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!

Primary Position and Squeezing

Primary position is key in some positions and this is one of them. The left lane keeps going straight and the right lane goes to the right. But drivers try to squeeze in where they can from the right lane into the left. I will let drivers in if it’s safe but when someone starts taking the piss like the following one it’s not clever. The driver knows where I am, and even when I sound my horn he continues to squeeze me.  In the end I have to give way and brake, he isn’t going to want to hit the traffic island, so he will turn into me and I will get hurt, I don’t want that!

SMIDSY

Standing for ‘Sorry mate i didn’t see you’ a term often heard by cyclists and motorbike riders from drivers of vehicles who didn’t look when doing something. I get my fair share of these on my weekly commute but today I thought i was going to be taken out by one.

The driver of WU06HSJ turns into Canterbury Road from London Road in Thornton Heath, Croydon. His view was partly blocked by a white van turning out of Canterbury Road, i was forced to brake heavily, and swerve out of the cycle lane to avoid a collision with his car. After i tell him he is on film and that he is being reported for this, i get a load of expletives shouted at me. Some PCSO’s are further up the road, i stop to check if they saw it and get their badge numbers.

It would have been hard to anticipate this as his view is totally blocked by the van and thus i can’t actually see him. Totally stupid! I should have done better to anticipate this.

Video: sound didn’t record on my Contourhd, and thus i have taken the sound from the muvi and matched it to the footage from the contourhd