The hill and bicycle verses car rule

Today I formulated the “hill and bicycle verses car” rule, it’s been on my mind for a few months now, but an impatient driver this morning finally spurred me on.

I’ve notice on my commute there are a couple of small hills where my speed drops right down, there are no cycle paths (or footpaths for that matter) so I am stuck in the road, slogging it out up the hill. I’m happy with this, if the road is clear the other way, drivers overtake, fine. If the road is not clear there are two camps drivers fall into:

1) The patient driver. I salute you. For them I try my best to cycle up the hill as quickly as I can. They wait patiently for a space to overtake and they give me hope that one day all drivers will be the same.

2) The impatient driver. They honk their horn, shout abuse, rev their engine loudly etc. For goodness sake, if I could go up the hill quicker or cycle on a cycle path I would, anything to get away from bad drivers like them, however there is no option. My responses to them can vary, but tend to include:
a) Moving further out, thus discouraging dangerous overtaking that they are more likely to do (compared with a patient driver)
b) Slowing down further, I’m not going to bust a gut up a hill for them

To summarise, the patient driver wins.

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6 responses to “The hill and bicycle verses car rule

  1. Cycling along with the sound of an engine closing in on me from behind has certainly made me have similar thoughts to you! Most drivers are thoughtful and usually give generous clearance, but of course you only need one who isn’t…

  2. Um…yes. When people get behind me like that and make loud engine noises, I move over too. If they would just be nice about it, I don’t really have a problem moving over. But I do have a problem getting clipped. I really don’t understand the way drivers see cyclists. I ride a folding bike, and I drive part of my commute with my bike in the trunk. I’m certainly not in such a rush, ever, that I’m going to run someone off the road. Here’s hoping for more patient drivers, right?

    • Cars do odd things to seemily nice people. But it’s not only about drivers vs cyclists, it’s about one driver vs everything else on the road. If cars were limited to slower speeds (20MPH) there would be no rushing about and you’d see a huge change in driving attitudes. Also there are too many cars, therefore traffic jams and they encourage unhealthy competition between road users. Healthy competition = cyclist vs cyclist ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Don’t know what you’re complaining about? I have to go over Tunnel Hill on my commute that has had 5 deaths in the last ten years on a one mile stretch of road http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-15975720 Oh and I just remembered that’s where I fell off and broke my collar bone, but that’s another story and not one that I can blame on other humans ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Impatient drivers, the ones who’d risk your life, just for a gain of 20-30 seconds, at most. They are beneath contempt, but sadly, are a growing minority in this ever-increasingly selfish society that we inhabit.

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