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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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Another cycling hazard – fluff fall
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wildturkeycanoe 5:32 pm 25 Oct 11

ex-vectis – thanks for clearing that up, wasn’t sure if you were being sarcastic or not.
Guess this debate has as many “for” as “against”. No winners so far and I don’t think we will ever have any either.
At least now the fluff has stopped because of all the rain. Hey, I think the cyclists have stopped too, not too many around at the moment.

ex-vectis 3:39 pm 25 Oct 11

wildturkeycanoe said :

ex-vectis – see this site, http://www.islandbreaks.co.uk/site/sports-and-outdoor-activities/cycling/cycling-safety.
An excerpt from the Isle Of Wight’s Tourism page regarding cycling states “As a cyclist you are using a vehicle, like any other rider or driver. You must obey the Road Traffic Law at all times. Concentrate, try to anticipate what is going to happen ahead of you and think safety. Do not take risks. Do not disobey ‘One way’, ‘Keep left’, ‘No entry’ and other road signs.”.

Why do you think we left all those years ago? Full of mad cycling law disobeyers who don’t concentrate or anticipate anything, take wild risks, are always going the wrong way on one-way streets and seem to think a no entry sign means come hither! That and the extremely limited, and noticeably so, gene-pool!

wildturkeycanoe said :

Al – that 6 seconds of patience to allow you the entire road, can on a busy day cause a chain reaction through the vehicles behind as they respond to the brake lights of the one in front. Even though the lady driver may only slow down by 30-40km/h, the sixth or seventh car has come to a complete stop.!

Yes, that is a very true and valid statement. Especially in Canberra where everyone tries to see just how close they can get to the car in front. That car only in front only has to take their foot off the accelerator for a split second and its just carnage behind. And all because a selfish cycle rider cant be bothered to get off the bicycle and push. Phhfft make them breath fluff I say…

carnardly 2:50 pm 25 Oct 11

next time you drive down Flynn Drive towards the big roundabout kind of behind the Hyatt hotel, just have a look at how the cars take it. 95% of cars there turning right (towards Commonwealth Ave) drift significantly left and straight into the “killing zone” sorry green bicycle lane. I travel down there at close to 40 kms an hour most days. If i stay in the green bike lane i have the majority of cars with their drivers looking to the right drift straight into the bike lane. More than a few have been roared at as they apparently veerr left into me without so much as looking. If not for my all attentive eyes and sense of how they’re focussed, I could well have been meat lovers pizza by now.

So using that point as an an example, I will claim a lane there. Then the cars won’t have a choice but to take their place behind me. I will not slow anyone down more than any other car does. I do it for my own safety, and pull left again immediately on the other side of the roundabout.

Classified 2:37 pm 25 Oct 11

Looks like another rider down near the NZ embassy. Hope they are ok.

Solidarity 2:12 pm 25 Oct 11

I don’t even know why people WANT to ride on the road, every day i see another biker rider on the side of the road fixing a puncture….

peterepete 1:49 pm 25 Oct 11

I didn’t see that combo coming. First, distract with a soft fluffy jab – and then follow it with up with a heavy rant between the eyes. Kapow.

Watson 1:29 pm 25 Oct 11

Classified said :

tidalik said :

Classified said :

I find it interesting (and this is not meant to be inflammatory) that car drivers are supposed to be patient and wait, but cyclists not so.

But why are cyclists supposed to stop completely to let someone else BEHIND them through, when we would never expect the same from a motorist? Do drivers pull over and stop on single lane highways, with oncoming traffic, when a speeding car wants to get past?

It’s a judgment call on how close the car is. If the car is only 20 or 30 metres back and doing more double your speed, and the cyclist pulls out in front, then I’d say the cyclist is engaging in pretty risky behaviour. I’ve seen cyclists in similar situations look back well before getting an obstacle, then moving across into a gap in traffic, cars behind slow down, cyclist moves back over, no worries for anyone.

Of course, there are always going to be both drivers and cyclists who can’t or won’t use common sense. In this case, I have no idea what happened as I wasn’t there.

That’s exactly how I do it and how I understood Al did it in this instance. I also take up the lane when approaching those tiny roundabouts in the burbs as there is not enough space for both car and bike on those. And I make sure I move over slowly but surely when it is safe to do so. Obviously if I think the car can overtake me safely before I get to the obstacle/roundabout I will let him do that. I’ll happily slow down a bit for that too. But I am definitely not going to stop to let him pass first.

shadow boxer 1:21 pm 25 Oct 11

Perhaps we could implement the V8 Supercar rules, if contact with the bike is behind the rear cog then the bike had the racing line and the car is at fault. If contact with the bike is in front of the rear cog then the car held the racing line and the bike is at fault.

Offending vehicles to serve a two minute penalty at the Haigh Park servo before heading back to Moore street

Classified 11:15 am 25 Oct 11

tidalik said :

Classified said :

I find it interesting (and this is not meant to be inflammatory) that car drivers are supposed to be patient and wait, but cyclists not so.

But why are cyclists supposed to stop completely to let someone else BEHIND them through, when we would never expect the same from a motorist? Do drivers pull over and stop on single lane highways, with oncoming traffic, when a speeding car wants to get past?

It’s a judgment call on how close the car is. If the car is only 20 or 30 metres back and doing more double your speed, and the cyclist pulls out in front, then I’d say the cyclist is engaging in pretty risky behaviour. I’ve seen cyclists in similar situations look back well before getting an obstacle, then moving across into a gap in traffic, cars behind slow down, cyclist moves back over, no worries for anyone.

Of course, there are always going to be both drivers and cyclists who can’t or won’t use common sense. In this case, I have no idea what happened as I wasn’t there.

tidalik 11:09 am 25 Oct 11

Classified said :

I find it interesting (and this is not meant to be inflammatory) that car drivers are supposed to be patient and wait, but cyclists not so.

But why are cyclists supposed to stop completely to let someone else BEHIND them through, when we would never expect the same from a motorist? Do drivers pull over and stop on single lane highways, with oncoming traffic, when a speeding car wants to get past?

tidalik 11:03 am 25 Oct 11

shadow boxer said :

As I understand it he was travelling in the car parking lane along Moore st at presumably about 20kmh when he chose to pull out into the main lane travelling at about 40-50 kmh causing the traffic going about its business to brake to avoid an accident and wait 6 seconds for Al to pass his parked car.

You dont think it would have made more sense to wait for a clearing in the traffic before pulling out and “taking the entire lane” while he passed the parked car ?

Here’s some practical advice that recommends planning to pass a parked car 30-5- metres before it happens.

http://www.envirowiki.info/Vehicular_bike_skills

That said Al may have done this, it’s hard to tell from the post

He indicated he did do this in post #17.

Classified 10:57 am 25 Oct 11

I find it interesting (and this is not meant to be inflammatory) that car drivers are supposed to be patient and wait, but cyclists not so.

niftydog 10:39 am 25 Oct 11

shadow boxer said :

Clown Killer said :

…if feel that there isn’t room for a car to safely pass I simply remove that option by actively taking up more of the lane.

Well I guess that answers my question, I guess it also permanently puts to bed the notion that is only car drivers behaving like selfish idiots out there.

A cyclist occupying a whole lane is not being selfish, Shadow Boxer, it is perfectly legal, sensible, and in many cases encouraged.

It is not difficult nor particularly time-consuming to anticipate another road user’s actions and give them a few seconds grace. I don’t understand why some people find it so difficult to just let stuff like this go; heart-attack candidates the lot of you!

shadow boxer 10:28 am 25 Oct 11

tidalik said :

shadow boxer said :

Not if they swerve into traffic without due care and attention you don’t, if that was the case we could all just pull out of our parking spaces with no thought to oncoming traffic.

Unless you are a bus of course.

But bicycles ARE traffic. Al was not parked by the side of the road, he was travelling. Why the constant denial that bicycles are road users?

As I understand it he was travelling in the car parking lane along Moore st at presumably about 20kmh when he chose to pull out into the main lane travelling at about 40-50 kmh causing the traffic going about its business to brake to avoid an accident and wait 6 seconds for Al to pass his parked car.

You dont think it would have made more sense to wait for a clearing in the traffic before pulling out and “taking the entire lane” while he passed the parked car ?

Here’s some practical advice that recommends planning to pass a parked car 30-5- metres before it happens.

http://www.envirowiki.info/Vehicular_bike_skills

That said Al may have done this, it’s hard to tell from the post

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