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I am sick and tired of motons

Discussion in 'Commuting' started by Jacomus-rides-Gen, 9 Jan 2008.

  1. Jacomus-rides-Gen

    Jacomus-rides-Gen New Member

    Location:
    Guildford / London
    Recently I have been experienceing a malaise of my cycling soul. I still love my bikes and riding them, but each time I leave the house it is with a sense of inevitibility - that at some point I am going to be bullied or physically endangered, simply because I am on a bicycle.

    It is as if eveyone has gone from driving with only one eye open, to taking vast quantities of psychadellic drugs, putting Cradle of Filth on the stereo and racing around trying to escape from the devil.

    In the past week two cars have skidded whilst making making the last minute decision not to overtake me. I had previously thought that the most chilling sound a cyclist could hear was an emergency services siren whilst in a traffic jammed city. I have now revised that to the second most chilling sound, behind skidding car tyres.

    There has also been a wealth of cars overtaking on corners and over blind rises, most of which have had to cut in sharply in front of me. The weather is not helping - wet and windy making everything slippery and unpredictable.

    I am getting my gf into cycling, she has been gonig to spin classes for ages, and now wants to come out and actually go somewhere. Luckily we have the quiet road around uni, that has a couple of small hills, to blast round and round, but she is already too fit for such a small loop. We ride into town together, but she suffers a lack of confidence in traffic and is prone to gutter-hugging and shaky handling as the agressive traffic gets to her nerves.

    It makes me sad for two reasons, firstly that motons can be so unthinking, nasty and agressive, and secondly that I have experienced so much of it, I have become used to it and it takes a really chronically dangerous move to give me a fright and make me nervous.

    I really wish people would just chill out.
     
  2. tdr1nka

    tdr1nka Taking the biscuit

    On a bike or not, the sound of skidding tyres and wheel spinning, strikes me cold. It's a chilling remnant of the PTSD I suffered after being chased by a Volvo and not feeling safe enough to go out cycling for almost 5 years.

    T x
     
  3. Twenty Inch

    Twenty Inch New Member

    Location:
    Behind a desk
    Re: your girlfriend

    I had the same issues with my gf (now my wife). It was terrifying to watch her hug the gutter and watch the motons blast past her. She also couldn't understand why I'd get so worked up about primary and defensive cycling - she took it personally. In the end it was easier to get her hooked up with a Bike Buddy, and to go for group rides, as we were simply getting angry with each other. Just a bit of my experience.
     
  4. Arch

    Arch Married to Night Train

    Location:
    York, UK
    Jacomus, has your GF read Cyclecraft? Might be worth treating her to a copy.

    Probably the best way to help her is to ride behind, and in a good secondary position, so that cars have already moved out to pass you (yeah I know, assuming they do!) and she gets a little more space, and starts to feel happy about moving out into it for herself?

    But I completely see where you're coming from. I don't know when people started to have so little respect for each other on the roads, or why, but it seems (from what I've heard) to be a rather British disease....
     
  5. cupoftea

    cupoftea New Member

    Location:
    London
    I thought, and I could be completely wrong here but don't they use the skidding and wheel spinning as sign that the driver is driving dangerously?

    20 odd years ago I seem to remember when I took my driving test that if you skidded during the emergency stop you failed as it was dangerous driving?
     
  6. Cab

    Cab New Member

    Location:
    Cambridge
    This is excellent advice. Its how I rode with my better half when she was relatively new to cycling, and she learned the importance of road space and good positioning that way. You have to remember, good position being further out seems, in the minds of the inexperienced, to be putting yourself closer to danger. So in a way good road positioning is quite counterintuitive.
     
  7. Tynan

    Tynan Veteran

    Location:
    e4
    skid meant you'd lost control of the car, my brother failed on that int he pouring rain once

    had some real road rage a few months ago, bloke actually mounted the pavement to chase me, I got off and fronted him, that was that, granted he could have got out with a gun, fair few people watching with interest once I'd howled at him at the top of my lungs

    once I turned from a cyclist to 6'2" of very angry bloke he saw me differently I suspect

    the incidents given do sound grim
     
  8. Maz

    Maz Guru

    Jacomus - what is that on your avatar? I can't make any of it out.
     
  9. Jacomus-rides-Gen

    Jacomus-rides-Gen New Member

    Location:
    Guildford / London
    I am trying very hard to be encouraging and motivational, and so far it is working as she keeps coming back for more! It is hard sometimes not to be sharp with her, but as yet I have managed to always stay positive, so no arguments so far :biggrin:

    Her attitude is also very good, doing what I say at the time, but often asking questions after something has happened. I think it would be much harder if she wasn't so willing.

    She hasn't read Cyclecraft... yet :wacko:

    I have been riding infront of her most of the time, I'll certainly try putting her in front next time we go out.

    Its an Akira poster, I've got it up in my bedroom, and I thought I'd make it my avatar too.
     
  10. Tynan

    Tynan Veteran

    Location:
    e4
    posters in the bedroom?

    not being rude but how old are you Jacomus?
     
  11. Jacomus-rides-Gen

    Jacomus-rides-Gen New Member

    Location:
    Guildford / London
    I'm 21, and a student, so I feel justified!
     
  12. Maz

    Maz Guru

    Yeah man, I thought everyone on here was 30+.
     
  13. Maz

    Maz Guru

    In that case your current cycling woes may only be temporary. Try and get a job outside of that London.
     
  14. Jacomus-rides-Gen

    Jacomus-rides-Gen New Member

    Location:
    Guildford / London
    Pfft, the traffic out here is much scarier than in London!
     
  15. tdr1nka

    tdr1nka Taking the biscuit

    M8, Guilford is just scarey on it's own.

    T x