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They weren't half ANGRY this weekend

Discussion in 'Commuting' started by Cab, 8 Oct 2007.

  1. Cab

    Cab New Member

    Location:
    Cambridge
    Cycling in to town on Saturday morning with my better half, most of the roads were dead quiet. Got to a roundabout, had a bit of traffic on it, and theres an insane cycle lane there. Really nasty, it gives you three options. You can either skirt around the outside of a big, urban roundabout (theres cycle lane goes around the outside of each corner, encouraging inexperienced cyclists to make that mistake), or you can follow a branch of the cycle lane that pops out of the main cycle lane and appears right in front of traffic turning left, its about six feet of cycle lane that suddenly disappears and which is normally underneath a car anyway, or you can ignore the cycle lane completely. You basically have to ignore it completely to survive!

    Bloke pulled up alongside us at the roundabout, where we weren't in the lane, window wound down and started yelling at us for not being in the lane. Didn't really matter as we were soon gone.

    Got to Mill Road. Not a nasty road to cycle on if you're patient; bumper to bumper traffic day in, day out. So you claim your road space and sit in it, or get off and push, or risk being far too stressed out by trying to squeeze by on the kerb. If a gap in traffic appears then don't get too excited, it just means you'll hit more traffic shortly.

    Anyway, we were pulling off Mill Road near the City end, to find somewhere to lock. At more or less the same point she indicated left (she was in front) meaning to turn off and cross the road on foot, and I indicated right. A bus on the other side of the road could have stopped to let me cross in front of him, but instead he chose to close the car length in front of him to catch up with the rest of the traffic, ensuring I couldn't cross.

    Car behind me sees the gap in front of me, sounds his horn. I'm in a narrow lane, indicating right, have nowhere to go. Winds his window down, yells abuse. I looked at him, listened, he sounded his horn again, gave him two fingers and the line about getting his license out of a Christmas cracker, dismounted and wheeled my bike back round in front of the bus.

    On the way home, both of us in primary, a car came alongside (so straddling the other side of the road by quite a way) with the window open and we got a stream of abuse from a passenger about being too far out from the kerb.

    Other than that I thoroughly enjoyed our little shopping trip. Can you believe that some people seem to be so angry all the time? Whats the point of it?
     
  2. Jacomus-rides-Gen

    Jacomus-rides-Gen New Member

    Location:
    Guildford / London
    I don't know Cab, but my personal theory is a mish-mash of things.

    - Me first society - People get used to having to push themseles forward to get anywhere, in school, in business, one allways has to be there first, be there the loudest etc. This attitude when put in a metal cage which makes the user feel powerful creates the "Get out of MY way" theme so many cagers subscribe to.

    - Driving on autopilot - Everyone who drives gets lulled by the speed they are travelling at, even in the most beat up of cars 60mph doesn't feel anything like the 60mph one is actually travelling at. This even works on a motorbike, except to a lesser extent because the rider is allways aware of threats (they do not get lulled into a false sense of security as car occupants are).

    The human brain adapts its processing to make speed seem slower, what is happening is that your eyes are looking further ahead and your brain is devoting mor processing power to deciphering what you are seeing than it would usually. This is how you can "miss" entire tracks go by on the stereo or struggle to hold a conversation with a passenger when negotiating a stretch of road which requires more concentration than normal driving.

    Peoples brains take time to adjust to the speed that they are travelling at, everyone here who has been in a car thats come off the motorway and onto a 40mph slip road will have noticed the initial feeling that the car is travelling at about 5mph until your brain readjusts and everything looks normal at 40mph.

    Many drivers do not know this is happening, and thus even if a cyclist is zooming along at 25+mph the driver will feel as though they are being chronically held up. Then the "ME first" kicks in and they start to get stroppy.
     
  3. ChrisW

    ChrisW Senior Member

    Is this just a Cambridge thing?

    Around London cars are reasonably decent, they don'y cut me up, they let me in, and i can only remember 2 to 3 instances in 17 years of commuting where i've been shouted at.

    Or is it a "Cab" thing? :biggrin:
     
  4. OP
    OP
    Cab

    Cab New Member

    Location:
    Cambridge
    Its a 'cycling in primary position in Cambridge' thing.

    What you must remember is that Cambridge has a lot of cyclists. I know, poeple down in London think that they see a lot of bikes, but you don't. Really. Come to Cambridge, then you'll understand.

    And most cyclists here are pretty passive. So most of them wobble along the kerbsides, they're very much slow-sub-secondary position riders. Riding on the outer yellow line of a set of double yellows is the norm. And even then, on these narrow streets, you slow the rest of the traffic down if you're going slowly.

    As a result of this, if you pick a safer road position you're way less likely to be cut up knocked off. The down side is that you end up being the target for all the pent up anti-cyclist aggression. And in the eyes of a lot of motorists, thats entirely reasonable.
     
  5. Jacomus-rides-Gen

    Jacomus-rides-Gen New Member

    Location:
    Guildford / London
    Having had cause to ride my motorbike through Cambridge a few times what cab says about the double yellow riders is true, its astounding and I felt like shouting at nearly every rider to get into a proper road position.

    The biggest cause of cycle / motor conflic in Cambridge has to be because of the hundreds of teeming POB's* who are literally everywhere - the intense driver frustration is understandable, but unforgivable. Whatever happened to self control? Or leaving 5 minutes earlier because you live in Cambridge and know that it is rammed with bikes?


    * I think using POB is justifed here. Cycling in London all of last year I can rack up having seen about 12 true POB's, in Cambridge (where I have been only 3 times) that figure can easily be doubled just for the 3 times I have visited!
     
  6. BentMikey

    BentMikey Rider of Seolferwulf

    Location:
    South London
    It just goes to show how safety probably comes most of all from numbers of cyclists out there, and much less so from proper road positioning, or indeed helmets.

    Bummer for Cab that the drivers were so angry, but it's not as though they were driving into him after all.
     
  7. magnatom

    magnatom Guest

    Cab,

    Sorry to hear about all of the anger!:biggrin: (oops more anger there!)

    It sounds like a crazy set of cycle lanes? You don't have any video footage of them do you? Just trying to collate some video of stupid cycle lanes here

    http://uk.youtube.com/groups_videos?name=badcyclelanes
     
  8. OP
    OP
    Cab

    Cab New Member

    Location:
    Cambridge
    I don't have any footage, but I can fix that.
     
  9. BentMikey

    BentMikey Rider of Seolferwulf

    Location:
    South London
    Cheers for that reminder! I'm busy writing an article on cycle lanes at the moment.
     
  10. magnatom

    magnatom Guest

    Cab,

    that would be great! There really is no place for a cycle lane that encourages you to cycle around the outside of a roundabout. Exactly where you don't want to be!!

    BentMike,

    I only have 4 videos at the moment, but I am working on it!!
     
  11. OP
    OP
    Cab

    Cab New Member

    Location:
    Cambridge
    True. I guess I should be resigned to it; I trade a safer road position (which reduces dangerous overtaking, being cut up, etc.) for more aggro. On rare occasions someone will actually open their door, even get out to threaten me (ain't just me that gets that either), but on balance I think I'm safer this way. I just have to put up with jerks :biggrin:
     
  12. OP
    OP
    Cab

    Cab New Member

    Location:
    Cambridge
    I'll take some footage of a great cycle lane thats got an arrow that seems to direct you to swerve around a lamp post :biggrin:
     
  13. zimzum42

    zimzum42 Legendary Member

    Driving in Cambridge is enough to anger up the most placid of people, especially Mill Road. Used to live on Vinery Road, down the far end of Mill Road. Safest and quickest way into town was often to walk!
     
  14. magnatom

    magnatom Guest


    Any additions would be gratefully received:biggrin:
     
  15. GrahamG

    GrahamG Über Member

    Location:
    Bristol
    This is why living somewhere with so few cycle facilities (other than parking) is so aggro free. Don't get much of it in Birmingham. Well, not 'get in your lane' type aggro anyway :biggrin: