Beating the system - the cycling commuting section
12 posts • Page 1 of 1
Okay I am not a hard core 5 day a week commuter. Unfortunately my job requires me to regularly travel to sites all over the city so it makes this not practical.
On the plus side I can usually squeeze a day or two a week in to commute to the office so am reasonably often cylcing from Victoria Park to Willetton and vice versa.
I must also point out that any car made with crumple zones and the like unfortunate enough to hit me and my bike would no doubt result in the car owner shopping for a new car the following day as I would do a lot more damage than your average cyclist. I am built like a rugby prop and as tall as a short AFL player.
What I have found though, after all these pre-qualifiers, is that all the motorists I encounter on my normal commute are polite, give way to me as they should, and are generally a very nice bunch. So whilst there is a tonne of bike riders here bashing poor motorist behaviour I would like to state I have found them a great bunch...if this is driven by concern for their own well being and cars then thats fine by me. Just been my experience.
No one...Not the Prime Minister...Not The American President...Not an Astronaut...works as hard as my Mrs.
For sure that's been my experience as well. However even if we were to allow that 1% of the drivers are Moron Motorists that's still a lot of potential for badness.
2012 Oppy A4 | 200x Hard tail Kona Blast Deluxe
I usually have one issue a week, people who've parked in a cycle lane, pulled across a cycle lane, who overtake and nearly crush me, people who scream insults randomly, people who run red lights etc, still, 1 trip a week out of 10 isnt too bad!
Most drivers are fine. But cars are dangerous. I haven't found many drivers to be deliberately malevolent but quite a few just don't take driving seriously enough and the most dangerous I've found are those who just don't seem to care about anyone they share the roads with.
I'll agree with that to some degree, the bad drivers I can usually see coming and prepare for evasive action, however, there's always the very, very odd one that is just completely random.
However, the more you ride, the more time you're on the bike and the more people you will encounter doing the wrong thing (like the lady that drove on the wrong side of the road last week to try and overtake me and narrowly avoided a head on collision because the oncoming car swerved over the gutter and onto the nature strip...). I have noticed similar situations with cyclists as well though, in one instance, one didn't even look for traffic when they entered a T intersection, just turned left into the cycle lane and I only narrowly avoided a collision, they were safe, nothing can happen when you're listening to an i-Pod at high volume, I could hear it when I passed.
About a month ago, I saw a lady hit a 16 year old girl on her bike, why? Because she "didn't see her coming". The girl was riding across the ped crossing at a set of lights, at jogging pace towards the car and the lady turned left and drove in front of her and the poor girl T boned the car and bounced onto the road. I jumped out of the vehicle to help and the lady driver started making out like she was the victim saying how she didn't see her etc. and it wasn't her fault. Which really got my back up because I was trying to help the girl (no serious injuries luckily, just cuts and bruises)and she was carrying on in my ear, so told her to go sit in her vehicle and wait for the police to arrive. That's what I see mostly, people who aren't paying attention, won't take responsibility for their actions and don't really care if they hurt someone else (it's not their family so who cares?).
When someone's very polite to me and lets me merge into traffic etc. I always thank them with a big wave and smile.
Motorists are just people, and most people are cool. I find that riding assertively and vehicularly (is that a word?) is the best way to be respected on the road.
But if you can't trigger the lights yourself, you're doing it wrong or they're broken: http://youtu.be/I46k45pmXIo
+1. While most are alert and courteous, I do come a cross about one bad apple a week. This week it was this morning at the roundabout on Anderson St and Domain Rd South Yarra. She didn't even look as she entered the roundabout - and I had my lights on and a bright orange jersey. I just can't do any more than that to alert them that I'm there. That's why I'm always on the lookout in traffic.
But like I said, in the main they're a good bunch.
+2. While I have a heap of video incidents of dodgy motorists since I record my rides, they are the tiny tip of the iceberg. The vast majority are OK if you ride like a car and don't scuttle along in the glass near the gutter.
Avanti Quantum, Salsa Casseroll, Specialized Tricross
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