It's hard to remain in your 'happy place' as a cyclist sometimes. Most regular cyclists will agree that it seems impossible to go on a bike ride without coming across a trigger happy horn blowing driver in a rage.
You might be surprised to hear me say that i'm not taking sides in the driver vs. cyclist war. I drive and I cycle so I know that an idiot will be an idiot whatever form of transport they're on.
But what do you think of the Tennessee police clamping down on drivers passing cyclists too closely? The footage in this article doesn't look so bad, but it never does on film. Most bike cameras have a wide angle lens which makes a lot of dangerous situations look quite normal.
I challenge any driver who is a non cyclist that thinks we're all red light lunatics to get out on their bike and ride around in rush hour for a bit. Then you'll see how terrifying it is when someone overtakes too closely. If it were up to me, this would be a compulsory part of the driving test. In fact, cycle awareness courses (where the drivers get on their bikes) are starting to become compulsory parts of some commercial HGV licenses. A great victory for road safety!
Whilst we're talking road safety and legality of cycling on the roads, i've been hounded a few times recently by drivers claiming it's illegal for cyclists to ride two abreast. I sometimes point out that it's not but sounding your horn in anger most definitely is. That usually goes down like a sack of spuds!Not wanting to get too nerdy (which happens far too often already), here is a quote from the UK cycle law website and highway code:
''Rule 66 states you should never cycle more than two abreast, and ride in single file on narrow or busy roads.
This means cycles are perfectly legal to cycle side by side on most roads in the UK. Obviously some common sense needs to be used to work out if and when cyclists need to single out to let cars overtake but on the majority of UK roads cycling 2 abreast is allowed. Usually a group of cyclists will shout forward that a car is waiting ("Car Up") and if the road is too narrow for the car to pass the group safely while they are two abreast they will single out. However, if there is enough room but there are oncoming cars preventing the overtake the group will probably not single out.''
The section in bold is usually where most people get a full rage on. I'd like to say to those people, let's all calm down, be patient and stop honking.
“Most of the things motorists are doing is from lack of understanding, rather than malicious effort. Most people will act more safely if they understand the issues and risks,” says Fletcher. The Tennessee law that must be the envy of road safety campaigners in the UK where there is no distance specified. The Highway Code Rule 163 says only that drivers must give cyclists “at least as much room as you would when overtaking a car”