Attitude

Why can't we all get along?

I have experienced a lot of varying attitudes whilst on the road, towards both cyclists and motorists. As with all things, there are some people who have a very relaxed attitude and those who are very excitable in both camps. From my experience though, there does seem to be a lot more "bad attitude" directed from motorists towards cyclists and I think they stem from two problems. The first is misplaced anger towards cyclists through either a misunderstanding of the laws regarding cycling or a disregard for it, and it being disproportionate to the delay they are caused. The second problem is a issue with how that anger is displayed, often resulting in abusive language and sometimes even in nearly hitting the "offending" cyclist.

There is another side to the story though, there are some cyclists which do ride inconsiderately or dangerously and that will cause frustration and anger, I don't think cyclists should jump red lights or ride on the pavements for example (see other pages when published) so motorists are sometimes justified in getting angry. There is also the anger from cyclists towards motorists as well, although most of that in my experience is due to the improper actions of motorists.

Why do motorists get angry?

In my experience, motorists tend to get annoyed by cyclists if they inconvenience them in some way, this is usually because the driver is stuck behind them unable to overtake and the driver assumes that the cyclist should do something different in order to let them past. There are a couple of things which exacerbate that situation, the driver assumes that a cyclist should not be in their way and that the cyclist is too far out in the road (see Overtaking Cyclists). Another big annoyance is when they presume that cyclists shouldn't be riding two abreast and by doing so is preventing them from overtaking (see Cycling Two Abreast). Both of these show a lack of knowledge, understanding or regard for the Highway Code as if taken into account, the driver would realise that they should wait until there is enough room and it's safe to overtake giving them the same room as they would another car.

The other point to make about drivers getting annoyed at being held up and their willingness to overtake in dangerous places or very close to the cyclist is their impatience. No one wants to be held up and it annoys everyone but if motorists waited until it was safe to overtake instead or rush dangerously, they'd find that the time they are delayed by if they were stuck for a mile on a 30mph road is less than 2 minutes, in the scheme of things not really enough to risk someone else's life for in my opinion. Even things like overtaking when there is clearly stationary traffic ahead or before the driver has to make a left turn is displaying a disregard for the cyclist's safety to save the ten seconds or so it would take to wait behind them.

Motorists also get annoyed at cyclists jumping red lights, this in my opinion is justified. It is against the law for cyclists (as well as cars) to jump a red light, it's a very simple rule which a lot of cyclists seem to ignore. I don't have a defence for this as I don't think there is one, so if a cyclists creates a dangerous situation by jumping a red light and a motorist gets annoyed, I think they have every right to be. Cyclists also occasionally cycle on pavements or the wrong way on the road or down one way streets, these are also against the law and there is no real excuse for them either.

What do angry motorists do?

The actions of angry motorists is very varied, most of them probably mutter under their breath or get quietly annoyed in their cars but there are a select few who seem to take it a little further. The most common manifestation of their anger is beeping their horn. While this sounds innocuous, it can actually be a very startling thing for a cyclist to hear when a car is passing them 10 cms away, the horn is designed to be heard from within another car making it appear very louder to the cyclist than the motorist. Also, while cyclists don't mind a quick beep from a distance back to let them know that a car is coming past soon, a long beep is a very offensive noise.

Another thing which motorists seem to do is shout out of the window as they drive past, sometimes they're fairly tame comments, sometimes they're trying to inform the cyclists that they are in the wrong or breaking the law (although the motorists are very often misinformed) and sometimes they shout foul and abusive language. This behaviour is very rude, one wouldn't dream of doing anything of the sort on the pavement, if anyone's walked through a busy city street with tourists and been stuck behind one for a few seconds, I very much doubt that they launched a tirade of abuse at them, it just doesn't happen so why should it happen on the road? I think it is due to the lack of accountability that motorists think they have, they can shout what they want and drive off knowing the cyclist won't catch up. Often the motorist will be complaining about how dangerous the cyclist is whilst driving next to them shouting out of the window which I think seems hypocritical as well. Usually though, the drivers don't want to stop and have a discussion about their grievances so they just drive off any their misunderstandings never get corrected.

The most dangerous thing they do, which in fairness is the rarest, is driving towards the cyclists, sometimes as if they are going to hit them, sometimes passing them extremely close, sometimes forcing them into the kerb or overtaking them and making them slam on the breaks. This behaviour is definitely limited to the road, you wouldn't try and scare a slow walking tourist by pretending to hit them or steering them off the pavement, I have no idea why motorists think it's appropriate to do this on the road, it's so dangerous although all of the risk is with the cyclist. This is plain wrong so if you do end up getting frustrated enough to contemplate it, don't do it, think about what would happen if you actually hit the cyclist, or if that cyclist was someone you know!

Why do cyclists get angry?

Usually cyclists get angry because of the things that motorist do because their angry (see above!). They don't get angry at car drivers in stationary traffic even though it's slowing them down unless one pulls out in from of them. Most of the anger is because they've been cut up, beeped, brushed past, almost knocked off or shouted at for no valid reason.

What do angry cyclists do?

There's not a lot they can do as they're at quite a disadvantage as they're slower and not in a big metal box, but they do have a few things. My preferred action is the wave, although most cyclists choose to give the finger or shout themselves. When a car's passed very close, it's also common practice to stick out your right arm to demonstrate how close they are and hope the next car gives more room. If the cyclist can catch the car, they sometimes knock on the window and try and correct the driver's behaviour or if the vehicle is passing too close, they bang on the window or side to try and tell the driver to give more room - if the vehicle is close enough to hit, they're passing too close!

42 comments:

  1. You are a typical arrogant cyclist, written only from the cyclists point of view with absolutely groundless claims!
    Why motorists get annoyed: ....inform the cyclists that they are in the wrong or breaking the law (although the motorists are very often misinformed)
    Why cyclists get annoyed: Usually cyclists get angry because of the things that motorist do

    You wonder why motorist get angry when there are arrogant cyclists like you polluting the roads. I cycle to work, my best friend cycles to work and we respect the road, and the 'big metal boxes' - you've then gone on to recommend waving when rule 66 of the highway code clearly states "keep both hands on the handlebars except when signalling or changing gear" and then the even more dangerous tactic of knocking on the car.... goodness me, god forbid if this ends with you under the wheels of a car because you are willing to break the highway code to prove someone else is breaking the highway code.... 2 wrongs obviously make a right!!

    As cyclists we do have 3 advantages, 1 that we don't pay road tax for using the roads, 2 we don't have to pass a very strict, time consuming and expensive range of training and exams in which to use the road, and 3 have no means to be identified as breaking the law (reg plate, licence etc.)

    This blog gives cyclists a bad name, and arrogant people like you give sensible ones a bad name and make the roads more dangerous for everyone else, it should be shut down immediately.

    Oh and while im on the subject the highway code says: never ride more than two abreast, and ride in single file on narrow or busy roads and when riding round bends... so barring cycling along the M1 during a zombie apocalypse, that would mean nearly all roads in the UK...

    You idiot!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Chris, noone pays road tax for using the roads... drivers pay tax on their vehicles for pollution and suchlike and all road users - cyclists included - pay for roads to be built out of general and local taxation. Nice spleen, though.
      http://ipayroadtax.com/

      Delete
    2. Quite Frankly Chris, I very much doubt whether you are a cyclist. Your arguments are the classic ill informed rants of the bigoted car driver. The blog very reasonably sets out the laws and rules we cyclists should adhere to, and it firmly admonishes cyclists that don't. Your bigotry seems to have blinded you to the reasoned tone of the blog. The writer is clearly not an idiot. You on the other hand aren't even aware that road tax doesn't exist and that all citizens - motorists, cyclists and pedestrians alike pay for roads through general taxation. Most worrying is the fact that you regard cyclists as pollutants,which indicates that you're the sort of motorist who has such scant respect for cyclists and other road users as to be a dangerous threat.

      Delete
    3. Andy I accept I am wrong about road/ car tax...completely wrong. Jon Tucher pointed it out, I researched it and realised I was simply ignorant of that particular point - bigoted, hmm not sure.... and as for everything else you've wasted your time writing, you are completely incorrect. You may very much doubt I am cyclist, but the fact that I get on my bike to work and back every day proves your incorrect, uninformed and a moron.... Next on your incorrect points, I have not regarded cyclists as pollutants (that would be a bizarrely self deprecating!!) what I have said is that ARROGANT cyclists who flout the laws of the road are a pollutant! - including the author of this blog as a prime example....

      This blog is not reasonable - it is quite obviously written by a die hard arrogant cyclist, purely for other cyclists to read and say "golly what nasty people those motorists are, and it turns out we are all in the right after all - hoorah!" It DOES NOT firmly admonish cyclists that flout the rules, in fact it actively encourages them not to in the final piece of this blog!!

      I came onto this article hoping for a bit of balance, indeed it sort of seems like the author set out to achieve that, but just got badly waylaid along the way.

      Motorists need to respect the lives of cyclists, cyclists need to respect the fact that they have to share the road with big boxes of metal that are legally allowed to travel at speeds of up to 70 miles an hour - and they aint ever gonna win that fight.... be safe out there folks, your arrogance will only get you maimed or killed - EVEN IF YOU ARE TECHNICALLY IN THE RIGHT!!!

      Delete
    4. I like this article. Seems well informed to me as both a cyclist and a car driver. I have made some of those driver errors and since cycling realised my mistakes. Chris, you are a very angry person and the type who should not be on the roads if that is hoiw you react to things you do not like. For me we should all be respectful on the roads and an awareness of the rules and some common sense and decency would also be a great benefit.

      Delete
    5. @Chris Pickles - where to start? Groundless claims? I start that paragraph of with "In my experience", are you saying I've made up those experiences? There's no data or evidence for this, I was simply trying to put down my understanding of why people get annoyed with each other.

      I'm not exactly sure what makes you think I "pollute" the roads, maybe my inferred arrogance I guess, but you're entitled to your opinion. What I do refute is that I "recommend" anything, I actually just state what cyclists tend to do when they're angry, and what I do. I make no recommendations or advisements, my point is that angry people in cars tend to be more dangerous than angry people on bikes. And yes, I take my hand off my bars to wave at cars, I also do to take a drink, wave cars past when it's clear in front and they can't see ahead, to say thanks for giving me right to way, I'm not saying others should do the same but that's just what I do if I feel it's safe enough to do. I've also never knocked on a car, I was simply relaying what I've seen.

      You've already been put right about the road tax issue, at least you've learnt something from this blog, I guess maybe it should stay up after all?

      If we're talking about riding two abreast, there's already a whole debate going on on the other page, but again, in my opinion, a narrow road is one which is narrower than normal roads (such as single track roads) and a busy road is one that is busier than the average. If all roads are narrow and busy, you would have to redefine narrow and busy to very narrow and very busy as narrow and busy become the norm.

      I find it funny though that you read my blog and write a rant about how arrogant I am without knowing all of your facts or actually reading all of it properly, yet I'm the arrogant one who flouts the laws of the road?

      Delete
    6. I have the option to ride to work or drive and the only approach available by bike or car is up a hill with a very narrow road width. I routinely pull to one side when on my bike whenever a car wishes to pass me. A few seconds is all it takes. All drivers appreciate this action and it usually results in the driver saying thank you, this includes my colleagues at work who use the same route (and most of them drive). All too often when I'm driving to work up the same hill a cyclist refuses to pause and allow me to pass. I take the view that this action is unnecessary, impolite and rather selfish, all the more so given that they are moving very slowly up a long hill and therefore by their refusal to budge, delay drivers on their journey. There is clearly a wealth of Highway Code info that stipulates rules and I am in no way challenging the Law. I am, however, merely highlighting common sense, politeness and thought for others that all cyclists (and drivers) can so easily demonstrate at no real cost or inconvenience to themselves. I feel a polite and tolerant approach by all in society will always make for a happier society. If we rely solely on Rules to manage our actions and treatment of others where will this lead us?

      Delete
    7. I have the option to ride to work or drive and the only approach available by bike or car is up a hill with a very narrow road width. I routinely pull to one side when on my bike whenever a car wishes to pass me. A few seconds is all it takes. All drivers appreciate this action and it usually results in the driver saying thank you, this includes my colleagues at work who use the same route (and most of them drive). All too often when I'm driving to work up the same hill a cyclist refuses to pause and allow me to pass. I take the view that this action is unnecessary, impolite and rather selfish, all the more so given that they are moving very slowly up a long hill and therefore by their refusal to budge, delay drivers on their journey. There is clearly a wealth of Highway Code info that stipulates rules and I am in no way challenging the Law. I am, however, merely highlighting common sense, politeness and thought for others that all cyclists (and drivers) can so easily demonstrate at no real cost or inconvenience to themselves. I feel a polite and tolerant approach by all in society will always make for a happier society. If we rely solely on Rules to manage our actions and treatment of others where will this lead us?

      Delete
  2. @chris pickles. Car drivers don't pay road tax for using the roads either. There is no such thing as road tax. Vehicle duty is linked to emissions

    ReplyDelete
  3. @Chris - I agree that the tapping on the window etc is very irresponsible! The rest of the page is spot on though - motorists get annoyed at arrogant cyclists crossing red lights, and cyclists get annoyed at arrogant motorists in a rush and endangering them more.

    re road tax: http://ipayroadtax.com/, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-23694438

    I would define 'narrow roads' as those which are single track or have parked cars... and 'busy roads' is more difficult to define. There's a certain amount of common sense involved, and I wouldn't dream of riding two abreast in a city centre at any time of day...

    ReplyDelete
  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  5. The thing often overlooked is that for a cyclist any confrontation feels like a life/death situation; so they react accordingly. A car driver would never be this vulnerable, so has no excuse.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Confrontation for a cyclist is a life or death situation, as it is if a driver is distracted by a cyclist knocking on their window and either crashes or knocks over some kid!! By cycling on the roads, we have to accept that we are taking our lives in our own hands (as do pedestrians etc.) nothing is ever going to change this.... We must be safe, more safe than drivers more safe than anyone if we wish not to be killed, that is not going to be changed - there is no point in any confrontation, whats the point? are you going to educate all drivers single handedly and in the process put your life in danger!?? But boy I bet you feel better when you tell your mates about how you told that rascal off!!

      Drivers break the rules, cyclists break the rules....until you realise this, accept this, and cycle AWARE of this, your taking your life into your own hands!

      Next time your feeling arrogant enough to have a confrontation with a driver instead of biting your tongue, just think "is this worth my life" No, no its not.

      Delete
    2. Are you getting enough fibre in your diet?

      Delete
    3. @Chris Pickles - I've never suggested confrontation, I was just pointing out what people do, my first heading is "Why can't we all get along", that doesn't sound confrontational does it?

      I'm not suggesting that if a cyclist sees something bad, they should catch the car and confront them. I do however think that if the opportunity arises that you do see them at the next set of traffic lights for example, you could, if you feel safe enough, let them know they passed a little close or something. I take the same attitude when I see a cyclist riding on the pavement, with no lights or jumping red ones, I try to politely remind them they shouldn't be doing it. I rarely get a favourable response (I have once or twice) but I rarely get an angry response either as I try not to say anything which isn't true and I try not to sound aggressive.I guess the point of it is that they may not agree at the time, but they may think about it later or the next time and do something different, once less close pass means once less chance of a cyclist being knocked off. You're right though, sometimes it's just not worth it, but I guess that's a judgement call.

      I think most cyclists accept that other cyclists break the rules, there just isn't a lot we can do about other people but we shouldn't be treated as lesser road users just because of those guys. Drivers aren't treated differently because some speed, some jump lights, some talk on their phone, they're just pointed out as the idiots and normal drivers are treated with respect, law abiding cyclists just want the same.

      Delete
  6. Cyclist and Driver here... I get really annoyed at cyclists that blatantly disobey the rules of the road, endangering themselves and putting me into a situation where I am more likely to be involved in an accident. Specifically, things I see too frequently are cyclists who (1) sail through red lights; (2) drive the wrong way up a one-way street; and (3) ride at night, dressed in black, without ANY lights (or just a single feeble front lamp).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree. When cycling or driving I also get annoyed at tailgating drivers, drivers who run red lights, drivers who have defective lights or who dazzle with main beam or fog lights, etc.

      It is a minority of drivers though, and it does not mean I treat all drivers with contempt because of the actions of the minority.

      Delete
    2. I agree too, with all three points. I also agree with Caesar's points too although I want to add talking on their phones to both lists.

      Get annoyed at that minority but don't think that all cyclists are like that and get annoyed at all of them.

      Delete
  7. Car driver, motorcyclist, cyclist here. I don't get annoyed when cyclists run red lights. It's not my life they are risking. I do get annoyed when motor vehicles run red lights though because they are risking other people's lives.

    I also get annoyed by car drivers who have no licence, drivers who drive while banned, drivers who drive with no insurance, drunk drivers, drivers who do 50mph in built up areas. It's these people other drivers should direct their rage at, not cyclists who only put their own lives at risk by doing something stupid/illegal.

    Will this ever register with some motorists? NOBODY PAYS ROAD TAX. There is no such thing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Any road user that breaks the rules is endangering someone else's life. If a cyclist jumps a red light it may force a lorry to swerve to avoid it and kill another person. A drunk cyclist, same potential outcome. A cyclist unaware of the highway code, same potential outcome. Your actions when using a public highway, however you are, can have dire consequences for ANYONE ELSE that is also on that public highway.

      Delete
    2. @Andrew Paterson - I agree that any road user that breaks the law is endangering lives and drivers and cyclists (and all road users) should stick to the rules but the stats show that only 2% of collisions involving cyclists were caused by them breaking traffic rules. That's 2% too many but there are far bigger fish to fry to make the roads safer. The stats by the way are for DfT, The Guardian covered it here: http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2009/dec/15/cycling-bike-accidents-study

      Delete
  8. http://metro.co.uk/2009/08/12/cyclist-is-jailed-for-killing-by-1861-law-335527/

    The cyclist killed someone while running a red light on the pavement.

    Cyclists can cause death but I think they are more careful than drivers in general.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't be silly, cyclist break no rules ever, and if they do, its because of the motorists... damn them all!!!!

      Delete
    2. summed up perfectly. Now just off to flog myself as I drove my car earlier.

      Delete
    3. Most cyclists are more careful than some drivers and most drivers are more careful than some cyclists. Cyclists that are irresponsible on a bike are also likely to be irresponsible in a car.

      You two seem to be replying to comments you have seen on other blogs or forums, the cyclists commenting here have all acknowledged that some cyclists are reckless and most drivers are responsible.

      Delete
    4. I saw a link on facebook this morning to this and am replying to what I have read. some of the posts might say that cyclists can be in the wrong too(I admit I haven't read everything) but the language used in the blog is insulting. To sum up motorists get angry because they are unreasonable and cyclists get angry because motorists are unreasonable.

      For the record I don't know Chris but his comment tickled me. That is what I was replying to not the actual post. I don't think that is clear but I just clicked reply. This is the first time I've commented on a blog so forgive me if I did it wrong.

      Delete
    5. But the above doesn't say motorists get angry because they are unreasonable. It says that anger at cyclists breaking the rules is justified (and therefore reasonable) and the other reasons are more down to drivers not understanding why cyclists are riding in certain ways or places - which is what the author of this blog is trying to address. Impatience is the only cause above that could be described as unreasonable.

      There certainly are times when some motorists get angry unreasonably - such as complaining at a cyclist causing them a few seconds delay on their way to the next traffic jam. I've been sworn at by a motorist for holding him up "three times in the last mile". He was completely oblivious to how that was possible and the irony of it, and in fact I had been held up far longer by stationary cars impeding my progress along the bike lane each time I passed him.

      I do think some cyclists get unreasonably frustrated in stationary traffic though, and some get unnecessarily possessive over advanced stop boxes - e.g. if there is no right turn, why bother getting in the way of motorbikes and mopeds who are in the right hand side of the box. However, most cyclists' anger is caused by drivers endangering them either deliberately or through inconsideration or inattention, or shouting abuse because they don't understand what the cyclists is doing. As most cyclists drive or have often been passengers in a car, it is more likely that a cyclist understands a driver's situation than the other way around.

      Delete
    6. Cyclists do cause deaths although that article in the Metro is over 4 years old. Irresponsible cyclists do cause accidents and have killed people but no where near on the scale that cars do. In that article it points out that on average 3 pedestrians are killed per year by cyclists and only 10% of them are on footways, so an average of 0.3 per year. This compares to an average of 40 pedestrians killed by cars on footways or verges. I think cars kill an average of over 750 pedestrians per year and it's quite evident how many cyclists they kill at the moment.

      Delete
  9. Lets face it, there are good and bad members in all categories of road users, but the thing that most people should bear in mind is that these people are in the minority. The responsible road users are by far the majority, but unfortunately, it is the irresponsible road users that stick in your mind irrespective of who they are or what they are driving or riding. If you see a cyclist running a red light it sticks in your mind, the same way that a driver running a red light would.

    All anyone needs to do is think back to the last journey they had and try and remember another road user, and just about every time the one that will be mentioned first is the person who did something stupid/dangerous. The drivers and cyclists that are doing nothing wrong dont stick in your mind as these are, in general, the norm. During my last journey on the motorway, the only driver that i can recall with any clarity is the van which repeatedly undertook vehicles, and was tailgating other vehicles...yet on that journey I would probably have seen hundreds if not thousands of cars, vans and lorries.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Spot on. There is possibly a little confirmation bias added in for good measure too.

      Delete
    2. Yes, it's very easy to spot the red light jumpers in London as there are so many cyclists, there are bound to be idiots jumping lights and they're the ones you remember.

      Delete
  10. OK as a cyclist, mainly mountain bike but also commute to work, I am always interested in the as many car users break traffic laws as cyclists, and I would disagree. On the way home this evening I thought I would see just what cyclists did. Shortly after leaving work saw the first cyclist, goign across a road junction from one pavement to the other. Good cyclists 0 bad cyclists 1. Next one seen, no lights at all, 0-2. Cyclist in high vis, lights, stopped at a give way, phew! 1-2. Another cyclist in high vis and nice bright lights 2-2, not too bad I suppose. Now a bad patch, next one feeble lights (prob well below regs) and no hand signal turning left much to the annoyance to the motorist waiting at the junction. Closely followed by a cyclist mounting the pavement at a red light to make a left turn, and then rejoin the road 2-4. A bit of a reprieve, nice bright lights on the next 3 cyclists and all using the road 5-4. So on a shortish commute home, nearly half of all cyclists seen were flouting the highway code - incidentally all of the 4 'bad' cyclists were not wearing helmets, whereas all of the good cyclists were wearing helmets. I was really disappointed to see such a high proportion of the bad guys. I used to be a member of a cycling club, so I suppose I got used to seeing other good cyclists as I was always in a group of like-minded individuals. After looking a bit more closely at the wider cycling community, admittedly just over one journey, I can see why drivers can get well hacked off with those of us on 2 wheels.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Andrew, I despair about my follow commuters, cyclists and car drivers alike. I cannot condone the bad drivers; their speeding, phone using, not wearing seatbelts, appalling roundabout etiquette or their outbursts of anger and frustration... But I too see the equally daft things SOME cyclists on the same bit of roads as their four wheel brethren.
      I often wonder what the correlation is between being a red-light jumper on a push bike and the likely hood that the same person is an ass when driving. Is it human nature that some idiots will always be idiots or do they actively avoid looking beyond their own needs?

      Delete
    2. When I returned to cycling 10 years ago, I wasn't terrible in terms of jumping lights and riding on the pavement, but I did do it occasionally. I cut this out completely fairly soon as I gained experience and awareness, so hopefully most of the bad cyclists you saw will improve. Apart from couriers, the riders most likely to misbehave in my experience are kids on mountain bikes and people on Boris bikes which I think ties in with this. I also think cyclists are generally improving in this respect in London, and drivers are also getting more used to cyclists and are being more considerate, so things are getting better.

      I would also say I am a far more patient and considerate driver to all road users since returning to cycling. I am pretty sure there is a strong correlation between bad drivers and bad cyclists.

      Delete
    3. I can see why drivers get annoyed by those cyclists who break the law, I get annoyed by them. I even try and let them know this if I see it. But drivers can't get hacked off at all cyclists because of those idiots, I saw three cars jump red lights today and 6 people on their phones while driving but I'm not annoyed at all car drivers because of them, just them. For balance, I only saw one cyclist on my way home, he was lit up and signalling to 1-0 but most of my journey is spent on the M1 so I don't usually see that many the 5 mins either side of it.

      Delete
    4. What are rules regarding cycle tracks? I drive regularly on a road near where I live that has a cycle track and a lot of cyclists but around 80% of the cyclists (when I am driving along it at least) don't use the cycle track. I don't understand this. Why would they not use it? It seems to be used only by children and old people on 'less classy' bikes. It is almost as though a younger person with a decent bike feels it is not for them? Any thoughts on this, as clearly the use of the provided cycle track would make for safety for both cyclists and motorists? Is that not what it has been built for?

      Delete
    5. That is probably a topic for another article, but in short they are not compulsory and cyclists are advised to use them unless it is unsafe to do so. The problem is that a lot of the facilities are poorly thought out, designed and implemented - see the current controversy over the Bow roundabout for one example, and here for more: http://homepage.ntlworld.com/pete.meg/wcc/facility-of-the-month/index.htm.

      A lot of the on-pavement paths are unsuitable if you are riding quickly and I think there has been official advice that you should use roads if you are going at 18mph+. There are also problems with cars not expecting bikes to be on their left when they turn into driveways across on-pavement paths. There is a very good, long path on my commute that I usually use but it has not been swept for a while and so at the moment the wet, slippery leaves, branches and other debris are making me think twice.

      I ride across Blackfriar's Bridge every day and northbound it has a wide bike lane and two traffic lanes, one of which is for buses, taxis and motorbikes for most of it's length. I turn right at the end so usually, if traffic is fairly light, I will move across to the right hand lane to get into the advanced stop box for bikes. If the light is red, I sometimes filter between the traffic lanes or on the right hand side of the right hand lane if there are a few cars queuing. Today it was busy so I stopped at the left of the bike lane on a green light and waited until it went red so I could move into and across the advanced stop box.

      It is technically illegal for me to cross the ASL in the right hand lane when the light is red, you are supposed to enter via the bike lane only, but I was very nearly hit by a motorbike entering the box illegally between the a bus and a car once and so I find this approach safer in some situations.

      Delete
  11. Hi Peter, in answer to your question Cycle lane use is not compulsory and will depend on the level of experiance of the cyclist. They can sometimes be dangerous (see link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPHwOw1S4Ac) and can often impead the progress of the cyclist as by leaving and joining roads means the cyclist has to stop wait and go again and leaving the cyclist needing to cross several lanes of traffic to get to where they need to go.

    Now I know people will comment that thats better than slowing up cars but think about it for second, a cyclist is slower than a car so they have the power to overtake, what is slowing the car down is all the other traffic on the road and in the city, once past the cyclist the driver will get caught behind other cars and more than likely the car they were originally behind, but they don't get abuse for holding up the journey do they.

    More cyclist means less cars and less congestion. Also to have to keep accelerating and braking on a bicycle is very strenuous, letting your foot of the throutle and braking isn't in a car. Lets face facts who's realy holding up who?

    Hope that helps.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Accelerating and braking is strenuous? But it's also necessary on the road and if you can't propel the vehicle and stop it then surely you shouldn't be on it!
      Remember safety first, speed second for all transport. I want to get to my destination, however I travel. And I certainly don't set out to hurt anyone whether I drive walk or cycle. I don't see it as a battle and a contest. Shame that many on here do

      Delete
  12. Raj’s Safe Driving School has well respected name and reputation by providing professional driving lesson with excellent customer service, honest, friendliness, patience with high percentage of licence test pass rate.
    Driving school | Driving Instructor Melbourne

    ReplyDelete
  13. Brilliant Blog,

    And some interesting comments, I love to ride my bike (Both on and off the road) and some may say selfishly I will do anything to stay safe even if it means riding on the pavement (but never to put a pedestrian at risk), I also love to drive my car and can see both perspectives, however in my 30 odd years of riding my bike and 20 odd years of driving my car I can categorically say car drivers are the biggest offenders of the two groups, and in my experience drivers who pose the biggest risk to cyclists are drivers in their late teens / early 20's and drivers of high end cars such as Audi or BMW's (before the haters flame me I own an Audi.. :-) ) anyway the bottom line is that Cycling is on the up and will continue to be so, so drivers had better get used to us...

    ReplyDelete