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Ask Zephyr: I hate driving behind cyclists!

Ask Zephyr cat microscope

Welcome to our brand new series ‘Ask Zephyr’! Every month, our furry office friend will be answering your most frequently asked driving questions and treating everyone to some top-notch advice.

What does a domesticated cat know about life on the road, you ask? Well, quite a lot actually! You see, Zephyr spends a majority of his time hanging out with the PassMeFast team and this nosy little kitty sees and hears EVERYTHING. He’s now more than qualified to tackle any of the issues that baffle learners and qualified drivers alike.

So, let’s not keep him waiting any longer and dive into our first question!

*Note: Zephyr’s opinions are entirely his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of PassMeFast. His advice is bang on though.


Dear Zephyr,
I recently passed my driving test and have been loving getting out on the road. However, I find driving behind cyclists really frustrating. Is it better to just overtake them, or do I have to be patient and keep a safe distance?
— Disgruntled Driving Newbie, Lincoln.

 

Ahhh, a common gripe, let me tell you! Few things are more disheartening than turning onto a new road and finding yourself stuck behind a cyclist. All you want to do is get home, but you’re forced to slow down and hope that they soon take a different route to yours. I sympathise, I really do.

Zephyr the cat yawning
How it feels on the inside when you end up trailing behind a cyclist

The thing is, though, no one is king of the road and we have to learn to share the space with a range of different vehicles. Lorries, buses, bikes—they have as much right to be there as you, so you have to suck it up and adjust your driving accordingly. I’m not exactly thrilled about the fact that I have to share an office block with that gormless dog next door, but here we are!

When it comes to cyclists, observation and quick decision-making are key. You ask whether you should overtake or keep a safe distance, and the answer is: both! To help maintain a steady flow of traffic and avoid obstructing the progress of other road users, you should aim to overtake cyclists as soon as it is safe to do so.

Now, if you’re on a long, winding country road with numerous blind bends, this safe widow may never appear. If, however, you have a clear view of the road ahead, plenty of space and there is no oncoming traffic, you should be good to go! Check mirrors and blind spots, indicate and carefully drive around them. Be sure to leave a space of about 1.5 metres to allow for any unexpected movements.

I’m glad you brought this up, Disgruntled Driving Newbie, because it’s an issue that’s only going to become more prevalent as the number of cyclists on the road continues to rise (it’s cheaper and more eco-friendly than driving, after all!).

As for the rest of you, I’ll see you next month!

Zephyr’s top tips: Cyclists

Light bulb surrounded by driving objects

  • Remember that they are far more vulnerable on the road than you because they do not have the protection of a car.
  • If a cyclist up ahead is riding in the middle of the lane, it signals that they have judged the road to be too narrow for you to safely overtake them.
  • Before overtaking a cyclist, ensure that no other road users are in the process of overtaking you!
  • Keep in mind that it can be hard to judge how fast a cyclist is travelling.
  • Always adjust your driving to the conditions on the road and give cyclists plenty of time and space to move.

Not just a pretty face, eh? If you’d like to have a nosy at what Zeph gets up to when he’s not solving driving dilemmas, you can find him on Insta @zephyrcurl. And, for those of you who want to get to know our favourite cat a little better (and who wouldn’t?!), make sure you’ve checked out his entry in our ‘Meet the PassMeFast Team’ series. Come back next month to see what pearls of wisdom he’ll be sharing next!

Got a driving-related query that requires some whiskered wisdom? Leave it in the comment section below and Zephyr may answer it in a future post!

By Zephyr the cat

Zephyr is the PassMeFast office cat—cute as a button and wise beyond his years. Curiosity certainly didn’t harm this feline, it just made him a fountain of driving knowledge! When not dishing out sterling automobile advice, you’ll find him taking a well-earned nap or chasing balls of tin foil.

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