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Right way to cycle
IN RESPONSE to D McTernan and Kevin Benson (Letters, January 18), it is legal, reasonable and acceptable for a cyclist to take up a position in the road well away from the kerb in order to deter a following driver from attempting what would be a dangerous overtake.
Not only that but precisely this manouevre is recommended in Cyclecraft, the manual for the DfT-sponsored cycle-training scheme, Bikeability.
Adrian Setter, Barnfield Way Copmanthorpe, York.
• FOLLOWING your recent publication of my letter about cyclist safety positioning where the road narrows, there has been some positive website support to counter the responses by Messrs McTernan and Benson.
The book Cyclecraft by John Franklin (ISBN 978 0 11 703740 3) is recommended reading for achieving the national cycle training “Bikability” standards. It gives specific advice for road narrowings, whether temporary or caused by permanent features like islands.
I quote: “Width restrictions reduce the amount of space available, and may significantly increase risk for a cyclist if a motorist tries to overtake in the limited room remaining.” It continues: “A cyclist can take protective action by adopting the primary riding position at the approach to the restriction.”
When I look back over my shoulder at the approach to a narrowing, I judge the speed and width of following vehicles, relative to the narrowed road ahead.
That alone is enough to encourage most drivers to hang back. It may be reinforced by then gradually moving away from the kerbside position. A hand signal may reinforce this move, but can cause confusion if there are junctions ahead.
I invariably give a thank-you wave to motorists who briefly hang back. If the narrowed road is wide enough for us both to pass, I remain near the kerbside.
Such are my true colours.
Paul Hepworth, Windmill Rise, York.
• I WAS surprised by Angela Brader’s complaint (Letters, January 12) about a cyclist hitting her mirror when her car was at a standstill in a traffic queue.
Does she not know that she should immediately retract her door or wing mirror when stationary in traffic?
Mike Usherwood, Mendip Close, Huntington, York.