How far from the kerb are primary & secondary positions?

(In fact, the title of the post is a straw-man.) This is the wrong question. John Franklin, in Cyclecraft, defines primary position as being the centre of the leftmost moving traffic lane, which means the centre of the flow of traffic, wherever that flow is. This was emphasised quite dramatically to me recently when I was passed very close by a car when overtaking parked cars and passing through a pinch-point at the same time. Here is the video of the incident. (Pardon the language – I am a bit less grumpy now than I was even a few weeks ago!):

The problem here is that, even though I was riding outside the door-opening zone of the parked cars, I still was not in primary position as I went through the pinch-point. The following video shows how I tackle this particular location now (on those occasions when it isn’t completely choked up by a traffic queue):

Note that, on this occasion, I move to a position outside the door-opening zone of the parked cars to pass by them, then as I approach the pinch point I check back again and move further out to the centre of the traffic flow. You can see this from the tyre tracks on the road. Notice how the car that followed me through the pinch point subsequently does a nice overtake. I don’t know whether there was a causal link there, but I’d like to think they recognized that I had moved back over to secondary position after the pinch point (albeit outside the door-opening zone) and decided to be courteous in return.

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