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Being part of the problem!!

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Being part of the problem!!

Old 05-13-17, 10:14 PM
  #1  
deaninkl
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Being part of the problem!!

There was a video in the UK in the past week showing a cyclist in the middle of the lane, in a no overtaking area.. a van honks a few times but the cyclist carries on in the middle of the lane until the van driver gets frustrated, overtakes the cyclist the swerves into the bike and pushes the cyclist onto the grass... Cyclist was not hurt, and a following cars web cam captures everything on video. The video was then on many UK news sites.

The driver got fired, rightly so... his actions we inexcusable. The BBC got slagged for suggesting maybe the cyclist was partly to blame?

By law, sure the van driver was to blame. The cyclist had the right to be where he was.. but does that give us the right to hold up traffic. I say NO it does not!!! As a road user we also have to respect other users, that means taking up the space we need, as a cyclist and motorcyclist I believe we don't need a whole lane, we should keep well to our side and give space for other users. By hogging the lane we become part of the problem.

I have tried to upload the video but can't but hopefully the picture will show, and you can see the position in the road of the cyclist. Whilst well within his rights, I believe we should not take up the same space as a car, and we should keep to the left (UK) or right side of our lane (US)....

what are your thoughts?
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Old 05-13-17, 10:25 PM
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Can't speak to tbe laws in the UK, but there are places on the USA where the double-line "NO PASSING" zone has an exception, when drivers can CAREFULLY pass a cyclist despite the no-passing. If that's not the case in the UK, then the cyclist was right. Passing while staying in tbe SAME LANE is DANGEROUS. Unless the land is extra-wide (rare over there), a driver CANNOT pass and maintain proper legal separation.

Safe-passing laws for cyclists do not reduce their rights when circumstances work against drivrs.
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Old 05-13-17, 10:37 PM
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I get your point about the "actual" law, and I'm also not 100% clear on the law in the UK. I guess my point would be more aimed at when there were no double line, about cycling in the middle of a lane simply because we have the right too, there by forcing other road users to overtake by moving to the other lane, which is in itself dangerous, even when done correctly.
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Old 05-14-17, 12:05 AM
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"There was a video in the UK in the past week..."
Got a link to the video? Without context we're just speculating.

There are some roads in my area where there are no alternative routes and a cyclist may be compelled to take the lane for everyone's safety for up to a mile or so.

That shouldn't seem like an unreasonable burden in a rural area where traditionally farm vehicles could be traveling as slowly as bicycles. Somehow when I was younger we managed to cope with following slow moving farm and road construction vehicles without having temper tantrums and bashing into other folks who were legally using the road.

But as some favorite rural routes become congested with expanding housing development it's going to be more of a challenge to bicycle commuting and recreational riding.

My usual method, when I take the lane for safety, is to look for the first opportunity to allow traffic backed up behind me to pass safely. I'll move closer to the edge of the road and wave them ahead when the road ahead is clear of any oncoming traffic. And I'll extend my arm fully while waving them on to indicate a safe passing distance.

Most drivers get the hint. Some don't and are too impatient to wait a few moments -- literally, only a few seconds -- for a safer passing opportunity. Often I catch up with them at the next stop sign, so they're not accomplishing anything other than endangering everyone on the road, including themselves. At most the delay would cost them less than a minute of commuting time.
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Old 05-14-17, 12:15 AM
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Isn't the driver paid by the hour? He has no incentive to overtake a bicyclist at all...
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Old 05-14-17, 03:40 AM
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This thread seems to be a perfect fit for the A & S forum.
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Old 05-14-17, 04:46 AM
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Based on the picture alone the cyclist looks fine. The other lane is open if the driver wants to pass but he likely can't see if the road ahead is clear so he needs to wait until he can verify it's safe to pass.

Sometimes it makes sense to take the lane to avoid a situation where the cyclist would get squeezed if an oncoming vehicle comes by at the same time the rider is being passed.
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Old 05-14-17, 05:02 AM
  #8  
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Thread moved from General Cycling
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Old 05-14-17, 05:19 AM
  #9  
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Here is the article, video link:
White van driver forces cyclist off road in West Sussex | Daily Mail Online

And another
Van driver caught swerving into cyclist in helmet-cam video | The Independent

There seems to be enough traffic that the van can't safely pull into the other lane on the corner, but gets a dashed line plus clear line of sight just past the corner.

Actions of deliberately ramming a cyclist are completely uncalled for. The driver of the van should not only be fired, but also he should be charged with attempted murder. At least hit & run.

There is a lot of talk about "Share the Road". I personally believe it goes both ways, and believe it goes both ways. Cars sharing the road with bikes, and bikes sharing the road with cars.

If the cyclist had been riding near the shoulder, the van could have safely passed, giving at least 4 feet of space. It is just stupid to insist that one is right to ride in the middle of the lane like that, at least in general. There may be a few circumstances when it is fine such as when riding at very high speeds down hills, sharp corners, or with particularly rough roads. Drop-offs? I suppose I'll also choose the middle of the lane when there is absolutely no traffic, but I'll pull right (left in the UK) for both oncoming traffic or cars behind me.

I'm not seeing anything that would necessitate the rider not pulling left. He even has good enough bike handling skills not to go down when rammed.

Of course, none of that justifies the deliberate act of violence against the cyclist. I hope the local law enforcement and court system takes this act seriously.

Last edited by CliffordK; 05-14-17 at 05:25 AM.
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Old 05-14-17, 05:32 AM
  #10  
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Looking at the video again, there is oncoming traffic with another car that passes from in front about 3 seconds after ramming the cyclist.

However, the van goes from just barely crossing the center line (probably with enough room for the oncoming car to pass) to moving all the way to to the fog line, taking up the whole road in an apparent deliberate attempt to run the bicycle off the road. Then after running the cyclist off the road, moves to a more central lane position even before the oncoming vehicle passes.

If safety was an issue, he cold have moved over just enough to get the wheels on the inside of the center line.
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Old 05-14-17, 06:28 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
...My usual method, when I take the lane for safety, is to look for the first opportunity to allow traffic backed up behind me to pass safely. I'll move closer to the edge of the road and wave them ahead when the road ahead is clear of any oncoming traffic. And I'll extend my arm fully while waving them on to indicate a safe passing distance.

Most drivers get the hint. Some don't and are too impatient to wait a few moments -- literally, only a few seconds -- for a safer passing opportunity. Often I catch up with them at the next stop sign, so they're not accomplishing anything other than endangering everyone on the road, including themselves. At most the delay would cost them less than a minute of commuting time.
I'm happy to move over, while watching in my rearview mirrors (left and right). but I don't wave them through...I leave that decision up to the driver, especially on winding roads, maybe also with driveways and unexpected pull-outs.

I will wave after they pass in a goodwill gesture for their patience.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I have in the past posted about giving “bicyclist curses,” and “bicyclist blessings”; about five (5) blessings a day, and about three (3) curses a week. See also the sign below, on my commute through Brookline

I ha
ve those exact thoughts whenever I am passed, even when not too close by motorist who does not slow down or move over slightly, just as an indication that they notice me. I always think those self-absorbed cagers are only restrained by the thought of scratching their cars, or the hassle of filing police reports.

My only satisfactory retribution is to give them my previously-described Bicyclist Curse. (I repeatedly jab my pointed right index finger in their direction, while shouting an accusatory, ”You, you, you…). The possibility of metaphysical retribution is more satisfying than themiddle finger. :notamused:

I do also bestow Bicyclist Blessings on drivers who show even a modicum of respect, with a wave of the hand….
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Old 05-14-17, 02:09 PM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by deaninkl View Post
By law, sure the van driver was to blame. The cyclist had the right to be where he was.. but does that give us the right to hold up traffic. I say NO it does not!!! As a road user we also have to respect other users, that means taking up the space we need, as a cyclist and motorcyclist I believe we don't need a whole lane, we should keep well to our side and give space for other users. By hogging the lane we become part of the problem.
It was neither legal nor moral. You seem to miss some very big points: it was completely unsafe to pass at the point the van driver was blasting his horn with all that oncoming traffic (even if the cyclist had been hugging the grass); it only took a few seconds to reach a point the van driver was legally allowed to pass with a dashed line; even though the oncoming lane had room for the van driver to use that entire lane for a safe pass, the van driver decided he was going to pass close and then side swipe the cyclist.

Being a professional driver who would have traveled that route often, the van driver had to know he only had a few seconds being slowed while blasting his horn.

Cyclist should never sacrifice their safety for the convenience of motorist.
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Old 05-14-17, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
If the cyclist had been riding near the shoulder, the van could have safely passed, giving at least 4 feet of space. It is just stupid to insist that one is right to ride in the middle of the lane like that, at least in general.
BS

If the van were on the double line and the cyclist on the left white line, there would only be 2 to 2.5 feet of clearance.

Please stop trying so hard to find fault with every cyclist
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Old 05-14-17, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
BS

If the van were on the double line and the cyclist on the left white line, there would only be 2 to 2.5 feet of clearance.

Please stop trying so hard to find fault with every cyclist
That is a good sized lane.

The lane is probably about 12' wide.
The van is about 6'6" wide.

That leaves about 5'6" for the bicycle.

Stop foolishly insisting that a bicycle should always occupy 12' of road space.
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Old 05-14-17, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
BS

If the van were on the double line and the cyclist on the left white line, there would only be 2 to 2.5 feet of clearance.
If I have a motorist stuck behind me who is behaving responsibly, I don't mind accommodating a close pass as the speed differential is only a few MPH.
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Old 05-14-17, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
That is a good sized lane.

The lane is probably about 12' wide.
The van is about 6'6" wide.

That leaves about 5'6" for the bicycle.

Stop foolishly insisting that a bicycle should always occupy 12' of road space.
I will often and without hesitation use the lane in a manner that doesn't invite dangerous passes, but I'm also flexible, and as it appears in the video, I would be ok with keeping right with the space available.

On the other hand, I wouldn't presume to tell others what they should, or shouldn't do.
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Old 05-14-17, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
That is a good sized lane.

The lane is probably about 12' wide.
The van is about 6'6" wide.

That leaves about 5'6" for the bicycle.

Stop foolishly insisting that a bicycle should always occupy 12' of road space.
That is hilarious, a 12' country lane in the UK.

Maybe 10' wide at most for the lane and the van is 7'6" wide with the mirrors if we are gracious in accepting your 6'6" claim.
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Old 05-14-17, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Actions of deliberately ramming a cyclist are completely uncalled for. The driver of the van should not only be fired, but also he should be charged with attempted murder. At least hit & run.
It's England; violence is only illegal there when done in self defense.
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Old 05-14-17, 03:29 PM
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The video is rather odd. The cyclist extends his right arm while the van is still directly to the right of him, then as the van pulls left, pushes off the van, almost as if he expected the move.

He is pushed off onto a grassy side of the the road without a ditch, or really anything to hit, although there are a few posts which he ends up going off the road after one and recovering before the next.

And the rider is back on the road without stopping. If it happened to me, I'd at least stop and have a breather.

It almost looks like a youtube setup, although then the question is why it would have been done with an identifiable business van.
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Old 05-14-17, 03:44 PM
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Who is part of the problem, the impatient driver or the cyclist ensuring his safety?
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Old 05-14-17, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
It almost looks like a youtube setup, although then the question is why it would have been done with an identifiable business van.
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Old 05-14-17, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I'm happy to move over, while watching in my rearview mirrors (left and right). but I don't wave them through...I leave that decision up to the driver, especially on winding roads, maybe also with driveways and unexpected pull-outs.

I will wave after they pass in a goodwill gesture for their patience.
I would have made an effort to help the motorist pass. The video was only 12 seconds, so it could well be that the rider was waiting for the right moment. It could also be that the rider had been there for a long time. I do wave people around. It's not to direct them what to do but rather to communicate with them that I am ready for them to pass. What they do with that information remains their choice.
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Old 05-14-17, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by deaninkl View Post
There was a video in the UK in the past week showing a cyclist in the middle of the lane, in a no overtaking area.. a van honks a few times but the cyclist carries on in the middle of the lane until the van driver gets frustrated, overtakes the cyclist the swerves into the bike and pushes the cyclist onto the grass... Cyclist was not hurt, and a following cars web cam captures everything on video. The video was then on many UK news sites.

The driver got fired, rightly so... his actions we inexcusable. The BBC got slagged for suggesting maybe the cyclist was partly to blame?

By law, sure the van driver was to blame. The cyclist had the right to be where he was.. but does that give us the right to hold up traffic. I say NO it does not!!! As a road user we also have to respect other users, that means taking up the space we need, as a cyclist and motorcyclist I believe we don't need a whole lane, we should keep well to our side and give space for other users. By hogging the lane we become part of the problem.

I have tried to upload the video but can't but hopefully the picture will show, and you can see the position in the road of the cyclist. Whilst well within his rights, I believe we should not take up the same space as a car, and we should keep to the left (UK) or right side of our lane (US)....

what are your thoughts?
I agree with you on this.
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Old 05-14-17, 05:46 PM
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At worst, the cyclist was inconsiderate. At best, careful.

At worst, the motorist attempted murder. At best, threatened and intimidated with a deadly weapon.

So the most driver friendly accounting of this situation is: one person was inconsiderate, which led another person to threaten and intimidate with a deadly weapon.

Yes indeed, that is how some people respond with they perceive they've been slighted. You can let fear of such people control your life, or not. Your choice.
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Old 05-14-17, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by downtube42 View Post
... At best, threatened and intimidated with a deadly weapon.

So the most driver friendly accounting of this situation is: one person was inconsiderate, which led another person to threaten and intimidate with a deadly weapon.
Intentionally side swiping a cyclist with a big cargo van is FAR more than simple "threatened and intimidated". It is full out assault and battery, period.

And then you go on to blame the cyclist for the van drivers actions of assault and battery.
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