Daily Punishment Passes & Close Overtakes

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Daily Punishment Passes & Close Overtakes

Postby Edwards » Fri Mar 28, 2014 8:09 am

As the nights and mornings are getting lighter I am finding that these and down right bullying are becoming so frequent as to be at least one every time I go out.
I keep to the left and try to be as conspicuous as possible but it does not work.

Is it reasonable that if I can punch an overtake then they are to close?
If so why should I not do so in self defence?

I am now so fed up of this that I think direct action is needed, such as carrying a spade or ladder over my right shoulder.
Does anyone have any better ideas?
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Re: Daily Punishment Passes & Close Overtakes

Postby mjr » Fri Mar 28, 2014 8:19 am

Why "keep to the left"? If it's not safe to overtake inside the lane, I'd take the lane, help them decide and make them have to overtake properly. I do get some noisy abuse for it (once or twice a year) but it's better than the close passes.

Yes, if you can punch them, I'd say they're far too close. I'd not do it because two wrongs don't make a right and an unsympathetic police might call it criminal damage. I've read that a slap makes a bigger noise, puts you at less risk from Newton's laws and is less likely to dent the car, but I'd still not do it.
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Re: Daily Punishment Passes & Close Overtakes

Postby Postboxer » Fri Mar 28, 2014 8:34 am

Carry a brick in your bar bag, then due to Newtonian physics, when the car passes too close and you want to move away, throw the brick towards the car, thus propelling you away from it. I've often thought when driving that if I was in a big pick-up, covered in dents and scrapes, people would give me more room, sadly I think the same approach may work on a bike, some kind of outrigger sticking out to the right covered in rusty barbed wire, drivers seem to worry more about their precious vehicles than the lives of other human beings.
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Re: Daily Punishment Passes & Close Overtakes

Postby mjr » Fri Mar 28, 2014 8:45 am

Now that you mention it, I probably should move my badly looped cable lock to hanging off the right side of my pannier rack. I'll let you know if it seems to help.
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Re: Daily Punishment Passes & Close Overtakes

Postby Si » Fri Mar 28, 2014 9:44 am

Yep, the "keep to the left" comment jumped out at me too. If you mean in the gutter then you may be luring them into poor overtakes. If, on the other hand, you mean in a normal secondary / in the car's left side wheel track then it sounds like you are being unlucky.
In the latter case, other stuff you could try:
- when you hear them approaching from behind, turn round and eyeball them...this really does help IME. If you can get the first car in the line to give you room then the followers tend to follow suit...sheep-like.
- wobble the bike a bit (but stay on line), they'll give more room if they think you are not in proper control.
- go see the nice peeps at BikeRight.
- check if you are being over sensitive (I get this way when tired and overtakes that I might otherwise have found fine start to annoy).
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Re: Daily Punishment Passes & Close Overtakes

Postby Vantage » Fri Mar 28, 2014 9:52 am

If you can make contact with a passing vehicle then yep it's passing too close. There are days when I wish I'd strapped my BB gun to the pannier rack incase someone threatens me. Hasn't happened yet thankfully.
I do try to stay in the left wheel track but I sometimes find myself wandering closer to the gutter, especially when there's a stupidly narrow cycle lane.
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Re: Daily Punishment Passes & Close Overtakes

Postby Mark1978 » Fri Mar 28, 2014 10:02 am

Si wrote:Yep, the "keep to the left" comment jumped out at me too. If you mean in the gutter then you may be luring them into poor overtakes. If, on the other hand, you mean in a normal secondary / in the car's left side wheel track then it sounds like you are being unlucky.


Jumped out at me too. It's easy to think staying further to the left means that you're further away from traffic and giving them more space. But all that happens is drivers see a gap and go through it. A good number of drivers have no clue about overtaking a bicycle properly so you have to do their job for them. Up to a large extent it's up to you to control when the overtakes happen, and if there is not enough space for you and an overtaking car to coexist on the same bit of road you then ride in the middle to prevent overtakes from happening at all.

And to answer the original question, if you can touch the overtaking vehicle then IMO this counts as a dangerous pass.
Last edited by Mark1978 on Fri Mar 28, 2014 10:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Daily Punishment Passes & Close Overtakes

Postby foxyrider » Fri Mar 28, 2014 10:19 am

I keep meaning to look out the 'passing' lollipop thing i bought on a lark many years ago. its a bit nerdy but i'm sure it does actually work - i don't see why we should have to resort to such measures but until the authorities take some real action every little helps :(
Convention? what's that then?
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Re: Daily Punishment Passes & Close Overtakes

Postby mjr » Fri Mar 28, 2014 10:31 am

foxyrider wrote:I keep meaning to look out the 'passing' lollipop thing i bought on a lark many years ago. its a bit nerdy but i'm sure it does actually work - i don't see why we should have to resort to such measures but until the authorities take some real action every little helps :(

I basically agree but I'm fairly relaxed about fitting things to my bike, rather than dressing up like a 'nana. Most think they work but not everyone agrees:
GrumpyGit wrote:Many years ago I had a reflector on an orange lollipop that stuck out on the right side of the bike, it was useless!

Part of my reason for moving my rope lock to the right-hand-side (and attaching a band of bright tape to the bit furthest from the bike) is that I suspect it looks less like a deliberate "oi you move over" than a lollipop reflector. Also, I'd be carrying it anyway and it costs me no extra.
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Re: Daily Punishment Passes & Close Overtakes

Postby kwackers » Fri Mar 28, 2014 10:41 am

foxyrider wrote:I keep meaning to look out the 'passing' lollipop thing i bought on a lark many years ago. its a bit nerdy but i'm sure it does actually work - i don't see why we should have to resort to such measures but until the authorities take some real action every little helps :(

Cut a circle out of 60 grit sandpaper and stick it over the lollipop bit. :wink:
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Re: Daily Punishment Passes & Close Overtakes

Postby SleepyJoe » Fri Mar 28, 2014 10:51 am

Cycling about 1m from the kerb or in the left hand tyre track seems to help with close passes IMO.
However, there are still some people who pass too close, but now I have some space to my left to move into.
Learning this lesson has taken me a long time and it is counter-intuitive- I naturally want to move away from all those fast lumps of metal speeding past me and I have to consciously force myself to ride further out.
I have also made the decision to fit my most recent uni-pannier on the RHS above the chain. My thinking is that this makes me look wider on the drivers side compared to a left hand pannier. In reality, my hips and shoulders stick out further but anything like this might help. I have also stuck a big 4x12 inch reflective plastic panel on the rear of the pannier to help with night time riding. I must admit I can't say whether it has made any difference, but it won't stop me trying!
With three sets of rear lights (2 flashing & 1 steady) plus bright clothing there should be no excuse for not seeing me, but that is another thread!
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Re: Daily Punishment Passes & Close Overtakes

Postby Edwards » Fri Mar 28, 2014 11:01 am

Typical this morning having started this there were no incidents.

But then again I did stay on a muddy overgrown path that is shown on the Birmingham cycling map as a cycle route. I do not know if it helped but I was carrying a Hand Scythe to cut the undergrowth back. If I do not do this then it is not possible to cycle down there, the local council do not maintain it.

I stay to the left and try not to be a Ninja as has been said on here that I should do, but I refuse to wear a HI Vis vest as I should not need to.
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Re: Daily Punishment Passes & Close Overtakes

Postby mjr » Fri Mar 28, 2014 11:39 am

Some people say motion is more noticeable. Anyone know a good place to get something like reflective string? ;-)

Might bug the hell out of following cyclists though.
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Re: Daily Punishment Passes & Close Overtakes

Postby irc » Fri Mar 28, 2014 11:44 am

Much of it is about driver perception. Almost all drivers won't overtake when it is clearly impossible to do so without hitting a bike. So the more obvious it is the better. They don't always like it when a cyclist rides in a position they perceive as too far out but I'd rather annoy a few drivers than be hit by one. On busy roads once one car is behind you the rest have no choice but to wait.

In the spirit of sharing road space I would also pull in, by stopping if necessary, every so often if there was a queue of cars unable to overtake due to road and traffic conditions. How often would depend on conditions and my speed relative to traffic flow.


Drivers also react differently to different cyclists. How many close passes do police cyclists get? How much more room do child trailers get. I like the way it is explained in The Theory of BIG.


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Re: Daily Punishment Passes & Close Overtakes

Postby mjr » Fri Mar 28, 2014 11:51 am

irc wrote:Drivers also react differently to different cyclists. How many close passes do police cyclists get? How much more room do child trailers get. I like the way it is explained in The Theory of BIG. http://www.tibsnjoan.co.uk/Big.html

Which I suggest is flawed and doesn't give enough weight to behaviour. I score between 0 and 4 on that and get few close passes apart from one notorious stretch of road - which fortunately runs perpendicular when viewed from my home, so I rarely ride along it.
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