Crikey - Losing my bottle!!!

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Crikey - Losing my bottle!!!

Postby ChrisPAmbulance » Mon Apr 14, 2014 2:29 pm

Out on the road on Saturday morning, I had three near misses.

1. "Person" turned right directly across me forcing me to swerve into the path of other traffic (Probably a candidate for a SMIDSY or ICBB2LCIAABMWD (you work it out)) in Rugeley, Staffs.

2. Very close pass from a People Carrier on the A51 near Lichfield

3. Another even closer pass on the A513 crossing Cannock Chase (Won't need to shave my right leg for the summer now!)

For the rest of the trip back, I found that I was flinching every time I heard traffic coming up behind me and shot over into the gutter when they did, nearly getting off when there was pavement.

Has anyone else experienced this loss of nerve? - Does it last?
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Re: Crikey - Losing my bottle!!!

Postby JayGatsby » Mon Apr 14, 2014 4:09 pm

ChrisPAmbulance wrote:Out on the road on Saturday morning, I had three near misses.

1. "Person" turned right directly across me forcing me to swerve into the path of other traffic (Probably a candidate for a SMIDSY or ICBB2LCIAABMWD (you work it out)) in Rugeley, Staffs.

2. Very close pass from a People Carrier on the A51 near Lichfield

3. Another even closer pass on the A513 crossing Cannock Chase (Won't need to shave my right leg for the summer now!)

For the rest of the trip back, I found that I was flinching every time I heard traffic coming up behind me and shot over into the gutter when they did, nearly getting off when there was pavement.

Has anyone else experienced this loss of nerve? - Does it last?


Having Streetviewed these roads on Google maps, personally I wouldn't dare venture out there on my bicycle. What's the speed limit for traffic? Yes I know we should be able to cycle safely on these roads, but I wouldn't feel safe at all doing so.
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Re: Crikey - Losing my bottle!!!

Postby Vantage » Mon Apr 14, 2014 4:48 pm

Lost my nerves more times than I care to remember. At the risk of starting another headphones yes or no debate, I do find that I am calmer when I can't hear the buggers screaming past till they've done it. A rear view mirror does help a lot here though.
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Re: Crikey - Losing my bottle!!!

Postby horizon » Mon Apr 14, 2014 9:57 pm

ChrisPAmbulance wrote:
For the rest of the trip back, I found that I was flinching every time I heard traffic coming up behind me and shot over into the gutter when they did, nearly getting off when there was pavement.

Has anyone else experienced this loss of nerve? - Does it last?


Chris: ride primary and get a mirror. The latter, pronto! Take control.
Every carriage, four bikes, all trains. Simple.
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Re: Crikey - Losing my bottle!!!

Postby mrjemm » Mon Apr 14, 2014 10:47 pm

ChrisPAmbulance wrote:1. "Person" turned right directly across me forcing me to swerve into the path of other traffic (Probably a candidate for a SMIDSY or ICBB2LCIAABMWD (you work it out)) in Rugeley, Staffs.


Was that a pedestrian/cyclist? Or someone coming out of a side-road? Otherwise I can't visualise what you mean.

Has anyone else experienced this loss of nerve? - Does it last?


Not from near misses and the like, but as I've mentioned in other threads, went through a spate of dog incidents, and found myself constantly anxious any time I approached a property, fearful that there'd be a dog waiting to ambush us. It lasted a few days, but perhaps it was getting into a city that let me get over it. Once I got home to the countryside I live in, I was totally over it.
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Re: Crikey - Losing my bottle!!!

Postby Si » Tue Apr 15, 2014 9:16 am

horizon wrote:
ChrisPAmbulance wrote:
For the rest of the trip back, I found that I was flinching every time I heard traffic coming up behind me and shot over into the gutter when they did, nearly getting off when there was pavement.

Has anyone else experienced this loss of nerve? - Does it last?


Chris: ride primary and get a mirror. The latter, pronto! Take control.


I'd say, ride primary (as appropriate) and _don't_ get a mirror (or rather, don't rely on a mirror). When you hear something coming up behind you, look round at it - properly, not just a glance, a proper stare into the windscreen. Mirrors are OK as aids but can't replace the two way communication of a proper rearward look. If there is a line of cars then you often find that they act like sheep - get the first to give you room and the others will follow suit.
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Re: Crikey - Losing my bottle!!!

Postby ChrisPAmbulance » Tue Apr 15, 2014 9:36 am

Was that a pedestrian/cyclist? Or someone coming out of a side-road? Otherwise I can't visualise what you mean.


It probably wasn't best explained.

Coming into Rugeley on the A51 from Stafford/Wolseley bridge, as you come through the centre of town there are two lanes, the left hand for Armitage, the right for Lichfield. I was in the Right hand one heading for Lichfield. Just after the Walsall roundabout, a car comng the other way turned right (from their perspective) across the carrigeway right in front on me. I had no room to brake and was forced to swerve left onto the Armitage lane which was much busier, luckily there was a gap between cars and I had chance to whip round the offending car and back onto my lane out of harms way.

You can rest assured that sleepy saturday morning Rugeley overheard the finest that I could offer having worked in heavy engineering for some years.
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Re: Crikey - Losing my bottle!!!

Postby Tonyf33 » Tue Apr 15, 2014 3:34 pm

Yesterday I was about 15 cm from being under the back wheels of a tipper truck, cut right across me to exit onto a road to my left (short section of dual carriageway), I could have done nothing about it as he was going in excess of 50mph and likely I'd have been dead or severely injured at best. It would have made not a jot of difference what my road position was, this guy was determined to turn off ahead of me, he went in far too fast for the bend just on the exit https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.96258 ... SbMMag!2e0 so could easily have turned after me instead of just pressing the accelarator harder. I was angry for about 10-15 seconds but had to fous on the next hazard ahead and interaction with other vehicles.

This is the closest miss I've had in a while and if he had of hit me would have been by far the worst outcome though I've been struck/knocked off 5 times ever (all in the last 9 years of 30 years cycling). IF i were to keep thinking about the near misses etc I'd go insane.

I do get angry, I do want retribution, I do want to shove my thoughts and anger down motorists throats, but will I still get on my bike and ride..too bloody right I will, nothing will ever bully me off the road :D . I know the police/politicians/judges don't give a stuff about cyclists despite all their bluster and so called initiatives/proposals but I'm not letting them or the idiots who make cycling miserable at times stop me..

Don't let the bad ones put you off/get you down
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Re: Crikey - Losing my bottle!!!

Postby mjr » Tue Apr 15, 2014 4:19 pm

ChrisPAmbulance wrote:For the rest of the trip back, I found that I was flinching every time I heard traffic coming up behind me and shot over into the gutter when they did, nearly getting off when there was pavement.

Has anyone else experienced this loss of nerve? - Does it last?

It doesn't seem to. One bad ride is usually followed by nothing for months on end, even if it was on my most frequently-used section.

I suspect the first one you describe was a nutter and there was nothing you could do to avoid it, but it may then have made you subconsciously more nervous for the other two. It's counter-intuitive, but diving into the gutter is a pretty bad thing to do because borderline-nutters interpret it as "I'm not worthy - please overtake now without changing lane" or something like that. I try to delay moving as late as possible, but I've noted in other topics (and been criticised for it) that I do dive left sometimes. It's only once put me in a hedge and I'm sure I would have been on a bonnet ornament otherwise that time.

I'd also be writing to the responsible officers and politicians (county council? Highways agency and MPs?) to ask them to make those roads safe for cycling (space4cycling and/or roadjustice) before someone is seriously injured.
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Re: Crikey - Losing my bottle!!!

Postby ChrisPAmbulance » Tue Apr 22, 2014 12:13 pm

Thanks for all the encouragement people.

I'm happy to report that a quick run doen the A34 from Stafford to Great Wyrley and a real pell mell run back showed that my bottle had returned and was intact.
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Re: Crikey - Losing my bottle!!!

Postby Flinders » Tue Apr 22, 2014 6:17 pm

Good for you, well done. :mrgreen:

I ride a horse as well as a bike, and the horse-y fraternity think that the best cure for a bad experience on a horse is to get right back on as soon as you can catch the horse and before you think about it too much, and ride until the bad feeling wears off and you have your confidence back. It's always worked for me, and I'm a wuss.
I was chucked off a newly broken-in youngster once when he just panicked a some wolf he thought he saw. My instructor didn't want me back on the same one, as would be usual, as he'd got all unnerved and needed a better rider than me to get right on and ride him and calm him down, but nevertheless also got a quieter horse saddled for me pronto and got me straight on it. Best thing she could have done, I had no 'after effects'. I think the horsey people have something with this idea. (Of course, if you're injured, it's different.)

Commuter cyclists, as I once was in London, just have to keep at it if it's the only way they can get to work, which helps too, I think.
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Re: Crikey - Losing my bottle!!!

Postby Alan D » Tue Apr 22, 2014 6:37 pm

Don't lose your bottle Chris! Although it's really annoying when this happens. I have a small mirror mounted on my helmet and regularly check behind. As Si suggests, when a car is approaching, I give a good look over the right shoulder and try to look at the driver, mostly they take the hint and give a wide gap. Can anyone suggest how I can do this and maintain a straight line though? :shock:
If someone does not, I express my displeasure by using my right arm to sign that more room is needed; palm outwards and give a pushing right movement pumped 2 or 3 times. Probably the offending driver is completely oblivious to my antics, but I guess any following driver gets the message.
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Re: Crikey - Losing my bottle!!!

Postby mjr » Tue Apr 22, 2014 7:14 pm

Alan D wrote:Don't lose your bottle Chris! Although it's really annoying when this happens. I have a small mirror mounted on my helmet and regularly check behind. As Si suggests, when a car is approaching, I give a good look over the right shoulder and try to look at the driver, mostly they take the hint and give a wide gap. Can anyone suggest how I can do this and maintain a straight line though? :shock:

Can I open with the obvious? Don't turn the handlebars as you look over the shoulder?
If someone does not, I express my displeasure by using my right arm to sign that more room is needed; palm outwards and give a pushing right movement pumped 2 or 3 times. Probably the offending driver is completely oblivious to my antics, but I guess any following driver gets the message.

My usual signal after a close overtake is to sweep my open palm back and forth across in front of my handlebars twice to indicate "this is how wide I am". I'm pretty sure the offending drivers see it in their mirrors because some gesticulate things in reply, usually either pointing to the side ("get on the path"? no ta) or a single up-pointing middle finger :lol:
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Re: Crikey - Losing my bottle!!!

Postby Si » Wed Apr 23, 2014 8:14 am

Can anyone suggest how I can do this and maintain a straight line though?


Bend the elbows before looking, and swivel the body rather than just the head (probably bending the left elbow more)
Then experiment regarding how far to the side you move your weight.....that is, if you stick your head out to the right to look behind then your centre of gravity will move to the right and the bike will follow it to the right. So before you look shift your centre of gravity to the left a little, thus as you turn your CoG will stay over the middle of the bike.
I should point out that all of this is easier to do than to describe!
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Re: Crikey - Losing my bottle!!!

Postby Vantage » Wed Apr 23, 2014 9:41 am

Something I read about mirror use is that if you can see something in the mirror then you know something is there, if you can't see anything then you turn and make sure. I have enough difficulty not wobbling the bike when I'm looking forward so that way is best ime.
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