Must get in front mentality

As all cyclists will know, at some point during their journey, they will witness the behaviour of vehicle drivers where the must pass the cyclist but for little reason as they are often halted by traffic or red lights.

This mentality which all drivers seem to have is rather strange. They basically have tunnel vision and they are focused on the obstruction right in front of them, the cyclist. This is rather than looking a few cars ahead and seeing what is going on, as often they get no further by rushing past the cyclists when compared to waiting patiently behind them.

But is this mentality that we witness on a near daily basis (or at least those of us in the cities) limited to just those who are in their vehicles?

As you can see from the video I have included, the mentality is present in other road users and is something I witness on a daily basis. Motorcyclist moving to the front of the traffic and passing the solid stop line and cyclists always moving in front, even if it means they put them selves in a position where they can’t see the lights change. Whilst it isn’t exactly comparable to what happens to us, some of it is still questionable.

As you can see from the clip with the motorcyclist, I don’t filter to the front even though there is a perfectly good feeder lane and  anASL. Why? I look at situation and I see two cars in front of me, if I filter to the front, then I know that they will need to overtake me again pretty soon because of their tunnel vision, so why bother going past when I can wait and lose only a few seconds. Obviously this doesn’t apply to every traffic light you come to, sometimes it is best to filter closer to the front if there are many cars in the queue. But remember that being at the front is not the most important thing!

Undertaking large vehicles

I see many cyclists each day going up the inside of buses, coaches and HGV’s. Do they not understand that each time they are doing it, they are putting there life at risk. Of course in some situations it is perfectly safe to do so but if it’s clearly 50/50 it’s best to hang back and let the vehicle go.

Camden Council recently posted a new video about cycling around HGV’s. The message is clear and shows that the cyclist will come off worst when involved in a collision with a large vehicle. Who’s fault it is not determined, and that’s not the point. What is important is that each cyclist should look after their own life. Going up the inside of a large vehicle such as a HGV or bus is a bad idea.

The MET Police Service created a video around a year ago regarding the same thing. Since then they have been offering cyclists the chance to sit in lorries and view the blind spots from their point of view. The locations are various and are all over London, if you ever get the chance to ‘exchange places’ i strongly urge you to jump at the opportunity. Even if you are an experience cyclist and you don’t go up the inside of lorries, you can never have enough experience.

Cycling is good for everyone

Over 500,000 bicycle journeys take place each day in London but imagine what it would be like if the cyclists didn’t ride and took other means of transport.

They would fill

  • 297 Central Line Trains
  • 6,250 Double decker buses
  • 2,240km of traffic if we each drove an average sized family car

Cycle can save you money

  • £1816 a year in congestion charges
  • £1208 on an annual zone 1-3 travel card

A simple message, trying to get people to love the cyclists, as without them the roads would be jammed packed of other traffic. Also trying to get a few more cyclists on the road by letting them know the amount of money they could save by starting up. Or would they save? as most of us cyclists know, it’s very easy to buy plenty of accessories and tech.

All credit to I Bike London Blog, for providing the video on vimeo and the original blog post.