Never put cyclists between parked cars and traffic

I was nearly doored this morning by a motorist opening her car door on us as I cycled passed. Fortunately I always take a wide berth around parked cars – for this very reason – and as it was the door missed the three of us by mere centimetres. It was a mother dropping her children off at school and she was very apologetic. She said she checked her mirror but didn’t see us.

Cyclists should never be put between parked cars and traffic. Not ever. Unfortunately this is common in Aberdeen. To reduce the risk I take a wide berth around parked cars but the problem with this is that we end up taking up a lot of space on the road – much more than we ought to. This means cars cannot easily overtake us and we’re slow. I could never go as fast as a car which means cars and buses stuck behind us have to drive very slowly.

I feel so frustrated that more isn’t being done to make it safe for cyclists. I want to reduce my carbon footprint. I want to make sure I exercise everyday and I’d love it if my kids could exercise everyday by cycling to and from school but it’s too dangerous right now. Getting regular exercise reduces the health burden on the NHS. It also reduces air pollution. Why is there such a barrier to doing the right thing? There’s no incentive not to drive and definitely no incentive to cycle.


10 thoughts on “Never put cyclists between parked cars and traffic”

  1. I agree completely. My local government has spent lots of money on paint for designating bike lanes. I would like to ride my bike in town but none of the lane looks safe and I don’t do it.

  2. Can’t agree enough. I often find myself in a similar situation while cycling alone – pushing to keep up with the traffic purely so I don’t disrupt those behind me. That being said, there are a lot of drivers that completely disregard cyclists – the classic being those that accelerate past us, and then immediately turn across our front…

  3. We have to keep at it to somehow change things. I hope even little things we do can help. Even in our ‘relatively’ quiet village I still have to cycle well clear of car doors, having been missed a couple of times. Traffic will just have to be patient. I usually cycle well away from the edge of the road, too much gravel, mud, thorns, holes etc. there round here.

  4. Glad you came through unscathed. I’ve only been doored once, when I was 12 or 13. In addition to going wide, I look through the car window (as long as they are not tinted).

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