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Another cycling hazard – fluff fall

By Gungahlin Al - 21 October 2011 74

Don’t you love all these copses of poplars around Canberra? Unless you’re trying to hold your breath as you ride past them to avoid choking on the rotten fluff fall.

I’d imagine Kippax is at its 20cm-deep-looking-like-snow best around now. And riding past the Art Gallery…enough to send you blue. The Federal Hwy has some moments too.

Where else is a fluff-gagging stretch to avoid?

And because it’s Friday and that seems to be car v cycle thread day, a big shout out from me to the young lady on Moore Street north of Barry this morning. I’m so sorry to think you could wait 6 seconds while I passed that parked car. I didn’t realise that you were SO busy that you had squeeze between me and the car coming the other way anyhow. And I really do appreciate how you sounded your horn to let me know that you were only going to clear my handlebar by 10cms. It was I realise entirely unreasonable of me to be scared out of my skin and almost run into that parked car.

It was also entirely unreasonable of me to:

  • attempt to keep a clear distance from the parked car in case an occupant opened a door without looking first
  • expect that someone who was behind me would be patient for those 6 seconds
  • and of course for you to be even the slightest bit apologetic when I was “chatting” with you afterwards while you were stuck at the traffic lights that you were in such a rush to get to.

All of this was so unreasonable of me I realise because clearly you have not yet been driving long enough to develop the understanding that:

  • patience only the road can help us all get where we are going in one piece
  • that a few seconds really make SFA difference at the end of the trip
  • that a cyclist has every bit of the “right” to use the road that you have
  • and finally, that witnessing the mess that you have made of someone through you own poor driving decisions, whether or not they survive, is a very hard thing to live with, but apparently this is the only way to learn, because learning that lesson before the fact is impossible.

What’s Your opinion?


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74 Responses to
Another cycling hazard – fluff fall
nescius 2:08 pm 21 Oct 11

shadow boxer said :

Felix the Cat said :

Nice rant, Al! Unfortunately it will be wasted on most of the posters here. I’m surprised that no one has yet mentioned the no bike rego thing or questioned if you are a lycra wearing p00f. I’m sure it’s just a matter of time.

There is plenty of fluff of the Poplar variety at ANU as well.

So the correct procedure when cycling on the left and encountering a parked car is to veer into the traffic 1 metre to the right of the parked car (to avoid the chance it may open) and cause a car travelling in that lane to brake and wait 6 seconds.

Even if technically correct (which I doubt) it is sort of thing that really gives cyclists a bad name. As Al said whats the hurry stop the bike, wait for a break in traffic and move around the parked car.

What’s the hurry for the car driver? Why can’t they stop and wait?

It’s really very easy to navigate around cyclists and other slow moving traffic, I have no problems, I can’t understand why other people find it so difficult.

shadow boxer 1:51 pm 21 Oct 11

KB1971 said :

Its a thing that Canberra people cannot grasp, passing a slower person/bycicle/vehicle.

Busses a classic example, our suburb is the second last on a 3 series route plus a couple of 7 series expresso’s. Now, when a bus is stopped for passengers people overtake. Nothing unusual in this you might say. Well the fact is it is ok to pass a staionary but BUT NOT WHEN THERE IS ONCOMING TRAFFIC! People seem to think that because the bus is stopped they have the right to cross the line, be it unbroken or not, and force oncoming traffic to the left of the road.

For the record:

140 No overtaking unless safe to do so
A driver must not overtake a vehicle unless:
(a) the driver has a clear view of any approaching traffic;
and
(b) the driver can safely overtake the vehicle.

This means if there is oncoming traffic, WAIT BEHIND THE BUS!.

Its not that hard & not particularly restricted to drivers. I see it all the time with other cyclists & pedestrians who just wont/cant wait the seconds it takes to pass safely. I dont know what it is about this particular skill but people are incapable of it.

Also happens if I am riding around the Cotter, people will pass you across double yellow lines in blind corners nearly causing accidents.

I am not directing this at drivers but at people in general. It just baffles me.

I read it as everyone travelling the same direction, if not you are right, dont cross the middle line unless safe to do so

shadow boxer 1:44 pm 21 Oct 11

Felix the Cat said :

Nice rant, Al! Unfortunately it will be wasted on most of the posters here. I’m surprised that no one has yet mentioned the no bike rego thing or questioned if you are a lycra wearing p00f. I’m sure it’s just a matter of time.

There is plenty of fluff of the Poplar variety at ANU as well.

So the correct procedure when cycling on the left and encountering a parked car is to veer into the traffic 1 metre to the right of the parked car (to avoid the chance it may open) and cause a car travelling in that lane to brake and wait 6 seconds.

Even if technically correct (which I doubt) it is sort of thing that really gives cyclists a bad name. As Al said whats the hurry stop the bike, wait for a break in traffic and move around the parked car.

KB1971 1:38 pm 21 Oct 11

Its a thing that Canberra people cannot grasp, passing a slower person/bycicle/vehicle.

Busses a classic example, our suburb is the second last on a 3 series route plus a couple of 7 series expresso’s. Now, when a bus is stopped for passengers people overtake. Nothing unusual in this you might say. Well the fact is it is ok to pass a staionary but BUT NOT WHEN THERE IS ONCOMING TRAFFIC! People seem to think that because the bus is stopped they have the right to cross the line, be it unbroken or not, and force oncoming traffic to the left of the road.

For the record:

140 No overtaking unless safe to do so
A driver must not overtake a vehicle unless:
(a) the driver has a clear view of any approaching traffic;
and
(b) the driver can safely overtake the vehicle.

This means if there is oncoming traffic, WAIT BEHIND THE BUS!.

Its not that hard & not particularly restricted to drivers. I see it all the time with other cyclists & pedestrians who just wont/cant wait the seconds it takes to pass safely. I dont know what it is about this particular skill but people are incapable of it.

Also happens if I am riding around the Cotter, people will pass you across double yellow lines in blind corners nearly causing accidents.

I am not directing this at drivers but at people in general. It just baffles me.

mr_spoon 1:35 pm 21 Oct 11

Wow, switch to decaf.

The fluff is cool. Riding through the poplar clouds is like riding into Middle-Earth. Or at least, a fourth-level adventure of some sort. Cast yourself a Protection from Plants and carry on.

Primal 1:21 pm 21 Oct 11

If we can’t have snow, we need to protect our fluff at all costs.

KaptnKaos 1:14 pm 21 Oct 11

This sort of nonsense from tintops is not just restricted to you cyclists, riding my motorcycle to work yesterday morning I got an earful because my noisy bike interupted a phone call for a fellow in a tintop. He then proceeded to try and run me off the road, must apologise to this poor tintop twat because they now have a nice boot dent on their door.

H1NG0 said :

Since you are the mayor of Gungahlin and all, can you explain why the overhead sign on Gungahlin drive this morning said that I now have to share the road with cars, bikes and get this….PEOPLE!

That should have read “aim for” not “share” and then shown the points after each category.

Felix the Cat 1:01 pm 21 Oct 11

Nice rant, Al! Unfortunately it will be wasted on most of the posters here. I’m surprised that no one has yet mentioned the no bike rego thing or questioned if you are a lycra wearing p00f. I’m sure it’s just a matter of time.

There is plenty of fluff of the Poplar variety at ANU as well.

FD10 12:58 pm 21 Oct 11

“and finally, that witnessing the mess that you have made of someone through you own poor driving decisions, whether or not they survive, is a very hard thing to live with, but apparently this is the only way to learn, because learning that lesson before the fact is impossible.”

If sacrificing cyclists will make car drivers better, bring it on I say. I’d rather have an incompetent person in control of a 20kg bicycle than in control of a 1500kg car on the roads. Two birds, one stone!

Oh and by the way, I’d like to see your “right” to the road. Typical snooty lycra-brigade mentality (who seem to think of cycling as some favour they’re doing the world), but not shared by the “99%” of those who cycle. Let’s get this straight – the use of a vehicle – any vehicle – on the road is a privilegde, not a right. Keep this in mind next time you chivalrously take on something with 15 times the mass on the road. Maybe you should lower your social standing amongst the cycling world and use a cycle path instead? Or if you can’t stand the humiliation from lycra-brigade peers while waiting for your skinny-decaff-latte, shut the hell up and deal with the crappy drivers like the rest of the road users.

tidalik 12:57 pm 21 Oct 11

Obviously I meant poplars, not popars.

tidalik 12:56 pm 21 Oct 11

Woden is full of white popars. Riding along Adelaide Avenue or Athllon Drive must be pretty fluffy at the moment.

H1NG0 12:28 pm 21 Oct 11

Since you are the mayor of Gungahlin and all, can you explain why the overhead sign on Gungahlin drive this morning said that I now have to share the road with cars, bikes and get this….PEOPLE!

Not only do I have to look out for moron cyclists pedalling on the road instead of their own perfectly fine road about 2 metres away, I now have to look out for people randomly walking on Gungahlin drive.

churl 12:16 pm 21 Oct 11

You need to get used to this new side effect of bike lanes.
Now there are some on-road bike lanes, drivers subconciously expect clear passage on all roads. This is especially dangerous on wider roads without bike lanes which naturally separate into a bike flow and a car flow, until something forces them to mix again …

shadow boxer 11:45 am 21 Oct 11

I think we need more information Al,

If you were in the bike lane or gutter and pulled into the traffic to go around a parked car she would be in the right wouldn’t she ?

Chop71 11:38 am 21 Oct 11

Now that is worth an award much greater than the usual flame of the week.
Hand the man a prize.

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