Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Traffic Filtering

Yesterday I had the misfortune to drive the car through Bury centre. It was stop-start traffic for 40 mins, over which time I covered less than 1 mile. There was loads of room for my bike to filter through and I really, really missed it. Today, I had a ride along route 6 (mainly through snow covered woodland with deer and birds and then along a frozen canal). It came out in Bury where I had to go for some last minute chrimbo shopping. 

The traffic wasn't quite as heavy but you can see from the videos what I mean about being easy to get through heavy traffic on a bike. I rarely cycle in this kind of traffic but am not shy about filtering (I would have failed my motorbike test if I didn't filter appropriately). In the past though I have filtered to the front of standing traffic at lights and then been verbally abused by motorists who squeeze past you as the lights go green only to have to stop at the next lights where I once again filter to the front. 

It got me thinking how others cycle in heavy traffic and if any of you suffered abuse - verbal or otherwise - for doing it?


  1. Yes - if I take the car anywhere local I turn a bit bipolar!

    Haven't suffered anything more than the odd honk of a horn...

    ...unless you count being overtaken, then the driver upon reaching the back of the next queue, hugging the curb. I just give them a friendly wave of thanks for giving more space for me to overtake ;>D

    Nice vid Darrell - what camera is it?

  2. @ian

    I know when I am driving and a cyclist/motorcyclist passed me in heavy traffic I feel a pang of envy. I am sure some drivers (the ones that pay 'Road Tax' of course) are likely to feel really annoyed that RLJing, road louts are actually making better progress than they and this feeds their bitterness and resentment towards us.

    I cycle past very carefully and have never so much as touched a wing mirror but just love doing it. Sometimes the resentment from a driver boils over though and they actually try to impede me or shout some form of abuse.

    Poor drivers in their big important cars overtaken by a naughty, lickle ickle cyclist! I imagine them fuming as large clot in a coronary artery ruptures and they go on have a major infarct. And me an Emergency Nurse as well!

    Oh, the camera is a ContourHD bullet cam. Good fun but a bit time consuming sorting out the files. Started using it again to catch some snow footage.

  3. I find filtering too scary, so say in a situation like the one in the video, I'd choose an alternative route, if possible, or would get off my bike and push it on the side walk thingy to the left (between the low barrier and green edge)...

    In general, when cycling even without filtering I have experienced revving engines behind me, just as the lights turn green. But I have learnt that if I quickly turn around, look at the driver and tilt my head as in 'what's wrong?' he/she then sheepishly backs off... some drivers are a sad bunch ;)