I was speaking to someone the other day and came to the conclusion that I feel most comfortable with "slow passes", even above those who give plenty of space. That is, I'm more at ease on a twisty uphill road (like Belair road) if someone slows down behind me and then passes going perhaps only 10 or 20 kmh faster than me - even within touching distance - than I am with someone who gives a generous metre clearance but closes in fast and passes at full speed with their engine noise not changing.
That's my thought for the day anyway. Does anyone else have the same feeling?
I feel that anyone passing with zero alteration to their speed even with 1-2m clearance has a level contempt for cyclists.
Not that it will improve driver attitude one iota, but the 1m clearance should be in conjunction with a 40kph max speed limit. Similar to what emergency services had.
There are many times, Ive had drivers fly past at more than the road speed limit and with 1-2m gap and being sucked in by their wind wake afterwards. I just smh as I know this behavior while unproven is in contempt for cyclists and the new laws.
Can you imagine the hate towards cyclist if cars are asked to slow down to pass, even if the don't need to move over...
I think the new laws are just fine... as 99.9% actually give more than the required amount, and the 0.1% will not do whatever they are told anyway...
I completely agree. Expecting cars to slow down to overtake is unrealistic (not to mention detrimental to traffic flow).
And I agree that nearly all cars are giving more than a metre now, and the new law has made a difference.
In response to the original post, I'd much rather a metre+ than a close slow pass.
Maybe it depends on the road situation - on Military Rd I'm passed by cars around 1m away at 60kph and I have absolutely no trouble with that. But as you say on twisty uphills I want a little more care from drivers. Maybe it's because I feel slightly less in control of my line uphill compared to on the flat? Uphill is where you might need to work the bike more and move from side to side.
I'm with you all the way with the speed. I have no problem in the city centre with cars and buses almost touching me as they negotiate traffic when their speed is so much lower and usually we have made eye contact and I know they have seen me and are simply passing carefully.
I'm just fed up with close passes at 60 kph plus.
This was Fullarton Road last Saturday. 60 kph. The gutter is about 300 mm. I estimate 6 gutter widths between the kerb and the car's wheel. 1.8 metres and I'm within that space. If I'm about 500 mm wide, riding 600 mm off the kerb, then there's 1100 mm and then the car's mirror sticks out wider than the wheel. The right hand lane was completely empty. He just couldn't be bothered.
This was North East Rd last Monday night.
Both of these were doing about 60 kph.
"Take the lane". Yep, I know. I was doing that a couple of weeks back in one of the three lanes here when I got scary road raged for taking the lane. No camera that day, probably not much point anyway.
If I tried to report every close passing motorist, I'd spend a couple of hours per week in the police station and as noted somewhere on this site previously, the police would likely and understandably get fed up and consider me a pest.
I reckon fixed safety cameras on busy cycling routes are the answer. It would be fantastic to have unmarked police on bikes with cameras but it is probably not going to happen. Possibly unsafe for them.
Anyway, back to the point of your thread, yes, if someone passes at a sensible speed, then I don't even mind if they are closer than the prescribed distance.
On a twisty like Belair I reckon my biggest chance of getting hit is a driver who overtakes in a really stupid place and swerves back in. So yes, I'd rather someone slowed down and thought about it.
People who pull right over to the other side of the road scare me witless.
If they have that little understanding of how wide their car is, what will happen when they have to come back over because a car is coming?
I'd prefer someone with a good understanding who passes a metre to the side.
Or maybe they know exactly where their car is, but they're being polite and giving you more than one metre.
What scares me is that they are so far over the other side of the road that should a car suddenly appear their natural response will be to slough back onto the side they should be on and wipe me out.
Motor vehicles over-taking is for me not so much a thing about speed but place - cars racing you for the corner are what make me most uncomfortable.
It is unusual for a car to pass with out me having eye-balled it to some extent. Of course the old "wobbly cyclist" can be put into effect if one notes an incoming vehicle on an unfavorable trajectory, I of course go dead straight when actually within range. The other thing when approaching potential corners is either go for it or back off depending.
Close passes on the straight line are just plain rude.
That all said my regular commute is mostly back streets and as cars usually stick to the speed limit (or lower) passes are something like 10~20 klicks. Not so fast and I've plenty of time to suss 'em out ;-)
on a bit of a tangent, an observation i have made, riding in a couple of different cities even, is that if i ride to the left of the fog line where able, cars tend to not give as much room, or next to no room, but if i force the issue and ride to the right of the fog line, cars are much more courteous. i don't get abused for riding to the right of the fog line (i'm not talking 'taking the lane' wide), it just forces the cars to make a judgement call as they pass. seems very little incentive to be 'considerate' and 'sharing' by riding to the left of the fog line (obviously only where there is sufficient sealed road) when it seems like an invitation to have cars pass close by.
having said that, i'm not one to get overly bothered by close passes. its just an observation.