Cycling as transport

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Re: Cycling as transport

Postby Squashed » Mon Jul 07, 2014 8:17 pm

re: a decrease in cycling road fatalities between 70s and now.
The graph may show a decline in fatalities but that is not because of motorist behavior. It is my opinion that the decline is from better medical support after the accident, and quicker response times from emergency services.
It is also my opinion there are more accidents involving cyclists and motorists now than back in the 70s. This is from significantly more motorists on the road and more distractions for those motorists, eg: phones, ipods, etc.

---------------------------------------------
casual_cyclist wrote:
il padrone wrote:A really telling story of the decay in childrens' freedoms to roam over four generations.

My sister lets her kids 3 and 7 ride around their neighbourhood, after appropriate training of course. I was with the 3 year old on the road recently and she has more road sense than some adults I know :roll:

In my opinion, any child under 8 should not be allowed to ride a bike in public, unless on a suitable path with adult supervision. Children see differently to adults and up to the age of 8, they have tunnel vision and only see what is directly in front of them. They do not see things on their sides. This puts young children at particular risk of being hit by things or having the child ride into something on their side.
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Re: Cycling as transport

Postby il padrone » Mon Jul 07, 2014 8:22 pm

Not so much the under 8's that I am concered about (although my son aged 7 was the one to shout out loudly at a car about to pull out toward us, that I had not noticed). It's the 8-18 yo children, who in the past used bikes for basic transport about the suburb, mostly on residential back streets - we had some nouse to be able to avoid the main highways when we could. These kids are hamstrung today by parental paranoia.
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Re: Cycling as transport

Postby koshari » Mon Jul 07, 2014 8:23 pm

As far as kids riding bikes to school, its not politically correct now because kids may get hurt, they are also forbidden for climbing trees and the monkeybars have a big fence round them.

Also kids must be driven to school so as the yummy mummy brigade have a distraction from their daily fashion parade.
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Re: Cycling as transport

Postby koshari » Mon Jul 07, 2014 8:28 pm

il padrone wrote: It's the 8-18 yo children, who in the past used bikes for basic transport about the suburb, mostly on residential back streets

the only rule we had as kids was to be home before the streetlighting came on, otherwise a rap over the ass with a length of Hotwheels track ensured. its abazing how quick the old hotfoot could go it i saw a streetlight in the distance begin firing up.
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Re: Cycling as transport

Postby outnabike » Mon Jul 07, 2014 8:38 pm

Mulger bill wrote:Methinks it's time this copped another airing...
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Re: Cycling as transport

Postby il padrone » Mon Jul 07, 2014 8:52 pm

Drizt wrote:The danger levels now are all that matters to me. The cars that nearly hit me are real. Unless you are telling me they only exist in my mind.

No idea exactly where you are riding but I'd suggest, as an adult enthusiast cyclist*, riding for tranpsort, training or recreation, you are probably riding a fair proportion of main roads. :?:

As a teenager in the 70s, I and my friends certainly avoided the main roads. We knew all the local residential street short-cuts and were aware of traffic. But by the age of 15 we had at least 7-8 years of road riding on our local streets. We had a good deal of strategies to handle the traffic we encountered. What about the average 15 yo today?


* Forgive me, I don't know you. Maybe the description doesn't fit.
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Re: Cycling as transport

Postby human909 » Mon Jul 07, 2014 9:10 pm

Across the world children roam the streets. In Australia they don't. We have issues in our society that go far beyond attitudes to cyclists.

I lived grew up in Perth in the 80s and played and rode the streets and park. I explored the suburb. I lived and grew up in Amsterdam in the 90s, I rode the streets and play soccer in the parks. I explored the surrounding suburbs and rode for hours not knowing where I was going. In Melbourne in the last decade I've stopped seeing children on the streets. Its like they don't exist.
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Re: Cycling as transport

Postby koshari » Mon Jul 07, 2014 9:15 pm

human909 wrote:Across the world children roam the streets. In Australia they don't. We have issues in our society that go far beyond attitudes to cyclists.

in some countries people drink alcohol and dont feel obliged to fight one another. strange world indeed.
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Re: Cycling as transport

Postby human909 » Mon Jul 07, 2014 9:34 pm

And now we go off topic.... :wink:

koshari wrote:in some countries people drink alcohol and dont feel obliged to fight one another. strange world indeed.

Says the Australian to the Russian. :wink:
(As someone who is probably too much of a fan of alcohol I do sometimes get sick of the blame that it endures. Blaming alcohol for violence is ignores the underlying problems. Blaming it all on alcohol means we fail to address the true problems.)
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Re: Cycling as transport

Postby g-boaf » Tue Jul 08, 2014 8:23 am

Squashed wrote:In my opinion, any child under 8 should not be allowed to ride a bike in public, unless on a suitable path with adult supervision. Children see differently to adults and up to the age of 8, they have tunnel vision and only see what is directly in front of them. They do not see things on their sides. This puts young children at particular risk of being hit by things or having the child ride into something on their side.


Well on that last bit, no, I don't agree completely. Some young kids are perfectly good riders and are very aware of what is around them and also better at keeping left than some adults.

The key bit is where they are riding. Some areas are safer than others. Il Padrone talks about riding on back streets, and that's fine and well, depending on what the back streets are like. Around here, some of the back streets are the domain of the rat-runners and local hoon drivers.
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Re: Cycling as transport

Postby warthog1 » Tue Jul 08, 2014 8:54 am

My young fella rode to primary school on suburban streets and bike path. The route to high school includes an 80 kmh section with no verge. I ride it every day but I'm not having him ride it yet. He takes the bus. I don't want the risk and worry. End of story.
I rode to high school on roads Id not be happy for him to ride


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Re: Cycling as transport

Postby Oxford » Tue Jul 08, 2014 8:55 am

g-boaf wrote:....

The key bit is where they are riding. Some areas are safer than others. Il Padrone talks about riding on back streets, and that's fine and well, depending on what the back streets are like. Around here, some of the back streets are the domain of the rat-runners and local hoon drivers.
The street I live on is a back suburban street, not even a rat run and yet I still don't consider it safe.
I could agree with you, but then we would both be wrong.
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Re: Cycling as transport

Postby Scarfy96 » Tue Jul 08, 2014 9:23 am

My kids catch the bus most days, get dropped off if they have an early start (7:30am - band practice). It is 13km to school and a couple of solid hills and roads with zero verge and a crumbly edge into a ditch for parts of it. I used to ride to school but no-way would I have been allowed if it was over the roads my kids would have to travel, so it is bus for them.
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Re: Cycling as transport

Postby il padrone » Tue Jul 08, 2014 9:38 am

g-boaf wrote:Around here, some of the back streets are the domain of the rat-runners and local hoon drivers.

With more kids riding, and as a result less 'Mum's-taxis' on the roads (notice how quiet the roads are right now - school holidays), there is less pressure on drivers to go rat-running. Roads are quieter and safer all round. Hoons demand greater enforcement, pure and simple.

BTW, I am talking about suburban roads, where the average distance to schools is still generally less than 5kms (unless you're taking the private school option, I won't comment on that). Generally a 13km ride to school means you are in a rural or semi-rural setting. Different scenario there.
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Re: Cycling as transport

Postby diventare » Tue Jul 08, 2014 9:40 am

Of course it could just be that 2000's kids, having been driven everywhere since babyhood, simply harbor no interest in self propulsion when they have a family taxi to use.

Kinda like I had no interest in riding a horse for transport.
Times simply change.
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Re: Cycling as transport

Postby il padrone » Tue Jul 08, 2014 9:45 am

diventare wrote:Of course it could just be that 2000's kids, having been driven everywhere since babyhood, simply harbor no interest in self propulsion when they have a family taxi to use.

Called inbred laziness. But the funny thing is that it doesn't seem to be an issue in other parts of the world.

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We do have the choice to do something about it.
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Re: Cycling as transport

Postby g-boaf » Tue Jul 08, 2014 11:01 am

il padrone wrote:
g-boaf wrote:Around here, some of the back streets are the domain of the rat-runners and local hoon drivers.

With more kids riding, and as a result less 'Mum's-taxis' on the roads (notice how quiet the roads are right now - school holidays), there is less pressure on drivers to go rat-running. Roads are quieter and safer all round. Hoons demand greater enforcement, pure and simple.

BTW, I am talking about suburban roads, where the average distance to schools is still generally less than 5kms (unless you're taking the private school option, I won't comment on that). Generally a 13km ride to school means you are in a rural or semi-rural setting. Different scenario there.


A savagely enforced 30km/h speed limit on surburban streets would do the job equally well. That's more than quick enough for bicycle riders, but slow enough to deter car drivers from their rat-runs.

In my area, the peak traffic isn't the mums in their SUVs (although they are extremely bad around the school zones), but traffic going from a housing estate to a nearby motorway - clogging all the roads badly. The housing estate was not supposed to have access to the roads in my area, it should have been given a left turn only, forcing them out onto a larger main road. But that didn't occur. :( So they all do a right turn and clog the suburban and residential streets.

Many of the kids would have a fit if they were made to walk or ride a bike to school. It's something they've never done for the most part. However, the teenage kids do have no problems getting about on their BMX bikes. For them, it is freedom.
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Re: Cycling as transport

Postby Calvin27 » Tue Jul 08, 2014 1:08 pm

Not the speed limit thing... When I used to ride back streets, it was all 60 zones. I'd say it's safer keeping your eyes on the road than keeping glued to the speedo!

Contrary to belief, drivers dont actually want to kill kids in bikes. Not even hoons.
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Re: Cycling as transport

Postby il padrone » Tue Jul 08, 2014 2:28 pm

Calvin27 wrote:Not the speed limit thing... When I used to ride back streets, it was all 60 zones.

.....and they all tended to drive at 70. Today the residential default where I live is 50.

Calvin27 wrote:I'd say it's safer keeping your eyes on the road than keeping glued to the speedo!

Contrary to belief, drivers dont actually want to kill kids in bikes. Not even hoons.

This is the usual trotted out, no matter what the limit set is. In the NT they complain about 130 "too dangerous driving with your eyes on the speedo".

If you do not know your car well enough and cannot judge your speed by sound, passing objects, surrounding traffic, and accelerator pedal pressure then it begins to look like the driving competence is in question. I know that I can happily drive along my residential streets on 50, with minimal glances to the speedo. If your car really just tries to leap forwards maybe driving a gear lower will help to restrain it. Whatever the issue, maintaining a steady legal speed is your responsibilty. Blaming the speed limit for your speeding lacks any credence.
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Re: Cycling as transport

Postby casual_cyclist » Tue Jul 08, 2014 2:38 pm

il padrone wrote:If you do not know your car well enough and cannot judge your speed by sound, passing objects, surrounding traffic, and accelerator pedal pressure then it begins to look like the driving competence is in question.

Not a fair call. My current car is weird. Although I have had it for a while it is hard to judge current speed due to a quiet engine and weird gearing. That said, I am very careful not to speed and have not been booked in this car. It just takes more glances at the speedo to control my speed than I would want. I would prefer to have my eyes on the road for that time. Driving record is 26+ years, no accidents ever, driving up to 13,000 km in 3 months. I have also passed an advanced driving course. My current low driving kilometres could be a contributing factor to not being able to judge current speed. My current driving km are between zero and 30 km per week.
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Re: Cycling as transport

Postby Calvin27 » Tue Jul 08, 2014 2:50 pm

il padrone wrote:
Calvin27 wrote:I'd say it's safer keeping your eyes on the road than keeping glued to the speedo!

Contrary to belief, drivers dont actually want to kill kids in bikes. Not even hoons.

This is the usual trotted out, no matter what the limit set is. In the NT they complain about 130 "too dangerous driving with your eyes on the speedo".

If you do not know your car well enough and cannot judge your speed by sound, passing objects, surrounding traffic, and accelerator pedal pressure then it begins to look like the driving competence is in question. I know that I can happily drive along my residential streets on 50, with minimal glances to the speedo. If your car really just tries to leap forwards maybe driving a gear lower will help to restrain it. Whatever the issue, maintaining a steady legal speed is your responsibilty. Blaming the speed limit for your speeding lacks any credence.


I'd disagree that you can 'feel' how fast a car is going even if you've been driving the same car all your life. In a manual, you will have some idea because you can judge by which gear you are in. In an auto, which is most of the school shuttles, no way. There is a really good reason why ADRs require speedos on all cars. Also this all depends on the road surface, gradient and a whole host of other things that do not relate to driving competence. I consider myself a good driver with 0 accidents at fault in 10 years. I also do racing occasionally. No way would I be confident in estimating my car speed under any circumstances. Just like how I think the speed limits are too low currently, I can understand that not everyone has the same level of ability. If you can feel 50kph good for you, but this is not a requirement in license testing of any sort so don't expect everyone to be able to do it too.

I have no issues with sensible speed limits and agree that most drivers should be able to maintain the correct speed with little glances at the speedo. My response was to the suggestion of 30kph. At that speed, I'm pretty sure most drivers will be watching their speedo more than the road. Even MUARC who are the strongest advocates for reduction in speed suggest 'Roadway design' to combat speed is a more effective measure than just changing a sign and charging people for the privilege to speed. Limiting all suburban back streets to 30kph is just plain stupid and causes more problems than it solves.
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Re: Cycling as transport

Postby casual_cyclist » Tue Jul 08, 2014 3:09 pm

Calvin27 wrote:I have no issues with sensible speed limits and agree that most drivers should be able to maintain the correct speed with little glances at the speedo.

I don't have an issue with sensible speed limits either... but I find they frequently make no sense. There is a particular stretch of road near my house that is narrow, with cars parks on both sides of the road. There shops on one side, flats on the other and a lot of people darting out from between cars. I slow down for this section because the speed limit is 60 and I think that is way to fast. I have been 'tooted' for slowing down for this section of road. I don't care. People need to learn to drive to the conditions, not the speed limit.
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Re: Cycling as transport

Postby roller » Tue Jul 08, 2014 3:21 pm

casual_cyclist wrote: People need to learn to drive to the conditions, not the speed limit.


Too many people see the word "limit" and think "entitlement".
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Re: Cycling as transport

Postby Oxford » Tue Jul 08, 2014 3:24 pm

roller wrote:
casual_cyclist wrote: People need to learn to drive to the conditions, not the speed limit.


Too many people see the word "limit" and think "entitlement".

Too many see it as a target. Probably not helped by the number being inside a circle.
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Re: Cycling as transport

Postby il padrone » Tue Jul 08, 2014 3:40 pm

Calvin27 wrote:I'd disagree that you can 'feel' how fast a car is going even if you've been driving the same car all your life. In a manual, you will have some idea because you can judge by which gear you are in. In an auto, which is most of the school shuttles, no way.

Well I drive an auto Ford wagon, and somehow I manage to stick to whatever speed I need to abide by, with minimal speedo-staring.

Calvin27 wrote:If you can feel 50kph good for you, but this is not a requirement in license testing of any sort so don't expect everyone to be able to do it too.

Please do not put words in my mouth. I did not say that I could 'feel' my speed, but rather that I am capable of judging my speed*, using a range of indicators. One of these is the speedo, and once I am travelling at a certain speed it is relatively easy to maintain that speed in a stable state, without some nefarious speedo-staring.

Calvin27 wrote: My response was to the suggestion of 30kph. At that speed, I'm pretty sure most drivers will be watching their speedo more than the road.

I have to routinely travel at 40kmh through various school zones. I may not like it too much, but I can maintain that speed. Like I said, if it is tricky, I can always just drop the car back to third on the auto and it easily drives at 40. Don't know about 30, but lots of places in European cities have 30 limits. Their drivers seem to manage OK. Maybe they drop back to second.

Aussie drivers really need to get over the speed-mania and acknowledge that the idea of holding back on it is seen as an infringement to their masculinity and not much else. Then our roads may begin to get seriously safer.

Speed. Arrogance. Aggression. Distraction. All play a major part in our poor road toll. But knock the speed down and the others are all far less severe.


* This most certainly IS a definite requirement of any driving licence.
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