-May-18 17:05:51

I leave a big gap and wait until it's completely clear ahead, mainly because my car is a piece of shit and takes forever to speed up when overtaking.

Devilishpyjamas Sat 26-May-18 17:07:45

Don’t let impatient twats behind hurry you.

I was driving down a road once and a lorry overtook a cyclist when he couldn’t possibly have seen. I was coming the other way and had to slam my breaks on to avoid a head on with the lorry. I think the cyclist and I were swearing in unison.

Spudlet Sat 26-May-18 17:07:56

People are idiots. The other day, some guy driving a massive 4x4 towing a huge caravan overtook me and DS with probably less than a foot to spare, on a wide, straight road, on a windy day. If DS had chosen to reach out he'd have almost certainly hit us. I wonder if those few seconds that guy saved would have been worth hurting or even killing a toddler and his mum, while his daddy watched (we were a hundred yards or so from home and DH was on the front garden).

It makes me so, so angry.

Keep doing the right thing op!

imeanreally2 Sat 26-May-18 17:09:31

The Highway Code says you must give cyclists as much room as you would give a car and go onto the other side of the road to overtake.

I'm like you - I get very nervous and can't overtake cyclists if I would have to be close to them, it's dangerous apart from anything else. I also wait until I can clearly see the way ahead. It makes over drivers frustrated but I would rather be safe.

jasjas1973 Sat 26-May-18 17:10:52

Well done you!

Too many drivers treat cyclists (and for that matter horse riders too) as an inconvenience to their journey, rather than a real person, a dad, a mum, a son or daughter and who will be very seriously injured or die if you hit them.

evilgiraffe Sat 26-May-18 17:16:03

You're doing it right. From a driving and cycling perspective, thank you!

I always think if the cyclist should fall over sideways while I'm overtaking, I want to be far enough away that I won't run over their head.

BexConnor Sat 26-May-18 17:19:13

My driving instructor used to say something that still sticks me with many years later - if in doubt, don't.

In other words, if you aren't certain that you can overtake safely, then don't.

You are quite right to leave a big gap and not attempt to overtake on a bend when you can't see what's coming. And if you get some impatient sod behind you, just let them sit there until it's safe to pass the cyclist - better that they should feel momentarily 'held up' and annoyed than to risk someone's safety just to get past more quickly.

specialsubject Sat 26-May-18 17:21:44

yes, pass as if they are as wide as a car. if that means waiting, wait. anyone impatient behind you should have got their arse out of bed earlier.

KioraAdora Sat 26-May-18 17:26:30

I leave a huge gap.

I cringe when people overtake me and the bike on a blind bend confused


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