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Forums > Social Chat > Drivers....please mind the cyclist

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Dunc
GOLD Member since Aug 2003

Dunc

playing the days away
Location: The Middle lands

Total posts: 7263
Posted:This is part rant and part advice for a safer future.



This morning I cycled to work as normal, as I pulled into work (we have a short road just for our work, it s a dead end so no through traffic) and I pulled right into the car park what did I find....a car right next to me who thought it was fine to just overtake cutting me off to pull into the car park before me eek. It was driving so close I had to rest my hand against it to stop myself from falling off (or hitting it!!). I proceeded to give the car a tap on the roof to raise a bit of awareness that I was actually there and the person driving turned and gave a courtious wave of hello and carried on!! Completely oblivious to the fact that she had just nearly knocked me off my bike which could have led to some pretty serious injuries to me!! mad



ok Rant over so what I have to say, or rather ask, is...



When you're driving your big metal cacoons rounds town and country and you happen to pass a cyclist please give them some space. ubbidea It's very unnerving to have something that weighs about a ton a few inches from your back wheel, or right next to you trying to squeeze through a gap instead of waiting a couple of seconds till it's safe to overtake.

Bumps in a road can throw a cyclist around quite a lot if they're unexpected, and we're very fragile should we get hit by rather large forms of kinetic energy!



I know everyones in a rush these days but those in cars have time to catch up on their journey, it's not really worth nearly killing, injuring or just frightening someone so much to save a couple of seconds on your journey. umm



I think if everyone followed a few basic guidelines us cyclists would have a much safer time on the roads.



1) When overtaking try to stay at least (bare minimum!) 1.5 metres to the side.

2) When behind a cyclist stay (bare minimum) 4 metre's away from them.

3) Do your utmost to help a cyclist feel safer, remember a nervous cyclist is a dangerous unsteady cyclist.

4) Remember if you clip a cyclist they will often go down straight away and that means under your wheels and on your conscience and whole families lives can be wrecked in the process!! ubbcrying



And most importantly



5) If a car comes too close to me on the road and shows such disrespect to my personal safety in relation to their journey time I'll be wearing steel toe capped boots (as I need to for work) and will take great pleasure returning your lack of respect by kicking a big fat dent in any panel I can make contact with! spank



And to the idiotic cyclists I see out there...



1) Light up!! Buy some lights and keep the batteries full of power and wear luminous clothing or just stay off the road. Your as much a menace as the dangerous drivers.



And to all those who take care when passing a cyclist....a big thanks goes out beerchug ...you make our journey a safe and pleasent one biggrin


Let's relight this forum ubblove

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Rozi
SILVER Member since Jan 2002

100 characters max...
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia

Total posts: 2996
Posted:hug

Must have given you the fright of your life. I am fairly mindful of cyclists myself, but sometimes I think us big metal objects can be a little hard to read for people on bikes.

I was driving along a suburban street and came up behind a cyclist. Obviously I slowed, as there was oncoming traffic, so I couldn't overtake initially. Then there was enough of a break in the traffic that I could overtake. I pulled ahead, and realised that I needed to make a left hand turn fairly quickly. I realised that if I did it, I would cut off the cyclist who was not that far behind me. So I slowed, indicated, and allowed the cyclist to pass. I must have done something wrong, because the cyclist gave me the finger.

Makes me realise that sometimes our thought processes are not as transparent as we think.


It was a day for screaming at inanimate objects.

What this calls for is a special mix of psychology and extreme violence...

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Dunc
GOLD Member since Aug 2003

Dunc

playing the days away
Location: The Middle lands

Total posts: 7263
Posted:Sounds familiar. I go past one of the local colleges and at the time I go home the evening courses are starting so there's lots of traffic going in, cars often overtake me just to turn left and cut infront, saving a whole 3 seconds on their journey that will end in less than a minute!

Glad you realised your mistake before you made the left turn and no doubt you've learnt from that one!! And thanks for your consideration all the other times you've passed a bikie hug

Personally I would probably have given you the finger then too! ubblol


Let's relight this forum ubblove

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coleman
SILVER Member since Aug 2002

coleman

big and good and broken
Location: lunn dunn, yoo kay

Total posts: 7330
Posted:i used to cycle, now i drive.

if i move back into london, i will probably get a bike again though so i appreciate your views - that driver sucked!



these points are all just as applicable if not more so in a busy city.



however, there are a couple of things that some cyclists do that get my goat a bit as both a pedestrian and as a driver:



1. not taking notice of traffic lights (especially ones with pedestrian crossings mad) - i nearly got cycled over again crossing bishopsgate at a pedestrian crossing on the way to spitz last night.

2. mounting the pavement for a quick shortcut just because it is more convenient than going round the one way system. if you are riding a vehicle, stay on the road.

3. no bloody hand signals. signal THEN manouvre - since most drivers are crap at guessing where you're planning to turn next, this makes things a bit simpler.

4. no protection. roads are dangerous. as bug has described, there are lots of idiots driving around very fast in very heavy chunks of metal.

wear. a. helmet.


"i see you at 'dis cafe.
i come to 'dis cafe quite a lot myself.
they do porridge."
- tim westwood

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Tao Star


Tao Star

Pooh-Bah
Location: Bristol

Total posts: 1662
Posted:slightly off the subject of cyclists, but this is a pet hate of mine.

here is a quote from the highway code;

Quote:
Signals warn and inform other road users, including pedestrians of your intended actions.



note how cars have to indicate even if the only person for miles is a pedestrian about to cross the road you are about to turn in to.

INDICATORS!!!!! what a wonderful invention.


I had a dream that my friend had a
strong-bad pop up book,
it was the book of my dreams.

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Dunc
GOLD Member since Aug 2003

Dunc

playing the days away
Location: The Middle lands

Total posts: 7263
Posted:Good words Cole, knob hed cyclists cause a lot of trouble....and damn that overtaking on the left! It's illegal yet they still do it not thinkin the car won't necessarily check that side as they pull off and may drift over. They mystify me as much as the bad drivers seeing as they should appreciate the likelyhood of easy road death more than most other road users!!!

I always follow all road laws and signal well in advance when there are other users around (cyclists, pedestrians and cars) although will admit to occaisionally jumping lights and going on paths but only when it's plainly clear a free from others. Any doubt about it and I won't move an inch.

If any cyclists are reading and wondering how to make themselves more visible I'd recomend looking at these. They're the best thing I ever found for getting spotted on the roads, they fit like reflectors in your wheels but are actually high po LED's (they're also good for Poi-ing with as you can attach a string to them!) and would recommend the blue ones cuz blue seems to attract more attention.


Let's relight this forum ubblove

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flid
BRONZE Member since Aug 2002

flid

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Warwickshire

Total posts: 3136
Posted:i'd also like to mention pedestrians. Car drivers in general I find only pay attention to other cars when driving. When you drive, your body becomes the size of a large metal object, that can be way more damaging than a bullet, axe and knife. Generally drivers are considerate around other drivers, but as soon as they go they just don't care anymore about their driving style. I used to walk 45 minutes to college each day, and I'd almost get run over on a regular basis. It got to the point where i would just have to assume that any approaching car was going to do something eratic. Thankfully I now live in an area with good footpaths and cycle routes.

My main gripe is indicating. Car drivers simply don't do it 80% of the time when they don't think there's a chance of being hit by another car. How many drivers reading this can honestly say that they *always* indicate when turning corners? They check for cars, but rarely for people trying to cross the roads they are turning into first, and i've lost count of the times people have had to slam their breaks on, because they didn't indicate and i started to cross the road they turned into. When they do, they look at you like you're trying to kill them of something, or get pissed off because you are standing in *their* road. It's especially bad when a road bends 90 degrees and has a turn off on the bend, so cars can turn onto it without dropping any speed. On such routes they learn the fact that the chance that the likely hood of being hit by a car is minimal, so never bother indicating. Forget speeding, for me, having walked an average of 35 minutes to college/uni for the past 6 years, lack of indicating is by far the most dangerous thing about walking. I'd really like for there to be a mechanism for detecting people turning corners who don't indicate. If the police fined people a fiver each time they do it they'd far far far out do the money they currently get on speed cameras. The government really should be making it safer and more attractive for people travelling around who arn't polluting the environment and getting good exercise, but sadely pretty much all tax payers are car drivers, who'd rather have better roads. Until attitude on this changes at a government level and they actually do something about it, people will continue to be put off cycling/walking, it simply isn't safe enough for kids walking to school in my opinion.


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originalsmit
SILVER Member since Aug 2003

originalsmit

addict
Location: nottingham, england. cornwall ...

Total posts: 469
Posted:yes i agree with this whole thread.
i used to have to ride to waork cos it was about 30 mins faster than taking the bus and nearly got destroyed by a car one day, we have fantastic tram tracks in the roads now here in notts and one day the wheel catches the tram line jumps up twists and the guy who was following very close behingd very nearly runs me over.
bloody cars, sometimes it makes me glad i cant drive a car so theres no danger of me ending up like that


my original signature was tooo long.
this one is shorter

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coleman
SILVER Member since Aug 2002

coleman

big and good and broken
Location: lunn dunn, yoo kay

Total posts: 7330
Posted:i agree with almost everything you said there flid smile

interestingly, according to the highway code if a driver is turning from a major road into a minor road and a pedestrian is crossing, the pedestrian has right of way on the road, not the driver - this is true whether the driver is indicating or not.
but unfortunately not many drivers know that and even the ones that do often just think it is 'a stupid rule'. mad

slightly off topic:

Quote:
it simply isn't safe enough for kids walking to school in my opinion.



i was thinking about this this morning.
it is half term in my town and as a result my drive to the station in the morning has gone from an average journey time of 18 minutes down to 8 minutes.
the reason for this is that there are no kids at school this week.
now admittedly, with no kids around i can go up to the 40mph all the way to the station although i often don't - whereas with kids walking to and from school, even with a clear road i'd limit myself to a lower speed for most of the journey.

but it is the sheer drop in traffic volume that strikes me.

the ten minutes i am saving is down to two bottleneck junctions that during the school holidays suddenly become clear of cars with just one driver and one kid in them.
normally i queue for about 7 minutes at the first one (this is a long time to be sitting in traffic on your way to catch a train) and about three at the other.
no queues today smile

now i should mention my town is filled with (excellent, well lit) cycle paths, bus lanes, traffic islands and crossings yet still loads and loads of parents insist on driving their kids five minutes round the corner to school.

i can understand parents' concerns about road safety and even the fear of child abduction but i felt a need to rant.
and there are such things as car pools and even pta's that can help raise money towards reliable, safe school buses for kids to get to and from school each day.


"i see you at 'dis cafe.
i come to 'dis cafe quite a lot myself.
they do porridge."
- tim westwood

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Tao Star


Tao Star

Pooh-Bah
Location: Bristol

Total posts: 1662
Posted:Quote:
and there are such things as car pools and even pta's that can help raise money towards reliable, safe school buses for kids to get to and from school each day.




very true - go tell the schools! biggrin


I had a dream that my friend had a
strong-bad pop up book,
it was the book of my dreams.

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Dunc
GOLD Member since Aug 2003

Dunc

playing the days away
Location: The Middle lands

Total posts: 7263
Posted:Quote:
interestingly, according to the highway code if a driver is turning from a major road into a minor road and a pedestrian is crossing, the pedestrian has right of way on the road, not the driver - this is true whether the driver is indicating or not.





The UK Highway Code states that pedestrians have priority on roads at all times regardless. Good rule I think but there are some good arguments against it. In Germany the car has priority on the road and beleive me the pedestrian keep the hell outta the way!



Quote:


it is half term in my town and as a result my drive to the station in the morning has gone from an average journey time of 18 minutes down to 8 minutes.....the reason for this is that there are no kids at school this week.







Yep, I can't understand why so many parents moan about their kids getting fat and not excersising and then drive them to school! I used to walk or bike 3 miles each way every day and it would never bother me. And as you say, parents worry about the high traffic but it's parents who cause the high traffic volumes driving the damn kids everywhere!!



My kids will certainly walk/bike to school even if for safety sake I have to walk/bike along with them


Let's relight this forum ubblove

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Eera
BRONZE Member since May 2003

old hand
Location: In a test pit, Mackay

Total posts: 1107
Posted:There were some observation tests done a while back which returned a worrying statistic; only 25% of drivers are fully aware of what's going on around them at any one point. In other words, 75% of drivers who overtake you have not even acknowledged your presence.

Cyclists do present a rather two dimensional front to a driver, so the more you can do to make yourself visible the better. Cover yourself in LEDs, wear fluoro vests, whatever. You may feel like a bit of a prat but at least you're a prat with fully functioning body parts.


There is a slight possibility that I am not actually right all of the time.

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GottaLoveIt


GottaLoveIt

Sponge
Location: Stevenage

Total posts: 883
Posted:It happens to learner drivers too! The exact same scenario happened to a learner infront of me today... some dude overtook him/her then stamped on the brake and cut the driver up when the aforementioned dumbass! turned left into the junction he almost missed... Haha, and I hadn't even learnt emergency stops so my instructor had to do it for me

Did anyone see that Theory test on Tv in England a while back.... ONLY 42% of men got the questions right and 41% of women.... I'm not sure how they worked it out but on a 100% of questions, how many crap drivers do we have in the UK????? Scary eek

P.S Narr you'll be happy to know I was SO much better at driving today! I relaxed and looked and got the hang of the clutch!!! Woo me!!!!!


Monkeys monkeys and bananas

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Dunc
GOLD Member since Aug 2003

Dunc

playing the days away
Location: The Middle lands

Total posts: 7263
Posted:Quote:
the more you can do to make yourself visible the better. Cover yourself in LEDs, wear fluoro vests, whatever. You may feel like a bit of a prat but at least you're a prat with fully functioning body parts.



How true....and just reminded me, when I first got my LED glowsticks from here I wore two round my neck...blue hanging in front and red behind. They made a big difference until I could afford to buy some decent bike lights.


Let's relight this forum ubblove

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Tao Star


Tao Star

Pooh-Bah
Location: Bristol

Total posts: 1662
Posted:theo ther thing is those flags that stick out sideways from your bike so car drivers have to give you room or you scratch them.

strangely if there's a chance the car will get damaged they notice more...


I had a dream that my friend had a
strong-bad pop up book,
it was the book of my dreams.

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Bird
GOLD Member since Aug 2003

Bird

now available in "advanced"
Location: Cornwall

Total posts: 6086
Posted:I was always taught to give cyclists and pedestrians at least as much room as I would alow for a car when overtaking! I can't understand how people can find this so difficult sometimes.

I am just beginning to get back into cycling and having to deal with inconsiderate idiots makes things quite difficult, but I find it very useful to be able to see things from both sides of the equation! As a driver I see cyclists weaving all over the road for no reason and having no consideration for other vehicles, and as a cyclist I see car drivers trying their best to go through cyclists, and only avoiding them by the tiniest of margins!

peace


My state of mind is not yours to define!

There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."

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wan hwo ren


wan hwo ren

member
Location: I'm not sure

Total posts: 86
Posted:Quote:
2. mounting the pavement for a quick shortcut just because it is more convenient than going round the one way system. if you are riding a vehicle, stay on the road.



I really don't see the problem with this. Obviously if there are people walking on the pavement then cyclists should stay off of it, but if not then why not take the shortcut??? I consider shortcuts that don't bother anybody to be a cyclists reward for not polluting the air and congesting the cities. Bikes may be vehicles, but they are not the same as cars (obviously), so I say take advantage of all the benefits you can on your bike. beerchug


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coleman
SILVER Member since Aug 2002

coleman

big and good and broken
Location: lunn dunn, yoo kay

Total posts: 7330
Posted:because ya never know what's round the next corner - it could be another cyclist taking a shortcut that you hit wink

if you ride slowly and safely and there are very few pedestrians around then to be honest i agree with ya.

it is this kind of thinking that gets us into trouble though - just because we can't see many pedestrians around doesn't mean they aren't there - its similar to the 'cars not bothering to indicate just because they don't see any other cars' argument...

if we expect drivers to be considerate to cyclists, as cyclists we should pay the same courtesy to pedestrians which means dismounting if we want to use the pavement.



"i see you at 'dis cafe.
i come to 'dis cafe quite a lot myself.
they do porridge."
- tim westwood

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Spanner
BRONZE Member since Feb 2003

Spanner

remembers when it was all fields round here
Location: in the works... somewhere...

Total posts: 2790
Posted:I passed my theory test last year so I feel it's still fresh in my mind. If I took my practical test, for example, tomorrow, there's a chance I could pass it, and the pressure to get it done has been more prominent than I expected. But I'm not prepared to take my test until I can drive to the standards I expect other motorists to satisfy. smile

"I thought you are man, but
you are nice woman.

yay,

:R"

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Ade
SILVER Member since Mar 2001

Are we there yet?
Location: australia

Total posts: 1897
Posted:I actually saw someone get hit by a car on Saturday afternoon - it was awful frown

Please everyone, pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists, car, bus and truck drivers be in a bit less of a hurry to get there

Leave earlier
Be less stressed in the traffic
Wait for the little green man to tell you it's safe to cross the road
Don't run the orange
ubbideaShow just a little courtesy please


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Charles
BRONZE Member since Jun 2001

Charles

Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland

Total posts: 3989
Posted:So where do unicycles fit into all this?



HoP Posting Guidelines
* Is it the Truth?
* Is it Fair to all concerned?
* Will it build Goodwill and Better Friendships?
* Will it be Beneficial to all concerned?

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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield

Total posts: 3252
Posted:Quote:
So where do unicycles fit into all this?




Since Christmas I've focused on riding my '29-er', a big wheeled uni with releatively short cranks giving less control but more speed.

It's suitable for roads and I've been acclimatising to them for the past two months.

You have to be a very competant unicyclist to venture onto roads as there's no room for mistakes.

I treat it like a bike i.e. I've fitted it with front/rear lights and a reflector on the back.

I pretty much always wear a helmet when unicycling, but, on the road it's 100% of the time, plus a fluro waist coat when it's dark.

It's difficult to assess whether it's safer than bicycling, the following seem to be pluses: -

You're much higher than on a bike, so you can see better and you're more viisible to cars.

You're also more visible cos it's so unusual to see a unicyclist on the road.

Due to the fixed hub you're always very much in control, when I go back to the bicycle it feels a bit strange that I have to reach for the brakes to stop/slow down.

Again, the fixed hub means slower speeds, no freewheeling on the downhills so you're more aware and more in control.

Riding a unicycle, however good you are, takes constant focus, on a bike I can have a tendency to daydream.

Cars tend to behave themselves, to the average driver a unicyclist is an unknown quantity, they have no idea how stable they are so they tend to treat you like they should treat cyclists e.g. loads of space when passing, waiting for a space to appear etc.

Downsides are that traffic lights can be tricky. Some people idle or hop in place waiting for them to change. My approach is to try to plan ahead and adjust speed to arrive when they're just turning green; alternatively dismount, walk past them and remount.

Roundabouts are also, in my opinion, not a very good idea.

My aim for this summer is to do a 'Critical Mass' ride on the 29-er.

I went on Sheffields last one on two wheels to assess the feasibility; my main concern is the above two mentioned points, but, with practice I hope to do it anyway.

Lastly, to anyone who thinks I'm crazy, I have to stress that a 29" wheel uni is nothing like the wobbly 20" unicycles that most people are familiar with, it's much faster, more stable and works well on the roads.


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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Spanner
BRONZE Member since Feb 2003

Spanner

remembers when it was all fields round here
Location: in the works... somewhere...

Total posts: 2790
Posted:I see unicyclists on the roads quite frequently here, and every time, other road users have given them a wide berth. smile

"I thought you are man, but
you are nice woman.

yay,

:R"

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Faberg
GOLD Member since Aug 2003

veteran
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Total posts: 1459
Posted:As a pedestrian I've been hit by a motorist.

As a pedestrian I've been hit by a cyclist, more than once.

As a cyclist I've been hit by a motorist.

As a cyclist I've also been hit by another cyclist.

And as a motorist I've been hit by another motorist.



Now that may sound like I'm walking/cycling/driving around with my eyes closed rolleyes, but honestly, none of these incidents were my fault ubbangel



Everyone needs to be a little more alert, considerate and aware of their surroundings at all times


My mind not only wanders, it sometimes leaves completely smile

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Dunc
GOLD Member since Aug 2003

Dunc

playing the days away
Location: The Middle lands

Total posts: 7263
Posted:Quote:
I actually saw someone get hit by a car on Saturday afternoon - it was awful frown
Please everyone........be in a bit less of a hurry to get there........Don't run the orange



We're they ok, did they survive? I hope they are home safe and well now frown

I had a 19 tonne truck jump the lights infront of me as I went home yesterday, I saw it coming (thankfully) and due to the position I'm in I can see when the other lights change, the driver simply put his foot down when they went to orange and were on red by the time he charged through them. He must have been doing at least 40 in a 30 zone (next to the a college) to get through quickly. Thankfully I was at the front of the queue and didn't move so the other cars behind me couldn't pull out either. What a f*cking idiot spank . I hope he never has to have a closed coffin funeral for his child cuz some idiot hauling bricks jumped the red lights and mashed them to a pulp.


Let's relight this forum ubblove

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Ade
SILVER Member since Mar 2001

Are we there yet?
Location: australia

Total posts: 1897
Posted:both driver and pedestrian were at fault - driver tried to run the orange, pedestrian tried to run across the road at the same time.

Luckily the fellow was able to get up but I think he was pretty badly injured. The car was a write off.

I still shudder at times when thinking about it


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