Unexpected class of sympathetic drivers

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ColinOldnCranky
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Unexpected class of sympathetic drivers

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Sun Dec 10, 2017 10:21 pm

As we know , non-cycling motorists who understand why cyclists do as they do would be in an unhealthy minority.

Anyway, I am also on the Caravaners Forum where I chanced across a relevant thread. It started with a driver having an issue with cyclists on a major road - you can read the story he presented in the OP of the thread at http://caravanersforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=72848&p=1067196&hilit=safe+passing+bicycle#p1067196.

An understanding of the OP's rationale can be gleaned from the following:
I fully respect people’s right to high adventure and applaud things like fundraising.

Sounds balanced. And THEN comes the "BUT"
BUT not if it destroys my life with the guilt of killing someone – both the cyclists and potentially other motorists in taking evasive action.

For goodness sake !! – these roads can barely fit a caravan or road train between side line and centre line. There’s no room for anything else on the road in squeeze situations.


I suggest that people read at the very least the first page. Reading the responses there are a lot of these drivers that are making very much the points that cyclists have been making without success. I am surprised at the number of caravan drivers who are not expressing the gross entitlement that other motorist show, rather suggesting that they may be the problem if they do not show patience or make silly choices.

Now takeit from this caravan owner, if ANYONE is truly put out by having to slow down to a crawl before getting around a cyclist pinch point it is those towing caravans. They take a long LONG time to get back up to a decent passing speed and they usually have a less-than-perfect view of trailing traffic that is likely to pull out on THEM as they slow down.

Yet so many respondents are calling out those that do not understand, including questioning some of the OP's thinking

Perhaps it's the age demographic. Maybe people of the grey nomad age recall that bikes used to be ridden on regional roads a lot and without the tribalism that infest both cyclists and anti-cyclists.

So take heart guys, it's not just cyclists that understand your needs and actions.
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find_bruce
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Re: Unexpected class of sympathetic drivers

Postby find_bruce » Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:32 am

Exactly Colin - I ride past hundreds of cars every day & almost all of them are perfectly sane, rational people.

Its just the occasional driver who really sticks in your memory.

Nice to hear that your caravaning forum has good people to stand up for the sane majority

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Re: Unexpected class of sympathetic drivers

Postby Bob_Hornsby » Wed Dec 13, 2017 10:43 am

As bruce said, 95% of drivers are rational people, but 5% are really what sticks in your mind.
Mainly truckies and tradies will shout and tell you to get off the road. Just being exposed to it, elevates risk because instead of concentrating on the road your brain has to deal with that in an hazardous environment. And nothing you can do about it...

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queequeg
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Re: Unexpected class of sympathetic drivers

Postby queequeg » Wed Dec 13, 2017 12:04 pm

I read the first page, skimmed some of the comments, and then went to the last page.

What I learned was that the OP still couldn't fathom that he had other options besides "run the cyclists into the fence". He admits he saw the riders from 400m away, but then says he didn't have time to do anything except blast his horn to warn the cyclists. The cyclists were on a bridge and had nowhere to go to except the other side.

The OP got called out on his behavior, which was good to see. However, it scares me that there are drivers out there who just will not, under any circumstances, use the brake pedal in their motor vehicle, or treat any other road user with any kind of respect or courtesy. It was interesting that he says he had a line of cars following him for some 20km prior to the incident, all waiting to get past him. Yet, he is complaining that two cyclists traveling slower than him did not get out of his way when he blasted his horn.

The OP saw nothing wrong with his driving. Thankfully most of the other drivers called out his double standards.
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cyclotaur
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Re: Unexpected class of sympathetic drivers

Postby cyclotaur » Wed Dec 13, 2017 12:08 pm

5% of everyone is always angry/impatient/inconsiderate for whatever reason and it just boils over when they have to cooperate/interact/share with the rest if us. This covers cyclists, drivers, pedestrians, dog walkers etc etc.

Probably another 10-15% are just bad at what they do and have no idea .... also covers cyclists, drivers, pedestrians, dog walkers etc etc.

When we are in the other 85-90% (which is not all the time !!) we just have to allow for these folk when we encounter them.

As for narrow roads and caravans .... you'll often see signs indicating roads unsuitable (steep/narrow/winding) for large vehicles etc but I've yet to see a sign saying 'unsuitable for bicycles'.
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Re: Unexpected class of sympathetic drivers

Postby Cyclophiliac » Wed Dec 13, 2017 12:26 pm

What bothers me is that we talk of the 95%, or the 85%, which basically means that during my typical commute (31km each way), when I encounter at least 100 drivers, it's likely that 15 of them will be incompetent, aggressive to cyclists, or both. If I wasn't fully situationally aware, and all the time, I'd be dead by now.

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Re: Unexpected class of sympathetic drivers

Postby bychosis » Wed Dec 13, 2017 12:44 pm

Cyclophiliac wrote:... we talk of the 95%, or the 85%...

whisper: It's quite possible that these are made up stats./whisper

We do know there are incompetent and aggro drivers out there, but we don't know exactly how many, and we can't tell who they are until something bad happens. Fortunately these bad drivers seem to be the minority though.
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Re: Unexpected class of sympathetic drivers

Postby Cyclophiliac » Wed Dec 13, 2017 12:51 pm

bychosis wrote:
Cyclophiliac wrote:... we talk of the 95%, or the 85%...

whisper: It's quite possible that these are made up stats./whisper

We do know there are incompetent and aggro drivers out there, but we don't know exactly how many, and we can't tell who they are until something bad happens. Fortunately these bad drivers seem to be the minority though.

I was just trying to contribute something to the discussion, and unlike you I don't need sarcasm to do it.

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Re: Unexpected class of sympathetic drivers

Postby redsonic » Wed Dec 13, 2017 12:59 pm

In the caravaner's forum initially linked to, the driver admitted that he had been conditioned to think that the cyclists would get off the bitumen to allow him passage on highways with no shoulder. When 2 cyclists entered a bridge ahead of him instead of waiting for him to pass (all this from 3-400m away), with a road train passing on his right he was at a loss what to do. Leaning on his horn was the only option that occurred to him.

I tend to think that the cyclists that had "conditioned" him to expect a clear road ahead had in reality been diving for their lives off the road as he roared past.

Fortunately, the bulk of the responses on the forum were critical and constructive.

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Re: Unexpected class of sympathetic drivers

Postby octopusbananas » Wed Dec 13, 2017 1:24 pm

Wow that driver is something else. Not a shred of understanding or compassion for two cyclists who were first honked at repeatedly, then run into the bridge railings by a high speed caravan missing them (at his own admission!) with mm to spare !! He thinks he got a fright...

Not to mention that he took off after the incident. Talk about a hit and run. If I were those cyclists I would be pressing charges for reckless endangerment - at least now they have plenty of evidence!!

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Re: Unexpected class of sympathetic drivers

Postby bychosis » Wed Dec 13, 2017 1:48 pm

Cyclophiliac wrote:
bychosis wrote:
Cyclophiliac wrote:... we talk of the 95%, or the 85%...

whisper: It's quite possible that these are made up stats./whisper

We do know there are incompetent and aggro drivers out there, but we don't know exactly how many, and we can't tell who they are until something bad happens. Fortunately these bad drivers seem to be the minority though.

I was just trying to contribute something to the discussion, and unlike you I don't need sarcasm to do it.


Apologies, I guess I missed my point too. We don't know how many are really bad drivers (although statistically 50% are worse than average). We do know that they are a small minority given millions of trouble free kms by drivers. We don't know which one is going to be the bad one that causes us an issue until it's too late. I drove to work today, probably saw several hundred drivers. Don't remember seeing any that appeared incompetent (today)
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Re: Unexpected class of sympathetic drivers

Postby Cyclophiliac » Wed Dec 13, 2017 7:26 pm

bychosis wrote:
Cyclophiliac wrote:
bychosis wrote:whisper: It's quite possible that these are made up stats./whisper

We do know there are incompetent and aggro drivers out there, but we don't know exactly how many, and we can't tell who they are until something bad happens. Fortunately these bad drivers seem to be the minority though.

I was just trying to contribute something to the discussion, and unlike you I don't need sarcasm to do it.


Apologies, I guess I missed my point too. We don't know how many are really bad drivers (although statistically 50% are worse than average). We do know that they are a small minority given millions of trouble free kms by drivers. We don't know which one is going to be the bad one that causes us an issue until it's too late. I drove to work today, probably saw several hundred drivers. Don't remember seeing any that appeared incompetent (today)

:) I agree, the stats on how many are really bad are hard to calculate and also vary from day to day, location to location, etc. Personally, I see drivers doing dumb things every single day, and only about 5 of the 31km of my commute each way is on road. The rest is shared path, where I typically meet other breeds of idiot sometimes.

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Re: Unexpected class of sympathetic drivers

Postby BenGr » Thu Dec 14, 2017 1:51 am

The incompetent drivers are the reason I stop and have a chat sometimes. My hope is that they actually didn't know they were doing something wrong, and might think about it before next time. It's near impossible to tell if it does anything though.

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Re: Unexpected class of sympathetic drivers

Postby fishwop » Thu Dec 14, 2017 6:30 pm

I am now convinced that a percentage of drivers do not respect us because we cannot hurt them. As was pointed out in the linked thread, a couple of heifers would have received far more respect from the original poster than the two cyclists received.

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ColinOldnCranky
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Re: Unexpected class of sympathetic drivers

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Fri Dec 15, 2017 2:31 am

I hear a fair sized minority here that argues tribally and will never see reason other than the reason that is set in concrete in their own small minds. But unlike most forums on the web we are mostly open to reason.

I did find it refreshing to find another forum where tribalism does not appear to the be the rule. I trust that others can see some hope in the thread that I linked to in the OP.
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