/ Pair of cyclists last weekend in Glossop
IMO it is inconsiderate to cycle 2 abreast on a busy road.
i have nothing against cyclists as a rule. My son cycles at a serious club level, my brother is an almost full time cyclist who hand builds bikes. one of a few who can do that.
Also i don't spend hundreds of hours in the car. i avoid it as much as I can.
Email if you don't want to give away your surname on here. I can be trusted!
> IMO it is inconsiderate to cycle 2 abreast on a busy road.
I agree - I'd never do that with a line of 20 cars behind me. One of my pet hates that one. Takes 2 seconds to single-up and a few more seconds to let the cars pass. Give them a wave as they go past for being patient.
I've even been known to pull into a driveway or jump up onto the pavement for 50m when there's so many cars behind.
I also hate that feeling of being the outside rider when cars a brushing your elbow at speed.
(Caveat - If I didn't think it was safe for a car to pass even a single rider - I'd stay double until it was safe to do so - could have been the case here)
...who could have taken 20 seconds out of their ride to be more considerate to other road users and ride single file*.
Why-oh-why can't all road users realise we're vying for the same stretch of tarmac and a little more awareness wouldn't go amiss... you never know, it might even reduce road rage!
*assuming they were just being pedantic.
To me this is grey area.
It's considerate to pull in to single file but it may be that even then it isn't safe to overtake. You don't say what the traffic was like coming in the opposite direction (I'm assuming it *was* a two way road). Overtaking should only be done where it is safe to do so, and that means safe for you, the vehicle you are overtaking and potentially any vehicle travelling in the opposite direction.
Some cyclists are oblivious to what's around/behind them, unfortunately these are often those who have "an attitude". For a small group of cyclists pulling in to single file is the sensible thing to do. Once you get up to around ten then the single file may well be up to 30 metres in length and will actually be much harder to overtake. Depending on how well I knew the road then I'd be inclined to pull in.
Sometime car drivers are as bad - a car pulls up behind the group, a few moments later seeing that the way ahead is clear we wave them on, seconds pass then one of two things happens: they don't overtake and just sit there or they wait until approaching a blind bend/summit and then overtake often having to cut in because there's a vehicle coming the other way. Yes, I know that as a driver you shouldn't accept such signals as an indication to proceed but given that a vulnerable road user is saying "It's safe for you to pass me" then it's one of those times where I'd go for it.
I'd write a polite email to the club (assuming they have a web site) suggesting that they'd help improve car - bicycle relations by being considerate in such situations.
Now here's the right forum thread for you to have your fun with...
It's just that, it's the UPPER speed limit, not the mandatory minimum limit. You are allowed to use the road at speeds less than this figure.
Firstly, here’s the Highway Code’s view:
• ‘give motorcyclists, cyclists and horse riders at least as much room as you would when overtaking a car (see Rules 211 to 213 and 214 to 215).’
And here’s the Code’s advice to cyclists:
o never ride more than two abreast, and ride in single file on narrow or busy roads and when riding round bends...
o be considerate of other road users,’
So, if the road is wide and straight enough, there’s no reason not to wide two-abreast. But that is a pretty big if, particularly bearing in mind the geography of many popular riding areas.
Driving trucks gives another perspective: cycling on country A-roads is dangerous! We must be pragmatic about the speeds of vehicles and the visibility on these roads; being able to stop within the distance you can see to be clear is not a phrase given much credence by many road users. Combine a narrow, winding A-road, a truck and cyclist on the same bend both going the same direction and oncoming traffic—the potential for tragedy is very clear. So the cyclist should be considerate of others and not put him/herself at risk by cycling on unsuitable roads. I choose my routes so as to minimise the potential for conflict with other road users; I wish we all did this!
Shouldn’t drivers just make sure that they can stop within the distance they can see to be clear?
Two things to say about this: first, we must deal with the world we live in and not the world we wish we lived in. Secondly, relatively few drivers have sufficient awareness of their vehicles’ abilities or themselves have the skills to exploit those abilities. So, many drivers would not in fact be able to adhere to the stop within the distance you can see to be clear maxim, even if they wanted to. A driver who lacks these skills might be driving at an appropriate speed and still not stop in time; or he might—luckily—stop in time. Do we want to put our safety in his hands? Of course not—so don’t be the cyclist who puts his safety in the hands of others; pick an appropriate route!
> I agree - I'd never do that with a line of 20 cars behind me. One of my pet hates that one. Takes 2 seconds to single-up and a few more seconds to let the cars pass. Give them a wave as they go past for being patient.
I've generally in agreement with Enty here, but sadly there's no accounting for the impatient driver (usually in large 4X4) who will insist on overtaking cyclists on narrow country lanes even when visibility is restricted. On our club runs, the riders at the back will generally give a warning shout when they know vehicles are behind - and particularly if they can tell from the engine and road noise that an overtake is imminent.
Surely if there's not room to pass two cyclists riding two abreast - then common sense would dictate that there isn't room to pass one cyclist! Or are you condoning dangerous overtaking?
When you're overtaking slow moving traffic - be it cyclists, horses, tractors or anything else - you should be moving over into the next lane. (That may be the oncoming lane on a single-carriageway road or the overtaking lane on a dual-carriageway road.) You shouldn't try to squeeze past in the same lane as the slow moving traffic.
If you're driving properly you should find it easier to over take cyclists riding side-by-side then cyclists in single file! Cyclists riding side-by-side only take up the room of one bike. Where as if they ride in single file they'll take up the room of at least two bikes.
Though you do fail your driving test for holding up other traffic and for failing to make progress.
It's all about consideration. It's inconsiderate for a slower vehicle to build up a large queue for a long period if it has a safe option not to.
Listen. Its not about "right and wrong", or manners, its about the fact that you are in a half ton box of metal, and they are exposed, open to the world with no protection at all. They cycle like that to stop the cars passing dangerously close and fast, as they nearly always do. Once you have a line of cars behind you, pulling in to allow one past causes all the drivers to speed past, so that those behind think they are in a free flowing line of traffic. It is very common for passing lines of cars to be far too close and far too fast when passing cycists.
THEY ARE DOING THIS TO PROTECT THEIR LIVES. DO NOT EQUATE SELF PRESERVATION TO SOME NOTION OF MANNERS OR RIGHT AND WRONG.
They are slowing you down, you could VERY EASILY kill them. Have some sense
"THEY ARE DOING THIS TO PROTECT THEIR LIVES."
Most cyclists riding two abreast are mostly doing so to be sociable, not to protect their lives.
Cyclists should cycle in the primary position (well out from the kerb) where this is appropriate, but equally move in a bit where this is safe to allow overtaking in a smaller space.
It's all about consideration.
I have to disagree with you here as it depends on the road. I find it acceptable when cycling to be overtaken if the car/van/etc gives me roughly 1m of clearance. Now a lot of roads they can do this and still stay on the left side of the road. Add another cyclist riding outside of the other cyclist and you have added another 1.5m to that and the car can no longer safely pass.
I think Enty has pretty much nailed it with his answer tbh.
"When you're overtaking slow moving traffic - be it cyclists, horses, tractors or anything else - you should be moving over into the next lane. (That may be the oncoming lane on a single-carriageway road or the overtaking lane on a dual-carriageway road.) You shouldn't try to squeeze past in the same lane as the slow moving traffic."
Now join the real world, where there is limited road space. A low speed overtake in the same lane on a wide-ish A road (perhaps giving the cyclist 3' space to their right) is perfectly safe.
Zooming past at 60mph (or more) at that distance isn't.
It's all relative, and it absolutely is about consideration when sharing a piece of tarmac on which there really isn't enough space.
Do you wear a "one less car on the road" T-shirt too?
I agree with this.
2'-cyclist-3'-car is fine by me at a relatively low speed differential (which must be the case here as the car is stuck behind the cyclist, were that not the case they'd have zoomed past earlier on at speed).
2'-cyclist-2'-cyclist-3'-car may well not fit on the road and prevent the overtake.
Length isn't likely to be as much of an issue as a bicycle is quite short, but on a similar basis nose-to-tail chains of cyclists with no gaps on a public road might well want to consider if they should allow a lorry length or so between small groups to allow for overtaking only a few of them at a time.
I like those Honda ads - the ones that say "we're all in it together". Better that all road users co-operate to make the best possible use of the available road space than this irrational hate and anger that road transport seems to bring on.
> THEY ARE DOING THIS TO PROTECT THEIR LIVES. DO NOT EQUATE SELF PRESERVATION TO SOME NOTION OF MANNERS OR RIGHT AND WRONG.
Oh won't somebody think of the children! Horseshit!
No I don't. I just hate the tone of these Jeremy Clarkson types. Its always the same argument about cyclists being inconsiderate, or slowing traffic down. These people never consider how easy it is to kill someone using a car. It is very easy. You can't equate death to saving a few seconds off a journey.
I also rather like the way overtaking in places like India is a 3-party co-operation, with the vehicle wishing to overtake asked to sound their horn to indicate this, the vehicle being overtaken looking out, moving over and slowing, and any oncoming vehicles also making space.
Much more effective than what you see in the UK, which is the overtaking vehicle driving 6" off the back bumper of the one to overtake, the one to overtake putting their foot down as they do (particularly irritating on motorways, but really dangerous on single carriageways), prolonging the dangerous situation, and any oncoming traffic accelerating and flashing their lights.
> No I don't. I just hate the tone of these Jeremy Clarkson types. Its always the same argument about cyclists being inconsiderate, or slowing traffic down. These people never consider how easy it is to kill someone using a car. It is very easy. You can't equate death to saving a few seconds off a journey.
But no one is doing that!! All they are saying is a little consideration goes a long way. Most cyclists don't cycle two a breast for safety, its for social reasons or as peleton using the road as a race track.
FWIW I take the same view of tractors. But these tend to pull in to aid overtaking and the likes.
You appear to be tarring all motor vehicle drivers with the same brush. A car driver causing death or injury to another road user is a big problem. But we all have to share the roads, so we all have to be considerate.
As a cyclist, when you wish to prevent a dangerous overtake on a short stretch of road, move to the primary position. Cycling 2 abreast for long distances with a queue building up is inconsiderate.
Perhaps, if you wish not to be overtaken, you could consider pulling over for 30 seconds to allow traffic to pass when the queue gets too long? That is absolutely the safest option.
can you point me to the survey and evidence for this please?
Which is clearly what went on here - those riders knew they had a string of car behind them, chose to stay two abreast, and were clearly out to prove 'their' point (which is not in line with the advice in Hway Code).
I'm with Enty (06:56 Thu) in the way I ride on roads.
Enty's posting certainly seems considerate and measured. I definitely support his approach.
> I also rather like the way overtaking in places like India is a 3-party co-operation...
Yep, great road safety record in India, oh, wait...
I find it a lot easier and safer to overtake cyclists riding in single file; it's as simple as that.
When cycling I feel safer riding in single file.
There is no absolutely safest option. All will vary according to road conditions etc.
Take pulling over normally i will but there have been occasions where it is unsafe to do so (mix of the roadside being dubious and the driver thinking 2mm of the rear tyre is a good location).
> I also rather like the way overtaking in places like India
Going by the numbers I think I'd rather stick with the UK method.
I'd rather see a hybrid with some consideration on both sides. So UK rules with the overtaking driver a single point of responsibility, but none of the inconsiderate stuff e.g. people speeding up when being overtaken, and people on the other side of the road showing a bit of consideration if misjudged (we are human after all).
Generally they don't, cyclists get huge amounts of shit off drivers for just being on the same road, the majority of cyclists are just trying to cycle in the safest manner. Not all cyclists agree on how best to do that and most drivers don't appreciate that cyclist may tackle this issue in different ways.
A lot of the talk on here by drivers about cyclists being reasonable is basically the driver saying "get out of my way".
Sure there are bad cyclists out there, but there are a hell of a lot more bad drivers out there, simply because there are a lot more drivers on the road.
I remember watching that documentary about cyclists vs. drivers in London a while ago, forget what it was called. My overriding impression was that most of the cyclists and drivers featured were being equally idiots with no consideration for others.
Statistically you are correct, but there is fault on both sides. Road thinking needs to be "we all want to get somewhere safely", not "it's my road get lost".
Only giving a 3' gap is bloody dangerous! What happens if the cyclist has to manoeuvre to avoid a pot-hole (or at this time of year ice)? What if there's a cross-wind that blows the cyclists further out into the road. Suddenly that 3' gap is awfully narrow.
In the real world I don't expect every car to move completely over into the other lane - but I'd expect at least a 6' gap. When I took my driving test a few years ago my driving instructor told me a 6' cyclists needs a 6' gap to fall into - so give them at least 6'! Now that isn't in the highway code but it seems like common sense. Although I would add the caveat that most cyclists (hopefully) don't go around constantly falling off their bikes!
In the real world most road users do give about a 6' gap and there's absolutely no conflict with 99% of road users.
'On my first group rides, I was taught how to ride with others appropriately. As we pedalled along with our club mates, my father explained ride etiquette to me. On open roads, the group stays close to the shoulder. To allow cars to pass and to benefit from the riders’ slipstream, the group stays compact. It is often easier for cars to pass a group of cyclists who are riding two abreast near the road’s shoulder than a group, which is single file and much longer. We must be aware we are sharing the road with other traffic.'
Full article; http://michaelbarry.ca/2011/11/the-group-ride-2/
No more so than motorists going out of their way to antagonise cyclists.
I've had someone try to knock me off the bike by poking his walking stick out of the window, I had the passenger of a works van lean out and shout 'get off the road you f*cking tosser', people have tried to squeeze me off the road - at this point I was going at the same speed as the rest of the traffic, numerous cases of taxis pulling out in front of me or nearly t-boning me at junctions. I don't believe I had done anything to warrant their abuse, I'm well lit, bike is in good nick, I'll use bike lanes if they're available (precious few of them in Inverness though) and I don't jump red lights.
Lancashire is obviously not in the real world -- You're lucky up here if some give you 6"! I've almost been knocked off by the 'draught' from a passing motorist being tooooo close!
I generally find that most women drivers are very courteous and patient when passing cyclists, however put them behind the wheel of a 4x4, tag a horse box behind it, and they've no effing clue as to how much of the road they need when overtaking cyclists.
> No more so than motorists going out of their way to antagonise cyclists.
Arggh! Yes I know that. I am not saying drivers' behaviour towards cyclists is perfect or even particularly good on average but that doesn't mean cyclists shouldn't be more considerate. These threads always end up with cyclists defending inconsiderate if not illegal behaviour and then pointing at drivers doing the same. All I am saying is that since roads are used by walkers/cyclists/horses/drivers they should *all* try and accommodate each other. The general attitude from cyclists is to assume everyone else should accommodate them with no adjustment in their behaviour.
really? seems to be more people explaining why they would take a certain action and saying that its difficult to judge whether any particular situation (without video evidence) was down to someone being inconsiderate or safety minded.
damn, why hasnt anyone thought of that before.
ah so no evidence then. glad we have that sorted.
> damn, why hasnt anyone thought of that before.
It would appear (a proportion of) cylcists haven't.
Have you read the OP?
Personally feel that some cyclist hide behind the 'i'm protecting riders if i cycle two abreast' when they just do it through ignorance, to be selfish or to antagonize car drivers.
Don't see the harm in them pulling back into single file when they hear traffic behind.
I ride a bike and drive a car before anyone asks.
ermm yes. Now explain why two people equals general attitude.
> Have you read the OP?
I certainly have, it doesn't tell us a lot, other than the fact that the OP should perhaps go back and read the Highway Code more carefully.
"Yes of course you can ride 2 abreast, but not on a busy road. As you were doing well under the speed limit and there were a good 20 cars behind you and room to pass only one of you,"
indicates inconsiderate behaviour?
Not for the first time different parts of the highway code contradict each other, if it is not safe to pass a single cycle, remember the highway code says as much space as you would give a car, it doesn't matter if they are two abreast.
Further more we only have the OP judgement on the road conditions.
I would ask why he got a response from the cyclists, it wouldn't just be for overtaking, because even if they did say something, he would be away down the road and would not have heard it.
do you have a reading problem?
Sometimes it may be inconsiderate behaviour other times it is a safety decision. The problem is without knowing the exact road, conditions etc it is impossible to judge.
The consistent theme in the threads is that a lot of people dont understand the advised road positions etc and confuse that with inconsiderate behaviour.
Every group I've ridden in calls "car back" when a car is coming from the rear. Then, depending on the situation, forms into single file or pulls together closer as a group.
As regards OP, there's not enough information given to judge in this case.
6foot is a reasonable passing distance for reasons mentioned above. And this means 6foot all the way past BTW. the number of times a vehicle (usually a truck) has pulled round me, then cut in before passing me, usually because of oncoming traffic (not safe to pass in the first place), but often seemingly because they aren't aware, or don't care or are trying to make a point!
Anyway, there are no doubt idiot cyclists out there. Consideration is the key!!
Can't really comment on the cyclists intentions in this instance- they may have been 'inconsiderate t****' or perhaps they were trying to make themselves as safe as possible in a fairly dangerous environment. Were cars coming from the other direction? This makes a big difference to cyclists. An overtaking vehicle with oncoming traffic who finds space is tighter than anticipated is highly likely to steer into the cyclists rather than risk a collision with a lorry coming the other way.
I often stop to let motorists pass or if on a mountain bike, mount the pavement to let them go but if I thought someone might overtake v close to me or possibly hitting me due to oncoming traffic I would stay well away from the curb & anticipate road rage.
"In the real world most road users do give about a 6' gap and there's absolutely no conflict with 99% of road users."
If I am overtaking and there is space to do so I will pull fully over into the other lane as if it were a car I was overtaking. But sometimes it is necessary, to avoid impeding progress of lots of motorists, to execute a closer overtake at a much lower differential speed.
It's like the "stop in the distance you can see to be clear" ideal. Ideally, everyone would drive such that the car in front could suddenly suffer a catastrophic mechanical failure and stop instantly, as that *could* happen (or the cyclist in front could fall off). But almost nobody (including many cyclists in cities where they can be the fastest vehicle) actually does that because the roads are too full.
I'm happy with you overtaking me in your car with me cycling and you leaving a 3' gap, personally. Better than so many drivers that leave far less.
But even so, 2'+cyclist+2'+cyclist+6' is wider than 2'+cyclist+6', so the point about not riding two abreast on busy roads stands.
> The general attitude from cyclists is to assume everyone else should accommodate them with no adjustment in their behaviour.
I of course disagree with that :-)
I don't believe that the general attitude from cyclists is to assume that everyone should accomodate them. Far from it, the fustration stems from the the apparent disproportionate level of hassle that cyclists receive from motorists and the motorists perceived ownership of the road. For example how often do we hear the 'I pay road tax' argument? Or the threats of violence towards cyclists for being 'in the way'.
There's a chap on twitter (admittedly not the best source!) who retweets vitriol posted by motorists towards cyclists and the volume of anti-cyclist crud that's spouted, primarily by young drivers, is worrying.
Just been out for a ride. Generally drivers were considerate like the lorry driver who waited on a long sweeping right hand bend before overtaking me. Of course there have to be exceptions like the 4x4 who overtook me on a blind summit - there's no way they could have seen over the hump - I couldn't see a truck when I returned the other way.
The biggest problem is actually the state of the roads: loads of pot holes and slots next to gully tops.
the volume of .... young drivers, is worrying.
Would be more concise :-)
Ha! very good :-)
Just to ensure that those accusing me personally of being a Jeremy Clarkson type neeed to lighten up. I don't pass any traffic when it is unsafe to do so, single bike, horse or anything else, hence the long queue benind me.These two guys were quite adamant that they could and would, ride 2 abrest and made that clear. as for oncoming traffic, that was not an issue when overtaking a single bike.
I have read the highway code yet again and come to the same conclusion that 2 abreast on that road, at that time, with the queue behind me warranted a move to single file. Just for the record, this has never occurred with horse riders and i don't like horses!
So thanks everyone.
Touchy, that is not what I am talking about.
My new years resolution was to try to view everything in a positive light.
Already reaping the benefits of this approach I clicked on this thread thinking 'I bet this is a heart warming tale about 2 cyclists giving someone an inner tube or helping an aged lady across the road.
Imagine, if you will, my disapointment when it turned out to be some fanny moaning about being held up for a few seconds by 2 cyclists.
I'm off back to that thread about the deer that's been adopted by a flock of sheep.
When I am driving, I deliberately pass cyclists very slowly and give them a wide berth. If there is oncoming traffic I will not attempt to pass. It is very simple and very easy to drive like this, but so few people seem to manage it, so many people drive aggressively. It makes me sad that people have so little regard for the lives of others.
"Passing with a 3' gap is just not enough when you consider a slight gust of wind can cause a cyclist to swerve much further than that."
It would take a fair bit of wind to cause a swerve of that amount.
And why should a car driver slow down when passing so long as they leave enough space, noting that "enough" will increase with speed? If you pull fully into the other lane as if the cyclist were a car I see no reason not to pass at 60mph if the road is suited to it. Generally, overtakes should be executed as quickly as safely possible to reduce the length of time for which there is a potential conflict with oncoming traffic.
 I still maintain that when overtaking from following the cyclist, thus with probably well below 10mph speed differential, 3' is enough, though less would not really be acceptable. Interestingly I discussed this very issue with someone I know who cycles much more regularly than I do, and he said to my surprise that he is happy with quite a bit less than that.
"However, in my experience, I'd say that at least 70% of car drivers do not realise how easy it is for them to kill a cyclist."
Very emotive talk that doesn't really help the debate.
You kill another road user by hitting them with your vehicle. Therefore, hitting any other vehicle on the road is to be avoided.
That's the long and short of it. A cyclist is slightly more vulnerable than a motorcyclist, who is far more vulnerable than a car, and a lorry driver is not very vulnerable at all in comparison. But the aim is still not to hit any of them.
In that regard do I give special consideration to cyclists? No. I don't wish to collide with any road user at any speed whatever their vehicle.
> That's the long and short of it. A cyclist is slightly more vulnerable than a motorcyclist, who is far more vulnerable than a car, and a lorry driver is not very vulnerable at all in comparison. But the aim is still not to hit any of them.
A cyclist is way more vunerable than a motorcyclist as a Motorcyclist doesn't have cars trying to squeeze past them and overtake them. A motor cyclist can travel in the flow of traffic when a cyclist can't. As for overtaking cyclists at 60 miles an hour, the only time this would be OK would be if you were in the outside lane of a dual carriage way and even then your draft would affect the cyclist.
Agreed, even a string sidewind through a gate or other gap will only push me a foot or so if it catches me unawares but usually it's a case of suddenly finding myself leaning in to the wind a bit harder. A cyclist may "swerve" to avoid obstacles such as pot holes, this is mentioned in the Highway Code but I don't have the reg number to hand. As such the 3' should be seen as a minimum.
There's a difference in perception here: if a car passes me at 3' whilst I'm cycling it feels a lot closer than if I'm in a car. Also if I'm passing a queue of cars at 3' it feels fine, in fact I'm likely to pass at much less than this though the speed differential is likely to be only 10mph or so. Mainly it's to do with being more vulnerable and the amount of control I feel I have over the situation.
"As for overtaking cyclists at 60 miles an hour, the only time this would be OK would be if you were in the outside lane of a dual carriage way and even then your draft would affect the cyclist."
I've cycled on NSL dual carriageways and was never seriously affected by cars going past in the other lane at whatever speed they felt like. Lorries and buses yes, but cars no. You might feel a draft, but suggesting that that should be completely avoided is over the top.
> In that regard do I give special consideration to cyclists? No. I don't wish to collide with any road user at any speed whatever their vehicle.
So would you say drive down a street with parked cars either side and oncoming traffic with say a 1' gap between wing mirrors, at the same relative speed/distance as overtaking a child on a bike ?
> "As for overtaking cyclists at 60 miles an hour, the only time this would be OK would be if you were in the outside lane of a dual carriage way and even then your draft would affect the cyclist."
> I've cycled on NSL dual carriageways and was never seriously affected by cars going past in the other lane at whatever speed they felt like. Lorries and buses yes, but cars no. You might feel a draft, but suggesting that that should be completely avoided is over the top.
If you read what I said you'd notice that I said it was the only place it would be OK is a dual carriageway. Where have I said it should be completely avoided?
No, but I similarly would be unlikely to pass a *moving* car with only 1' gap either, or if I did e.g. on a narrow country lane would slow right down.
The "even then..." bit implied it was undesirable, the way I read it.
...In reality I would tend to give a cyclist more room, because they are narrower than a car and so it is possible to do so. I can't see that I would give a cyclist more (or less) room than, say, someone riding a speed-limited motor scooter - it'd be about the same.
Consideration, manners, I get your point (probably).
"right and wrong"? seems a bit over the top! This is hardly an ethical issue, nobody was put in danger, etc.,
That said, if this is what people get exercised about then we've made a lot of progress eliminating greater problems!
> As such the 3' should be seen as a minimum.
> There's a difference in perception here: if a car passes me at 3' whilst I'm cycling it feels a lot closer than if I'm in a car.
That's why in France the law gives you 1.5m
If your letting traffic pass you wiithout making some reduction in their speed or taking some avoiding action. It won't be the first overtaking car that hits you, it will be one of the following cars that did not see you or know you were there because they were driving to close to the car in front and you were obscured.
If you force traffic coming up behind you to slow and take avoiding action this brings you to the attention of the cars behind and may save your life.
I therefore opt to cycle closer in to the kerb if there isn't much room for cars to overtake. They are going to overtake regardless so you may as well give them as much room as possible to avoid hitting you. The result of this is that I have never been hit and never nearly hit either. Cyclists often defend this by saying that car drivers should not overtake if it isn't safe to do so, but I live in the real world where car drivers will do whatever they have to to get in front.
I can't help feeling that dominating your lane in an uncompromising way is like holding a red rag to a killer bull. I often pull into laybys and the like to let car and bus drivers past. After all, why should I hold them up and boil their blood just because I have the right to dominate my lane and cycle at a snails pace in comparison? A bit of good will on the road goes a long way to keeping you safe.
There is no point in being right if you are dead.
I don't think anyone is denying that, but you are also obliged to regularly let queuing traffic past if you are driving/ riding a slow moving vehicle. I tend to ride in a fairly dominant road position, but will then pull over to allow traffic to clear. There is almost always sufficient room for two cars and a bike on most single carriage way A road.
Obviously, theres an area between the gutter and the middle of the lane, which is the area I choose to ride in trouble free mostly (famous last words).
If you're too far in, you've basically left yourself not much room to manoeuvre if a driver does misjudge a pass and start to pull in you.
I don't agree with always taking primary, or even near to primary - there are times when it's totally appropriate - coming up to pinch points or blind bends.
I tend to ride about a metre or just under a metre out. I want cars to be able to pass into oncoming traffic, but not be so far out that they can do it without even lifting off. I do find that they are less likely to just sweep past if you are slightly further out than if you are pretty much in the gutter.
I *tend* to ride about a metre out from the kerb - there's a lot of gully tops round here where the tarmac has eroded away from around the metal leaving nasty bike wheel sized slots. Some sections of road I'll be only 30cm from the kerb, usually because it's smooth :-), if I'm approaching a junction where I need to turn right then I'll be moving out towards the centre of the lane about 100m beforehand (having checked behind first) though it does depend on the speed of the road and visibility lines etc - there's no one hard and fast rule - sometimes I'll pull in to the left to wait for a gap in the traffic.
Sometimes you have to take things with a pinch of (road) salt, drivers and riders occasionally get things wrong, miss a gear change, etc. Unless someone is being deliberately aggressive/obstructive then there's little point getting worked up about it.
However, I don't just block the road continually. If a car has slowed behind me I will pull over, when it's safe and also indicate to them to overtake, if I have better visibility.
I wonder what some people's view is of funeral processions which can blatantly drive faster but "hog the road" instead. Or is this a matter of respect, because the person causing the hold up is already dead, as opposed to potentially dead due to poor overtaking and general impatience.
OK. I have joined the forum since I feel I must comment on this thread. I am a cyclist of many years and also a car driver. I have also been a motorcyclist - which is relevant to this particular incident. I have also been a rock-climber and mountaineer in the past. From my general experiences as a cyclist I tend to agree with most cyclists when I have read the various threads since we often have to do things for OUR own safety FIRST rather than for annoying motorists but I have quite strong views about when it is safe to ride side by side - something I rarely did actually and only when it was safe and didn't cause hold-ups to other traffic. Anyway, my 'Italian Job' incident -
The most dramatic and out-of-the-blue near-death experience for me came whilst returning from a climbing holiday in the Alps in the 1980's. Normally we would travel out there by car but on this occasion there were just a few of us and I went out on my motorbike. Returning through Switzerland, I was on a winding main road descending through the mountains. There was very little traffic about and so I was doing about 90 mph and since there was little traffic I was near to the middle of the road. As the road swept round to the left, I saw in the distance I would be coming up to an avalanche tunnel and it was usually unnecessary to slow down through such tunnels. As I came nearer, I saw just emerging from the tunnel two cyclists side by side slowly making their way upwards. They took up quite a bit of their carriageway so I shifted slightly to the right. Suddenly, out of the darkness, a car began overtaking the cyclists and it was taking up most of the rest of the road. I could see the horror on the faces of the cyclists and the car driver as I was headed directly for the front of the car and if I had hit it I was certainly going to die - few survive such accidents at that speed. Instinctively I twitched the bike sideways and found a gap of a few feet and missed the car by inches. The bike went snaking down the road and I had to fight to stop myself hitting the side of the tunnel in the darkness but eventually I regained control and came to a stop just outside of the tunnel. I was fuming at such a near miss - perhaps we all contributed to it but the cyclists had to have some of the blame for riding abreast in a tunnel - something I would never do - but the major share must be for the car driver who failed to check that the road was clear before overtaking. That was as near to death as I ever want to experience and although I have done many dangerous activities that is definitely the worst experience of my life. I am grateful for having quick reactions - they have saved me on numerous occasions but none more so than this incident. The whole thing happened so quickly, with the cyclists and car appearing from the darkness, there was no time to do anything other than what I did. Fortunately the car driver was in a state of shock so didn't complicate matters by attempting to move out of the way. I think if I had done anything other than simply react then I would have been dead. I also resisted the very real inclination to chase after the offending culprits and remonstrate with them since I wasn't sure I could control myself.
So you can imagine how I view side by side cyclists now! I'll agree it was a special set of circumstances and perhaps I was riding too fast but even at a lower speed I might not have been able to avoid the car. If you must insist on riding two abreast then maybe look out for possible situations like this or perhaps others?
The other thing you might find (I've noticed it) is that drivers will often (unconsciously) give you as much space as you give yourself from the kerb.
then i suspect you aint doing it right.
riding in a safe position and letting people arent mutually exclusive, its just a case of allowing it when safe.
because playing dodge the pothole and ending up under a car isnt fun?
"perhaps I was riding too fast"
90mph on a "winding main road descending from the mountains"?
Yes, you were going too fast; well in excess of the speed limit, certainly.
I'm calling Troll - 145kmh down a mountain road into a tunnel and you want to blame others when things go wrong WTF!!
I have already admitted my contributory part in the incident by going too fast but even if I had been travelling slower the potential for an accident might still have been there. I can't actually remember which country it was in or what speed limits were in force - I was returning from Italy I think. It was a good main road not some piddling little backroad. It is likely that the cyclists were not displaying lights and so the motorist coming upon them must have slowed appreciably as he was overtaking them very slowly. If the overtaking had happened just a few yards further back into the tunnel I think I would have faced the same situation even at a slower speed. I must have been quite visible (if any motorcyclist is to motorists) since the road was quite sweeping and not exactly steep - the motorist should have waited until he knew it was clear to overtake. The tunnel was of the type with a few supporting columns so open to one side. Less of the 'troll' please since I am just reporting an incident which I would not like to see repeated. The fact is that where visiblity is restricted - as in an avalanche tunnel - it makes no sense to ride two abreast, especially when riding slowly uphill.
Overtaking when you can't see what's coming is muppetry plain and simple. It doesn't matter if you're passing a tractor, two cyclists riding abreast or a bunch of naked hippies dancing round a fire to salute the earth mother, if you overtake on a blind bend or a blind summit and have an accident you can't blame anyone else...
This is unbelievable - you just said visibility is restricted in an avalanche tunnel but still think it's ok to go through one at 145kmh?
No way! Troll
> This is unbelievable - you just said visibility is restricted in an avalanche tunnel but still think it's ok to go through one at 145kmh?
Not as if it was 145Mph though was it? ;)
I was stuck behind a peleton riding away from Macclesfield a few months back. They really pissed me off because there was a huge queue behind them for a good 20 minutes and they didn't think to pull over into a lay-bye to let traffic pass. Their average speed was 19mph on a 60.
Because I was stuck behind them for so long I missed my last delivery and had to return in the morning when I should have been going to Glasgow.
Their ignorance cost our firm time and money!
As I understand it, a road is a byway open to all traffic. While consideration is given to other road users, none has right of way. Thanks to good publicity, cars are less inclined (although it still happens) to roar past horses and the same should be true for cyclists. If cyclists are riding two (or four abreast) at 15mph then the traffic on the roads moves at 15mph until it is safe to pass.
Sadly, from experience and as others have said, drivers will rush past in ludicrous situations. As such I am in favour of the 'cyclist-and-car-crash-and-it-is-the-car's-fault-regardless' law. It will take a generation to filter through but it is the only way I can see drivers will learn to be patient with cyclists about.
Cyclist but non-tree-hugging Audi-A8-W12 driver
It does work both ways though, the cyclists are also obliged not to hold up the traffic. If they want to use the whole lane, then they must also stop to let queuing traffic clear.
> It does work both ways though, the cyclists are also obliged not to hold up the traffic. If they want to use the whole lane, then they must also stop to let queuing traffic clear.
You are of course completely correct. In my farm labouring days I would pull the tractor over to let traffic past (as I think is legally required). No reason why cyclists should not do the same (other than no-one was going to knock me off my tractor and kill me).
Out of order that. There's no way my club would hold cars up for that long. Something I don't understand.
You never met this on a narrow lane then...
Wow, that's a beast! I doubt it would fit on a narrow lane for starters. ;)
> This is unbelievable - you just said visibility is restricted in an avalanche tunnel but still think it's ok to go through one at 145kmh?
You weren't there so less of the attitude. I had been through several of these tunnels before so that was why I was doing that speed. I was not a reckless rider and have had few accidents (none serious) in decades of road use. What I am pointing out is that all three of the parties involved shared some blame - the motorist for not checking that the road was clear ahead to overtake - he was probably doing something illegal too i.e. overtaking in a tunnel - and the cyclists for providing a hazard within the tunnel. That is the point and why I commented in this thread. I know I was speeding but that doesn't absolve other road users from their responsibities.
The incident happened either in Switzerland or Austria since that is the route I took back from Italy and was on a main road winding through and skirting the mountains.
If you think me questioning you doing the speed limit +50% is "attitude" how do you cope when people have a proper go at you?
I really sympathise with the motorist who probably did check that the road was clear but he didn't anticipate a motorcycle coming at him at 145kmh.
It's happened to me a few times and I see it all the time especially here on French roads - you think it's safe to overtake, it is safe to overtake, you do everything right, make the manoeuvre then suddenly realise that the vehicle coming towards you in the distance is doing 130 and not 70. This kills a lot of people on French roads.
What if it wasn't two cyclists but a tractor or a horse rider? would you have the same disdain for them?
so because i drive on the street in front of my house every day, i am ok to drive at silly speed on it ?
People like you should not be allowed to drive at all.
that keeps it safer for all cyclists and all other road users.
Cyclists - if you want to live long and prosper - PLEASE IGNORE THIS ADVICE!!
I've had to read you posts several times as they beggar belief. Not the event but your post-event attitude. May I ask, how would you apportion blame if a another motorcyclist, instead of a car, had come through the tunnel towards you at the same speed you were doing?
Dear Tats. Sell your bikes and stick to cars, or better still the bus. That way you will live longer.
Taking your user name and the fact that you were returning from Italy, are you sure no Mini's were involved?
what if it had been a broken down car in the road.. or a deer..
> Taking your user name and the fact that you were returning from Italy, are you sure no Mini's were involved?
I feel silly I fell for it now - although I did call troll a while ago.
Yep, nobody likes being trolled by an oven chip
Or Shirley Mclaine, 1970s actress.
and DON'T call me Shirley
> Dear Tats. Sell your bikes and stick to cars, or better still the bus. That way you will live longer.
Living in the countryside and having cycled a good few miles i've never had an accident or even a near miss.
I have no sympathy with cyclist who behave like idiots, causing a nuisance to other road users under the guise of 'keeping safe'
dunno, we have the word of tatty112. I only hope he writes in and gets cyclecraft corrected to ensure it isnt just us who benefit for his expertise.
I'm a cyclist and driver. For busy roads, I agree with tatty112.
> I'm a cyclist and driver. For busy roads, I agree with tatty112.
But that's the problem - It's impossible to be so specific. I know lots of busy roads where if you don't take the primary position you'll get your arm whipped off by a wing mirror - or worse!
What if you're not being an idiot, doing everything right and cars still can't get past easily? Should the cars just go for it anyway?
If more motorists could grasp this concept the roads would be much safer and there wouldn't be half as much conflict.
Is it really that hard to work out?
Well, it does say that bikes should not hold up traffic. Also (again depending on the road) it is much easier to give that room if the cyclist is not in the middle of the lane. There are many A roads where one can meet that requirement of the highway code without waiting for a gap in the oncoming traffic (most A roads if you are on a motorbike).
> Well, it does say that bikes should not hold up traffic.
Really? Show me where
Can't remember off the top of my head. 169 maybe. Anway its the one relating to use of the road by slow moving vehicles.
the problem with the internet is any idiot can post "advice".
I'll try again.
Lets say I'm cycling sensibly and I'm totally aware of my surroundings and other traffic - What about the places where it isn't safe for a car to pass a bike? Should the car go for it anyway or wait until it is safe?
Read my post above, it's not always possible to pass, that particular time cost me time and the company money. It isn't always "just a couple of minutes" as some would suggest.
> I'll try again.
> Lets say I'm cycling sensibly and I'm totally aware of my surroundings and other traffic - What about the places where it isn't safe for a car to pass a bike? Should the car go for it anyway or wait until it is safe?
That's an interesting thing. We've been cycling in Gran Canaria all week. A few days ago we paused at a viewpoint and somehow ended up chatting to a Brit. He asked were we not scared on the roads as earlier he'd had to cross a solid white line on a blind bend to get past one. The idea of waiting until you could actually see the road was clear to overtake didn't seem to occur to him, but rather that he must immediately pass.
This however only ever seems to be the case with British drivers in hire cars, who you can avoid for the most part by being more than a couple of miles from the beach. The locals are almost without exception patient, courteous and overtake only when it is both safe and of use to do so (i.e. not to join the back of a queue a few hundred metres ahead). They don't seem to behave as if this is some major hardship for them.
I've found similar attitudes cycling in France and Belgium. It does make me wonder why the prevailling opinion in the UK seems so different.
We were in south France last year driving cross country between Ecrins and Verdon. Steady speeds (T5 with kids) through nice scenery. French car behind, he saw a gap and went for it and nearly wiped out two roadies coming up the hill (riding side by side). It was very very close. The roadies shouted a lot of abuse at the disappearing car (definitely a local and not a hire car).
I really don't think you can point at Brits as being noticeably bad drivers. Seen some pretty bad driving by Europeans in France, Spain, Italy.
Oh yes there's definitely idiots everywhere you go - however, 10 years here living in a cycling mecca, 12,000km a year, I've definitely noticed a difference between The French, Belgians, Dutch and Brits.
On Mont Ventoux in particular more often than not the Brits will act like Liam has described usually nipping in and cutting you up - the French, Dutch and Belgians will pass when it's safe, adhering to the 1.5m rule and give you an Allez Allez as they pass.
You'd be surprised at how rare it is for a car to to be able pass safely on some of the minor roads around here. Thankfully there aren't that many cars.
> I really don't think you can point at Brits as being noticeably bad drivers. Seen some pretty bad driving by Europeans in France, Spain, Italy.
Yes you can. Do a ride in the UK and you will be scared/angry several times a day. Do it in France or Spain and you might get one a week if you are unlucky. I cycled 10 days in the French Alps last year and only one arse in a Merc did a scary (for us) overtake. Two years ago we spent 18 days cycling round the Pyrenees. One car on that whole trip passed me far too close and scared me: UK plates.
It is a minority of UK drivers that seem to view cyclists as less than human, but it is a significant minority, and we compare very badly with France and Spain, and from I recall, Italy too.
Slight hi-jack: my partner clipped the kerb in one of the tunnels on the descent from the Croix de Fer (following Tatty's advice) and came off, very scary. A bunch of roadies from Garstang CC heard us and headed back up the tunnel to help. The first guy clipped the kerb too and went over the bars, so we had two cyclists on the ground in an unlit tunnel, one of them being my nearest and dearest and it wasn't yet clear if she was badly hurt or not.
Next thing that comes up through the tunnel...15 new Ferraris and a couple of Ducatis. The Garstang crowd were utter stars and controlled the traffic, but as soon as the cars were past us, they gave it everything. You can imagine the noise. Another time and I'd have been cheering them on! Now I can laugh about it.
Wouldn't you get passed by a lot more cars on a typical ride on UK roads compared with the areas you've ridden in France / Pyrenenes?
> Wouldn't you get passed by a lot more cars on a typical ride on UK roads compared with the areas you've ridden in France / Pyrenenes?
I ride 2 or 3 times a year in Varese in Italy. It's as busy as hell getting out of the city from my mate's flat heading for the Lakes but I've never felt threatened or been abused.
And yet the UK seems to have the lowest cyclist fatality rate (along with Spain) in Europe (adjusted for population):
See Table 2 & Figure 1:
So we may well be a country full of the worst drivers you've ever seen, but somehow we kill less cyclists (adjusted for population).....
Enty - Italy also looks pretty bad in the stats, so I don't think they can be held up as a good example of where it is safer to ride.
....Don't even think about going to Poland or Hungary....
The distributional pattern of where cyclists is killed is also interesting to look at.
50% Urban/Rural split in UK, e.g. same as Italy.
Off to the pub now, on foot ;-)
unless i am missing something that is about as much use as a waterproof teabag as a measurement.
The population is irrelevant its the miles per fatal accident which would say something useful.
A quick search shows that 99% of Dutch people own a bike, 80% of Danes and 60% of Germans and 45% in the UK.
So you guys know the best way to present the data and the European Road Safety Observatory DaCoTA Project (co-financed by the European Commission, Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport) are idiots and haven't a clue. Yeah, right.
One of their references
Includes this interesting paper:
There are so many confounding factors between countries, that a simplistic fatalities per km travelled is unlikely to be a reliable or meaningful mode of comparison
> So you guys know the best way to present the data and the European Road Safety Observatory DaCoTA Project (co-financed by the European Commission, Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport) are idiots and haven't a clue. Yeah, right.
That's a fairly typical UKC answer (have you got a hangover?). No one said anyone was an idiot. No one said we know better.
It's obvious to me that countries with more cyclists will have more cycling accidents. The figures you showed us show the Netherlands have 8.8 cycling deaths per million and the UK 1.9 deaths per million - like Dissonance said - this really means nothing until you appreciate that 99% of Dutch people own a bike and 30% of all journeys everywhere in the Netherlands are done on a bike.Paints a different picture doesn't it? My experience is that Dutch motorists are by far the most considerate when I'm out on my bike. Stats eh?
> Includes this interesting paper:
> There are so many confounding factors between countries, that a simplistic fatalities per km travelled is unlikely to be a reliable or meaningful mode of comparison.
But your happy to accept that simple deaths per million of population is a an accurate way of telling which country is safer to cycle in?
using a measure per million people without any apparent adjustment for use of a particular activity by those people does make me wonder since clearly it can lead to people thinking that per million does give any real information.
The rest of the report is more interesting though with the country specific information (eg days, time of days, where it happened etc).
Strange though after using a paper which looks at the specifics they use such a poor measure at the top level.
Note how the first table it uses does use per million km? Oh, and the second table as well.
There is a pattern here.
says the person using an even more simple measure.
Of course its complex but using a per million population is about as simple as it gets.
Hence the figures you were quoting at Enty are useless.
> Of course its complex but using a per million population is about as simple as it gets.
> Hence the figures you were quoting at Enty are useless.
I think they give a good indication of the severity/scale of the problem and where to focus resources to save most lives.
UK 2008: 117 fatalities, rate of 1.9 per million
NL 2008: 145 fatalities, rate of 8.8 per million
Poland 2008: 433 fatalities, rate of 11.4 per million
21% of people dying in Holland in road accidents are cyclists......4% in UK.
This is also odd: In UK, 42% of cyclists killed at junctions, in NL 59% killed at junctions (highest in Europe). This does seems surprising and counter-intuitive, as Holland held up as example of good cycling infrastructure. Perhaps they segregate cyclists so much elsewhere, that this is the main time they interact with road traffic.
what would the figures look like if you compare it to percentage of people who actually ride a bike and not just of how many people in country?
Looking at it another way...
If the UK was like Holland in terms of cycling, we'd be killing 541 cyclists a year compared with the current 117/year.....
It's strange isn't it. I've cycled in France, Belgium, Spain and Italy and obviously the UK.
If I had to move back to the UK I'd certainly consider giving up road cycling altogether and start MTBing again.
I witnessed the London cycling Commute a couple of weeks ago - wow! not for me! Brave souls.
Like someone said higher up the thread. I get one or two serious incidents a year here in France - when I was in the UK there was a serious incident on every ride. You can quote stats until they come out of your ears but it's what happens to you on the road that is important.
and how did you reach that figure?
really? I thought the maths taking into account all the factors which would come into play as the number of cyclists increased (less cars, more familiarity etc) would be horrendously complex.
fair play if you consider it easy.
That's the beauty of rates per million.
The clue was in, if the UK was like Holland....
Simple way of looking at things can often provide useful insight.
The cold hard fact is that Holland kills more cyclist per million people than the UK, so its fair extrapolation to infer that if the UK went for a NL approach to increasing cycling for the masses (and put all the infrastructure in like the Dutch have), we would end up killing many more cyclist than we currently do.
For sure, it may not scale to exactly to a factor of 4.6, but the Dutch experience gives an insight to the sort of fatality rates a country could expect if it went for a Dutch level of cycling activity by the general population.
(population density of England & Holland are both c. 400/km2, based on Wiki numbers)
> The cold hard fact is that Holland kills more cyclist per million people than the UK, so its fair extrapolation to infer that if the UK went for a NL approach to increasing cycling for the masses (and put all the infrastructure in like the Dutch have), we would end up killing many more cyclist than we currently do.
Exactly! So if the UK was comparable to other European countries after all it wouldn't be the safest country to cycle in.
Which is what you were arguing against higher up the thread.
ah so a figure so pointless as to be pulled out of thin air.
You seem to be jumping from complaining that those discussing it with you dont take every factor into consideration to coming up with extrapolations which dont bother to even pretend to consider reality.
You also seem to be changing your argument drastically.
Lets go back to your original claim which was being disputed rather than an argument you are trying to switch to.
"So we may well be a country full of the worst drivers you've ever seen, but somehow we kill less cyclists (adjusted for population)"
So, do you still believe that is a useful figure without taking into account the number of cyclists and distance travelled?
I mean i could come up with a strategy to reduce the death rate to zero (well several actually) however all would have fairly major downsides and hence if used in comparison would be laughed at.
the problem is you are saying nothing that is new.
if we increase numbers then the casualties will almost certainly increase. However that will need to be factored against the various benefits.
This all started based on the premise that UK have bad drivers compared with other Europeans. My take was, if that was true then that would translate into the UK having really bad death rates for cyclist compared with other EU countries.
Yet the UK doesn't leap out of the stats as a biker killinng nation - in fact it looks far from it.
What they have shown, unexpectedly for me, is how many people still die cycling in Holland (and the high rate per M population) given all the highly praised infrastructure & participation they have.
> Yet the UK doesn't leap out of the stats as a biker killinng nation - in fact it looks far from it.
Argggghhh!! Because we have one of the lowest cycling populations in Europe.
The main point with my post was not about blaming others entirely for an incident that nearly cost me my life but to point out the dangers of riding two abreast in an avalanche tunnel. I have admitted to my mistake in riding too fast and not appreciating the 'visibility' of motorcyclists in general to other road users but the origins of the incident did not arise from my actions but from others. My speed just compounded the problem. These avalanche 'tunnels' can vary from 50 metres or so to several hundreds of metres as I am sure many of you are fully aware so traffic can usually be seen entering, exiting and even within the tunnels and hence slowing down is often not necessary. That is why I apparently was riding at that speed even if it was too fast. I will hardly be alone in speeding so stop being so sanctimonious. If I had not even been on the scene and the same actions had happened then the cyclists and the motorist would have contributed to a dangerous situation - that is, the cyclists being inconsiderate by choosing to ride two abreast and the motorist in chancing his luck by overtaking before he saw the road was clear. I did not appear from 'nowhere', the road was quite sweeping and clear as I pointed out - if I could see the tunnel from quite a distance then others should have seen me. It was not a tight twisting road but a good main road so traffic would be expected to be encountered at speed. If the two other parties had done just the same and presented a 'barrier' across the road whilst I was riding within the speed limit then the consequences might have been worse, for example, given more time to react I might have attempted to brake and swerve and hence come off, slid down the road and contacted the vehicle. The point is, the driver was already overtaking whilst still in the tunnel (probably illegal) so he either wasn't looking ahead or didn't see me. I know now why many motorcyclists do have their headlights on during daylight. Empty roads and generally benign conditions often lull us into a false sense of security - for me into speeding, for the cyclists into thinking there was no reason to cycle in single file and for the motorist into chancing his luck. I'm sorry, the argument that you can't judge the approaching speed of oncoming traffic just won't wash - that is a skill that is essential to survival when overtaking. As a cyclist with many years of experience and similarly as a motorist, I appreciate when it is appropriate to not insist on one's rights. Riding two abreast in a tunnel is not safe especially when going slowly uphill.
Found some number you guys were after:
The UK fatality rate for cyclists in 2010 was 22 per billion kilometres, down by a third from 33 in 2001
In 2009 (the latest year available), the fatality rate for cyclists in the Netherlands was 9 per billion kilometres (UK number was 21 in 2009).
Given all the infrastructure, (higher UK road speeds?) and the car/bike segregation that goes on in Holland, the numbers do not seem that dramatic for UK, and the UK has seen significant reduction in 10 years (33 to 21). Clearly, the difference cannot be solely attributed to UK bad drivers....
I've also seen it discussed that death/km is not a good exposure metric and that death/hour is probably a much better risk indicator.
The differences are still significant, more than double, it is not an unreasonable assumption that driver attitude, especially when coupled with large amounts of anecdotal evidence, plays a major role in this.
Whilst hours on a bike per fatality may or may not be a better indicator of safety, the outcome is unlikey to be much different.
In other words, what you are saying is that if the Dutch removed all their infrastructure and segregation, then their rate of 9 deaths/Billion-km wouldn't change that much as their drivers are so great?
I really don't see that as a viable proposition.
> In other words, what you are saying is that if the Dutch removed all their infrastructure and segregation, then their rate of 9 deaths/Billion-km wouldn't change that much as their drivers are so great?
> I really don't see that as a viable proposition.
Are you being deliberately obtuse?
> Found some number you guys were after:
> The UK fatality rate for cyclists in 2010 was 22 per billion kilometres, down by a third from 33 in 2001
> In 2009 (the latest year available), the fatality rate for cyclists in the Netherlands was 9 per billion kilometres (UK number was 21 in 2009).
Oh thanks for this - you need to get out more Chris ;-)
I like this bit:
It should be blazingly obvious that if hardly anyone cycles in Country A it is likely to have a lower rate of cyclist fatalities per head of population than Country B where nearly everyone cycles.
Now where have I heard that before ;-)
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