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  • FIRST POST
    • sdavies13
    • By sdavies13 3rd Oct 13, 8:19 AM
    • 100Posts
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    sdavies13
    Biggest Threats to Cyclists?
    • #1
    • 3rd Oct 13, 8:19 AM
    Biggest Threats to Cyclists? 3rd Oct 13 at 8:19 AM
    In the build-up to my commuting by bike had loads of people warn me about car, lorry and bus drivers, but have to say apart from a couple of near misses the biggest threats to me have been other cyclists and pedestrians!

    As an example twice whilst riding home last night I had pedestrians step out in front of me at crossings. The lights had changed to green, I had started peddling, there's traffic moving behind me and people STILL stepped out into the road!

    One case the guy was too busy messing with his phone to notice (I hadn't seen him as he stepped from behind a couple who were waiting) and although I braked and swerved to avoid him I nearly came off due to the clipped in pedals.

    The second, same scenario but in this case the guy had stopped then decided he had right of way and stepped into my path. Again managed to avoid but sure got the adrenaline flowing!

    Other case are other cyclists. So far have been hit twice by other cyclists. First was a guy coming up behind me on a rise where the path was constricted. I lost my balance and hit a wall on my side, he picked himself up, swore at me for being in his way then peddled off. Second was a cyclist overtaking on a cycle path when there was oncoming bikes then quickly swerved to avoid them, knocking my front wheel which affected my balance (thankfully no pedestrians on the pavement alongside otherwise I would have hit them as I tried to regain my balance).

    OK I'm no Bradley Wiggins, but surely other cyclists can be a bit more patient with me and wait until it is safe to pass?

    I'll admit I have weaved a couple of times, though thankfully not when anyone's been near me. Either I wasn't concentrating or was going too slow up a rise.

    I dunno, maybe I'm just too cautious and being an aggressive biker is the correct way to be...
Page 3
    • kerri gt
    • By kerri gt 7th Oct 13, 8:09 PM
    • 8,212 Posts
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    kerri gt
    I have no issue sharing the road with cyclists, what does annoy me is those which dress from head to toe in black, and then have no lights on their bikes to boot - then wonder why drivers find it difficult to see them in the dark.

    If motor vehicles drive around with no lights on, they get pulled by the police. Cyclists, you can see motors because of their lights, they can't see you if you don't have any.
    Feb 2015 NSD Challenge 8/12
    JAN NSD 11/16


    • hugheskevi
    • By hugheskevi 7th Oct 13, 8:40 PM
    • 2,362 Posts
    • 3,162 Thanks
    hugheskevi
    I'm a bit surprised that other cyclists seem to have had incidents caused by other cyclists.

    In over 10,000 miles of commuting in central London I've only ever had 1 near miss with another cyclist, and that was primarily due to silly infrastructure design.

    Few non-obvious things I've found worth thinking about for new cyclists:
    • Beware complacency - it is very easy to concentrate less on quieter roads which can lead to bad things happening
    • The dangers are different at speed than they are for slower cyclists. I cycled very slowly a few days this year due to cycling after rowing in the gym and the roads feel completely different than if you are riding fast
    • Vehicles never stop for no reason in the road - always be extremely cautious if there are odd road conditions and you don't know why
    • Even if you don't do any other maintenance, make sure your brakes are always in top condition and you understand how they work and are adjusted
    • If you notice a driver making a poor decision, stay well away from them. Most likely they will continue to make poor decisions/drive aggressively/chat on their phone, etc
    • Adjust your speed according to conditions - faster acceleration can avoid issues such as cars squeezing past inappropriately
    • Research winter cycling gear well and work out what you want most (different folks seem to feel cold in different places). Spending more on some pieces of gear will be well worth it.
    • Don't underestimate just how much worse wet conditions can make your braking
    • Speed bumps can be lethal - cars will overtake you and immediately brake and swerve left into your path to go around them, be ready for it
    • Don't argue with drivers/cyclists/pedestrians. There really isn't any point.
    • If you are a slow cyclist, that's fine. Just don't go 10 yards past the stop line at lights and force everyone to go around you
    • In wet conditions, avoid all paint on the road as it can be extremely slippery. Red lines seem particularly bad.
    Last edited by hugheskevi; 07-10-2013 at 8:43 PM.
    • Kite2010
    • By Kite2010 7th Oct 13, 8:59 PM
    • 4,170 Posts
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    Kite2010
    Cyclists' biggest threat is bike registration plates if the government decides enough is enough and want to clamp down on anti-social cycling. Each bike to have it's own number plate in which to track the owner so if it gets spotted jumping a red light or riding on a pavement a fine can be sent out.

    Freedom will be lost
    • Marco Panettone
    • By Marco Panettone 8th Oct 13, 7:56 AM
    • 641 Posts
    • 733 Thanks
    Marco Panettone
    Cyclists' biggest threat is bike registration plates if the government decides enough is enough and want to clamp down on anti-social cycling. Each bike to have it's own number plate in which to track the owner so if it gets spotted jumping a red light or riding on a pavement a fine can be sent out.

    Freedom will be lost
    Originally posted by Kite2010
    No it won't.

    Firstly, it'll never happen. It hasn't ever happened anywhere in the world and it's unlikely this country will take any lead where cycling is involved. Secondly, to make it happen is prohibitively expensive will little gain or change in behaviour. There are plenty of cars with registration plates that are driven dangerously, let alone anti-socially, with no actual enforcement of most laws.

    Also, freedom isn't gained from being able to behave like an idiot on a bike - it's gained from being in control of your journey. You very rarely sit in traffic. Journeys almost always take the same time no matter when you make them (give or take 2 minutes) and once you own you bike there are no additional payments to make.
    It's only numbers.
    • Cycrow
    • By Cycrow 8th Oct 13, 9:05 AM
    • 2,601 Posts
    • 1,474 Thanks
    Cycrow
    No it won't.

    Firstly, it'll never happen. It hasn't ever happened anywhere in the world and it's unlikely this country will take any lead where cycling is involved.
    Originally posted by Marco Panettone
    actually, thats not entirely true, it has happened in other countries, the swiss did but has since been scrapped, because it was unworkable and too expensive to run.
    • Marco Panettone
    • By Marco Panettone 8th Oct 13, 10:03 AM
    • 641 Posts
    • 733 Thanks
    Marco Panettone
    actually, thats not entirely true, it has happened in other countries, the swiss did but has since been scrapped, because it was unworkable and too expensive to run.
    Originally posted by Cycrow
    I stand corrected.

    Anything that's too expensive and difficult to administer for the Swiss has no chance anywhere else!
    It's only numbers.
    • Norman Castle
    • By Norman Castle 8th Oct 13, 12:29 PM
    • 8,783 Posts
    • 7,678 Thanks
    Norman Castle
    Cyclists' biggest threat is bike registration plates if the government decides enough is enough and want to clamp down on anti-social cycling. Each bike to have it's own number plate in which to track the owner so if it gets spotted jumping a red light or riding on a pavement a fine can be sent out.

    Freedom will be lost
    Originally posted by Kite2010
    In the unlikely event of this happening it would only effect anti social cyclists. Cycling on the pavement is accepted if done safely.

    On 1st August 1999, new legislation came into force to allow a fixed penalty notice to be served on anyone who is guilty of cycling on a footway. However the Home Office issued guidance on how the new legislation should be applied, indicating that they should only be used where a cyclist is riding in a manner that may endanger others. The then Home Office Minister Paul Boateng issued a letter stating that:
    “The introduction of the fixed penalty is not aimed at responsible cyclists who sometimes feel obliged to use the pavement out of fear of traffic and who show consideration to other pavement users when doing so. Chief police officers, who are responsible for enforcement, acknowledge that many cyclists, particularly children and young people, are afraid to cycle on the road, sensitivity and careful use of police discretion is required.”
    Almost identical advice has since been issued by the Home Office with regards the use of fixed penalty notices by ‘Community Support Officers’ and wardens.
    Last edited by Norman Castle; 08-10-2013 at 12:38 PM.
    Don't harass a hippie. You'll get bad karma.

    Never trust a newbie with a rtb tale.
    • matelodave
    • By matelodave 8th Oct 13, 1:13 PM
    • 4,736 Posts
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    matelodave
    I don't think most people have any issue with youngsters riding on the footway is the head-down bum up brigade who try blatting their way through the pedestrians and those that swerve off the road to nip across junctions at pedestrian crossings that should have their wheels confiscated. Like wise those who cycle through pedestrian areas without using a bit of common sense and keeping their speed down and expecting everyone else to get out of their way should expect a large swinging fine.
  • mochynbach
    I'd say some of the biggest threats to cyclists are (there are many, but these are the ones that come top of my list at the moment):
    a. non-cyclist car drivers who are ignorant to cyclists vulnerabilities on the road and how their driving can be a danger, don't care about their vulnerability on the road because they are a hindrance or don't treat a cyclist like a legitimate road user

    b. Bad (inexperienced), and dangerous cyclists (those who choose to ignore the rules), they give the rest of us a bad name and those are the ones non-cyclist car drivers remember

    c. Pot holes
    • 007stuart
    • By 007stuart 9th Oct 13, 8:25 AM
    • 44 Posts
    • 63 Thanks
    007stuart
    Six months ago I was cycling downhill, pass parked cars and a junction at 25 mph on a 30 mph road with a car six feet behind me. Very dangerous for me. The following car then insisted on overtaking despite it being obvious they would only be joining the back of a traffic queue where I passed them seconds later. Too many motorists fail to understand the duty of care expected when driving. The UK driving licence is to easy to get and keep.
    Originally posted by Norman Castle
    I hope you could safely stop at that speed. Perhaps cyclists over estimate their ability. Remember most cars can go faster than the speed limit but the limit is there for safety of all road users.
    • Norman Castle
    • By Norman Castle 9th Oct 13, 2:13 PM
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    Norman Castle
    ^ I hope I could stop at that speed. I checked today, 18 mph is normal for me on that road. 99% of my rides will be at probable 8-10 mph. I was doing 25mph because I was aware of the car behind and was trying to avoid slowing them. I know if I had braked the car would not have any time to react.
    I had a similar problem this weekend. Another daft woman trying to overtake and undertake. Six feet behind me at 25-30 mph for 1/4 mile. This time it was just a distraction as I had 8 feet of car behind me. Some drivers have little interest in driving safely.
    Don't harass a hippie. You'll get bad karma.

    Never trust a newbie with a rtb tale.
    • armyknife
    • By armyknife 9th Oct 13, 2:41 PM
    • 592 Posts
    • 2,502 Thanks
    armyknife
    ^ I hope I could stop at that speed. I checked today, 18 mph is normal for me on that road. 99% of my rides will be at probable 8-10 mph. I was doing 25mph because I was aware of the car behind and was trying to avoid slowing them. I know if I had braked the car would not have any time to react.
    I had a similar problem this weekend. Another daft woman trying to overtake and undertake. Six feet behind me at 25-30 mph for 1/4 mile. This time it was just a distraction as I had 8 feet of car behind me. Some drivers have little interest in driving safely.
    Originally posted by Norman Castle
    Ever get the feeling you're a distraction to some, like a fly to be swatted out of the way ?
    • dawny10
    • By dawny10 12th Oct 13, 6:15 PM
    • 243 Posts
    • 84 Thanks
    dawny10
    This.

    The amount of times I have been abused by drivers for taking primary because they simply don't understand why i'm doing it is shocking.
    Originally posted by AndyBSG
    Absolutely. There are obviously the drivers that don't/wont care and always be dangerous but I think the majority just dont understand becuase they don't cycle and no-one has told them. Same for trying to overtake by squeezing past cyclists on the same side of the road - most of the people doing it dont understand how dangerous and scary it is for the cyclist. A lot of it is ignorance rather than malice.

    Regarding biggest dangers I am scared witless by HGVs - I'm prepared to take my chances with cars around town at 30mph or less but a moments inattention by a lorry driver and its game over for me. I've twice had to dive out of the way to avoid going under the wheels of large vehicles and it makes me feel sick even thinking about it.
    • 1886
    • By 1886 12th Oct 13, 6:48 PM
    • 492 Posts
    • 431 Thanks
    1886
    Lorries are without a doubt the single biggest risk to any cyclist.

    Last year 106 cyclists died in Britain as a result of an accident involving a vehicle, a record high, and 25 of those deaths were caused by HGV's.

    So they were responsible for roughly a quarter of all cyclist deaths despite HGV's only making up 4% of the traffic on the roads.
    Originally posted by AndyBSG
    I agree that HGV's are a threat to cyclists but not because of the way lorry drivers drive, more the fact that lorries have huge blind spots and cyclists insist on riding down the inside of lorries whilst at lights. Lorry pulls away, turns left and takes out the cyclist.

    I think alot of cyclists are there own worst enemy. For the record I am both a cyclist and a car driver, I also have a class 2 HGV licence but am not using it for a living anymore
    • Marco Panettone
    • By Marco Panettone 12th Oct 13, 11:16 PM
    • 641 Posts
    • 733 Thanks
    Marco Panettone
    The HGV thing is difficult. Yes, some cyclists ride up the inside and put themselves in danger. However, many of the cyclists killed by left-turning lorries (in London, at least) have not. Drivers wildly underestimate the speed of cyclists and the time it takes to overtake safely. They underestimate how quickly they can make a left hand turn. If large vehicles do not indicate it is impossible to know they are wanting to turn, and when they swing to the right before moving left it opens up a wide, apparently safe gap for unwitting cyclists to get caught in. Education (of everyone) is definitely the key, along with infrastructure improvements to provide integrated segregation for those who want to use it.

    As for the vehicle that scares me the most - skip lorries.
    It's only numbers.
    • somethingcorporate
    • By somethingcorporate 13th Oct 13, 12:09 AM
    • 9,119 Posts
    • 8,806 Thanks
    somethingcorporate
    Very interesting debate here.

    I am not a cyclist in a long while but want to get back into it at some point. From a drivers POV ignorant and inattentive cyclists are a concern (as are drivers of the same ilk). I have had cyclists ride right onto a roundabout without checking if anything was coming. I honked my horn and he seemed surprised to see me!
    Thinking critically since 1996....
    • brat
    • By brat 13th Oct 13, 1:31 PM
    • 2,458 Posts
    • 3,112 Thanks
    brat
    From a drivers POV ignorant and inattentive cyclists are a concern (as are drivers of the same ilk). I have had cyclists ride right onto a roundabout without checking if anything was coming.
    Originally posted by somethingcorporate
    Cyclists will often take motorists by surprise at junctions because they can often negotiate give ways at a faster pace than motorists. That doesn't mean that the motorist has taken the cyclist by surprise.

    I honked my horn and he seemed surprised to see me!
    He may just have been irritated by your use of the horn as an unnecessary admonishment.
    Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler.
    • liz545
    • By liz545 13th Oct 13, 3:50 PM
    • 1,713 Posts
    • 16,706 Thanks
    liz545
    Yes, some cyclists ride up the inside and put themselves in danger. However, many of the cyclists killed by left-turning lorries (in London, at least) have not. Drivers wildly underestimate the speed of cyclists and the time it takes to overtake safely. They underestimate how quickly they can make a left hand turn. If large vehicles do not indicate it is impossible to know they are wanting to turn, and when they swing to the right before moving left it opens up a wide, apparently safe gap for unwitting cyclists to get caught in.
    Originally posted by Marco Panettone
    Agreed - there was an incident near me a couple of months ago where it seems an HGV made a left turn from the right hand lane, across the path of a cyclist in the bus lane to his left. It remains to be seen whether the driver indicated, but in this case neither party was really 'in the wrong' as such - the driver couldn't have been in the bus lane, and the cyclist couldn't have known that the driver was going to turn. Good Dutch-style bike paths and restricting HGV movements at the busiest times are really the only way around this issue - training and awareness campaigns aren't enough.

    As for the vehicle that scares me the most - skip lorries.
    Originally posted by Marco Panettone
    Hell yes. Any vehicle that's paid by load is likely to be driven dangerously. Also rental vans, where the driver may not be used to driving a van, foreign reg coaches, and tour buses. Just stay the hell away at all times!
    2015 comp wins - 370.25
    Recent wins: gym class, baby stuff
    Thanks to everyone who posts freebies and comps!
  • shammyjack
    Take a look at this certifiable idiot !
    • dawny10
    • By dawny10 13th Oct 13, 8:10 PM
    • 243 Posts
    • 84 Thanks
    dawny10
    .



    Hell yes. Any vehicle that's paid by load is likely to be driven dangerously. Also rental vans, where the driver may not be used to driving a van, foreign reg coaches, and tour buses. Just stay the hell away at all times!
    Originally posted by liz545
    And anything towing. People seem to forget they've got something on the back, overtake (giving plenty of space) then pull back in once the car or cab has cleared the bike, but not the trailer. So you have the trailer coming closer and closer as the back wheels 'straight line' to the front. Last thing that did this to me was an oil tanker - I was literally just about to throw myself onto the pavement as the end of the trailer passed me - must have been mere inches from me by then. Not nice.
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