Sunday, September 25, 2011


Came across these stories after posting " Traffic Hazards " so since theee are relevant items I have added them separately in this post .:

“ http://road.cc/content/news/44032-motorist-rams-new-forest-cyclist-road-rage-incident

It annoys me so much when you get Mr Irratic Car in a very busy location attempting with every sinew and muscle to squeeze in front of you on a bike only to see them brake harshly in front and stop in a queue which was totally visible way back. When safe to do so you inch slowly past said vehicles and get abuse thrown at you! It's about time everyone looked in the mirror before getting in their car and taking a chill pill and looked forward to an enjoyable drive to their location instead of the stoneage attitude of working out how many people they can upset on their way....

posted by shaun finnis [9 posts] 21st September 2011 - 6:19

Live to Ride, 'cycling a real sport'From the Highway Code
General advice (144-158)
Traffic-calming measures. On some roads there are features such as road humps, chicanes and narrowings which are intended to slow you down. When you approach these features reduce your speed. Allow cyclists and motorcyclists room to pass through them. Maintain a reduced speed along the whole of the stretch of road within the calming measures. Give way to oncoming road users if directed to do so by signs. You should not overtake other moving road users while in these areas.
How often do we see this advice disregarded? The ranting cyclist hating lobby of the Echo seemed to have skipped this page.

posted by giff77 [145 posts] 19th September 2011 - 15:48

Well here..
I am a cyclist and a driver
There are bad drivers.. AND certainly bad cylists as well. Nobody has the right to ram somebody off the road for any reason. But giving somebody the fingers, or shaking heads is not a very good thing to do either. I am always very patient with other cyclist when driving, but sometimes we/they get drivers and themselves into very dangerous situations because we/they think that a cyclist can be a pedestrian and a traffic object at the same time.
I say we should have respect for eachother - mostly people just want to get home in one piece anyways. 
Though I get annoyed when people on MTB's ride in the middle of the road in rush hour when there is a path on the other side of the road.

posted by seabass89 [12 posts] 21st September 2011 - 21:14

Will be interested to see the outcome of this incident !

This further item may remind people of how ineffective the “ Points System “ is in relation to stemming the rise of the “ Aggressive and Bullying vehicle operator “! As all you need is money to employ a Barrister to present your case more and more people are choosing to take this route rather than reconsider their “ Driver Behaviour “ and thus change the manner in which they drive !

“ Having read about this situation before I think the whole system is farcical and just goes to show that despite all the media attention on the "war on the motorist" the whole criminal justice system is setup to treat motorists so carefully that they can literally get away with murder with just a slap on the wrist.
Anyone who mounts up 12 points clearly is a poor driver, if being without your car would cause "exceptional hardship" then maybe you should start using it as the law permits.
As for the people with 30 points why on earth are they still driving? Couldn't the system be changed so that at 12 points *if* being without the car would cause "exceptional hardship" then the courts could POSTPONE the ban however any additional points beyond that result in gradually longer bans and possibly a need for retraining and testing (at a hugely inflated price in the middle of the working week....)
Drivers need to realize that they are in charge of rather heavy machines which are capable of seriously hurting and killing other people and treat them as the potentially lethal weapons they are.
posted by bassjunkieuk [8 posts] 20th September 2011 - 8:57

Someone I know was stopped whilst speeding in his hire car in Australia. Apparently the rozzers over there have the power to issue instant bans, as he was kicked out of his motor and made to get a taxi to pick him up, then arrange a recovery vehicle to return the car to the hire company.
Maybe if the Police had those sort of powers in the UK, and drivers were aware of it, then people might be less inclined to tempt fate in the first place.
posted by jarderich [21 posts] 20th September 2011 - 12:47


Not the only one who likes this idea ! Here is another with merit :

The example of that cab driver infuriates me even more.
Dude, if you were negligent enough to get 12 points as a driver, find another occupation! You are a risk to yourself, other road users and those passengers who're paying you 
Also, would be a good idea for the cabbies, truckers, etc to be made to display their insurance and points gathered on license in the cab. Give the customers a right to refuse to pay if either of them are out of order (expired insurance or points > 12).

posted by rbx [167 posts] 20th September 2011 - 21:51

I like the idea about having to display the number of points on the car - perhaps as a warning triangle on the car, so that other road users can take precautions?
This is truly scandalous and kind of puts paid to stories about motorists getting a hard time.
posted by robbieC [16 posts

Cyclingsilk.blogspot has posted this weekend about a traffic incident that luckily only left him with bruising and a broken front wheel . Reporting the incident to the police will no doubt produce further follow up reports as this matter is processed .


You are riding towards a traffic junction at about 35kph, perhaps only 75m away and you are passed by a car , then it brakes and pulls to the curb , the door quickly swings open so someone can get out but had you carried on in a straight line you would have either been doored or hit the alighting passenger ! So who would be at fault here , and how would the Polizei view the result particularly with no common language to explain exactly what had taken place ? Usually the Polizei side with the driver don’t they!

Hammering along the road you are passed by a car and it passes just in front of you , moves to the right onto the white line then moves back into the centre of the carriageway / traffic lane to continue on it’s journey . What sort of a point do they think they are making by this behaviour , personally I think they may have been drinking and don’t you wish there was a Cop around to check them over ?

You are in a large roundabout trying to hold your speed for the far exit and not hold up following traffic and a large HGV pulls into the roundabout with a “ size is might attitude” causing you to have to avoid being the “ meat in the sandwich “. Conversely as you are rounding a roundabout a car drives into the road in front of you without even looking , thinking that there is time for them to be out of your way , having misjudged your speed . Suddenly they look at you with a " What are you doing there " attitude , "why are you there " ?

You are riding down the road tailgating traffic and leaving about 10m for safety’s sake and a car pulls alongside you and THEN decides to start moving towards the kerb with the attitude of you being smaller and smarter will brake/ slow down . Don’t they get upset when you rap on the window to remind them that you are still there ? Recently a people mover owned by a behinderten organisation did this to me ! We were both following a tractor at 40kph when the tractor moved left with the intention of going into a lane on the left so the van moved right so as not to slow down trying to force me out of the road onto the grass verge . Rapping on the window had no effect on the driver or passengers .

Approaching the roundabout you let some traffic through but take position to follow them with others queuing behind you through the roundabout , then having moved towards the curb after exiting the roundabout , the following car steps on the gas to the extent they narrowly avoid shunting the car you were 10m behind at that time .

Truck / HGV starts passing you on the straight road and then someone coming the other way starts to overtake causing the truck to forget you and in order to avoid a head on collision moves right towards the pavement whilst you are still alongside the trailer so as to hold their speed .

Truck passing you too lazy to signal overtaking and thus the tailgating vehicle suddenly discovers you are there and blares the klaxon to tell all that they were asleep again !

Car passing with driver holding the mobile phone to the ear and pointing out to you they think you should be on the farm track that some call a cycle path . How can they drive with both hands occupied , doing anything other than holding the steering wheel ?

Have you ever gone into a roundabout , had a car come alongside you then leave on the same exit and get 300m down the road and they are still there ? When you are at the speed limit they then complain you are going too fast ? Could be they expect that the car has priority over the cyclist ? So often I have cars choose to overtake in the last metres before the roundabout and then they are wondering why you are still there several hundred metres later !

Driving a car I always come up behind a cyclist and signal overtaking or turn on the “ hazard lights “ so as to warn those following what is happening . If I can do this then 99% of the population driving should be able to exercise those digits called fingers to do likewise . Highway Codes exist in ALL countries and I am sure 95% of the time the requirements placed on Drivers towards cyclists are common and so whichever country you are passing through you can expect “ Fair Treatment ” whether this happens is usually down to the vehicle driver rather than the cyclist !

Certainly I can think of many more examples of sheer inconsiderate driving behaviour but would welcome some of you’re the readers observations !


Monday, September 19, 2011

Cycling etiquette

This article caught my attention recently , the writer has certainly had a busy time on the bike this season .


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Friends' Offerings

During the past few days i have received a couple of items which i offer now .

Item one is from Vince in Melbourne who read the blog post on " Cycling Etiquette " from last month . This item was emailed to him .

" " The lost art of a group ride "

By Peter Wilborn


Last week I wrote a post about Melbourne's bunch ride culture and the direction it's heading. Meanwhile, other cities in Australia manage to keep things in line because they haven't lost the notion of "the patron of the peloton". Someone directed me to a post written by Peter Wilborn from South Carolina (where the riding is spectacular I might add) which hit the nail on the head.

With Peter's permission I've reposted his article which nicely articulates what a bunch ride should be, and more importantly, what the leaders of the ride should be.

Every so often, I’ll ride a recreational group ride. I love the camaraderie of cyclists, the talk, the last minute pumps of air, the clicking in, and the easy drifting out as a peloton. “I miss riding in a group,” I’ll think to myself.

The magic ends by mile 10. The group will surge, gap, and separate, only to regroup at every stop sign. I’ll hear fifteen repeated screams of “HOLE!” for every minor road imperfection. And then no mention of the actual hole. Some guy in front will set a PB for his 30 second pull. Wheels overlap, brakes are tapped, and some guy in the back will go across the yellow line and speed past the peloton for no apparent reason. A breakaway?!

I curse under my breath, remembering why I always ride with only a few friends. Doesn’t anyone else realize how dangerous this ride is? How bad it is for our reputation on the road? There are clear rules of ride etiquette, safety, and common sense. Does anyone here know the rules? Who is in charge?

But no one is in charge, and the chaotic group has no idea of how to ride together. As a bike lawyer, I get the complaints from irritated drivers, concerned police, controversy-seeking journalists, and injured cyclists. It needs to get better, but the obstacles are real:

First, everyone is an expert these days. The internet and a power meter do not replace 50,000 miles of experience, but try telling that to a fit forty year-old, new to cycling, on a $5000 bike. Or, god forbid, a triathlete. No one wants to be told what to do.

Second, the more experienced riders just want to drop the others and not be bothered. It is all about the workout, the ego boost, or riding with a subset of friends. But a group ride is neither a race nor cycling Darwinism. As riders get better, they seek to distinguish themselves by riding faster on more trendy bikes; but as riders get better they need to realize two things:
1) there is always someone faster, and
2) they have obligations as leaders.

Cycling is not a never ending ladder, each step aspiring upwards, casting aspersions down. It is a club, and we should want to expand and improve our membership.

Third, different rides are advertised by average speed, but speed is only one part of the equation. This approach makes speed the sole metric for judging a cyclist, and creates the false impression that a fit rider is a good one. Almost anyone can be somewhat fast on a bike, but few learn to be elegant, graceful cyclists.

Fourth, riding a bike well requires technique training. Good swimmers, for example, constantly work on form and drills; so should cyclists. Anyone remember the C.O.N.I. Manual or Eddie Borysewich’s book? They are out-of-print, but their traditional approach to bike technique should not be lost. More emphasis was given on fluid pedaling and bike handling.
Before the internet, before custom bikes, and before Lance, it was done better. Learning to ride was an apprenticeship. The goal was to become a member of the peloton, not merely a guy who is sort of fast on a bike. Membership was the point, not to be the local Cat. 5 champ. You were invited to go on group ride if you showed a interest and a willingness to learn. You were uninvited if you did not. You learned the skills from directly from the leader, who took an interest in riding next to you on your first rides (and not next to his friends, like better riders do today).

Here is some of what you learned:

- To ride for months each year in the small ring.
- To take your cycling shorts off immediately after a ride.
- To start with a humble bike, probably used.
- To pull without surging.
- To run rotating pace line drills and flick others through.
- To form an echelon.
- To ride through the top of a climb.
- To hold your line in a corner.
- To stand up smoothly and not throw your bike back.
- To give the person ahead of you on a climb a little more room to stand up.
- To respect the yellow line rule.
- To point out significant road problems.
- To brake less, especially in a pace line.
- To follow the wheel in front and not overlap.

The ride leader and his lieutenants were serious about their roles, because the safety of the group depended on you, the weakest link. If you did not follow the rules, you were chastised. Harshly. If you did, you became a member of something spectacular.

The Peloton. "

Another item was sent earlier by Georgethecyclist.blogspot which i found thoroughly amusing :

From: david bier
Subject: Fwd: [EBCSocial] Jens Voigt
To: "george christensen"
Date: Tuesday, September 13, 2011, 8:48 AM

Jens Voigt signs for 1 more year with new Radioshack Nissan Trek team for 2012 to ride for the Schleck's at the Tour

"Jens Voigt doesn't sleep. The dark is afraid of him."

"After a race stage, the team mechanic takes Jens Voigt's bike out back and shoots it to put it out of its misery."

"Jens Voigt once rode at the back of the peloton -just to see what it looked like."

"Jens Voigt is the only person in the world who can actually give 110%."

"When Jens gets a water bottle he gives the team car a push."

"Jen's can only motor pace once a week because the scooter needs 6 rest days to recover."

In Jen's first Tour de France he wasn't aware you didn't have to arrive in Paris on the first day. He had to back track almost 3,350km to start stage 2.

When Jens gives you the finger, he's telling you how many seconds you have left until he attacks .

Fabian Cancellara did NOT have a motor in his downtube. He had a tiny Jens Voigt in there instead.

In Germany, nails are described as being tough as Jens.

Should you have any amusing and interesting items to share , please forward them for us All to enjoy !

Please also take a look at :


would like to try and give some Continental 4000s clincher tyres to a Paralympic Athlete but will change the conditions that were applied in the last offering when people let me know what they suggest as reasonable !

Friday, September 2, 2011


FACT that they exist poses danger to all whether on local roads or motorways ! Until the "Rail System" is made to work in Europe there will always be a need for these monstrosities . When you send a parcel/package by DHL , TNT or UPS do you really think that it travels through Europe by Air when the time between despatch and delivery allows the use of road ?

Next time you are on the Motorway late afternoon through to before 8am , see how many Semi trailor vehicles logoed " Air freight/24hr service " you can count ! Chances are there are other vehicles without logoing that are also carrying these small urgent packages ! We , the public created this need for " Speedy Service " and yet we are unable to face up to the consequences of our desire for instant gratification .

We know Christmas is coming so we leave shopping until the last minute and then demand delivery then and there or go hunt the " gift " elsewhere ! What can the store do other than promise " overnight delivery" and you might hang around whilst they make the arrangements to satisfy your needs . Same goes for so many other things in our lives these days .

Businesses also work on " Just in Time " inventories so there are a bunch of trucks on the road delivering those parts to keep whole factories from having to close down for want of parts that were carried as " Stock " in earlier times . Look around the Air Freight Terminals at Heathrow , Charles de Gaulle & Munich and you will see Boeing 747 Freight Aircraft and the larger Semi Trailors busy loading and unloading .

Ever followed a circus moving around the country , well some of them are 3 units truck , trailor and caravan hitched together . Occasionally you will see a farm tractor towing two or three trailors in the country . Outback Australia allows five or more trailors on specially designated routes but i am certain there are occasions where the rules are bent . To travel from Ford in Sth Melbourne to Geelong you will be on a motorway where you will find Rigs towing two large trailors with official approval .

Truck drivers need various classes of licenses and generally they are professional about their approach to their work but the average truck driver presents a less than appealing visage when seen around the outside of their rig . They dress for comfort and a collar and tie is required in the office but would rarely be considered by a driver who will sleep in their truck when away from home .

Considering the investment and a world demanding results , time is the enemy for the average truck driver . From the sign on through to the return of the vehicle to the depot everything conspires to delay their smooth progress through the day , road works , traffic jams and Police Controls . Leaving home in a less than good mood can add to the stress of the day .

Not being mind readers the truck driver has to contend with what he sees on the road and usually that is in front of him but occasionally viewable in their rear view mirrors . Noticed the sign " If you can't see the mirrors , i can't see you " ?

As a cyclist i daily go up the inside of vehicles regardless of size and make absolutely certain that i am aware of the dangers posed before entering an area of risk . Riding in both the UK and Europe i have to be attentive to risks from both sides of the vehicles i am passing and in city streets i am always watching for the darting pedestrian particularly those that step off the pavement without looking . Remember all to well a pedestrian woman in the Strand , London who bowled me off the bike , apologised , offered to pay the damages and when i arrived at the address given told me that i caused HER injury ! Luckily for me the expenses and skinning was slight otherwise the only winner would have been the lawyer .

With using " Sinitron " i bleed too easily from slight scrapes so have no wish to collect any further souvenirs as i pedal around each day . Drivers pay scant attention to cyclists since they regard them as an obstacle as they motor around playing with their " monile toys ", you know the phone , gps gadget , maps , paperwork , cigarettes and refreshments . All of these tasks are far more important than what is going on outside their vehicle not to mention the conversation they are having with their companions which could be absorbing and even heated on occasions .

Road signs , directional signs and road markings are also distracting and that cyclist they are alongside is so easily overlooked ! Nose past the cyclist so they are no longer part of the equation ! WRONG ! When following a cyclist you should never overtake UNLESS you can continue moving forward at the same speed needed in the manoevre . Why fill the cyclist's safety space so that they have to brake through YOUR NEGLIGENCE ?

So many motorists cannot stand the thought of being behind a cyclist , they might fall over or delay your progress ! Filling the space the cyclist reserves for safety is asking to create the problem you would hope to avoid .

WHEN APPROACHING junctions where HGV or other large vehicles frequently make Left Hand Turns could not the authorities mark the road 100m in advance in a manner that the vehicle and other road users will know that there is a danger posed at the junction by turning vehicles ? Some countries have a series of lines as you approach Ped. Crossings or Narrowing of a road ! Could not a similar road marking be applied at junctions where casualties have already occurred as an interim measure and then when European Road Authorities have had an opportunity to consider the success of this measure institute it as part of European Law ?

Cyclists are aware of road markings more than road signs and that is because of the state of the road surfaces they have to travel over . It would be hard to not see these indicators unless Vehicles are parked on top of them illegally !

Introducing Larger Semi Trailors in the UK is only going to add more damage to the roads as well as more danger to other road users . Should the need arise for their use then they should only be allowed on motorways and in Trading Estates or Warehousing Estates adjacent to Motorways ! Allowing these Larger vehicles to travel through villages or small towns is unacceptable since most of these drivers will be unfamiliar with local conditions and could cause chaos to an otherwise tranquil situation .

European Motorways such as the Autobahns have " U roads " to channel traffic off blocked motorways and i am sure this network was put together with thought rather than a cavalier attitude of " She'll be right mate "!
All Large vehicles should be able to access the outskirts of towns but even Sinbury or Tesco Semi Trailors delivering to their stores is causing difficulty to their local population .

Distressing to read of so many Cyclists killed through the negligence of the parties involved , be it the vehicle driver , road conditions or the unwitting actions of the cyclist . So many accidents are caused by road conditions causing the cyclist to swerve in to the path of a following vehicle or even to tumble from their bike ! Road Authorities should be notified of hazardous conditions and I attempted to do this after taking a tumble in the tunnel under Manchester Airport runway in August ! One tunnel well lighted had the same level for walkers and cyclists so it must have been the newer of the two ! Riding into the dark of the other I saw a cyclist approaching and turned towards the left to leave room for him to pass . As it was he had to scrape me off the pavement as the unseen kerb tumbled me off the bike into the wall at speed ! Luckily the helmet took the brunt of the force and the shoulder and hip the rest ! Had it been on the open road a following vehicle would not have had time to avoid an accident .

How many other cyclists experienced the same situation in that particular tunnel over the past years ?

ADDED comment to Roads.cc :

" One point overlooked in this Roads.cc post are the pictures of the trucks at the top of the page ! So easy at cursory glance to miss the difference in length but as Ciaran points out those two metres make a lot of difference in heavy traffic where the truck driver is challenged with a multitude of problems !

The pressure to introduce these trucks is because they exist in Europe and no doubt the operators want to utilise them in YOUR backyard given the opportunity . Well motorway is what they use 99% of their journey so that is what they should be allowed ! Given that there are areas only accesible by "A routes" then they should have a pilot vehicle to guide them to their destination IF it is a situaton where these monstrosities must use single lane routes rather than multi lane / dual carriageways .

Regardless of " BUY LOCAL " campaigns the Supermarket chains will continue to see " PROFIT " in importing goods to the detriment of ALL ! Frankly if Mr Tesco or Mr Aldi could find a way of closing these markets you can bet that they would do so to " SAVE YOU MONEY "!

This comment added to my blog ! "