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“I’m a 60-foot lorry… it’s easier for you to go back as a pushbike”: Countryside stand-off between cyclist and driver turns heated; Carrera Jeans or Quick-Step 2.0? Alpecin-Deceuninck brings double-denim kit to the peloton + more on the live blog

Hop on the road.cc live blog with Adwitiya for a Thursday full of cycling news and views, discussion and debate, and some general chitter-chatter
15 February 2024, 09:22
“I’m a 60-foot lorry… It’s easier for you to go back as a pushbike”: Countryside stand-off between cyclist and driver turns heated

You've heard of Mexican stand-offs, now get ready for a countryside stand-off, between a cyclist and a lorry driver over who should reverse to allow space for the other to pass... Sorry, that sounded way more exciting in my head.

As bizarre as that sounds (almost like a knockoff Michael Mann or Quentin Tarantino thriller), on the narrow, country roads of Hampshire an impassé so deadlocked that neither party could give an inch took place, with this video of a lorry driver asking a cyclist to reverse to allow her to pass doing the rounds on social media. Her claim? That it would be "easier for you to go back as a pushbike, than it would be for me as a 60-foot lorry".

First off, I am instantly suspicious about someone who uses the word pushbike unironically. Secondly, I am even sceptical about someone who phrases things like 'you're a pushbike' and 'I'm a lorry'.

But my dubious thoughts aside, the cyclist seems to have turned down the driver's request/command (it's a little difficult for me to judge by the tone), and asks her instead: "Where am I supposed to go?"

The driver replies, "To a wide bit! I can see a bit just three...", when the cyclist interjects: "I can see a wide bit over there!", pointing to behind the truck. 

"You think it's easier for me to reverse? I'm 60-foot long and the same width as this road as you can see by the fact that you can see I'm in the hedge on both sides," the driver says, hastily turning the camera the other way round to show a glimpse of the lorry barely managing to fit on the unpaved lane, with the side-view mirrors grazing the hedges.

The cyclist asks, "Why should I turn around and go back?", to which the driver replies: "Well surely it's easier for you to go back as a pushback than for me as a 60-foot lorry."

The cyclist then tells the driver that she "shouldn't be down here anyway", to which the driver replies saying that she's going to her field, before the clip cuts off abruptly, leaving us wanting a resolution to the thrilling stand-off (with that ending, it seems more of a Chris Nolan movie).

Incidentally, the video has drawn varied reaction on this lovely little thing called social media. While some believe that the cyclist had the right of way and that the lorry driver should pick a road better suited to accommodate the vehicle, others have argued that it would indeed be easier for the cyclist to give way, and that reversing the lorry with the mirrors being blocked by the hedges would be dangerous.

One person, who claimed to be a cyclist said that they'd be "quite happy to ride back and find a wider section for the truck to pass", with this alternative being "far easier and quicker". Another person agreed, saying they would avoid the confrontation in a first place and leave everyone a little less annoyed.

Some were quite critical of the lorry driver, while others defended the lorry driver wholeheartedly. A Twitter user said: "What a lovely sounding lorry driver! What on earth is she doing on a single track lane in a 44 ton HGV", while another reply said: "News to a few on here wondering why a lorry goes down tracks. It’s called agriculture. Farmers and horse owners need access to take feed/equipment/livestock down them."

There were obviously a few replies spewing blatant anti-cycling vitriol, but I think we can do without mentioning them on the live blog this beautiful Thursday, can't we?

In the meantime, I think this post might sum the whole faff up?

15 February 2024, 10:25
Gianni Vermeersch new Alpecin denim kit 2024
It’s in the (Carrera) Jeans… Alpecin-Deceuninck brings double-denim to the peloton — or is it just Quick-Step 2.0?

What date is it? Surely not April 1st?

Or more like, what decade is it? Surely not the 90s?

Because the peloton has been done a massive favour (as most of us here at road.cc towers) by Alpecin-Deceuninck, with the Belgian team releasing its new 2024 "double-denim" kit, alongside a new denim-themed logo. It's safe to say, we are all as surprised as we are pleased.

The team, so far racing with its previous season's kit, has announced today that it will be sporting the brand-new jersey at the UAE Tour, with young sprinter Kaden Groves as the team leader.

The team added: "The denim kit is representing our team’s perspective for 2024: daring to stand out, while keeping our feet on the ground. Working hard together, while having fun together. Because jeans are great for any occasion, no?"

Yes, of course! After all, who can forget the iconic look sported by Carrera Jeans in the late 80s and early 90s, one of them being an actual double-denim training kit, all the while winning the Tour and Giro with Stephen Roche, while Chiappucci came up with a string of second-placed finishes at the Giro and Tour (only to be beaten by Greg LeMond and Miguel Induráin, mind you). And coming up to 20 years on Marco  Pantani's death, in my headcanon this is definitely a tribute to Il Pirata.

The more I look at it, the more I love it!

But of course, this isn't the first time a team has tried to force a denim-revival in the peloton in modern times. Just last year, AG2R Citroën raced the Strade-Bianche in denim bib shorts, plodding along the Tuscan countryside in an interesting shade of denim, developed by its kit partner Rosti. It goes without saying, fans were divided.

It's only a shame that it's going to be a nightmare for fans to tell Alpecin and Quick-Step apart in the peloton, because without my glasses on (or maybe after a couple of pints), I wouldn't be able to do so. 

Alpecin Quick-Step kits

PS. Don't tell anyone, but your favourite Northern Irish live blogger Ryan had been struggling to find a pair of Carrera Jeans denim bib shorts to gift his dad for his 60th, but with this new Alpecin kit, he might be having second thoughts... Alpecin, if you're reading this, you know what to send to who!

15 February 2024, 16:53
Stand-off between cyclist and lorry driver
Reactions galore as stand-off between cyclist and lorry driver divides opinion (quite sharply may I add)

The topic was quite touchy to begin with, with some calling in sensibility and common sense into question, others clamouring about the validity and legality of the dilemma. And rightfully so, it's become a topic that has drawn a deep distinction of reactions.

Quite a few interesting ones from Facebook:

Rob Cockburn: "If the story is true then this is a classic case of a jumped up cyclist wanting to prove a point, rather than use common sense. As a cyclist myself it's these kind of cyclists that give the rest (Majority) of us a bad name."

Paul Golding: "Common sense dictates that it’s far easier for the cyclist to back up a bit, and quicker. As a cyclist myself I’ve been in similar situations and have used common sense and moved myself out of the way."

Nicholas Gill: "A lot of talk about common sense here without mentioning that it's also common sense not ro attempt to drive a 44 ton HGV down a road marked "Unsuitable for heavy goods vehicles"!"

Ben Williams: "Is there an equivalent truck drivers site whete they are all saying "this truck driver gives us all a bad name"? . I doubt it so please stop saying it."

Mick Unsworth: "As a cyclist, she is correct that she has right of way, but a bit of common sense would help. She should have stopped a soon as he saw the lorry and looked for a gap or passing space. I often climb a hedge or find a gateway to let lorries and tractors pass."

And then some from road.cc live blog readers:

cyclisto: "I have confronted numerous drivers with numerous ways and numerous results when they park on the bicycle lane, but here I would just ride back. I have driven big vehicles, (fortunately not big as that) and have sat in a lorry's passenger's seat reversing in a narrow road (no space to reverse) where the whole experience took a few hours, so I can feel empathy for the driver.

Besides not sure what happens in UK driving law, but where I am now when two vehicles get stuck, the smaller has to reverse, so in this case where we have a huge lorry (with a seemingly not very experienced driver) and a bicycle it just seems ridiculous that the cyclist still argues.

The road is marked as unsuitable but heavy vehicles are not explicitly prohibited."

Hirsuite: "I can't help feeling there must be a slightly better solution than using a 60' foot lorry on a narrow lane where you can't reverse. What is she going to do if there is a tree down ? It's not like we haven't had various storms in the last 2 or 3 months."

mitsky: "Cyclists v Lorry Driver.
The cyclist could have been very petty and slowly walked the bike back to a wider spot in the road.
Even at walking speed, the lorry driver would likely not have complained as the alternative was to try to reverse the lorry.
The cyclist could have been slow enough to do it so that another motor vehicle driver ended up facing the lorry...
Not saying I would do it myself...  maybe.
The lorry driver needs to know what vehicle is appropriate for that type of road.:

Benthic: ""...it’s easier for you to go back as a pushbike...”

Lorries have a reverse gear. Bicycles do not."

15 February 2024, 16:12
"Flagship cycling route, designed to be underwater for two months of the year"

We all know the state of cycling routes in the UK isn't something to be gloat over, and over the years road.cc has cheekily pointed at the lot, hoping to draw attention and hold the naughty councils responsible for the caretaking to account. But there are times when we come across roads that are simply embarassing, so poor that we are at a loss of words.

Case in point, this route from Cambridgeshire, connecting Swavesey and St Ives and passing through a couple of lakes and the river Great Ouse, part of the National Cycling Network 51. However, despite all that, the route has been underwater and constantly flooded since December!

I don't even have something interesting to comment, other than that this is shambolic.

15 February 2024, 15:30
Under-fire council admits "discriminatory" cycle route barriers were installed without equality impact assessment
"Discriminatory" barriers (Dr Grahame Cooper/supplied)

Bolton Council, which has been criticised for installing "discriminatory" barriers on a cycling and walking route, apparently to prevent anti-social behaviour, has admitted no equality impact assessment was carried out pre-installation but believes it has still acted in accordance with design guidance.

"The real issue is that the barriers discriminate against people who use many types of cycle, including adapted cycles for users with disabilities, and the council's failure to follow due process," Dr Grahame Cooper, a cyclist and Bolton Active Travel Forum Technical Review Group member, told road.cc.

> Read more: Under-fire council admits "discriminatory" cycle route barriers were installed without equality impact assessment

15 February 2024, 15:03
Some good news: All but one of the low-traffic neighbourhoods in Croydon to be made permanent
15 February 2024, 13:58
Stage two of Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta del Sol also called off due to farmer protests

Just a day after the opening stage of the Spanish five-day stage race was cancelled, it’s now revealed that the second stage has also called off due to farmer protests, with the rest of the stage routes also being amended.

Two weeks ago, the opening stage of the Etoile de Bessèges was also cancelled for the same reason.

The Vuelta a Andalucia is now set to start on Friday with a 5km time trial substituted in for the previously planned 161km route, before an abbreviated 100km summit finish on Saturday, according to Het Nieuwsblad

As of now, the last stage seems to stay the same as planned, a 168km route from Benahavís to La Línea de la Concepción, however, that could also subject to change as the protests, which have agitated farmers in several parts of Europe, continue to develop.

A statement released by the race organisers said: “The Vuelta a Andalucia will resume Friday with a time trial in Alcaudete and will conclude next Sunday.

“Due to the inability to count on state security members, the organisation had to reduce the race to three stages, and partly modify the route of the stages. We are waiting at this time for the problems arising from agricultural and transport claims in Spain to be resolved.”

15 February 2024, 13:30
Only one way to settle this: Have your say on Alpecin-Deceunick's double-denim kit!

PollMaker

15 February 2024, 13:12
The reviews have started creeping in for Alpecin's denim kit... Spoiler: They are not favourable (but quite amusing)

It pains, it pains so much! Why isn't every single fan agreeing with me in recognising the true greatness of this gorgeous, groundbreaking, fashionable and nostalgic at the same time double-denim Alpecin-Deceuninck kit?

Initial reviews in the echo chamber of cycling Twitter have not been very favourable to this kit, people have pointed it to be "pointless"... 

Richard Dawson wrote on Twitter: "Considering that the images of their new kit is trending, I would say it has been extremely successful & a very good idea!" I mean as they say, any publicity is good publicity? A few also felt sorry for the commentators who now have the tough task of distinguishing the Alpecin riders from the Quick-Step ones in the peloton (I can get behind this take).

Ouch, that's a little too harsh in my opinion! Anyway, here are my two favourite comments from Twitter that made me smile (social media makes you smile, shocking!)

15 February 2024, 12:49
Female cyclist in London casual winter clothing on hybrid bike - copyright Simon MacMichael
London boroughs accused of “failing cyclists and pedestrians” as report shows no imminent funding plans for cycleways or safer streets

This news takes us to the London borough of Croydon, with a recent report by London Assembly Member, Mayoral Candidate and active travel campaigner Sian Berry revealing that there was a “looming delivery gap” in terms of the number of bus lanes, cycle lanes, safer streets and bike storage facilities being installed by the capital’s boroughs.

Of the many boroughs criticised in the report, the most scathing critiques were reserved for Lewisham, Brent, Croydon, Greenwich and Kingston, which stood out as the ones to not have made funding bids for any greater cycle infrastructure, reports The Standard.

Berry's report found that outer London boroughs received 82 per cent of what they sought from the mayor, while inner London boroughs received 52 per cent. This was in part because TfL wanted to improve alternatives to the car in the suburbs – but was also a reflection of a “lack of ambition” from outer London boroughs to seek investment.

She said that Mr Khan had failed to use powers available to him to compel boroughs to follow his transport strategy, adding that the mayor needed an “early revision” of his transport strategy.

Last week TfL announced that £80.4m would be available for borough schemes in 2024/25, with £41m already earmarked for outer London and £25m for inner London.

These include 150 new or upgraded pedestrian crossings, 125 “bus priority” schemes including new bus lanes, including on Superloop routes, and 20mph limits on roads in Barnet, Brent, Harrow, Redbridge, Waltham Forest Enfield and Richmond.

15 February 2024, 12:11
Conservative politician makes the case against low-traffic neighbourhoods by *checks notes* showing how safe and vibrant they are
15 February 2024, 11:56
Hands up if you want to see Drum & Bass On The Bike back in 2024!

After an incredible year of entertaining cyclists with sick tunes, and everyone leaving glowing reviews of the event, describing it as "mind-blowing", "massive", "crazy" and "immense", DJ Dom Whitting is looking to bring Drum and Bass On The Bike ride back in 2024. I can't say I'm not chuffed!

> Joining Dom Whiting for a Drum & Bass On The Bike ride – a glorious afternoon in every sense

15 February 2024, 11:42
Park rat-run to remain closed to drivers to promote cycling, following trial made controversial by "vocal minority who drive straight through the park"
Poole Park (Facebook/Leave Poole Park Alone)

BCP Council has admitted the response was "much bigger than expected" after it closed a rat-run through a heritage listed park to prevent drivers using the route as a cut-through, in a bid to promote cycling and walking and tackle air and noise pollution, but has committed to keeping the road closure in place now the trial period has ended and more than 5,000 consultation responses are being considered.

And while the council has not shut the route through Poole Park, a 110-acre green space in the Dorset town, permanently — a period of analysis to "understand every piece of feedback and insight on either side of the debate" will follow, potentially with an "open public meeting" — the road, used as a rat-run near Sandbanks, one of the wealthiest neighbourhoods in the country, to remain closed to drivers in the meantime now the four-week trial period has ended.

Read more: > Park rat-run to remain closed to drivers to promote cycling, following trial made controversial by "vocal minority who drive straight through the park"

Adwitiya joined road.cc in 2023 as a news writer after graduating with a masters in journalism from Cardiff University. His dissertation focused on active travel, which soon threw him into the deep end of covering everything related to the two-wheeled tool, and now cycling is as big a part of his life as guitars and football. He has previously covered local and national politics for Voice Wales, and also likes to writes about science, tech and the environment, if he can find the time. Living right next to the Taff trail in the Welsh capital, you can find him trying to tackle the brutal climbs in the valleys.

Add new comment

107 comments

Avatar
eburtthebike | 5 months ago
2 likes

Isn't there something in the latest Highway Code about the drivers of motor vehicles giving way to cyclists and pedestrians?  But maybe the driver of the 60' truck hasn't read it.

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john_smith replied to eburtthebike | 5 months ago
0 likes

She did give way. If she hadn't, the cyclist would have been under the lorry.

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Rendel Harris replied to john_smith | 5 months ago
8 likes

john_smith wrote:

She did give way. If she hadn't, the cyclist would have been under the lorry.

Stopping for a standoff isn't exactly giving way, the "way" that is "given" is the road or path, ceded to the other user; here the lorry driver is blocking the cyclist's way, not giving it.

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bikeman01 | 5 months ago
0 likes

Women.. stay in the kitchen 

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Wheelywheelygood | 5 months ago
1 like

A good example of a bike but no brains 

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neilmck | 5 months ago
6 likes

This is a classic video where it has been edited to make the opponent look unreasonable. The beginning bit, with the lorry driver beeping her horn and swearing at the cyclist has been removed.

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Rendel Harris replied to neilmck | 5 months ago
6 likes

neilmck wrote:

This is a classic video where it has been edited to make the opponent look unreasonable. The beginning bit, with the lorry driver beeping her horn and swearing at the cyclist has been removed.

Indeed, and what happened afterwards? Did the cyclist after (pretty politely as far as I can tell) objecting to the lorry driver's behaviour turn round and let them through? One suspects probably so, otherwise the "look how entitled this cyclist is" driver would surely have posted a longer clip.

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grOg replied to Rendel Harris | 5 months ago
0 likes

Of course the Karen with the bike eventually relented when she realised that the driver was not going to reverse; the old dear was lucky she wasn't dealing with a male driver, as her bike would likely have been thrown to the side before the driver proceeded.

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andystow | 5 months ago
0 likes

Another "dazzled by the sun" defence.

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Richard Lake | 5 months ago
3 likes

Thought he was clever tweeting the blue sign "Unsuitable for HGVs".

However, every good cyclist should know that all blue signs are "shoulds" and are advice only. E.g. "Cyclists dismount" is a recommendation not an instruction.

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Pyro Tim replied to Richard Lake | 5 months ago
0 likes

Blue signs are instructions, and are must not should

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Richard Lake replied to Pyro Tim | 5 months ago
2 likes

The blue sign shown in the photo is square which is advice, your thinking of circular signs like e.g. arrows on roundabouts showing direction of travel.

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Hirsute replied to Richard Lake | 5 months ago
4 likes

You realise he just grabbed an image of any old blue hgv sign and says it's not the road in question.

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Rick_Rude | 5 months ago
8 likes

Cyclist looks like one of those clueless, cycle only road users. I often cycle down a narrow section and often find a car up my arse. Rather than drag it out for another mile 'because I can', I hop on the grass or into a cutaway when I can and they go away and I'm not worrying about a car behind me. It's that simple.

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john_smith replied to Rick_Rude | 5 months ago
4 likes

As others have said, her behaviour might seem unreasonable, but you don't know what happened beforehand.

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grOg replied to john_smith | 5 months ago
0 likes

Who cares what happened beforehand; the situation was clear that the cyclist did not want to get out of the way of the truck.

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don simon fbpe | 5 months ago
5 likes

I grew up on single track roads and it's all very easy, you use your common sense. If you see something coming in the opposite direction and can pull in to let them pass, pull in and let them pass.

That was then and this is now. We have poor driving, poor judgment, very little common sense, GPS and entitlement.

A truck that big shouldn't really be on lanes that narrow.

A truck driver should be able to reverse said truck.

Driver could possibly have seen the cyclist and pulled into the wide area that she now refuses to reverse into.

Cyclist would have heard the truck.

Cyclist could have anticipated and pulled in earlier.

The only person that I would automatically hit reverse for when I saw him, as did everyone except outsiders, was Eddie Ditcher who simply refused to reverse and would leave his van parked in the road.

I get the feeling that there is on going beef here where I suspect the local cyclist is sick of people not used to driving lanes being a problem.

For me, it's easier to solve the problem by moving over earlier.

My favourite muppets are the ones that I pull over for and flash to come through. They then decide that they will pull over themselves  and flash me through. Another Mexican standoff. The clearest sign that they are nervous of driving lanes and should probably stay away, it's usually safe to pass them at speed. smiley

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IanMunro replied to don simon fbpe | 5 months ago
2 likes

"A truck that big shouldn't really be on lanes that narrow."
It looks like a pretty standard width narrow country lane that many farms face onto, and it looks like a pretty standard size truck for farm traffic. 
 

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don simon fbpe replied to IanMunro | 5 months ago
3 likes

Would you say that a 60ft truck is of the articulated variety? I'd say that she'd be pretty fucked on most of the corners on the lanes I lived on or many that I have driven on. The milk trucks we received at the creamery were all rigid of this sort of size, not articulated. I can't actually think of any farm locally where I've seen an articulated truck use single track lanes.

EDIT: I guess you could be right, you can clearly see where large vehicles have done the hard work of chewing up the verge to make it passable for her and her artic.

//www.transport-history.co.uk/images/rodneys.jpg)

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stonojnr replied to don simon fbpe | 5 months ago
4 likes

I saw this one last week loading up in a field off one of my regular "quiet lane" single track routes. I didn't hang about to find out if it made it back out.

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don simon fbpe replied to stonojnr | 5 months ago
2 likes

I would guess that the driver and farmer have both done their homework to determine that no damage is done to verges, that said truck can get in and out and that the driver has the ability to reverse if they ever come across an Eddie Ditcher (or other road user as they wouldn't want to be seen as entitled).

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mitsky | 5 months ago
8 likes

Cyclists v Lorry Driver.

The cyclist could have been very petty and slowly walked the bike back to a wider spot in the road.
Even at walking speed, the lorry driver would likely not have complained as the alternative was to try to reverse the lorry.

The cyclist could have been slow enough to do it so that another motor vehicle driver ended up facing the lorry...

Not saying I would do it myself...  maybe.

The lorry driver needs to know what vehicle is appropriate for that type of road.

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IanMunro replied to mitsky | 5 months ago
2 likes

"The lorry driver needs to know what vehicle is appropriate for that type of road."

You do understand how farms work?
There's not a donkey and hay cart transporting stuff to the village market. Lorrys do the donkey work now. It's a single track lane, and the lorry is correctly sized for it.

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brooksby | 5 months ago
7 likes

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/articles/c51w49l8nd2o

Quote:

A cyclist's death has sparked a murder investigation after he was involved in a crash in Reading.

Police are investigating after the cyclist, a man in his 30s, collided with a vehicle on Addington Road, at the junction of Cadugan Place.

A force spokesperson said it is believed the cyclist was then assaulted by someone from the car at about 23:50 GMT on Wednesday.

He later died of his injuries at Royal Berkshire Hospital.

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ktache replied to brooksby | 5 months ago
1 like

Shit...

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john_smith replied to brooksby | 5 months ago
4 likes

Love the way they always say "a cyclist collided with".

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brooksby replied to john_smith | 5 months ago
2 likes

At least the motorist (or their passenger) got out of the car, which means it's not just written off as 'one of those things'…

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levestane | 5 months ago
2 likes

I wonder if the cyclist and driver already know each other (past history). It was nice that there didn't seem to be any shouting and swearing.

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NickSprink | 5 months ago
10 likes

The lorry driver stopped.  That looks like a bit of a result to me.

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Oldfatgit | 5 months ago
18 likes

The Mexican Stand Off.

Based on the video, it looks like a nice straight bit of lane.
Also based on the transcript, the passing place *behind* the truck is significantly closer than the passing place *behind* the cyclist.

Which leads the question of ... did the cyclist magically materialise in front of the truck in that position... or was the truck driver relying on the size of their vehicle to intimidate the cyclist?

It certainly sounds like a case of "I'm a truck ... get outta my way, 'cos I'm a truck".

It looks like the cyclist would have been visible for a significant period of time as the truck driver deliberately ignored the passing place.

Ex C+E, STGO, ADR.
Long time member of the "if you cant reverse it, don't fecking drive it" club.

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