Be courier fast at filtering

They don't rush but they get places fast. What's being filtered out in the mind of a fast filterer?

Posted: 19 October 2010
by Visordown

Riding a bike is a risk, but it's a measured one based on our own perception. We're not supposed to but we make assumptions all the time.

We assume that cars don't jump lights which have been red for half a minute or more, or pull out from side roads without slowing or looking, or drive on the wrong side of the road.

It happens - we've seen it on Police, Camera, Accident! on the telly, when the cops are chasing the baddies in their nicked Vauxhall Vectras. But if we thought about it too much we wouldn't leave the house at all, never mind ride a bike. The world would be too scary.

Generally other vehicles can only do two things that may cause them to conflict with you: change speed or change direction. All you have to do is assess their options and weigh up the likelihood of either happening, then be on your way. It's that easy.

Except when there's endless queues of traffic in each direction and only a few feet, or a few inches, between you and them, that's an awful lot of thinking to do, plus pedestrians and bicycles, and cows falling from the sky* to worry about. Input, assess, act, move on - it's a conveyor belt of information. The faster you can process it, the faster you can go.
*That happened too, once.

A Russian transport plane was in trouble and needed to lose some cargo or else fall out of the sky, so the crew threw out a cow along with some other stuff. The cow landed on the bonnet of a car, which crashed. Honest.


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courier, advice, tips, filtering, commuting, london, scooter, motorcycle, town, city, gaps, traffic
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Where's the rest of this article?

Posted: 22/10/2010 at 22:34

mmmm not the most responsible or complete article! We all filter to a greater or lesser degree and everyone's comfort zone is different but bear in mind that the IAM (nd therefore the Police - better riders than you or I) consider anything over 20mph to be an overtake and not filtering and that filtering at more than 5mph faster than the surrounding traffic a no-no.

If you haven't been killed or hurt thus far doing what you do then great, but don't think that that is proof that it will never happen!

Whatever speed you filter, keep your high beam on, be wary of gaps that cars could pull into, watch out for people at the edges of their lane, nearing junctions, people looking in their mirror and don't expect a clean mirror signal manoeuvre! Make sure your mirrors are wider than your panniers so it your mirrors fit through then so will the rest of the bike.

Also practise your slow speed manoeuvres for those narrower gaps, try using the back brake simultaneously with the throttle, to keep traction but keep speed down. Wobbling between cars looks bad and also shows lack of decent bike control.

Just my humble opinions, hope they help someone

Posted: 02/08/2011 at 13:16

Couldn't agree more but I would add that it is also a very good thing to look out for the "This-is-my-car-and my-lane" type who like to close the gap when they see a bike filtering

Posted: 02/08/2011 at 15:12

So where are the techniques?

Posted: 16/01/2013 at 19:53

Talkback: Be courier fast at filtering



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