• By Stily1 on at 12:56pm 30 May 2012
  • Posted in: General
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Just wow.

Is it me, or has the nice weather brought out the retreads? And by that, I mean retreads on bicycles. Come on people, lets think this through. London is crowded, we *can* make this work.

1) Keep left except to pass. This is the most basic of concepts.

1b) You *own* that pass. If you've moved up on the right, you are responsible to get on by and back left in a safe and effective manor. See that solid object ahead, the left track passes around that. If you've set yourself up in the right track, then you're headed way into the roadway. Is there room? No. WELL FIX THAT BECAUSE THAT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY. You cannot expect the cycle in the left track to deviate/slow/stop just because you screwed the pooch. Get over yourself.

2) Swerving without checking first to avoid a metal plate that probably doesn't even amount to a bump anyway is, well, selfish, foolish and antisocial. If you werren't paying enough attention to carve a controlled line around it, take your damned medicine, but don't make it my problem by swerving into me.

3) Your hand signal does NOT magically grant you the right-of-way. It's a required courtesy, at least, but it doesn't give you the right to then cut someone off.

4) The Boris Bike network is doing a tremendous disservice to the visiting public by not making it INFINATELY CLEAR that, unless otherwise indicated, you are NOT allowed to ride on the pavement (sidewalk/footpath/etc). This should be boldly indicated on every Boris Bike.

5) If Dog blessed you with gears, why don't you use them?! So you have this wannabe French Alpine race bike (in London, really?) and you have to come to a (frequent) stop, and you blunder your way to the front. Why don't you people downshift?! Yeah, sure, in a quarter mile you'll be pretty quick (just in time to stop again), but until then you're SODDING IN THE WAY. Did you think that through?

6) Picture this; 29 May 2012, morning commute, CS8 eastbound Grosvenor Road approaching and then at the interchange with Vauxhall Bridge (A202), female cyclists (descriptive, not relevant), flowing skirt, long ringletted brown hair, rose coloured shades. So far so good (although the rose coloured shades turns out to be quite ironic, wait for it). But then the problems begin; earbuds, no helmet, U-lock loosely slung from the left grip swinging wildly, this optimistic individual approached the 4-wide interchange, forced her way to the front of the pack by sharing a lane with a car, and then tried to dodge across two lanes to the turning lane, but the light changed as she did this and she's lucky to be alive today. Way way wrong in so many ways. Should have occupied the turn lane at the back of the pack of stopped cars and navigated to the front from there. So many people live in fear of being mugged and then do this kind of crap? Were you thinking?

6b) At the same interchage as above, no cyclist turning right onto the Vauxhall Bridge has any business being anywhere other than the left side of the left-hand right-turning lane. Period.

There. I feel much better now!



A pompous fool who has nothing better to do on a sunny day than moan about fellow Londoners

Sorry if you have some sort of mental illness, but assuming you have the authority to tell the rest of the world how to use their gears, change lanes or signal smacks of breathtaking arrogance

No doubt you're too cowardly to say anything to anyone's face, so you hang around web forums telling the world how clever you are

Well, you sound like a massive zero to me

Have a nice day

Stily1 - and anyone else!

If you want to join in demonstrating safer cycling in challenging situations, join in the Hammersmith Bridge event 10:30am Queen Caroline Street viewing platform Saturday 2nd June.

We'll probably be sending out small groups of cyclists to experience assertive taking-the-lane, the idea being to enable the less-experienced/confident.

We'll  showcase "CycleCraft" principles, and they should appeal (and apply) to all who think the public realm should aspire to be inclusive to all.

All road users have the right to take the prime position including cyclists. Cyclists are not required to ride on the left but do so out of courtesy to other road users as indicated in the highway code. Just like car drivers they don't have to ride in the gutter and indeed shouldn't do so especially at junctions.

The highway code rules 211-213 also states quite clearly to be prepared for cyclists making emergency moves to avoid a pothole etc.

Car drivers when overtaking cyclists need to give them as much room as they would any other vehicle, normally at least 1.5 metres and preferably more so overtaking cyclists in rush hour is not really a safe option anyway. See highway code rule 163.

Given that cycling across London, especially at peak times is faster than driving then overtaking cyclists or getting frustrated because its stops you dashing to the next red light is a waste of time anyway.

Stily1 - you seem to have been having a bad day there. You make reasonable points. And... I would add that it's also all of our responsibilities to allow for stopping distance. We're commuting, not road-racing in a co-ordinated pack, and just as we expect cars to give us plenty of room, we need to do the same for each other. We're all human and make mistakes sometimes. I hope we can all work on minimising our own mistakes, while also showing a bit of patience at the occasional mistake. One of my stranger moments was being told off by another cyclist for stopping suddenly (rather than trying to ram through a rapidly narrowing gap between a bus and a lorry). Surely the real question is, why were they near enough to smell how clean my underwear was? The Highway Code is very clear on stopping distance, and space when passing. I regularly cycle at 20mph. That's a stopping distance for a car of 12m, or three car lengths. I don't allow that much space myself! But if someone stops and I haven't left enough room to bail out safely, I've only really myself to blame.

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