3 things I can’t understand about fellow cyclists

Graph of “commute well-being” from a presentation poster by Oliver Smith.

It’s official, there’s no commuter who is as happy as the cycle commuter.

“I can’t wait to get back on the underground” said nobody around the office water cooler ever.

Instead the conversation is typically “Riding my bike in to work is sooooo great, I come in feeling awake and refreshed.”

We hear you, at London Cyclist Blog Corporate HQ (Otherwise known as Emily’s lounge) we feel smug too.

But in our quest for boundless inner self contentment – you know.. this emoji 😌 there are some major obstacles in our way from our fellow happy commuters.

Here are three things we struggle to comprehend.

1. Choosing to ride a bike without a mudguard


There are days in London where it’s raining so much that we consider quitting our blogging jobs and setting out to build a modern day Noah’s Ark. Whilst storage for all those animals does seem like a pain, at least there would finally be room for our 7(teen) bikes.

Mudguards cost £5 to £35 if you really want to get fancy. So why do people choose not to use them?

On a rainy day, you wouldn’t want to walk out your front door, step on to the road and proceed to lie down in the nearest puddle filled with a delicious concoction of rain water, mud and car oil.

So why do it on your bike?

Is it because mudguards don’t look cool?

Is it because they are a pain to fit?

It takes the best part of a day for me to assemble an Ikea Hemnes bedside table and I can still get a mudguard on my bike in under 30 seconds.


2. Bike shoaling

We’re not about the speed here at London Cyclist. We’re big advocates for everyone riding at their own pace. Just check our Strava numbers.


(3,737 out of 4,698 yay, I’m not last!)

However, sometimes, once a month perhaps, we overtake a fellow cyclist. Often, our feeling of joy is cut short by a red traffic light.

What is extremely odd however, is when the cyclist that has just been overtaken, then pulls up infront at the traffic light.

I.e. Bike Shoaling.

This means I now have to overtake this person again! What the?!

On some roads where there are several sets of traffic lights (think Dalston Kingsland road), this becomes some ridiculous game of leap frog. Agh!

It’s not the cycling slowly we have a problem with. Its the complete disregard for other people.

3. Riding without checking or signalling

We’re thrilled to see cyclists with the wind rushing through their hair, riding care free but a little situational awareness isn’t such a bad thing. No signalling means cyclists behind have to anticipate the next action. It means having to dangerously meander in to traffic.

This is bad news for everyone involved.

Unless you are Spiderman and your senses tingle when there’s another cyclist nearby or a passing car, it’s worth checking nothing is coming and signalling clearly.

What do you encounter from fellow cyclists that you just cannot comprehend?

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78 Responses to 3 things I can’t understand about fellow cyclists

  1. Andy B 31/03/2016 at 4:42 pm #

    Ha, I hate shoaling and not indicating too! Argh! Or a combination of both, when a cyclist joins from a side road, which cuts me up! [breath]

    • Al 01/04/2016 at 2:27 pm #

      +1 on shoaling, it’s always seems to be the old fart waddling through the red lights and going at walking pace.

  2. Adam Bowie 31/03/2016 at 5:17 pm #

    I hate shoaling. Often they’re the same person who ignores all the red lights anyway. But you still end up reaching them before the next lights.

    Other pet peeves:

    – The bad track-stander. Yes you can sort-of do a track stand, but everyone else is keeping well out of your way because you look like you’re going to fall into them.

    – Wearing a helmet at a jaunty angle. If you’re going to wear a helmet, then wear it properly, not with most of your forehead showing!

    – People without lights. OK we’re back on BST now, but seriously, it’s suicidal after dark. Even a £5 pair from a supermarket would be better than nothing. I actually saw someone on the Euston Road last month with no lights. Insane!

    – Undertaking. Seriously, I’m trying my best to concentrate on the traffic coming past my right shoulder without you diving down the inside!

    – Campanologists. Yes, a bell is an essential accessory in London. But you don’t have to ring it *all* the time.

    – Lighthouses. Yes – having lights on is essential in the dark (see above), but do you really need to that dual light system that could illuminate Wembley and blinds oncoming cyclists far more than a car that doesn’t dip its headlights. I understand that these are essential on rural lanes, but not so much in a largely well-lit city. See also lights that flicker so much they induce epilepsy.

    • Sönke 01/04/2016 at 10:20 am #

      Well said Adam – totally agree !

    • Tim F 01/04/2016 at 10:24 am #

      A bell isn’t an essential in London – no-one listens out for them. You’re better off using your voice at an appropriate volume depending on the situation

      • Dave Crowley 01/04/2016 at 10:58 am #

        I use an Airzound. Very loud and so much better than a bell. Wakes up the pedestrians who walk straight out in front of me (because obviously checking FaceTwitt is so much more important than checking you are not going to get hit by a cyclist or a car)

        • Tim F 01/04/2016 at 11:00 am #

          I had one of those, but found it freaked people out on the towpath sometimes, even at the lowest volume setting. The last thing I wanted was for them to jump in the canal in a panic!

    • SY 01/04/2016 at 11:41 am #

      Blindingly bright strobe-like front lights. Why?!

    • CycleSally 01/04/2016 at 11:56 am #

      Ha! I agree to all of these. The other one I will add as a woman is when you overtake a guy and for some reason he feels this is a sign against his masculinity or something, so he speeds up to over take you….but you over take him again anyway because he can’t keep up the pace…really weird!!

    • Paul 01/04/2016 at 3:15 pm #

      I really agree with undertaking as this happened to me, I was turning left, indicating when a Brompton undertook me and knocked me into a car. I broke my shoulder. I also hate the people who always have to race or get in front of you.

    • Montyz 18/04/2016 at 2:11 pm #

      I use my elbows as they make a loud ‘thud’ sound as it connects with the latest mobile technology taking its owner for a walk across the road… just kidding 🙂
      Many years ago, I used to ride with a whistle. These days however, you barely have time to react let alone blow a whistle/ring bell.

  3. Tom 01/04/2016 at 7:09 am #

    The people who have a helmet hanging from their handlebars. It’s up to you whether to wear one or not, personally I do. But if you have one, why have it dangling from your bars clunking against your bike? I can understand removing your helmet once you get to a park or towpath, if you really want to, but I keep seeing people doing this along some of the busier bits of my daily rides.

    Also, what’s going on with the increasing amount of people with a rear light on the front?

    • Toria 12/04/2016 at 1:45 pm #

      I’ve had to do this a couple of times – when a full backpack was pushing my helmet over my eyes and it was straining my neck. Not something I do a lot, especially on busy roads but it was a necessity.

  4. Eddy 01/04/2016 at 8:55 am #

    The one thing I will never understand is the need to judge others because they don’t do what you do! They’re on a bike riding to wherever and not in a car, so what is the problem? No helmet, so what, there choice! I choose to not have a brain injury so I wear a lid.

    You’re supposed to inspire people to ride, not put them off! I hate the judgemental more than anything else. No I don’t ride with a mudguard, arse guard yes, but if you’re going to complain about getting sprayed in the face riding up my arse in the wet, that’s the least of your problems. Because it’s idiots who wind suck in the wet that are the biggest morons on the planet, as for moving slow spray is not an issue.

    I could point out every little niggle about every other rider, but it’s pointless and at least they’re riding.

    • Janos 18/04/2016 at 1:16 am #

      Hey Eddie, I don’t mind if you would be the only who would get the mud, but the cyclists behind you also get mud in their face.

  5. Tony Durham 01/04/2016 at 9:24 am #

    No signals? I am afraid the only way to curb the aggressive behaviour of *some* motorists is to keep them guessing what you will do next and where you will go. If you give them a signal, their next action is based on complete ignorance of how bikes manoeuvre, e.g. they don’t understand why, when you have signalled a left turn, you might need to move rightwards out of the bike lane to get a good, safe line through the corner.

    Sorry if this is makes life harder for all those good drivers who understand bikes and quite possibly ride one.

    • Nigel 01/04/2016 at 10:23 am #

      Nope, sorry. Not a good enough excuse. Firstly if you suddenly just swerve off your line or turn without warning you’re as likely to unseat me from the bike behind as you are to inconvenience a motorist. Secondly this is exactly the sort of solipsistic entitled attitude that increases hostility to, and therefore lack of respect for, cyclists in general. Think again, you are putting us all at risk.

      • Brian 01/04/2016 at 11:19 am #

        Agreed. Deliberately not signalling intent is wilfully dangerous, not only for you but for other road users.

        Imagine if AR, bus or lorry drivers decided to apply your logic? As if things aren’t sketchy enough, purposely introducing more chaos onto the roads is a recipe for disaster, with cyclists bearing the brunt.

        As much as we’d like it to be, the relationship between bicycles and motor vehicles will never be equal due to the very nature of a motor vehicle – an armoured box with less than perfect visibility, filled with distractions. Doing anything other than taking extra care around them is illogical and, ultimately, an unnecessary risk.

        • Tony Durham 01/04/2016 at 6:53 pm #

          Hey, I didn’t say I give no signals ever! And I do take care to signal my intentions to other cyclists around me (which was the subject of the OP). But I don’t think I am imagining the phenomenon of aggressive drivers taking advantage of a cyclist’s ‘helpful’ signals to make life worse for the cyclist.

    • Richard 01/04/2016 at 10:57 am #

      You still need to signal. The road is no place for playing mind games with other road users, however clever this makes you feel.

      • Craig 14/04/2016 at 12:38 pm #

        Agree, never an excuse for not signalling. If anyone (pedestrian, driver, cyclist) ever has to guess, or is surprised about a manoeuvre you’re making, you’re doing it wrong.

  6. John 01/04/2016 at 9:26 am #

    People who kill themselves in an effort to overtake you only to go slowly once they get in front that you end up stuck behind them in heavy traffic. Oh, and those who steal a sneaky draft, have a rest then go past without even a “morning” uttered before disappearing into the distance

    • Montyz 18/04/2016 at 2:14 pm #

      Yeah. The lack of cycling courtesy is really annoying… not even a nod or hand gesture (no, not that type of gesture).

  7. Mark Culmer 01/04/2016 at 10:10 am #

    People who way helmets the wrong way round…seen quite a few times, both male and female – looks funny and slightly uncomfortable

  8. Mark Culmer 01/04/2016 at 10:10 am #

    People who wear helmets the wrong way round…seen quite a few times, both male and female – looks funny and slightly uncomfortable

  9. Sönke 01/04/2016 at 10:29 am #

    Before I’ve moved to SE London I lived in E and my daily ride to work from E to SE 1 through the city left me speechless most days. So many cyclists or rather stupid cyclists. Undertaking, Overtaking, no sense of placing their bike on the road (i.e. near the curb or near the middle lane) jumping lights, cutting others off, not signalling where they are going, treating the commute like a race, etc.
    It make me wonder every day how those people survive and when I hear about a cyclist being injured by a Bus or lorry I often wonder whether the cyclist could’ve stayed behind the vehicle until it has turned etc..
    My rule is: The Bus, or Motor-vehicle, is stronger, so I’d rather let it pass or stay behind it – in the case of busses I’ll get them at the next stop and overtake them then.
    Now cycling to work from the south side of the river and although we don’t have as many cycle lanes as on the north side, I feel much calmer on my ride to work.
    N-joy the sunshine 🙂

  10. Bob 01/04/2016 at 10:31 am #

    Eddy, you don’t have to be wind-sucking to get a face full of spray from the cyclist in front. Some bikes manage to generate a good six or seven yards of cold, dirty road-shower.

    • Eddy 01/04/2016 at 11:00 am #

      5-6 meters is still to close to the rider in front in the wet! Increase in stopping distances apply to bikes as well as cars.

  11. Mark 01/04/2016 at 10:34 am #

    I still don’t understand cyclists who try to sneak through the tiniest gaps between large and heavy vehicles, sometimes at traffic lights, sometimes in stagnant or moving traffic.

    The other thing is not giving pedestrians a chance to cross at a zebra crossing… imagine the other way around. It’s very simple: all traffic should give pedestrians priority, which takes me to another point that I don’t understand which is why some pedestrians wait until the cyclist has complete come to a halt. Com’on!!

    • Richard 01/04/2016 at 10:59 am #

      The sneaking – me neither. Suicidal behaviour, especially betwixt vehicle and curb.

    • Kimon 01/04/2016 at 11:11 am #

      I guess pedestrians wait for the full stop exactly because they don’t know if you’ll stop, thanks to those who don’t. Frankly I prefer those who wait instead of those who just launch into the street diagonally with their back turned to oncoming traffic without even looking to see if I’m right next to them.

    • Montyz 18/04/2016 at 2:20 pm #

      Highway code is for everyone and applies to ALL road users… there are a lot of ‘people on bikes’ who act as if they don’t know this!!!

  12. John H 01/04/2016 at 10:34 am #

    Helmets again I’m afraid.
    Those people who ware them pointing upwards on the back of their heads.
    Loose straps draped across their faces, Did the not ever wonder WHY………….

  13. John 01/04/2016 at 10:42 am #

    Spitting! At least check behind before you give the following cyclist a facefull!

    • Ree 01/04/2016 at 10:51 am #

      This comment wins!

    • Richard 01/04/2016 at 10:56 am #

      Damn right. Filthy habit. I blame footballers

    • CycleSally 01/04/2016 at 12:23 pm #

      I once took a faceful of a runners spit as I cycled past him….he did apologies though..but GROSS!

    • Floyd 02/04/2016 at 9:46 pm #

      Worse yet – snot bombs!

  14. Berny Breen 01/04/2016 at 10:46 am #

    We have a lot of cyclists in the office here and the mudguards seems to be some sort of fashion statement. . mudguards are for the “winter bike”? So riding without a rear mudguard makes you a fashion victim in my book.

    Ref the helmets – I had a really bad “off” after hitting the kerb. My helmet took the full brunt and actually split! I know it is a matter of choice but sometimes you would think that common sense would prevail and there would be not even be a conversation about this.

    Riding without lights – why do we call them ninjas? Surely a ninja is a highly trained fighter prepared for anything but we give the title to someone who isn’t prepared for the fact that it gets dark at the end of EVERY DAY. #cockwombleisthenewninja

    Be Safe.

    • Kimon 01/04/2016 at 11:22 am #

      Ninjas. As in stealthy. Because they’re invsible until it is too late.

    • Paul 02/04/2016 at 1:25 pm #

      Cyclists who don’t use mudguards.

      They’re like 4*4 drivers. Just keen to spray crud at slower cyclists.

      Thought we were supposed to be welcoming to kids, old people etc. cycling.

      Just get some mudguards

  15. Richard 01/04/2016 at 10:56 am #

    I don’t get this “shoaling” thing. I am not sure I even understand what it is. Seems to be a complaint of people who cycle like Wiggo then moaning that they have to stop at traffic lights and then moan even more about *having* to compete with other cyclists to get to the next (red) traffic lights. It’s not a race, people. You may want it to be a race but it isn’t. Mostly I am quick off the mark at lights because fellow cyclists seem not to understand how gears work (or don’t have any) and am “slow on the straight” because I ride a heavy bike, uncompetitively. Others overtake me between the lights and then, lo and behold, I catch up with them at the next red light, through no fault of my own. What’s the problem? I think I am with John at 9:26 here.

    Lights on the bike. I regret I spend less time on my bike than I would like to because of the lack of secure places to chain up near my office, my need to shower (am a sweaty bastard) and an unforgiving boss. This means I often walk home and in winter that means walking home in the dark. I wonder if my fellow cyclists have any idea how invisible they are. Less said about the plonkers who cycle without lights the better. If you just have couple of weedy front and rear lamps, you’re basically invisible when you are “oncoming traffic” because your lights will likely be drowned out in the glare of the headlights of motor vehicles. If you strapped a disco ball onto your front mudguard, you would only be getting close to the level visibility required for all but the sharpest-eyed people to spot. It might annoy Adam at 5:17 but being a lighthouse isn’t such a bad idea. Better still, be a little bit more forgiving of people who may not have spotted you among all the other brighter lit moving objects on the road.

    Am with the author Emily on the not signalling thing. I know drivers are just as bad and *horrors* pedestrians don’t do it at all. An insouciant flick of the fingers in the direction you are about to turn is barely useful to anyone but the road user who’s just behind you ; chances are you aren’t even making that much effort. You are meant to stick your arm out straight and at right-angles to your body, well before AND during your turn. It’s as much for your own safety as that of other people. Ringing your bell (love the “campanologists” term, Adam at 5:17) in frustration are you slow to avoid the people who had no means of knowing you were about to turn across their path doesn’t cut it. Learn to signal!

    Am with you on the track standing as well, Adam. Not only is it pointless and selfish, this track standing fad makes you look like a complete tit. If you want to impress me with your tricks, head to Brixton skate park on a BMX and prove yourself there. The road is no place for clowning around, pretending you are taking part in the keirin.

    The hostility. It’s bad enough having to put up with the morons in vans who don’t understand that the road is a shared space and that the blue paint on the left doesn’t compel anyone to cycle there if they do not want to. Cyclist-on-cyclist hostility is all too common and completely unnecessary even – yes, even – if someone makes a mistake. I don’t care if you are riding a £3000 carbon fibre arse razor or feel that because you work as a courier or if you’re a little old lady with psychological issues: you are not entitled to yell at me because I am riding, faster, slower, more wobbily, in inappropriate clothing, on a bike you don’t like the look of, with friends of a different colour or sexuality, lane cutting or any other perfectly legal pursuit. It is your right not to like it but not your right to start yelling abuse about it. You are not a policeman (probably): you are a pillock on two wheels. This extends to cyclists who think and behave like they own the road and then almost certainly complain about drivers who act in the exact same way. Drivers or motor vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists…. all as bad as each other. It’s not the mode of transport that matters, it’s the character of the road user. Please stop behaving like a bike gives you the right to behave more badly than everyone else because it doesn’t and it makes the rest of us look bad.

    Finally: get off the pavement. Just do, please. It’s not just dangerous to pedestrians (who might be visually impaired or unstable on their pins or children or any other vulnerable person less than fully able to get out of your way), it’s also extremely annoying and dangerous to boot when you suddenly and unexpectedly bounce off the kerb into the path of another cyclist, which seems to happen with depressing regularity. Learn to ride safely on the road or don’t ride at all please.

    • Helen 16/04/2016 at 10:09 pm #

      The problem with shoaling is not the catching up (which everybody will do at lights, and is why I rarely bother trying to overtake people). It’s the catching up and then squeezing to the front while everyone’s stationary at lights, pushing past everyone else to position themselves directly in front of all the faster cyclists, and then wobbling off extreeemely slowly after the lights change, so the faster cyclists all end up bunched up behind them unable to overtake. It’s dangerous – instead of a single line of spaced out cyclists you get a tightly packed peloton wobbling about at sub-walking speeds trying desperately to get past Mr Slow. Just park up at the lights in the order you arrive instead of shoving your way to the front of the queue.

      The two main culprits on the Walworth Road are a woman in kneeboots with plastic flowers on her handlebars, and a man in his sixties who also drifts randomly across three lanes of traffic as the mood takes him without signalling.

      Totally agree with you with the rest of it though.

  16. Ree 01/04/2016 at 11:01 am #

    I’m quite placid as I ride around, so I was pretty shocked when riding along the canal home another cyclist screamed at me to move out of his way. He was clearly using Strava or something and the tow path was his race track. And unfortunately I was in his way. It’s a one time only experience but there is no need for rudeness. That’s probably my biggest bug bear. We’re all people at the end of the day, we’re not trucks or cars or bikes, we’re people and I think it’s important to remember that.

    • Al 01/04/2016 at 2:09 pm #

      This drives me nuts as well and I notice it happening on the Regent’s Canal. If you’re going to use the canal towpath you should expect to slow down or stop occasionally to allow for other people especially since pedestrians have priority- otherwise just use the roads, it all just gives cyclists a bad name.

      • Gary 01/04/2016 at 5:49 pm #

        I agree. My normal commute takes me through Hyde Park, which can have its moments now it is getting so busy – I see about 10-20 times the bike And foot traffic than I did 12 years ago when I started bike commuting – but the other month I had the misfortune to cycle from Paddington to Wembley. Oh my, it was positively scary how those coming into town we riding. Last I saw the towpath is two-way and shared with non-cyclists. Don’t these people respect that??

  17. Nick B 01/04/2016 at 12:23 pm #

    The only thing that annoys me about other cyclists are posts like these. I don’t give a monkeys what other cyclists do, they can ride their bikes slow, fast, they can track stand, wobble, indicate or not, have mudguards or not, they can weave around traffic, ride where they want, ride what bike you want – none of it really affects me. I have no idea why some cyclists are so concerned about the habits of other people unless it is some sort of snobbery or desire to distance themselves form “those sort of cyclists”.

  18. Kyle C 01/04/2016 at 1:52 pm #

    Shoaling is by far the most annoying thing for me: it’s common that I have to overtake the same person 3/4 times in one commute. It’s less because of them cutting to the front when waiting for a red light – they’ll just sail right through the red.

    I do get frustrated at drafting too. CS7 is not Richmond Park, and with cars coming out of side roads, braking happens suddenly. The one time I suggested to a cyclist he was riding too close, I got called a wanker. Lovely.

    I love the diversity of cyclists on the road but how we act does impact each other – if someone is shoaling, I’ve got to move back out into traffic to overtake, and drafting is obviously dangerous.

  19. Al 01/04/2016 at 2:22 pm #

    Poor road etiquette or understanding of road rules, I got shouted at a couple of times by cyclists suddenly turning into side roads – once by someone salmon cycling into the junction I was crossing. If a pedestrian has started to cross then they have right of way, as a regular cyclist myself It just made me cringe on their behalf.

  20. Julie-Anne 01/04/2016 at 3:06 pm #

    ha. I didn’t even know what shoaling was until now – and I’m guilty! but for the various speeds on take off v long haul reasons mentioned above. I’d say relax about it people, I find your (mainly blokes) incessant need to overtake is tedious itself. As is the crazy “we’re all going to wait for the lights in a straight line along the curb” rather than fill the box approach. This is just asking cars to squeeze past you in a dangerous way, and slows fellow cyclists down.

    my main three complaints are a) undertaking (overtaking on the left hand side), b) overtaking way too close and fast, and c) lack of use of bell. for god’s sake get a bell and use it if you’re going to under/overtake me. there’s all sorts of reasons I might wobble in my trajectory and if you’re under/overtaking like a complete lunatic without warning me it could end badly for both of us.

  21. KisMo 01/04/2016 at 3:39 pm #

    On shared paths, i.e. towpaths, through parks, Thames Path, can we all (ALL, including pedestrians) just keep left. Swerving right around oncoming pedestrians is a disaster and the pavement dance that Brits are so fond of becomes more dangerous with a bike. Thanks.

  22. Shell T 01/04/2016 at 6:24 pm #

    Shoaling, no helmet, going through reds, tailgaiting, wearing a stupid french or italian cycling cap, riding clipped in when you have no idea how to quickly clip out and falling over usually infront of everyone you broke your neck to overtake, spraying water all over your face at every fking traffic light like you are competing in the tour de france, no mudguard in the rain (thaaaaaaanka buddy), no lights no reflective gear AND going through reds. I could go on but i really do love you all for cycling but the above shits me to tears.

    • Christiaan 01/04/2016 at 9:49 pm #

      I hate cyclists who think they know better than others about the personal choice to wear a helmet or not.

      I don’t want to be part of a biking culture that wears helmets, let alone one that guilt trips others into wearing them.

      Cycling for a lot of us is just another form of transport, like walking or driving, yet I bet you don’t go advocating that pedestrians and car drivers/passengers wear helmets.

  23. Mez Rahman 01/04/2016 at 8:33 pm #

    Hate cyclists who pass on the inside!!!
    Hate cyclists who do not respect other road/pavement users
    Hate cycle tourists who endanger themselves riding the wrong way on those infernal Santander/Boris Bikes.
    And that it is about it, absolutely love getting everywhere on my trusted Brompton.
    Get to my destination, store the lights safely in bag and then take the bike into office, restaurant or wherever ….
    Really love that more people are cycling, long may it increase.

  24. Christiaan 01/04/2016 at 9:42 pm #

    If you want to cycle fast like a demon, good for you, but don’t don’t get upset because you get shoaled by a meandering commuter while you wait at a pointless red light or because someone passes you just as the light turns orange. They may cycle slower than you but that doesn’t mean they want to get where they’re going even slower by kowtowing to you Mr Speedy. I look at some of the cyclists waiting obediently at the pedestrian lights down Finchley Rd in London when there’s not a pedestrian in sight and they have full vision; I think to myself they’re the people you have to look out for when the likes Hitler takes over.

    • louis 04/04/2016 at 12:38 pm #

      Exactly. If the guy is so fast how comes he is not fast enough 2 move out of the way when lights get green? To say the least.
      But, reading the article and all these comments, I wonder: is it so difficult to live and let others live? Unless they do something that puts you or others in danger?

    • Craig 14/04/2016 at 12:40 pm #

      There’s no such thing as a “pointless red light”.

      Tell me again how you feel about them when you get mowed down (or worse, hit somebody else).

      I have no doubt that you are incredibly clever, but if everybody had your attitude, then more cyclists would die on the road than already do.

      • Christiaan 14/04/2016 at 1:20 pm #

        Yes there are, and some jurisdictions already recognise this. Places like Paris and Idaho allow cyclists to treat certain red lights like stop or giveway signs, allowing the cyclist to go as long as the way is clear.

        Or take, for instance, this pedestrian crossing on Finchley Rd in London:

        Often I’ll come across a red light here and the pedestrian is long gone. The road is straight, wide and there is full 180 degree vision. This is a pointless red light for a cyclist. If you’re waiting at this while there are no pedestrians (as many do) you’re probably the type of person who likes to follow the rules regardless of efficacy. Those are the sort of people you want to avoid in life.

  25. GMJF 02/04/2016 at 10:42 am #

    Can’t stand cyclists who ride on the footpath… typically at speeds that are unsafe for the pedestrians legally using the footpath and with absolute disregard for the cycle lanes only feet away from them. I can only think they are afraid of the traffic. If that is the case, don’t cycle – walk!

    Also hate it when cyclists just breeze through red lights. I’m 100% for changing the law to enable cyclists to turn left at any time with care (for pedestrians crossing etc.) – and even to proceed with care when the pedestrian lights are green…but at the moment they are a menace and a danger to other road users.

    • GMJF 02/04/2016 at 10:43 am #

      Forgot to mention cyclists who wear earphones / headphones over both ears and cannot hear any warning sign given by anyone… obviously they have a death wish, but I don’t want to get caught up in their crap.

      • MJ Ray 07/04/2016 at 3:19 pm #

        Almost as bad as those cyclists who have thick flapping straps in front of their ears, eh?

  26. Patrick 02/04/2016 at 2:33 pm #

    I once saw a cyclist passing a junction with a small roundabout, while also engrossed in… er… reading his e-reader tablet held in one hand.
    One of the rare occasions when I have wanted a cyclist to have a (non fatal) accident to teach them a lesson.

  27. Wobbles 02/04/2016 at 6:03 pm #

    Many of the wobbles I find are caused by the appalling state of the roads, especially the bus lanes I encounter on my commute. Avoiding potholes, drain covers and repairs that cause many changes of direction and require so much concentration you are often unaware of the cyclist or scooter whizzing past (outside or inside). Smoother more consistent surfaces might allow us to give more attention to other road users.

  28. Nick 03/04/2016 at 6:15 am #

    Can’t stand others telling me I need to wear naff hi vis gear. It looks shithouse and a light is enough.

    • Al 05/04/2016 at 2:04 pm #

      hear hear

  29. Mike 04/04/2016 at 12:02 pm #

    Coming from the lowlands, I don’t understand why cycling here is all about getting to work as if you are Cancellara, rather than just going from point A to point B.

    (and what I don’t like about websites, when you try to force people to subscribe to your newsletter through changing the tab cycle… really annoying! From this field, a tab should lead me to the Name field!)

  30. Robert Cheyne 04/04/2016 at 5:26 pm #

    It would have to be shoaling for me too! Although reading comments on the web about other peoples’ cycling behaviour gets me more frustrated than most events on my commute.

    It’s not a race – correct. If you’re calling people road racers you’re probably taking it too personally. I tend to blast along then sit calmly in whatever safe position I can get at the lights.

    I’ve no problem with someone squeezing through or carving in from the side unless they become an obstruction. Junctions and lights can be the most dangerous part of the cycle, so if you get to the front of the queue, taking off promptly is safest for everyone around you. It has nothing to do with winning or being late for work.

    As someone has already said, we have a range of cycling speeds before you even take into account motorised vehicles. The perfect storm of being at the front, poor awareness of other riders and the changing lights, and the progressive overtaking vehicles and bikes then have to do to get around you that I can’t understand. I thought it would be common sense not to do it especially if not 10 seconds earlier you witnessed proof that five people you’ve just stopped in front of you are more comfortable a a higher cruising speed.

    • Robert Cheyne 04/04/2016 at 5:31 pm #

      Yep, commenting on cycling behaviour on the internet makes you sound like a right grumpy prat 🙂

  31. Tory 05/04/2016 at 3:33 pm #

    I really can’t get my head round the single cyclist who cruises through busy rush-hour red lights oblivious to the 20-30 cyclists observing laws and common sense. Are they all colour-blind, blessed with super-powers or just don’t care?

  32. MJ Ray 07/04/2016 at 3:21 pm #

    I hate cyclists who put multiple browser CPU-hogging animated GIFs in blog posts. 😉

  33. Rob 12/04/2016 at 4:43 pm #

    As well as riding my normal bike every day, I ride a two wheeled cargo bike for work (workcycles kr8) and am constantly amazed at how impatient other cyclists (and drivers for that matter) can be sometimes – overtaking tightly and forcing me either towards the kerb or parked cars. Overtaking then turning left in front of me or stopping suddenly. These cargo bikes do not stop quickly, the weight of them creates a huge forward momentum and in the unfortunate event of an accident, the light frame of a road bike and its rider will be bent like a drinking straw under the tank-like weight of a full cargo bike.

  34. Craig 14/04/2016 at 12:45 pm #

    Blatant shoaling gets on my nerves as well, but I will shed some light why it happens in some instances.

    Some, usually those with only 1 gear (fixies, or effectively, Boris Bikes) have a slow top speed, but are quick to accelerate at a light.

    I commute a short distance to work every day on a Boris Bike and am often the slowest cyclist in the lane, but find it awful having to wait for the lycra-ninjas on their expensive bikes to get up to speed when a light turns green. So yes, they’ll overtake me in a straightaway, but when there’s a set of lights every 100 metres I’m not going to wait for you every time we stop.

    Still, it can be done with some consideration if the slower bike pulls into the side to let faster bikes pass once they’re up to speed.

    • Rob Cheyne 14/04/2016 at 1:54 pm #

      Exactly, all about the consideration. I’m a mixture of mostly fixed gear (track-standing because it’s fun when there’s no-one nearby), now and again Hire bike. I agree Craig up to a point. If you’re saying you don’t want to wait – so you’ll park in front of a ‘faster’ bike at the lights – that seems a bit hypocritical. If that’s not what you’re saying carry on 😉

      We all have to wait, comes with sharing the road with other people and vehicles. Life would be easier with segregated lanes and no traffic lights…

  35. snoop 23/04/2016 at 7:56 pm #

    Biggest pet for me is two of those combined – shoaling without mudguards in the wet.
    It is extremely anti-social to squeeze to the front at the lights to then spray everyone with dirty water when you set it off, slowly.

  36. Ben Reeve 29/06/2016 at 8:39 am #

    Cyclists who don’t say hello or thank you! A quick thumbs up and a thank you you to any traffic that has waited doesn’t take alot, but makes a big difference to the perception of cyclists by car users.

    • will 01/07/2016 at 10:47 am #

      Spot on. Roads are for all of us and I make a point of thanking any other road user for thier courtesy.

  37. Ivan 13/09/2016 at 9:28 am #

    The single worst thing about cyclists in london is that they don’t keep distance. Everyone complains when a car overtakes us too close but when we overtake another cyclist we completely disregard this?

    Also. I do shoulder checks and signal my intentions but every now and again there is a pothole you can’t see until the last second and you need to swerve to avoid it. No time for shoulder checks then. If you have someone at your side trying to overtake too close, you just crash into them?

    Combine this with having people overtake you from each possible direction, cyclists riding the wrong way in the opposite direction, etc and a ride becomes a bit of a rollercoaster…

  38. Grace Carston 15/10/2016 at 3:18 pm #

    Re not checking or signalling. I was almost knocked off my bicycle on Belvedere Road Southbank. London at 1pm on 15/10/16 into (and perhaps) under the cars on my right by a cyclist who decided he would return from the parking lane to the road without looking. Did this make him a dangerous cyclist? Perhaps not, we all make mistakes and it is possible to learn from them However, cyclists who ride like this and then shout people down with offensive, sexist, ageist language and blame their road victims for their mistakes present a danger in my view. Abusive, aggressive, obnoxious behaviour by cyclists makes cycling dangerous and spoils things for everyone. Hopefully they are the few and not the many.

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