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Not enough F-roome on the roads

A couple of weeks ago Tour de France winner Chris Froome was involved in an incident when he was rammed from behind on purpose whilst training in the south of France. The driver apparently became impatient (I wonder how he would have got on behind an 'ordinary' cyclist?) before pursuing Chris onto the pavement, colliding with him and then driving away. According to his post-incident Tweet , Chris was okay. The bike, not so much. Judging by the photograph the Pinarello retailing at the best part of £10,000 is likely to be a write off.

Chris was perhaps lucky to get away relatively unscathed. At Twisted Spokes we receive numerous enquiries where cyclists have been left with nowhere to go by motorists cutting them up or trying to pass by with very little room to spare. Close passes are not a new phenomenon. Last year a video taken from a rider's headcam went viral following a particularly close encounter that he had with the Team Sky coach in North Wales.

The Highway Code says as follows in relation to overtaking a cyclist in a motor vehicle:-

"Rule 162:

Before overtaking you should make sure 

the road is sufficiently clear ahead

there is a suitable gap in front of the road user you plan to overtake

Rule 163:

Overtake only when it is safe and legal to do so. You should

not get too close to the vehicle you intend to overtake

move quickly past the vehicle you are overtaking, once you have started to overtake. Allow plenty of room. Move back to the left as soon as you can but do not cut in

give motorcyclists, cyclists and horse riders at least as much room as you would when overtaking a car (see Rules 211-215)"

Too often though I see motorists ignoring this though, often leading to close encounters. The drag effect of a car passing by is enough to cause a wobble, potentially causing the rider to come off the bike altogether. It is also a scary experience for cyclists having cars, trucks and buses roaring along within touching distance alongside them.

There are undoubtedly an increasing number of cyclists on the road in Britain but the infrastructure to cope with that hasn't caught up. Whilst new road layouts are taking into account the needs of cyclists more and more, with properly demarcated cycle lanes, crossing points and so on, the vast majority of roads do not facilitate proper separation of motorised and non-motorised road users.

To all the drivers reading this, make sure you give cyclists a wide berth! They are just as entitled to use the road as you are.

If you are unfortunate enough to be involved in a collision and you come off worse than Chris Froome did, then please call us on 0808 168 7228 or drop me a line; alistair.ward@jmw.co.uk . We will help you get back on the roads and back to your cycling best!

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