Harringay online

Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Coming down Wightman this afternoon a woman behind me a woman was honking and when she eventually passed she had her window wound down and shouted something about staying closer to the kerb.

The reason I ride in the middle of the lane is when it's not safe to pass. I'm in front of you and higher up, so can see further ahead. I can see oncoming cars and cyclists, so I know if you pass me you'd be putting your and their lives in danger as well as mine.

If it looks safe to pass I usually pull in a bit - many drivers don't seem to know how wide their vehicle is and pass too closely. Most of the time it isn't safe though, the chicanes and hills mean that visibility is usually not good. The chicanes are there to slow cars down, it may well have done that overall but cars still speed up when overtaking cyclists, just like they used to do around the pedestrian refuge islands.

Tags for Forum Posts: cycling, traffic, wightman

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That’s my point. You’re entitled to be on your bike, they’re entitled to be in their car, and deliberately blocking drivers is no more justifiable than drivers deliberately blocking bikes imo.

No one is entitled to drive a car, that's the whole point of needing a licence. Those who have a licence still have no entitlement over any other road user.

If any driver finds assertive cycling* provocative, the problem is with them rather than the person on the bike.

Your whole rhetoric is completely at odds with how the roads should be used. 

*its not even blocking, because that's physically not possible. The point is to dissuade drivers from attempting to pass when it's not safe to do so.

But people aren't 'deliberately blocking drivers'. You may feel comfortable in your car squeezing past a bike with inches to spare, but it's contrary to the highway code which says you should leave as much space as for a car, so on a narrow road like Wightman it doesn't matter whether they're in the middle or in the gutter - you still need the other lane to be completely empty to overtake properly. So whether they're in the middle or the gutter, they're not 'deliberately blocking'.

I don't think drivers get that when you're only on two wheels you need more space because small obstacles in the road (cracks, drains wider than your wheels, even a large stone) can really hamper your ability to go in a straight line - you need to either go around them or over them and hope you don't wobble or come off straight into the path of the car overtaking you. Most cyclists will move over to let people overtake when it's safe to do so - and since it's their safety at risk if you misjudge it, then it seems only reasonable that they're the ones who get to judge this.

I'd be intrigued to know exactly what these cyclists are stopping car drivers doing that they are quite entitled to do.

"This provocative behaviour you speak of, is it like when women wear the wrong kind of clothes?"

Haha totally agree - if drivers find it provocative when cyclists ride in a safe position then they need to take a good look at themselves and probably go and hand in their licences and do a few hail marys.

I would also say it's more dangerously 'provocative' when cyclists ride close to the kerb, as it tempts drivers to think they can squeeze past even when there's not really enough space or time to do it safely.

I'm glad to see this posted. I hope many drivers read these comments. For cyclists out there looking over your shoulder can calm the driver behind you down and make them think about you. So regular looks will gain you space and empathy. The average speed of traffic in London is 10mph so cyclists do not slow car drivers down. Traffic lights junctions and the amount of other car drivers on the road slow traffic down. If all the cyclists were in cars everyone would go much slower. I am a cycling instructor and have been teaching for 12 years now. 

This smacks of "Where I think it is appropriate and safe, I'll jump a red light" which we see cyclists doing all day everyday throughout London. (Wearing headphones and texting at the same time are optional.)

Why are you watching cyclists all day everyday? Weirdo.

As for the implication that cyclists are "texting at the same time" - would you like to reconsider based on the number of drivers caught every day for using their phones at the wheel?

Absolutely. If I ride close to the kerb, motor vehicles overtake me with mere inches to spare, putting my life at risk. 

I'm surprised drivers find this so controversial - taking the primary position is for everyone's safety, especially on Wightman Road. I've had one nearly-nasty incident there with a car trying to overtake me, only having to do an emergency stop as a car pulled out of the Ladder. Checking my ride record when I got home, I had been going 23mph - why he felt the need to try to overtake me when I was already going over the speed limit is a mystery.

Even if drivers don't like it... people using a bike have every right to be in the lane, they're not mandated to hug the kerb.

If they don't like recognising other people's right to be in the road, perhaps they can be swayed by the argument that if you hit someone on a bike by careless overtaking, your insurance premium will go up. 

Especially as most regular cyclists in London do have insurance (despite what irrationally angry drivers think) which for a lot of people includes legal cover - so they'll be getting a lawyer to claim the cost of repairs to their bike and any personal injuries from the driver's insurance.

Just wait five minutes to pass safely - no scratches to your car and no real impact on your average speed in London, plus you've not let anyone see how bad a driver you actually are (as I assume all the drivers doing close passes were aiming to do a safe overtake, in accordance with the highway code and just misjudged the size of their car, right?)

and if you have a fully comp insurance, with a good lawyer, say around £46 a year, then if and when you come to use it then the driver will have to pay the price.  id rather not have to have used it (once thankfully) but when I did the driver tried to claim it was my fault  - took almost 2 years but it was resolved in my favour.  As mentioned on another thread, get drivers to take part in 1 week cycling on the roads in London and they'll soon see why its cyclists need (a fair) amount of room on the roads.  



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