Reader letter: Drivers should consider riders
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2015
As a motorist for transport and a cyclist for leisure and fitness, I would like to make a couple of points.
First, regarding cycle lanes. I'm not in a hurry on a bike
so mainly keep to the cycle lanes but they can be inconvenient. On many cycle lanes you are passing driveways, often with a dip down and up again, where you need to be careful and crossing roads where you need to stop each time. On the road you can just keep going.
MORE: Cyclists hit back at calls to force them to use Norwich bike lanes - but what do you think?Regarding motorists passing bikes, I ride a lot on country roads and find it annoying when a car pulls up behind and follows a long way.
Can I swerve round that pothole or must I go through it? Am I safe to move into the road to go round that branch or will he try to pass just as I do so? I would much rather the car went straight past so I know what is happening.
There doesn't need to be a 6ft gap between us, a 2ft or 3ft clearance is enough.
MORE: Why you'll never get Norwich cyclists only using cycle lanesOf course there are times when there is just not room and heavy goods vehicles need to be careful because of the slipstream they create.
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Is it my imagination or do larger cars tend to decide they can get past but smaller ones sit behind longer? Maybe that's down to the drivers, not the cars.
In any case the drivers should be able to make a clear decision depending on the cyclist as well as the circumstances — a racing bike with the rider in full cycling gear is likely to be safer to pass than an elderly person who is struggling a bit (I am 64 by the way).
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Certainly I never feel unsafe when being passed.
Incidentally, I have a mirror and a bell fitted on my bike, I would not like to ride without either.