Rowers, roads and cycle paths

By 16 February 2009 26

I rarely rant, but I’ve been driven to it by the precious polo-shirt & boat shoe wearing crowd taking part in whatever rowing event was being held at the black mountain end of the lake this weekend – it looked like a private school thing (happy to be corrected if it wasn’t).

I’m all for people prizing their backsides off the couch to participate in sports, in fact, I encourage it.  Sadly, the ‘born to rule’ mentality of these kids and their minders left a lot to be desired.

They seemed oblivious to both traffic and cyclists, wandered all over the place, stood around chatting & moving equipment across the bike path without looking around to see if anyone was coming, and took umbrage to anyone suggesting that they also needed to use the paths.

A generalisation of the whole group? Whatever. It’s unsafe and annoying.

To the irritating woman who took it upon herself to inform one rider, (when he somewhat apologetically indicated that he’d like to pass),  that these kids are participating in a rowing event, (the inference being how dare anyone suggest that they demonstrate some awareness of their surrounds & share the space), I have this to say: nobody outside of you and your snooty little group cares what you’re participating in. Nobody thinks you’re special. Canberrans still need to use the road and would prefer to do so without running the risk of having any of the little brats in your care or their equipment straying onto it.

Same goes for the bike path. There’s no point telling off cyclists for using the cycle path when you’ve got teenagers milling all over it like cattle.

Now pull your head in and remember this for next time!!!

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26 Responses to
Rowers, roads and cycle paths
G-Fresh 8:54 am
16 Feb 09

“Looked like a private school thing” – waa

Nobody has rights to the road. In fact we’re privileged to have the facility :)

New Yeah 9:02 am
16 Feb 09

Oh dear.

tortfeaser 9:07 am
16 Feb 09

And what a top idea it was closing down the Parkway near Glenloch at that time (so that all traffic had to use Lady Denman Dr). Parkway traffic + regular Lady Denman Dr traffic + two rows of parked Range Rovers doesn’t make for a safe or efficient roadway.

jakez 9:17 am
16 Feb 09

G-Fresh said :

“Looked like a private school thing” – waa

Nobody has rights to the road. In fact we’re privileged to have the facility :)

…yeah it’s a privilege until somebody wants to justify taxes. Then it’s a public good/right.

tortfeaser said :

And what a top idea it was closing down the Parkway near Glenloch at that time (so that all traffic had to use Lady Denman Dr). Parkway traffic + regular Lady Denman Dr traffic + two rows of parked Range Rovers doesn’t make for a safe or efficient roadway.

Bleargh, glad I stayed away from that.

captainwhorebags 9:23 am
16 Feb 09

Nobody has rights to the road. In fact we’re privileged to have the facility :)

…yeah it’s a privilege until somebody wants to justify taxes. Then it’s a public good/right.

Agreed. The government doesn’t provide anything as a “gift” to the public, despite what Sonic and Big Kev would have you believe.

Everything provided to the community by the government is paid for by the community in the first place. Well, the taxpayers anyway. (but that’s another sh1t storm altogether).

Back on topic, I encountered this event (or one similar) last year when walking around west basin. Yes, the lack of organisation and abundant self-righteousness was evident then too. Mind you, the lycra peacocks didn’t look too happy about having their god given right of way slowed down either. Tolerance all round people!

TheScientist 10:22 am
16 Feb 09

captainwhorebags said :

Tolerance all round people!

this would solve so many problems. not just cyclist/rower aggravation!

Clown Killer 10:27 am
16 Feb 09

Does anyone else smell inferiority complex?

jimbocool 10:29 am
16 Feb 09

Isn’t the lake closed at the moment owing to toxic algal blooms?

peterh 11:14 am
16 Feb 09

jimbocool said :

Isn’t the lake closed at the moment owing to toxic algal blooms?

is it ever open?

jimbocool 11:24 am
16 Feb 09

I’m interested that you can apparently have a rowing regatta on a closed lake, but not a dragon boat regatta.

AG Canberra 11:56 am
16 Feb 09

And you can have a Carpathon…..

Swaggie 12:10 pm
16 Feb 09

so leave all the dead carp on the rowing pontoon :)

Holden Caulfield 12:14 pm
16 Feb 09

I drove through the melee twice on Saturday morning and it wasn’t too bad at the times I went past. I was driving to Woden and on the way got through without too much bother. On the way back, though, there were a couple of rowing-mums stopping in the middle of the road, asking for directions I presume, and the dear old biddie in front of me wasn’t sure enough to drive around the stopped car in front of her. That’s fair enough I guess and I was starting to get moderately cranky, but the two or three minutes of life I lost have been made up by posting this account, haha.

What was funny, as mentioned, was the line up of cars parked on the side of the road. At least 50%, if not more, were 4WD/SUV thingys and you would be a social outcast if you ordered a colour that wasn’t silver, dark silver or black. There was an orange Commodore there that stood out like dogs balls. One, for being quaint enough to be an Australian car and, two, for being so garishly coloured (comparatively). The dark silver Aston Martin V8 Vantage looked pretty spesh though.

I happened to drive down Lady Denman Dr on Friday evening as well and it was clear then that there was going to be a rowing regatta over the weekend, so Saturday morning wasn’t a surprise to me. There’s usually one or two large events like that on the Lake each year. As a road user it’s generally not too bad. But the OP may have a point if the rah-rahs were making more than a nuisance of themselves around the bike paths etc.

Live and let live I say, for both sides of the argument.

JD114 1:31 pm
16 Feb 09

Happens every year. I too get annoyed by the attitude of the crowds as they monopolise the space and wander willy nilly all over the bike path. But it’s no worse than triathlon days etc further round the lake. At least the path is open, albeit for a slower pac.

What really gets up my nose is the opera mob who park a flocking big marquee over the bike path at the bottom of Anzac Parade once a year without providing an alternative path. Talk about arrogant selfishness. They make the rowing mob look like the most perfect angels ever to stroll around on earth. IMHO.

fozzy 4:00 pm
16 Feb 09

I was riding through there Sunday arvo. I’m more at the casual end of the riding spectrum and had a friend from overseas riding with us so were slower than normal. Constant use of my bike bell as I traveled through the regatta seemed to be enough to get people out of the way at the speed I was doing.

To clarify some questions others are asking. On ABC news Saturday morning I heard it said that the lake was closed due to blue green algae but the regatta had been granted an exception. That I don’t understand. Either it’s unsafe to be in or it’s not. And I would think that the demographics of rowing types are the ones most likely to sue the territory government if they got sick – and that would only impact us poor territory residence, not the out of state private school people who sued us.

By and large I don’t have a problem with them racing here, but maybe barriers on either side of the bike path with only a few gaps would help to focus their minds on the need to keep the path free.

Joebot 4:03 pm
16 Feb 09

I rode through them sometime between 11 and noon, dinging at them to move. Only a few of them were consciuos enough of their surroundings to do so. Some guy starting yelling “bye, bye” at me, I think he thought they had exclusive use of the area.

One of the children in a group sitting on the path decided to stick his hand out to try and hit me. Charming. Interesting to note I wasn’t the only one who picked up on their attitude.

ant 4:25 pm
16 Feb 09

That female sounds like the standard issue Mother these days, who protects her offspring to the death, no matter what rotten things they’re doing or have done, they can do no wrong. I do so look forward to sharing the earth with the coming generation.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_ 4:30 pm
16 Feb 09

I’ve always found the best response to snooty looks and/or behaviour is a big belly rumbling burp. That’ll stop their noisy laughter.

Clown Killer 4:35 pm
16 Feb 09

Are guys for real? Half of you lot bang on about bad driving in another thread and then have the gall to whinge about a couple of hundred people on the bike path. Here’s a tip. Get off your bike and walk it through the crowd instead of being such a tosser.

This reminds me of an incident I witnessed a couple of years ago coming home from a Brumbies game. Some jerk-off was to trying to ride his bike up the path from Dryandra Street against the tide of humanity walking the other way – he was ringing his little bell and carrying on like a two-bob-watch until some wag hip ‘n shouldered the twit into the shrubbery – everyone laughed. He got to his feet and shaped up and we all just laughed harder … trust me, you don’t want to go where that dude went – a bit of common sense people.

niftydog 5:40 pm
16 Feb 09

WTF? Some dude minding his own business, riding up Bruce Ridge like he probably does every day gets violently shoved off his bike, laughed at and threatened by a huge mob of footy fans and you call HIM the jerk-off?!?!

A bit of give and take is needed, yes, I absolutely agree. There just seems to be a lot more people taking than there are giving these days.

Clown Killer 5:46 pm
16 Feb 09

Nifty, have you got a better description for a guy who want’s to insist on riding his bike into a crowd of several hundred people – up out of the saddle and carrying on like he had a god given right to ride that path irrespective of other users?

niftydog 7:03 pm
16 Feb 09

Mate, granted mob justice is a law unto it’s own, but he had just as much right as any of you to be using that path, even if he was carrying on like a pork chop. ;) That right was denied him by a majority of a few hundred to 1. If it happened to you I’d wager you’d be pretty pissed off, and rightly so.

Perhaps if the cyclists were prepared to yield and the rowers were prepared to accommodate them, then we wouldn’t be discussing it. Instead the rowers were indignant and rude by some accounts.

Like I said, taking more than they’re giving. Demanding respect, but not being respectful.

bigred 10:12 pm
16 Feb 09

I thought it was illegal to park on a carriage way, even if you are a north shore private school type mum in a range rover or similar. These things are a pain in the proverbial.

shiny flu 10:20 pm
16 Feb 09

Having attend one of Canberra’s private schools (although also being a cyclist myself, back in school and now)… most of the rowing that goes on is filled up with private schools and of course the ANU/UC.

As a rough generalisation, you’re probably not going to get much headway (or mutual understanding) with rowers and their parents. Private school rowers are a special breed. Just define special in every other way than what is defined in the dictionary :)

old canberran 9:04 am
17 Feb 09

Consider yourselves fortunate to have bike paths in the first place. They are a rareity in most NSW country towns as are footpaths.

imarty 9:17 am
17 Feb 09

Even though Canberra may be considered a country town by some (don’t know the definition of town vs city but would bet Canberra’s population would give it city status), it is Australia’s capital. And being originally from Sydney, I do consider myself fortunate to have such a great network of bike paths but they are ‘shared paths’.

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