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How to ruin cycling

chewachewa Posts: 164
edited November 2009 in Campaign
I enjoy cycling but sometimes I wonder why. Normally the endorphin rush it gives me leaves me feeling calm and relaxed for the rest of the day, but not today.

Our usual Sunday morning ride from home to the Gyle centre for the papers and a coffee is generally enjoyable. My wife and I tend to mix cyclepath and road - we are both very experienced cyclists, cycling and chatting when on the paths and "making progress" when on the road.

Today, however, it's left me a bit down. So thanks , first of all to the woman in the green Golf (K** GRW) who felt it important to overtake me on a blind bend going through Kirkliston then, in the face of oncoming traffic, had to pull in, forcing me to the kerb, before trying to overtake my wife in the same way on a blnd summit again into oncoming traffic.

Thanks to those who felt it important to squeeze past on double white lines - no it doesn't mean its ok as long as you don't cross them, just that you shouldn't overtake. They are there for a reason - I'm sure it's mentioned in the Highway Code.

Thanks also to the guy in the Peugot 406 SW who cut the corner on the single track back road to Cammo, locking up his brakes and just missing my wife - yes it is nice to see someone you love nearly get whacked by someone intent on saving a couple of seconds. Presumably you use that road often so presumably you also know that it's used by runners, cyclists and dog walkers?


And thanks to whoever was driving the Fiesta we came across in Dalmeny, with the smashed windscreen and a cyclist lying in a survival blanket on the road in front of the car.( thankfully being attended to). Yes that is a bad junction, I mean after all, there is nothing obstructing your view, but it does take a second more to check for bikes rather than cars and who can spare that time? One would have to brake for the junction and we can't have that can we?

I hope the cyclist wasn't badly hurt and I hope (for once) the law imposes a suitable penalty. (And for those who think I'm pre - judging matters - I commute through there every day so know exactly what will have happened)

I don't know what it is about driving in this country, poor training, "island syndrome" - are we as a nation much more aggressive/arrogant when in our cars than others ?, but I just find it hard to believe how badly some people drive, no observation, no anticipation, no hazard awareness. Thousands of miles driving, motorcycling and cycling in mainland Europe leave me with a dread of using the roads here when we come back - lane discipline disappears and aggression levels rise.

There was a news report on during the week about "Dangerous Roads". When will we as a nation take responsibility for our own actions? There is no such thing as a dangerous road, only poor driving. It's about time we stopped seeking to put the blame elsewhere and own up to the fact that there is something fundamentally wrong with driving standards in this country.

An enjoyable mornings cycle ruined .... Thanks
plus je vois les hommes, plus j'admire les chiens

Black 531c tourer
FCN 7
While dahn saff Dahon Speed 6 FCN 11!!!
Also 1964 Flying Scot Continental
1995 Cinelli Supercorsa (columbus slx)
BTwin Rockrider 8.1
Unicycle
Couple of others!

Posts

  • ChrisszChrissz Posts: 727
    'kinell mate :shock:

    After a ride like that I'd never ever get on the bike again :!: :!:
  • markos1963markos1963 Posts: 3,724
    Bad day on the road, hope it gets better.
    Have to say I don't tell my missus of all the grief that I get out on the road, if I did I think she would block the door to me if I wanted to go for a ride. I often feel that I will meet my death out on the road, more so cycling than when I was riding motorbikes. Still I'm well insured and my pension and Union will make sure my family are cared for, they'll have to be, as you can be sure as a cyclist I won't recieve any justice let alone compensation.
  • megillelandmegilleland Posts: 786
    Nobody should be allowed to take the driving test until they have a undertaken a minimum period of cycling. I suggest one year with a logbook of a variety of rides undertaken in different settings ie estate roads, town centres and rural lanes. Any other suggestions?
    The more you spend - the faster you go - the less you see.
  • spen666spen666 Posts: 17,709
    chewa wrote:
    I enjoy cycling but sometimes I wonder why. Normally the endorphin rush it gives me leaves me feeling calm and relaxed for the rest of the day, but not today.

    Our usual Sunday morning ride from home to the Gyle centre for the papers and a coffee is generally enjoyable. My wife and I tend to mix cyclepath and road - we are both very experienced cyclists, cycling and chatting when on the paths and "making progress" when on the road.

    Today, however, it's left me a bit down. So thanks , first of all to the woman in the green Golf (K** GRW) who felt it important to overtake me on a blind bend going through Kirkliston then, in the face of oncoming traffic, had to pull in, forcing me to the kerb, before trying to overtake my wife in the same way on a blnd summit again into oncoming traffic.

    Thanks to those who felt it important to squeeze past on double white lines - no it doesn't mean its ok as long as you don't cross them, just that you shouldn't overtake. They are there for a reason - I'm sure it's mentioned in the Highway Code.
    I'm not sure that is correct!

    Thanks also to the guy in the Peugot 406 SW who cut the corner on the single track back road to Cammo, locking up his brakes and just missing my wife - yes it is nice to see someone you love nearly get whacked by someone intent on saving a couple of seconds. Presumably you use that road often so presumably you also know that it's used by runners, cyclists and dog walkers?


    And thanks to whoever was driving the Fiesta we came across in Dalmeny, with the smashed windscreen and a cyclist lying in a survival blanket on the road in front of the car.( thankfully being attended to). Yes that is a bad junction, I mean after all, there is nothing obstructing your view, but it does take a second more to check for bikes rather than cars and who can spare that time? One would have to brake for the junction and we can't have that can we?

    I hope the cyclist wasn't badly hurt and I hope (for once) the law imposes a suitable penalty. (And for those who think I'm pre - judging matters - I commute through there every day so know exactly what will have happened)
    You have just confirmed you are pre judging what happened! Not being there and not seeing the accident happen, all you can do is pre judge the matter

    I don't know what it is about driving in this country, poor training, "island syndrome" - are we as a nation much more aggressive/arrogant when in our cars than others ?, but I just find it hard to believe how badly some people drive, no observation, no anticipation, no hazard awareness. Thousands of miles driving, motorcycling and cycling in mainland Europe leave me with a dread of using the roads here when we come back - lane discipline disappears and aggression levels rise.

    There was a news report on during the week about "Dangerous Roads". When will we as a nation take responsibility for our own actions? There is no such thing as a dangerous road, only poor driving. It's about time we stopped seeking to put the blame elsewhere and own up to the fact that there is something fundamentally wrong with driving standards in this country.

    An enjoyable mornings cycle ruined .... Thanks


    Until people fear prosecution for their driving mistakes/ bad behaviour, then standards will continue to decline.

    Have an accident in your car? - little risk of prosecution and insurers pay out compensation to victim, so driver is shielded from effects of their behaviour.

    We need to prosecute far more cases of careless & worse driving, not less
    Want to know the Spen666 behind the posts?
    Then read MY BLOG @ http://www.pebennett.com

    Twittering @spen_666
  • spen666spen666 Posts: 17,709
    Nobody should be allowed to take the driving test until they have a undertaken a minimum period of cycling. I suggest one year with a logbook of a variety of rides undertaken in different settings ie estate roads, town centres and rural lanes. Any other suggestions?

    it is a good soundbite & in theory a good idea, but totally impractical in the real world to enforce
    Want to know the Spen666 behind the posts?
    Then read MY BLOG @ http://www.pebennett.com

    Twittering @spen_666
  • Chewa, the phrase 'preaching to the choir' applies if all we do is sympathise and then propose a half baked idea to which spen666 will point out the inaccuracies or unworkable elements before moving on to the spelling mistakes in the next post.

    This is the campaign section of the forum, so what action do we need to take?

    I share the pain, but what are we actually going to do about it?
  • PorgyPorgy Posts: 4,525
    If careless driving that resulted in injuries was rewarded with bans and prison sentences then I suspect the standard of driving would improve quite quickly.
  • spen666spen666 Posts: 17,709
    Porgy wrote:
    If careless driving that resulted in injuries was rewarded with bans and prison sentences then I suspect the standard of driving would improve quite quickly.

    How about....
    If careless driving was rewarded with bans and prison sentences then I suspect the standard of driving would improve quite quickly
    Want to know the Spen666 behind the posts?
    Then read MY BLOG @ http://www.pebennett.com

    Twittering @spen_666
  • PorgyPorgy Posts: 4,525
    spen666 wrote:
    Porgy wrote:
    If careless driving that resulted in injuries was rewarded with bans and prison sentences then I suspect the standard of driving would improve quite quickly.

    How about....
    If careless driving was rewarded with bans and prison sentences then I suspect the standard of driving would improve quite quickly

    I agree - but I was just being realistic.
  • spen666spen666 Posts: 17,709
    Porgy wrote:
    spen666 wrote:
    Porgy wrote:
    If careless driving that resulted in injuries was rewarded with bans and prison sentences then I suspect the standard of driving would improve quite quickly.

    How about....
    If careless driving was rewarded with bans and prison sentences then I suspect the standard of driving would improve quite quickly

    I agree - but I was just being realistic.

    My mistake, i've just re read your comment.

    I saw the words ban and forgot you were also advocating prison.

    clearly prison should only be for the more serious cases of careless driving, but I am of the view we should prosecute far more cases of careless driving, and impose fines & points or bans far more frequently
    Want to know the Spen666 behind the posts?
    Then read MY BLOG @ http://www.pebennett.com

    Twittering @spen_666
  • spen666 wrote:
    [
    Thanks to those who felt it important to squeeze past on double white lines - no it doesn't mean its ok as long as you don't cross them, just that you shouldn't overtake. They are there for a reason - I'm sure it's mentioned in the Highway Code.

    I'm not sure that is correct!

    You can overtake a bike but only if it is doing less than 10mph.
  • chewachewa Posts: 164
    spen666 wrote:
    [
    Thanks to those who felt it important to squeeze past on double white lines - no it doesn't mean its ok as long as you don't cross them, just that you shouldn't overtake. They are there for a reason - I'm sure it's mentioned in the Highway Code.

    I'm not sure that is correct!

    You can overtake a bike but only if it is doing less than 10mph.

    Exactly, but some people think that as long as you don't cross the line, then that's ok.

    Spen, I had assumed that those posting in Campaign might know the highway code.

    As to pre-judging the event in Dalmeny, I pass the same junction twice a day - it is one of those where, if driving, it is so open one can glance to check it's clear and cross onto the road without braking. The problem being that a glance sometimes is enough to clock a car, but not a bike. Anyone commuting from Edinburgh - Fife or back will know the one I mean. And it's not a dangerous junction - the openness means it should be safe - it's censored driving that causes problems.

    I now am prepared to stop on the bike at that junction (i've been close a couple of times) if I'm not sure a car driver has seen me. The position of the car, (across the eastbound lane facing west) means that it must surely have merged from the junction and collided with a cyclist heading west. However, Spen, you are quite right, I did pre-judge ( the cyclist may have gone up the wrong side of the junction, hit the car and bounced back to the west of the junction or been dropped by helicopter in front of the car)- put it down to being really pissed off. Maybe it was just that day that had bad karma for two wheelers - I have since heard a cyclist had been killed in the west of Scotland that afternoon.

    What can we do? Better training for drivers, heavier penalties or careless and dangerous driving (or cycling). A tighter grip on what is careless and what is dangerous (is overtaking on a blind bend careless or dangerous?) as the cop out seems to be to careless driving rather than dangerous.

    More bikes on the road would seem to be the only way to raise driver awareness, but the reason I ride cyclepaths at the weekend is that my wife (an experienced cycle tourist) now finds riding on the road to be so stressful. I suspect I'm conditioned to not noticing how bad things are because I've been mixing it with traffic every day. It's a vicious cycle.

    People dont ride on the road because it's perceived to be dangerous, but I think it would be less dangerous if more bikes were on the road as drivers would adjust.

    Cyclepaths make people feel safer, but reinforce the view that bikes shouldn't be on the road.

    I don't know what the answer is, I'm just looking forward to getting a bike over to France for a bit.
    plus je vois les hommes, plus j'admire les chiens

    Black 531c tourer
    FCN 7
    While dahn saff Dahon Speed 6 FCN 11!!!
    Also 1964 Flying Scot Continental
    1995 Cinelli Supercorsa (columbus slx)
    BTwin Rockrider 8.1
    Unicycle
    Couple of others!
  • CressersCressers Posts: 1,329
    How to ruin cycling? Turn it into an eliteist, expensive, fashionable, brand obsessed pastime with obsolescent, disposable equipment less suited to the task than that which it replaces...
  • spen666spen666 Posts: 17,709
    spen666 wrote:
    [
    Thanks to those who felt it important to squeeze past on double white lines - no it doesn't mean its ok as long as you don't cross them, just that you shouldn't overtake. They are there for a reason - I'm sure it's mentioned in the Highway Code.
    I'm not sure that is correct!

    You can overtake a bike but only if it is doing less than 10mph.

    You can overtake a bike no matter what speed it is doing - as long as you do not cross the white line ( and can overtake safely etc)

    What you can't do is cross the solid white line unless the object you are overtaking is doing less than 10mph.
    Want to know the Spen666 behind the posts?
    Then read MY BLOG @ http://www.pebennett.com

    Twittering @spen_666
  • synchronicitysynchronicity Posts: 1,415
    I think they should change the overtaking rule for a start.

    Here in Spain, if you don't cross that line either wholely or partially, you're up for a €1500 fine. Solid white lines included.

    See by doing that, you say to the motorist:
    "it's okay to overtake a cyclist whenever you want, just give him enough bloody room ... and mind you don't have a head on collision with an oncoming truck which may or may not be around the bend. What's not permitted is squeezing past..." :wink:

    It puts the danger directly into the hands of the car driver and takes it away from the cyclist.

    UK, USA and OZ drivers have it in their thick heads that a continuous white line is an invisible bloody great wall that rises up through the road like some super-impenetrable barrier. But if you can see 400m down the road for example, that there is nothing coming towards you in the opposite direction, why would you try and squeeze past a rider with inches to spare only to remain in the same lane? Sure, you might be capable of controlling your car that well, but those kind of manouvres show me a total lack of driver education.

    Here it's simple: you either give a cyclist 1 to 1.5 metres of space when going past and if you can't do that, tough - you sit and lump it in first gear until you can. 10 or 20 cars can even pile up and they'll all have to wait, because the safety of that one cyclist is paramount. If he gets knocked over, what does it cost the state? What happens if he's a pro rider? Normally what happens is that us cyclists actually PITY the line of cars and we pull over when we can to let them all pass. That's called MUTUAL RESPECT.

    Really good drivers here will see an oncoming cyclist, with another oncoming car about to overtake them and move over in anticipation, giving both the cyclist and the car more room... that shows quite a degree of forward thinking not seen in other places...


    I am looking at moving back to Australia in a few months, and I have this impending sense of dread that I'll never enjoy a road ride again. That's how spoiled I've been by polite, cyclist-aware drivers here.
  • finchyfinchy Posts: 6,686
    chewa wrote:

    I don't know what it is about driving in this country, poor training, "island syndrome" - are we as a nation much more aggressive/arrogant when in our cars than others ?, but I just find it hard to believe how badly some people drive, no observation, no anticipation, no hazard awareness. Thousands of miles driving, motorcycling and cycling in mainland Europe leave me with a dread of using the roads here when we come back - lane discipline disappears and aggression levels rise.

    The number of road deaths in the UK is much lower than in France, for example, it's just that the French treat cyclists with more respect.

    Unfortunately we do have a certain w****r mentality in this nation. Maybe 90% of our population our decent, and it's just 10% of people who really should be put down, but 10% of 60 million is 6 million - which means that there are a lot of w*****rs on out little island.

    NB: The 10% is just a rough estimate of the censored population of our country. It isn't a completely reliable figure - in reality it's probably much higher.
  • Nobody should be allowed to take the driving test until they have a undertaken a minimum period of cycling. I suggest one year with a logbook of a variety of rides undertaken in different settings ie estate roads, town centres and rural lanes. Any other suggestions?
    I have always thought that before being allowed to drive a car as a learner he/she hould have passed their motor cycle licence. This might impart some knowledge of how to treat ALL road users.
    The other alternative is to move to France where drivers are much more aware of cyclists.

    Unfortunately 50% of the population are below average!

    Life is a reach and then you jibe.
  • markos1963 wrote:
    Bad day on the road, hope it gets better.
    Have to say I don't tell my missus of all the grief that I get out on the road, if I did I think she would block the door to me if I wanted to go for a ride. I often feel that I will meet my death out on the road, more so cycling than when I was riding motorbikes. Still I'm well insured and my pension and Union will make sure my family are cared for, they'll have to be, as you can be sure as a cyclist I won't recieve any justice let alone compensation.

    +1 I'm quite clear with friends and family that I'm more likely to die on my bike than anywhere else, the kids make a joke of it with me now.

    there is a rants thread in commuting that this might be better in.
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