I was pottering along military road recently doing about 20Km/Hr I was coming up to a parked car I had pulled away from the curb to pass the car and I was passed by a faster paced cyclist.
When you are as slow as me this is nothing unusual however there was a group slipstreaming him.
They proceeded to get closer and closer and I was forced to brake severely to avoid being fored into the parked car.
Are slower cyclists considered far game to run off the road?
Assuming i didn't want to run into the back of the parked car and dont really want to take my chances getting tangled up in a faster moving group suddenly with the likely crossing of wheels and fall ensuing what strategy should I adopt to reduce the chance of this happening in future?
Or was I just in the wrong place at the wrong time and people in groups should make allowances for the rider behind them?
@ Don...enough to make your blood boil...same happens on occassion between a fast moving group passing a slower moving group of cyclists....unfortunately we cyclists can be very selfish on the road an inconsiderate of other users.... purely human nature....its a jungle out there.
I can't see you didn't anything wrong. If I come up behind a slower rider who's swinging out to pass a parked car I wait until he/shes passed the car and I can pass him/her safely before doing so.
During a TDU public ride a few years back I witnessed a similar situation where a bunch of wannabe pros swing en masse around a slower rider just as a semi and trailer passed by. The semi nearly took them all out. Poetic justice ruled the day.....a bit further down the road the entire group came down on a railway crossing.
Mob mentality.. people in groups do things they'd never do if they were alone.
Etiquette says the first rider in the group calls to you to warn you there's a group overtaking, and simultaneously signals to the guys behind to move over to give you room. Or waits until you've all passed the car before they overtake you... Kinda common sense really, to keep you, them, and the car driver all safe...
The only proactive thing you could do is speed up a little, signal, and grab a wheel in their group just to get past the car.. (I wasn't there of course.) There are times on a bike when we all have to grab it by the balls and 'own' our own space on the road in the face of cars- or other cyclists. Decide early, call or signal clearly, and set your course confidently.
Ride somewhere else Don.
Or attach spinning blades to your wheels, Ben Hur style, that should slow the racers down a bit.
I would think the onus is on the faster group to make sure it is safe to overtake and to give you sufficient room and courtesy to go about your ride unhindered,
I would assume you looked back and indicated you were pulling out past the parked car if another rider (or any vehicle) was approaching you from behind.
In my experience there are some arrogant groups that frequent the OH run and courtesy can be in short supply.
I was on the line to pass the car comfortably the first rider passed me and moved left the riders behind him moved left as well and I got squeezed.
Put your left hand behind your back pointing right.
+1 (they should all know that signal)
Of course, that is assuming you could hear them coming up fast behind you, when in noisy traffic. Sometimes other cyclists can be quite silent, and upon you before you are aware.
...but the onus is on the faster, passing group to call out their intention to overtake you, after giving you the space to pass the car, and then to do so only when safe, allowing you room.
By the time I had realised what was happening it was a case of break to avoid running into the back of the car or keep my line and risk a fall.
I suppose pragmatically at least if someone runs up my rear they will probably fall as well.
Ironically this was on the part of military road that has 2 car lanes and a parking lane so there was no necessity for this group to pull to the left and cut me off.
How do I ride defensively and protect myself from these inexperienced / inconsiderate racer types?
Sit on 40kph Don and let them draft you.
I always pull out very early to pass a parked car so it is a gradual change of road position rather than a late swing out around the car. Other than that I suspect there is little you can do with inexperienced/inconsiderate racer types.
Sounds like you had a moment where you forgot to pay attention, i do that occasionally and it often results in me not having a comfortable space between a car and a gutter.
Don't underestimate the shoulder check and hand signal.
Have a look, signal and go, pay attention and consider doing it early.
We often don't get enough room because we are not assertive enough.
You haven't mentioned whether you actually looked behind you before pulling out to go around the car? It doesn't sound like you did.
I would have thought that you should have looked to see them coming. In which case, you could have signalled, been assertive and taken "the lane" early to give yourself plenty of room on the left to pass the parked car. The faster group should have then overtaken around you on the right (when safe).