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Cyclists of the Night

By cring 31 August 2008 47

As a Canberra driver and cyclist, I’d like to briefly remind other cyclists to wear bright clothing if they’re going to be cycling on the road.

On Saturday evening, I was about to drive into Belconnen Way (what the street exactly was I can’t remember for the life of me). It was about 6:30PM at this point, so it was rather dark. What seemed to be from out of nowhere, a cyclist road across the road very, very slowly, to the point where I had to go from 60km/h to a near standstill over 400-500m. If I had not been paying enough care or had poor eyesight, I could have easily hit the cyclist, as they were plodding along very slowly and wearing completely black clothes, no helmet and didn’t have so much as a light on their bicycle either. It could have been a very dangerous, nasty incident had it not been for my headlights – this isn’t the first time this has happened to me either. I personally felt that there was no risk to the cyclist at the time, but I felt it was my duty as a citizen of this city that loves to cycle to make this reminder.

So, just a quick shout out to Canberra cyclists – if you’re going to be riding in the early evening or the night, please have the appropriate clothing and/or equipment that makes you stand out so drivers are aware of your presence on the road. If you’re leaving before it gets dark but think it’ll get dark by the time you reach your destination, wear the appropriate gear before you set out and think ahead so you can pull over safely to turn on the lights on your bicycle.

Thanks for reading; have a happy and safe trip!

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Cyclists of the Night
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Holden Caulfield 2:30 pm 04 Sep 08

Horrid said :

People who propose this and similar measures as mandatory are not so much genuinely interested in cyclist safety as in eliminating cycling – their real objective behind the fake ‘concern’ for cyclist welfare is to progressively add so many mandatory requirements before one can legally get on a bicycle that it just becomes too much trouble, hence one less cyclist on the road. If the people proposing mandatory fluro vests got their way, they would still not be satisfied- they would immediately be demanding yet another encumberance of one form or another for cyclists.They understand that it is the best way to ensure that new potential cyclists never take up cycling. Sorry mandatory fluro vest advocates, but we see through your real intentions.

Cyclists already have to ride a roadworthy bicycle in a legal manner, wear a helmet and show lights at night. That’s fair enough, and that’s also where the line should be drawn. People pushing this arguement should simply acknowledge they don’t like cyclists on roads, rather than pretending to care about their safety.

I haven’t read the entire thread, but I don’t like cyclists on the road. For the simple reason it can be fking dangerous. In a world of OH&S that prevents us from so much as sneezing without having a lesson on how to get into the correct sneezing posture we allow 85kg of human and bike to share the road with 1200-2500kg of human and car. On top of that travelling/closing speeds can vary from anything in between 0-100km/h. FFS, it is deluded no matter how you look at it!

Be that as it may, we have to share the roads with cyclists and I’m happy enough to do so while the law says I must, but FFS, wearing day-glo black, no helmet and no lights at night time is asking to be run over.

If cyclists want to share the road with cars at least give the small number of motorists who actually pay attention while driving do a chance. Is that too much to ask?!

Roma 2:19 pm 04 Sep 08

^^ LOL

Horrid, to quote Cring: “So, just a quick shout out to Canberra cyclists – if you’re going to be riding in the early evening or the night, please have the appropriate clothing and/or equipment that makes you stand out so drivers are aware of your presence on the road.”

Notice how Cring doesnt actually suggest making anything madatory, but merely reminded all cyclists that its a good idea to ensure that you are clearly visable to drivers at night? You keep saying that properly-let cyclists shouldn’t have to be responsible for any further precautions. Cring simply suggested that all cyclists should be properly lit. Seems to me, you both want the same thing.

Now, why dont you just take a deep breath, swallow your pride, and admit that you have just lost the plot over something completely ridiculous and taken a stab at someone who wasnt actually having a go at you or attempting to threaten your cycling lifestyle in any way whatsoever. There there.

tylersmayhem 3:53 pm 02 Sep 08

since when did it become the responsibility of cyclists to bear the cost and inconvenience of additional measures to compensate for the inattentiveness and/or incompetence of drivers who cannot see a legally riding cyclist in broad daylight

So exactly what are you suggesting horrid? Motorisits need to be stopping each cyclist they see and giving them a fiver towards safety equipment!? I don’t see many motorcyclists expecting someone else to pay for the added safety equipment they need to prevent against the same carelessness.

Disappointing though that so many cyclists themselves don’t see straight through the tactic…to get them off roads altogether

I really don’t understand where you get this view or conspiracy from. Who exactly is trying to get us cyclists off the road? I ride and I do choose to wear hi-viz, helmet and a bunch of lights for my own preservation. I don’t expect motorists to fork out for this and I certainly don’t think there is any movement to get cyclists off the road. Another point that was touched on earlier outlines a concern which is often more of a problem – other cyclists with no lights, hi-viz, helmet etc. They pose just as much of a risk in some situations than a car going at 80Km an hour.

Do you have much trouble cycling and smoking your crack pipe at the same time?

Granny 3:31 pm 02 Sep 08

A good pogrom is exactly what is needed to purge our city of the evil cyclists forever …

*maniacal laughter*

… oh, wait! My mum is a cyclist. Never mind, she’s had 70 good years.

Horrid 2:30 pm 02 Sep 08

Well I hardly expected the anti-cyclists to respond by saying “Yep, Horrid, you’re onto us- weighing down cyclists with extra rules and gear to make it less easy and therefore reduce the number of cyclists is exactly what we were trying to do- we promise not to do it again”. Naturally they are going to maintain the pretense that they are motivated entirely by safety concerns. My pointing this out is not conspiracy theory, it’s obvious fact.

Disappointing though that so many cyclists themselves don’t see straight through the tactic and are so niavely assisting the arguements of those whose primary desire is not to ensure their safety, but to get them off roads altogether.

A final question- since when did it become the responsibility of cyclists to bear the cost and inconvenience of additional measures to compensate for the inattentiveness and/or incompetence of drivers who cannot see a legally riding cyclist in broad daylight, or a properly lit cyclist at night- surely it would be more logical, and much fairer and safer for everyone concerned, to take the motorist off the road instead?

peterh 10:57 am 02 Sep 08

Gungahlin Al said :

Nothing like a car v bicycle thread to crank up the posters…

But ninja dogs? That’s a new slant…

I’d agree, except that ninjas are (mostly) silent. Don’t know too many dogs that are.
Hate barking dogs. Almost as much as “on-road bike paths”.

rode past one of the damned black ninja dogs the other night. it was silent, up to the bit where I was obviously too close to its owner. the barking nearly made me stack, scared the life out of me.

who says dogs don’t have a sense of humor?

Gungahlin Al 10:50 am 02 Sep 08

Nothing like a car v bicycle thread to crank up the posters…

But ninja dogs? That’s a new slant…

I’d agree, except that ninjas are (mostly) silent. Don’t know too many dogs that are.
Hate barking dogs. Almost as much as “on-road bike paths”.

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