26 January 2017

Why are Canberrans so unkind towards cyclists?

| Kim Huynh
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Cyclists

Kim Huynh considers why people are unkind towards cyclists and oppose bicycle infrastructure.

Recently Anne Treasure made a strong case for building separate bike paths as a way to boost the levels of safety, fun and efficiency on our busiest public thoroughfares.

There’s been a huge response to the article, much of it supportive. Many others (on Facebook in particular) have criticised cyclists and opposed moves to allocate more resources to them. Considerable vitriol has been directed at the aggressive or pretentious lycra-clad variety.

As a self-professed and somewhat self-conscious middle-aged man in lycra (MAMIL), I think it’s important to consider and address these criticisms.

A small detour first. I regularly hear well-travelled and visiting cyclists remark that Australians are strikingly unkind towards them.

If this true, I wonder again whether Australia’s post-1788 frontier history in part explains our tendency to esteem rugged silent types and decry more dainty fellows in loud tights.

And then there’s the fact that Canberra is a spread out city in a wide brown country that loves and needs cars. With Summernats having just passed, it’s worth asking to what extent this love and need breeds antagonism towards road cyclists.

So here’s the top four arguments against cyclists (focusing on the derided MAMILs) and separate cycling infrastructure, along with my response to them.

4. Cyclists are dangerous and unruly

The greatest criticism of dangerous and unruly cycling comes from fellow cyclists who understand that we’re a misunderstood minority in a sometimes hostile land. As a consequence, our negative actions tend to tar the entire group.

The main thing for competitive and aspirational cyclists is to confine big efforts to races, the open road and the trainer, and take it easy where there are other commuters around (in other words, be judicious when using Strava).

There’s no doubt that cyclists do the wrong thing and are stupid at times, but that’s largely because we’re human, not because we’re on two wheels rather than four. Only last week, police have described ACT motorist behaviour as ‘alarming’, ‘reckless’ and ‘beyond comprehension’.

What was missing from the many comments responding to Anne Treasure’s article were accounts of recklessness and intentional wrongdoing from motorists against cyclists – such as screaming obscenities, running us off the road and throwing garbage – all of which endangers our lives and blackens our days.

3. Cyclists should be registered

The argument goes that cyclists use the roads and therefore should be registered. Moreover registration fees can help pay for segregated infrastructure. Riders would also be more accountable and have insurance to pay for the accidents that they cause.

When it comes to cyclists paying their dues, I’d be grateful for more specific research on the costs and benefits of riding with respect to transportation and well-being. However, the environmental impact seems manifestly smaller than driving a car. And more cycling generally means fewer cars and less congestion for everyone. In addition, when good infrastructure is in place, cycling is surely a positive public health measure.

So unless cyclists have number plates on their helmets, I can’t see how registration would increase accountability and dissuade misbehaviour. If you see cyclists doing the wrong thing are you going to chase them down and demand their registration cards? The only thing that registration would dissuade is people getting on their bikes.

Of course, riders should be encouraged to carry id and have insurance (see Pedal Power ACT), but mandating it is excessive and counterproductive, which is why only last month the NSW government did an about-turn when it comes to requiring cyclists to carry id.

2. Cyclists are pretentious w@nkers

Cycling apparel can be indiscreet. It’s a bit like wearing swimmers or undies in public. For this reason, we should have frank and respectful discussions about how far cyclists can venture from their bikes while still wearing their kit (the office is probably too far).

However, donning lycra isn’t totally about ego. Spending hours in the saddle demands a good chamois. Tight but right fitting clothes militate against chafing. And garish attire helps you to be seen.

To be sure, many MAMILs also probably wear lycra for show. Sometimes there might not be much to show off. But little if any harm is done by their exhibitionism. And to the extent that the MAMIL phenomenon is a reflection of mid-life crises, it’s preferable to buying sports cars and having harmful affairs (although MAMILs can probably do those things too).

Finally, the best response to pretentiousness is to simply not care what people wear and judge them by more substantial measures.

1. Cyclists often don’t use cycle paths so why build more?

I suspect we have to take this criticism on a case-by-case basis, weighing up in different locations whether it’s better to have faster cyclists on paths with walkers, or on roads with cars.

Cyclists should be prudent and consider others when deciding to go on the path or on road. Perhaps we should choose the path more often, put up with the bumps, sacrifice a few minutes so that we can enjoy the ride, and endure the minor weight penalty of affixing a bell to our handlebars to warn others.

It follows that motorists should be mindful of treating bikes like cars, not overtaking unless it’s safe, and refraining from beeping that horn unless there’s good reason to do so.

All of this suggests that, where there’s high traffic, there should be separate bike paths. When it comes to commuting, the best way to promote harmony is to keep us apart.

Where do you sit when it comes to lycra wearing and bicycle infrastructure? What are some key dos and don’ts when it comes to cycling in Canberra and beyond?

Kim Huynh is a RiotACT columnist, lectures international relations at the ANU and has been riding Canberra’s paths since he was a wee lad.

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tim_c said :

Short answer: No, but I would qualify that by pointing out that it is illegal to unreasonably obstruct other traffic, so if a group of cyclists are slogging it out at ~20km/h up a steep hill on a single lane road with a 100km/h speed limit, they are breaking the law if they are not doing all they can to enable faster traffic to overtake (ie. riding single file for instance). It is legal for cyclists to ride two or more abreast and occupy an entire lane on a road with more than one lane in their direction of travel, but not if there is only one lane in that direction.

From Transport Canberra (https://www.transport.act.gov.au/getting-around/active-travel/active-travel-for-the-community/cycling/road-rules)
Unreasonably Obstructing Traffic:
The keyword is “unreasonably”, which you have applied incorrectly in this context. Cyclists are similar to farm equipment, heavy vehicles or construction vehicles which may travel significantly under the posted speed limit. It is reasonable for these vehicles to travel at a lower speed and therefore obstruct traffic because they have limited power to do so.
See: http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_reg/rr2014104/s125.html

Riding Two Abreast:
“It is legal to ride two abreast in the ACT. This includes situations where one rider may be inside and the other outside of a dedicated bike lane; and instances where there are no bike lanes and both riders are in the regular lane of traffic. When riding two abreast, riders must not be more than 1.5 metres apart and should exercise consideration and courtesy for other road users.”

Riding two abreast on single lane roads may be illegal in other states, but not relevant to the roads we are discussing.

A bunch of cyclists riding two abreast is easier to pass because the length of the bunch is halved compared to single file. If you find yourself behind a group of cyclists, it is NOT safe to shimmy alongside them in the same lane. You need to keep a 1.5-metre buffer for speed limits above 60km/h. Whether the cyclists are single file or two abreast this almost certainly means you will be moving to the opposing lane to overtake, therefore you should wait until there is no oncoming traffic.

I also wanted to +1 the assertion that parts of the Marcus Clarke street bicycle infrastructure are a dog’s breakfast, notably at the bus stop outside the childcare centre where it disappears completely, and the THREE stage crossing on Rimmer Street, which is not synchronised for the volume of pedestrian and cycle traffic through there. Beyond that, it’s a lot better than riding on footpaths with all the street furniture. You’d be hard pressed to call it under-utilised. Still gotta watch the left hooks though.

Now I know a lot of hardened cyclists hate separated cycle infrastructure because they don’t give you the same amount of flexibility and speed as on-road lanes do. Sometimes if I’m in a rush I’ll take Northbourne avenue because I can get a good clip going and get through the lights. On-road lanes aren’t particularly safe though, especially when they are less than an adequate width, adjacent to parked cars of just full of debris. Aside from that the fact that cars still pass you closely and if anything goes wrong you have nowhere to take evasive action. You’re pancaked.

Most of the time I just feel like relaxing and taking the separated paths where I don’t feel pressured to ride hard and keep up with the cars.

My partner has started riding to work, and while she loves the shared paths and separated infrastructure, she won’t set wheels on the on-road cycle lanes; the proximity and the speed differential is more than she wants to endure on the morning commute.

Conflicts arise when two vehicles with large speed differentials pass each other. This applies not only to cyclists vs motor vehicles, but also pedestrians vs cyclists. The ideal solution with the least conflict is to have a separate space for each of the transport modes.

wildturkeycanoe6:31 am 08 Feb 17

dungfungus said :

I’m sure if you phone Access Canberra they will arrange for that mess to be cleaned up.

Ha, ha, ha! I just saw a street “sweeper” yesterday doing the rounds. It wasn’t picking anything up from the gutters, but instead was piling it up into bigger obstacles. It didn’t pick up any sticks or tree branches, leaving many in the path of an unwary cyclist. This actually prompted me to pay a little more attention to the gutters and what had been left behind, which opened my eyes to another interesting fact. The join between concrete and asphalt has become a breeding ground for plant life, which also got left behind by the noisy vacuum cleaner. I think another round of weed spraying wouldn’t go astray.

wildturkeycanoe said :

“….Please, for the love of God, stop with the finger pointing and whinging and just live with it….

Hmm… “Just live with it”. Now take this onboard next time you get hot under the collar on your next drive. Love it, or in your case – hate it. Cyclists are here to stay with you on our roads. Cycling is as much a part of every day life throughout the world as walking, running and driving – you better “just live with it”.

tim_c said :

TinyTank said :

dungfungus said :

I’m glad I have a bull bar on my old 4WD but I must get a dash-cam to record what is likely to happen.

By the way, I’m insured but he isn’t.

Regardless, your CTP insurance will pay for all of his medical bills and I’m sure the scratch in your bulbar will polish out….

dungfungus’ CTP will only pay for the [motor]cyclist’s medical bills if dungfungus is at fault – In the ACT, if the [motor]cyclist is at fault, he’s on his own (unless he has his own third-party insurance, which is unlikely is his vehicle is not even registered).

Whilst you are correct that the CTP scheme in the ACT is fault based, the first $5,000 of medical bills are paid without prejudice. Further, we now have ‘lifetime care’ for at-fault catastrophic injuries.

If you read through some ACT Supreme Court judgements, liability is rarely in issue (occasionally contrib-neg is debated). It is highly unlikely that a cyclist would be found at-fault for an accident with a motor vehicle unless they were: wearing black, riding at midnight, without lights or reflecters, drunk, without any regard to road rules or their own safety, proceeding directly into the path of the vehicle that was keeping a proper lookout and had no ability to take evasive action. The onus is on the driver of a car to keep a proper look out and where an accident involves a vulnerable road user- pedestrian or cyclist, it is very hard to deny liability on a CTP claim.

Not ACT, but this case highlights my point- http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/heroin-addict-at-fault-but-wins-400000-compensation-over-car-crash-20141223-12dbbp.html

wildturkeycanoe2:38 pm 05 Feb 17

Dr_Hoon said :

All the people in this thread having a whinge about slowing down from 100km/h (??? lol where in the ACT?) to be a considerate road user aren’t in danger of being seriously injured or killed because of another person’s stupidity. Even where there are bike lanes, broken bottles are enough to knock a bicycle wheel and throw a cyclists into the path of a vehicle.

“Where” do you ask can people drive 100km/h in the A.C.T.? Cotter Road, Brindabella Road, Uriarra Road, Tidbinbilla Road, Monaro Highway, Majura Road, The Tuggeranong Parkway, Barton Highway and Federal Highway. To a lesser extent you could include Gungahlin Drive which is 90km/h though traffic tends to move at 100 anyway.
Now, as for a glass bottle sweeping a cyclist off their “feet” and going under the car being driven by stupid people, are you serious? Is it not the responsibility of the cyclist to be watching the conditions of the road directly ahead of them and avoiding obstacles that may cause an accident? Neglecting that, to me, with the consequences being possibly life threatening is the definition of stupidity. This issue of rubbish and glass on the verge and cycle paths is yet another example of how cyclists’ self righteousness puts the blame for everything on somebody else. There aren’t enough off-road paths, there are too many potholes, there aren’t enough on-road paths, the cars are going by too closely, it’s too rough for our skinny little tires, there’s too much rubbish, there’s too many pedestrians and dogs and kids and slow riders……..Please, for the love of God, stop with the finger pointing and whinging and just live with it. Nobody is forcing you to endanger your life when you take to the road on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon just for the “sport” of it, or the health benefits. We all have to make allowances for other people and imperfect things in our lives.
If your precious velodrome tyres [probably not designed for use on rough chip seal asphalt by the way] can’t cope with Australian road conditions, then get a bike that has decent treads. I used to ride a 10 speed racer on the verge of highways, on rural country roads, forestry tracks and paths such as the Hume and Hovell walking trail, plus any manner of rocky terrains, grassy open fields and blackberry infested shorelines in order to get to the lakeside of our local dam. Sure I got the occasional puncture and there was gravel and potholes everywhere, but I wasn’t expecting the world to make every surface clean and free of debris. There are footpaths with worse surfaces than those of Canberra’s roads, what do cyclists expect? Apparently nothing less than gold plated, smooth finishes with leading and trailing edges of imperfections not exceeding 0.5mm. If they get their wish and all paths are smoothed out, they will be complaining how dangerous and slippery they are in the wet. How can we win?
The proposed answer to the litter on the bike paths, of having street sweepers clear them up, is not going to be practical. The sheer number of kilometers and limited capacity of the department responsible won’t allow it to be financially viable. It is hard enough to get the roadwork crews to sweep up the debris from their rushed patch jobs, let alone tidying every other road in the territory. What about the debris that is regularly deposited naturally from overhanging trees? What of the rubber pieces ejected from truck and car tyres? Are Canberra motorists going to be held responsible for these too? What about all the rural roads where a street sweeper just wouldn’t work? You would need a massive fleet working 24/7 to keep roads spotless for our precious cyclists. Then there will be more complaints from both sides of the dividing line, because of all the slow moving cleaning trucks. I can just imagine the rage of having all traffic slowed to 10km/h as the noisy vacuum sucks up our daily litter from the most used commuter roads.
The simple solution to the rubbish and punctures problem for recreational riders is this – take the purpose-built racing bikes off the unsuitable roads and ride them on a race track where they belong and won’t have to worry about running over broken glass or loose stones. Either that or get a bike that can handle the odd bump or tree branch.

Dr_Hoon said :

The amount of rubbish and broken glass on the side of the road clearly indicates that some road users do not consider cyclists. I want the road safety implications of litter on the side of roads to be reflected in legislation. All the people in this thread having a whinge about slowing down from 100km/h (??? lol where in the ACT?) to be a considerate road user aren’t in danger of being seriously injured or killed because of another person’s stupidity. Even where there are bike lanes, broken bottles are enough to knock a bicycle wheel and throw a cyclists into the path of a vehicle.

The ACT government has a mechanised mobile vacuum sweeper (they used to be called “sparrow starvers”).

I’m sure if you phone Access Canberra they will arrange for that mess to be cleaned up.

The amount of rubbish and broken glass on the side of the road clearly indicates that some road users do not consider cyclists. I want the road safety implications of litter on the side of roads to be reflected in legislation. All the people in this thread having a whinge about slowing down from 100km/h (??? lol where in the ACT?) to be a considerate road user aren’t in danger of being seriously injured or killed because of another person’s stupidity. Even where there are bike lanes, broken bottles are enough to knock a bicycle wheel and throw a cyclists into the path of a vehicle.

wildturkeycanoe said :

tim_c said :

Short answer: No, but I would qualify that by pointing out that it is illegal to unreasonably obstruct other traffic, so if a group of cyclists are slogging it out at ~20km/h up a steep hill on a single lane road with a 100km/h speed limit, they are breaking the law if they are not doing all they can to enable faster traffic to overtake (ie. riding single file for instance).

This is what I want cyclists to adhere to and for the police to enforce. This rule and the cyclists’ complete disregard for is what makes my blood boil. Any car that did the exact same thing would be fined, so why do those elite groups in their aerodynamic attire break this rule every time they hit the road? I would love for the police to pull them over and start writing tickets, one by one. Only, the next day there would be a front page article in the Canberra Times, on how cyclists are being unfairly persecuted. Then there would be support from the cycling community and yet another push to have the rules changed so that cyclists can do whatever they want and get away with it.

I was riding with a group (social group of mixed ages, not racing group), single line along the edge of the bitumen in a country area, when a police car pulled up and the policeman told us to get off the bitumen and ride in the dirt beside that. Most of us had road tyres and this would have been dangerous in the slippery gravel. We could have slipped over and fallen under a passing car. The policeman accused us of holding up the traffic. Considering that the traffic was also banked up in front of us (how was it we were holding up traffic in front of us?) this was a weird accusation. But some people just hate people on bikes. This happened a few years ago, but if it happened now, I would be tempted to report that policeman for his actions. Telling us to ride on road tyres in the slippery gravel was dangerous.
Fortunately I have never been inconvenienced by bikes on the road in front of my car. Inconvenience is often just a mindset.

wildturkeycanoe6:41 am 04 Feb 17

tim_c said :

Short answer: No, but I would qualify that by pointing out that it is illegal to unreasonably obstruct other traffic, so if a group of cyclists are slogging it out at ~20km/h up a steep hill on a single lane road with a 100km/h speed limit, they are breaking the law if they are not doing all they can to enable faster traffic to overtake (ie. riding single file for instance).

This is what I want cyclists to adhere to and for the police to enforce. This rule and the cyclists’ complete disregard for is what makes my blood boil. Any car that did the exact same thing would be fined, so why do those elite groups in their aerodynamic attire break this rule every time they hit the road? I would love for the police to pull them over and start writing tickets, one by one. Only, the next day there would be a front page article in the Canberra Times, on how cyclists are being unfairly persecuted. Then there would be support from the cycling community and yet another push to have the rules changed so that cyclists can do whatever they want and get away with it.

tim_c said :

dungfungus said :

Postalgeek said :

Electric bikes over 250w that use throttle control on shared paths are not only illegal, but irrelevant to cycle threads as they are classed as motor vehicles, not bicycles. You might as well also complain about petrol trail bikes in national parks to mountain bikers.

If you have an issue with them, take it up with motorcyclists and rangers.

They are “bikes” not motorcycles….

A bicycle with a motor is not a motorcycle?! Then what is a motorcycle???

My understanding is that while the laws say an electric bike with a motor over 250W is classed as a motorbike it cannot be automatically registered as one.

So, riding one on a road is also illegal it would seem.

And for the record (as someone who commutes by bike about 50% of the time, 45% by car and 5% by bus), I have to say that the vast majority of Canberra road users are certainly not unkind towards cyclists – in fact I think I’d have to say generally most are more courteous to me when I’m on my bike than when I’m driving my car!

Queanbeyanite said :

I’m a cyclist but the Marcus Clarke street bike paths are the second most scandalous waste of ratepayers money in Canberra. For the sake of two white lines and regular policing, booking BOTH cyclists and drivers, there wouldn’t be a problem.

Finally, someone with the guts to say it! I don’t work in the City so it wasn’t until the last Christmas break that I tried them – they might be okay if you’re out for a Sunday afternoon ride with the kids, but for actually getting where you want to go they’re nothing more than an expensive gimmick.

TinyTank said :

dungfungus said :

I’m glad I have a bull bar on my old 4WD but I must get a dash-cam to record what is likely to happen.

By the way, I’m insured but he isn’t.

Regardless, your CTP insurance will pay for all of his medical bills and I’m sure the scratch in your bulbar will polish out….

dungfungus’ CTP will only pay for the [motor]cyclist’s medical bills if dungfungus is at fault – In the ACT, if the [motor]cyclist is at fault, he’s on his own (unless he has his own third-party insurance, which is unlikely is his vehicle is not even registered).

dungfungus said :

Postalgeek said :

Electric bikes over 250w that use throttle control on shared paths are not only illegal, but irrelevant to cycle threads as they are classed as motor vehicles, not bicycles. You might as well also complain about petrol trail bikes in national parks to mountain bikers.

If you have an issue with them, take it up with motorcyclists and rangers.

They are “bikes” not motorcycles….

A bicycle with a motor is not a motorcycle?! Then what is a motorcycle???

Kim Huynh said :

Let me summarise and consider some of the pointed criticisms of this article by asking a more specific question, ‘Should recreational cyclists be banned or somehow dissuaded from using Cotter Road (or any winding road that’s popular with riders and cars and where’s there’s no significant shoulder) for their own safety and for the safety and convenience of car drivers?’

Short answer: No, but I would qualify that by pointing out that it is illegal to unreasonably obstruct other traffic, so if a group of cyclists are slogging it out at ~20km/h up a steep hill on a single lane road with a 100km/h speed limit, they are breaking the law if they are not doing all they can to enable faster traffic to overtake (ie. riding single file for instance). It is legal for cyclists to ride two or more abreast and occupy an entire lane on a road with more than one lane in their direction of travel, but not if there is only one lane in that direction.

Queanbeyanite said :

I’m a cyclist but the Marcus Clarke street bike paths are the second most scandalous waste of ratepayers money in Canberra. For the sake of two white lines and regular policing, booking BOTH cyclists and drivers, there wouldn’t be a problem.

I could easily have hit a cyclist riding in the bike lane on the wrong side of the road on Marcus Clarke. That’s a real shemozzle of lanes, roads and footpaths.

Queanbeyanite7:49 pm 02 Feb 17

I’m a cyclist but the Marcus Clarke street bike paths are the second most scandalous waste of ratepayers money in Canberra. For the sake of two white lines and regular policing, booking BOTH cyclists and drivers, there wouldn’t be a problem.

dungfungus said :

dungfungus said :

Rollersk8r said :

I liked a quote from James May: “In most cases you’ll find cyclists are just normal people using bikes”.

The guy who regularly pilots an electric mountain bike at over 70kph (in a 50kph zone) at Bugden Avenue in Fadden is not “a normal person”.

Two nights ago I was trying to coax two large kangaroos off the road and out of nowhere the idiot appeared silently, totally oblivious to what could have happened.

I am sure some of Pedal Power people would no who he is so why not have a chat to him while he is still alive.

Another thrill-seeker at it this morning, resplendent in his pixie suit, over a shared path at speed and then onto Bugden Avenue where he looked around and then flattened it out at a much higher speed through the 50kph zone.
Obviously, they are legal because one idiot is understandable, but two?
The bike looked something like this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35wyy96JB0w

I’m glad I have a bull bar on my old 4WD but I must get a dash-cam to record what is likely to happen.

By the way, I’m insured but he isn’t.

Regardless, your CTP insurance will pay for all of his medical bills and I’m sure the scratch in your bulbar will polish out.

Not sure if he realises what he is risking though:
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/canberra-bike-rider-awarded-9-million-in-damages-after-crash-with-car-left-him-quadriplegic-20160711-gq2xdn.html

Mr Hendricks lost his job, his wife and all feeling below the chest after his ‘electric bike V car’ accident.

we are an elderly couple who enjoy walking but cyclists on footpaths show little respect for us. We find it difficult to hear their bell and don’t realise they are there until they almost knock us over. Can’t understand why adults are able to ride on footpaths or on crossings. Just another strange law in ACT.

Anne Treasure1:01 pm 31 Jan 17

dungfungus said :

Ezy said :

dungfungus said :

Postalgeek said :

Electric bikes over 250w that use throttle control on shared paths are not only illegal, but irrelevant to cycle threads as they are classed as motor vehicles, not bicycles. You might as well also complain about petrol trail bikes in national parks to mountain bikers.

If you have an issue with them, take it up with motorcyclists and rangers.

They are “bikes” not motorcycles.

I would have thought the peak governing body on bikes would have said something now but no, nothing.

What are they going to say when one of their members gets killed riding one of these illegal bikes or worse still, a pedestrian crossing a road gets hit and killed?

I am more concerned about them using roads.

dungfungus said :

Postalgeek said :

Electric bikes over 250w that use throttle control on shared paths are not only illegal, but irrelevant to cycle threads as they are classed as motor vehicles, not bicycles. You might as well also complain about petrol trail bikes in national parks to mountain bikers.

If you have an issue with them, take it up with motorcyclists and rangers.

They are “bikes” not motorcycles.

I would have thought the peak governing body on bikes would have said something now but no, nothing.

What are they going to say when one of their members gets killed riding one of these illegal bikes or worse still, a pedestrian crossing a road gets hit and killed?

I am more concerned about them using roads.

They have said something. Now please, stop clutching at straws with your irrelevant argument.

http://www.pedalpower.org.au/members/bikes-things/power-assisted-pedal-cycles/

“Pedal-cycles with internal combustion engines (eg, a petrol motor) or with electric motors over 200 Watts (or in the case of a pedalec-type bicycle – 250 Watts) are motorbikes, and must comply with the Australian Design Rules and the road rules for motorbikes.”

Yes, that information is available everywhere but what I want to know is does Pedal Power support these new hi-powered electric bikes (they can’t be registered as “motorbikes”) or don’t they?

Pedal Power ACT supports anything that gets more people riding bikes – and these pedelecs can be helpful to people who for various reasons and in various situations find a regular bike unmanageable.

We encourage people riding any type of bike to obey the law, and show respect and courtesy for other road and path users.

dungfungus said :

Ezy said :

dungfungus said :

Postalgeek said :

Electric bikes over 250w that use throttle control on shared paths are not only illegal, but irrelevant to cycle threads as they are classed as motor vehicles, not bicycles. You might as well also complain about petrol trail bikes in national parks to mountain bikers.

If you have an issue with them, take it up with motorcyclists and rangers.

They are “bikes” not motorcycles.

I would have thought the peak governing body on bikes would have said something now but no, nothing.

What are they going to say when one of their members gets killed riding one of these illegal bikes or worse still, a pedestrian crossing a road gets hit and killed?

I am more concerned about them using roads.

dungfungus said :

Postalgeek said :

Electric bikes over 250w that use throttle control on shared paths are not only illegal, but irrelevant to cycle threads as they are classed as motor vehicles, not bicycles. You might as well also complain about petrol trail bikes in national parks to mountain bikers.

If you have an issue with them, take it up with motorcyclists and rangers.

They are “bikes” not motorcycles.

I would have thought the peak governing body on bikes would have said something now but no, nothing.

What are they going to say when one of their members gets killed riding one of these illegal bikes or worse still, a pedestrian crossing a road gets hit and killed?

I am more concerned about them using roads.

They have said something. Now please, stop clutching at straws with your irrelevant argument.

http://www.pedalpower.org.au/members/bikes-things/power-assisted-pedal-cycles/

“Pedal-cycles with internal combustion engines (eg, a petrol motor) or with electric motors over 200 Watts (or in the case of a pedalec-type bicycle – 250 Watts) are motorbikes, and must comply with the Australian Design Rules and the road rules for motorbikes.”

Yes, that information is available everywhere but what I want to know is does Pedal Power support these new hi-powered electric bikes (they can’t be registered as “motorbikes”) or don’t they?

You really can’t work it out that Pedal Power don’t support the high powered electric bikes from that information on the site? Let me summarise from their own site for you.

PEDAL POWER SUPPORT Power-assisted bikes with an output power up to 200 watts as long as it is restricted to a maximum of 25km/h. From then on, you are only powering the bicycle with your own power or coasting.

PEDAL POWER DO NOT SUPPORT Power-assisted bikes with an internal combustion engine or an electric motor greater than 200 watts. These are classified as motorbikes and should adhere to all road rules.

So that person getting around with full face helmet, and those videos that have been shared in this discussion are motorbikes and are they are illegal for use on bike paths. Take this up with the police.

Ezy said :

dungfungus said :

Postalgeek said :

Electric bikes over 250w that use throttle control on shared paths are not only illegal, but irrelevant to cycle threads as they are classed as motor vehicles, not bicycles. You might as well also complain about petrol trail bikes in national parks to mountain bikers.

If you have an issue with them, take it up with motorcyclists and rangers.

They are “bikes” not motorcycles.

I would have thought the peak governing body on bikes would have said something now but no, nothing.

What are they going to say when one of their members gets killed riding one of these illegal bikes or worse still, a pedestrian crossing a road gets hit and killed?

I am more concerned about them using roads.

dungfungus said :

Postalgeek said :

Electric bikes over 250w that use throttle control on shared paths are not only illegal, but irrelevant to cycle threads as they are classed as motor vehicles, not bicycles. You might as well also complain about petrol trail bikes in national parks to mountain bikers.

If you have an issue with them, take it up with motorcyclists and rangers.

They are “bikes” not motorcycles.

I would have thought the peak governing body on bikes would have said something now but no, nothing.

What are they going to say when one of their members gets killed riding one of these illegal bikes or worse still, a pedestrian crossing a road gets hit and killed?

I am more concerned about them using roads.

They have said something. Now please, stop clutching at straws with your irrelevant argument.

http://www.pedalpower.org.au/members/bikes-things/power-assisted-pedal-cycles/

“Pedal-cycles with internal combustion engines (eg, a petrol motor) or with electric motors over 200 Watts (or in the case of a pedalec-type bicycle – 250 Watts) are motorbikes, and must comply with the Australian Design Rules and the road rules for motorbikes.”

Yes, that information is available everywhere but what I want to know is does Pedal Power support these new hi-powered electric bikes (they can’t be registered as “motorbikes”) or don’t they?

dungfungus said :

Postalgeek said :

Electric bikes over 250w that use throttle control on shared paths are not only illegal, but irrelevant to cycle threads as they are classed as motor vehicles, not bicycles. You might as well also complain about petrol trail bikes in national parks to mountain bikers.

If you have an issue with them, take it up with motorcyclists and rangers.

They are “bikes” not motorcycles.

I would have thought the peak governing body on bikes would have said something now but no, nothing.

What are they going to say when one of their members gets killed riding one of these illegal bikes or worse still, a pedestrian crossing a road gets hit and killed?

I am more concerned about them using roads.

Pedal Power committee members are volunteers; not paid members like motoring organisations. (And no, I am not a committee member.) I believe anything more powerful than 250watts might be classified a motor bike, even if it is mounted on a bicycle and must be registered as a motor bike. But if you want to be sure, contact the roads authority to get the correct information.

dungfungus said :

Postalgeek said :

Electric bikes over 250w that use throttle control on shared paths are not only illegal, but irrelevant to cycle threads as they are classed as motor vehicles, not bicycles. You might as well also complain about petrol trail bikes in national parks to mountain bikers.

If you have an issue with them, take it up with motorcyclists and rangers.

They are “bikes” not motorcycles.

I would have thought the peak governing body on bikes would have said something now but no, nothing.

What are they going to say when one of their members gets killed riding one of these illegal bikes or worse still, a pedestrian crossing a road gets hit and killed?

I am more concerned about them using roads.

dungfungus said :

Postalgeek said :

Electric bikes over 250w that use throttle control on shared paths are not only illegal, but irrelevant to cycle threads as they are classed as motor vehicles, not bicycles. You might as well also complain about petrol trail bikes in national parks to mountain bikers.

If you have an issue with them, take it up with motorcyclists and rangers.

They are “bikes” not motorcycles.

I would have thought the peak governing body on bikes would have said something now but no, nothing.

What are they going to say when one of their members gets killed riding one of these illegal bikes or worse still, a pedestrian crossing a road gets hit and killed?

I am more concerned about them using roads.

They have said something. Now please, stop clutching at straws with your irrelevant argument.

http://www.pedalpower.org.au/members/bikes-things/power-assisted-pedal-cycles/

“Pedal-cycles with internal combustion engines (eg, a petrol motor) or with electric motors over 200 Watts (or in the case of a pedalec-type bicycle – 250 Watts) are motorbikes, and must comply with the Australian Design Rules and the road rules for motorbikes.”

Postalgeek said :

Electric bikes over 250w that use throttle control on shared paths are not only illegal, but irrelevant to cycle threads as they are classed as motor vehicles, not bicycles. You might as well also complain about petrol trail bikes in national parks to mountain bikers.

If you have an issue with them, take it up with motorcyclists and rangers.

They are “bikes” not motorcycles.

I would have thought the peak governing body on bikes would have said something now but no, nothing.

What are they going to say when one of their members gets killed riding one of these illegal bikes or worse still, a pedestrian crossing a road gets hit and killed?

I am more concerned about them using roads.

Maya123 said :

dungfungus said :

Maya123 said :

Maryan said :

dungfungus said :

An arrogant rider and a high powered electric bike on shared paths and main raods are a recipe for disaster as the idiot in Western Sydney demonstrates:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEdETIjfngo

This guy exhibits many of the behaviours that really cause other road-users to be very annoyed and often discourteous to cyclists.
So, if you’re a cyclist who doesn’t see why others get annoyed, watch this & find out.

As I’ve written here before, it’s illegal. It’s like a car doing 200 down the highway. It’s illegal in Australia. Report them to the police.

Did Pedal Power authorise you to deliver that statement?

Er….what!

Obviously they didn’t so, in the absence of anything to the contrary we can be confident that Pedal Power support these high power electric bikes.

Electric bikes over 250w that use throttle control on shared paths are not only illegal, but irrelevant to cycle threads as they are classed as motor vehicles, not bicycles. You might as well also complain about petrol trail bikes in national parks to mountain bikers.

If you have an issue with them, take it up with motorcyclists and rangers.

dungfungus said :

Maya123 said :

Maryan said :

dungfungus said :

An arrogant rider and a high powered electric bike on shared paths and main raods are a recipe for disaster as the idiot in Western Sydney demonstrates:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEdETIjfngo

This guy exhibits many of the behaviours that really cause other road-users to be very annoyed and often discourteous to cyclists.
So, if you’re a cyclist who doesn’t see why others get annoyed, watch this & find out.

As I’ve written here before, it’s illegal. It’s like a car doing 200 down the highway. It’s illegal in Australia. Report them to the police.

Did Pedal Power authorise you to deliver that statement?

Er….what!

Yawn. This topic is so tired. It is the same people, with the same arguments. Just share the roads and paths, don’t be an idiot, look out for each other and we can all just get on with getting to where we need to go.

Maya123 said :

Maryan said :

dungfungus said :

An arrogant rider and a high powered electric bike on shared paths and main raods are a recipe for disaster as the idiot in Western Sydney demonstrates:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEdETIjfngo

This guy exhibits many of the behaviours that really cause other road-users to be very annoyed and often discourteous to cyclists.
So, if you’re a cyclist who doesn’t see why others get annoyed, watch this & find out.

As I’ve written here before, it’s illegal. It’s like a car doing 200 down the highway. It’s illegal in Australia. Report them to the police.

Did Pedal Power authorise you to deliver that statement?

Kim Huynh said :

Minz said :

Oh, and if people want to complain about particular cyclist behaviours and use them as an argument against cyclists, well, sadly no particular group has a mortgage on idiotic behaviour (cyclists, drivers, pedestrians on shared bike/pedestrian paths… there’s always someone doing something stupid!).

Thanks to Minz and all for the comments.

Let me summarise and consider some of the pointed criticisms of this article by asking a more specific question, ‘Should recreational cyclists be banned or somehow dissuaded from using Cotter Road (or any winding road that’s popular with riders and cars and where’s there’s no significant shoulder) for their own safety and for the safety and convenience of car drivers?’

I can empathise with those who lean towards ‘yes’. However I lean towards ‘no’ largely because I believe that it is and should be share usage area. Moreover, Cotter and Uriarra roads among others need not be unsafe if drivers and riders treat one another appropriately. There’s plenty of more narrow and winding roads around Australia and the world that are safe for all sorts of riders and drivers because users respect one another.

The associated question is whether public funding should go into extending the shoulder on such roads to make them safer for cyclists and drivers in the event that we cannot co-exist. Here the answer should depend on the evidence and open debates about what’s in the public interest, which is what this article and Anne Treasure’s before it is trying to facilitate.

“Should recreational cyclists be banned or somehow dissuaded from using Cotter Road (or any winding road that’s popular with riders and cars and where’s there’s no significant shoulder)”

Not until recreational drivers are also banned, which I’m guessing would be many of the cars on those routes. So what makes one recreational group more special than another recreational group?

I have cycled overseas, including on narrow mountain roads in Switzerland. The big difference there is the respect shown to people on bikes. People cycling were treated like they had an equal right to be there, which they have. If there was a bend, etc coming up the car driver would wait patently behind the bike until they could see far enough ahead to pass. One example of being considered an equal road user by drivers was when I came upon two tractors pulling huge loads of hay. They were travelling slower then me on the bike. I lined up with the cars waiting to pass and after the cars in front had managed to pass these tractors, I waited my turn…and the cars behind waited for me to have my turn. When the way was finally clear ahead I cycled flat out to get into the space between the tractors and the car behind me followed, as though I was another car, and joined me in the gap between the tractors. We then waited patently together to be able to pass the front tractor. The car never tried to rush ahead of me, but again waited for me to make my move, because I was just another road user.

Now, if you are a pedestrian, that’s another matter. Don’t expect them to stop for you at crossings, unless you ‘make’ them stop by stepping out, but if you do you had better be sure they have seen you and you are nimble of foot.

Minz said :

Oh, and if people want to complain about particular cyclist behaviours and use them as an argument against cyclists, well, sadly no particular group has a mortgage on idiotic behaviour (cyclists, drivers, pedestrians on shared bike/pedestrian paths… there’s always someone doing something stupid!).

Thanks to Minz and all for the comments.

Let me summarise and consider some of the pointed criticisms of this article by asking a more specific question, ‘Should recreational cyclists be banned or somehow dissuaded from using Cotter Road (or any winding road that’s popular with riders and cars and where’s there’s no significant shoulder) for their own safety and for the safety and convenience of car drivers?’

I can empathise with those who lean towards ‘yes’. However I lean towards ‘no’ largely because I believe that it is and should be share usage area. Moreover, Cotter and Uriarra roads among others need not be unsafe if drivers and riders treat one another appropriately. There’s plenty of more narrow and winding roads around Australia and the world that are safe for all sorts of riders and drivers because users respect one another.

The associated question is whether public funding should go into extending the shoulder on such roads to make them safer for cyclists and drivers in the event that we cannot co-exist. Here the answer should depend on the evidence and open debates about what’s in the public interest, which is what this article and Anne Treasure’s before it is trying to facilitate.

The “‘roid rage” cyclists give the rest of them a bad name.

Oh, and if people want to complain about particular cyclist behaviours and use them as an argument against cyclists, well, sadly no particular group has a mortgage on idiotic behaviour (cyclists, drivers, pedestrians on shared bike/pedestrian paths… there’s always someone doing something stupid!).

I commute on my bike – I don’t have to bother with parking (which takes longer than the drive, often). I use bike paths where available, don’t ride in a peleton and don’t wear lycra. So why do people have a go at me so often? Some peanut in a Honda had a shout at me this morning, some knob in a ute tried to run me off the road earlier in the week, people have thrown their Maccas cups at me…. people do have issues.

I do have an option though – I could drive my vintage car. Results would be:
a) Chances are, I’d be in front of these idiots in their lane, doing 10km/h below the speed limit (the car’s slow!), or taking their car park (I go early)
b) My car doesn’t have a catalytic converter so produces more pollution
c) It weighs 10 times as much as me and my bike, thus doing 10,000 times as much damage to the road (road damage goes with the 4th power of the weight of the vehicle); and
d) Using petrol contributes to increased demand for petrol, increasing prices.

If I’m riding my bike, I’m:
a) In a different lane or on a path rather than in their lane (there are few areas where drivers have to slow down at all to pass me)
b) Not taking up a parking space
c) Not producing pollution (actually, with deep breathing outside I’m probably storing particulate pollution in my lungs!); and
d) Not damaging the road.

Riding to work is a win-win. If these people want to change it into a lose-lose more-cars-on-the-road situation, well, they should just keep going…. but they should realise that it’ll result in them going more slowly 😀

Maryan said :

dungfungus said :

An arrogant rider and a high powered electric bike on shared paths and main raods are a recipe for disaster as the idiot in Western Sydney demonstrates:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEdETIjfngo

This guy exhibits many of the behaviours that really cause other road-users to be very annoyed and often discourteous to cyclists.
So, if you’re a cyclist who doesn’t see why others get annoyed, watch this & find out.

As I’ve written here before, it’s illegal. It’s like a car doing 200 down the highway. It’s illegal in Australia. Report them to the police.

Steve Chivers8:56 am 29 Jan 17

54-11 said :

This post should read: “Why are cyclists so unkind towards Canberrans?”. As a regular pedestrian, I am often buzzed by these lycra-clad monsters who have no regard whatsoever for other users.

They DEMAND respect from car/bus/truck drivers, yet totally disregard the rights of other users. I know this is a generalisation, but my observations show that most cyclists don’t give a s$&t about walkers, children and other pedestrians.

I tend to agree more with this perspective, I have had more problems with cyclists when I’m walking or running than when I’m driving.

wildturkeycanoe7:59 am 29 Jan 17

dungfungus said :

An arrogant rider and a high powered electric bike on shared paths and main raods are a recipe for disaster as the idiot in Western Sydney demonstrates:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEdETIjfngo

That is one seriously fast machine that is obviously illegal for use in Australia.
Cyclists who watch this video who think it is downright dangerous and are calling for there to be separate bike paths specifically for this reason, need to consider a motorists point of view. A road that has cars doing speeds anywhere from 60km/h to 110km/h and cyclists riding along going far slower, creates the very same conditions for an accident as this video demonstrates. Vastly differing speeds of users, small gaps between them and little time to react to any sudden deviations in course, is the ideal recipe for a collision. Cyclists are quite happy to be the risk taking victims on suburban streets, but are outraged by the same situation on shared paths. It is the same deal, but not to a cyclist. Just as cars are wanting bicycles off the roads, now cyclists want pedestrians off their paths. But they won’t relinquish their rights when they are the “innocent” slow coaches getting in the way of faster vehicles. It is double standards, pure and simple. If they eventually get their way and have their “cycling super highways” built [quite probably within the next term of government thanks to the lobbying power of this bleeding heart group], they should be banned from roads altogether, just as they will want pedestrians banned from their own paths.

dungfungus said :

An arrogant rider and a high powered electric bike on shared paths and main raods are a recipe for disaster as the idiot in Western Sydney demonstrates:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEdETIjfngo

This guy exhibits many of the behaviours that really cause other road-users to be very annoyed and often discourteous to cyclists.
So, if you’re a cyclist who doesn’t see why others get annoyed, watch this & find out.

Maya123 said :

dungfungus said :

Rollersk8r said :

I liked a quote from James May: “In most cases you’ll find cyclists are just normal people using bikes”.

The guy who regularly pilots an electric mountain bike at over 70kph (in a 50kph zone) at Bugden Avenue in Fadden is not “a normal person”.

Two nights ago I was trying to coax two large kangaroos off the road and out of nowhere the idiot appeared silently, totally oblivious to what could have happened.

I am sure some of Pedal Power people would no who he is so why not have a chat to him while he is still alive.

dungfungus wrote: “I am sure some of Pedal Power people would no who he is so why not have a chat to him while he is still alive.”
In the sense of, I am sure someone must know who he is. Pedal Power members are just ordinary members of society, so yes, someone out there must know who he is, but they might or might not be members of Pedal Power. I don’t know why you think members of Pedal Power might have insider information. Do you think NRMA members have more insider information than non members when a car speeds?
The speeds you say this person is going, indicates they have an illegally overpowered motor on their bike.

Err, I suggested Pedal Power as all their members ride bicycles besides being “ordinary members of society”.

The “ordinary members of society” probably don’t all ride bicycles.
The only way NRMA could get involved in this issue is if they are the ones asked to send a tow truck to clean up the carnage.

Obviously the bikes are illegally overpowered in which case one would expect Pedal Power to make an announcement as to whether they support them or otherwise. There are two chances of that happening, Buckley’s and none.

Have you looked at the video links I posted?

An arrogant rider and a high powered electric bike on shared paths and main raods are a recipe for disaster as the idiot in Western Sydney demonstrates:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEdETIjfngo

dungfungus said :

Rollersk8r said :

I liked a quote from James May: “In most cases you’ll find cyclists are just normal people using bikes”.

The guy who regularly pilots an electric mountain bike at over 70kph (in a 50kph zone) at Bugden Avenue in Fadden is not “a normal person”.

Two nights ago I was trying to coax two large kangaroos off the road and out of nowhere the idiot appeared silently, totally oblivious to what could have happened.

I am sure some of Pedal Power people would no who he is so why not have a chat to him while he is still alive.

Another thrill-seeker at it this morning, resplendent in his pixie suit, over a shared path at speed and then onto Bugden Avenue where he looked around and then flattened it out at a much higher speed through the 50kph zone.
Obviously, they are legal because one idiot is understandable, but two?
The bike looked something like this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35wyy96JB0w

I’m glad I have a bull bar on my old 4WD but I must get a dash-cam to record what is likely to happen.

By the way, I’m insured but he isn’t.

dungfungus said :

Rollersk8r said :

I liked a quote from James May: “In most cases you’ll find cyclists are just normal people using bikes”.

The guy who regularly pilots an electric mountain bike at over 70kph (in a 50kph zone) at Bugden Avenue in Fadden is not “a normal person”.

Two nights ago I was trying to coax two large kangaroos off the road and out of nowhere the idiot appeared silently, totally oblivious to what could have happened.

I am sure some of Pedal Power people would no who he is so why not have a chat to him while he is still alive.

dungfungus wrote: “I am sure some of Pedal Power people would no who he is so why not have a chat to him while he is still alive.”
In the sense of, I am sure someone must know who he is. Pedal Power members are just ordinary members of society, so yes, someone out there must know who he is, but they might or might not be members of Pedal Power. I don’t know why you think members of Pedal Power might have insider information. Do you think NRMA members have more insider information than non members when a car speeds?
The speeds you say this person is going, indicates they have an illegally overpowered motor on their bike.

This post should read: “Why are cyclists so unkind towards Canberrans?”. As a regular pedestrian, I am often buzzed by these lycra-clad monsters who have no regard whatsoever for other users.

They DEMAND respect from car/bus/truck drivers, yet totally disregard the rights of other users. I know this is a generalisation, but my observations show that most cyclists don’t give a s$&t about walkers, children and other pedestrians.

wildturkeycanoe7:51 pm 27 Jan 17

pete23 said :

@wildturkeycanoe Roads became recreational facilities when people started using them to drive to places like the Murrumbidgee to walk or picnic or fish or just chill out. Also, since when has putting cruise control in been a form of shaking of the weeks stresses?

There is nothing recreational about driving on a road, if you have restrictions on speed, limits on how much of the road you can use and laws preventing you from using it “recreationally”. In my opinion, recreational use of a road would be if you could open up the throttle and let the engine roar, without needing to check the speedo. Recreation is using the whole width of a corner to get the most exit speed and not worrying about another car coming the other way. Otherwise, you are simply commuting from your place of residence to your relaxing destination.
Cruise control, or even simply driving at a constant speed is much more relaxing than having to constantly adjust speed, stop, start, brake and make decisions on whether or not it is safe to overtake. These things take your attention away from the pleasure of browsing the beautiful surroundings that the Cotter area has to offer. Cycle events demand you concentrate on avoiding obstacles which prevent you from admiring the rolling hills, valleys and plant life. Having to slow down from 100km/h to 30km/h or less on an open country road because of a group of self absorbed cyclists does nothing more to many motorists than make their blood boil. Of course your counter argument will be that driving at the same speed as the cyclists will allow more time to enjoy the place, but not every driver who is banking up behind you is thinking the same way. Some may be eager to get to their destination to set up camp. Some may be towing a trailer or caravan and getting slowed down by cyclists just before a hill will wipe off any run up they had. This inconvenience causes more wear and tear on a car’s brakes and increases fuel consumption by the need to accelerate again after passing. The cyclists might feel they are participating in a social atmosphere, but some drivers are far from feeling sociable. Motorcyclists also go out there for the wide open, usually quiet roads. They also won’t appreciate feeling like they are navigating Northbourne on a Friday morning.

Rollersk8r said :

I liked a quote from James May: “In most cases you’ll find cyclists are just normal people using bikes”.

The guy who regularly pilots an electric mountain bike at over 70kph (in a 50kph zone) at Bugden Avenue in Fadden is not “a normal person”.

Two nights ago I was trying to coax two large kangaroos off the road and out of nowhere the idiot appeared silently, totally oblivious to what could have happened.

I am sure some of Pedal Power people would no who he is so why not have a chat to him while he is still alive.

crackerpants11:52 am 27 Jan 17

“The main thing for competitive and aspirational cyclists is to confine big efforts to races, the open road and the trainer, and take it easy where there are other commuters around (in other words, be judicious when using Strava).”

That right there ^^. If that thing happens, with due care around others who might not be “commuting” (walkers, runners, those pesky children that really should be kept indoors until they’re able to dodge bikes without slowing cyclists down) – all else will fall into place.

I got in about 15k yesterday, mostly on footpaths and verges, but on the bike path stretches I was left thinking “why are cyclists so unkind to runners?” Two abreast, they eyeballed me, I eyeballed them, I still had to leave the path – several pairs/groups of cyclists in a 1k stretch. I don’t actually care, I’m a trail runner, running on grass is nothing, but the arrogance and lack of courtesy is disappointing.

As for the Cotter Rd, I’ve had a peleton get angry with me because I wouldn’t overtake when they waved me past. Double white lines, no view of oncoming traffic, baby in the back seat, yet they thought I should make safe driving decisions based on their say-so.

I train with cyclists and try to be positive in my interactions with cyclists when I’m out and about, walking, running, driving. But unfortunately Kim, whilst it may be the minority, so many cyclists seem to trip over their own arrogance to then cry “why are they so mean?”

Why is that?

I liked a quote from James May: “In most cases you’ll find cyclists are just normal people using bikes”.

@wildturkeycanoe Roads became recreational facilities when people started using them to drive to places like the Murrumbidgee to walk or picnic or fish or just chill out. Also, since when has putting cruise control in been a form of shaking of the weeks stresses?

Anne Treasure said :

I totally agree with the body of your article, but the headline – Kim, no! Canberrans are a loving, kindly people who delight in the environmental, social and individual benefits of bike riding. Our socialist utopia embraces and respects people who ride, are happy to give them room on the roads and mostly understand that car rego fees don’t directly go to funding roads.

It’s just the loud few who ruin it for the rest of the ACT.

Hey speaking of Summernats, we need a multi-day bike festival in the same vein – burnouts on two wheels, what do you think?

I hope you’re right AT about the good people of Canberra. Maybe the headline should be “Why are some Canberrans…”? I’d go to the Cyclenats for sure (along with the Summernats). I also wouldn’t mind seeing a hillclimbing street event in and around the ACT or maybe series of events. Would like to see it in an urban environment, but off the top of my head am nominating the end of Wallaroo Rd. I would watch rather than participate. K.

wildturkeycanoe3:39 pm 26 Jan 17

“The main thing for competitive and aspirational cyclists is to confine big efforts to races, the open road and the trainer, and take it easy where there are other commuters around”
Unfortunately this is not the case. More often than not, the large groups of racing elite take up a whole lane [if not both lanes] of Cotter Road, Uriarra Road or Naas and Boboyan Roads. The times they use these roads [weekends] are also the times that a lot of Canberrans are looking to go to the Murrumbidgee River for a swim or picnic, or up to the mountains to fish or just get away from it all. Just as a family gets out of the stop/start of suburbia when they should be putting the cruise control on and shake off the week’s stresses, they are faced with 40km/h zones due to racing events, stop start traffic controllers and cyclists slowing cars to a crawl for kilometers at a time because there are no safe overtaking spots. In my opinion this is sheer selfishness, by bringing their disruptive hobbies onto public roads and choosing the roads that have the most unsafe conditions [80-100km/h zones with many blind corners and plenty of double white sections]. It is quite lucky that nobody has been killed during these events, when a car happens to come around a bend and be confronted with a group of cyclists three abreast doing 25km/h and another group coming the opposite way. Since when did our public roads become recreational facilities? I’d like to see them try this on the King’s Highway. Perhaps this is one reason why there is some animosity towards cyclists.
These antics aren’t exclusively used on the outlying roads either, as many drivers will attest to. Quite a few of the local single lane roads are used in a similar fashion, with large groups of riders holding up commuters in cars. Don’t say it doesn’t happen.
“All of this suggests that, where there’s high traffic, there should be separate bike paths.” Indeed there are, but the cyclists still won’t use them because of petty excuses like “There are too many potholes”, or “Too many pedestrians”. That entitled attitude doesn’t help their cause.
One thing you touched on but didn’t elaborate was cyclists disregard of the rules. It seems that pedestrian “Don’t walk” signs do not apply to most of them, nor do vehicular stop lights. Red to a cyclist seems to mean “the cars are stopped but, if there is nobody coming I can sneak half way at least”. It is either that or they then jump onto the footpath and become a pedestrian till they get to the other side. This switching through different modes of traffic is what irks me. If you are going to use the road, then stick to it and obey the rules. You can’t go from road to pedestrian crossing to bike path and visa versa to achieve the quickest possible outcome, because a driver should not have to anticipate every possibility in order to avoid a collision.
One point you haven’t mentioned is the incessant hounding of the government and A.C.T residents for more, more, more. No matter how many times we’ve made adjustments to the roads, to cycle paths, to footpaths and to the rules governing their use, cyclists aren’t happy. They will never be happy until they have all the roads and all the paths to themselves. Apparently their mission to get to work as fast as possible overrides everyone else’ rights to use our infrastructure. The cycling lobby continually tells drivers to use some patience when dealing with cyclists, but cyclists won’t wait for anything or anyone. If they have to stop for something, it is like their world is going to end. This latest call to have no pedestrians in their way and no dog walkers on “their” paths is affirmation of this concept. They are just plain selfish.
Just so as to not be hypocritical in my judgements, I have to add that I am a regular cyclist myself. I do not ride on the roads if I can avoid them and I make a point to give pedestrians a wide berth when on both footpaths and shared paths, because in my mind they have the first priority. I also stop and dismount for both major intersections and pedestrian crossings, for my own safety more than anything. I teach my children this same practice, so that they never get t-boned by a car that didn’t see them coming off the footpath onto the crossing. With some drivers in Canberra I’m almost afraid to drive around the streets let alone ride a motorcycle or a bike. Cyclists are vulnerable road users and they should start acting that way for their own good. Once you are dead there is no point in arguing over who had the right of way on the road/crossing/path etc.

Anne Treasure1:24 pm 26 Jan 17

I totally agree with the body of your article, but the headline – Kim, no! Canberrans are a loving, kindly people who delight in the environmental, social and individual benefits of bike riding. Our socialist utopia embraces and respects people who ride, are happy to give them room on the roads and mostly understand that car rego fees don’t directly go to funding roads.

It’s just the loud few who ruin it for the rest of the ACT.

Hey speaking of Summernats, we need a multi-day bike festival in the same vein – burnouts on two wheels, what do you think?

“Why are Canberrans so unkind towards cyclists?” We’re not. These views might be correct or incorrect, but they are not unique to Canberra.

The key do/don’t for cyclists/motorists/pedestrians/people in general is “Don’t be a d$&@head.”

You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.

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