You could use a a messenger bag as a "frame bag" by folding the top flap/lid over the top tube and positioning the bag in the frame.
I sometimes do this on my Merida Speeder 200 with a large (56) frame and a messenger bag sized for a 15.6 inch laptop:
Honestly, if I fill the bag too much it becomes bulky and starts rubbing on the inside of my leg. ...
Although aestethics of the bike is important, I suggest you having a look at this answer to a closely related question.
There are some very nice rack, that has almost no visual impact.
You can then attach to the rack something like this
or other basket, possibly with handle for easy mounting/dismounting, which when not needed can stay at home with the ...
I commute with a laptop, and I settled on using a front rack and basket. The front rack provides a flat platform which I can put any sort of bag or container into. It also lets me push the extra weight in front of me, which I find more pleasant than dragging it behind.
You stated an aesthetic preference against the rear rack; I tend to agree, the rear rack ...
Plenty of good answers already, but there are a couple of fine details I wanted to mention.
... drivers cutting right across me when I want to go straight and they are turning left over my lane.
I'm assuming the lane here is either a physically segregated cycle lane, a mandatory non-segregated cycle lane (solid line), or an advisory non-segregated cycle ...
If the traffic is heavy-I generally try to catch up with them and bend their mirror backwards as I pass them. If they're on their phone I'll pull up next to them and bang on their window really hard, verbally abuse them, and go about my way.
When doing this, make sure that you have a clear exit strategy and the police aren't around. You don't want this ...
Well the short answer is you're breaking the highway code:
Rules for cyclists (59 to 82)
On the left. When approaching a junction on the left, watch out for vehicles turning in front of you, out of or into the side road. Just before you turn, check for undertaking cyclists or motorcyclists. Do not ride on the inside of vehicles signalling or slowing ...
The logic of "going slow to be more safe" in car lanes is faulty in my opinion.
Perhaps it would be safer somehow if there was a smaller speed
difference between me and the driver, by me cycling faster, so they
would be aware of me?
I think you would indeed be safer. For one, you can merge more easily as you are disrupting traffic less. ...
There's an excellent and very amusing short video series about driving through London on youtube called "Ogmios School of Zen Motoring". Sometimes when I get angry in traffic (first at someone, then at myself for getting angry) I rewatch those. The way he comments calmly on outrageous situations is inspiring.
Link to the fist vid:
I bought a bag that attaches to your rear luggage rack like this one. It fits my 15" laptop, though overall I will say the bag carries less than you might imagine looking at it from the outside. I definitely notice a difference between cycling with or without the bag, but is more pleasant than riding with a backpack in hot summer weather.
As a bike commuter for many years in Copenhagen, I feel your pain. Some of the thing I do to keep safe is
try not to be in the blind spot of cars, i.e. right at their rear bumper
try to notice when cars move slowly. That might be an indication that they're about to make a turn.
be aware at all times.
When I do get cut off, I'm often prepared for it and can ...
To strictly answer the question: there's not a lot you can do if you're already cut off by a car, except going to the police with some footage if you have some.
But the best way is to avoid this situation, and the best answer to that is "defensive riding", and taking/claiming the lane more specifically (and wearing high visibility clothing). This ...
Welcome to the flock!
I think the only thing you can reasonably (and legally) do is what somebody else suggested: use a camera, get a shot of their number plate. I'd consider setting up a name and shame website, perhaps on Facebook and invite all cyclists to contribute. This may actually be illegal, if you don't pixelate the number plate, but I think it is ...
I feel I need to repeat parts of two of the better answers already given, but it's worth elaborating.
First, as Graham said, the biggest skill you can build for travelling in built-up areas is predicting what the driver in front of you is going to do.
You will build it up with experience. There are plenty of clues what the driver is about to do, even if they ...
Practice the most important evasive maneuver: braking. Being cut off in traffic is part of life. It will happen to you when you are driving, biking, or walking, sometime or another. The thing to do is keep your balance, and control your speed. If there's a dangerous driver out on the road, you want them to get away from you. Keep them in front of you until ...
I reckon I drive, walk and cycle equal distances each year, so I feel a bit qualified to comment from all perspectives.
Yes, people should not cut you up, but you can help.
Flashing lights on cyclists or dazzling (bright, upward facing) lights on cyclists. Absolutely daft and dangerous. I never have any trouble seeing a light. What I have trouble with is ...
You can do nothing
By the time they've cut in front of you, it's happened and you can't change the past. All you can do is keep calm, and make sure you don't let their aggressive driving lead to you making a mistake. Screaming, bashing windows, aggressively chasing them, etc. don't help you get safely to your destination and are unlikely to make any ...
Sometimes though, I still get drivers cutting right across me when I want to go straight and they are turning left over my lane.
What to do?
Try not to be there!
Seriously, the biggest skill you can build for travelling in built-up areas is predicting what the driver in front of you is going to do. That's as true for cars and motorbikes as it is for ...
If you make a brief stop, a car driver often interprets this as you are giving the way. Once you stopped, be careful when continuing.
Always use the constant white light at front, regardless if day or night.
If the traffic rules are on your side, they must be maniac to drive on you from still stand.
Personal anecdotes incoming. Some useful advice after that.
I see red and I want to go bang on the window and yell at the guy
From personal experience cycling in London and flipping off drivers (bad idea!) who have driven dangerously near me I can tell you that confronting them in a negative way is a bad idea. Twice I have been chased by cars.
How can I ...
What to do when a driver cuts you off?
Keep situational awareness in all directions - there may be another vehicle coming so look for it.
Keep moving - don't stop, get out to a safe place if you want to stop and collect yourself
What NOT to do:
Yell - it's unlikely to be intelligible from inside the car.
Hit the car with a hand/foot
Push back ...
Ride like every driver is a psychopath who hates cyclists; you will be wrong 95% of the time. What if the driver who just cut you off is one of the 5% and has a knife (US == gun)?
It’s easier said than done (and not always possible). I have learnt the best approach is swear quietly to myself a few times, take a deep breath and keep riding. Avoiding becoming ...
Various answer on other bike forums point to a cheap fork made by either Answer or Suntour. Its unlikely parts of service instructions are availed. I don't know what the tech behind them are, if they are a elastomer damper its likely so hard the fork does not move now. If its a oil damper its likely its an unserviceable unit, if its working, great, if not, ...
My average riding speed when commuting to work is about 16 km/h.
I use electric bicycle on flat terrain, so this is likely limited only by the necessity so that the stopping distance must be safely less than the distance I can see.
In places near yard exits close to your path this distance can be short so you have to go slower.