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For your consideration...

Discussion in 'Commuting' started by Bollo, 14 May 2008.

  1. Bollo

    Bollo Gas Giant Staff Member

    Location:
    Winch
    Like Manchester City's season, I started my bike-cam career in style, but have since delivered little in the way of excitement and entertainment. My commutes to and from work have been a succession of considerate school-run-mums, patient taxis, careful buses and cheery lorry drivers.

    But, like Adam, today I was cast out of this cycling Eden. Today I tasted the bitter fruit of cycling.

    The first clip just makes me laugh. It's a distilled brew of road-based incompetence.


    View: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8NNNcAOD6IY


    The second is altogether more sinister. It's not the worst on here by a long shot, but I still think its worth putting up...


    View: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nj05pxDkAgM


    Two points:

    This shows how Sustrans/local authority money can be pissed up against the wall of cycling ineptitude. The road markings in this clip, part of NCN23, encourage the less-informed cyclist to pass close to the intersections of junctions, making them less likely to be seen by traffic on the minor road and increasing the risk of being caught by anyone creeping out of the junction.

    Also, the lanes are just too narrow (~80-90cm wide based on an approx measure I did a few months ago in a fit of huff). This is a great example of how vehicle/cycle segregation, when its done badly, increases the risk to cyclists. It encourages the less enlightened driver to consider the cycle lane as the same as any other lane, in that it completely contains and provides sufficient space for any bicycles in it. "As long my motor doesn't cross into the lane, then everything is cool, right?" Nope.

    I normally make sure I'm primary or close to at these junctions, but today I'd just pulled out from work and was having clipping-in issues, hence the slow speed, secondary position and general wobbliness. All the more reason for any passing vehicle to take care you might think? Nope.

    There is absolutely no need for the taxi to pass this close. No reason. He can see that the road ahead is clear and could have passed wider without any effort or delay. The charitable view is that he's simply ignorant, and interprets the cycle lane in the way I've described above. The view I'm leaning towards is that he deliberately 'buzzed' me. My guess is that he was annoyed that I was not sufficiently in the marked lane, even though normally I'd be a good foot or more further out. In this case he is completely justified in risking my life to make his point.
     
  2. MERV

    MERV New Member

    Location:
    The Mile End Road
    I commented on it.Cheerz.
     
  3. John the Monkey

    John the Monkey Frivolous Cyclist

    Location:
    Crewe
    I've had this happen to me too (not using an off road cycle facility because it's bloody lethal in cold weather - the council grit the roads, not the paths). Plenty of room to pass (a two lane road with no other traffic in sight) and the "motorist" decided to pass a few inches from my bars, slow down to match speed with me to make his point, and then roar off. Even more bizarrely, he considered this appropriate behaviour with his family in the car (I know this because I arrived at the station shortly after him[1]).

    [1] Thus proving that I'd not held him up at all, and that perhaps it might be useful for him to look beyond the 3 metres in front of his bonnet from time to time.
     
  4. mr_cellophane

    mr_cellophane Veteran

    Location:
    Essex
    I noticed the cyclist in the first clip goes round the corner on the pavement. He had probably seen that woman's driving before. :wacko:
     
  5. BentMikey

    BentMikey Rider of Seolferwulf

    Location:
    South London
    One trick you can use on drivers like her is to point at them, assuming you have the time and space, and are still able to control your bike sufficiently. This often freezes drivers in their tracks.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    Bollo

    Bollo Gas Giant Staff Member

    Location:
    Winch
    Judging by his observation skills a few moments later, I doubt he'd noticed her.;)

    For some reason, this corner is a shared use cycle path. As you can see from the clip, all it does it cut the corner and dump you on 30m of on-road cycle lane before you reach the parked cars.

    I can't begin to describe what the 'approved' right turn out of this minor road looks like, but it involves crossing two roads, mounting the on-pavement cycle path twice and giving way three times! I'll try and find a picture or film it on a quiet day. In its own way, its as bad as anything you'll find on the Warrington Cycle Campaign website.

    Like many of the farcilities on this section of the NCN23, all it does is reduce the perceived inconvenience to any car-drivers at the expense of both the progress and safety of any cyclists willing to use it. I ignore it and make the right turn on-road as any other vehicle would. And remember, there's £50M in the kitty now to create more of these monstrosities.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    Bollo

    Bollo Gas Giant Staff Member

    Location:
    Winch
    We think alike, because I did pretty much did that. As I'd made it round in front of her, I gave her a quick glance and held out my right hand low and flat in a kind of offical-looking "wait" signal. It seems to have worked, because she didn't overtake down the hill.

    I was still in a grumble about the taxi driver, so I gave myself a few brownie points for staying mellow and not effing and jeffing at her.
     
  8. magnatom

    magnatom Guest

    Two very good examples of some very bad cycle lanes. You can tell they were designed by someone who doesn't cycle! Pass the videos on to your local authority, it would be interesting to see what they say.

    I don't think the taxi driver did it intentionally. I would put it down to ignorance. I bet if you asked him he would honestly think he gave you enough room. As a politician once said, 'education, education, education!'. Although it would be nice to insert at least one 'enforcement' into that quote!!
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Bollo

    Bollo Gas Giant Staff Member

    Location:
    Winch
    I cycle past the main Basingstoke Station Taxi rank every day, and have had nothing but patience and courtesy from the taxi drivers for months. This isn't a dig at taxi drivers, its a dig at this taxi driver.

    There's a good chance I'll see him at the rank soon. If so, I might have try and have an honest chat with him and see what he says. If he's good about it, I'll report back, remove the vid from youtube and consider it a small success for cycledom. If not, he might be appearing in another clip...:evil:
     
  10. goo_mason

    goo_mason Champion barbed-wire hurdler

    Location:
    Leith, Edinburgh
    So far, I've never had any problems with drivers of black cabs - but the private hire taxis are a different matter. There are very few who haven't skiffed by me far too close (even when we're on an empty, wide, 4-lane road just after 6am).

    Obviously moving off their straight-line course is too much effort for them, so they don't swing out to leave me any space when they pass.

    (Haven't seen your vids yet as work blocks them).
     
  11. 4F

    4F Active member of Helmets Are Sh*t Lobby

    Location:
    Suffolk.
    With regard to your first clip having had several of these incidents I would actually not indicate in that situation.
     

  12. Yup this is the very reason I don't do left hand turn signals, it makes people in cars act stupidly.
     
  13. I think that with some drivers making eye contact them makes them think "its OK the cyclist saw me and will stop"
     
  14. GAVSTER

    GAVSTER Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Fife
    Agreed on Black Cabs - as far as Edinburgh goes.

    This morning making my way quite sedately up one of central edinburgh's hills I sensed a black cab behind me. Quick shoulder check and he was keeping back allowing me time to get up the hill - probably knowing that the lights at the top of the hill were likely as not to be against him anyway.

    I then come down the hill after the lights and was nearly totalled by a private hire cab to get in front of me at a set of lights 25 yeards ahead.

    One professional driver and one ar*e :-) Hey ho
     
  15. spindrift

    spindrift New Member

    [​IMG]


    bad drivers make we want to cycle more to cheer mesen up.