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How car drivers view us.(42 posts)

How car drivers view us.GileyD
Dec 9, 2002 8:57 AM
Yesterday my mate StevieP and I were heading back into town after our usual Sunday morning 60 miler. A few miles from my house we came to some roadworks- the side of the road we were on was coned off and there were temporary traffic lights controlling the flow of traffic. There were about 10 stationary vehicles in front of us waiting at the red light, so I pulled out into the middle of the road and rode down the outside of the queue. As I approached the car at the front of the queue the lights changed to green. I was going to cut in behind the lead car, but there were still some vehicles coming through in the other direction, meaning the car would have to wait a few seconds before pulling away. I therefore sprinted past and through the gap, getting through the roadworks before the rest of the traffic, with StevieP close behind.

About a mile further on as we waited at a red light at a junction I heard a car horn honking and a load of shouting just behind us. An oldish guy in a 4X4 who had been in the queue back at the roadworks had driven up along the pavement (sidewalk in US-speak) and started yelling at us "You could have been killed back there, that was a really dangerous manoeuvre you pulled, you're lucky they're not scraping you off the road" etc etc... We were both taken aback at this guy's outburst and didn't say a lot back.

Two points: The guy saw two cyclists riding in a way that he felt was dangerous. (As far as I am concerned it wasn't at all and I would do the same tomorrow. StevieP did say that the lead car had started to pull away when he came past but he was fully committed to the move, accelerating at about 25mph, and it would have been more dangerous to hit the brakes. He said it left no room for error but he didn't consider it unduly dangerous). The guy is entitled to his opinion, but why did he feel the need to drive almost recklessly after us in order to express that opinion to us?

Secondly, my theory is that many car drivers just don't expect cyclists to pull moves like this. Most people's experience of cycling is cruising along a cycle path at probably no more than 10mph, and they don't realise the acceleration / speed that a reasonably fit rider on a road bike can produce. When they see cyclists overtaking cars on the outside etc they don't realise that such riding is not particularly reckless / dangerous to a fit and experienced rider.

Anyone got any views?
You'll never convince cyclists they're wrong...cory
Dec 9, 2002 9:09 AM
I'm a longtime cyclist, and I also write a newspaper column. Every year, in spring, I do a column reminding drivers that there are bikes on the road, that they're legal vehicles and you have to watch out for them.
At the same time, I remind the riders that part of the responsibility rests with THEM--don't block traffic, don't ride four abreast if it holds up cars, don't dress in black when you ride at night, just don't piss people off unnecessarily, because it makes things worse for everybody. Invariably, going back at least 15 years, I get letters from cyclists accusing me of being either a traitor or of making an excuse for drivers to be aggressive toward them. Only once since 1981 has a rider said, "Yeah, you know, we probably should remember we're not the only ones out there." My sympathy is almost 100 percent with the bikes, but we have to ride on the road as it is, not as we wish it were.
You'll never convince cyclists they're wrong...GileyD
Dec 9, 2002 9:12 AM
I totally agree with you on that one. I really don't feel in this instance we were being inconsiderate to other road users, just making use of our superior manouvrebility.

Incidentally the car at the front of the queue who would have been p*ssed off if anyone was did not respond at all and just carried on.
yeah, I've got a viewgregario
Dec 9, 2002 9:10 AM
What you did was stupid and only gives cyclist a bad rep, and I'm not talking about you just cutting in front of the lead car. NEVER pass a line of cars like that. You want the same rights to the road? Don't pull stupid stunts like that. I would have yelled at you too. As a cyclist few things tee me off more that a bonehead passing cars at a light and not waiting their turn. Would someone on a motorcycle do that?
yeah, I've got a viewGileyD
Dec 9, 2002 9:15 AM
Have to agree to disagree on that one.

Don't see why a cyclist or motorcyclist would sit in a queue of traffic if they can get to the front safely and without upsetting other road users. (I ride m/cycles as well and yes, I would do the same).
YupEager Beagle
Dec 9, 2002 9:16 AM
I wouldn't deam of queueing in a line like that on my motorcycle. I don't run lights, but what's the point in sitting in a line when you can get straight to the front and be gone when the lights change before the dozey guy in his SUV has even put it into drive? If you are going to do that, you may as well be in a car.
i agree with youbigrider
Dec 9, 2002 11:09 AM
You aren't given respect you earn it.

Making an illegal pass on the left( if I read your post correctly) will not endear you to the car world and leaves a lasting negative impression with all the drivers in the line. It would annoy me if I was driving a car in the line.

Coasting on the right hand side up to a red light on the shoulder is one thing that is done all the time and acceptable. Making a dangerous illegal pass and capping it off with a must do sprint to avoid a dangerous incident is a totally different matter.

The guy yelled at you because you scared him and he feared injuring you. Heed his advice. Too many chances will end up in a big disaster. What if you popped out of your cleat? What if the guy in the front car has to tap his brakes because of a pothole in the road? One unplanned hazard is all it takes when you put yourself in a risky position, you have no further options. Just my opinion.
not interestedMJ
Dec 9, 2002 9:16 AM
in what a sedentary driver thinks about my safety

drivers should be concerned that they are being safe rather than that cyclists are being safe - i.e. checking mirrors, checking blind spots, excessive speed, staying in lane/changing lanes, signalling etc.

I will not take advice from a driver who doesn't ride - or from a weekend warrior cyclist - or even from a cyclist who doesn't have experience of riding in urban gridlock

I suppose people are entitled to their opinion but shouldn't endanger themselves, others or me/you trying to track me/you down to let me know what they think about the way I'm riding (thanks all the same)

I guess the guy was either angry or trying to be helpful - but most drivers are not cyclists and that colours their views accordingly

you know what's safe - keep riding safely
Sorry, I think I agree with the guy in the 4 x 4.Turtleherder
Dec 9, 2002 9:22 AM
I don't agree with him chasing you down on the sidewalk, but in my mind you commited very reckless move to pass a line of cars at a stop light and cut back in front of them. If you want to be treated like any other "vehicle" on the road than you have to act like one. That means stopping in line with everyone else and obeying the law. What would you have thought of a car running up the other lane and passing everyone in line?
What wantsEager Beagle
Dec 9, 2002 9:27 AM
to be treated like every other vehicle on the road? There is nothing illegal or inherently dangerous about passing a line of stationary cars - it's just a sensible way of making good progress. What gives?
What gives is that it is AGAINST THE LAW, period (nm)lonefrontranger
Dec 9, 2002 9:30 AM
Two things.Eager Beagle
Dec 9, 2002 9:32 AM
1) No it isn't. At least not in the UK where the poster is.

2) Are you really letting me it's illegal to overtake stationary cars on a bike where you are? I'd move, before breathing is outlawed.
Think before you write...Uncle Tim
Dec 9, 2002 8:38 PM
I am not expert on British driving codes, but I would find it very hard to believe that it is legal to do what this cyclist did: passing stationary vehicles in a queue by jumping over to the lane that carries traffic flowing in the opposite direction. I doubt that it is legal to ride a bicycle against traffic In the UK. That's what this cyclist describes.
Good adviceEager Beagle
Dec 10, 2002 1:24 AM
Why don't you follow it?

Speaking as an English lawyer, I can tell you that there is nothing illegal at all about overtaking a queue of traffic on a bicycle on the other side of the road.

You can find it as hard to believe as you like, but that's all there is to it.
What gives is that it is AGAINST THE LAW, period (nm)MJ
Dec 9, 2002 9:35 AM
MJ "passing stopped line of cars on outside and whitelining" 12/9/02 9:32am
Er... I'm confused, this post seems to say that it IS legal.SnowBlind
Dec 9, 2002 10:35 AM
What gives?
What gives isEager Beagle
Dec 10, 2002 1:27 AM
the ususal range of RBR people who know not of what they speak writing as if there are experts on a subject. In this case, foreign (i.e. UK) law.
whatevermohair_chair
Dec 9, 2002 9:22 AM
That was a dumb move. I would never ride on the outside of a line of waiting cars.

I think you apply too much analysis to this event. Do you want how drivers really view cyclists? Answer: as defenseless obstacles. This gives some drivers the right to judge and in some cases punish the offenders. What are the chances that this guy yells at every driver that does something stupid? Not bloody likely. What are the chances that he hasn't done something equally or more stupid in his car? Pretty good. No one yelled at him.
perhaps....rollo tommassi
Dec 9, 2002 9:40 AM
if I'm understanding your description correctly, you rode down the centerline, on the drivers' side? Perhaps the drivers responded negatively to your action because you did not come from a direction anyone would expect you to.

Unless the right hand side of the lane is impassable, it is not a great idea to pass on the drivers' side, no matter the traffic speed.

If the right hand side of the lane is impassable, and there are only ten cars waiting, why not wait yourself? What's the rush? Are cyclists any more entitled to getting 'ahead' than another road user, merely due to their maneuverability?

Trust me, you will get major points from drivers if you wait like them.

Also, if there is a traffic slow down due to roadworks, please consider that there may be construction workers on the edge of the lane (on either side). Safety cones and temporary lights mean slow down for everyone, so that everyone can get on with their trip in a reasonable manner.
To be honest, I've done it...but I'm not proud of it...biknben
Dec 9, 2002 10:56 AM
As I approached a red light there were about 5 cars waiting and one was jammed against the curb. I went around on the left and planned to just cut back to the right after getting to the front. The light changed when I was still a couple car lengths back. I sped up to squeeze behind the first car and got back over to the right. Thankfully, the second car was slow to accelerate and I had enough of room.

As soon as the light changed I thought I was screwed. It all worked out but I felt like a bonehead anyway.
Most car drivers think you ARE a traffic cone,mahoneyjoe
Dec 9, 2002 11:45 AM
to be on their right (in the US) and quickly passed; if you are anything else (on their left or quick) they don't know where you are and may hit you, you lose. I think this is true for the ordinarily safe, attentive driver; it is only worse for the negligent or unobservant or beligerant driver and there are plenty of them. If your state's vehicle code says you're entitled to act like a car etc, I still think the only safe course is to think like this, and be careful--you could still end up mangled. I wouldn't have passed as you did unless there was no room to the right really at all and I was very sure the light wouldn't change until I got to the front of the line of cars.
The driver was right to give youhell.Uncle Tim
Dec 9, 2002 12:39 PM
gregario makes a simple andd clear point: your cycling move warranted criticism and a traffic citation to boot.

But as the other poster points out above:

You can never convince a cyclist that he/she is wrong.
I agree with the motoristlaffeaux
Dec 9, 2002 1:15 PM
If you want drivers to treat you with the respect of other automobiles, then you'd better give them the same courtesy. It really bugs me when bicyclists say, "you need to share the road with me," yet they run red lights and do manouvres like what you did. If you want to be treated as a car, act like a car. In my opinion you should have taken the middle of the lane and pulled in behind the last car in line (when you arrived).
IF THE POSTER IS FROM THE UK, THEN PASSING ON THE RIGHT MEANS PASSING ON THE OUTSIDE OF THE LANE. REMEMBER, CARS IN THE UK ARE RIGHT HAND DRIVE. HENCE, PASSING ON TEH RIGHT IN THE UK IS THE EQUIVALENT OF PASSING ON THE LEFT IN THE US.I Love Shimano
Dec 9, 2002 6:37 PM
.
Left/Right is not an issue.Uncle Tim
Dec 9, 2002 8:28 PM
Read the original message carefully.

The cyclist was riding on a street where the cars had queued for a red stoplight. The cyclist, rather than take a rightful place in the queue, decided to begin passing the stopped autos in the OTHER LANE that carried traffic flowing in the OTHER DIRECTION.

Of course, as I mentioned in a related post, the stoplight will turn eventually turn green when you are doing stuff like this and the cyclist is almost always in a bad position. In this case, the light turned green as the cyclist NEARED the head of the queue. The cyclist then sprinted, merging in front of the auto traffic. This squeeze was made just before the oncoming traffic came to close the window of opportunity. While doing this, the motorist at the head of the queue (who had the right of way!) had to accomodate the cyclist. Had the driver not hesitated, the cyclist would have been in extreme danger.

It's just a bad play all around. It's bad form and it's against the law. And maybe one time in a hundred it's a fatal error of judgement.
Left/Right is not an issue.GileyD
Dec 10, 2002 1:16 AM
Thanks to everyone for expressing their views, havn't been able to respond as only able to enter the magical world of RBR in work time!!!

Coupla points – Yes I am in the UK so we drive on the left. If traffic is stopped or walking pace I will nearly always swing out to the right (i.e pass on the driver's side). This is from years of experience of passengers opening doors suddenly to get out, cars pulling into the kerb without checking their near side mirror, etc. As soon as the speed picks up I look for a gap, signal left and pull back in. I do see how some people consider this dangerous but I have never (yet!!) had any negative responses from motorists for doing this. My personal feeling is I am safer in the middle of the road in snarled-up traffic. This may be from years of motorcycling before getting into cycling.

I did not cross onto the other carriageway into the path of oncoming traffic and would never do so. I really want my kids to grow up with a father! There was room in the lane for me to ride down the outside of the stationary traffic safely (IMO).

Bottom line is I am male and I am a cyclist: ergo I will not admit I am wrong! That said some of the points raised have made me think (which is the beauty of this forum).

I do care a lot about the rep of cyclists and I can't remember the last time another road user had a go at me about my riding, hence my sharing the experience and asking for views.

Ride safe and ride with a smile!!!
don't worryMJ
Dec 10, 2002 1:54 AM
about Uncle Tim - he always comes out spewing about how cyclists should ride - he appears to base his opinions on experience of riding in a quiet backwater and is unwilling to acknowledge that things may be different elsewhere
I'll kill two birds with one stone...Uncle Tim
Dec 10, 2002 7:09 AM
First, let me state that I still consider myself to be an urban rider, with thousands of miles of experience riding in a busy american metropolitan area. I love riding in urban environments.

Second, GileyD is more than a little unclear in his description of the incident. He clearly expresses that he was passing stopped traffic on the correct side (driver's side) and seems to justify this by making the huge distinction that driving in the middle of the road - on the dividing line - is a huge difference from riding against the flow of traffic. That is splitting hairs as well as traffic.

Giley spoke of splitting a gap caused by oncoming traffic, too.

You guys are gonna do what you're gonna do. Continue to make your own law and the bicycle haters will have plenty of fodder.
Gloriously perverseEager Beagle
Dec 10, 2002 7:35 AM
reasoning - "make your own law" - superb!
are you serious?MJ
Dec 10, 2002 7:38 AM
please read these posts then we can continue:

Eager Beagle 12/10/02 2:01am

MJ "passing stopped line of cars on outside and whitelining" 12/10/02 12:12am

what will it take for you to understand that it may be different in the UK/elsewhere? the law is very clear about this practice in the UK - it's legal, expected and actually encouraged

where do you live? where do you put in your thousands of urban miles? have you ever been to the UK? if you have did you notice that lots of people here have funny accents? are they talking wrong and spelling things wrong too?

you keep saying it's wrong, illegal and dangerous (it may be where you live) yet seem to have not grasped the very basic points made in the above two posts - some places are different
I found the British code on the internet...Uncle Tim
Dec 19, 2002 2:32 PM
I am not from the UK and never claimed to be. I'd love to go there and ride my bike.

From the web sites I was able to find British traffic codes concerning bikes on the roadways, I did discover some things that surprised me. For instance, there are cases where if you take a bike lane you can go around and jump in front of a line of autos. It makes no sense to me, but it is obviously legal to do so.

However, I was not able to find any British code that explicitly stated that these kinds of overtaking and passing that you and others have described on this board are legal. If it's legal, I could not find a code stating that.

Of course, some of these moves may be allowed as a force of habit or perhaps the legal authorities have found that they are unenforcable or not worth the trouble of enforcing.

I criticized the rider you described in a post for making what sounded like a dangerous move that showed little respect for the motorists around you. In that sense, I still maintain that any move in traffic that is not predictable is dangerous.

So this kind of riding is dangerous.

I also think that in the sense of not showing respect to the motorists around you, that is - in and of itself - morally wrong.

So this kind of riding is both dangerous and wrong.

Is it legal? I can't really say. It may be legal. It may be that cyclists are just getting away with it. In this jurisdiction (a particular state in the US) that kind of riding is illegal.

There. You can flame me now. But before you do, remember that you went onto a worldwide cycling website and asked for opinions as whether or not a driver was justified in giving hell to a rider who made a certain manoevre in urban traffic.

You just happened to find someone who said "yeah; that response was justified".
No such thingEager Beagle
Dec 20, 2002 3:15 AM
There is no "code" relating to riding bikes on the roads. Our law works by proscription, not permission.

Stationary traffic. "Not predictable". You obviouly have different gravity laws too.
DisingenuousMJ
Dec 20, 2002 5:30 AM
you have given me a pasting every single time this subject has come up then you drop the thread when it's (UK/urban riding) explained - only to surface again later when the same topic comes up

I know full well it's a global site - if you look at my post I asked people how things are different where they are - you didn't answer that or offer any clue to where you are and where your urban riding takes place - you were only very critical of UK based posters descriptions and explanations

riding in traffic is dangerous full stop - GileyD was in a spot and made a move to get out of it - it worked and no one was injured - despite someone chasing him on the pavement (or can I call it that without getting an earful from you?) in his jeep to tell him he'd done something dangerous

the US and UK legal system is very similar - I'll explain EB's post as you're unlikley to piece it together - laws in both countries are generally predicated on everything being legal unless otherwise noted in statute - it's called freedom - good (albeit extreme) examples is that there is no law here or in the US which expressly gives you the right to breathe, walk down the street, or indeed pass stationary traffic etc. you may want to do a little research into your own law if you'd assumed you can only do what's permitted - it should be you can do whatever you want unless it is prohibited

if you were less critical and ethnoecntric and perhaps a little more interested in listening rather than being critical of things you know nothing about maybe I wouldn't think you are a troll who should be held accountable after several egregious posts

as for showing respect to motorists - I'm not really sure what you're on about here though you keep going back to it - perhaps you live in a fantasy world where people are friendly and respect cyclists who obey the law - my experience is different - I'll ride how I know I'm most safe - you have referred several times before to upsetting people who have to pass you again - that might happend where you live - but the very onerous task of pasing a cyclist rarely happens where I ride as cyclists move at (normally) the very minimum twice the speed of automobile traffic - and for the record - I don't get upset when I have to pass them more than once because they're not 'respecting' me - anyone who gets annoyed by such things really shouldn't be allowed out in public unsupervised

to answer your question - is it legal? - yes it is. you have had a number of UK based posters repreatedly explain this point to you - both EB and I are lawyers as well - you may have also noticed that I have not told you how your law works in respect to traffic - in fact I enquired and you failed to respond - I'll assume you know what you're doing unless I have some basis for believing otherwise - I suggest you adopt a similar approach - it may be interesting that things are done differently but that doesn't mean it's wrong - BTW things are spelled differently too - are tyre, organise and favour spelled incorrectly? - would you like to tell me what an idiot I am for making such obvious errors?

finally you said that the driver was justified in chasing down GileyD on the pavement (sidewalk) because he did something unpredictable - think about what you're saying - a jeep mounted the sidewalk to chase down a cyclist - just think about that

I'm now ready to accept your unreserved apology and I think GileyD and EB are owed one as well

seriously - next time you're in London EB and I will take you out and show you how things are done here (not to scare you or anything) - just to clue you in to a different approach to cycling and 'two wheels good' - maybe you'll even enjoy the warm beer and learn to spell correctly
OK. I'll continue to play...Uncle Tim
Dec 20, 2002 6:47 AM
Again, let me reiterate that you asked for opinions and you got one you don't like. I let the thread drop because we're just going around in circles. It's called letting you have the last word. In fact, you asked me to take this up yet again. You must like my opinion else you would stop asking for it.

I am not going to say where I live in the US, but it is a rather large urban area with a traffic plan that wasn't designed for bicycles. Hence my caution and care.

Yes, riding in busy urban areas is dangerous, but that doesn't mean we should make things worse by making dangerous moves.

Let me tell you about traffic laws in this US state. You don't have the "freedom" to do whatever you want. It is illegal to pass in a reckless manner and it is illegal to ride on the side of the road. You can be cited for this and the charges, if proved, will stick.

For the record, I never said that this driver was justified in chasing you on the pavement (sidewalk). I only said he was justified for giving you hell over the dodging in and out of traffic. Such a driving move is more dangerous than the one made by the cyclist you described.

You say all your law protects the move you've described. More power to you.

You keep using the word "troll". A troll is the kind of writer who asks "well, what do you think?" and then jumps on the responses, refusing to let the thread die.

The only thing I will apologize for is that, since I don't know your road laws, I may have inferred that your riding was illegal. You say it is and I can't tell from reading your British traffic code. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt. I apologize for inferring that.

If I get the chance to ride in London in the next couple of years - very possible! - I'll look you up and you can show me the ropes. But I like my beer cold. :)
troll - nmMJ
Dec 10, 2002 10:01 AM
blowhard (MJ, that is) - nmPescador
Dec 20, 2002 7:39 AM
nm
you can't keep having a go and not get called on it - nmMJ
Dec 20, 2002 8:11 AM
Is the a recordEager Beagle
Dec 10, 2002 2:01 AM
for the thread producting the most self-opionated, ill-informed (with regard to the legality of overtaking in the UK) self-righteous, moralising set of answers ever?

We even have people seemingly seriously suggesting that the driver was right to chase the poster down a sidewalk to admonish him - amazing.

Let's get 2 things straight. Overtaking in the way he did is not illegal in the UK. Driving on the pavement (sidewalk) is. The driver's behaviour would probably also have been a runner for a few other public order offences as well. "Whiteling" is not a concept recognised in the UK. It isn't even a common figure of speach.

I revently completed a Police advance motorcycling course; we spend most of our time in traffic on the "wrong" side of the road, making good progress.

For those of you who have the luxury of riding in the wide open middle of nowhere, perhaps have a thought for others not so fortunate. In the UK, the roads are chaos most of the time, and almost all of the time during commuter hours. By way of example, I have a 5 mile each-way daily commute to work. At least 1/2 of that, often more, consists of slow moving/stationary traffic. If you drive that route, it takes about 45 mins, perhaps more. There is absolutley no question of anyone on two wheels queueing. Bikes, motorcycles, mopeds all just overtake and pull in as and when they have to. The oncoming traffic generally keeps well over to allow 2 wheels to come through. That is just the way it is on the roads into/out of towns in most of the UK. Sales of small (engine) capacity 2 wheel transport have rocketed in the UK during the past 5 years for exactly that reason (and issues of parking).

Overtaking other traffic is simply a non-issue in the UK. Cycle lanes/routes are very patchy, and almost non-existant outside of urban areas, despite heavy traffic. Regrettably, instances of driving idiocy and road-rage are also very common - there is a steady trickle of people assulted and even killed in driver-to-driver voilence situations. This may be partially explained by the fact that, despite not being able to drive them anywhere without a traffic jam, sales of new cars have set new records for each of the last 3 years. The average UK carowner spends 16% of household income on motoring.

People seem to think that they have a right to drive where and when they want to without hold-ups, just because their cars cost so much (and most public transport is risible), and they get very nasty when they can't. I wouldn't be at all surprised if the driver in this case was one of those; I seem them ever morning and night.

I hope that gives you some context to GileyD's riding style.
well saidMJ
Dec 10, 2002 2:21 AM
and not a Guardian link in sight!!

I thought whitelining was the US term for riding in the middle of the road - you know riding on the line...

maybe we could get Uncle Tim to give some thoughtful, understanding advice to India in respect to their traffic problems...
"this" even. nmEager Beagle
Dec 10, 2002 2:25 AM
Cheers Eager BeagleGileyD
Dec 10, 2002 5:36 AM
For the support and telling it (most eloquently) how it is. I have to say I was amazed how many fellow cyclists immediately took the car driver's view.

(Incidentally I did a Police advanced motorcycling course a few years ago with the Avon & Somerset Police and it was the best money I ever spent - learnt so much).
I was there. Here's my 2 cents.StevieP
Dec 10, 2002 5:53 AM
I was on this ride. Here is my 2 pence (cents) worth.

What we consider as safe is going to differ to the next mans. That is clear from the responses to this post. The post was placed because of the 4x4 drivers need to interfere in a matter that had nothing to do with him and hype the incident up (in our eyes & experience, it really wasnt THAT dangerous).

I do appreciate him being concerned about us and it was quite surprise. Will it change the way I ride? No it wont because I will be the judge of what is safe for me & not some motorist who thinks he knows what it is like to ride a bike when he doesnt.

When riding in traffic, you have to make decisions on a regular basis. Each situation should be taken on merit. This becomes harder after 3 hours of hard physical exertion as the brain is tired.

I am a very experienced cyclist who has never owned a car in my 31 years on this planet. From 15 years of road riding in traffic comes very good road sense. I do not mean sensible, I mean awareness.

Now, what you judge as safe, only you can say. Both myself & GileyD consider ourselves to be serious cyclists that ride within ourselves and we value our lives. This does not mean that we dont take risks because we do. Cycling is risky. Period.

I hold respect for cars because they are heavy & made of metal. Flesh vs metal is not a fair fight. I hold nothing for contempt for motorists as, in the main, they dont respect me. I jump queues and red lights IF it is safe for me to do so. Why do we need stop signs & traffic lights in the first place? Because of cars. I am not in a car so I dont wait. Why should I? Surely it is safer to ride with no traffic behind you rather than wait for it to drive up your ass?

I have never had an accident on my bike so I cant ride that irresponsibly. I dont ride nearly as badly as car drivers drive (in the main) so car drivers should keep their opinions to themselves and give us what we really need (a wider berth and patience).

It is not riders who ride in the manner that GileyD & I did that give cyclists a bad name, it is the ones that ride at 10mph on the flat in traffic that keep drivers waiting that give us the bad name.

Those responders above who drive & ride & said we were foolish are welcome to their opinion. However, instead of dissing us and telling us how stupid we were, you should be more understanding of how difficult it is to ride a bike in traffic & appreciate why we might do a risky manoeuvre as opposed to stopping, unclipping & then, eventually, keep more impatient drivers waiting.