1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Smidsy

Discussion in 'Commuting' started by BentMikey, 9 Apr 2008.

  1. BentMikey

    BentMikey Rider of Seolferwulf

    Location:
    South London
    Yesterday I had a SMIDSY just south of Tower Bridge. Relatively narrow road, with a pedestrian refuge, and I was in primary. I see an overtake coming from a vehicle behind me, and I think "Oh No!", because he's going to have to abort due to the pedestrian refuge, and does. I beep the airzound and shake my head, and we proceed to the lights some 500m ahead.

    At the lights, the driver hardly dares look me in the eye, but as I look over him a few times, he eventually winds the window down and asks me if I hadn't considered having a flag on that (meaning my recumbent). I said it wouldn't help at all for visibility, and then mention his overtake back there. His response? "Well I didn't see you at all mate!".

    Ahahahahahahahahahaaahaaa!!!! You'd be lying then mate, because that's why you went around me to overtake me. It's the traffic island with bollards you didn't see or plan for, and now you're just trying to blame someone else for your failure to look ahead, or even to think.
     
  2. Im surprised he never saw all your hi-viz gear.
    257hssn.gif
     
  3. Wolf04

    Wolf04 New Member

    Location:
    Wallsend on Tyne
    Nice one Mike:biggrin:
     
  4. BentMikey

    BentMikey Rider of Seolferwulf

    Location:
    South London
    Mr Larrington quoted once, I think, Patrick Field to a several of rozzers: "If you talk to invisible cyclists, men in white coats will come and take you away to the big white house".

    It's really funny, this is the second time someone overtaking an "invisible" cyclist has told me I need a flag to be visible!!! It left me wondering why I didn't get hit from behind!!! LMAO!
     
  5. Cab

    Cab New Member

    Location:
    Cambridge
    Rather reminiscent of all of those times I've been in a car with friends and they've complained at all the cyclists they can see without lights on. Yeah, fine, I agree, they should have lights, but why are you bothered about that when you can clearly see them anyway? Why are you getting wound up about that?

    The answer is simple enough, they're simply wound up, and the cyclist is a visible target, he's a different breed, a different grouping, and therefore seen as a fair target. It ain't about whether the flag would make you more visible ('cos these people have seen you), its about the fact that you're visibly different for being a cyclist, and they're simply prejudiced.
     
  6. magnatom

    magnatom Guest

    You shouldn't laugh (well maybe a little), but there is probably psychology underlying this.

    The driver would have probably been driving on autopilot and did see you and pulled out accordingly. Only when he saw the obstruction would he have dropped out of autopilot and started applying higher reasoning, i.e. better not do this! He pulled back behind you now fully aware of your presence. Upon being questioned about it, his brain cannot remember seeing you ahead of him, because he was letting his subconscious do the work. So to fill the gap his brain just assumes that he couldn't see you for some reason or another, which to some extent is true because his conscious brain did not.

    Thats my theory anyway :angry:
     
  7. Tynan

    Tynan Veteran

    Location:
    e4
    you can still see bikes without lights, only a lot later than you really really want to

    it's a fair point, I find unlit cyclists alarming after dark when I ddrive
     
  8. tdr1nka

    tdr1nka Taking the biscuit

    I was told exactly the same by a driver that I needed to be more visible from the rear, although I have hi-vi, refelctors, 5 rear lights and a flag on my trike.

    I have posted this story before, the driver was in a 4x4 and had pulled alongside into the ASL box so as to compliment me on not jumping the lights as 'all other cyclists' seem to do!
     
  9. BentMikey

    BentMikey Rider of Seolferwulf

    Location:
    South London
    You're probably right, except that I was on the recumbent. It almost always draws slack-jawed amazement, there's almost no chance someone will see me and continue on autopilot. Sometimes they're so busy watching me they're having near crashes with road furniture or other vehicles. It's so visible and so unusual, my mates keep telling me how they saw me on this or that road.

    Cab's point is true, with the exception that I would rate myself as more visible than a normal upright cyclist in the daytime. Tynan's point is certainly valid in that when I'm driving, I'm worried I'll see the unlit cyclists too late to be able to do anything about it.
     
  10. magnatom

    magnatom Guest

    Ah, but he may have seen you before was this a normal route and time for you?

    We are all guilty of going into autopilot. Have you ever had a journey where at the end of it you can't remember any of the journey? I have driving, although probably not on the bike. You really do need to pay more attention to what is going on around you!
     
  11. Cab

    Cab New Member

    Location:
    Cambridge
    Oh, thats entirely reasonable, and I don't seek to excuse cyclists not having lights on! Its more a statement of how irrational the behaviour towards a perceived different grouping of people may be. Motorists don't rant on about, say, speeding motorists. They don't complain at great length about cars with dodgy lights (even though theres a heck of a lot of vehicles out there with faulty/failing lights!). But the negative response to a cyclist without lights, even seen at a great distance and with plenty of room for error, can be almost metronomic. Its not a proportional response to the risk, and its a mistake to try to rationalise these events in such a way. The only explanation that fits is simple prejudice.
     
  12. dondare

    dondare Über Member

    Location:
    London
    Obviously all bollards, pedestrian refuges and traffic islands should have flags on them.
     
  13. Tynan

    Tynan Veteran

    Location:
    e4
    I've no problem with prejudice against cyclists after dark without lights

    I share that prejudice

    No-one likes cars driving without lights after dark, the danger is very apparent to all
     
  14. Cab

    Cab New Member

    Location:
    Cambridge
    I share that prejudice

    No-one likes cars driving without lights after dark, the danger is very apparent to all[/QUOTE]

    I don't disagree with any of that, but I would rather that the response was proportional to the danger. Someone wearing bright colours in a well lit urban setting, decent reflectors, go on, next time you're in a car with someone else driving ask what they think when you see something like that. By all means, call that cyclist a dipstick, but what I most often hear in that situation is an extended rant about cyclists, and it'll probably meander on to road tax or something similar.

    The point isn't even about a cyclist without lights, its about a lack of proportionality in how motorists respond to cyclists. The lights thing was an example.
     
  15. Plax

    Plax Veteran

    Location:
    Wales
    Can somebody please tell me what SMIDSY stands for please. I've seen it mentioned a couple of times now and I haven't a clue.