Skip to content Skip to main navigation

News

We'll switch your business
to Led lighting for Free*

Commuter Cycling on Adelaide Avenue

By alym - 14 December 2009 79

Riding along the Adelaide Avenue cycle lane towards Woden this morning I was pelted by an apple from a passing motorist.  This has left a considerable bruise on my arm as well as shaken me up quite a bit.

As someone new to Canberra and commuting via bike I was just keen to get some thoughts on whether motorist aggression towards cyclists is a common occurance or hopefully just a case of one bad apple…

What’s Your opinion?


Please login to post your comments, or connect with
79 Responses to
Commuter Cycling on Adelaide Avenue
Filter
Showing only Website comments
Order
Newest to Oldest
Oldest to Newst
Aeek 12:07 am 29 Dec 09

last week, I

* was inspired by this thread to commute via Adelaide Ave. Riding to work at 7am there was a lycra bunch ahead. Yes they were using some of the lane. The traffic was light so it was easy to use the other lane.

* riding through Cook at 45? I noticed a car not gaining on me. When I slowed drastically to go uphill the queue passed me easily, but no one could pass the lead car. Who’s the blockage here?

Ezreal2001 7:32 pm 27 Dec 09

Muttsybignuts said :

Horrid said :

A lot of talk, but it boils down to one thing-
Cyclists are legally entitled to ride on Canberra roads and will do so- in increasing numbers and forever.

Bigots and red-necks note; that statement was not made for discussion, but as a simple statement of fact. Indeed, the more that bigots and rednecks maintain on Riot ACT that cyclists should not/cannot/must not ride on roads, the more we will do it. And there is NOTHING- absolutely NOTHING- you can do to prevent it. You can nash your teeth, shout abuse, honk your horns, display your ignorance and prejudice on Riot Act, and all this will do is make cyclists more determined than ever to exercise thier legal, moral and financial right as taxpayers to ride on roads.

Again: Canberra cyclists will ride on roads and there is nothing you can do to prevent it. Don’t like it? Then leave.

Mate I don’t really give a rats arse about this debate however you are wrong in this regard. Car drivers will sadly always have the power because they are controlling a very heavy, very fast machine. If someone is having a bad day and driving a car then all the spandex and aluminium in the world isn’t going to save a cyclist. The rider will always come off second best.

Um yeah, and some nut job might decide to take a bomb on plane but that isn’ going to stop me flying any time soon.

Horrid 3:11 pm 27 Dec 09

I understand the physics Muttsy, but that simply reinforces my arguement. The point you have made is something that anti-cycling bigots will repeat endlessly, in the hope that having completely lost the legal, financial and moral arguement for banning cycling on roads, they can still win by simply terrorising cyclists off the roads by the threat of accidents or even deliberate violence.

You can’t combat incompetent driving by simply removing other road users from the path of the incompetent, and you never win against terrorism by giving in to the terrorists- something most cyclists understand, hence the increase in the number of road riding cyclists every year.

As I say- Canberrans will cycle on roads, in increasing numbers, and forever. And regardless of what happens in the cyberspace world of Riotact, in the real world the arguement is gradually being won.

Muttsybignuts 11:24 am 27 Dec 09

Horrid said :

A lot of talk, but it boils down to one thing-
Cyclists are legally entitled to ride on Canberra roads and will do so- in increasing numbers and forever.

Bigots and red-necks note; that statement was not made for discussion, but as a simple statement of fact. Indeed, the more that bigots and rednecks maintain on Riot ACT that cyclists should not/cannot/must not ride on roads, the more we will do it. And there is NOTHING- absolutely NOTHING- you can do to prevent it. You can nash your teeth, shout abuse, honk your horns, display your ignorance and prejudice on Riot Act, and all this will do is make cyclists more determined than ever to exercise thier legal, moral and financial right as taxpayers to ride on roads.

Again: Canberra cyclists will ride on roads and there is nothing you can do to prevent it. Don’t like it? Then leave.

Mate I don’t really give a rats arse about this debate however you are wrong in this regard. Car drivers will sadly always have the power because they are controlling a very heavy, very fast machine. If someone is having a bad day and driving a car then all the spandex and aluminium in the world isn’t going to save a cyclist. The rider will always come off second best.

WalkTheTalk 3:41 pm 24 Dec 09

Congratulations niftydog! ‘C’ – “not care” is correct and you’re through to the next round, well done!

I agree with the crux of your point. It’s an aside to the points I’m making.

– No dramas with cyclists on roads provided they’re taking the appropriate measures to ensure their and others safety.

– No dramas with how dangerous (or not) road cycling is – yep, plenty far more dangerous things out there.

– Big dramas with a cyclist ending up in an accident because they were too careless to ensure even basic safety measures were met. Most people are big enough to make up their own mind and take their own safety into account.

Though if they’re not going to wear a helmet, use lighting, obey road rules etc. for their own sake, how about for the sake of whoever is unfortunate enough to have an accident with them, whoever responds to or witnesses the accident, and even worse, whoever has to inform the next of kin of the demise of a loved one. Not to take these simple measures is inviting problems.

niftydog 12:39 pm 24 Dec 09

WalkTheTalk said :

Otherwise how do you account for those (fortunately few) cyclists who continue to ride on roads (or paths for that matter) at night without the appropriate/any lighting and reflective clothing?

Did the cyclist without any night riding gear (or stock standard pedal reflectors for that matter) I passed before dawn on Drakeford Drive yesterday morning forget his risk assessment, not do it, or not care?

In all likelihood he has considered the implications in some fleeting manner, but he clearly just doesn’t care enough to do anything about his safety. Lock in C – “not care” thanks, Eddy. 😉

The crux of my point is just that I’m sick of people raving on about how dangerous on-road cycling is, as if they are the first people in history to consider the implications.

WalkTheTalk 7:35 am 24 Dec 09

In relation to post 72. niftydog, I don’t doubt that you represent those cyclists who do assess the risks associated with on road cycling, but none of us can speak for an entire group or mind set.

Otherwise how do you account for those (fortunately few) cyclists who continue to ride on roads (or paths for that matter) at night without the appropriate/any lighting and reflective clothing?

Did the cyclist without any night riding gear (or stock standard pedal reflectors for that matter) I passed before dawn on Drakeford Drive yesterday morning forget his risk assessment, not do it, or not care?

As a recreational cyclist I, like many others, am not disputing cyclists rights. Bear in mind though that these rights stem from how you exercise your responsibilities (as they do for a motorist). If you have the appropriate gear and travel responsibly and defensively/courteously that’s all that can be asked of you and exactly what you should expect from a motorist.

This will prevent most incidents before they arise, and will also leave you better prepared to cope with the minority of pedestrians, other cyclists, and motorists who do not exercise the same care.

We can get bogged down in the debate about specific behaviour by members of both groups, but if we keep the above in mind I think we’ll all be a lot better off.

niftydog 9:24 am 22 Dec 09

Helen said :

I have no problem with cyclists on the road…
I only have a problem when cyclists choose to ride on the road rather than on a designated cycle path that runs parallel to the road…

Thanks for clarifying your point – it certainly didn’t read that way initially.

You seem to be heading towards the suggestion that cyclists should use the paths where possible, and the road where that’s not practical. Unfortunately the second a cyclist does that they get blasted by the motoring public and told to decide whether they are a car or a bike! It’s just like dismounting at pedestrian crossings – damned if you do and honked at if you don’t!

When motorists reach consensus on these issues, be sure and let me know. I won’t be holding my breath.

Can I just assure everyone here that cyclists are WELL aware of the potential danger of riding in cycle lanes – this is not news to any of us! Stop making out like you are intellectually superior just because you wouldn’t ride on the road in a pink fit!

In other words; on-road cyclists have completed a risk assessment. (Thought the weasel words might help.)

Helen 4:20 pm 21 Dec 09

Danman said :

just to clarify – those paths adjacent to the on road cycle paths are actually Shared paths. Traffic on them can and does include people walking with family, pets, friends etc, children on training wheels, other meandering cyclists and slow traffic.

On road cycle lanes are specifically for cyclists, to enable clear egress from point A to point B without the risk of hitting other slow moving shared path users. This enables the user to get to their destintion in a minimum amount of fuss without dilly dallying around and having to constantly dodge unpredictable obstacles.

Thankyou, Danman. I understand the purpose of on road cycle lanes, and as I said, I do not have a problem with them whatsoever. My problem stems from the fact that there is no such lane on that particular section of Ginninderra Drive, and while there is a cycle path with a signpost “Cycle Route to Belconnen Town Centre”, cyclists tend not to use it. I understand that cyclists wish to get from point A to point B without the hassle of dodging unpredictable/slow movers – but so do drivers.

I hope people don’t think I’m a crazy hoon driver with no respect for cyclists – if they are on the road I will stay a safe distance behind them until it is clear to pass them safely. I do not want to be responsible for the injury/death of another person.

I guess I just think about the situation differently – because I know that when I have the choice of “ride along designated cycle path with the possibility of having to dodge other people” versus “ride along a road without a cycle lane with the possibility of being knocked off my bike” I would always choose the first option. I’d much prefer to have my trip delayed because I was avoiding other people on the path rather than have my trip delayed because I was knocked off my bike by a car.

I acknowledge the futility of my posts. Until there are cycle lanes installed (which probably won’t be until they duplicate the road), people will ride on the road. I just hope that there isn’t an accident.

Danman 2:56 pm 21 Dec 09

Helen, RE “I only have a problem when cyclists choose to ride on the road rather than on a designated cycle path that runs parallel to the road, which is precisely what happens along the section of Ginninderra Dr northwest of the Florey Dr roundabout. It’s quite clearly dangerous and I don’t understand why they do it… hence my post and my question”

just to clarify – those paths adjacent to the on road cycle paths are actually Shared paths. Traffic on them can and does include people walking with family, pets, friends etc, children on training wheels, other meandering cyclists and slow traffic.

On road cycle lanes are specifically for cyclists, to enable clear egress from point A to point B without the risk of hitting other slow moving shared path users. This enables the user to get to their destintion in a minimum amount of fuss without dilly dallying around and having to constantly dodge unpredictable obstacles.

As much as I ride most days, I will not use on road paths, and reading the above thread cements the deal for me.

Helen 9:41 am 21 Dec 09

niftydog said :

Helen said :

The cycle path along Ginninderra Dr, the part down by Dunlop, is at most 2m away from the road. It runs at this distance, parallel to the road… metal signs every now and then saying “Cycle Route to Belconnen Town Centre”.

Which is great, provided you are going to the Belconnen Town Centre. In reality most commuters are headed for the City or the University.

The route along Ginninderra Dr then via the AIS to the city is wandering, full of very long diversions to and from underpasses, and has many discontinuities in the path. In fact, between Kingsford Smith and Copland Drive I can’t see any paved connection. Then in O’connor the path turns towards Dickson, forcing you onto the roads to get to the city.

The reason why there’s no paved connection is because there is a cycle lane along that section of Ginninderra Dr. I have no problem with cyclists on the road, if there’s a cycle lane or, failing that, the road is wide enough for cars to safely pass. I will not go out of my way to scare a cyclist, or do anything stupid like throw an apple at one.

I only have a problem when cyclists choose to ride on the road rather than on a designated cycle path that runs parallel to the road, which is precisely what happens along the section of Ginninderra Dr northwest of the Florey Dr roundabout. It’s quite clearly dangerous and I don’t understand why they do it… hence my post and my question.

However, I suppose it’s just one of those little quirks of human nature, and talking about it on this fair forum will do nothing to help. But it sure does help the morning pass and Christmas come quicker…

Horrid 12:34 am 21 Dec 09

A lot of talk, but it boils down to one thing-
Cyclists are legally entitled to ride on Canberra roads and will do so- in increasing numbers and forever.

Bigots and red-necks note; that statement was not made for discussion, but as a simple statement of fact. Indeed, the more that bigots and rednecks maintain on Riot ACT that cyclists should not/cannot/must not ride on roads, the more we will do it. And there is NOTHING- absolutely NOTHING- you can do to prevent it. You can nash your teeth, shout abuse, honk your horns, display your ignorance and prejudice on Riot Act, and all this will do is make cyclists more determined than ever to exercise thier legal, moral and financial right as taxpayers to ride on roads.

Again: Canberra cyclists will ride on roads and there is nothing you can do to prevent it. Don’t like it? Then leave.

WalkTheTalk 1:51 am 20 Dec 09

I agree with the comments already made in relation to this being an on-going issue from way back.

Most importantly though, as mentioned by someone earlier in this thread, I agree that those who hurl objects at cyclists are unlikely to read this website. That being said, clearly they are nothing more than cowardly scum – sorry, calling them ‘bogans’ doesn’t cut it!

It’s unfortunate that these issues have become/continues to be a cyclist versus motorist debate, because as a few posts have touched on – aggressors are a minority from both sides. Where an incident occurs, in an ideal world it would great if the cyclist were able to have a constructive avenue to identify the motorist that caused them a grievance/ committed an offence etc. and have it addressed by the appropriate means and for a motorist to have the same opportunity where the roles were reversed. As no such mechanism exists (outside taking plates and reporting the matter etc for cyclists, and no real recourse for motorists) and as adrenaline often hits both parties (particularly the cyclist) often abuse is exchanged instead.

I’ve commuted by bicycle in Canberra on and off for the past eighteen years. In that time I’ve seen the best and worst of both cyclists and motorists. I would like to make a couple of quick points;

– Cyclists who disobey road rules (thankfully in the minority) aggravate / infuriate other cyclists more than they do motorists! This is because as evidenced in this thread, the two groups “tar” each other with broad brushes. If you knew it was John Smith riding that mountain bike straight through the red light you’ve been sitting at for the past two minutes – you’d be pissed at John, not cyclists in general. Similarly if Jane Smith hurled abuse from her car at you as she was “forced” to give way to you at an intersection then you’d be pissed at Jane, not all motorists.

– Cyclists should take all reasonable steps to ensure their own safety. There is no disputing that a cyclist has certain rights (and responsibilities) as a road user, but exercising their rights should not fly in the face of common sense and place a cyclist and/or motorist at undue risk (I appreciate there will be many differing definitions of ‘common sense’ and ‘undue risk’ among readers).

The fact of the matter is that when we ride (and drive) on the road we literally place our life in the hands of others (if you think in pictures, imagine the ‘crumple zone’ of a bike compared to a car!). If we bear this in mind and ride and drive appropriately these issues will occur less frequently.

I was reminded of this the other day when I was riding (well and truly) on a roundabout and a motorist nearly collided with me from my left, having initially held behind the give way line. I shouted (“OI!” For anyone interested…) and he braked and avoided a collision. He would have seen me had he been attentive despite the sun having risen a short time earlier and being at my back (around 6.30am).

Did I have right of way and would the motorist have been at fault had a collision occured?…Absolutely!

Would that matter to my wife and daughter had I been seriously injured or worse?…Not a chance!

Will I reconsider my route at that time of the morning to prevent that situation in the future?…You betcha!

As an aside, in relation to the issue of pedestrian crossings; legally cyclists most definitely have to dismount to cross. One of the reasons some don’t is that it’s quicker to ride across and get out of the way of motorists than to (in some cases) unclip, dismount, and walk across. Just a bit of insight for some motorists who may be irritated by this behaviour. Again – I’m not speaking for all cyclists who do this, just those who are trying to get to where they’re going with minimal fuss, and helping others to do the same.

Stay safe guys!

niftydog 3:05 pm 18 Dec 09

Helen said :

The cycle path along Ginninderra Dr, the part down by Dunlop, is at most 2m away from the road. It runs at this distance, parallel to the road… metal signs every now and then saying “Cycle Route to Belconnen Town Centre”.

Which is great, provided you are going to the Belconnen Town Centre. In reality most commuters are headed for the City or the University.

The route along Ginninderra Dr then via the AIS to the city is wandering, full of very long diversions to and from underpasses, and has many discontinuities in the path. In fact, between Kingsford Smith and Copland Drive I can’t see any paved connection. Then in O’connor the path turns towards Dickson, forcing you onto the roads to get to the city.

Holden Caulfield 10:05 am 17 Dec 09

Haha, good for you. 🙂

Postalgeek 11:35 pm 16 Dec 09

Yeah a very satisfying rant, capitals and everything. In the face of open hostility it was quite cathartic, though it put diplomacy to the sword. I’m sure smokers probably feel the same way. Like you say, Holden, it’s the same old banging the head against the brick wall. But I’m happy to vent here rather than on the road. This thread will join the countless other re-iterated cycle debates and disappear off the face of the earth.

As for slagging off motorists in general and negating any respect, the slagging off is directed at the ones who show no respect, and probably never will, by seeing fit to tell cyclists what they can and can’t do, irrespective of law, practicality, and reality, and by declaring their intent to harass and intimidate. If that isn’t clear in the post, accept my corrections. And if a motorist identifies with that group and takes offence, I’m not going to be too cut up about it.

I don’t expect my post to make one iota of difference to their perception. But the main thing is that I can relax onto my seat post now.

Holden Caulfield 7:53 pm 16 Dec 09

H1NG0 said :

Sometimes when I am riding my bicycle I feel like I am the only person on the road. If I have my earphones in and the iPod turned up really loud, I cannot hear the car horns and people yelling “Get off the fucking road.” Little compares to the exhilaration of listening to Queen’s ‘Bicycle’ while riding in the centre of a lane at half the speed limit with several hundred cars banked up behind me during peak hour traffic. Riding a bicycle is also an excellent way to quickly go downhill.

~lolz

KandyA 6:33 pm 16 Dec 09

I dont suppose the assult commiting hoons are likely to be online in a discussion forum….”that aint living!”

But is there anyone here that doesnt agree that bike paths in Canberra could be better?
Better separated from the roads for starters, better maintained / constructed?

How about some specifics – I think Postalgeek got their blood up and went a bit nuts sugesting overpasses everywhere – I struggle up the easiest of hills! The stretch before the incline leading to the hill overlooking the dam is just woeful. did they not realise trees have roots?

and just to share – I got abused over a minor incident when, on a bike i was in a turn right lane, coasting up to the red turning light. car from behind me also turning right almost merges with me as they zoom up to the red light to spend a good few seconds yelling at me – I usually stick to the gutter pretty close but this intersection I was in the middle of the turning lane as car entered the lane and forced me to the median strip gutter- not fast, just v. close coming across my path. Yelling ensued, as I enquired where they were going as they went past, and they screamed that l should use the bike path (isnt actually one there…) once I then passed stopped car at the lights. I am a good yeller, and the poor saddy pulled a knife – not a scary knife, a foldout pocket knife or something, seriously it should have made me laugh, seeing them sitting in their crap car with this pooncy little flick knife, getting lambasted soundly – hilarious! but to see them with weapon in hand just made me madder. Was quite prepared to sacrifice bike through windshield, but did actually need bike to go somewhere. (usually am going somewhere if on bike – perhaps one day I will be able to assult someone with a bike I just happen to have at the ready)

I probably am in a car 4-5 days a week and I cant think of a similar story of stupid or ugly from a bike rider. I do really hate bikes with frikkin 3 phase halogen headlamps that burn out your retina from 150m when Im on my bike! point em at the path you tools or Im just going to ride straight at you seeing I am unable to see where the path goes when you come along – yes Im looking at you nearly every one of you lycra clad racers and mountain bike riding warriors. That or Im going to start riding with a lance!

Ya see piratemonkey I dont just hate inconsiderate car driving throwbacks like your “run them over even if they are going at a snails pace” self !

spread the love….someone else.

Holden Caulfield 3:30 pm 16 Dec 09

@postalgeek, some good points there, and I started a long reply countering some, complimenting others, but figured what’s the point. It’s the same old shit over and over again, haha, as I’m sure you’ll agree.

I will say one thing, though, seeing as you’re only too happy to make bullshit generalisations about motorists, I hope you get a new seat for your bike this Christmas so that, finally, that pole gets removed form your arse.

You can’t expect to gain respect from motorists, no matter how genuine the claim may be, if you slag them off and fail to show the same respect you expect in return.

Two wrongs don’t make a right, and all that. Go read ABC129’s post again.

Related Articles

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2018 Riot ACT Holdings Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
www.the-riotact.com | www.b2bmagazine.com.au | www.thisiscanberra.com

Search across the site