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Bus executive has a go at cycle-commuting

tardingtontardington Posts: 1,379
edited May 2009 in Commuting chat
The Lothian Buses managing director had a go round Edinburgh on a bike...

http://news.scotsman.com/edinburgh/Bus- ... 5144585.jp

Surprisingly, he did it for Spokes, and also he didn't say it was fine! Interesting.
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  • always_tyredalways_tyred Posts: 4,965
    This is interesting:
    Mr Craig, who was already a keen cyclist before his outing, admitted to enjoying trips through the Meadows or along the Union Canal, but said it was his first time trying to navigate the Capital during rush hour.
    It seems that a "keen cyclist" is anyone who is able to operate a bicycle on traffic free routes at low speed a couple of times a year. For info, "the Meadows" is maybe half a mile across. Presumably that's where he first took the stabilizers off.

    Sorry to rant, but I HATE IT when non-cyclists, who happen to be able to ride a bike regard themselves as cyclists. "I'm a cyclist too and I can tell you that.... <insert bolocks to justify why they just cut you up>"

    Its part of the problem to assume that because you cycle very rarely and when you do its sunny and there's no traffic, that this is when you should cycle, now get off the roads, blah.

    Oh, and some of the cycle routes in Edinburgh, the ones that don't have cars parked on them, have had speed humps installed to slow the cyclists down. I dispair. I'm moving to Wellington. See ya.
  • wantawaywantaway Posts: 96
    "a similar exercise where a bus driver and a cyclist swapped places for the day in Oxford."

    now that I want to sign up for. I have no experience of driving a bus, not do I have a licence but I don't think that should stop me.

    I'll never my a d-lock round the bus though.
  • Kieran_BurnsKieran_Burns Posts: 9,757
    I thought some of the comments were worthy of here:

    "While you're at it, can you ask some of your cyclist mates to use lights and reflective clothing when it's dark ? It makes thems so much easier to knock over when you've something to aim at. Posted in jest. "

    replied with:

    "I don't wear reflective clothing. In fact I wear all black. When I get knocked over I want to look cool at the time."
    Chunky Cyclists need your love too! :-)
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  • simple_salmonsimple_salmon Posts: 457
    AT - what level do I need to attain before I stop being a non-cyclist and become a cyclist?

    Just thought I'd check because I've been calling myself a cyclist for a while now but you've made me worried that I may not actually have put the requisite number of miles/hours in (however this new standard is measured).

    Please advise...
  • FeltupFeltup Posts: 1,340
    42
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  • andy83andy83 Posts: 1,558
    AT - what level do I need to attain before I stop being a non-cyclist and become a cyclist?

    Just thought I'd check because I've been calling myself a cyclist for a while now but you've made me worried that I may not actually have put the requisite number of miles/hours in (however this new standard is measured).

    Please advise...

    think he is refering to people who cycle to work, obey rules of road etc are different to recreational cyclists

    someone who goes on weekly rides with family would more than likely not have a cat in hells chance on the roads in rush hour on the daily commute. hence the bus bloke saying he is a keen cyclist then moaning about being on the road where lets face it is EXTREMELY dangerous with all the people in their tins thinking cyclists have no right to be there
  • biondinobiondino Posts: 5,990
    I'm a lot keener a cyclist when I'm riding for pleasure in a relaxed environment!
  • always_tyredalways_tyred Posts: 4,965
    AT - what level do I need to attain before I stop being a non-cyclist and become a cyclist?

    Just thought I'd check because I've been calling myself a cyclist for a while now but you've made me worried that I may not actually have put the requisite number of miles/hours in (however this new standard is measured).

    Please advise...
    If I rent myself a van to move some furniture, am I a WVM? If I log on to a day trading site, am I a stockbroker? If I pop down the road to post a letter, am I a bicycle courier?

    You ever heard the phrase "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing?"

    It is safer to know that, despite being able to propel a bicycle, you haven't got a clue, if you haven't got a clue. The beginning of wisdom is "I do not know".

    Fair play to the guy for giving this a go, but where did the prior delusion that he was a "keen cyclist" come from?

    Interestingly I was overtaken by a Lothian Bus yesterday in such a way as to cause me to brake and the guy coming the opposite direction to pull over and stop. I asked the bus driver if, had the other driver not been aware of me and the need to pull over, he would have decided to drive into me or the car. He told me that he was already committed to passing me. I just don't think that there is any cyclist-sensitivity training in that particular organisation and I can't help but wonder if they THINK that there is because they are all "cyclists".
  • simple_salmonsimple_salmon Posts: 457
    If I rent myself a van to move some furniture, am I a WVM? If I log on to a day trading site, am I a stockbroker? If I pop down the road to post a letter, am I a bicycle courier?

    Fair play to the guy for giving this a go, but where did the prior delusion that he was a "keen cyclist" come from?

    How you class yourself in terms of your identity comes from within, not from other peoples' perceptions - especially if they don't know you.

    Maybe he referred to himself as 'keen'. If that's his perception then great. Since when did elitism come into commuting?

    I consider myself a keen cycle racer; others may look at my palmares or lack of it and disagree but it's not their call, my identity is my own.
  • sarajoysarajoy Posts: 1,675
    I'd call anyone on a bike a cyclist, to be honest. Like all people in cars are drivers or motorists, and all people walking are pedestrians. 'Keen' only implies he enjoys it.

    I would call people here 'experienced' cyclists.
    4537512329_a78cc710e6_o.gif4537512331_ec1ef42fea_o.gif
  • tardingtontardington Posts: 1,379
    That sounds pretty bad! I had a nicer experience on monday when I let one out and he gave me a thumbs up; when he over took soon enough I got a nice wide berth.

    Where did it happen? Because the drivers usually stay on the same route most of the time...
  • Deadeye DuckDeadeye Duck Posts: 419
    sarajoy wrote:
    I'd call anyone on a bike a cyclist, to be honest. Like all people in cars are drivers or motorists, and all people walking are pedestrians. 'Keen' only implies he enjoys it.

    I would call people here 'experienced' cyclists.
    +lots
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  • wantawaywantaway Posts: 96
    "think he is refering to people who cycle to work, obey rules of road etc are different to recreational cyclists

    someone who goes on weekly rides with family would more than likely not have a cat in hells chance on the roads in rush hour on the daily commute. hence the bus bloke saying he is a keen cyclist then moaning about being on the road where lets face it is EXTREMELY dangerous with all the people in their tins thinking cyclists have no right to be there"

    I just dont get this thread (and others of its ilk). Why does this forum lurch between support for new cyclists to the sort of attitude above that actively discourages people to give it a go by proclaiming that those who commute by bike are special because commuting is somehow some mysterious special skill that anyone who has not been run over twice by a tank will just does not have.

    I'm a new commuter (began in March) and it was precisely this sort of self grandiose nonsense about how specially special you had to be to ride on any road that had a car on it that put me off for so long. Fact is that the more people put forward this kind of codswallop the worse off we all shall be. And lord alone knows what sorf of effect it has on people letting their kids cycle to school (don't get me started on that). WIth confidence and common sense cycling is easy.

    oh and as it seems to matter to some, I'll say I am not a keen cyclist. it is simply my transport method of choice. A choice based mainly on the fact it is such a fun way to get to work.
  • simple_salmonsimple_salmon Posts: 457
    wantaway - I could not agree more.
  • always_tyredalways_tyred Posts: 4,965
    If I rent myself a van to move some furniture, am I a WVM? If I log on to a day trading site, am I a stockbroker? If I pop down the road to post a letter, am I a bicycle courier?

    Fair play to the guy for giving this a go, but where did the prior delusion that he was a "keen cyclist" come from?

    How you class yourself in terms of your identity comes from within, not from other peoples' perceptions - especially if they don't know you.

    Maybe he referred to himself as 'keen'. If that's his perception then great. Since when did elitism come into commuting?

    I consider myself a keen cycle racer; others may look at my palmares or lack of it and disagree but it's not their call, my identity is my own.
    Right, right. The fat ignorant sod who cuts you up and declares, "I'm a cyclist too and you had lots of room" is completely within their rights to regard themselves as a cyclist and because they are a cyclist, it also means that, indeed, a foot is indeed plenty passing of room. Apologies.

    My point was simply, he thought he knew what it was like and got the shock of his life. QED.
  • Kieran_BurnsKieran_Burns Posts: 9,757
    I think will have to make comment on the definition of 'keen' cyclist.

    A keen cyclist can be someone who goes out for 50-100+ mile rides EVERY weekend. He goes out on country lanes and really puts the mileage in on the quiet roads.

    However, put that same person into a city commute situation and he would be bollixed by the massive change in circumstance.

    Would this make him any less a 'keen' cyclist? Nope. Just an inexperienced at COMMUTING cyclist.

    I think the problem is that you made a general statement from a specific condition, something that is logically incorrect.

    I do however agree with what I think was the PRINCIPAL behind your comment which is that a 'keen' cyclist may not be an experienced one.

    At the same time, I think thatr care needs to be taken with some comments made, because as above - we should encourage the inclusiveness of cycling (commuting) and not make it out to be an elite sport that only the priviledged may particpate in (that's hyperbole in case you miss the point)
    Chunky Cyclists need your love too! :-)
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  • Kieran_BurnsKieran_Burns Posts: 9,757
    If I rent myself a van to move some furniture, am I a WVM? If I log on to a day trading site, am I a stockbroker? If I pop down the road to post a letter, am I a bicycle courier?

    Fair play to the guy for giving this a go, but where did the prior delusion that he was a "keen cyclist" come from?

    How you class yourself in terms of your identity comes from within, not from other peoples' perceptions - especially if they don't know you.

    Maybe he referred to himself as 'keen'. If that's his perception then great. Since when did elitism come into commuting?

    I consider myself a keen cycle racer; others may look at my palmares or lack of it and disagree but it's not their call, my identity is my own.
    Right, right. The fat ignorant sod who cuts you up and declares, "I'm a cyclist too and you had lots of room" is completely within their rights to regard themselves as a cyclist and because they are a cyclist, it also means that, indeed, a foot is indeed plenty passing of room. Apologies.

    My point was simply, he thought he knew what it was like and got the shock of his life. QED.

    No. It simply means that they are an ignorant sod whatever their means of transport.
    Chunky Cyclists need your love too! :-)
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    2011 Trek Madone 4.5
    2012 Felt F65X
    Proud CX Pervert and quiet roadie. 12 mile commuter
  • simple_salmonsimple_salmon Posts: 457
    If I rent myself a van to move some furniture, am I a WVM? If I log on to a day trading site, am I a stockbroker? If I pop down the road to post a letter, am I a bicycle courier?

    Fair play to the guy for giving this a go, but where did the prior delusion that he was a "keen cyclist" come from?

    How you class yourself in terms of your identity comes from within, not from other peoples' perceptions - especially if they don't know you.

    Maybe he referred to himself as 'keen'. If that's his perception then great. Since when did elitism come into commuting?

    I consider myself a keen cycle racer; others may look at my palmares or lack of it and disagree but it's not their call, my identity is my own.
    Right, right. The fat ignorant sod who cuts you up and declares, "I'm a cyclist too and you had lots of room" is completely within their rights to regard themselves as a cyclist and because they are a cyclist, it also means that, indeed, a foot is indeed plenty passing of room. Apologies.

    My point was simply, he thought he knew what it was like and got the shock of his life. QED.

    So much better to criticise him and get him off a bike and back into a car than to support and encourage him for giving it a go.

    And we wonder why some people call cyclists smug :?
  • wantawaywantaway Posts: 96
    "A keen cyclist can be someone who goes out for 50-100+ mile rides EVERY weekend. He goes out on country lanes and really puts the mileage in on the quiet roads.

    However, put that same person into a city commute situation and he would be bollixed by the massive change in circumstance. "

    This is the bit I just don't get. Why would they find it so hard? I just don't get why you think this commuting lark is so very difficult. You make it sound like a keen cyclist in a city would be like Mick Dundee when he went to new york. I am sure most people know what cars look like what direction to cycle round a roundabout.
  • lost_in_thoughtlost_in_thought Posts: 10,563
    wantaway wrote:

    This is the bit I just don't get. Why would they find it so hard? I just don't get why you think this commuting lark is so very difficult. You make it sound like a keen cyclist in a city would be like Mick Dundee when he went to new york. I am sure most people know what cars look like what direction to cycle round a roundabout.

    +1

    Commuting by bike is not actually that hard or dangerous in my book.

    Saying that, I can understand where AT is coming from in the way this article was reported. Sort of.
  • always_tyredalways_tyred Posts: 4,965
    So much better to criticise him and get him off a bike and back into a car than to support and encourage him for giving it a go.

    And we wonder why some people call cyclists smug :?
    Do you think he'll start cycle commuting now? If you could persuade the ceo of First Busses to use the bus you'd be doing well.

    You note that the remainder of the article is about cycle facilities to get cyclists off the road.

    I'm not smug, I'm just deeply saddened, given the experiences I've had with the busses run by that chap's company. I see absolutely no evidence what so ever that the company is run by anyone who is a keen cyclist.

    Keiran - I defy you to find a 100 mile route in a populated area of the UK without traffic.
  • soy_saucesoy_sauce Posts: 987
    wantaway wrote:
    "A keen cyclist can be someone who goes out for 50-100+ mile rides EVERY weekend. He goes out on country lanes and really puts the mileage in on the quiet roads.

    However, put that same person into a city commute situation and he would be bollixed by the massive change in circumstance. "

    This is the bit I just don't get. Why would they find it so hard? I just don't get why you think this commuting lark is so very difficult. You make it sound like a keen cyclist in a city would be like Mick Dundee when he went to new york. I am sure most people know what cars look like what direction to cycle round a roundabout.

    he does not mean its difficult. obviously by the time you get use to it, it will get alot easier but when you first start commuting specially on the road in rush hour... it is a totally different experience.
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  • always_tyredalways_tyred Posts: 4,965
    wantaway wrote:

    This is the bit I just don't get. Why would they find it so hard? I just don't get why you think this commuting lark is so very difficult. You make it sound like a keen cyclist in a city would be like Mick Dundee when he went to new york. I am sure most people know what cars look like what direction to cycle round a roundabout.

    +1

    Commuting by bike is not actually that hard or dangerous in my book.

    Saying that, I can understand where AT is coming from in the way this article was reported. Sort of.
    I disagree. I see evidence every day that driving badly is easy and cycling badly is also easy.

    Cycling is hard to do well, as is driving.

    Just like driving, most people are completely useless at it. That there are generally very few consequences does not indicate that it is being done well.
  • lost_in_thoughtlost_in_thought Posts: 10,563
    wantaway wrote:

    This is the bit I just don't get. Why would they find it so hard? I just don't get why you think this commuting lark is so very difficult. You make it sound like a keen cyclist in a city would be like Mick Dundee when he went to new york. I am sure most people know what cars look like what direction to cycle round a roundabout.

    +1

    Commuting by bike is not actually that hard or dangerous in my book.

    Saying that, I can understand where AT is coming from in the way this article was reported. Sort of.
    I disagree. I see evidence every day that driving badly is easy and cycling badly is also easy.

    Cycling is hard to do well, as is driving.

    Just like driving, most people are completely useless at it. That there are generally very few consequences does not indicate that it is being done well.

    OK, but 'being a good cyclist' is not the same as 'commuting by bike'. I see a fair few numpties commuting by bike (and a fair few in other methods of transport) but despite their skills or lack thereof they are still cycling to work.
  • always_tyredalways_tyred Posts: 4,965
    Precisely my point. The mere fact that the guy got the shock of his life, whilst regarding himself as knowing roughtly what he was doing on a bike beforehand, is symptomatic of the general perception of lots and lots of drivers who haven't got a clue.

    This isn't a debate about people with carbon fibre bikes and sidi shoes being cyclists, and everyone else being excluded from the cool kid's club, this is about people thinking they know what we should be doing and thinking that they "cycle".

    Perhaps I should have started out by saying "cycling" is not the same as "riding a bike" or found some other way to express the sentiment.
  • sarajoysarajoy Posts: 1,675
    Perhaps I should have started out by saying "cycling" is not the same as "riding a bike"
    Umm, but it is.

    I get your point, the argument "I'm also a cyclist" is a rubbish one for the dangerous driver to use when trying to put across his point.

    He might well be a cyclist, just not one that cycles busy routes.

    It might well be that he thinks he is a /better/ cyclist for avoiding traffic-heavy routes, as those as so 'clearly' only meant for cars, and this is what he's trying to express.

    So he's a numpty. Who also cycles. Which I regard as exactly the same as riding a bike.

    This isn't an argument about the definition of cyclist, really, it's just annoyance at a numpty who reckons his occasional weekend rides equate to your commute.

    Well, we presume, he might well be an avid country cyclist or trails MTBer. Still an eejit, though.
    4537512329_a78cc710e6_o.gif4537512331_ec1ef42fea_o.gif
  • CyclingBantamCyclingBantam Posts: 1,299
    I think some of this is being taken out of context to be honest. I fully understand the point about who is a cyclist and who isn't. It is nothing to do with snobbery.

    When I cycly to work, I consider myself to be, in essance, a car. I stop and start when they do, I follow the same rules and principles. I consider myself to be a cyclist through because that is my mode of transport. When I cycle in (or more often home) I will often see people on a battered old mountain bike, in jeans riding along the pavement from the shop to their home 3 doors down. They have no interest in classing themselves the same as a car however as they see them selves as a pedestrian on a bike. They don't have any interests in 'the cycling community' and to be honest, why should they. They don't have to.

    I do not think of my self as any better or worse. I think of the differences being the same as walking and driving etc. They are in effect different modes of transport. Exactly in the same way someone kicking a football through your window is not a footballer. They just happen to have used a football.

    This probably doesn't help in any way but I think the coriginal comment was taken out of the context it was meant and I do agree with their sentiment.
  • wantawaywantaway Posts: 96
    Just because a lot of people happen to do something wrong, does not actually make a task intrinsically difficult.

    I still would say to anyone considering commuting to work by bike that it is easier than they think, rather than it is more difficult than they imagine.
  • always_tyredalways_tyred Posts: 4,965
    sarajoy wrote:
    Perhaps I should have started out by saying "cycling" is not the same as "riding a bike"
    Umm, but it is.

    I get your point, the argument "I'm also a cyclist" is a rubbish one for the dangerous driver to use when trying to put across his point.

    He might well be a cyclist, just not one that cycles busy routes.

    It might well be that he thinks he is a /better/ cyclist for avoiding traffic-heavy routes, as those as so 'clearly' only meant for cars, and this is what he's trying to express.

    So he's a numpty. Who also cycles. Which I regard as exactly the same as riding a bike.

    This isn't an argument about the definition of cyclist, really, it's just annoyance at a numpty who reckons his occasional weekend rides equate to your commute.

    Well, we presume, he might well be an avid country cyclist or trails MTBer. Still an eejit, though.
    The implied sense of the definition, is indeed in the context of riding on road, in traffic.

    To take your example, most mountain bikers will refer to themselves as "mountain bikers" rather than cyclists. Why is that? It is because the colloquial implication of the term "cyclist" is that the person is cycling on the streets and they seek to distinguish themselves from, for example, what I do. Similarly, unicyclists will, I imagine, tend to use the prefix "uni" in order to distinguish their mono-wheeled activity from the one we engage in.

    Now that we've cleared up the definition of "cycle" as intended by my original response, it seems to be helping.
  • Stone GliderStone Glider Posts: 1,227
    I am not a commuter..... and neither is that bloke from the busses. Simple really and no surprise that he found the experience a shock.

    If he had a chance to do it again perhaps he would find it easier, then even enjoyable. Emphasising the special qualities required for commuting does give an impression that it is not for mere mortals. We may be hindering the general idea of encouraging more commuting by bike which would surely make it safer and easier for all.
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