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Not a new phenomenon, but it seems to be on the rise and very erksome. I am getting very sick of red-light hoppers, not jumpers. The fact is a lot of red-lights at main junctions can't be jumped because of crossing traffic and the very real chance of being squished. So I am riding to work and overtake another biker, but get to the next junction and stop at the light. Same biker comes cruising past and stops at the corner in front of me. Not looking at the light or the line but looking at the traffic to see if he/she can pull away as soon as there is a gap or they stop coming. They pull away and so do I but now I am stuck behind their slow moving ass. I can't overtake them because they are moving so slowly and overtaking cars are moving too quickly to move out and the road is too narrow, I am boxed in! I have no choice but to wait for the road to change or a gap in traffic. If I do get to move out a few hundred yards down the road I just get to the next set of lights and the whole maneuver repeats. Thankfully I can often put some distance between myself and them if I catch the end of a green.

I know this isn't a piece of etiquette anyone ever gets taught but if I get overtaken by another rider (this rarely but inevitably does occur) who then stops at the next lights I don't put myself in front of them. There are a lot of new people cycling, which is good, but by-heck some of them are knobs.

Feel free to criticize my don't-get-in-my-way/holier-than-thou attitude, or my use of run-on sentences.

38 comments

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jmaccelari [237 posts] 1 year ago
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I am of the same opinion, but have come to realise that some people just could not give a toss. Inform them that they're doing something wrong and you'll generally get a '**** off' for your efforts. It's a great way to stuff up your own mood for the day. It's not worth it.

I find the best is to lead by example. It's amazing how much like sheep people are. If one person stops, most will stop. If one person goes, most will go. So I stop at lights and most people stop with me.

There are always the tossers who don't, but then accept that they will hopefully be the ones removed from the gene pool early and get on with enjoying your ride.

As for the ones who push in the front and then can't ride to keep in front, I find that coming flying past them like they're standing still makes up for it for me. I like to chase them down like little bunnies...

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KiwiMike [1073 posts] 1 year ago
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Hint: they're on a bike.

Bikes are just faster shoes.

There is no club.

There is no membership.

There is no obligation.

A British societal norm is not to jump a queue, but in this case there is also no queue.

You are tilting at windmills. Which is perfectly within your right, of course.

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Leviathan [1775 posts] 1 year ago
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KiwiMike wrote:

A British societal norm is not to jump a queue, but in this case there is also no queue.

queue
kjuː/Submit
noun
1.
BRIT.
a line or sequence of people or vehicles awaiting their turn to be attended to or to proceed.
synonyms: line, row, column, file, chain, string, stream;

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Shades [285 posts] 1 year ago
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Winds me up but I've taught myself to 'rise above it'. Not a red light but stopped at a zebra crossing today as a large group of people were crossing. Another cyclist just slowed down and weaved through them. Felt like giving him a 'Do you know why people moan about cyclists' lecture but just let it go.

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KiwiMike [1073 posts] 1 year ago
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bikeboy76 wrote:
KiwiMike wrote:

A British societal norm is not to jump a queue, but in this case there is also no queue.

queue
kjuː/Submit
noun
1.
BRIT.
a line or sequence of people or vehicles awaiting their turn to be attended to or to proceed.
synonyms: line, row, column, file, chain, string, stream;

"Same biker comes cruising past" <- explicitly states OP was occupying a section of road wide enough for others to pass. There is no obligation to not utilise all space available, particular to then obtain primary position ahead of motorists - which is the purpose of ASL's that TfL et al instruct cyclists to use.

Many sections of road have two lanes to allow side-by-side queueing of vehicles so as not to build long tailbacks across junctions. Some motorists take affront to these being used, as though the drivers to their right are somehow 'jumping the queue'. This is silly. 'You aren't stuck in traffic - you ARE traffic' applies to bikes as much to cars.

If you're upset because other people move around you to fill the available space that you aren't at the front of already, you are in for a lifetime of it as numbers of people new to cycling hopefully increase.

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Scoob_84 [372 posts] 1 year ago
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The argument I can't fathom the most is its ok to jump red lights as I'm not a danger to anyone else.

What about the physical and emotional damage you end up causing to the car and driver that may hi you off your bike because you were too impatient to wait for a green light?

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Leviathan [1775 posts] 1 year ago
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KiwiMike wrote:

"Same biker comes cruising past" <- explicitly states OP was occupying a section of road wide enough for others to pass. There is no obligation to not utilise all space available, particular to then obtain primary position ahead of motorists - which is the purpose of ASL's that TfL et al instruct cyclists to use.

Nice try at a quote out of context. I said "get to the next junction and stop at the light. Same biker comes cruising past..."
Why would I not have already stopped at the appropriate stop line? Why would I not have already stopped in a ASL if one is available? I don't know if you ride in the UK much KiwiMike but the lights are always set back from the junction. These guys are riding past me, through the lights and stopping on the edge of the junction just as far as the traffic will allow.

If your argument is 'let them get on with it' then fine, others have said that already, but you are attempting to dress this up as my mistake. I suspect you regularly get out dragged by roadies at the lights. See you next Tuesday.

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Jack Osbourne snr [385 posts] 1 year ago
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This is the bane of my life on one stretch of my commute. Four sets of lights set a couple of hundred yards apart.

Further down the road is a bus lane which ends at a set of lights with an ASL box at the front. Usually, I'll stop behind any buses because they have a clear run for a quarter of a mile to the next bus stop... Mr and Miss slow however, invariably sail past me, wriggle their way into the box and hold everybody up as they wobble away from the lights at 3mph. There is no feeder lane into the ASL box, and frequently they'll be pushing themselves along with one foot on the kerb to get up the side of the bus.

These two sections of road really make me hate a lot of other cyclists.

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KiwiMike [1073 posts] 1 year ago
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bikeboy76 wrote:
KiwiMike wrote:

"Same biker comes cruising past" <- explicitly states OP was occupying a section of road wide enough for others to pass. There is no obligation to not utilise all space available, particular to then obtain primary position ahead of motorists - which is the purpose of ASL's that TfL et al instruct cyclists to use.

Nice try at a quote out of context. I said "get to the next junction and stop at the light. Same biker comes cruising past..."
Why would I not have already stopped at the appropriate stop line? Why would I not have already stopped in a ASL if one is available? I don't know if you ride in the UK much KiwiMike but the lights are always set back from the junction. These guys are riding past me, through the lights and stopping on the edge of the junction just as far as the traffic will allow.

If your argument is 'let them get on with it' then fine, others have said that already, but you are attempting to dress this up as my mistake. I suspect you regularly get out dragged by roadies at the lights. See you next Tuesday.

Heh. No need to get personal there petal. I do about 6-7,000km a year in the UK and cycle in London semi-daily. Am I allowed to comment now?  1

I wasn't taking anything out of context - I can envisage your setup exactly. So you're right on the second white line of the ASL, and your gripe is with them riding a meter or so beyond then stopping. OK, that's a £50 fine if the light is red. You are actually talking about RLJ. Different discussion.

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Leviathan [1775 posts] 1 year ago
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KiwiMike wrote:

I wasn't taking anything out of context - I can envisage your setup exactly. So you're right on the second white line of the ASL, and your gripe is with them riding a meter or so beyond then stopping. OK, that's a £50 fine if the light is red. You are actually talking about RLJ. Different discussion.

Jeez you really are trying to be obtuse. Nowhere have I said I am at a 'second' line. I am at the stop where I should be. I specifically distinguished between these 'hoppers' over RLJs because they can't get through the junction but still put themselves ahead of other cyclists even if they have just been overtaken by the same. It is this blocking behaviour I am talking about. You still seem to be under the illusion that it is something I am doing that makes people act like this.

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KiwiMike [1073 posts] 1 year ago
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bikeboy76 wrote:
KiwiMike wrote:

I wasn't taking anything out of context - I can envisage your setup exactly. So you're right on the second white line of the ASL, and your gripe is with them riding a meter or so beyond then stopping. OK, that's a £50 fine if the light is red. You are actually talking about RLJ. Different discussion.

Jeez you really are trying to be obtuse. Nowhere have I said I am at a 'second' line. I am at the stop where I should be. I specifically distinguished between these 'hoppers' over RLJs because they can't get through the junction but still put themselves ahead of other cyclists even if they have just been overtaken by the same. It is this blocking behaviour I am talking about. You still seem to be under the illusion that it is something I am doing that makes people act like this.

OK, fair point - let's just call it 'the line' - whether there's an ASL behind it or not is irrelevant. It's a line you are not allowed to cross if the light is red. The people you describe are red light jumpers. £50 fine. The fact they then decided not to go much further is kinda irrelevant. If there's no ASL it would explain their behaviour even moreso - they want to get away from the cars and into a primary position.

(noting you did say 'Feel free to criticize my don't-get-in-my-way/holier-than-thou attitude' - this is exactly what it is. The infrastructure is crap (otherwise you'd have room to safely pass), and people are just doing what feels right/justifiable)

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FluffyKittenofT... [1111 posts] 1 year ago
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I don't understand the description of the problem.

If you don't want anyone stopping in front of you why not just stop just behind the forward-most stop-line? I presume you aren't saying you stop right at the back of the ASL and then object to anyone else entering it, but I don't understand what you are saying is the problem.

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FluffyKittenofT... [1111 posts] 1 year ago
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bikeboy76 wrote:

These guys are riding past me, through the lights and stopping on the edge of the junction just as far as the traffic will allow.

OK, so they are jumping the red. OK, agreed, that (in the circumstances you describe) is a bad thing.

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oozaveared [933 posts] 1 year ago
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FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:

I don't understand the description of the problem.

If you don't want anyone stopping in front of you why not just stop just behind the forward-most stop-line? I presume you aren't saying you stop right at the back of the ASL and then object to anyone else entering it, but I don't understand what you are saying is the problem.

I think the problem is that sometimes some slower cyclists make their way to the front ie in front of cyclists that are already waiting. In this case placing themselves in front of a cyclist that has already overtaken them and whom they know is likely to cycle more quickly than they do. In so doing they are trapping other cyclists behind them in moving traffic. It's a common courtesy thing that probably most sensible people wouldn't do.

I can suggest several courses of action but am not prepared to write them down on a public blog. One I am prepared to offer is to stop them passing you in the first place firstly by bike position or failing that by verbal prediction. By which I mean predicting that the effects of karma are strong in that location they may find themselves blocked in or treated discourteously by another cyclist one day. Maybe today. Maybe soon.

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md6 [181 posts] 1 year ago
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I have had similar and think that there is a basic ettiquette issue. If you want to go to the front of a crown of waiting bikes, do it. But don't then block the bloody way because you want to amble along at 10 mph. If you are in a hurry and want to ride off quickly, fine, otherwise stop being a c**t and wait you turn.

There was one guy on my old commute who regularly combined rolling just a bike length through the stop line and then as the lights turned green and everyone went he would veer left back across the path of all the people he just hopped past at the light. We had some words after he did it a 4th time in the same morning on one stretch of road. He didn't seem to understand what was wrong or unsafe about that...so at the next set of lights i set off as fast as possible and damn near cleared him out with a shout of 'hold you f£$king line'...he seemed to get it then.

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Leviathan [1775 posts] 1 year ago
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FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:

I don't understand the description of the problem.

If you don't want anyone stopping in front of you why not just stop just behind the forward-most stop-line? I presume you aren't saying you stop right at the back of the ASL and then object to anyone else entering it, but I don't understand what you are saying is the problem.

Have you been reading KiwiMike's muddled posts because it is pretty obvious what I am talking about. Nowhere does it say I am stopping in the wrong place. I am at the forwardmost line. I am talking about people weaving around you and stopping ahead of the lights [which FYI is nothing to do with adopting a legal primary position, Mike]
If you don't know what I am talking about you must be one of them.  29

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Jack Osbourne snr [385 posts] 1 year ago
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Step away from the thread, people. Step away from the thread.

There's a lot of knicker-twisting going on here, so why doesnt everybody just go read something else for 10 minutes?

That'll give the rest of us time to try to understand why there's so much knicker-twisting going on.

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KiwiMike [1073 posts] 1 year ago
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"at the next set of lights i set off as fast as possible and damn near cleared him out with a shout of 'hold you f£$king line'...he seemed to get it then"

...just...er...wow.

This was a *public* road, right?

For god's sake don't let the Daily Mail see this thread.

(steps away)

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surly_by_name [296 posts] 1 year ago
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Is it OK to criticise you for misspelling irksome?

I do this all the time (roll past people who have stopped at the back of/in the ASL "box"). I think it has become a habit because I tend to commute at a time when the ASL box looks like a scrum and most of the people on my commute - especially the ones on bicycles - make me feel nervous for my personal safety so I want to get away from them as quickly as possible. I don't recall having any complaints but then I don't hang around to take views from other road users, so maybe there's a whole crowd of aggrieved individuals behind me.

My strong advice would be to drop the self righteous adherence to a pointless rule and get as far forward as you can at intersections. Or was the point of your of your "question" to explain just how much quicker you are than everyone else?

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Scoob_84 [372 posts] 1 year ago
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I'm with bikeboy here - It's annoying. You overtake a wobbler and arrive at the red lights before them, you take most advanced position available making sure there's plenty of space behind you in the bike box, only to find that same person you just overtook rolls through the empty bike box and through the red and stop a few meters ahead of the line (technically this is going through a red) and stopping in the middle of the road. When the light turns green, said person wobbles off slowly getting in everyone way only for them to all have to over take them again.....and breath

If anything its just bad manners. Wait behind the line like everyone else.

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Scoob_84 [372 posts] 1 year ago
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I'm with bikeboy here - It's annoying. You overtake a wobbler and arrive at the red lights before them, you take most advanced position available making sure there's plenty of space behind you in the bike box, only to find that same person you just overtook rolls through the empty bike box and through the red and stop a few meters ahead of the line (technically this is going through a red) and stopping in the middle of the road. When the light turns green, said person wobbles off slowly getting in everyone way only for them to all have to over take them again.....and breath

If anything its just bad manners. Wait behind the line like everyone else.

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FluffyKittenofT... [1111 posts] 1 year ago
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bikeboy76 wrote:

If you don't know what I am talking about you must be one of them.  29

Bit presumptious there.

Its simply because you didn't make clear you were talking about those who go beyond the stop line. Breaking the rules (indeed, the law) in order to get in front of cyclists already there and who are obeying the rules is inconsiderate, I agree. I was just thinking If you aren't at the front of the ASL then you can't object to others using the available space. If you are, then fair enough, its just that the law already agrees with you.

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bikebot [1632 posts] 1 year ago
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I'd recommend keeping a couple of elastic bands in your jersey pocket, but practice your innocent face first.

Oh, and make sure you're not the only one waiting at the line. That would be a bit of a giveaway  4

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Jack Osbourne snr [385 posts] 1 year ago
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surly_by_name wrote:

Is it OK to criticise you for misspelling irksome?

I do this all the time (roll past people who have stopped at the back of/in the ASL "box"). I think it has become a habit because I tend to commute at a time when the ASL box looks like a scrum and most of the people on my commute - especially the ones on bicycles - make me feel nervous for my personal safety so I want to get away from them as quickly as possible. I don't recall having any complaints but then I don't hang around to take views from other road users, so maybe there's a whole crowd of aggrieved individuals behind me.

My strong advice would be to drop the self righteous adherence to a pointless rule and get as far forward as you can at intersections. Or was the point of your of your "question" to explain just how much quicker you are than everyone else?

You, as a faster rider, rolling past others in an ASL "scrum" is an entirely different scenario.

Your encouragement to others to break the law on "safety" grounds is also questionable.

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PhilRuss [352 posts] 1 year ago
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[[[[[ Yeah but no but...has anybody tried queuing, politely, at a bus stop any time in the last 20 years? You're 3rd in line, the bus arrives---you're suddenly 13th.
Do we expect cyclists--or people on bikes--to behave any better? The words "rat" and "race" occur to one, and it will only get worse. Try not to get wound up, I tell myself.
P.R.

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Argos74 [369 posts] 1 year ago
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If the ASL box is unoccupied and there's a small group of cyclists, I generally take the primary and let people zoom off on the nearside, while I ease out in the primary. Blocks the left hook in its tracks, and slows me down a bit.

But after seeing two very close shaves from left hooks recently (including this morning, blackhatchbackman, the next one may not have disc brakes you miserable bumbduckcunglefunt), it's so worth it.

Some of the more blatant RLJers and Pavement Hoppers. There's only one sane rational response. Burn 'em, drop 'em hard. And freewheel past 'em singing some of the lyrics from Disco Inferno.

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levermonkey [642 posts] 1 year ago
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If you cross the stop-line then you have jumped the red light. Whether you go on through the junction against the red light, or not, is immaterial.  19

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stumps [3184 posts] 1 year ago
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Storm in a teacup.

Just forget about them and try not to get to wound up, its not worth it !

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OldRidgeback [2554 posts] 1 year ago
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stumps wrote:

Storm in a teacup.

Just forget about them and try not to get to wound up, its not worth it !

+1, or if not buy a BMW and drive like a twunt
 1

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mrfree [71 posts] 1 year ago
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I jump red lights (not all, but when it's safe). Traffic lights (and roads) are designed for cars these days. Cyclists are merely an afterthought, if even that.

When I'm in the Netherlands I obey all the road rules because it is efficient and works.

Here I feel like I'm being forced off the road by traffic, and rarely feel safe. In fact, one of the few times I feel safest is when I jump a red light and have the road to myself for a while. After all, traffic lights are about safety, are they not?

Until the government proportionally respects the wishes of cyclists against that of motor vehicles, and supplies proper infrastructure, I will not obey their one-sided laws.

Liberty.

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