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Hardening attitudes

patchypatchy Posts: 779
edited October 2009 in Commuting chat
Is it just me, or have hostilities increased between cyclists and motorists over the last month or so?

It seemed like, at the end of August, bikes, cars taxis and buses were generally rubbing along just fine. Now, in the last few weeks, we've had streams of invectives in national and local press (James Martin, Madeley et al), equally angry responses from cyclists, and from the comments on this forum, a marked increase in run-ins. I certainly have felt much less secure and safe on the roads in the last couple of weeks - both on my London commute and on club runs and sportives in the country - to the point where for the first time i was wondering whether its worth all the hassle to even carry on cycling to work.

Am i imagining this? Is it simply a 'back to school'/nights drawing in effect that i've forgotten about or never noticed before? or is it something darker and more deep-seated than that?
point your handlebars towards the heavens and sweat like you're in hell
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Posts

  • I get a lot more hassle on my morning commute but I just put it down to SRMs being in their usual state of nervous tension :roll:
  • Edit Jinnan Tonnix seems to have removed their post :?:

    I'm with you pal - I ride visible assertive and courteous and I don't get any bother

    the only grief I've had in well over a year was from another cyclist that didn't like me sailing merrily past him on my sit up and beg bike.
  • RedGTRedGT Posts: 238
    I've noticed even more roadworks lately, I suppose that
    equals more frustrated/angry motorist.
  • kurakokurako Posts: 1,098
    Chin up old boy. We live in boring times. There's not much for the 'silent majority' to get angry about what with the recession causing loads of immigrants to head home. Cyclists are flavour of the month.

    The liability proposals are meeting with a lot of hostility and misinformation because it helps sell papers when nothing else is going on.

    Oh for the days when politics were interesting. Labour was a laughing stock, the Torys were hated, no-one cared what the Liberals had to say...
  • FlasheartFlasheart Posts: 1,278
    I've had it in for so called "Celebrity Chefs" of late, but no noticable difference from "normal" drivers :wink:
    The universal aptitude for ineptitude makes any human accomplishment an incredible miracle. ...Stapp’s Ironical Paradox Law
    FCN3
    http://img87.yfrog.com/img87/336/mycubeb.jpg
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  • Have had no bother at all, in fact a lot of busses and cars have been very well behaved, giving me loads of room, letting me pull out to get by parked cars, letting me live.....

    If anything I have found that things have been better last few months, and I am cycling more.
    "Encyclopaedia is a fetish for very small bicycles"
  • squiredsquired Posts: 1,216
    I don't think it is too bad at the moment, but we are coming up to what I consider the most dangerous time of the year - when the clocks change. The first few weeks when you are cycling home in fading light or darkness are always far more dangerous as car drivers don't seem to adjust to the new conditions immediately.
  • My recent commute's been lovely - Given lots of room and had a lot of cars wait for me at junctions and so on, it's been grand!

    Last night even had a scooter encouraging me to hop on his wheel for a drafting tow! I would've taken him up on the offer but my front mech was out of action and I was trapped on the small ring.. Span out around 25 and he slowly pulled away leaving me to face the air alone.
    FCN: 5
  • I've noticed an increased incidence of motorists trying to stop me filtering through gridlocked traffic. When motor traffic is crawling along at slow speed and I am filtering up the left by the curb, I have noticed drivers purposely pull across to cut me off so that I have to filter through the middle of the traffic to the centre of the road to get past. Either that or as I am filtering, they blast their horns just as I pass. Both these things seem to be increasingly common.
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  • squired wrote:
    I don't think it is too bad at the moment, but we are coming up to what I consider the most dangerous time of the year - when the clocks change. The first few weeks when you are cycling home in fading light or darkness are always far more dangerous as car drivers don't seem to adjust to the new conditions immediately.

    I have been cycling home in darkness for a week or 2 already. I haven't been getting out of work til 7pm or so...
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  • I get a lot more hassle on my morning commute but I just put it down to SRMs being in their usual state of nervous tension :roll:

    Morning rush hour is always more frantic than evening, it's far more concentrated as everyone is trying to get into work for 8.30-9am ish, whereas people tend to head home at any time between 5 and 7 or so...
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  • So last night I pulled up to the lights somewhere on the A4 through Hounslow to hear the daily chant of "Use the Bike Lane!" (somewhere near here but heading the other way). I ignore him.

    Lights turn green, off we go. 3 lanes and plenty of room to pass me but this twunt follows close behind me for 2-300 metres leaning on his horn the whole way!

    As we approach the next set of lights I filter and leave the saddo behind. Grrr....
  • choirboy wrote:
    So last night I pulled up to the lights somewhere on the A4 through Hounslow to hear the daily chant of "Use the Bike Lane!" (somewhere near here but heading the other way). I ignore him.

    Lights turn green, off we go. 3 lanes and plenty of room to pass me but this twunt follows close behind me for 2-300 metres leaning on his horn the whole way!

    As we approach the next set of lights I filter and leave the saddo behind. Grrr....

    I find a casually erected middle finger helps relieve tension in these situations...
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  • things have been pretty pleasant in oxford, helps that the huge roadworks on high street and iffley road have finished so there is much less queuing for drivers. Even had a WVM wait patiently behind me without revving the [email protected] out of his engine. Okay, he was right behind me, but at least he didn;t seem to be in a hurry,
  • I find a casually erected middle finger helps relieve tension in these situations...

    Ahem :oops:
  • rich_erich_e Posts: 389
    I've noticed I've had a lot more altercations with Motorists this past month.

    It has got a lot busier with the kids back to school and less people on holidays. Though it still amazes me that people drive to work in London, it's such a waste of time and a total stress ache.


    My latest was last night when I was cycling down a road near Holloway Road, designated as one of TFL's cycle routes, it's faily quiet of traffic and filled with those speed bumps which have little gaps in them. It's got a lot of roadworks on it at the moment, and at one point there is a section that closes one lane, with a metal fence seperating them down the white lines, right on a set of speed bumps at the start of it. As I was passing this section last night, a tool in an Audi pulled out from a side road, blindly turning into my section of the road, due to the other being closed, but comes straight at me and nearly hits me. I slam the brakes and come to a stop, by which point he has stopped.

    I shout at him "WTF are you doing turning blindly at that speed" by which point he has already wound down his window to shout a bunch of expletatives at me and then says "Stay on your of f**king side of the road you f**king t**t!
    To which I shout that I am on my side of the road... he isn't! I have right of way, he has to wait for me to pass, it's simple highway code.

    What a freaking idiot, it's people like that which drive me mad when cycling... They then think they are right regardless of what they have done wrong, whether through ignorance to the fact that they don't know that a closed lane doesn't mean it is now two lanes dividded in half, or the fact they just won't admit guilt.
  • MonkeypumpMonkeypump Posts: 1,528
    I did notice quite a few stroppy drivers during the Palace to Palace on Sunday (way more than last year).

    Lots of tooting horns and gestures, although a couple of drivers suddenly seemed to notice they were surrounded by hundreds of cyclists and quietened down a bit!!
  • chillax 8)

    You obviously don't ride in London!
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  • chuckcorkchuckcork Posts: 1,471
    Possibly drivers getting increasingly annoyed at the numbers of cyclists riding without lights as the nights draw in?

    I fell like pointing out to the ones I go past that in dark clothing, riding a bike with no lights on (whether there are streetlights or not), you're nearly invisible.
    'Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that caught the cycling craze....
  • jinnan_tonnixjinnan_tonnix Posts: 78
    edited September 2009
    Edit Jinnan Tonnix seems to have removed their post :?:

    I'm with you pal - I ride visible assertive and courteous and I don't get any bother

    the only grief I've had in well over a year was from another cyclist that didn't like me sailing merrily past him on my sit up and beg bike.

    My posting went a bit wrong- oops.

    Anyway, the crux was:

    * Ride assertively so that any pass must be an overtake.
    * But ... if you sense a queue behind you, and it's not bother to you, allow them to pass. I'm thinking about uphill one-way streets here. Use your judgement on this one, but every time I've done it they've always passed courteously. Yin and Yang - give and take.
    * I've stopped filtering up to red lights. I use a GPS logger, so I know that this makes no difference to my journey time. Perhaps the drivers don't get the hump because you're not 'pushing in' at the lights. Try it for a day - see what you think.

    I can't remember what else I posted...

    Edit : oh yes, I'm no physiologist, but perhaps drivers are annoyed because of all the extra traffic on the road now that the schools are back. It can't be much fun driving in the city these days, so they vent their frustration on easy targets. Take heart in the fact that it's nothing personal.
  • chillax 8)

    You obviously don't ride in London!

    Not regularly, but i enjoy it when I'm there. You need to become a zen master. Plus someone who is completely above the petty frustration driven anger infuriated them more...
  • CdrJakeCdrJake Posts: 303
    Having cycled in London I can honestly say there are worst places to cycle, Oxford being one (because of all the other bloody cyclists who haven't got a clue and thinks cycling is the in thing because it's Oxford) and Plymouth being another, one of the most cycling unfriendly cities I have ever had the misfortune to commute through. Problems come from both motorists and road planners alike!
    twitter: @JakeM1969
  • Edit Jinnan Tonnix seems to have removed their post :?:

    I'm with you pal - I ride visible assertive and courteous and I don't get any bother

    the only grief I've had in well over a year was from another cyclist that didn't like me sailing merrily past him on my sit up and beg bike.

    My posting went a bit wrong- oops.

    Anyway, the crux was:

    * Ride assertively so that any pass must be an overtake.
    * But ... if you sense a queue behind you, and it's not bother to you, allow them to pass. I'm thinking about uphill one-way streets here. Use your judgement on this one, but every time I've done it they've always passed courteously. Yin and Yang - give and take.
    * I've stopped filtering up to red lights. I use a GPS logger, so I know that this makes no difference to my journey time. Perhaps the drivers don't get the hump because you're not 'pushing in' at the lights. Try it for a day - see what you think.

    I can't remember what else I posted...

    Edit : oh yes, I'm no physiologist, but perhaps drivers are annoyed because of all the extra traffic on the road now that the schools are back. It can't be much fun driving in the city these days, so they vent their frustration on easy targets. Take heart in the fact that it's nothing personal.

    In a city with traffic lights every 100m or so, filtering is a valuable way to get ahead. If you hang back with the cars you end up constantly waiting in queues at traffic lights. It certainly makes a difference. You miss green at one set of lights and then get caught at red at the next and the next and so on. If motorists get frustrated at me filtering through traffic then they can get their lardy @rses out of their cars and get on a bike with me AFAIC.
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  • I haven't seen any hardening of attitudes in Suffolk.

    This morning I was in a cycle lane passing up the inside of slow moving traffic, and spotted a Royal Mail transit straddling the cycle lane, half on the pavement. White van man sees me coming up the inside and moves out, so I can pass the Mail van without slowing. I raised my hand in salute and thanks.

    Thank you white van man. I know you're often as badly tarred with the censored driving brush as cyclists are, and frequently by us cyclists.
    Reduce your carbon footprint - ride a metal bike!
  • DonDaddyDDonDaddyD Posts: 12,689
    Hardening of attitudes usually happens around the time term starts right up until term ends.

    What's making it worse in South London is all the 'gas and upgrading of Thames water pipes' that is happening everywhere - digging up the road and forcing single lane congestion and tons of traffic jams everywhere in South London. Sitting everyday in traffic is turning people/motorists marginally psychotic.
    Food Chain number = 4

    A true scalp is not only overtaking someone but leaving them stopped at a set of lights. As you, who have clearly beaten the lights, pummels nothing but the open air ahead. ~ 'DondaddyD'. Player of the Unspoken Game
  • vorsprungvorsprung Posts: 1,953
    No better / worse here in Taunton

    The kidz are back at school but at the moment this is working in our favour as half of them are on bikes to get there

    Once the weather turns and they are getting a lift with mummy I'll reassess. But at the moment there is no "hardening of attitudes"
  • In a city with traffic lights every 100m or so, filtering is a valuable way to get ahead. If you hang back with the cars you end up constantly waiting in queues at traffic lights. It certainly makes a difference. You miss green at one set of lights and then get caught at red at the next and the next and so on. If motorists get frustrated at me filtering through traffic then they can get their lardy @rses out of their cars and get on a bike with me AFAIC.

    Ah. Good point. I have far fewer traffic lights on my route so it's not a problem for me.

    As you were.
  • patchypatchy Posts: 779
    hmmm.. so, it seems like those in London are experiencing more problems, those outside aren't. I had a sushpicion this might be the case.
    point your handlebars towards the heavens and sweat like you're in hell
  • Plymouth being another, one of the most cycling unfriendly cities

    Yep will agree with this, not commuted for a few years but it is not a nice place, a combination ot terrible roads and cyclepaths and the complete ignorance of many drivers down here make it pretty dangerous, how some people got their driving license i dont know.
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