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Bikers: Friends or Foes?

secretsamsecretsam Posts: 4,948
edited July 2009 in Commuting chat
Dunno about the rest of this sceptred isle, but here in London town, Mayor Boris the Ape has decreed that bikers/moped-put-put-puts can share bus lanes with us, the buses and taxi psychos.

It is not always a harmonious relationship, witness my 'encounter' this morning - so, what's the general opinion - love or hate?

It's just a hill. Get over it.

So, do we cuddle bikers or wot? 0 votes

They are two wheeled brethren, and therefore sacred
0% 0 votes
They are two wheeled psychos
0% 0 votes
I'm a biker and therefore biased
0% 0 votes
I'm too bland to have an opinion on such a fatuous matter
0% 0 votes
I live on Mars and have no idea what a biker is
0% 0 votes
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Posts

  • Agent57Agent57 Posts: 2,300
    I passed my direct access about 18 months ago at the age of 38, so I'm biased. However, even before that I saw bikers as "two wheeled brethren". Scooterists as well.

    16-year-olds, moped riders, and reckless teenagers with cut-down L-plates however, don't count. They're all maniacs.
    MTB commuter / 531c commuter / CR1 Team 2009 / RockHopper Pro Disc / 10 mile PB: 25:52 (Jun 2014)
  • RoastieRoastie Posts: 1,968
    Most bikers are OK, but there are the inevitable knob-ends who give them a bad name.

    They do frustrate me when it gets snarled up because they inevitably jam up many of the gaps - that said, most bikers are good at giving way (to the bicycle) when approaching a gap they the cycle can get though but not the motorbike.
  • Deadeye DuckDeadeye Duck Posts: 419
    I agree with agent57, being a biker I'm biased, but the majority of them are pretty decent people. The only ones I don't like are like he said, those that fit within the teenage bracket and are wearing a tracksuit and a helmet, are void from the collective known as bikers, because 95% of them are tossers.
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  • iclestuiclestu Posts: 503
    Bikers have, without exception, always been curteous and considerate when passing me on my bike. Granted I have limited experience on which to base an opinion but as a group they are definately getting the benefit of any doubt from me. So....

    They get my vote, with one caveat.....

    When we say 'bikers' we refer only to motorcyclists on the road. Off-road motorbikes cutting up cyclepaths, footpaths, fields and woodland are a menace and a danger to everyone around them and deserve to be hung from the neck untl they are dead.
    FCN 7: Dawes Galaxy Ultra 2012 - sofa-like comfort to eat up the miles

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  • I always find that they love to absolutely shred past me when I'm on the bike, as if to say, "Sure we both have two wheels, but mine can do this!". :?
  • AidyAidy Posts: 2,015
    Most of them are okay, and fairly considerate.
    The odd one or two idiots. My opinion of them doesn't really fit into any of the above options.

    I've not really had problems with them sharing bus lanes with us.
    The only thing that does get me is how many of them go for gaps which are clearly too narrow for them, thus blocking the way for us narrower people.
  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    Motorcyclists I find to be ok. Scooter not so much.

    What is annoying across the board is the number of two-wheeled vehicles that creep at red lights or move ahead of the stop line.
    FCN 2-4.

    "What happens when the hammer goes down, kids?"
    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • AidyAidy Posts: 2,015
    Oh. Yeah. I hate those scooters.

    None of them seem to have any idea how to progress with the flow of traffic, or how to pass other traffic.
  • MikelyonsMikelyons Posts: 154
    Agent57 wrote:
    IScooterists as well.

    16-year-olds, moped riders, and reckless teenagers with cut-down L-plates however, don't count. They're all maniacs.

    Sorry I disagree, Bikers are on the whole well-behaved , but scooter riders are worse than 16-year olds in my view.

    They think they're a cycle & use the ASL's but have no inclination to let any cyclist in
    They have no lane discipline either and will regularly approach a LH turn from RH lane.

    Main reason for the difference in my view is that Bikers have to get training to get any reasonably powered bike , whereas any idiot can just buy a 50cc scooter (& they obviously do)

    City of London is a good example of censored scooter riders. Perhaps they're better
    elsewhere

    Mike
  • prawnyprawny Posts: 5,426
    Bikers are good, but I don't see many on my commute. They are like cyclists though aren't they there are some that are good sensible proper bikers, and there are tools on bikes.

    I'm sure there are tools that are proper bikers but they seem to be in the minority.

    As an aside, apparently alot of the British Superbike riders race road bikes too now as cross training. Leon Camier races regularly at liddon hill.
    Saracen Tenet 3 - 2015 - Dead - Replaced with a Hack Frame
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  • AidyAidy Posts: 2,015
    Mikelyons wrote:
    City of London is a good example of censored scooter riders. Perhaps they're better
    elsewhere

    Not in my experience.
    Sheer number of idiots on scooters poncing around because they think they're cool all over the country.

    Around my parents they used to race up and down the road for hours each day, with a ridiculously whiny and loud engine. This is literally 400m of road, I never saw the point.
  • Agent57Agent57 Posts: 2,300
    Mikelyons wrote:
    Agent57 wrote:
    Scooterists as well.

    16-year-olds, moped riders, and reckless teenagers with cut-down L-plates however, don't count. They're all maniacs.

    Sorry I disagree, Bikers are on the whole well-behaved , but scooter riders are worse than 16-year olds in my view.

    They think they're a cycle & use the ASL's but have no inclination to let any cyclist in
    They have no lane discipline either and will regularly approach a LH turn from RH lane.

    Main reason for the difference in my view is that Bikers have to get training to get any reasonably powered bike , whereas any idiot can just buy a 50cc scooter (& they obviously do)

    City of London is a good example of censored scooter riders. Perhaps they're better
    elsewhere

    Mike

    Yeah, I'd lump them in with moped riders. When I say "scooterist", I mean mods rather than "scooter riders". In my experience, most scooterists (mods) ride sensibly; they probably don't nip through gaps because of all the mirrors. :D Many of them are riding 125 or 250cc scooters as well, and have done similar training to motorbike riders on comparable machines.

    That said, I only really experience them in packs of 3 or 30. Maybe they're different individually. =)
    MTB commuter / 531c commuter / CR1 Team 2009 / RockHopper Pro Disc / 10 mile PB: 25:52 (Jun 2014)
  • fletch8928fletch8928 Posts: 794
    Big Bikes are normally fine, moped putputs are just fun to race agaist. i wouldnt say i would be a biker hugger tho. I did have 1 overtake me and then try to turn left but he/she aborted and then hung a hand out in a "i am sorry" kinda way. Not noticed being blocked at gaps by them, but i do live in a small town and ride to work at 6:25am/pm and head home at 7:05am/pm.
    fly like a mouse, run like a cushion be the small bookcase!
  • lost_in_thoughtlost_in_thought Posts: 10,563
    cjcp wrote:
    Motorcyclists I find to be ok. Scooter not so much.

    What is annoying across the board is the number of two-wheeled vehicles that creep at red lights or move ahead of the stop line.

    +1

    I honestly think the CBT should only be valid for maybe 3 months, after which you HAVE to take a full licence. Having the ability to drive on the roads for 2 years after a 1-day course and no theory test is ridiculous.
  • AidyAidy Posts: 2,015
    I honestly think the CBT should only be valid for maybe 3 months, after which you HAVE to take a full licence. Having the ability to drive on the roads for 2 years after a 1-day course and no theory test is ridiculous.

    A lot of drivers argue that having the ability to cycle on the road after no course and no theory test is ridiculous ;)

    3 months is possibly a little short, I do think that they should have to pass a theory test as well as a CBT, though.
  • Greg TGreg T Posts: 3,266
    I've only once been cut up by a proper biker - he was a tube. On the whole they don't cause me any problems and don't plug the gaps.

    Scooters and mopeds not so good.
    Fixed gear for wet weather / hairy roadie for posing in the sun.

    What would Thora Hurd do?
  • lost_in_thoughtlost_in_thought Posts: 10,563
    Aidy wrote:
    I honestly think the CBT should only be valid for maybe 3 months, after which you HAVE to take a full licence. Having the ability to drive on the roads for 2 years after a 1-day course and no theory test is ridiculous.

    A lot of drivers argue that having the ability to cycle on the road after no course and no theory test is ridiculous ;)

    3 months is possibly a little short, I do think that they should have to pass a theory test as well as a CBT, though.

    Yeah, you make a valid point about the no cycling test.

    In response I'd like to bring up the usual argument about how a CBT allows you to ride a 125cc bike, which would do a lot more damage if it hit a pedestrian/car/etc than a bicycle.

    It's amazing how fast a 125cc bike can go... :shock:

    Yeah, OK, maybe 6 months. And you're only allowed to get 2, ever. A friend of mine has been riding a 125cc bike around London for about 9 years by just getting a CBT every 2 years.
  • AidyAidy Posts: 2,015
    Yeah, you make a valid point about the no cycling test.

    In response I'd like to bring up the usual argument about how a CBT allows you to ride a 125cc bike, which would do a lot more damage if it hit a pedestrian/car/etc than a bicycle.

    It's amazing how fast a 125cc bike can go... :shock:

    Yeah, OK, maybe 6 months. And you're only allowed to get 2, ever. A friend of mine has been riding a 125cc bike around London for about 9 years by just getting a CBT every 2 years.

    I was just being annoying really :)

    I don't disagree at all that motorbikes have considerably more power behind them, I did a CBT a few years back, and found it scary that that was all I needed to do to be allowed to ride a motorbike on the road by myself.

    I think they should be allowed multiple CBTs, but that they should have to take tests, not just keep getting repeat CBTs (If they fail their tests a couple of times, they shouldn't be restricted from riding forever).
  • Deadeye DuckDeadeye Duck Posts: 419
    A friend of mine has been riding a 125cc bike around London for about 9 years by just getting a CBT every 2 years.

    I did mine twice, as the first time was to get me into the next level of road racing. As far as I'm aware, unless it has changed in the last 2 years, you're only allowed 3. After that, you have to do the direct access course straight off, and only alowed to ride while in the company of fully qualified trainers/examiners.
    Schwinn Fastback Comp : FCN 5
    The Flying Scot : FCN 515q6cuv.png
    My Life, My Bike & My Xbox
  • lost_in_thoughtlost_in_thought Posts: 10,563
    A friend of mine has been riding a 125cc bike around London for about 9 years by just getting a CBT every 2 years.

    I did mine twice, as the first time was to get me into the next level of road racing. As far as I'm aware, unless it has changed in the last 2 years, you're only allowed 3. After that, you have to do the direct access course straight off, and only alowed to ride while in the company of fully qualified trainers/examiners.

    Interesting! I wonder how he's been getting away with that then...

    Good to know.
  • Agent57Agent57 Posts: 2,300
    As far as I'm aware, unless it has changed in the last 2 years, you're only allowed 3. After that, you have to do the direct access course straight off, and only alowed to ride while in the company of fully qualified trainers/examiners.

    Do you have any official reference for that? It's not something I've ever been aware of. It used to be the case that a CBT certificate lasted for 3 years, and then there was a 12 month period before one could do another, but as far as I know these days you can just do a CBT every 2 years if you just want to ride a 125 on L-plates.

    Not that it's relevant to me as I did direct access anyway (after 20 years of "thinking about it").
    MTB commuter / 531c commuter / CR1 Team 2009 / RockHopper Pro Disc / 10 mile PB: 25:52 (Jun 2014)
  • SewinmanSewinman Posts: 2,131
    They scare me. Since they have been allowed in bus lanes they have taken to using it to undertake traffic at high speeds. Its a matter of time before a cyclist swerves a bit to avoid a pothole and gets taken out IMHO.
  • secretsamsecretsam Posts: 4,948
    Sewinman wrote:
    They scare me. Since they have been allowed in bus lanes they have taken to using it to undertake traffic at high speeds. Its a matter of time before a cyclist swerves a bit to avoid a pothole and gets taken out IMHO.

    Yup. Agree, they move SO much faster than other lane traffic, and don't always keep to the centre/right of the lane. Also, taxis have a habit of ducking in and out of the bus lanes, and given the velocity of the average biker (I've seen them hit 50+ in town, I kid you not) the results are likely to be messy.

    I confess: I pulled out in front of one who was travelling WAY too fast this morning, and he sat on my tail, revving and being abusive. But as he was a numpty in trainers and jeans, I assume he wasn't a proper biker - they've all got enough sense to wear the right PPE.

    It's just a hill. Get over it.
  • mooniomoonio Posts: 802
    They are generally OK but I've seen a few intentionally intimidating cyclists in the bus lane by revving the motor whilst behind, causing the cyclist to jump. They also seem very keen to share cycle lanes in slow moving traffic.
  • andy83andy83 Posts: 1,558
    had some idoit on scooter today revving up behind me trying to intimidate me, then when he got at the side of me his scooter was that slow he couldnt keep up with me lol
  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    andy83 wrote:
    had some idoit on scooter today revving up behind me trying to intimidate me, then when he got at the side of me his scooter was that slow he couldnt keep up with me lol

    A scooter? Revving? :lol: Classic. You sure it wasn't coughing?
    FCN 2-4.

    "What happens when the hammer goes down, kids?"
    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • Deadeye DuckDeadeye Duck Posts: 419
    Agent57 wrote:
    As far as I'm aware, unless it has changed in the last 2 years, you're only allowed 3. After that, you have to do the direct access course straight off, and only alowed to ride while in the company of fully qualified trainers/examiners.

    Do you have any official reference for that? It's not something I've ever been aware of. It used to be the case that a CBT certificate lasted for 3 years, and then there was a 12 month period before one could do another, but as far as I know these days you can just do a CBT every 2 years if you just want to ride a 125 on L-plates.

    Not that it's relevant to me as I did direct access anyway (after 20 years of "thinking about it").

    I just remember being told it, the two times i did it.

    If you have a driving license, you're allowed to ride up to 125cc regardless of CBT, or unlimited CBT tries, or something. The 3 goes, is for prov only IIRC. It's basically because 3x2 years will get you from the min of 16-22 and that took you past the teenage wreckless area. so if you still wanted to ride, they'd get you to do the direct access and onto the big bikes.

    Saying that, there's now the law that after passing your bike test, if you're under 25(i think) you need to ride for a year on something under 33bhp. So, it might have all changed.

    My road legal mito is only 12bhp and it tops at 107mph (tested on an airfield before anyone tries), so I still think that rule is stupid. 125 is enough to kill yourself on easily. All you have to know is how to maintain it. 33bhp, while not a lot for a car, is a huge amount of power for a 2-stroke bike. In fact, my old 250cc race bike was only about 36bhp I think, and that was dirty-your-pants-in-no-time quick!
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  • Oddjob62Oddjob62 Posts: 1,056
    If it wasn't for them filling up ASLs i wouldn't have an issue. TBH it's not something that affects me personally, i can just jump back into the queue of cars and usually only lose a couple of seconds, but for the less confident cyclists I think it's very unfair that often they are stuck in the feeder lane because some idiot (usually it's a moped who blocks a feeder lane to be fair, motorbikes usually stick to the middle of the road) is blocking the entrance to the ASL
    As yet unnamed (Dolan Seta)
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  • Agent57Agent57 Posts: 2,300
    My road legal mito is only 12bhp and it tops at 107mph (tested on an airfield before anyone tries), so I still think that rule is stupid. 125 is enough to kill yourself on easily. All you have to know is how to maintain it. 33bhp, while not a lot for a car, is a huge amount of power for a 2-stroke bike. In fact, my old 250cc race bike was only about 36bhp I think, and that was dirty-your-pants-in-no-time quick!

    Hehe, my Hornet's fast enough for me. I swear I go round corners faster on my 700x20 road bike tyres than I do on the motorbike. :(
    MTB commuter / 531c commuter / CR1 Team 2009 / RockHopper Pro Disc / 10 mile PB: 25:52 (Jun 2014)
  • jimmypippajimmypippa Posts: 1,712
    iclestu wrote:
    Bikers have, without exception, always been curteous and considerate when passing me on my bike. Granted I have limited experience on which to base an opinion but as a group they are definately getting the benefit of any doubt from me. So....

    They get my vote, with one caveat.....

    When we say 'bikers' we refer only to motorcyclists on the road. Off-road motorbikes cutting up cyclepaths, footpaths, fields and woodland are a menace and a danger to everyone around them and deserve to be hung from the neck untl they are dead.

    Yup

    We have 4x4s on bridleways round here...

    Really bad.

    Crossing threads (to the trolling one)

    You mean hanged.

    Mussolini was hung.

    Sometimes I think a hanged parliament would be a good election result, sometimes I think a hung parliament would suffice.
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