Equipment and On Road Behaviour, Laws and Rules. Cycling Promotion and Advocacy
I don't particularly agree with pad and Simon. If you are riding on a main road or descent with lots of crossroads and various hazards, you will maintain caution on the bike. You won't idly wander around on the bike because the penalty for failure is big. Really big. Car drivers do not apply the same caution because they rely on the penalty for failure to be worn by other people. If you know hey have to give way to you, you just charge along. Speed has been addressed, now we need attentive drivers. Considerate drivers. We need a population of people that appreciate that cars must kill because of the size and velocity involved, and this risk applies to the people inside the car as well. This is where the fundamental issue with the thread topic comes into play. A helmet does not address the fact that the biggest risk to the rider is not the ground. It is the deadbeat driver who does not accept that their keys are like loading a gun, and the steering wheel is pointing the barrel at anyone nearby.
Yes, left for 15 years, now back for family reasons
Speed cameras have bought the fatality rate down I'm sure, however vehicular design and safety and road infrastructure has vastly improved in that time, think the old calder and hume highways. Speed camera acolytes blame everything on speed and disregard the vast improvements in vehicle dynamics and safety, airbags, crumple zones, abs, stability control, traction control and the introduction of large sections of divided road that eliminates the need for dangerous overtaking are equal or greater influences on the reduction in road fatalities.
As far as your recollection of the speed at which cars travelled pre speed cameras, mine differs from yours, I don't recall the roads being a racetrack like the impression you attempt to create. The road toll has been stable now for a number of years yet the margin for error has got tighter 3km/h, cameras now placed on downhill sections and fines increased well beyond the CPI increase, cash grab anyone
Cycling fatalities may have been higher in that time before mandatory helmet use, but your line here differs from the rest of the thread I believe
You are overseas now I believe or have been recently, do you find they have the religious zeal about speed limits that we endure in Vic? Have you found yourself knocked from the bike as a result? Or do you find that perhaps the driver attitudes are less aggressive and more sharing toward other road users.
I wish our government would spend a little time and effort on that rather than solely focusing on revenue
Please what a simplistic argument. The level of noise insulation, improved vehicle dynamics, increased engine power and reduced speed limits 40 and 50 zones, make it very easy for ones speed to increase, particularly on a downhill stretch. I prefer to have my eyes on the road than the speedo YMMV. Even the ambulances we drive which are basically just tarted up delivery vans, have this tendency. I use the cruise control even in a 50 zone at times to remove the level of attention required to stay at or below the speed limit. Becomes more difficult where there is increased traffic.
The big changes in speed on the roads that I noticed (as a driver and cyclist) occurred between the mid-80s and early-90s. This was all prior to the improved technologies and much of the newer road building that you mention. The major causative changes were speed cameras, red-light cameras and the new booze buses.
Just goes to show that your experience may have differed from mine. The MHL "safety benefits" were more down to the road safety initiatives of the late 80s that I mentioned above, together with fewer cyclists on our roads (notably the teenagers).
Of course driver attitudes are the key. However there are plenty of speed camera signs in Italy. People do not necessarily follow the limits (which are much lower than in Aus) but they drive with an awareness and care for the other road user. And they slow down very readily when the limit changes and/or there is a need to do so. In short, they 'give a damn', unlike Australian drivers.
You cannot legislate or enforce this so easily.
Well my car is a 8yo Falcon. It is nice and quiet inside but I can still manage to judge safe speeds without manic speedo monitoring. I can even manage to keep below the limit, or close enough not to get speed camera fines. The last one was more than 5 years ago. Just my experience. I do think this sort of line is a bit of a cop-out.
You can, but I'm not sure people respect human life more than want freedom from a police state. Draconian automatic liability laws would solve it. You hit another vehicle, jail time. Mandate a couple cameras in each car to demonstrate who is at fault. It's really not that hard. But... people drive to be free, not to actually commute.
Italy actually has a worse traffic-related death rate than Australia -
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_co ... death_rate
And the UK figures are better than ours...
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
London Boy 29/12/2011
Longer than that for me, my wife OTOH, 5 in the last 5 years To be fair to her though 3 were in the same location over a period of 3 years( though you'd think she'd learn after the first couple). A stretch of lightly travelled road where the speed limit changes fro 80 -60 with no change in road conditions, wide verges, not built up etc. Of course that is wher the local plod places the revenue camera . Not at an accident black spot, but where the speed limit is set too low for the road conditions. Maximise revenue at a point in the road where there is a good chance attention to speed may wander if you drive to the conditions. Tell me again why I should swallow the government road safety line
Getting back to helmets......
This evening is my last evening in Darwin after a week in the top end. I've see plenty of cyclists around the city. Alot less helmets and alot less Lycra. Its seems that neither are care much about here even in the heat and on the roads. Cycling has a relaxed approached here.
We need to change this to the "MHLs and nothing but MHLs" thread
Helmets! Bells! Rego!
And another of your personal faves - Lycra
Who me? Surely you jest, I wear Lycra myself.
It is one of those self-evident truths. It does not rely on fancy logic, or on some article of faith. It stands on its own.
That excuses you driving at an unsafe speed?
Surely all of those things mean that you should be even more aware and in even better control. And you should not be pushing your own margin of error anything like as far.
I assume what you mean here is that you cannot use cruise control when there is a lot of traffic..?
My favourite place to drive. People know where they are going, they don't dawdle while they umm and ahh about which way they're going. All you have to do is not be in their way, and they won't be in yours. Except in Rome traffic, but there's not a lot you can do about that...
Driving down the autostrada, heading across Abruzzo towards Pescara, doing about 175kmh in a 110kmh limit. So dawdling a bit. Carabinieri come up behind at rate of knots, siren and lights going. But it's ok, they just wanted me out of the way. Drive past the regular police a few kms further along, but they don't care either.
And whatever speed you're going, there will always be a Mercedes going faster.
Thing is, the Italians are more technically competent than Australian drivers, taken as an average. They need to be, given how many of them there are, buzzing around the place.
Oh yes, coolest police car I've ever seen. Middle of Rome. Lamborghini Gallardo, all decked out with the livery and the lights. And then some nong went and crashed it.
Their casualty rate is higher, but that is partly because of the roads they drive on - way more hazards per km - it's not all about speeds and driver attitudes.
Your last 3 posts. Fantastic mate.
If you are in Italy great 175 in a 110 zone no worries at all. Higher casualty rate sure, there is a bit of increased risk.
In Australia OTOH stick to within 3km/h of the speed limit or you have no right being on the road, the sheer incompetence demands you surrender your licence immediately.
This thread is the best
High speed autostradas no doubt. They are a bit manic I am told. Certainly as a cyclist on the regular strada statale and strada provinciale roads, I have been far happier than I am generally on Australian roads, in particular in their larger cities.
What is with your offensive and rude behaviour? I made a factual observation. Stop taking things personally.
Ah, the mock outrage and protestations of victimisation
Huh? Outrage? No. Victimisation? No.
Is it too hard to be civil and discuss things without making things personal?
You work with their rules. Not the written ones, the real ones. The ones that plod cares about and will lift a finger to enforce.
The Italians are starting to push down their limits, the real ones, not the written ones. They've put a few cameras up now and enforcement by camera doesn't depend on plod's mood. So here or there some Italians are slowing down a bit. Not by much, mind.
It's not about how far you break the rules, the comment is purely about awareness. If you're in Australia and you can't simultaneously watch your speed and the road then you've not got the bandwidth to drive. Seems logical enough. If you're in Italy, same rules apply. Just different things to watch. But you still have to watch them. And you won't be fined if you get it wrong, you'll be in bits. As you say...
Watching the history of the
“Tour de France: The Legend of the Race” that was on SBS TV.
I noticed that almost the entire history no helmets were worn by the racers.
This is an extreme marathon sport. They are racing.
This must be considered a high-risk activity, but it seems the riders were/are not Mandated to wear helmets
Some of the years as it’s a bit sketchy to tell are the years of 1997, 1999, 2000, and 2003. With some very tight headshots so you know that they do not have helmets.
In 1992 one rider had an aerodynamic sprinting type helmet, it had no air vents at all.
The first helmets seen looks like it was about 2004. A friend tells me this is because by this stage it was an aerodynamic advantage to wear a helmet, so you would be at a race disadvantage to not wear a helmet.
So it seems the safety of the helmet was never an issue for the tour de France.
I am no bike racing expert and have very little interest in this. Others maybe able to inform me about why they now seem to wear helmets.
It is very telling that up to 2004 that’s 14 years after 1990 when it was made mandatory to wear a bike helmet in Victoria, that they were racing without helmets.
So I would say if they are not compelled to wear a helmet in a high risk-racing environment then why am I compelled to wear one to just ride down the street?
Google "Fabio Casertelli" 18th July 1995. This was the beginning of riders campaigning for the UCI helmet rule.
Later followed by the 2003 death of Andrey Kivilev - the UCI rule came in two months after. The rule at that time still allowed for some exceptions however eg. on final climbs >5kms, and most aero-helmets (TT) would not be Australian Standards compliant.
A change of tune for next year's TdF however
http://www.ctc.org.uk/helmets-not-requi ... and-depart
If you watched the entire production then you cannot have missed the scene showing Fabio Casertelli lying and dying in a pool of blood from a massive head injury.
Cycle touring blog and tour journals: whispering wheels...
Did you not notice that the article was dated April 1 ?
Or the comment at the end of it?
Cycle touring blog and tour journals: whispering wheels...
Because riding down the street is much higher risk than riding in an organised road race.
Who is online
Users browsing this forum: tubby74