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Vitus Vitesse EVO Disc Review – Speed Machine indeed!
- Posts: 156
- Joined: Thu May 19, 2011 5:35 am
Caution: May contain nuts.
1. You are 5 minutes into your morning ride and on a straight stretch of local road with nary another vehicle to be seen for at least 500m in one direction and 1 kilometre in t'other. In fact the only other being visible is the pedestrian walking towards you on the opposite footpath who, as you approach, gives every indication that now would be the ideal time to cross the road. Does he:-
A) Look both ways and having noticed you decides to linger until you pass before setting off from the kerb, or
B) Look both ways and having made a quick mental calculation of both trajectories elects to begin crossing safe in the knowledge that you will have passed long before he crosses the centreline, or
C) Dart across the road like a flouncy moorhen before coming to a stop directly in your intended path and then continues casually onto the footpath?
Take 3 points if you guessed C, and help yourself to another 2 if you began thinking of evasive action the second he moved toward the road.
2. You're heading along a straight local road and notice a vehicle up ahead pulling out from the curb. For some reason you can't quite make out due to distance, said vehicle seems to have caused another vehicle exiting the service station to halt and yet another attempting to enter it to similarly pause. Perhaps he was parked or backed across the very wide driveway, or something? You approach the vehicle in question as it slowly comes to a stop at a T junction. Does he:-
A) Indicate right and come to rest on the right hand side of the road thereby allowing any other road users turning left to pass in the ample acerage thereabouts, or
B) Indicate left and come to rest on the left hand side of the road thereby allowing any other road users turning right to pass in the ample acerage thereabouts, or
C) Fail to indicate at all (other than that he might be all at sea judging by his erratic driving) and come to rest smack bang in the middle of the road and short of the line thereby depriving any vehicle (other than perhaps a bicycle....actually, scratch that "perhaps") any opportunity to pass until he's given way to all other vehicles approaching the intersection (which he could have avoided altogether had he not been such a numptie)?
Award yourself 3 points if you answered C and grab another 2 if your previous experience of similar behaviour and ability to correctly estimate trajectories permitted you to pass said vehicle with a wide berth and not impede any other traffic in any way whatsoever as you continued on your merry way.
3. You've arrived at your local park and are only on your 2nd lap of the one way circuit. As you come onto the small straight heading past the main carpark you notice a vehicle preparing to leave said carpark and giving every indication that he is not going to do so in the correct manner. Does he:-
A) Just proceed the wrong way toward the oncoming vehicle with the bicycle a safe distance behind regardless, or
B) Rethink his obvious intentions in the face of at least two witnesses and prepare to drive the correct way out of the park, or
C) Swing out in front of the oncoming vehicle then slip back off to face the wrong way on the carpark's edge and after both vehicles have passed safely, proceed out the wrong way in an effort to make up for the tens of seconds he wasted lingering too long in the amenities block?
Fill your pockets with 3 points if C was your selection and a further 2 if you knew B was never going to be an option from the off.
4. Many laps later you are approaching the same carpark. It's not uncommon given that it's only a 900m circuit and you endeavour to put in about 40k when you're down that way. It turns out that 2 blokes who've been walking laps together have done their dash and are leaving in separate 4WDs. The first exits the carpark well in front of you after checking that the coast is clear. The second chap has dithered a little longer in getting his vehicle in motion. He checks before entering the circuit and then:-
A) Notices you approaching at pace, hesitates, and decides to allow you to pass safely before proceeding, or
B) Notices you approaching at pace, hesitates, and decides to accelerate hard to pull out anyway in just another not very good at judging trajectories scenario, or
C) Notices you approaching at pace, hesitates, and decides to pull out anyway at a rather casual pace whilst staring at you? That'll learn them cyclists.
3 points for picking C and a bonus two points to anyone who's recognized a pattern. No extra points for knowing he wasn't going to stop. He was in a 4WD fer Jove's sake....and you're on a bicycle. Do the math!
5. Same lap a further half way round. You've slowed and been maintaining a safe distance behind the aforementioned gentleman. He has been sniffing his mate's bum all the way round. You could be excused for mistakenly thinking the first vehicle was towing the second as they remained a similar distance apart even when accelearting after slowing over the speed bumps. As they approach the last bump there is a lady walking a large german shepherd off to the side on the footpath. Does our friend:-
A) Continue sniffing his mate's bum just as before all the way to the park's exit, or
B) Slow a litle bit more than he did over the previous speed bumps to contemplate the birds and the bees, or
C) Come to a complete stop before the speed bump whilst he disengages the cogs in his brain that were wasting vital resources sniffing his mate's bum so that he can focus all his energies on the ridiculous fantasy that he might be able to sniff something else? (I couldn't possibly speculate on which of the two walkers it might have been.)
A grand total of 3 points to anyone who plumped for C and a side helping of a further 2 for anyone who, given that at least half the drivers that frequent this particular circuit can't pass anything moving without coming to a virtual crawl, predicted that at least one of the pair wouldn't be able to continue in formation given the distraction.
6. Quite regularly your morning ride coincides with that of a few older gents. Big respect to them (and anyone else) for trying to maintain fitness. Over the years you have become accustomed to them riding two and three abreast without sparing any thought for any other road users. You'll often wait and then overtake them via carparking spaces as the opportunity presents itself, or more often than not you'll just slow and follow for a few hundred metres or more until one of them notices that they are not alone and then another hundred metres or two until they can organize themselves into some formation that does not span the entire road.
The casual observer might question why you don't just alert them with your bell or a polite "passing right" but obviously such an irregular onlooker wouldn't be aware of those dim, dark, early days when your employment of a bell sent the poor old fellows almost crashing into the roadside barriers, or worse, into each other, and neither would they have any knowledge of your surprisement that they were similarly surprised as you came up behind them every 3 or 4 laps for an hour or more, week in, week out. And a passing anywhere call seemed way too presumtuous given that there was simply no room in which to safely pass (it is surprising how completely 2 people on bicycles can block a wide road). You may just have well have yelled "Get off the road" as you approached, which, having been so frequently on the receiving end of, is not a habit you are keen to adopt.
Anyway, enough about the good old days. Getting back to this enthralling quiz - This morning 2 of these chaps have finished their mornings exertions and have been chatting whilst one loaded his machine onto his 4WD's carrier. Eventually the other chap cycles slowly off on his way to complete the circuit before exiting the park. As you come round the corner matey is departing in his 4WD too. You slow and maintain a safe distance. Lo and behold, when he catches up with his mate on the bicycle, does he:-
A) Misjudge the width of his vehicle/the road (much like he often seems to on a bike) and collide into his buddy/a barrier/another vehicle, or
B) Pull to the right of the ample roadspace and safely pass his pal with a little toot of farewellness, or
C) Pull up alongside the chap he's just farewelled a few hundred metres before to have an addendum conversation whilst forming yet another complete road block moving at an impressive 10kph whilst maintaining a not unexpected state of oblivian when it comes to any and all other road users, yet again!!!!!!?
5 big ones to anyone who predicted C. I thought I'd seen it all.
If you scored 26 points or more, congratulations. You did better than me. That last one almost blew my mind.
If you jagged 15 points or more, give yourself a pat on the back. Most of the bonus points required an all too intimate local knowledge....actually this stupid quiz is worded in such a way that you physically had to be there to gain some of the points. Stupid quiz.
If you amassed less than 15 points however, you've let the nation's road users down, you've let team cycling down, and most importantly, you've let yourself down. But don't let that get you down. Keep your chin up and your eyes peeled...and stay safe.
I know there's nothing major here. It's just that their combined weight inside an hour and a half jaunt on a quiet early morning when the maximum number of other folk I could have had any interaction with at all was in the order of 50ish had me thinking I must be missing some brilliant April Fools' Day hilarity or other. And if it turns out that indeed I was the brunt of someone's cunning plan, I've only got one thing to say:- "You guys..."
And I would have plonked it in the motorists thread, but it kinda got outta hand.
- Posts: 156
- Joined: Thu May 19, 2011 5:35 am
Besides being a little poetic, I thought it worth mentioning as March was a rather damp month (number of days that were cloudy/showery/stormy rather than volumewise) here and heading out into clear blue skies with nary a zephyr to trouble my progress meant no chance of coming home dripping again.
- Posts: 156
- Joined: Thu May 19, 2011 5:35 am
As far as road use goes, having a fairly low opinion of other users and generally being rather cynical tends to work in your favour both on a bike and in a vehicle. You have to make lots of assumptions on the roads. You have to because so many other users seem to revel in being unpredictable and appear to enjoy keeping their intentions to themselves...all secret squirrel style. Hopefully through trying to learn from your experiences your assumptions get better at identifying troublemakers and keeping you clear of trouble, but life has a habit of reminding us that we are all Grasshoppers with much to learn.
Fer instance, in example 2 of that stupid quiz I assumed several things that all worked out well, but could rather easily have turned out a little dicey. His behaviour left me wary of the driver in question but that also meant that I focused more attention on him than I'd have liked. I assumed that since I hadn't washed off all my speed that I could pass the stationary vehicle safely before he had any chance to move, and keeping a watchful eye on him would be reinforced by hearing his engine rev before he could. But what if it was a hybrid? What if it was a nutter who only stopped so he'd have both hands free to throw bottles at me?
And of course I'd seen that the cars approaching were all slowing and had their indicators on to enter the street I was leaving and were still a sufficient distance away to permit me to cross safely and without (hopefully) causing them any concern, but what if one of them changed their mind and accelerated straight ahead as the others entered the little turning lane...while I was paying more attention than usual to the vehicle I was passing?
It was a risk I assumed I had under control, and fortunately it turned out that way, but it was still a risk. You'd assume that it would without doubt have been safer to stop behind and wait until the driver had their head in order, but then there'd be the (albeit much lesser) risk of having another vehicle come from behind and park on top of me....or the driver try to reverse over me because he'd forgotten something and that's why he'd come to a stop in the middle of the road <headslap>. We are largely invisible afterall, apparently.
Assumtions can certainly come a cropper, but without them we'd all come to a standstill (and still not be entirely safe - as above). You just have to hope that the data that informs them and that the logic employed is sound....and cross your fingers, a lot.
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