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Old 25th July 2011   #101
Multi Groovesdonor
 
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What's wrong with South of the river for once?
Camberwell


@Will No
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Old 26th July 2011   #102
Oliver Schick
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MotherGirl View Post
There is nowhere near the amount of cyclists in Birmingham and cars have no idea how to treat us but I rarely encounter aggression such as this yet in London where bikes are so abundant now, I encounter aggression quite often...it's quite interesting. I feel like when I move to London/if I teach here I will have to adapt how I teach to take into consideration alot of differences.
Your experience, of suddenly noticing something that you hadn't anticipated, is perfectly normal in London. I haven't cycled much in Birmingham, but I would say that yes, there is a definite difference. I would say that in London I would tend to ride in the primary position more, although that is probably partly because in Birmingham I was sightseeing. I did ride halfway around the inner ring road in Birmingham (missed out the southern half because I turned off too early), mostly in primary, especially in the tunnels, but there was only very light traffic. Despite a lot of fairly appalling traffic engineering, it was all very easy (and distances around the inner city were so short!).

In London, activity levels are so high, even in a suburb on the edge of Inner London such as Hackney, that you have to remain alert constantly. If you 'nod off', you'll probably end up being surprised. I think this is a major cause of stress for people and applies across all modes, even walking. Places with a slower pace of life are probably a lot healthier than London, I think.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MotherGirl View Post
My friend who'd ridden ahead came back to see what was going on and banged on his window, the guy jumped out the van and started screaming "What the fuck is your problem?" at me. I was shell shocked and didn't say anything. The two guys began to argue and the driver tried to headbutt my friend(!) before driving off. My friend then started shouting at me saying I should NEVER ride in the secondary position and I began to cry (out of anger I suppose) because well it's my goddamn job to teach people how to ride safely on the road!

*snip*

Further to the above incident, I then spent the rest of the day questioning myself, I always ride in the primary position when it's safe to do so but feel like I should also act sensibly and not block the roads when I'm going slower. I teach the syllabus exactly as it says on this topic but it seems like different instructors have different opinions on this...I know some instructors who NEVER take up primary except when turning and others who are adamant that you should all the time.
Well, your friend (is he an instructor, too?) is obviously wrong if he meant to articulate an inflexible and dogmatic position. Whether or not you take up the primary position depends on your risk assessment of the individual situation. As for those instructors who choose to take the primary position rarely, I would say that their stance would increase risk to them in a good number of other situations (pinch points, etc.), and that they shouldn't teach what they say, but that their own private riding style is really up to them.

Dogmatism about the primary position is something that most people who don't understand cycle training (well) slip into really easily.
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Old 26th July 2011   #103
wiganwill
I never use the phrase 'primary position' when I am instructing. Or 'risk assessment'. We should be able to use everyday language to explain what we mean. Don't even get me started on 2.10 "Explain decisions made which demonstrate an understanding of your riding strategy".
Similarly with school children I think it's better to explain junctions as being where a side road meets a main road - those are the phrases they will hear in everyday conversation. 'Major' and 'minor' are not commonly used. Keep the terms simple and concentrate on the principles; who has priority etc.
The other thing is to avoid, at all costs, trainees thinking their is a position they should adopt, rather than a variety of positions depending on circumstance. And to stress that being assertive and safe is not incompatible with being considerate.
This has been discussed before but I also think we should prepare trainees for the times when they will get shouted at or beeped at because we know it will happen and as they are learning to adapt to a more assertive style is when it will happen the most. It takes experience to master these techniques so I always take time at the end to talk to them about how they might react, what they can learn from these unpleasant incidents and about not taking it personally.
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Old 26th July 2011   #104
edscobledonor
 
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"ride where you can be seen" instead of "primary position" work wonder, allowed the individual to make their own decision on how to take the lane.

Once the individual realised that they don't have to ride like a second class road user (i.e. move out when a motorised vehicles is in the presence), everything should fall in place.
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Old 26th July 2011   #105
Jess|e
@ Oliver - I have lived and cycled in London for a few years before the 'boom' but I think my point was I am surprised that attitudes to cycling from other road users hasn't seemed to improved along with this. Yes indeed - for the second city, Birmingham never gets such high volumes of traffic and it's still relatively easy to get around without too much forward thinking. I will definitely take time to get to know the London roads well. My friend isn't an instructor no but is a very experienced rider who can't get his head around my riding style, he sees other traffic as the 'enemy' I suppose and thinks I am too courteous of a cyclist.

I really can't get my head around instructors who teach one thing but then do exactly the opposite in their own time but I suppose that's up to them. Sadly, there is a huge money incentive in these parts to teach Bikeability, etc and I encounter some people who really couldn't care less about the job or the future cycling habits of their trainees.

The hardest thing is getting the trainees to think for themselves, it's quite easy to follow what we do once they've been shown it exactly but no situation is the same. I find it frustrating that some groups never get taken off the quiet side rides so they're (in my opinion) really underprepared for the road and the actions they might encounter from other road users. Major and minor always proves to be confusing as children especially focus on the actual words instead of their meaning if that makes sense? On some courses primary and secondary aren't used at all, instead stay behind me and come past me are used and then sometimes there is swapping between the two which is also confusing for the trainees. Also, I suppose because of my age (22) I get instructors who are the designated assistant who completely take over sessions which I don't mind so much as I try and let the assistant instructor do part of the teaching and swap over a bit because it's boring sometimes but not at the detriment of the teaching quality.

It would be very useful to meet up but unfortunately I'll be mid way to Berlin on my charity ride by the 10th. Hopefully someone can take notes or feedback. I shall be in London on Friday getting ready for the Open polo tournament so maybe catch some of you then.
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Old 26th July 2011   #106
BringMeMyFix
 
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Some random anecdotal stuff for you all:

On group rides (club runs, TNRC, etc.), cars approaching from the rear can often lead to some less than ideal riding:

- typically the rider acting as backstop at that point will shout 'car back!', to alert the peloton, particularly if they see members of the group riding wide/erratically ahead of them.

- they might also add 'single up!' if the road is narrow, the driver is acting very twitchily, or if there is an unbroken 'no overtaking' white line (where they feel that the driver is going to overtake anyway, and forcing them any wider than necessary could have more dramatic implications)

I think both of those are good things. Now for the bad:

- the backstop or riders near to the back become uncomfortable with the presence of the car behind them, even if the driver is sat well back and being unthreatening, and start gesticulating that the driver should come through (I think the decision should be 100% that of the driver, with no coercion from riders)

- on hearing 'car back!' some riders immediately slow down, often abruptly - WTF? Dangerous, concertinaing effect, with riders weaving to avoid each others' wheels.

- as a driver overtakes the group, some riders accelerate - again WTF? I remember how some car drivers would also do this when being overtaken. Not sure if it's psychological, belligerent, or something to do with perception of speed/motion. Anyway, it gets on my tits.

Thankfully these situations are more often the exception than the norm, and designated ride leaders/responsible adults riders try to remedy the situation vocally or through their own riding/positioning. It's very enlightening to backstop a ride and watch the behaviour of individuals (or the headless peloton) in front of you; even moreso if you drift off the back and watch the interaction with cars that slot in behind the group.

I think with the increase in cyclist numbers on the roads, especially during rush hour, the finer points of group riding are becoming an important cycle training topic; including organized group vs one that forms organically and temporarily en route.
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Old 26th July 2011   #107
skydancerdonor
 
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CTUK attended Transport for London’s Cycle Safety Seminar today at City Hall.
It’s focus was on ‘reducing conflict between lorries and cyclists on London’s roads’.
There were some intersting development's in TfLs thinking which are worth mentioning here:

1. Primary position by design
John Lee, the principle road engineer for TfL, presented current thinking in infrastructure engineering. An example he gave involves narrowing roads in some circumstances aiming to prevent drivers overtaking (wherever the cyclist chooses to position themselves in the lane). John also showed some alternative advance stop box design which aims to minimise issues around the feeder lane that encourages riders to the left of left turning vehicles. He stated that these ideas aim to minimise apparent conflict between NS cycle training messages and the way some roads are designed.

2. Educating drivers about where to expect cyclists.
Another positive note that came out of that meeting follows on from the fact that many professional drivers, through on-bike cyclist awareness training, are beginning to understand why riders ride in the middle of the lane when they need to. While bus drivers and some HGV drivers are getting this message the average car and van driver are still confused by such behaviour and some act aggressively to cyclists in this position. TfL’s Better Routes and Places manager stated that TfL are now developing some new marketing/education material which will show riders positioned centrally in the lane and will be consulting CTUK and others through the Cycle Safety working group.

Chief Inspector Ian Vincent of the cycle Safety Squad is keen to hear reports about aggressive drivers. These can be sent via this website:
http://www.met.police.uk/roadsafelondon/




Last edited by skydancer; 26th July 2011 at 14:34.
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Old 26th July 2011   #108
skydancerdonor
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wiganwill View Post
Maybe it's time for another instructors drinks evening? I know LMNH is the default location but perhaps we could go somewhere where you don't have to do two Dr Bikes to be able to pay for a beer?
Quote:
Originally Posted by skydancer View Post
Good plan Will
Let's all make a date, we've a lot to talk about
Wed 10th August evening from 1800 at The Nobody Inn, Newington Green?
http://www.beerintheevening.com/pubs...ewington_Green

Who's in?
1. skydancer
Quote:
Originally Posted by Multi Grooves View Post
What's wrong with South of the river for once?
Camberwell
OK festus. Happy to go South
Suggest date time and venue...
(In fact why not start a Cycling Instructor Drinks thread?)
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Old 26th July 2011   #109
wiganwill
This should be re-posted on other relevant threads.

Chief Inspector Ian Vincent of the cycle Safety Squad is keen to hear reports about aggressive drivers. These can be sent via this website:
http://www.met.police.uk/roadsafelondon/


If he really is 'keen' I suspect that weekly or daily reports from LFGSS members will be manna from heaven for him.
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Old 26th July 2011   #110
skydancerdonor
 
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^Done
proasted
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Old 26th July 2011   #111
origamist
Quote:
Originally Posted by wiganwill View Post
This should be re-posted on other relevant threads.

Chief Inspector Ian Vincent of the cycle Safety Squad is keen to hear reports about aggressive drivers. These can be sent via this website:
http://www.met.police.uk/roadsafelondon/


If he really is 'keen' I suspect that weekly or daily reports from LFGSS members will be manna from heaven for him.
However, without camera footage or corroborating witness accounts, a letter will now no longer be sent to the road user specified in the complaint. Previously, this was the general procedure for "cycling near misses". Other offences were dealt with differently.

The RoadSafe team were advising regular users of their service to invest in a camera.
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Old 26th July 2011   #112
wiganwill
That's a shame. However, if everyone used this service every time they encounter dangerous driving it at least adds to the pressure for cyclists' concerns to be listened to and builds up some statistics about how often cyclists encounter such behaviour.
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Old 26th July 2011   #113
j.m.f
srsly.dont think theres enough room on the internet to post all the examples of poor/threatening driving that i come across.
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Old 26th July 2011   #114
origamist
Quote:
Originally Posted by wiganwill View Post
That's a shame. However, if everyone used this service every time they encounter dangerous driving it at least adds to the pressure for cyclists' concerns to be listened to and builds up some statistics about how often cyclists encounter such behaviour.
Indeed. I'd still encourage people to use the RoadSafe site and the CTC's Stop Smidsy site when reporting incidents.
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Old 29th July 2011   #115
Londonneur
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wiganwill View Post
That's a shame. However, if everyone used this service every time they encounter dangerous driving it at least adds to the pressure for cyclists' concerns to be listened to and builds up some statistics about how often cyclists encounter such behaviour.
Indeed +1 to this
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Old 1st August 2011   #116
origamist
Primary position piece in the Guardian Bike Blog (including refs to Dave D and LFGSS):

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environmen...-take-the-lane
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Old 1st August 2011   #118
neudonor
 
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Before I left work I read that Guardian article on primary positioning, something that's always bothered me, as no matter how safe you ride some drivers will react badly.

Low and behold on the way south from bloomsbury through covent garden I turn left onto endell st (single lane) and immediately hear a taxi accelerate up my arse and start beeping his horn. I'm in primary, the only lateral space availble being the odd parking space. I turn and say "no room!" he beeps louder I shout louder "THERE'S NO ROOM" etc till the exit where I pull left and gesture for him to overtake and he thanks me sarcastically.

Within 5 seconds he's stopped behind a dustbin lorry turning onto the zebra crossing to which he also beeps.

He had no fare, and I was behind him as he turned into covent garden after the opera house. Perhaps he was performing this evening? Or maybe delivering a dress?
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Old 1st August 2011   #119
James1822
^that often happens down that road (endell st). I'm usually on a road bike and just go fast down the middle of the lane which usually works, but I still sense sometimes that a cabbie is desperate to tailgate me. I find there are certain roads where, for some reason I can't work out, drivers (often cabbies) behave like arseholes. Another example is the sliproad off the Euston Road going east, at UCLH/Gower Street.

The suggestion above about TFL getting taxi drivers to have some form of cycle training sounds like a v good idea to me.
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Old 1st August 2011   #120
Eightballdonor
 
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Is it a cyclist's right to 'take the lane'?
yes,
next
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Old 2nd August 2011   #121
Londonneur
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James1822 View Post
The suggestion above about TFL getting taxi drivers to have some form of cycle training sounds like a v good idea to me.
I have noticed for some time that the level of agro from black taxis has been on the rise. Addison Lee have always been crap and remain so. I just think there are more riders about. The Taxi lot feel a considerable entitelment and that we are in the way generally.

I am twittering with a loadof Black cabs at the mo on this very subject. Facinating. No really... ;-) Despite some of them being rather intollerant, all most really want is for riders to communicate and behave predictably.... sound familliar? They do tend to talk about us not paying "Road Fund" though. I'm working on it. #livinginanothercentury
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Old 2nd August 2011   #122
edscobledonor
 
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Personally I still feel teaching driving instructor would make the biggest difference.
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Old 2nd August 2011   #123
Clwydian
 
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Quote:
Personally I still feel teaching driving instructor would make the biggest difference.
The Highway code needs to be amended to reflect correct road use by cyclists and how drivers of motor vehicles should respond. Then it can be covered it in the theory paper.
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Old 2nd August 2011   #124
_Zed_donor
 
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Quote:
Given the uninformed, gormless and lazy "I pay road tax" argument that we've all heard ad nauseum, you could see how said driver(s) would take offence to a 'scummy' cyclist taking the lane without any signal or acknowledgement. When was the last time you saw any smiles, thumbs up, a wave or the words "thank you" from a cyclist to a driver (or even to a fellow cyclists) last week, month or year?! I rarely do. It's human psychology that we like being thanked and recognised for the little things we do. I firmly believe better manners would ease many of these potential confrontations. Next time you find yourself going through a pinch point get into position on time and try looking said driver in the eye with a thumb up in advance.
More of this. Well articulated MG.
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Old 2nd August 2011   #125
rhb
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clwydian View Post
The Highway code needs to be amended to reflect correct road use by cyclists and how drivers of motor vehicles should respond. Then it can be covered it in the theory paper.
It needs more than covering in theory. Learners encounter cyclists during lessons and as such their instructors must be required to know the rules relating to cycling, and not instead, for example from experience, shout at cyclists to get in the cycle lane - propogating this view to the next generation of drivers.

I'm still considering the view that L3 bikeability should be pre-requisite to provisional driving licence. Can't think why not. Happy to be talked around by reasoned argument.
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Old 2nd August 2011   #126
dancing james
 
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Last night I was in the middle lane as I approached a junction, because I wished to go straight on when the lights changed.

The lights were red on my approach, but the car behind was beeping at me to get past, so I waived at the car. At the lights the driver went apeshit, "did you fucking waive at me? you think you own the road? get a life you sweaty tramp, i stopped riding a bike when i was a teenager, i fucked your mum last night...."

"So do you actually own the road? You are so fat that sitting in your car you are sweating, are you a necrophiliac? my mother is dead, but i fisted yours last night..."

Clearly my responses to his communications were not appreciated as he pulled over twice to try to get out of his car to hit me, but being a fat retard he could not run fast enough.

Possibly not my finest hour.
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Old 2nd August 2011   #127
kirkovdonor
I like the "see your mother insult and raise you" attitude.
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Old 2nd August 2011   #128
skydancerdonor
 
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@prancer good to see the cycle instructor.training works , you're managing to pitch your communication better
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Old 3rd August 2011   #129
rhb
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhb View Post
Have emailed the DSA asking for guidance on what I should be saying to instructors. Highway code point 61 & 63 are the key:

"Use of these facilities is not compulsory and will depend on your experience and skills, but they can make your journey safer."

&

"Use of cycle lanes is not compulsory and will depend on your experience and skills, but they can make your journey safer"
Quote:
Originally Posted by BringMeMyFix View Post
^good work - look forward to hearing their reply/stance.
Update, a response:

Quote:
Thank you for your email of 25 July.

This Highway Code applies to England, Scotland and Wales and it is important that all road users are aware of the Code and are considerate towards each other.

Rules 61 and 63 make it clear that use of cycle facilities or lanes is not compulsory.

All Approved Driving Instructors (ADI’s) must be registered with the Driving Standards Agency. Instructors are subject to ‘check tests’ every so often. Their instructional ability is assessed and graded. It would be expected that an ADI would have a wide ranging knowledge of the code.

If this should happen again we can only suggest that you politely remind them of rules 61 and 63 and if this should lead to a similar situation occurring you can ask for their details.

A fully qualified ADI must display a green badge on the windscreen of the car while teaching. Some trainee driving instructors are given a trainee licence so they can get experience before their qualifying test. They must display a pink badge on the windscreen.

If this is not forthcoming you should make a note of the vehicle details and any other helpful information and send this with details of your complaint to us at the above address. We will then look into the matter.

In the case of any threat of assault or abusive behaviour you should also consider reporting this to the Police.

I hope this is of assistance.
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Old 3rd August 2011   #130
j.m.f
Is it a cyclist's right to 'take the lane'?
yes,
next
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Old 4th August 2011   #131
BringMeMyFix
 
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Thanks for the update, rhb.
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Old 6th August 2011   #132
wiganwill
Horribly, the dangers of not riding in primary position seem to have been illustrated yesterday






http://www.islingtontribune.com/news...river-arrested
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Old 7th August 2011   #133
gaz1979
 
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found this thread by reading that one ^^^
very sad and very scary.

i always try to "take the lane" if i can, and let drivers pass me at the next safe break in the parked cars. seems to work ok, other than the occasional pinchy moment on rejoining.

i do get honked at sometimes, but i have started to be more communicative with waving / thumbs-up / apologising when it's my fault, kind of stuff.

the main rule with taxis, in my book, is to give them as much space as possible. too many close calls has made me wary. a keen eye for those stickers in the back windows of non-black cabs helps too. and another keen eye for people flagging them down just before they drift suddenly across three lanes of traffic and right into your riding line.

i know that not all cab drivers are irrational, unpredictable, unobservant etc, but i think it's healthy to establish a mindset where you presume that they might be, and just stay at a safe distance. after all, it's not too easy to concentrate on the finer points of the highway code when you drive for nine hours every day. same goes for saturday night curb-stumblers and boris bike tourists: spot them, and presume they'll do something remarkably stupid. then get as far away from them you can.
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Old 7th August 2011   #134
whatok
 
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you gotta wave. thumbs up. smile. etc.


it's all courtesy. don't stoop to the cunts level.
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Old 10th August 2011   #135
twist305
Quote:
Originally Posted by whatok View Post
you gotta wave. thumbs up. smile. etc.


it's all courtesy. don't stoop to the cunts level.
that's all that's needed, I don't get the lack of courtesy, if someone lets me out in my car when I'm driving they get thanked, same goes on my bike, taxi,car,lorry, sees me signalling , moving out and leaves me room to manoeuvre they get a quick thank you thumbs up, hardly had any issues riding round London doing on average 150+ miles a week. Show respect you'll get some back.

Most problems I've had are cyclist not paying attention and not signalling and then looking surprised when you say something or they nearly get mown down by a motorised vehicle.

The idea of giving 'taxi' driver cycle training could go both ways - I really think some cyclists need to learn to drive instead, would give them a glimpse into the daft stuff that goes on whist you're behind the wheel.
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Old 28th August 2011   #136
GA2G
 
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I have stayed silent all of this time, and thought several times of having private communications with some of the cycle instructors on here, but this is my problem - I just disagree with the Primary Position design and purpose.

People I massively respect, like Festus, Will, and Oliver all clearly are singing from the same hymn sheet, but somehow (and I have tried), I've failed to agree with it all. I want to understand it, but my experiences and my method of analysis leave me with a conclusion that appears to be opposite to everyone else.

In essence, I find the Primary Position is not more safe, as I see it, but less. In most situations, and when one can be clearly seen, then yes, its superior. However, in some situations, I fear the worst, for example, when a car is speeding around a blind corner, or over a crest. Would a vehicle then have the time to react quickly enough to a cyclist in the middle of the road in front of them? I don't know. I'd rather not risk it, so I cycle always as far left as possible.

There is also the psychology of it. Where do most drivers expect to find cyclists in the road? Isn't it on the left? Isn't this reinforced by cycle lanes being on the far left? Wouldn't this subliminally educate drivers that that is the place for cyclists?

I apologise for my very contrary view, but I just think of it this way - If a driver gets distracted and looks away from the road for a second (which does happen, I'm sure you will all agree), then a cyclist is then in danger from this driver. I don't want to feel secure that an insurance payout will favour me, as the driver may be in charge of an articulated lorry, and the insurance company wouldn't be paying me anything if I were pushing up daisies?

I'm sure someone will show me how wrong I am, but without meaning to cause contention, I do remember that someone has perished, cycling here in London, and they were in the middle of the road at the time....in broad daylight. I think the I didn't see the cyclist defence has far too much success for me to take the view that cycling in the middle of the lane will always be okay. I am just doubtful is all.

Please keep in mind that I am a regular commuter (500 miles per month), and used to be a cycle courier for several companies, so I am very comfortable cycling London's streets. What do I need to learn to overcome my negativity?

Last edited by GA2G; 28th August 2011 at 14:40.
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Old 28th August 2011   #137
edscobledonor
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GA2G View Post
Please keep in mind that I am a regular commuter (500 miles per month), and used to be a cycle courier for several companies, so I am very comfortable cycling London's streets. What do I need to learn to overcome my negativity?
The obvious, ask for a cycle training lesson and see how that work.
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Old 28th August 2011   #138
GA2G
 
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For me Ed, its more about the theory, than the application. I see exactly how the Primary Position works, and do adopt it if traffic is slow moving. I could adopt it at all times, but I just don't have the faith in drivers to always be aware of my positioning. That is the problem, not how to apply Primary Positioning - I can do that already.
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Old 28th August 2011   #139
edscobledonor
 
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The other factors is that there's a lots more to just riding in the centre of the lane (or near it), it's about your risk assessment, riding at a certain speed to allow you enough error room, understanding the limitation of certain senario, positioning yourself accordingly to reduced certain risk for example, blind corner, what do you think would be a good solution? drop speed a bit and move further out so you can see ahead.

You can't just smack bang on the centre of the lane and hope for the best as Festus said (although better than near the kerbs and hope for the best frankly).

What about communication? how do you know a drivers is being erratic? so if you don't know, what do you think is the best way to find out?

I know you can do primary position, but you still worried about it, you questioned it, you wondered about whether it's good to teach in cycle training, so why not take the lesson and see how it work for other? working with a trainer isn't the same as teaching yourself how to do it, there's quite a lots of factor to be considered (even an experienced cyclists were surprised to realised certain trait they had were considered risky).
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Old 28th August 2011   #140
O'Shane
 
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What I find is that the further to the left I ride the closer the cars come as they have to make less of an effort to move the car to avoid the cyclist in the first place. I usually ride at least 1/3 into the lane - usually that's where the vehicles l/h wheels have worn a smooth stripe in the road. I ride a lot of large A roads and some inner city stuff. I always have lights on the bike and as soon as the sun starts to get to a shallow angle where it might dazzle drivers the lights come on, I do the same when I drive a car. I don't want to give anyone the space for excuses so if they do hit me the fault can only be laid on them.
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Old 28th August 2011   #141
GA2G
 
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Ed, I have very good roadcraft, I promise you that. I look round at drivers behind me when I am about change direction. I also never wear headphones our listen to music, or use my mobile while cycling, because I want 100% of my concentration to be on the road, and on my fellow road users.

You do make at least one good point Ed, so I may examine it.

My own safety has never been in question, only my understanding of the risk assessment of the Primary Position design.
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Old 28th August 2011   #142
edscobledonor
 
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oz's example show one way of riding in primary - doesn't have to be smack bang on the middle of the lane, just further out enough to be seen by other people, and enough for driver to slow down and wait till it's safe to overtake.

it also worth noting that oz's positioning won't look, what's the word? imposing, i.e. taking up 'too much space' on the road, to the driver's eyes, it look quite a normal position, unless there's a bicycle lane is when they'll probably honk and shout at you.
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Old 28th August 2011   #143
edscobledonor
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GA2G View Post
Ed, I have very good roadcraft, I promise you that. I look round at drivers behind me when I am about change direction. I also never wear headphones our listen to music, or use my mobile while cycling, because I want 100% of my concentration to be on the road, and on my fellow road users.
If you want 100% concentration, then I would recommended you to put some earplug on, see how you adapt, removing one sense mean you're forced to look back more often because you won't hear says, a car coming from behind, or a cyclists, or a speeding motorcyclists.

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Originally Posted by GA2G View Post
My own safety has never been in question, only my understanding of the risk assessment of the Primary Position design.
you may claim to have very good roadcraft and I'm not doubting that, thing is, don't you want to have some feedback on how your road behaviour appear to other? some kind of reassurance that what you do is perfectly safe?

I claim to be perfectly fine, and claim that I do know enough to ride safety without the need of cycle training, in the end I took it because there's no harm in having my own road behaviour assessed by a trained instructor, I was glad that I took it as it made me understand even more about road behaviour more than ever.
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Old 28th August 2011   #144
Oliver Schick
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GA2G View Post
People I massively respect, like Festus, Will, and Oliver all clearly are singing from the same hymn sheet, but somehow (and I have tried), I've failed to agree with it all. I want to understand it, but my experiences and my method of analysis leave me with a conclusion that appears to be opposite to everyone else.
Ashe, your post contains a number of the most frequent misunderstandings of cycle training. And yes, you should take a cycle training lesson. Merely thinking about it isn't going to help you understand it. It takes a good instructor to assess you and tailor the training specifically to you. We all do something right and something wrong, and even very experienced cyclists can learn a lot.

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In essence, I find the Primary Position is not more safe, as I see it, but less. In most situations, and when one can be clearly seen, then yes, its superior. However, in some situations, I fear the worst, for example, when a car is speeding around a blind corner, or over a crest. Would a vehicle then have the time to react quickly enough to a cyclist in the middle of the road in front of them? I don't know. I'd rather not risk it, so I cycle always as far left as possible.
Firstly, and this is one of the things that gets misunderstood most of the time, no-one has ever said that you should always adopt the primary position, just that your own risk assessment may inform you that the pp is appropriate/desirable in a given situation. Perhaps you instinctively already take the pp when it's appropriate--however, you then contradict your assessment that there are situations in which the pp is 'safer' by claiming that you 'cycle always as far left as possible'.

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There is also the psychology of it. Where do most drivers expect to find cyclists in the road? Isn't it on the left? Isn't this reinforced by cycle lanes being on the far left? Wouldn't this subliminally educate drivers that that is the place for cyclists?
Well, it already has. There's plenty of evidence that where cyclists are marginalised in the carriageway, there are more crashes. A lot of crashes happen because a driver has relied on lazy expectations. As you know, 'sorry, mate, I didn't see you' is the most frequently-heard claim when a driver crashes a car into a person on a bike. This is because when cyclists ride far to the left, in a 'I'm not really here' position, drivers will notice them less easily than if they are in the centre of the lane, where they are clearly visible.

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I'm sure someone will show me how wrong I am, but without meaning to cause contention, I do remember that someone has perished, cycling here in London, and they were in the middle of the road at the time....in broad daylight. I think the I didn't see the cyclist defence has far too much success for me to take the view that cycling in the middle of the lane will always be okay. I am just doubtful is all.
Tragic crashes have occurred in all sorts of ways, but the most frequent crashes, and often fatal crashes, happen with left-turning vehicles, particularly lorries, at junctions. If you remember to apply primary position thinking to your behaviour in motor traffic queues, you remember to take the lane behind such vehicles and not to pass them, inserting yourself prominently into the traffic stream.

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Please keep in mind that I am a regular commuter (500 miles per month), and used to be a cycle courier for several companies, so I am very comfortable cycling London's streets. What do I need to learn to overcome my negativity?
Simple, take a lesson, see if the trainer points out something that you didn't already know, and apply it. skydancer trained me ages ago, and while I already knew a fair amount of theory, and I'd cycled around London for ages, I still learned a lot. I should probably go for a refresher sometime soon.

Last edited by Oliver Schick; 29th August 2011 at 10:10.
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Old 28th August 2011   #145
edscobledonor
 
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Oilver summed it up much better than I did.
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Old 29th August 2011   #146
Londonneur
 
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What Oliver said +1
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Old 29th August 2011   #147
neudonor
 
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how much is a lesson?
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Old 29th August 2011   #148
skydancerdonor
 
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Depends where you live. Some boroughs subsidise them or offer them free.

http://www.cycletraining.co.uk/index...0#.TltsxjuLbjM
or
http://www.tfl.gov.uk/roadusers/cycling/11689.aspx

(or tell me which borough you live in)

^^^Well put Oliver...can I quote you:?)
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Old 29th August 2011   #149
Stonehedge
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oliver Schick View Post
It takes a good instructor to assess you and tailor the training specifically to you.
This is a good point Oliver. Sadly, several of the most dangerous cyclists I have ever riden with have been cycle instructors. These are cycle instructors who have applied the theory too rigidly at the expense of over time forgetting how to read the road and traffic appropriately. One of the more dangerous examples of this was an instructor who insisted on taking primary in fast flowing traffic where visibility was extremely limited as GA2G suggested could happen. I watched in horror as several vehicles, travelling at over 40mph, had to drop the anchors to avoid killing this person. This is one example of instances where I have seen cycle instructors put themselves in danger through not adapting the theory to the circumstances they find themselves in.

Before anybody starts to try to guess which instructors I am talking about, please note that I do know some who are not on this forum or from London. I am also in no way saying that all cycle instructors are dangerous riders, I am talking about a minority.

Primary position is a very useful tool that I can use when the circumstances mean that it will put me in a safer position. If there is space for me to safely be out of the way on the left I will do so instead.

Like all safe cycling theories, they must only be used where appropriate rather than as a rule.
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Old 29th August 2011   #150
Oliver Schick
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skydancer View Post
^^^Well put Oliver...can I quote you:?)
You're most welcome. :)
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