Cyclist's paranoia? - Clanger
It was a fine evening yesterday and Mrs H and I decided to cycle to our evening out with friends in the next village. We were on a half-mile stretch of straight "A" NSL road riding 2 abreast with no traffic coming in the opposite direction. The noise of a small car at maximum revs coming from behind us made me take an extra glance in the mirror. It showed a green Citroen AX approaching at speed apparently coming straight at us. I braked and was pulling in behind Mrs H. when the car passed within a yard of me doing, I guess, over 60. I was so incensed with this lack of courtesy and the driver's disregard for Highway Code Rules 139, 188 that I gave him a V sign.

50 yards up the road, the AX slithered to a halt with 3 wheels locked. The driver appeared to turn round in his seat. We rode towards the car and I instructed Mrs H to continue on the verge or pavement if there was any argy-bargy, but the AX set off with a squeal of tyres before we got much nearer.

I realise now that my thoughtless but natural reaction may cause this driver to harrass other cyclists even more diligently than he did us. Maybe he didn't see us, but in that case why stop at all? No, I didn't get his number or the age or sex of the driver. Is there a defence aginst this kind of driving?

Cyclist's paranoia? - Tom Shaw
The worst thing you can do when cycling is give the finger to an agressive driver. Some years ago a friend and I had a similar experience when riding two abreast on a country lane. A guy in a battered Sierra gave us an angry blast on the horn and a mouthful as he passed. My mates answer was a flick of the V's, big mistake as the car screeched to a halt and a Brick Outhouse uncoiled himself from the car and tried to drag my mate off his bike. It took both of us to restrain him and it was only when a van driver stopped and managed to calm things down that the dust settled and a serious fight was averted. Funnily enough, it ended up with handshakes and apologies all round after about five minutes of mutual abuse, but it was a frightening experience and made me realise how vulnerable we would have been had Outhouse simply decided to reverse back into us. There has actually been a case like this recently where a driver reversed into a family of four who were all out on bikes. He was subsequently jailed and luckily no one was seriously hurt.

The lesson is that when you are on a bike you are just too vulnerable to get into a confrontation with car driver and you have to take their agression with a wave and a smile to diffuse the situation. You never can tell what sort of homicidal nut is behind the wheel, and you may not find out till it is too late. Remember Kenneth Noye!
Cyclist's paranoia? - teabelly
For a car driver finding cyclists riding two across can prevent a safe overtaking manoeuvre. If you are then stuck behind said cyclists on narrow lanes with single white lanes it is very frustrating if they don't move into single file. Unfortunately there are quite a few cyclists who don't think they should and in effect are blocking the lane like a slow moving tractor. It does work both ways and I think that is why you encounter annoyed car drivers that are taking out frustration from another incident. There are plenty of frustrated cyclists out there too that assume all car drivers are going to mow them down and act accordingly. To be honest I am not sure that cyclists should be allowed to cycle on nsl limit roads unless they are wide enough to let car & hgv drivers past easily. You can only really do 30 on a bike max so cycling in 30 & 40 limits would cause less annoyance for others. Car drivers have fewer problems with slower moving traffic than hgvs, for them it must cause serious problems.

If the road was wide and he could have overtaken safely and left you room then he was being a selfish prat. You can report him to the police for driving in a manner that causes anxiety or distress or somesuch. I don't know how far you'll get with just a green ax being the culprit though.
Cyclist's paranoia? - Tom Shaw

If cyclists were not allowed to ride on NSL roads unless there was room enough to let a car pass then my longest cycle journey would be about 500 yards. The amount of time you lose when you come up behind a cyclist and have to wait for an overtaking opportunity does not make a gnats whisker of a difference to your journey times. I agree that riders who continue to ride two abreast when there are vehicles waiting behind are behaving selfishly, but that is a different matter. I always find horse riders are worse in that respect.

A small but significant proportion of motorists seem to develop a killer instinct when they come across a bike, and any reduction in speed it causes them seems to send them into a dangerous rage. Of all the forms of transport available, the bike is the one where the rider needs to develop the sharpest defencesive attitude.

It always amazes me when drivers who are aggressive to cyclists have childeren in the car. Every kid rides a bike at some time or other, do they ever stop to think how they would feel if a motorist gave their own kids a mouthful of abuse or tried to run them off the road?
Cyclist's paranoia? - Technoprat {P}
Such behaviour is not limited to cyclists. I made the mistake of remonstrating from my mini when carved up by a moron. Screech of brakes followed by another brick outhouse emerged from his Capri S. As he approached he announced he was going to do various unspeakable things to me so I decided I should get out of my car too. When he realised that I am the size of two brick outhouses he nipped smartly back into his car, roared off at terrific speed and drove straight into the ditch around the corner. There is a God!
Cyclist's paranoia? - harry m
ace absolutely ace made my day.thank you. harry m.
Cyclist's paranoia? - Gen
Cyclists don't pay road tax. They should stay on the pavements, which motorists kindly give them sometimes.
Cyclist's paranoia? - Tom Shaw
With two cars and a motorcycle covering about 55000 miles per annum between them plus a twenty a day habit enough tax already goes out of my house.

I will only respect the opinion of those who want bikes taxed if they also agree to road tax on shoes. Why should pedestrians get away with it?
Cyclist's paranoia? - ajsdoc
I hope Gen's reply is tongue in cheek. Cyclists are amongst the most vulnerable people on our roads and in the whole scheme of things contribute very little to motoring accidents. As for not paying road tax - most of course do as they also own cars. Indeed why should they pay road tax when they do not damage our roads in the same way heavier vehicles do. Perhaps a cyclist tax could become an issue when town and road planning takes into account cyclists needs more.

Don't get me wrong I am a keen motorist but I never understand the macho anti-cyclist views that some motorists spew out. Cyclists have much more right to complain about the dangers they face from dangerous motorists than vice versa.

Aggressive acts from motorists to cyclists are ridiculous and people should ask how they would feel if a few minutes loss of patience ended up in the injury or death of a cyclist simpy because, for example, they dared to ride two abreast.

Rant over!
Cyclist's paranoia? - THe Growler
Cyclists might command more respect if they didn't look so ridiculous in their Cyborg kit.
Cyclist's paranoia? - Marcos{P}
About 7yrs ago I was driving down a country lane coming back from doing a job at someones house. I rounded a bend and came across 3 cyclists riding abreast, I slowed down and waited for them to pull over but they didn't. I tapped the horn and they still didn't move over so I waited untill the road widened and went past them.
As I looked in my rear veiw mirror one of the cyclists was wobling and because the road was still a bit narrow I thought I may have caused him to wobble. I stopped and got out and asked if they were o.k. and got the most fierce beating of my life from the three of them. It took 3 weeks before one of my eyes opened again because they had repeatedly kicked my head as I lay on the floor unconcious.
The three of them belonged to a cycling team that is quite big around where I live so it didn't take too long to find names and addresses etc and pay them a visit.
The unfortunate side to this is that when I see cyclists in team colours I get very agitated and actually want to throttle them.
It certainly made me think differently about cyclists.
Cyclist's paranoia? - Nortones2
And how ridiculous do 4wd drivers look when they stagger out of their cage on weak little legs, surmounted by a lard mountain? Present company excepted of course.
Cyclist's paranoia? - MichaelR
Is it not the case that the Highway Code states Cyclists must not ride two abreast?

If this is the case, are you not being just a tad hypocritical for suggesting the driver who passed you was in violation of the highway code?

Personally I'd like to see something done about cyclists on the road. They pay nothing to use them yet cause problems for those of us who do, and the majority of them around this area ride on the pavements when it suits them and ignore traffic signals.
Cyclist's paranoia? - Tom Shaw
"Cyclists pay nothung to use the roads"

Micheal, as previously mentioned I pay a fortune to use the roads, much more than most as it happens. If that doesn't entitle me to an occasional blast on the Cannondale in a pathetic attempt to keep fit, I don't know what does.

Anyway, don't be too keen to get rid of cyclists. If they made all the journey's they now cycle by car instead just think of the extra congestion.
Cyclist's paranoia? - Clanger
Highway code rule 51

Among other stuff for cyclists
"you should ... not ride more than two abreast"

I don't feel hypocritical, after reading this thread, just very lucky.

As has been suggested elsewhere, surely you aren't suggesting that those who use our roads for free e.g. pedestrians, horses and cyclists have "something done" about us. As well as Tom Shaw, I pay VED for 2 cars and a motor-bike so I am contributing.

And have you never been a pedestrian, using the roads for free?

Cyclist's paranoia? - Andrew-T
Michael R - I'm not a cyclist any more, but 40 years ago most of my journeys were by pushbike. Having read your last two bigoted sentences I am less surprised by what happened to Marcos. Your attitude is road rage waiting to happen.
Cyclist's paranoia? - Obsolete
By all means encourage cycling but please ban lycra for the sake of public decency, or at least have a exam that determines who can and who can't wear the stuff. For example: Kylie Minogue = yes, Bernard Manning = no.
Cyclist's paranoia? - Clanger
Cyclists aren't required to pay road tax, or have I missed something?

Cyclist's paranoia? - HF
Been wanting to say something on this thread ever since it started, but - well, my 2p's worth is as follows.

Cyclists are great. In theory as we all know, this is a great and eco-friendly way of both getting around and keeping fit.

BUT, there is far too much of the 'motorist v cyclist' thing going on here. I, too, have absolutely no problem at all with waiting patiently to pass a cyclist until it is safe to do so. But when they are riding 2 abreast, or more (my recent experience was 6 abreast, all in their nice shiny lycra stuff) and they just won't budge, then it becomes an issue.

I can see both sides here, but I guess as a non-cyclist I see the car driver's point better. It really does feel sometimes as if cyclists (occasional ones, not typical ones) do certain things deliberately to make a statement. Not moving over because their conversation is more important than the flow of traffic can be deeply annoying for a driver, particularly if they (the driver) hasn't got all the time in the world to stutter along at 10-20mph.

I suppose, as with drivers, there are good and bad cyclists, considerate and non-considerate ones. I really don't think the issue can be so black and white as some of the opinions here seem to suggest?
Cyclist's paranoia? - busker
I'm in your camp on this one I think, except that up here in t'frozen North all cycling clubs appear to teach their members to ride at least 3 abreast at all times and regardless of road type and traffic conditions. I've been held up on A roads, B roads and Dales single track roads. This is appalling behavoir by supposedly responsible people. I asked some at a cafe why they did it (in, I thought , a reasonable tone). I got a load of abuse in reply which boiled down to "if we don't ride like that you b-----s come too close and knock someone off"
Maybe Plod should spend some time touring the clubs as a road safety promotion??

Cyclist's paranoia? - Bromptonaut
Cyclists aren't required to pay road tax, or have I missed

I think the "road fund" was an idea that came and went before the Second World War. Mark and others ran a thread on this in the old backroom. What we pay now is Motor Vehcle License Duty. Like tax on booze and ciggies or VAT it's simply an imposition on a pleasure/convenience/neccessity.
Cyclist's paranoia? - terryb
No Gen, sorry. As a frequent pedestrian but never a cyclist, bikes are, quite rightly, banned from footpaths unless marked as cycle tracks too. Having once has a cycling moron hit me as I got off a bus onto the pavement I feel strongly that wheeled traffic belongs on the road.

Obviously not pushchairs, prams etc though!

Cyclist's paranoia? - Obsolete
To be honest I think the idea of banning cyclists on NSL roads is - and apologies if I sound rude - arrogant. We all share the roads and all it requires is a relaxed courteous frame of mind. If anyone needs banning it is people who display aggressive and hence dangerous tendencies when behind the wheel. Not that banning them does any good.

(I was going to rant about local cyclists but I'll be told off if I do!)
Cyclist's paranoia? - Technoprat {P}
Don't knock cycling. Before the invention of the bicycle there was an awful lot of inbreeding!
Cyclist's paranoia? - Gen
Tom Shaw etc

When I started the 'cyclists pay nothing' debate I didn't realise someone would take it seriously. I was joking!!

After I learnt to drive I stopped riding bikes since I realised how dangerous other drivers drive in england wrt cyclists. I only owned a bike and rode every day when living in n'lands, germany, china etc etc but in england cyclists are not provided with adequate room or respect (either by drivers or councils).
Cyclist's paranoia? - Flat in Fifth
A bit like the Honda advert everybody hates cyclists?

Coming across either the solo or pack version I'm with the crowd in the "chill" corner, wait, give 'em room and it hardly adds to the overall journey time.

Nevertheless the cycling club peleton (spelling?) out for the evening ride can be a shade tricky to pass' especially come the next traffic lights when they all come piling up the inside at warp 9.

For the reason, as Tom says, in the vague attempt to get some excercise I don't cycle on the road but take the bike to the local forest and tootle round the cycle tracks there. Now we have got walkers complaining about cyclists, due to an inconsiderate minority.

So then we go onto the canal bank part of the local SUSTRANS route. Oh no! Now got anglers being a PITA as normal. So where can one cycle without aggro?

Britain getting ruder by the day, turning into the French I'm afraid!
Cyclist's paranoia? - Obsolete
"Britain getting ruder by the day,"

I too think this. But then I wonder if it is just reaching middle age that does it.

"turning into the French I'm afraid!"

Vous plaisantez non?
Cyclist's paranoia? - AlanGowdy
I've given up cycling on the road - it's far too dangerous!
Cyclist's paranoia? - Andrew-T
Leif et al - You may all be right. But I can't help feeling that courtesy is a diminishing commodity. You can blame the Thatcher era if you like - she said (I think) there is no such thing as society. It's the cult of the individual these days, and s0d all the other individuals.
Cyclist's paranoia? - Flat in Fifth
Just for the record.

Today's Sunday Times Travel section has a lead article where a reporter goes out to find the rudest city out of Paris, Rome, New York, london and I forget where else.

A series of tests were set, all rather unscientific but at least an indication.

Guess which came out the rudest.... why London of course by a clear head it seemed.

C'est vrai!

(that is French by the way, not Franglais)

Cyclist's paranoia? - bugged {P}
my boyfriend used to race for a cycle team and therefore he has lots of good and bad experiences from when out training,
one i particularly remember was when he was out cycling and was overtaken by a car who was rather too close, used to this he carried on with no reaction, the traffic stopped and my boyfriend carried on, on his bike and overtook them.

The trafic all started moving again and the same car overtook him again dangerously close, enough so that my boyfriend reached out and thumped the side of the car, the driver stopped and wound down his window and started shouting and swearing and all sorts, my boyfriend calmly told him that he was too close and could have knocked him off and probably killed him if he had of done. The driver replyed "thats your problem at least you wouldnt be holding up the traffic!!!!!" my boyfriend didnt think that was very nice, reached in the guys window and took his keys and lobbed them into the bushes!!! Wonder who was holding up teh traffic then eh!!!

I think all drivers should be made to cycle round the block a few times before they go out in their nice safe car, I drive and so does my boyfriend everyday. I go out on my bike occasionally and am horrified at times at what people do.
Some car drivers attitude towards cyclists is joke, my boyfriend has been knocked off his bike twice by fools who cannot read the road and react.

Cyclists could do with taking more care as well i agree riding two abreast is not really fair, it takes a second to move in and allow cars to pass safely (same goes for horses) but car drivers should be aware you can kill people on bikes in your car, they have no protection against you whatsoever.

Cyclist's paranoia? - RichardW
I like the keys move.....

As both a cyclist and driver I can see both points of view. I think both sides need to show a bit more consideration! Making drivers ride a bike for a while before being allowed behind the wheel would improve things!

I had many altercations with motorists when I was commuting 60 miles a week by bike in Reading. The usual response to banging on their roof/bonnet/boot/window is usually "Sorry, didn't see you". To which my response is either "well, you're guilty of driving without due care, or need your eyes testing. Which is it?" or "Which part of my 15 stone, 6ft frame, wearing a flourescent yellow jacket was it you failed to see, exactly?"

I think drivers got annoyed that cyclists could pass them in traffic jams - most of the time in traffic I was travelling at 20+mph and keeping up with them anyway.


Cyclist's paranoia? - Clanger
"Cyclists could do with taking more care as well i agree riding two abreast is not really fair"

Right, I've just been back to this piece of road on which I was so inconsiderate as to ride 2 abreast, and paced its width. It's 11 paces of a 6'2" chap so I would guess at between 10 and 12 yards wide between the continuous white line carriageway markings, with another 9" of tarmac between the white line and the flat grass verge on each side.

We are not talking about an 8' wide Cornish lane with 10' high banks on either side, we are talking about serious expanse of tarmac wide enough to drive 4 buses abreast (if you didn't care about their mirrors), and virtually straight, and no oncoming traffic at the time. Blimey, I'd expected a bit more sympathy from the cyclists among you! We often ride in single file when traffic conditions dictate, but it wasn't necessary this time.

And, FiF, we are getting ruder as a nation I fear. We've been the underdogs for so much of history that we haven't the skills to be assertive without upsetting the assertee (if such a word exists).

Cyclist's paranoia? - bugged {P}

im sorry, i do have sympathy for you, it is something i have experienced as well and if in the same situation as you we would have probably been riding side by side as well, however,
this driver appears to have been lacking somewhat in the braincell department, you HAVE to allow for that on the road im afraid, not everybody has eyes like a hawk!!!!

We were out one day on the bikes and a cyclist going the other way was been reversed off the road by a car (no joke) he was an older man and had obviously been passed to close by the car and given him a gesture such as yours, the driver must have taken this badly and proceeded to reverse until the man was almost in the ditch.

My comment about riding two abreast not being fair was not really the right way of putting it, sorry i had been up since 4am!! What i mean is that cyclists need to look after their own skin. You can't expect all motorists to give you room in the same way that you can;t expect all cyclists to move in!

Value my car