On Being Assertive
On being assertive.
A further look at Precept ( 7 )
This isn't going to be a rant on how awful car drivers are to cyclist, no this is going to be sensible advice on using busy narrow roads with a degree of control and safety .
Being assertive means telling others your intentions clearly, without aggression, and positioning your cycle in the place where you want to be. Now this may sound controversial , but it is what is recommended by health and safety, follow the ONE METER RULE. That is one meter from the curb, unless you want to be a gutter rider and pick up all the nails, glass, hedge thorns and poo that lies hidden under the leaves. Then expect the vehicles to allow one meter space when passing. If the road is narrow, then by riding more to the crown they will have to slow down behind. If you stay too close to the kerb, then they will try to squeeze past so not allowing the one meter space. I used this principle with a friend once and she got upset, why because several years earlier she was badly injured by a drunk driver and was still probably holding the trauma.
Personally I wear a high visibility vest and a flashing red rear light. As I'm a Sustrans ranger I use shared paths if available, or if lightly used, the footpath . I respect the CTC chaps who insist on using the highway at all times, for fear of loosing the rights as is the case in some European countries.
In Spain cycling with my brother I wondered why we had gathered a tail back of motorist, I mentioned it to an expat who said that a law had been passed recently that made it illegal not to allow the one meter passing space.
Now you will upset some BMW and Mercedes drivers no doubt, as they have invested lots of money on securing their place on this crazy ladder. The boy racers won't like you either, they will try to intimidate with shouts and klaxons. But be brave most will behave respectfully and even give a friendly wave as you indicate for them to pass.
Once on an empty road in the South Island of NZ, a sheila stuck her head out of the window and yelled " get off the road". That's probably will be as bad as it gets. PLG tony