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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?


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79 Responses to
Commuter Cycling on Adelaide Avenue
Gungahlin Al 6:29 am 15 Dec 09

Not sure people realise how much the speed differential means such casual things can hurt or even lead to a serious accident. I was hit by a simple strawberry thrown from a car once (yes just a strawberry!) and it hurt like hell. An apple could have taken right off your bike. Very lucky to stay upright. they wouldn’t want to get pulled up at the next set of lights…

Piratemonkey 12:13 am 15 Dec 09

When it comes to give way signs, stop signs and red lights cars obey them because if they don’t eventually one poor timed mistake will kill somebody.

I often see cyclists ignoring these golden rules cars have to obey, simply because they are on the very edge of the road and it looks fairly safe. It is my opinion this behaviour is one of the main reasons normally sane non road-raging people have such animosity against cyclists. So please for christs sake stop it.

As for people riding across a padestrian crossing…. Its called a padestrian crossing for a reason for crying out loud. If you are walking, cars give way to you. If you are on a vehicle (ie bike as has been pointed out) you have to give way to traffic. Period. As far as I am concerned you know you have to give way and will. Call me an asshole but I will not stop even if you are going at a snails pace. Thems tha rules people.

cleo 12:06 am 15 Dec 09

Honestly I have stopped for so many cyclists while they rode their bikes across a pedestrain crossing, and some were going fast, now who would be to blame if the motorist ran into the cyclist?

Punter 12:00 am 15 Dec 09

I hope you took some information from the vehicle in question (rego plate etc), and further I hope you reported the matter to Police. If you were riding in the cycle lane, you are obligated to ride there by law, no driver should have a problem with that.

Sgt Bungers, sure a cyclist has the ‘right’ to be on a road at that point, but they are mixing with vehicular traffic which, as you acknowledge, can be as heavy as several tonnes. I personally would not choose to mix myself in such a hazardous circumstance as that. I prefer to be alive and healthy than right. How’s the comment from shiny flu #7? ‘Don’t worry, they’re only trying to kill you’ That is spot on, no cyclist will come off a winner in that arguement, why put yourself in that situation? You’ll also find menacing driving requires a threat of pesonal injury or damage to property, not by simply blocking a crossing and having a go. The sooner cycle lanes are seperated from vehicular traffic by more than just a painted line the safer for both. Be safe folks.

Ceej1973 10:58 pm 14 Dec 09

Pity you didnt get rego and the apple for DNA!

jasmine 10:18 pm 14 Dec 09

It may not have been deliberate. An quick toss of an apple out the window by some compost loving motorist perhaps.

There is a big cyclist vs motorist debate in the ACT. Personally we have gone a bit mad in Canberra with the cycling lanes on major roads some with horrendously dangerous parts such as that on Streeton Drive with the turnoff into Namatjira, as well as a treacherous points on Adelaide Avenue with merging traffic and the turnoff area into Kings Ave from State Circle etc.

A lot of the cycle lanes are wasted money when there are perfectly good cycle paths built at some cost a few years ago right next to the road cycle lanes eg. Hindmarsh Drive, State Circle.

The cyclists tend to be a bit tetchy about perceived aggression and the motorists a bit defensive in return.

Sgt.Bungers 9:32 pm 14 Dec 09

That time of year I guess. On the 312 this morning heading north into Woden. On Athlon drive, crossing Hindmarsh, the bus caught up to a person on a bike half way through the intersection. The “professional” bus driver, rather than choose to maintain a safe distance from the person on the bike (who was legally using the road), chose to drive at a distance that I as a passenger found *extremely* uncomfortable. Obviously at some point in this bus drivers life, he decided that endangering the life of another human being using a several tonne machine, as a result of being held up for 5 seconds, was a reasonable thing to do?

Even better… the incident started up the young girls behind me, who, judging from their ages, had just earned their drivers licences. They started talking about how they *HATE* cyclists, the passion in their voices was eery. Carrying on about how cyclists are so inconsiderate and selfish, expecting everyone to wait for them… how they always beep the horn at cyclists if they get in their way whilst trying to turn. (Expecting the roads to be free of everything but motor vehicle traffic at all times is not selfish, apparently.) The best quote “the road is only for cars, get the f*** off”. Obviously during their driver training these girls were never told that the road is not just for motor vehicle traffic, and everyone is expected to get along and play nice… like adults.

This arvo, waiting for the bus to go home, I witnessed an old coot in a Honda Jazz fail to give way to a cyclist at a pedestrain crossing. Granted, the cyclist is required to dismount and didn’t, however she was riding no faster than walking pace. Not only did this person fail to give way, he stopped on the crossing, wound down his window and began having a go at the cyclist he came close to injuring. When the cyclist attempted to get around the hazard the old fart caused, he again deliberately moved forward into her path. Unfortunately I was a fair way away, or I would’ve had a few choice words.

Cyclist crime: Failing to dismount at a pedestrain crossing. ~$50 fine.

Bus driver and Jazz drivers crimes: Driving a motor vehicle with intent to menace another person, up to one year in prison.

Snarky 9:28 pm 14 Dec 09

I’m fairly regular on Adelaide Ave, never had an issue. Occasionally I cop a bit of abuse but for reasons I can’t figure out it always seems to be on Canberra Ave in Manuka. A kid threw an apple at me once in Weston Creek 4-5 years ago.

shiny flu 9:12 pm 14 Dec 09

It’s not Canberra, it’s not you… it happens in a lot of cities around the world.

I’ve had half full plastic bottles thrown at me because I ‘forced’ a car to slow down as I was going across an Exit on the green striped bike lane. It really is just a few bogans with nothing better to do than try and kill you.

The best thing to do is find alternative routes if possible. Sure the road surface is nice and smooth but I prefer taking an extra 5 min along the back way with less traffic.

OYM 9:09 pm 14 Dec 09

Standby in 5,4,3,2…1 for the same old cyclist/motorist debate.

queeg 8:25 pm 14 Dec 09

It must be silly season. Had someone think it would be funny to yell out his car window at me on the way home tonight for no apparent reason (seriously – no reason at all!!). While driving home Thursday night last week (yes DRIVING), I had no fewer than five near misses from other cars. It’s got nothing to do with you being a cyclist.
Re 54-11’s comment – you do know that bicycles are vehicles don’t you? Maybe you have just exposed yourself as one of many car drivers in Canberra who don’t actually know the road rules.

phototext 8:23 pm 14 Dec 09

“No, driver aggression toward cyclists is not common.”

Ha !

Deckard 7:32 pm 14 Dec 09

I think you’ve touched 54-11’s nerve.

Have never had anything thrown at me, just a bit of verbal abuse every now and then. It was lucky you didn’t get hit in the face. Could have done some real damage.

54-11 6:56 pm 14 Dec 09

No, driver aggression toward cyclists is not common. However, I can tell you that aggression the other way round is much more common. I was abused by an idiotic cyclist on the Woden roundabout – he thought he was a car and moved into the roundabout just as I was coming around the corner. I had to get out of this dickhead’s way, and he then started to abuse me.

Stupid, ignorant, aggressive cyclists should stay off major highways, specially if they are going to think that they are cars. They’re not – they’re just dickheads.

basketcase 6:51 pm 14 Dec 09

Been pelted a couple of times, mainly yobos. That’s over a few years so I wouldn’t describe it as normal, especially on Adelaide Ave. If you have your wits about you you could collect a number plate and complain to the police, not that I think they would do anything about it.

Bit like motorcyclists on the footpaths, you just got to live with.

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