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Updated: 5 min 58 sec ago

Re: safety advice for commuter

27 November 2015 - 6:46pm
Si wrote:The common problems people have when doing a right turn .......................

......................... it's also telling that driver that you are about to do something, and it humanfies you by letting them see your face - emphasises the fact that you are a real person and they need to take care, or tells them that you have seen them so if they do something stupid you know who did it.

Excellent post.

I think one of the things which keeps one alive in traffic is to always be predictable. As Si says: indicate decisively, move purposefully. When road users are unpredictable then other road users are caught by surprise.

Re: Is it just a state of mind?

27 November 2015 - 6:34pm
I was fuming when the DVLA took my licence, but by the time I got it back five months later I'd git used to doing without the car, so I never put it back on the road. It stood on the drive rusting away for nine years until I scrapped it in 2013.

Re: Is it my road position?

27 November 2015 - 6:24pm
I think you're being advised to pull in, not pull over. That is, simply ride a bit closer to the kerb from time to time, when it seems best and safest to you, not stop and wait at the kerb while people pass.

Re: Is today “Peak Idiot”?

27 November 2015 - 6:14pm
I had two perfect overtakes yesterday by an oil tanker and by a HGV from Barry Ives (of Essex) haulage, the latter of which I emailed to pass on praise of their driver for a bob on overtake in every respect. They've done cycle awareness training for all their drivers. Out of all the drivers I encountered I only had one that got a bit close.
Maybe time of day has an impact on the idiocy quotient

Re: Commuting - is a rucksack always going to be sweaty?!

27 November 2015 - 6:05pm
al_yrpal wrote:Bar bag is my default bag of choice. Never leave home without one. Easy to unclip and carry around town with a shoulder strap. Just dont overload them.
OK, I'll bite: what bar bag? Can it cope with a good lock and mini toolkit (say 2kg) or is that overloading?

I've found unclipping bar bags more troublesome than rack bag or panniers and the shoulder strap is about the same.

One of my slimline panniers has started to disintegrate today. I think I can stitch it back together, but does everyone have to do this sort of thing or are Norfolk's roads especially rough or something?

Re: Is today “Peak Idiot”?

27 November 2015 - 5:56pm
Well, the evening ride home after this post featured a wonderful full moon, and not one but two motorists were so carefully hanging back I had to wave them through.

Not a single problem since, other than freezing cold and soaking wet tonight.

So I reckon peak idiot has indeed been passed.

Is it just a state of mind?

27 November 2015 - 5:54pm
My wife and I have been edging towards becoming car free. We both commute by bike (my wife every day, me a couple of days a week - its a 34 mile round trip!) and we now have hack folders and trailers that mean we do all our shopping by bike. The car is reduced to occasional weekend visits to distant family and a couple of days a week in my car pool.

The interesting change has been in our state of mind.

We went to cycle the short trip to a youth club on a cold and wet Thursday night without even considering the car as an option. We both found ourselves remarking how off-putting we now found the prospect of the hassle, cold and aggro of driving and parking the car. We arrived at our destination warm and enlivened and looked forward to the ride home - and maybe a glass of wine.

I think I need to spread the word!

Re: Is it my road position?

27 November 2015 - 5:48pm
Hi all,

Thanks for the responses so far.

The road is an A-road, 40mph with many cars attempting to go over 40. That stretch is also windy with blind bends - hence the solid double white lines in the centre of the road. Once you're on that stretch there's nowhere to turn off (no pavement) - so I'd say pulling-in to allow cars to get past would make restarting the journey hazardous?

Regarding primary vs secondary, due to the narrowness of the road, surely cars will always have to cross the centre-line in order to leave a suitable gap when overtaking? My opinion is that it's the windy nature of the road and the frequency of oncoming traffic that prevents overtaking - not my position as such.

In any case, I'll try shifting to the left a bit and seeing what happens. Thankfully I only use that road once every week or two.

What do you use to judge your distance from the kerb? I try to keep about 3 drain-widths from the kerb (on the possibly flawed assumption) that a normal drain is about 30cm.


Magical Ride

27 November 2015 - 5:41pm
The only way to describe the ride home from work on Wednesday. I cycled for 10 miles on quiet unlit country lanes towards a brilliant full moon rising through the clouds. The air was cool but still and the moon was so bright that I thought my lights were failing. On reaching a gridlocked Northampton I took to the cycle paths, stealing occasional glimpses of the moon between trees and houses until my penultimate run along the riverside with the moon reflected in the water. I dawdled so much that my wife was beginning to wonder where I was. I kept thinking to myself 'well this is what it's all about'!

Re: Is it my road position?

27 November 2015 - 5:21pm
Mick F wrote:Looking at both vids, I reckon you were riding a couple of feet wider than I would have done.

I know SLOW signs painted on the road vary a tad, but looking at where you crossed them over the O, I would have been slicing between the S and the L.

Can't comment specifically because I wasn't there and I wasn't behind you, but take my comments in the spirit I give them. I reckon you ride a couple of feet too far out.

I'm well away of standing your ground and giving yourself wiggle room and making sure people see you, but there were a couple of occasions there where you had a tail-back and you need to be aware of it. It only antagonises drivers.

Pull in and let them pass, then pull out again.

I'd agree with Mick here, I would personally cycle a little further over (to the road edge) myself. I know the road is usually littered with junk and uneven drains and the like but generally I rough it out especially if there is a build up of traffic behind me. Either that or pull in to let them all pass.

Re: Is it my road position?

27 November 2015 - 5:20pm
I agree with the comment above, too much riding in primary. Without a forward view, it's difficult to be sure, but I'd suggest giving following vehicles a chance to pass now and again, avoid a queue building up. This isn't a road with a lot of parked vehicles, so you don't run the 'dooring' risk. Drop to secondary position for a few seconds. It won't hurt!

Re: Commuting - is a rucksack always going to be sweaty?!

27 November 2015 - 5:09pm
Hi Martin,

In common with several other posters, I'm going to say that I've found panniers to be a godsend, and if you can fit them to your bike I'd encourage you to think about doing so.
Not only do they remove feeling of a sweaty back but its far more pleasant and stable to not have a load on your shoulders.
The other advantage is that they increase your footprint on the road, thus making you a more obvious and wider obstacle to be avoided.


Re: safety advice for commuter

27 November 2015 - 4:59pm
Hi Oliver.
I don't think you're doing anything wrong in stopping and waiting for a chance to turn right. I have to do that sometimes myself. If the following traffic is so heavy and fast that normal filtering across to the right lane is practically impossible, do what you are doing.

Many years ago I used to have the same situation at this junction:

The junction doesn't look like that now. The traffic lights are gone, the main A23 is a dual carriageway, and there is a LH slip road and underpass to get onto the road to the right of the petrol station (the A273).

But in those days I had to filter across somehow to the RH lane (where the Volkswagen is) to turn right. That was difficult! The traffic lights weren't much help, the ones for traffic going straight on, only rarely changed to red. So I often had to stop on the nearside and wait. And wait....

Re: Is it my road position?

27 November 2015 - 4:45pm
Think you might find its Romanian - the latest plates are almost identical to UK in layout

Re: Commuting - is a rucksack always going to be sweaty?!

27 November 2015 - 4:44pm
al_yrpal wrote:Carrying a rucksack on your back on a bike, riding on road on a MTB with the original knobbly tyres, having the saddle too low, being in the wrong gear. All these things say to me "that guy hasnt a clue".
Well, can I get away with 1/4 then? Or perhaps 2/4: I do sometimes get in the wrong gear, just like everyone else who makes the occasional mistake, especially at night or in filthy weather.

I don't have an MTB, but if I did, I would probably ride it on the road for a short distance to get to my favourite off-road track. So then it would be 3/4...

Re: safety advice for commuter

27 November 2015 - 4:23pm
Welcome Oliver. I hope you don't mind me jumping onto the back of your thread. I did 5 years of commuting in London and learned most of my skills through experience. I had a couple of minor incidents but otherwise those 5 years added a different element to my cycling skills. It just made me love cycling even more.

Since then I've mainly been MTBing, touring, cycle camping and general leisure riding. For the last year I've been building cycling into my lifestyle. That is using the bike for my errands and the school run. I ride through a badly designed town with my 6 YOD on the back of my Big Dummy and I too am looking for some text book tips.

I'll cut to the chase: Apart from the comments above: What are people's thoughts on purchasing 'Cyclecraft' as a learning aid? I used to coach sailing and although I thought I 'knew it all' it's amazing what little gems I picked up from books. At the very least, reading formalised my train of thought. I would transfer my knowledge onto both my girls. One of whom is nearly ready to head out on her own for the whole day.

Thank you...b

Re: Cats eyes...

27 November 2015 - 4:16pm
Do you miss them while cycling? How do you find the use of reflective marker posts (common across much of Europe) affects your night driving, apart from making it more demanding?

Re: Is it my road position?

27 November 2015 - 4:14pm
beardy wrote:But we have not reached 16 yet, have we?
Good point! I reckon it's still UK though, just illegally spaced; rather than IF 16 BRK it's IFI 6 BRK. Except it can't be that either, cos – I think – we don't use I in number plates. And of course the distinctive font only indicates the plate was physically made in UK, not a UK reg. So I don't know. Someone with a big, hi-res monitor could be able to make out the code though.

Re: Is it my road position?

27 November 2015 - 4:09pm
For the police comments, it's interesting to compare with this. https://beyondthekerb.wordpress.com/201 ... -boulders/ The blogger is on this forum, maybe contact him?




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