Suicidal cyclists

LSWCHP 27 June 2011 89

Last week around 6pm I turned left off Clunies Ross St onto Barry Drive. It was dark and damp, with poor visibility and as I turned I almost creamed a cyclist who was pumping his way up the hill while occupying a large part of the left hand lane. He was wearing dark clothing with no reflective gear, and his only illumination was a ridiculous little light that appeared to be dimmer than a cigarette butt. He was almost invisible until he was right inside the arc of my lights. Luckily there was nobody in the lane to my right, so I was able to swerve around him, but it was bloody close. At the time I wondered why he wasn’t travelling on the nearby bike path.

The next night I saw two cyclists entering the Anzac Parade roundabout on Parkes Way at about the same time in heavy traffic. They were also clad in dark clothes with no reflective gear and with ineffective lights on their bikes. One of them was almost hit by a a motorist on the roundabout. I was sure I was going to witness a fatality, but luckily the driver was alert and managed to brake and swerve to avoid the cyclist at the last minute.

After those two frightening experiences in quick succession, I would like to urge ACT cyclists who wish to commit suicide to do so using more conventional and less messy techniques such as a noose, or pills and whiskey. This will be less painful for you, and far less traumatic for those who have to witness the results of your actions and clean up your remains.

On the other hand, if you don’t want to commit suicide by bike on these dark winter nights, then please consider wearing lots of reflective clothing, have powerful and effective front and rear lights and reflectors, keep well to the left on busy roads, and consider riding on bike paths when they are available.


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G-Fresh G-Fresh 10:30 am 31 Aug 11

These blokes need loud pipes. They’ll be noticeable then!

Diggety Diggety 10:26 am 31 Aug 11

Road using cyclists should be made to get a cyclists license, and be fined for stupidity.

Theory only like the car ‘Learners’ license would suffice.

KB1971 KB1971 9:03 am 31 Aug 11

cranky said :

Whilst many cyclists do seem to prefer to not stand out, can the bicycling defence guy in his camouflage gear at Duntroon understand that this clothing really #$@^%& WORKS!

Meandering across Morshead Drive in the late afternoon (shadows), made you almost impossible to see.

And who would be the bad guy if you were smacked?

Yah, I wonder about my bretheren sometimes. People call me a wanker because I wear bright coloured lycra (among other reasons 🙂 ) & I am a Tour de France wannabe but I stand out & that is the plan. Same with lights, you can never have too many or they be too bright (except for pedestrians…..).

cranky cranky 9:21 pm 30 Aug 11

Whilst many cyclists do seem to prefer to not stand out, can the bicycling defence guy in his camouflage gear at Duntroon understand that this clothing really #$@^%& WORKS!

Meandering across Morshead Drive in the late afternoon (shadows), made you almost impossible to see.

And who would be the bad guy if you were smacked?

KB1971 KB1971 3:01 pm 20 Jul 11

JTACT said :

If the pedal pusher was displaying a registration number/ id then he and his/ her fellow pedal pushers could be reported and made aware of the fault and get it fixed and possibly save a life.

Think of that one all by yourself did you?

JTACT JTACT 1:16 pm 20 Jul 11

If the pedal pusher was displaying a registration number/ id then he and his/ her fellow pedal pushers could be reported and made aware of the fault and get it fixed and possibly save a life.

carnardly carnardly 4:49 pm 05 Jul 11

Cyclists don’t hold up traffic – they are traffic. Just like bulldozers and busses and other things that might not get from 0-80 kmph in 20 metres

Deckard Deckard 4:39 pm 05 Jul 11

TC said :

I have given up on bike riders and so have fitted my vehicle with a motor vehicle video digital camera that fits to the windscreen with a suction cap. It feeds to a USB and runs while the ignition is on. Hopefully it will show my actions in any accident including those with bike riders. Wonderful colour and audio. It also has time/date and location and it is fitted with a GPS. Ahhhhhh piece of mind.

How many have you hit to have to do this?

TC TC 4:34 pm 05 Jul 11

I have given up on bike riders and so have fitted my vehicle with a motor vehicle video digital camera that fits to the windscreen with a suction cap. It feeds to a USB and runs while the ignition is on. Hopefully it will show my actions in any accident including those with bike riders. Wonderful colour and audio. It also has time/date and location and it is fitted with a GPS. Ahhhhhh piece of mind.

pete74au pete74au 4:12 pm 05 Jul 11

some very valid comments and observations. Having “rights” doesn’t mean you will live any longer if hit by a fast moving piece of steel. Also, one of the rights is not to impede the flow of traffic thus if a cyclist is legally occupying their lane impedes traffic flow they are committing an offence. But under the previous CM’s rule cyclists are Koala’s (i.e. protected species) in the eyes of the law.

Black bags and bad statistics may change government attitudes, but I doubt it.

nescius nescius 11:07 am 30 Jun 11

Gungahlin Al said :

Saved my head multiple times while learning snowboarding including when the board hit me in the back of the head during a major faceplant (yes feet were still attached – think about it!).

Ah, the scorpion faceplant, the most spectacular of faceplants, well done!

My snowboarding helmet also saved me from serious head injuries many times while learning. I smacked my head hard catching a back edge on my first day without a helmet, and that was enough to convince me to buy a helmet as soon as I got to the bottom of the run, now I’d never board without one. I also had a guy ski over my head once, took a nice chunk out of the helmet, I was pretty glad I was wearing it that day as well.

On the pushy I make sure I am visible at all times, good bright lights on the front (ay ups) and a couple of lights on the rear (helmet and seatpost). I also wear lights (front and rear) if I’m running in low light conditions because I know how difficult it is to see pedestrians in the dark. Lights aren’t expensive these days, so there’s no real excuse for not having them.

Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 9:42 am 30 Jun 11

scorpio63 said :

+100% Luther_ Bendross, my sentiments exactly, particularly after coming off a newer bike, flying along in top gear several years ago, flew through the air landing on bitumen, broke my jaw, blacked out for two days afterwards and required many stitches. The Helmut saved my head. Similarly riding trail bikes, it can be the difference between life and death.

Yep. Helmet for everything. Saved my noggin rock climbing when taking a zinger off a high face, smacking head first into the wall, and while being bombarded from above by some moron. Saved me again in a serious motorbike accident when run down by a car. Saved my head multiple times while learning snowboarding including when the board hit me in the back of the head during a major faceplant (yes feet were still attached – think about it!).

Haven’t had a nasty on a cycle since before helmets came in (when I was knocked out), but have had enough close calls from crazy drivers to know that I’ll be glad I have a lid on when it does happen.

The thing to remember is that your head has about the consistency of a watermelon. So if you seriously think you could drop a melon on the deck from 2m up without it cracking open then go for it.

KB1971 KB1971 9:21 am 30 Jun 11

puggy said :

KB1971 said :

Yup, my frosty boy is bright red…………

You too huh? Lucky you’re down south and I’m up north! It’s technically “Burnt Orange” but I’ll agree it’s a damn bright red. I can’t bring myself to get the lime stuff though. I in no way need gear of such quality, but I got really keen.

Yup, they are the shit. I also have a pair of their gloves but they are too hot over 0 degrees………….

scorpio63 scorpio63 11:29 pm 29 Jun 11

+100% Luther_ Bendross, my sentiments exactly, particularly after coming off a newer bike, flying along in top gear several years ago, flew through the air landing on bitumen, broke my jaw, blacked out for two days afterwards and required many stitches. The Helmut saved my head. Similarly riding trail bikes, it can be the difference between life and death.

alaninoz alaninoz 5:30 pm 29 Jun 11

Gungahlin Al said :

I have enough layers on already, so I’ll settle for having decent lights thanks. Unless you are coming with me to buy some big reflective stripes for your black car too?

I’ve got a white car with reflective stripes – never know when a tail light will go, and the built-in reflectors are pretty crap. So off you go then.

niftydog niftydog 4:42 pm 29 Jun 11

puggy said :

I can’t bring myself to get the lime stuff though.

My froggy boy is lime – it’s awesome! I can’t wear it unless it’s below zero – too damn hot!

puggy puggy 4:22 pm 29 Jun 11

KB1971 said :

Yup, my frosty boy is bright red…………

You too huh? Lucky you’re down south and I’m up north! It’s technically “Burnt Orange” but I’ll agree it’s a damn bright red. I can’t bring myself to get the lime stuff though. I in no way need gear of such quality, but I got really keen.

dpm dpm 4:10 pm 29 Jun 11

dtc said :

McDoctor said :

i often wondered what the ACT govt were thinking when they built a bike path that only goes halfway up the hill on barry drive!

There are any number of bizarre bike path on road decisions – London Circuit, for example, has 3 areas where the bike path just ends, not near an intersection or anything. One part ends just as the road narrows and there is no ramp up to the footpath; so cars suddenly discover that you are sharing the same road as them and there is no where for either of you to go.

I think there was some sort of legislation/rule change in ACT that said all new road works were to include on-road bike lanes? That means any time they do roadworks, to upgrade an intersection for example, they have to add a bike lane. However, it means that as soon as the ‘roadworked’ section ends and the ‘old’ road restarts, the bike lane usually ends! There’s examples of this all over Canberra. At least they usually put up a ‘bicycle lane ends’ sign in these places! 🙂
I suppose the theory is that one day, when all the sections of each road is redone, all the little bits of bike lane will join!

dtc dtc 4:01 pm 29 Jun 11

McDoctor said :

i often wondered what the ACT govt were thinking when they built a bike path that only goes halfway up the hill on barry drive!

There are any number of bizarre bike path on road decisions – London Circuit, for example, has 3 areas where the bike path just ends, not near an intersection or anything. One part ends just as the road narrows and there is no ramp up to the footpath; so cars suddenly discover that you are sharing the same road as them and there is no where for either of you to go.

Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 3:41 pm 29 Jun 11

Holden Caulfield said :

Gungahlin Al said :

I agree about the problem people have with the colour of a cyclist’s clothing – assuming they have lights on. Is anyone here calling for an end to black cars? Or and end to black motorcyclist jackets?

Well, I’m sure a study could be found to tell us that black is a less safe colour for cars than white or yellow, for instance.

However, cars have to pass rego checks (sometimes, haha) to ensure they have headlights in working order. Similarly, AFAIK, motorcycles are required by law to have their low beam headlight on at all times, y’know, to improve visibility and all.

(Not having a go at you Al per se, just the notion.)

Understand about the black wardrobe thing, so get on down to Seears Workwear or the like and pick up a high-vis vest or whatever for the cost of a couple of movie tickets. Could probably get some nifty things for your legs as previously suggested as well.

I have enough layers on already, so I’ll settle for having decent lights thanks. Unless you are coming with me to buy some big reflective stripes for your black car too?

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