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Regarding my expectations of a cyclist?

(50 Posts)
MacaroniAndWalnut Thu 29-Nov-12 13:04:42

I drive to work along a long country road. The road is the link between two towns about 12 miles apart.

For the purposes of clarity, although not relevant to my question there is a cycle path along a disused railway that runs more or less parallel to the road along its entire length.

The road is very busy and fast but bendy with hidden dips. There are only two places where one can safely overtake, and during busy periods is it highly unlikely you can overtake at all. About one third along this road there is a junction controlled with traffic lights.

When there is a cyclist on the road it is clearly very difficult to safely pass, given that you should allow a cyclist as much room when overtaking as a car. So we drivers inch along behind the cyclist and every mile or so the first car manages to pass.

Then when we get to the junction, the four cars that have managed to overtake are stopped at the red light, and the cyclist passes the lot of them on the left, takes up position at the front of the queue, and when the lights change we resume our slow journey, and dice with death overtaking moves behind them.

AIBU to expect the cyclist to maintain their position in the queue of traffic?

Is there a reason they need to leave the junction from the white line, or could they not just hang on to their place as the fifth vehicle in the line?

badguider Thu 29-Nov-12 13:08:30

The problem is that if you try to maintain 'your place' in the queue as a cyclist most drivers just make a super-dangerous overtaking manouver as they start moving, and then the car behind can't see you because you're hidden by the one that's come alongside etc. etc. eventually you find yourself experiencing near death from being on the inside of a lorry when you weren't inside a lorry to start with.. it's MUCH safer normally to start from the front wher eyou can be seen.

On your road it would be better I guess to let cars that have passed earlier pass again but cyclists by habit mostly use the techniques they know are safest most of the time and maintaining your place in the queue is usually not safe.

scurryfunge Thu 29-Nov-12 13:09:15

They will be safer up front ahead of the traffic where they will be seen. Not sure why they are not using the cycle path though. Is it the same cyclist?

badguider Thu 29-Nov-12 13:15:30

The cycle path is likely to be covered in wet leaves which will then have frozen solid (if it's cold where you are as it is here) and will probably not be cleared or gritted by the council. It might be flooded or turned to mud too given recent weather. I use cycle paths but I ride a mountain bike, on a road bike they might be impassable.

thereonthestair Thu 29-Nov-12 13:15:40

Yes YABU. The cyclist is safer in the front of the traffic, that is the normal place for the cyclist at traffic lights. It can be very dangerous to be eslewhere. And while the cyclist possibly could or even should be on the cycle lane they are free to use the raod same as you are. Sorry

MacaroniAndWalnut Thu 29-Nov-12 13:17:17

ah, I do understand that about being safer at the front

But i would have thought undertaking on the left was a pretty dangerous manoeuver isn't it?

and being crazily overtaken buy frustrated motorists for the second time also dangerous (not me i hasten to add)

Not sure about the cycle path, perhaps it's muddy or something. my problem isn't that they're not on it, i am genuinely accommodating and respectful of cyclists, they have every right to be on the road and I want them to be safe

i just think it's rude to push in, and it seems a bit like they are pushing in. and doing a move that wouldn't be allowed if you were another car

Bestof7 Thu 29-Nov-12 13:21:43

The cyclist should do what every other slow vehicle should do out of courtesy to other road users: pull over periodically, where safe, to let faster traffic pass by. So you all crawl along behind, but not for the whole of the 12 miles. I doubt the cyclist will be aware of precisely which cars overtook by the time s/he reaches the junction.

FredFredGeorge Thu 29-Nov-12 13:24:45

MacaroniAndWalnut The filtering on the left - it's not overtaking as the cars are not moving - is not too unsafe. However as described on your road I would not filter to the front, it is as you say rude. I would maintain a central position in the road to discourage any dangerous overtaking (which I do not see much of) and continue in my existing position.

Cyclepaths in the UK are designed for a maximum speed of 12mph, so assuming your cyclists are going faster than that - almost certainly - then they need to be on the road to be safe.

cumfy Thu 29-Nov-12 14:27:59


Is the penny not dropping that you are not getting anywhere faster since the cyclist is catching up at the lights ?

lljkk Thu 29-Nov-12 14:35:45

LOL @ Cumfy.

I suppose if it was a tractor none of these drivers could get past, anyway. Ever.

If there are cross roads at all then the cycle path will stop and force users (cyclists) to give way at each and every road junction. It is profoundly irritating if the regular road does not also stop to give way at each of those junctions, too.

As a cyclist I like to get in front because then everyone knows I'm there. They can bloomin' well see me. Staying stuck in a queue of traffic (aside from the lovely fumes I get to breathe!) means that someone will try desperately to get by as quick as possible; trying to create road space that doesn't exist. By asserting my position on the road I think I make things safer for all because it's harder to pretend I don't take space on the road.

It's a tricky one & I do see where you're coming from, but there's no ideal solution. If all drivers were usually careful about overtaking (ha!! Not just passing cyclists, but overtaking in any situation), then I would happily as a cyclist keep my position in the queue.

Alisvolatpropiis Thu 29-Nov-12 18:33:50

I think cyclists are safer being ahead of the traffic at lights in all fairness.

I do hate it when they don't actually stop for red lights but them going in front doesn't bother me. I'd rather they be where I can see them,safer for everyone involved.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 29-Nov-12 18:40:30

YABU to expect that cyclists might consider anyone else on the road instead of only themselves. They just don't.

GrendelsMum Thu 29-Nov-12 18:43:57

Cyclepaths are a lovely idea but in practice they're often rather poorly maintained. The one near us is also unfortunately not terribly safe - I've actually had three cars hit me while I've been on the cycle path, which has got to be quite an achievement!

AThingInYourLife Thu 29-Nov-12 18:51:35

"Is the penny not dropping that you are not getting anywhere faster since the cyclist is catching up at the lights?"


Also, if they were all doing the journey by car, that would presumably cause congestion.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 29-Nov-12 19:05:36

Maybe the car drivers hope they will get through the lights before the cyclist gets there? Maybe they just want to be able to drive their car quicker than they could run?

joanbyers Thu 29-Nov-12 19:10:35

ooh, a cyclist bashing thread. We get one about every two weeks.

Jolly good stuff.

psychomum5 Thu 29-Nov-12 19:17:56

I have been known to shout out the window to cyclist to use the cycle path. Especially near to us on a short stretch of a dual carraigeway, that is actually to narrow to be a safe one, but too wide to be single lane. There is a cycle path on the pavement, so less than two feet away from many of the cyclists.

one was killed there recently, and he was on the road. Had he been on the pavement cycle bit he would never have been killed.

It pisses me off no end. It is not safe for the cyclist to be on the road, hence the cycle path, and it is also unsafe for the cars trying to avoid said cyclist.

aroomofherown Thu 29-Nov-12 19:24:25

YABU to expect that cyclists might consider anyone else on the road instead of only themselves. They just don't.

Oh outraged its so unfair and inaccurate to make such a sweeping statement.

WilsonFrickett Thu 29-Nov-12 19:24:39

Oh come on psycho. A car hit a cyclist but it's the cyclists fault for being on the road in the first place? Nothing to do with the car at all?

Some cycle paths are poorly maintained, very tricky to use at this time of year due to build up of damp leaves, etc. and they're often used by pedestrians too, which is fine if you're out for a tootle, not if you're trying to get to work at a reasonable speed.

GrendelsMum Thu 29-Nov-12 19:25:16

Unfortunately cycle paths aren't particularly safe in my experience. As I said, I've been hit 3 times by cars on cycle paths, and come off once when I hit a badly maintained bit of pavement. And we're in a town that's considered unusually good for cycling!

natation Thu 29-Nov-12 19:37:32

Ahem most roads are not unsafe, however many roads are made unsafe by cars, lorries not taking into consideration that they are driving huge pieces of metal which at even at low speed can knock over and kill cyclists.

Roads are for bikes, motorbikes, cars, lorries, buses. I absolutely detest it when anyone writes roads are not for cyclists.

psychomum5 Thu 29-Nov-12 19:38:56

I wasn;t the cars fault, that was proven. The cyclist swerved around a drain, the car was unable to swerve due to a lorry next to it, and it was actually to short a time to react, and the road is a narrow dual carraigeway.

if the cyclist had been on the pavement, which is actually VERY wide to allow both pedestrians and cyclist, it would not have had to swerve.

ergo, use the sodding path!!

Cycle paths aren;t made to look pretty, they are there for the safety of ALL road users.

I cycle, and I know how idiotic cars can be, as are many cyclist who feel they have more rights.

I just do not get anyone putting the convenience of the road over their safety.

MavisG Thu 29-Nov-12 19:40:41

The fumes alone are enough reason to filter to the front.

GrendelsMum Thu 29-Nov-12 19:43:27

Well, unfortunately as we've said, the cycle paths are often not particularly safe.

Sadly, you can end up in hospital from an accident on a cycle path, just as you can from an accident on a road. I know that from personal experience, and it's made me very wary about assuming that cycle paths are safe.

psychomum5 Thu 29-Nov-12 19:45:16

walking isn;t safe either I find. Those pesky cyclists and cars and lorries. They just get in the way when I want to walk where I please...

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