Something that tired me out was surviving filtering on the M25 as a motorcycle messenger. Every car, bus and van had my name on it. Filtering is dangerous; no way around it. But we do it anyway so here are some tips to keep safe:
- Dont filter above 20 maybe 30. You will not be able steer clear of the lane changers.
- Get nervous (safer) when there’s a gap in a line of traffic ahead left or right. It’s a tempting hole for someone to dash into without looking.
- Be courteous. Dont make car drivers nervous or sit in blind spots or cut them up.
- Keep revs up. No, don’t go fast, stay in a low gear. More noise equals safe.
- Consider your visibility. Twilight is lethal. Low sun etc. blinds you AND drivers.
- Watch heads in cars ahead. That quick glance left or right, a dip of the body to check mirrors means they want to move. Let them.
- Get back in lane when speed picks up but as early and politely as possible. Dont annoy people. They’ll only sit on your back tyre to tell you they’re annoyed. Putting you in danger.
- Check for other bikers. When filtering you are so worried about what’s in front you darent check mirrors. A quick glance may reveal a rider in a rush. Let them pass. Dont try and match their rate.
- Large vehicles or those with limited visibility: if you can’t see the driver in their mirror, they are unlikely to see you and dodging 15m of lorry isn’t easy. Be aware of others visibility constraints and remember you are coming from behind. We pay much less observation time to the rear.