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Bloody On-Road Cyclists

By CrankyCanberran - 9 November 2005 88

I know what the ACT Government are thinking. Lets provide on road cycling, clear our air, stop the consumption of fuel and lower car emmisions. All very good, and good idea really. It keeps people fit, and does lower car emmisions, etc. The thing that drives me mad, is the way some cyclists think they dominate the road. By law, if you hit a pedestrian or cyclist, no matter what the circumstances, your at fault.

Now these green ‘cyclists have right of way’ glory paths plastered on more and more roads every week I find are a death trap. I can’t say I remember once where a cyclist has used this green path which usually cross an exit ramp, and actually NOT seeing cars almost running up the back of each other. Time after time I see a good 3-4-5 cars slam their breaks on due to a cyclist using this green path, and the cars not seeing the cyclist for whatever reason (most likely due to the cyclist not being as wide as a car and not standing out as much). I’ll try and get some footage of this happening and post up a link.

I’ve got 2 concerns about this :- the first being my frustration at the cyclists for using these green paths, and my second being the safety for these cyclists. I know the green paths mean cyclists have right of way, but for God’s sake, you cyclists aren’t cars. You dont have airbags, you dont have crumple zones built into your bike. Its your life on the line – if you get hit, you get hit good. Sure the drive of the car will get in trouble if they hit you, but isn’t it better to avoid accidents then to know you have right of way if one does happen? I’m sure everyone can see the number of hit cyclists are going up almost on a weekly basis. I dont cycle on roads myself, but I can tell you if I did, I would certainly pull off to the side of the road to ‘cross’ the exit ramps then to just keep looking forward, continue cycling and hope for the best. This isn’t really the cyclists fault, its more of the people who thought of the idea in the first place.

I’m sorry to say it’s not just the green pathways that i’m concerned about. Pick a day, pick an intersection, and I guarentee you’ll see a cyclist doing something stupid. Today I saw a cyslist WITHOUT A HELMET come out of one of the designated cycle lanes and cross a Northbourne Avenue intersection diaginally from one side to another when their light was red. Are you a car today or a bike? A car would get booked if it went through a red light, you may not get booked, but you could very well get killed. Registration for bikes would be a really good idea I think, as well as them paying for some road costs. I can’t start to think how much it has cost the tax payer to pay contracts to drill all the cat-eyes on 3 lane roads to move them a foot to allow for a cycle lane. Its times when I see cyclists doing stupid things that really make me angry to think that so much money was spent on these cycle lanes, and these cyclists abusing the way they should ride on the road and endangering their lives.

I’m sure there is a website somewhere with how to properly use these cycle lanes, and i’m sure some items would include: wear bright clothing to attract attention – you dont stand out as much as a car or motorbike does, if you get to an intersection and the light is red – it means STOP, not hop up on the footpath to cross the intersection, check before using those death-trap green paths to ensure its safe or pull over onto the side of the road and cross when there is no cars.

In the end, i’m writing with concerns for you cyclists lives. Of course you have right of way – IF YOU SURVIVE THE ACCIDENT. I guarentee you the car will have right of way in a fatal accident. If you use the cyclist on-road cycling – your a car. Stop at red lights, give way as you would in a car. In the end the only thing you’ll get out of doing the right thing, is potentionally preventing an accident which you dont stand a chance with against a car.

What’s Your opinion?


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88 Responses to
Bloody On-Road Cyclists
Thumper 12:39 pm 09 Nov 05

Must…. not….. comment…. bikes…..allowed….on road.

random 12:34 pm 09 Nov 05

Blamemonkey, how wide is the road? It’s often safer for cyclists to take up the entire lane/road on narrow streets because there isn’t enough room for cars to safely drive past them. That’s especially true on blind corners. It’s also possible that they can’t safely ride on the edge of the road. Road bikes are much more fragile than cars, so the surface of the shoulder might not be smooth enough.

Cyclists don’t need to dismount at pedestrian crossings, but they don’t have right-of-way unless they do.

Blamemonkey 12:03 pm 09 Nov 05

I know this subject has been done to death on this site but the simple fact is that there are cock head cyclist who believe they are “car” proof.

What also pisses me off is when cyclists ride across pedestian crossing corect me if i’m wrong but they are ment to get off there Farking bike when they cross…

Simple fact bike vs Car, car wins every time! so why put yourself in a dangerous situation where you could lose your life .

keep safe keep on the bike paths.

Maelinar 12:03 pm 09 Nov 05

I can’t see the problem with the green lanes, its not as if they are sudden or anything like that, nor generally do cyclists suddenly approach from an off-road path onto a green lane (most of the time they are already on the roadside).

So as I’m approaching a green lane in my car, I can see the cyclist, I can see the green lane, and I have to judge my speed and the speed of the cyclist just like when I overtake EVERYTHING else on the road.

If I can’t make it, I slow down enough to let the cyclist clear the obstacle, if I can, I do (and safely too – I don’t cut in front of the cyclist).

That said, should a cyclist suddenly appear in the green lane from – wherever, and insist on right of way, a solid burst from my car horn in close proximity and the revving of a car that’s been dropped 2 gears aught to make his spandex a little more brown.

Still, I don’t have any problem with the green lane. Get over it.

zhimmyd 11:39 am 09 Nov 05

Hey Blamemonkey,

Bikes can ride on your roads, but if you drove on their bike paths, you’d be the one who gets in trouble! 🙂

Blamemonkey 11:32 am 09 Nov 05

Living out in Gundaroo, I hate Cyclists, they are out there every weekend riding on Sutton road and Murrumbateman road in groups of three or more spread across the lane which has a speed limit of 100Ks with heaps of blind fu*king corners….

Now if I collect a cyclist at 100ks I have probably ended there life and ruined mine in all honesty I see this as selfish, it is not a freakin bike path out there it is a fraking rural road with blind corners I’m surprised that a Cyclist isn’t injured/killed out there every other weekend.

What also shits me is that they (group of 3+) take up the whole freakin lane so I am forced to go around 40ks an hour… give me a break..

It’s my Road get the Hell off it!

zhimmyd 11:13 am 09 Nov 05

I understand what your saying Snarky. There isn’t bike lanes everywhere, and really, some of them are in dodgey condition with tree root cracks appearing and making it a bumpy ride. I would have rather have seen the money spent on 1: fixing existing paths, and 2: creating new paths, even if they are 5-10 metres off the roadside for safety.

I disagree with you on the costs to put those ‘green’ lanes in. Have a good look at a road with a cycle lane. They have had to pay contractors to drill (yes drill) every single cat-eye off the road, get engineers to approve the new lane width, then pay the contractors again to re-stick down new cateyes, and paint new lines on the road. On top of this, its starting to get unavoidable at some parts on the roads to NOT drive over where the old cat-eyes used to be (where the old tar exists) to give you a very noisy drive. It would cost them hundreds of thousands of dollars to do a big stretch of road (such as Adelaide avenue). On top of that, speed limits have been dropped in alot of places (Like Northbourne, from 70kmph to 60kmph) because of the new cycle lanes, thus creating a slow trip for cars (not that Northbourne usually moves that quick, but its just an example).

Like you, i’d take an extra detour to simply stay off the road. I’d much rather breathe in cleaner air from around the lake, then to breathe in car-exhaust emmissions by cycling on the road. Just watch – there will be law suits against the government for all these people who get lung cancer down the track becaues of that exact reason!

I still worry about the safety of the onroad cycling. As you said, drivers should look out when they drive, and they do. My point about not seeing cyclists is easy. If your doing 80km down Adelaide Avenue and your turning off (across a green path cycle way), the sun is in your eyes, there is no way you’d see a cyclist wearing dark coloured clothes as easy as you would see a black car, or even a motor bike. Also seeing those stupid ‘sit down bicycles’ without any type of high rising flag to attract attention is just asking for trouble. They would easily go under a 4WD.

colsim 11:07 am 09 Nov 05

Ooh, nice point about the car/semi-trailer relationship and also about making big detours with bikepaths Snarky. (My ride to work – when I get off my fat arse and do it – takes 20 mins more if I follow the bike path route)

(And probably generally better put than my rant)

colsim 11:02 am 09 Nov 05

I’m not going to buy into this
I’m not going to buy into this
I’m not going to buy into this

But…selfish is the inability to share – if you can’t slow down to leave a main road and if you’re not paying attention to other road users (motorbikes aren’t much bigger than pushies) then perhaps it’s your own use of the roads you need to be considering Bonfire et al.

I have a car, I buy petrol and my taxes go to roads as much as yours. I also pay for roads that I never use, just as you all do. If I choose to ride my bike and there are lanes there, I’m going to use them – end of story. Should we get rid of those selfish bus lanes as well?

I’d be very interesting to see your facts zhimmyd – I’m seeing a lot of conjecture but not so much in the way of backup.

As for cyclists acting like they own the road – when you are cruising along an 80kmh road, you have to be confident and you have to assert your rights or cars will just…um…walk all over you. Try it sometime and maybe you’ll understand a little more.

(And for the record, I’m opposed to any road user acting in an unsafe manner)

Ok, having said all that, this is a discussion that’s been had many a time with little resolution so that’s (probably) all I’m going to say on the matter (unless someone say something worthwhile)

Snarky 10:56 am 09 Nov 05

as i have stated before, cyclists are intrinsically selfish.

Thank god for our altruistic, caring and aware car drivers then, eh, bonfire? Be a real mess otherwise.

Snarky 10:53 am 09 Nov 05

Agree with Slinky and T-bone. But what the heck…

By law, if you hit a pedestrian or cyclist, no matter what the circumstances, your at fault.
Are you quite sure about that? I think not.

..the cars not seeing the cyclist for whatever reason..
Cars miss seeing motorbikes, other cars, buses and trucks too. If a person is given control of a large fast dangerous object they should learn to control the bloody thing, and that includes whatching where they’re going.

…first being my frustration at the cyclists for using these green paths…
I understand where you’re going, and sympathise to a degree, but as a regular cyclist two points spring up. One, cycle paths are great in Canberra – they really are. But they don’t go everywhere particularly efficiently. I don’t mind a 1-2 km detour in places if it’s safer, but sometimes the road is your only serious option. In this case give me a marked on-road cycle lane rather than nothing at all. Two, the more cyclists are around, then eventualy even Canberra drivers will take notice of where they are, if only to protect their duco.

not looking behind in green lanes… stop lights… helmets… registration… road costs…

Road users are supposed to drive safely, and that includes cyclists. They’re supposed to change lanes safely and wear (seat belts) or (helmets) by already existing laws. If they don’t then they can and are fined now if they’re caught in the act. What would registration do? Costs? I doubt green paint costs that much more than white paint, and I doubt even more that bikes wear that many potholes in the road. Police can and do already stop cyclists if they wish – they don’t need a registration number. Are road users going to ring up to complain about cyclists behaviour with a rego nmber? Probably, and i’m sure they’ll be handled by the same lucky cop who takes calls from people with car regos and complaints too, and will do the same thing – zip.

If you use the cyclist on-road cycling – your a car.
no, you’re a cyclist road user with just as much right to be there as the car/truck/bus beside you – and like them you’ve a responsibility to obey teh road rules and ride safely.. and a right to expect car drivers to make at least a token effort to be aware of your presence and drive in a safe manner. Just like car drivers expect semi trailer drivers to do for them.

bonfire 10:25 am 09 Nov 05

as i have stated before, cyclists are intrinsically selfish.

the whole cycle lane green zones are but one manifestation of this.

i dont think teh cycle lanes are long for this world. change of govt/minister and pedal power may not have the access they have now.

zhimmyd 10:20 am 09 Nov 05

Sorry to bore you both. I don’t remember holding your head to the screen to make you read it.

Slinky the Shocker 9:50 am 09 Nov 05

Yes, I second T-Bone…Can you guys come up with something more original? Surfers vs. jetskis on Lake Burley Griffin? Koalas vs. Kangaroos in Tidbinbilla?

T_Bone 9:36 am 09 Nov 05

Cars vs Cyclists, again….bored with the subject and arguments. (read other threads for details)

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