Beating the system - the cycling commuting section
In general Iâ€™ve found different coach companies have different attitudes towards cyclists. Where I ride Forrest coaches will almost always show you repsect but ShoreLine coaches will run you off the road. Like I say, itâ€™s a generalisation. Some ShoreLine drivers show you respect, some Forrest drivers donâ€™t
I've had a couple of close calls also. Both from the Action and Deanes species.
In at least one case the driver must have known I was there but hadn't realised just how fast I was going when he tried to overtake and then suddenly pulling back into the left lane to stop for a passenger. I ended up on the footpath (hooray for full suspension and the bunny hop).
I've had several deanes buses crowd me out of the cycle lane on Canberra avenue as well as failing to give way to traffic (ie me) already on a roundabout. I got hit by a 4wd in this fashion a few years ago so my reaction to this is probably stronger than it really needs to be. It often seems to me that many drivers are very happy to pass only to immediately apply the brakes and turn left in front of you.
I've notifed the Qbn police on a couple of occassions and the response has ranged from "wow you are brave for riding on the road" to "nothing we can do without proof". The latter approach of course opens up an imaginative world of what I could get away with if I wasn't so sickenly law abiding.
At the risk of sounding cliched, cyclists have to be more careful if only because they are more vulnerable. Of course "careful" also involves a bit of being more assertive and visible, which can be nerve racking for a while.
I'm just grateful that I don't have to contend with Sydney or Melbourne style traffic. Canberra is still pretty much open road in comparison.
Somewhat ironically, I do catch buses and often on those trips, I see how difficult it can be for them to pull out from stops despite the giveway rule and it doesn't surprise me that sme drivers get tempted to push cyclists out of the way.
Ever since first starting to commute by bike, I've wondered about the possibilities of having some sort of video camera to film the ride. Some events would be worthy of submission to "Australia's Dumbest Drivers", and/or police, etc. Main issues I considered are:
1) How to attach it to the bike
2) Dirt/water on lens
3) Quality of the camera so that a person/vehicle is identifiable
4) Direction of the camera, often what you want to film is not directly in front, it is coming at you from the side, behind, etc...
These days my mobile phone can record a semi decent video, but how to mount that to the bike in a meaningful way?
Yep! Try this, new on the market: HD wearable camcorder. Has been used to shoot a few mountain bike vids to reasonable visual quality, such as this one: http://www.vholdr.com/video/sea-otter-practice-downhill
ATC3K has only just enough detail to pick out a number plate frame by frame, provided you manage to get a fairly direct shot of it with the limited FOV.
ContourHD looks very enticing, but about 400 clams isn't cheap, though not too bad either I guess.
ContourHD facing forward, ATC3K facing the rear would be perfect!
I never head back...
But on tuesday, I was on the same 2nd off ramp, indicating as usual, I had a quick look back in my helmet mounted mirror* and there was my big silent white mate pottering along waiting for me to get past before he slid around behind me. Didn't get a good enough look at the number plate. Might have been the same driver, maybe my call wasn't in vain.
*yes, very dorky but I quite like it, I use it a lot.
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