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Forums > Social Discussion > Rising petrol prices - turning to cycling

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pricklyleaf
SILVER Member since Mar 2005

pricklyleaf

with added berries
Location: Manchester, England (UK)

Total posts: 1365
Posted:I honestly never thought that I would ever say this.

But, I am going to become.... a cyclist.

After all the years of hating getting stuck behind people on bikes, and of them scaring me by suddenly pulling out in front of me etc. I am going to join their ranks.

Petrol is becoming so expensive, that I can't afford to save up for travelling, and pay for petrol to get me to work. (At the time of writing, its on average 1.13/litre eek) So I'm going over to the dark side. And I'm actually, really quite excited about it.

But I was wondering, how long on average, would it take to cycle the 10miles aprox to work? It takes me about 50 minutes to drive (all in heavy traffic). Does anyone have any handy hints/tips/links to cycle route planners etc. Is it too big a distance to cycle?

I need to find somewhere to store my bike, and I might not be allowed into work wearing cycling gear, even if I change as soon as I get in. That bit worries me.

Has anyone else done this? I know its not exactly a new concept for many out there, but I was wondering how many other people are going to get converted due to the cost of petrol. Is that the main motivation factor for you?

The exercise benifits are not really that important to me, as I already do a hell of a lot of dancing etc, but I do worry as to whether I'm going to be fit enough for doing it, I have very low stamina when it comes to cycling and running! The fact its green is a big bonus for me, but again, its not really a motivational factor in my decision.

Just interested. ubbrollsmile


Live like there is no tomorrow,
dance like nobody is watching
and hula hoop like wiggling will save the world.

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Fire_Moose
SILVER Member since May 2007

Fire_Moose

Elusive and Bearded
Location: Scottsdale, AZ, USA

Total posts: 3597
Posted:10 miles to work everyday seems like a REALLY long way...and don't forget that you have to go back home after.

I wish it we're an option to just start biking every where, but summers out here are killer, you don't want to go outside never mind ride a bike around in the heat.

I know i couldn't make the 10 mile bike ride towork...and if i did i would be hella late.


O.B.E.S.E.

Owned by Mynci!

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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield, United Kingdom

Total posts: 3252
Posted:
Non-Https Image Link




That'll neatly combine a 10 mile commute with your love of circus skills smile

(Seriously, people do do 10 mile trips to work on cokers)

 Written by : www.unicycle.co.uk


Massive wheeled unicycle from Unicycle.com. With its huge 36" tyre this is the unicycle to ride for miles on the road with relative ease.

What a machine! This unicycle cruises along at speeds unattainable on smaller wheels. This makes road riding on one wheel a real pleasure. Commuting to work is a breeze. With the UDC 36", long distance rides and even unicycle tours are possible. A fantastic road machine.




"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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Sir_Sheep


Sir_Sheep

old hand
Location: Chester, UK

Total posts: 725
Posted:I cycle 3 miles to campus and three miles back from campus daily (or near enough). At a sedate enough pace that I don't get sweaty/too out of breath I do it in 30 mins. My housemates manage it faster, but arrive smellier.

They should allow you to change your gear. Make a fuss if they don't. And invest in a good D-lock.

It might take you a short while to get used to 10 miles, maybe try it out at a weekend or something, using Googlemaps to plan a local trip which you know the distance for. Hills obviously make the going hard on the way up, but wheeeeeee! on the way down.

And be visible. Wrap christmas tree lights around you and your bike if necessary.


Spoiling Christmas for small children since 2003.

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pricklyleaf
SILVER Member since Mar 2005

pricklyleaf

with added berries
Location: Manchester, England (UK)

Total posts: 1365
Posted:Yeah, I am worried about the distance, it does seem like a long way! From the information I googled though, it looks like it should be comfortably acheivable in an hour, which is pretty much how long it takes me to drive to work anyway. I'll just have to practice for a bit! I'm also a bit scared of the drivers on the road, they do tend to drive a bit crazy round here!

However, I've got the idea in my head now, and I want to give it a go.

OWD: Nice try, but buying a unicycle, kind of defeats the money-saving point of cycling for the 3.5 months before I go travelling! Also, I'm at a slight disadvantage in that, I can't actually ride one, and don't have the time/motivation to try to learn again.


Live like there is no tomorrow,
dance like nobody is watching
and hula hoop like wiggling will save the world.

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Birgit
BRONZE Member since Jan 2005

Birgit

had her carpal tunnel surgery already thanks v much
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland (UK)

Total posts: 4145
Posted:Is it very hilly? Apart from that, bike tolerance increases pretty quickly in my experience. I used to have a 4 mile ride to school, which was done in 12-15 minutes there and 35 minutes back (it being all downhill one way and uphill the other...)
I'd be more worried about the busy roads - rush hour traffic often doesn't take kindly to cyclists.


"vices are like genitals - most are ugly to behold, and yet we find that our own are dear to us."
(G.W. Dahlquist)

Owner of Dragosani's left half

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PinkNigel


PinkNigel

Pinker than thou
Location: A little pink world all my own...

Total posts: 336
Posted:10 miles each way isn't that far, at least once you're used to it (3 miles in half an hour??? Jeepers, I _walk_ almost that fast... ). And you'll probably find yourself getting there much faster than driving within a short while. Always give yourself time to have to change a puncture tho'... And get to know maintaining and fixing a bike, you'll be putting a reasonable amount of wear on things that aren't designed to last forever, and there's a huge difference between 10 miles on a bike which works and 10 miles on a bike that isn't kept in good condition. And get yourself some bright yellow things to wear and ride assertively, don't get forced into the gutter, that's where all the trash and raised ironworks that give you flats lives...
(I ride rather a lot, feel free to PM/facebook/bug me IRL/whatever if you're after any help...)


A wise man once said: "You have two ears and one mouth, therefore you should shut the censored up and listen" (though, to be fair, he might not've put it _quite_ like that..)

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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:I'm getting a Toyota Prius and a bike. I intend to use the bike a lot more than I use the car.

I think this rising gas price business is ultimately going to be good. In every other country other than the U.S. it will stimulate even more mass-transit construction and more transit-centered development.

In the U.S. I am not sure what it will lead to, but apparently nothing major. Americans seem to be strikingly opposed to mass transit and transit-centered development. The country will slide to its dissolution with everyone having an SUV and a massive lawn around their homes...


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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LazyAngel
GOLD Member since Jul 2004

LazyAngel

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Cambridge UK

Total posts: 2895
Posted:wrote a longish post on suitable equipment and the like... but the internet died at the last minute..

I have a 10/15 minute cycle to uni, its actually faster than doing it by car!

Beware damage to the right hems of your trousers: they may look crap, but bicycle clips (or tucking them into your socks) will save your trousers and possibly your life (as getting hems stuck in the chain is not a very fun experience.

You'll probably be alright in traffic as a motorist, but at rush hour, people really don't look where they should and often drive into the cycle lanes (even in relatively slow moving traffic). Also, other cyclists tend not to stop for red lights, so beware them crashing into the back of you if you pull up even relatively quickly (seriously, its happened to me)

might be worth checking out a few different routes, as its much easier to cycle through a park at full tilt than dealing with traffic!


Because ActiveAngel sounds like a feminine deodorant

Like sex, I'm much more interesting in real life than online.

'Be the change you want to see in the world around you' - Ghandi

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newgabe
SILVER Member since Mar 2005

newgabe

what goes around comes around. unless you're into stalls.
Location: Bali, Australia

Total posts: 4030
Posted:Weather eek It rains in the North of England, no?

Nothing like arriving soaking wet at work! Make sure you ARE allowed to change at work, preferably even shower or at least wash the obvious sweat/splash that comes off cars; I've gotten really grotty from cars splashing muddy puddles all over me. and have somewhere safe to put your bike. Thieves love em.



Also have water you can drink on the way. Dehydration affects your concentration/roadsense quickly, as well as your stamina. Also have goggles to keep grit and rain out of your eyes.. there is some car window cleaning stuff that makes rain drops go away really fast so you can see through that is good to put on your goggles. Here it's called Rainex. I used to bike in London and it got me around lots of places but there were plenty of hairy times. Pedestrians walk out in front of bikes cos they don;t see/hear them. I crashed into a drunk one time who stepped in front of me then got really nasty with me. Invest (hoho) in a high quality high vis vest






Non-Https Image Link




even for when its not raining. And of course a decent high vis jacket for when it is. An accident on a bike is likely to be nasty no matter how small.



Good luck! ubbrollsmile


.....Can't juggle balls but I sure as hell can juggle details....

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Skulduggery
GOLD Member since Aug 2004

Skulduggery

Pirate Pixie Crew Captain
Location: Wales

Total posts: 8428
Posted:I used to cycle to work most days. The distance was about 6-7 miles and it took me about 35-40 mins. This included a fairly large detour so I could do most of the journey on canal tow paths and cycle paths.



My sister regulally cycles about 10 miles to work and back. She can do it in 45 mins, but she has always been a fairly fast cyclist.



It is do-able but I would advise building up your distances over a week or two first before trying the whole distance or you will be saddle sore and aching legged for the first few days and it might put you off trying again.



As for changing once you get there, I used to do that in the staff room. At my sisters place they have a shower in the bathroom for people to use as they want to encourage people to cycle to work. So if your work kicks up a stink about it play the environmental card and try to encourage more of them to do the same. The more of you that do it the more chance you have of them installing a shower for you to use.



This site might help you route plan

EDITED_BY: Skulduggery (1211614631)


Feed me Chocolate!!! Feed me NOW!

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PinkNigel


PinkNigel

Pinker than thou
Location: A little pink world all my own...

Total posts: 336
Posted: Written by :Skulduggery


It is do-able but I would advise building up your distances over a week or two first before trying the whole distance or you will be saddle sore and aching legged for the first few days and it might put you off trying again.




Oh yea, that, build it up, do it maybe twice in the first week...

And as for saddle-sore, padded bike shorts make a big difference.

What'll be a big help is a quick trip round the M60 to Decathlon... They have bargain price cycle shorts that are perfectly servicable (get enough pairs for every day, cycle shorts are great places for growing unwelcome fungus... mmmmm...). They also do the high-vis gear for not much, and some reasonable cycling gaiters, you get very wet from spray coming up from the road, those and a cape might be dorky looking, but will keep you dry. Some gloves make riding more comfortabe too. Oh, you just spent a fair bit of cash on that lot, sorry (but less than a tank full of petrol...)


A wise man once said: "You have two ears and one mouth, therefore you should shut the censored up and listen" (though, to be fair, he might not've put it _quite_ like that..)

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newgabe
SILVER Member since Mar 2005

newgabe

what goes around comes around. unless you're into stalls.
Location: Bali, Australia

Total posts: 4030
Posted:Wet, muddy, smelly, fungal, dehydrated, sweaty, scratched, saddle sore and possibly unable to walk without wincing. Hmmm.

Have you considered working from home? wink


.....Can't juggle balls but I sure as hell can juggle details....

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Wirewood
GOLD Member since Aug 2004

Wirewood

journeyman
Location: Perth, West Australia

Total posts: 90
Posted:I've gave up trying to stay dry when cycling to work, even when I lived in deepest darkest coldest Southland, NZ. I found that if I could keep the rain out I'd just sweat so much that I'd be almost as wet anyway. So now it's just shorts, t-shirt and sandals (and a change of warm clothes in me waterprood panniers).

I agree with the comments about building up to the 10 miles, I'm about to start cycling to work again after a break of 2 months and it'll take me a few weeks to get up to the full distance of 35 kms (~21 miles). It's worth the effort in the long run, you get to see a lot that you would normally miss (e.g. I often see dolphins in the Swan River and my bird list enroute to the herbarium is just over 60 species), it's good exercise and it's a good way to unwind after a cr*p day at work.


"What drives life is...a little electric current kept up by the sunshine." Albert Szent-Gyorgi

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pricklyleaf
SILVER Member since Mar 2005

pricklyleaf

with added berries
Location: Manchester, England (UK)

Total posts: 1365
Posted: Written by :newgabe



Weather eek It rains in the North of England, no?







Umm, no more than the South of England really!



Its getting into spring summer now here, so although its still rains lightly from time to time, there are few big downpours. Well, asuming we don't have a washout summer like last year anyway.



And yeah, wasn't really planning on cycling everyday to start off with. (And there will be at least 1 or 2 days where I have to drive due to afterwork commitments every week).



I've found a route that avoids the biggest roads, although it does still take me down big roads, which is pretty unavoidable in the city centre.



Wirewood, your post made me very jealous! Unfortunately I don't think there are many dolphins in Manchester, and the birdlife stretches as far as a few pidgeons. Nevermind! Maybe when I work in NZ I'll be a little luckier, and a bike would solve transportation problems. Hadn't thought about that!



Ironically, work have just taken the shower out, as nobody used it, which is a bit unfortunate, but thats why God invented wet-wipes. There a couple of different companies in my building, and I've seen someone from a different company ride their bike into work, and store it in an empty office, so I don't see bike storage being a problem, but it is just the being allowed to ride in wearing informal dress. I can get changed in the toilets. I'll have to ask my boss on Tuesday if he is there (his wife is about to have a baby!). If not, then yes, I'll just have to kick up a bit of a fuss I guess. Otherwise I'll just have to pull work clothes on round the corner of the building, and then go to the toilets to sort my layers out. I'll find a way round it.



I'm getting very excited about all the cool little accessories I can buy, so I'm going to have to make sure I ride it to make up for everything I'm going to be buying!



Thanks for all the replies so far. Can't wait for my Dad to bring my bike on Monday. biggrin



P.S Nigel, facebook message coming your way about my cycle route!



biggrin hug



e\ Hope I can remember how to ride it!

EDITED_BY: pricklyleaf (1211629130)


Live like there is no tomorrow,
dance like nobody is watching
and hula hoop like wiggling will save the world.

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:Holly - according to this website we all suffer the same problem in Europe.

I wouldn't be so worried about 50 minutes cycling as that all of it is in heavy traffic.... :eeks:

My farthest cycling has been one solid hour to get to work, but it's all been along the riverside or through the park... so really pleasant! Only the last 10 - 15 minutes with moderate traffic...

If public transportation is no option, I'd even start to look for a) different job b) different home... Flexibility saves money, nerves and improves health - sometimes

wink

PS - for you




the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Stout
SILVER Member since May 2004

Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada

Total posts: 1872
Posted:I'd like to add...get a helmet for obvious reasons, and get yourself some gloves because one of the first things you do in an accident is put out your hands to break your fall and picking gravel out of your palms in no fun.

I second the bike maintenance, it's not complicated or difficult once you learn what to keep in mind eg tire pressure, brake pads, warped wheels, "crunchy" cables as a well looked after bike will make your commute that much more enjoyable.

Eventually, you'll figure out the best route, don't forget to take advantage of back alleys, bike paths, vacant sidewalks and whatever little "shortcuts" you find along the way to minimise your exposure to traffic.

Ride like everyone else is a complete moron ( motorcycle riding wisdom ) because quite often when a driver says " I didn't see him" , it's the truth.

You might want to avoid riding with headphones for the first while.

HAHA...funny story about cycling in the UK.. I did a four month bike tour of the UK and Europe and was unfamiliar with the system of roundabouts. I discovered through experience that a cyclist can actually get trapped in the middle of one of those things going around and around and around......... biggrin


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newgabe
SILVER Member since Mar 2005

newgabe

what goes around comes around. unless you're into stalls.
Location: Bali, Australia

Total posts: 4030
Posted: Written by :Stout



You might want to avoid riding with headphones for the first while.







eek



Omigod don't even THINK about riding a bike in traffic with headphones! You may as well find a nice big car and throw yourself under it straight away!



I damn near DID have an accident with a woman on a bike last week who was riding on the footpath and then accelerated straight onto the road in front of me just as I was turning. I slammed the brakes on and avoided her but she didn't even react to that.. had no idea I was even there, and I was right next to her.. even ahead of her! She had her head dow and headphones on. Lost in lala iPod land... didn't even know how close she came.



Car drivers can only do so much to avoid cyclists.. if they behave like idiots its not real nice for the car drivers either! I don't want to hurt any cyclist, I was one for years. But really, if I pranged with a bike rider who had bloody music in their ears instead of keeping their wits about them and all their senses on full alert, I think I'd whack em an extra one for being so bloody stupid.


.....Can't juggle balls but I sure as hell can juggle details....

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:Just remember when you've been on the other side of the windscreen... and act accordingly wink
EDITED_BY: FireTom (1211640538)


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Rouge Dragon
BRONZE Member since Jul 2003

Rouge Dragon

Insert Champagne Here
Location: without class distinction, Aus...

Total posts: 13215
Posted:BIKE! BIKE! BIKE!

Proud, insane, crazy cyclist for a few years now.

I honestly don't understand why people shun it.
Fitness.
Environmentally friendly.
Faster for inner city.
Cheaper for petrol and parking and maintenance.

And I don't know about the laws for you, but here in Victoria, cyclists can do a hook turn at ANY intersection. I am amazed at how many people don't know this and I believe it's very important to know. Even as a competent and confident inner city cyclist, I still do hook turns sometimes.

Invest in some panniers so you can take a change of clothes with you. I went far, far too long without some. Panniers are also great for shopping - like
green bags for a bike! I've recently mastered how to get eggs home in them!

Someone mentioned clips for your pants - they're definitely good.

And try to meet up with other cyclists. Join user groups so you can keep up to date with your rights on the road. This morning I went on the Ride of Silence to remember those who have been killed or injured on public roads and to raise awareness that cyclists are legitimate road users too.

Ok, I'll shut up now! Told you I was proud and crazy!


i would have changed ***** to phallus, and claire to petey Petey

Rougie: but that's what I'm doing here
Arnwyn: what letting me adjust myself in your room?..don't you dare quote that on HoP...

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Mand
SILVER Member since Oct 2003

Mand

Keeper of the Spitfire
Location: Calgary Canada

Total posts: 2317
Posted:Lol, good on you RD hug

I just want to mention about masks. If you're riding in moderate to heavy traffic, don't forget that you're going to be sitting behind hundreds of exhaust pipes. After a day or 2 of coughing up black stuff you might find one of these to be incredibly handy...
http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_detai...D=1211659354867

Also, I think it's been briefly mentioned once, but I also want to emphasis the importance of a helmet (without which I wouldn't be sitting here today). Especially important if you're riding with crazy drivers who are desperately trying to get home at the end of a day.


Lets steal a spaceship and head for the sun, and shoot the stars with a lemonade ray gun.

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LazyAngel
GOLD Member since Jul 2004

LazyAngel

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Cambridge UK

Total posts: 2895
Posted:rouge: we don't really have hook turns in the uk.. I think the rule is 'look, signal, look, turn, look' if you want to survive turning through traffic.

Oh yes and assuming everyone else is a muppet will greatly increase chances of survival... people really don't see you (actually I've stopped a driver before and got them to apologise for cutting into the cycle lane)

oh and especially beware of chelsea tractors doing the school run


Because ActiveAngel sounds like a feminine deodorant

Like sex, I'm much more interesting in real life than online.

'Be the change you want to see in the world around you' - Ghandi

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Rouge Dragon
BRONZE Member since Jul 2003

Rouge Dragon

Insert Champagne Here
Location: without class distinction, Aus...

Total posts: 13215
Posted:Hmmm, maybe get the hook turn thing checked out! I couldn't imagine doing normal right hand turns at some intersections and in peak-hour traffic!

Guy is right about assuming drivers are muppets. See driving from a cyclist point of view and you can be amazed at how bad people are. Sure, in a car it's annoying that someone doesn't use an indicator, but on a bike that lack of indicator could kill you.

Know your road rules. If a car is driving in a bike lane without the intention to turn it should not be. I've had a driver pull out into the bike lane and nudged me, pushing me into tram tracks (I assume you don't have trams, but if you need tram track riding advice I have that too!) which then caused me to fall onto the bonnet of the car. The driver was 100% in the wrong, but guess which one of us copped an ear bashing for possible scratching the car rolleyes
If situations do arise where motorists get narky, you need to know (and be strong about it!) if they were the ones being illegal.

Watch for people opening car doors without looking.

People keep mentioning a helmet to you. Is it not compulsory where you are? It's been compulsory here for decades. Over here they have to pass safety specifications, so check to make sure the one you buy passes any regulations you may have.

If you do get hit, get details. I was hit by a 4WD the other week and was too much in shock to get his details (even though he did stop to help me). Fortunately, I wasn't badly hurt but the following day as the muscle soreness set in, I thought how silly I was for not. Oh, and if you do get it - find a friend, bawl your eyes out, eat chocolate. I felt like a complete nuffy for being in shock and so tried to hold it in.

And that's enough from me #2 redface


i would have changed ***** to phallus, and claire to petey Petey

Rougie: but that's what I'm doing here
Arnwyn: what letting me adjust myself in your room?..don't you dare quote that on HoP...

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newgabe
SILVER Member since Mar 2005

newgabe

what goes around comes around. unless you're into stalls.
Location: Bali, Australia

Total posts: 4030
Posted:Rouge, a hook turn is a Victorian (Melbourne?)thing that no one else in the world uses as far as I know. Insanely counter intuitive and scary especially when done by a bike with no indicators! A driver who tried that in UK would possibly get lynched. Or get a job as a bike courier wink

Spot on about the opening door thing. It's a trap cos cyclists often ride as close to parked cars as they can and then end up right in the blind spot of the mirror.


.....Can't juggle balls but I sure as hell can juggle details....

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Rouge Dragon
BRONZE Member since Jul 2003

Rouge Dragon

Insert Champagne Here
Location: without class distinction, Aus...

Total posts: 13215
Posted:Hook turns for car is Melbourne city only (and why when I eventually do my driving test I'll do it in my home town!) but bikes it makes a lot of sense to me and is a lot safer than a right hand turn.

To do a right hand turn, a cyclist has to cross traffic and then sit out in the middle of the intersection waiting for a break in traffic flow to be able to turn. But by doing a hook turn, the cyclist doesn't have to cross traffic and just rides forward, stops at the other side of the intersection on the left hand side (just where the pedestrian crossing has the lip on the kerb), turns their bike so it's in the correct direction and then rides straight as soon as the lights change. soooooo much safer than crossing lanes and being exposed in the middle of an intersection!


Non-Https Image Link

According to where I got that picture from, hook turns are legal for bikes in QLD too.


i would have changed ***** to phallus, and claire to petey Petey

Rougie: but that's what I'm doing here
Arnwyn: what letting me adjust myself in your room?..don't you dare quote that on HoP...

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newgabe
SILVER Member since Mar 2005

newgabe

what goes around comes around. unless you're into stalls.
Location: Bali, Australia

Total posts: 4030
Posted:Yep they make sense so long as the cyclist remembers the 'pause and give way' bit; not the 'car drivers need to be psychic and know what the hell I'm doing even though I have no indicators' bit or the 'drivers need to brake in the middle of an intersection and get pranged in the side while I ride off' bit.



Even cars do them in Melbs don't they to avoid trams? MADNESS when a car on the left of you turns right! Driving in Melbourne is only marginally less scary for visitors than driving in Dehli!



My version of a hook turn in my cycling days frequently involved using zebra crossings as a free pass.


.....Can't juggle balls but I sure as hell can juggle details....

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Rouge Dragon
BRONZE Member since Jul 2003

Rouge Dragon

Insert Champagne Here
Location: without class distinction, Aus...

Total posts: 13215
Posted:Why would a driver need to brake in the middle of an intersection and get pranged in the side if a cyclist was doing a hook turn?



And I don't really think it's about motorists being psychic, I think it's them being aware that cyclists are legitimate road users as well.

EDITED_BY: Rouge Dragon (1211705737)


i would have changed ***** to phallus, and claire to petey Petey

Rougie: but that's what I'm doing here
Arnwyn: what letting me adjust myself in your room?..don't you dare quote that on HoP...

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Wirewood
GOLD Member since Aug 2004

Wirewood

journeyman
Location: Perth, West Australia

Total posts: 90
Posted:Yep, the door opening thing is one to watch for, I cracked 2 ribs on one a few years back.

One more essential piece of kit for cycling in the morning/evening (especially in winter) is a good set of lights front & rear. I find the 3 LED flashing variety really helps drivers spot you (I have been known to drive a car sometimes). I also use an uber-bright flashing LED head torch that makes street signs, number plates etc flash and I've never had problems with cars/cyclists/pedestrians claiming they couldn't see me (other than the really drunk ones - but that's another story).


"What drives life is...a little electric current kept up by the sunshine." Albert Szent-Gyorgi

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LazyAngel
GOLD Member since Jul 2004

LazyAngel

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Cambridge UK

Total posts: 2895
Posted:rouge: I think what Gabe's getting at is that it works both ways - although there are motorists that don't treat cyclists as legitimate road users, there are also cyclists who completely ignore the rules of the road:

in the hook turn case, she's probably suggesting that the drivers would need to brake if the cyclist ignored the whole 'waiting and giving way to oncoming traffic' rule

where I live, the most common offences (from both perspectives) are:

cyclists: cycling two + abreast on the road, not signalling, not looking, cutting corners, not stopping at red lights, no lights and/or other safety gear. Oh and occasionally cycling on the wrong side of the road as we have foreign students

motorists: driving and parking (actual parking not just stopping) in cycle lanes, not looking to see where cyclists are, not indicating, not leaving enough room for a cyclist, cutting corners.

the most important thing is to make sure that the motorist can see you: it's quite easy to be in a blind spot on a bike! Oh and to wear a safety helmet


Because ActiveAngel sounds like a feminine deodorant

Like sex, I'm much more interesting in real life than online.

'Be the change you want to see in the world around you' - Ghandi

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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield, United Kingdom

Total posts: 3252
Posted: Written by :Rouge Dragon




People keep mentioning a helmet to you. Is it not compulsory where you are? It's been compulsory here for decades. Over here they have to pass safety specifications, so check to make sure the one you buy passes any regulations you may have.





Helmets in the UK are optional.

There are occasional pushes to make them complulsory, but, most serious cycling groups are totally opposed to compulsory helmet laws.

Personally, when I'm riding either a bike or a unicycle, I always wear a helmet, but I'd also totally oppose compulsory helmet laws.


"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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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield, United Kingdom

Total posts: 3252
Posted: Written by :





where I live, the most common offences (from both perspectives) are:





cyclists: cycling two + abreast on the road







Just to clarify that- it's not OK to ride more than 2 abreast, but riding 2 abreast is fine.



In some situations where there's a likeihood of irresponsible car drivers passing single cyclists when there's innsufficient space, it can be a good tactic to ride two abreast.



Any experienced cyclist, in situations where they judge there's a risk of being passed when there is innsufficient space, will produce a similar effect by riding in the middle of the road so they can't be passed.



Of course they wouldn't ride like that all the time- annoying car drivers unnecessarily is counter-productive and just inflames the car/bike conflict, but,in certain situations, it is definitly the right thing to do.



Cos, at the end of the day, if a car passes so close that you get touched, there's a good chance that the cyclist will be killed/maimed.



One time I was on the bike, heading down a road where the left hand side was solid with parked cars.



Obviously, I pulled into the middle of the road, where-upon the car driver behind starts banging on their horn.



To them, all they felt was that they were being slowed down by an obstinate cyclist getting in the way.



What they didn't realise, is that, from the cyclist perspective, you do not zoom downhill close to a line of parked cars, cos, at any instant, one of those doors could be opened by a numtie car driver whose forgotten they need to check what's coming before they open a door into the road.



To car drivers, if that happened to them, the other guys going to lose his door and, hopefully, their no-claims bonus- to a cyclist, it's serious injury or death.


"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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