Must get in front mentality

August 20, 2010 — 2 Comments

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!


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Gaz is one of the well known cyclists in a growing community of those using cameras. With over 34,000 Youtube subscribers and more than 9,8000,000 online video views, his channels and videos are among some of the most popular of their kind. Gaz has spoken on Radio, TV and in national cycling campaigns about the use of cameras and the power of videos.

2 responses to Must get in front mentality

  1. I had a car driver stop so far over an ASL up at the Crystal Palace triangle once that he couldn’t see the lights change. Once they did I rode off and he got tooted by the driver behind him who could see the light!

    As you say it is really a case of reading the road at each junction. Being at the front is necessarily the safest point and for slower riders waiting further back can be advantageous as the traffic moved off in a ripple effect when the lights change so the further you are back down the queue the slower the cars generally pull off.

  2. You are not the only one who thinks that. Why is it always seem to be the slowest cyclist who has to be in font of you, so you can’t start off right.

    Here is my blog about it, though only talking about the cars doing it.

    I think I see two cyclist in your video above jumping light at the first set of lights you are stopped at.

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