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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Yes, and cyclists don't have the right to block cars from overtaking them because they have taken the view that it's unwise, any more than motorists have the right to do the same. Further, moving to the left (if safe) to allow faster vehicles to pass is only to show reasonable consideration ("good manners") for those road users; not to do so is of course (as you'll know from the Highway Code) an offence.

No one has the "right" to overtake, you fool!

The HC does indeed say that drivers should not block someone who wishes to overtake - but there does not seem to be any offence associated with it.  Even this advice clearly does not refer to cyclists - and there is no mention of this issue in the section that refers to cyclists.

The HC has many things to say about only overtaking when safe to do so (section 167) - I think it is fair to say that the conditions on Wightman Road (with a 20 mph speed limit) mean that it is never safe to overtake. There are a number of offences associated with such driving.

Are we still doing this?

If I feel it's "unwise" I don't care whether you think otherwise - I'm not breaking the highway code by not "moving to the left (if safe)" because - and I cannot stress this enough - I DON'T THINK IT'S SAFE.

The rest of your argument is irrelevant.

Of course, the Highway Code also lays down a plethora of rules for cyclists, many of which are honoured more in the breach than the observance...

Car width berth is also in the Highway code - how many roads in Harringay afford a car width berth  - bearing in mind parked cars and traffic volume - very few, in other words it's not safe for cars to overtake in most instances, but particularly during the day/ rush hour.

1 I didn't say anyone had the right to overtake but if it's safe to do so of course they do
2 When you resort to insults it's a sign you're losing the argument
@ David

Fair points : )

Update - having been passed with a gap of around six inches on Monday I now appreciate the issue, and why you cycle in the middle of Wightman Road, rather better than I did before! All I can say is I’m glad I don’t have to take that route in rush hour...

Good to know you've had an epiphany.

It's however unfortunate it required direct experience rather than the overwhelming evidence you were presented with here. Illustrates very well how up against it we are with people who never cycle.

  • Ha! Well I wouldn’t quite call it that. And I will still be cycling on the left where I consider it safe to do so - thus allowing drivers to pass - because my overwhelming experience (15 years of cycling in central London in rush hour) is that that is the best and most enjoyable way for me to get about :-)

I think H.B deserves a pat on the back as they have noted when  others have made contrary points and then actually completely changed their views in the light of experience. 

This may be unique in the history of HOL - or perhaps even the internet. 



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