Cycling as transport

open topic, for anything cycling related.

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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by BNA » Mon Jul 07, 2014 8:52 pm

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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.
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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 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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Re: Cycling as transport

Postby westab » Tue Jul 08, 2014 3:51 pm

koshari wrote:
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.


As a kid the rule was inside by 5pm (6pm during summer) - with an ex army Sargent for a Dad there was no whack if you were late but for each min. you were late you got one week of "inside" activities to remind you when you were expected home. I can't remember the number of times I got in the back door at 5:00pm exclaiming "I'm home" and glad that was all I had to say because there was no air left for anything else.

Then I would go and put the bike in the shed - to be ridden again tomorrow just as far as it would go between finishing homework and 5pm.
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Re: Cycling as transport

Postby Calvin27 » Tue Jul 08, 2014 4:52 pm

il padrone wrote:
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.


Yeah nice. Point stands, you might be able to *judge* speed without looking at the speedo too much but for most trying to maintain 30kph is difficult without constantly glancing at the speedo. The margin for error is greater at lower speeds and particularly lower gears. If you have a CVT or EV then good luck to you trying to judge by vehicle response.

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.


Really speed mania? Are we still talking about 40/50kph zones? No one feels masculine doing 50 in a 40 zone no matter how you frame it. Even if you put a bunch of teens in a hotted up commodore, no one will even begin to think the driver is a badass by going 50 in a 40 zone. The argument is stupid and attempts to stereotype drivers.

I'd argue that the speed issue is peaking and we have solved most speed associated problems now. With speeds dropping to very safe levels and vehicle technology improving the marginal benefit is no longer significant. Sure people speed, but that itself is not a failure of the adequacy of the speed limit but application of it - which is an attitude problem not a speed limit one. Anyone who advocates 30kph in school zones needs to present serious evidence that this will improve accidents. Audit after audit, they all point to people not following the speed signs as the problem, not the need to lower to 30kph. It's a stupid suggestion that achieves nothing. Would a kid ride their bike on the road if the speed changed from 40 to 30kph? No, the car is still there and mum will be worried because the risk of a car is still there regardless. Knocking the speed down will do 3 things - the obedient drivers will spend more time looking at the speedo, those that speed will continue to do so and a new intermediate bunch that are not hoons but can't handle going so slow will try to overtake the first bunch. So what will be achieved?
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Re: Cycling as transport

Postby Percrime » Tue Jul 08, 2014 6:07 pm

il padrone wrote:
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.



Thats because you drive a auto ford wagon. With an engine designed in the early stone age.. lots of torque.. no revs.. a sludgy transmission and an essentially inefficient package made halfway decent with bolt on injection and engine control management. And a car subject to road and outside noise at that. I used to drive fords for a living and I know. But now repeat the experience in a modern sub 1.5 litre car with a manual transmission. A far more efficient, modern and safer car more likely than not. Especially to anyone you hit. :P
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Re: Cycling as transport

Postby il padrone » Tue Jul 08, 2014 6:21 pm

Calvin27 wrote:Yeah nice. Point stands, you might be able to *judge* speed without looking at the speedo too much but for most trying to maintain 30kph is difficult without constantly glancing at the speedo. The margin for error is greater at lower speeds and particularly lower gears. If you have a CVT or EV then good luck to you trying to judge by vehicle response.

As I said earlier, speed judgement is the driver's responsibility. Generally the lower speeds are currently only for fairly short sections in school zones and work zones. However on one occasion in SA I had to drive for about 5kms with a 40kmh roadworks limit. It was really not too traumatic, able to be carried out . Some other drivers found it too trying however - open road.... "Must do 110kmh" :roll:


Calvin27 wrote:Really speed mania? Are we still talking about 40/50kph zones? No one feels masculine doing 50 in a 40 zone no matter how you frame it. Even if you put a bunch of teens in a hotted up commodore, no one will even begin to think the driver is a badass by going 50 in a 40 zone.

Yes, speed is the king here. Go and drive or even better, ride in Europe for a while and you'll know what I mean. Drivers in Australia have the mania that at all times the speed limit is the minimum, and in no way should you take account of conditions (well, OK, maybe for corners :roll: ).

Doesn't matter what speed limit zone it is you'll see those who, for various reasons, refuse to adhere to that limit, and they are a very great proportion of drivers. Mostly it's frustration and impatience, but certainly on the main road 70 & 80kmh zones there is a big group of testosterone charged goons who MGIF.

Calvin27 wrote:I'd argue that the speed issue is peaking and we have solved most speed associated problems now. With speeds dropping to very safe levels and vehicle technology improving the marginal benefit is no longer significant.

Yes, I'd agree that the speed problem is improving..... in some areas. But solved? No way. Talk to the police and emergency services about that one.

Calvin27 wrote:Sure people speed, but that itself is not a failure of the adequacy of the speed limit but application of it - which is an attitude problem not a speed limit one. Anyone who advocates 30kph in school zones needs to present serious evidence that this will improve accidents. Audit after audit, they all point to people not following the speed signs as the problem, not the need to lower to 30kph. It's a stupid suggestion that achieves nothing. Would a kid ride their bike on the road if the speed changed from 40 to 30kph? No, the car is still there and mum will be worried because the risk of a car is still there regardless. Knocking the speed down will do 3 things - the obedient drivers will spend more time looking at the speedo, those that speed will continue to do so and a new intermediate bunch that are not hoons but can't handle going so slow will try to overtake the first bunch. So what will be achieved?

Personally I don't advocate lower speeds as a permanent thing near school zones. They should all be time-based. If it is warranted to have a permanent 40kmh limit near a school then it must be warranted for the whole residential area, so I'd rather stick with a blanket limit. 30kmh is a bit low for many suburbs, but very appropriate for many inner suburban residential areas, and increasingly applied. Victoria's default 50kmh residential limit has worked extremely well in lowering the pedestrian road toll on these roads since it was introduced about five years ago.

http://www.copenhagenize.com/2010/01/30 ... -work.html
Effect of 20 mph traffic speed zones on road injuries in London, 1986-2006

Results: The introduction of 20 mph zones was associated with a 41.9% (95% confidence interval 36.0% to 47.8%) reduction in road casualties, after adjustment for underlying time trends. The percentage reduction was greatest in younger children and greater for the category of killed or seriously injured casualties than for minor injuries. There was no evidence of casualty migration to areas adjacent to 20 mph zones, where casualties also fellslightly by an average of 8.0% (4.4% to 11.5%).

Conclusions: 20 mph zones are effective measures for reducing road injuries and deaths.



http://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/Home/Saf ... Limits.htm
What are the benefits of lowering speed limits?
For pedestrians aged between 25 and 64, countries with an urban speed limit of 50 km/h or less have an average death rate 30% lower than countries where the urban limit is 60 km/h. Each year on Victorian roads, pedestrians comprise around 15% of deaths and 11 per cent of serious injuries.
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Re: Cycling as transport

Postby il padrone » Tue Jul 08, 2014 6:26 pm

Percrime wrote:Thats because you drive a auto ford wagon. With an engine designed in the early stone age.. lots of torque.. no revs.. a sludgy transmission and an essentially inefficient package made halfway decent with bolt on injection and engine control management. And a car subject to road and outside noise at that. I used to drive fords for a living and I know. But now repeat the experience in a modern sub 1.5 litre car with a manual transmission. A far more efficient, modern and safer car more likely than not. Especially to anyone you hit. :P

I don't know jot about the engine mechanicals and performance Dave, but it may be even different to what you describe, as I drive the E-gas wagon, and it is only a 2006 model so maybe not your stone-age Moffat Ford :wink:

As for road noise, well it certainly drives pretty quiet as far as I can tell, and most of your souped up little Euro sedans seem to have a good deal more exhaust note than my wagon.


Anyhw, getting way too far OT. Bikes as transport, yes. We need to encourage more parents to get the kids out riding. If even cyclists can't do this what hope do we have??

:roll: :( :( :|
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Re: Cycling as transport

Postby Calvin27 » Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:43 pm

It's because people always say something else needs to be done (like lower speed limits) before its safe. The reality is its quite safe already. Just get them on the footpath to begin with. My responses were not Of btw, I maintain 30kph zones will not get more kids riding to school.
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