The ‘door-zone’ is the corridor of uncertainty, where the doors of parked vehicles may be swung into your path. Never ride in the door-zone, or if it’s the only place to make progress, slow down.
If you follow this advice the most common crash that afflicts people who try to travel by bike in London will never happen to you.
The primary function of the highway is for people to pass and repass. If somebody wants to use that space to unload a vehicle they need to check first that they won’t endanger anyone else. If somebody throws a door into your way that’s their big mistake. They are in the wrong.
The question is:- “Do you want to rely on others for your safety or do you want to take responsibility for yourself?”
Never ride in the door zone. Make others swear on whatever they hold sacred to never ride in the door-zone.
Riding outside the door-zone means you may delay others who want to go faster than you and can’t get past. The brutal truth is that if they want to be ahead of you they ought to have got up ten seconds earlier in the morning. The point is not to delay or annoy others but don’t put yourself in danger because others want to pretend to be in a hurry.
It’s good – for humane and pragmatic reasons – to be popular. It’s good to be safe. If you have to choose between the two which comes first? As they say in the USA – it’s a no-brainer.
A crash doesn’t happen when you upset somebody else. Deliberate road-rage assaults are rare enough to be international news. A crash happens when one or more people move purposefully into a space they anticipate will be empty, only to find – too late – that it isn’t.
That’s why it’s safest to ride where other people expect traffic to be, where they look for other traffic.