When overtaking.....

  • By Stily1 on at 1:56pm 2 February 2012
  • Posted in: General
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When overtaking, you are TAKING an action that you are RESPONSIBLE for. You've pulled to the inside and YOU need to manage your CHOICE and get back to the outside WITHOUT imposing on the rider you're overtaking. You DO NOT have the right of way. If you're not able or willing to get on past and move back over efficiently and safely, then you shouldn't have chosen to go to the inside in the first place. This is basic stuff, people.


It's disappointing how many drivers start their overtaking manoeuvre properly, but seem to lack the skills to finish it safely. I am not talking about very bad drivers who simply try to squeeze past, pushing cyclists off the road. I am talking about drivers who start well by moving from the inside lane to the outside lane, leaving an acceptable width to pass the cyclist. The driver then accelerates until the driver's seat has passed the cyclist. And then they spoil it all by forgetting that their vehicle has a rear end, and they cut back into the inside lane too soon, with their rear wheelarch pushing the cyclist off the road. One wonders whether these drivers even realise that they're getting it wrong.

  • By Stily1 at 12:04pm 3 February 2012

Fair point, Dominic, but I was actaully thinking of other cyclists.

I hate to tell y'all, but having come from North America, even London drivers are pretty good. Yes, agressive, but for the most part, attentive and responsible compared to the lazy, selfish arseholes where I'm from.

However, many cyclists don't seem capable of a similar degree of consistent skill and consideration.

I don't know why but I assume you are from the US. We talk about overtaking on the outside rather than the inside. Yes you should go fasst enough to overtake the rider and then move back only when you are past the other rider.


Of course there are always some who don;t like being ovrtaken you then have to decide the best course of action. In general though the overtaking cyclist should have sufficient drag and speed to overtake safely.

Overtake what? I ride a Pashley!! :-)

I find cars cutting back in isn't too much of a problem but anyone driving a vehicle with a wheel-base exceeding four meters seems to have a problem judging the vehicle length and tries to chop the front wheel off my cycle. Scarey.

  • By Stily1 at 1:45pm 15 February 2012

To Raymondox, yes, it's true, I'm an import, but help me out here. Are you actually telling me that moving towards the middle of the road to pass is called passing on the outside here? WHAT? I *tried* really hard to recalibrate to riding on the left side of the road, but certainly, one bicycle passing another by moving towards the middle of the road MUST be referred to as passing up the *inside*.



When talking about roads:

"inside" = "in towards the side of the road"

"outside" = "out from the side of the road"

So, in more normal English parlance, "inside" means near the pavement, "outside" means near the dotted line down the middle (assuming there is one). Overtaking is done on the outside. Passing on the inside is referred to as "undertaking", and is frequently in contravention of the highway code (permitted in queuing conditions, in a one-way street, on a roundabout, and I think in one more situation which escapes me at the moment).

I hope this is helpful.

- perhaps the whole thread needs to be re-started ? ! !

Sorry Stily - vrs is right !

(BTW if not careful, you might bounce off the car bonnet rather than the hood - or put your luggage in the boot , not the trunk  and do you wear a bum-bag when cycling? - I wouldn't try to find a fanny-pack over here ! )

  • By Stily1 at 9:22am 16 February 2012

Okay okay, I give. And as for the pitfalls of American English, yeah yeah, I've been around the UK since 2008, so I have most of those figured.

I still laugh when I hear of some UK visitor to New York City saying he's going to step outside to bum a fag!

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