Monday, October 28, 2013

MY NEIGHBOUR ! What chance with others ?

SMIDSY ( S orry M ate I d idn't s ee Y OU )  from a neighbour , hurrying to a Sunday afternoon drive ?

An attitude of "I AM BIGGER THAN YOU " , as the blue estate car pulled into a slightly wider street , from the one lane track that runs past his house . I have not had a look to see if this peasant , actually lives in that lane , which i am allowed to ride a bike along , but is signposted against " Rat running ". No point as he had driven off elsewhere .

Living in rural Tirol ( An area bidding for the UCI Road Race Champs in 2016? ) of Austria , in the village of a Radio Shack Racer , you would think that the locals are aware of Cyclists . Not so , the local Polizei only see me when the local turd complains about me stopping them in their driveway to explain that , " I ride to promote " BEHINDERTEN ( disabled/para ) SPORT " , not to join them !

My gate is on RHS of photo past house , note the road sign and width of lane used by neighbour ! The white car is about where the Blue Estate car stopped.

The road i live in , is 40kph and 10M east of my entrance there  is a choke point that is wide enough for a Bus/Truck to pass through whilst others travelling west wait . Regularly in the afternoon , as i sit in the sun , i see Coaches having to back up East , so as to allow another Bus/Coach/truck to pass through . No doubt this is because there is more backed up traffic going west ? This road is NOT the main road , but has become an escape route since local bus services use it to capture more passengers in the winter . Many of the houses , are winter accomodation for Skiers , thus walking in Ski Boots and carrying Skis , etc , poses an unacceptable burden for the visitor ? Local traffic at this time of year involves many tractors towing extra sized Farm machinery .

My gate is on LHS of photo

When the village has the " Speed Radar Display ", and when i am not aware of it , i usually see 35kph displayed , but when i know it is there , i am trying for in excess of 45kph , OOps , i meant 40kph ! This village is 40kph throughout , but  vehicles make sure they get in front of you , before they decide to observe the " Speed Limit ", when they remember ?

Yesterday , i was 50M from my gate bowling along at 30+kph , when " Herr A**ole , arrived at the end of his lane , looked at me ,  ABSOLUTELY SURE  he saw me , looked right for vehicles , then drove into my space ! The part of the road i was on , was NOT WIDE ENOUGH for 2 vehicles to pass , but hey a BIKE, THAT CAN STOP , can't it ? Well i went left and stopped in his path , he stopped blocking the road , looked at me , like " WHAT ARE YOU DOING THERE "? Then imperiously waved , get out of my way  ! Woman passenger was looking at me saying something , then at him , then he shrugged , like " What do we do now "? Well no point talking to him , hopefully the woman was filling his ear ?

Previous blogposts , have mentioned a variety of other incidents in this road , let alone elsewhere . Fact is , whereever you live as a Cyclist , you can NOT RELAX , each vehicle poses a hazard , regardless of whether it is following or coming towards you . Brad Wiggins wins the " Le Tour " and a neighbour rewards him with a visit to Hospital . Regular reports of Racers of every Cycling discipline feature in the Media and it is ALWAYS reported as the Media's  " impression ", that the CYCLIST was the cause of THEIR Misfortune !

CYCLISTS choose to ride the roads for a variety of reasons . In my case , yesterday was a means to get out and about , after watching the Solden Ski Races on Eurosport . In past years , i would arrive in the Resort on Tuesday with my bike , ride to the Glacier on several days , ski with the Racers on their training tracks and ASK them to speak about " Para Sport " with the Media . Since my " Fund Raiser " at Solden in 1998 , i have rarely missed Solden or the Kitzbuhel Weekend , but this year with no car the past 2 months , i have been disinclined to rent a car to make the journey . My original plan was to have headed to Oz after this event but as yet still awaiting replies to some matters that i started enquiries about in August ! Some "Jobsworth " is about to receive a kicking from their Head of Department , particularly when i post the blog on that story !

AS most reading will know , i support several " Cycle Safety Blog/Websites " but i am going to plagerise a new site i found today , since it reveals many of the issues i have previously mentioned !




The New site :


A selection of points :

  " what needs to be done is: 
1. Proper funding and world best practice design, even if it means taking space away from moving and parked cars.  This doesn't mean separated Copenhagen-style paths on every street.  It means useful, connected, planned bike routes where necessary, which are separated from cars.  
2. Lowering speed limits: 30kph on local streets and 50kph on connector roads.  Here in Brisbane, and in most Australian cities, the default speed limit is 50kph.  That means that even little laneways, cul-de-sacs, residential neighbourhoods, nursing homes etc. etc. drivers can drive at 50kph and usually drive at 60kph happily. Next up in the hierarchy of roads, collector roads which provide local access but also move traffic from local roads to main routes, speed limits are usually 60kph or 70kph,  which means drivers do anywhere between 65 to 80 kph.  Seriously, if you drive around Brisbane at or below the speed limit, you will get honked at, abused, or cut off by irate drivers who want to stay with the flow of traffic (generally 5 to 10 kph above the posted limit.
3. Changes to the road rules so that cyclists don't have to pretend to be cars, or are at least protected from cars.  Bicycles are not cars and should not be categorised as 'vehicles'. The average person cannot propel a bicycle so as to beat a car to a destination further than 5km away. The average person probably couldn't propel a bicycle across an intersection quicker than a car. Being forced to do so (by having to stop at stop signs or red lights, and being prohibited from crossing with pedestrians) means the average person won't even try.
4. Get rid of mandatory helmet laws.  There's lots of evidence that while helmets may prevent some types of head injury in the unlikely event of some types of crashes, the social damage mandatory helmet laws cause (disincentive to cycling, shaping cycling culture as a male-dominated sporting culture, risk compensation, signalling that cyclists are responsible for mitigating danger etc. etc.) far outweighs the advantages. Despite this, State Government still churns out the propaganda.
Some submissions call for an awareness campaign.  Even though none have worked before, not even Scotland's depressingly fucked up Niceway Code campaign (which even goes so far to say that cyclists are not even a subspecies, they're horses).
The problem with most government produced awareness campaigns is that they are usually undermined by government's inherent, car-centric bias.  Some pinhead in Scotland's traffic department probably thought cyclists wouldn't mind being ridiculed, if it got drivers onside. I wonder how many Scottish cyclists get carrots thrown at them instead of beer bottles. 
Australian governments have the same bias.  For example, Queensland's 'Share the Road' campaign went to great lengths to deliver twin messages with equal weighting: It takes two to tango, so cyclists follow the road rules and motorists give cyclists plenty of room.   Thereby entrenching the fallacy that cyclists disobey the road rules more than cars do. 
Here's the message for drivers, encouraging them to give cyclists plenty of room on the road:

Those reading the above points will have seen much of the same in Blogs from UK, US  European & other Oz sites !


Friday, October 18, 2013

TONY ABBOTT ! A Cyclist at RISK ?

Sunday Morning after a late night celebrating , becoming the New Prime Minister of Australia ,
found Tony on his bike , an occurence that is reported to be a daily activity . Seems that he is the type of person that enjoys starting the day in the fresh air . As a private citizen he would be an anonymous figure riding the roads of Canberra whilst Parliament is in Session , perhaps less so when at the Family home in the Sydney suburbs?

Like every other Cyclist he would be risking his life when in close proximity to those that have a grudge against Cyclists ? Where ever in the world you live , it appears that the " Vehicle Operator " regards a cyclist as " road furniture "! What is in the mind of those that jump in their vehicle ? Does enclosing themselves in a vehicle change their " MINDSET " , causing them to ignore their responsibility to other Road Users ?

Normally i regard Trucks as being driven by " PROFESSIONAL Drivers " , in general the greater percentage are thoughtful on country roads . There are a few that need a reminder , having me tell their Client  at pickup , about their driving behaviour as they arrive to make that delivery or pickup , comes as a surprise that they and their employer don't enjoy . Imagine how the client feels about their " Products " travelling with a driver who has a blatant disregard to others on the road ? Not ALL Clients will call the driver's employer or the alternative , the Polizei, but the fact that you have turned up on their doorstep adds to the daily burden and i doubt that the driver will be prepared to risk a repeat of the event ?

Cyclist Safety is currently getting some attention by the Queensland Government in Australia . Many Witnesses have been invited to OFFER their evidence to the Committee . Many Cyclist Safety Groups such as the " Amy Gillett Foundation " & " Safe cycling Australia " have added their views . Other parties such as Vehicle Operators have also been offered the opportunity .

In declining to attend this Committee , the " Queensland TruckingAssociation Ltd", sent the following letter :

24th September 2013

Howard Hobbs MP
Transport, Housing and Local Government Committee
Parliament House
George Street
Brisbane Qld 4000 Your Ref: CYC_130912_03

Dear Howard
Re: Inquiry into Cycling Issues
I write to provide a brief response to the Transport Housing and Local Government Committee,
Inquiry into Cycling Issues.
I am unable to accept the invitation to appear before your Committee on the 1st
 October 2013 due
to prior commitments.
My submission takes the form of some general comments without necessarily specifically
addressing the dot points (Terms of Reference) in the email dated 12th September 2013.
I am familiar with the presentation to your Committee by the Department of Transport and Main
Roads. I support in general the Department’s submissions.
The Queensland Trucking Association Ltd is the pre-eminent spokesgroup of heavy vehicle
operators involved in the delivery of the Hire and Reward freight task. The freight task is critically
important to the Queensland economy and the Queensland community and already operators
under a range of parameters imposed by Road Law.
For further detail of the freight task and the important role of the heavy vehicle industry I refer you
to the following:
 The Draft Moving Freight Strategy shortly to be endorsed and released by Government. The
Minister for Transport and Main Roads held a meeting of key stakeholders on the 18th July
2013 and sought detailed submissions/responses from key stakeholders.
 The Queensland Road Safety Action Plan 2013/15, in particular those elements which have a
direct impact on heavy vehicle safety. My Association is engaged with the Department ofTransport and Main Roads to further develop activities and strategies designed to deliver
heavy vehicle safety outcomes.
 The Australian Trucking Association recently released a report titled - Future Strategy for
Road Supply & Charging which can be accessed via the link embedded in the title of the
report. This document was prepared by and reflects the views of PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Its primary function is to address the issues of heavy vehicle charging and road pricing. You
may find this document valuable in understanding the demographics of our industry and the
challenge of finding a balance between road pricing (registration charges and fuel excise) and
supply side reform (road funding).

My Association has a very firm view that we need to participate as an industry with the community
in the reduction of road crashes and fatalities. It is our view that a significant component of actions
to be taken include education of the community and more broadly all road users including cyclists

in Sharing the Road with Heavy Vehicles. 

It is our considered view that your Committee not recommend solutions in relation to cyclists
safety which would make it even harder to manage safety outcomes for heavy vehicles, light
commercial vehicles and other road users. An example of such policy failure was the trial
introduction of confining heavy vehicles to a single lane (the left hand lane) on the Brisbane Urban
Corridor three years ago. This so called solution was un-enforceable from a policing perspective,
created significant risks for motorists turning into or out of access on the left hand side of those
roads which make up the Brisbane Urban Corridor e.g. Mt Gravatt-Capalaba and Kessels Roads.
In our view any considerations and recommendations of your Committee must be enforceable,
must be practicable and must not impede the efficiency, productivity and safety of all other road
users in particular the heavy vehicle/freight industry.
I trust that these few comments assist your Committee, provide insight into the heavy vehicle
industry and the freight task and direct you to a number of documents to assist in that regard.

Yours Sincerely
Peter Garske
Chief Executive Officer

PO Box 325, Stones Corner Qld 4120 Ph: (07) 3394 4388 Fax: (07) 3397 9324

Transport Industry House, 1/96 Cleveland Street, Stones Corner admin@qta.com.au http://www.qta.com.au
Delivering to Queensland Since 1907 ~ The Industry Voice to Government

As i am sure people are aware , this letter is written by the " VESTED INTEREST GROUP"!

thus this :  " in Sharing the Road with Heavy Vehicles. "      could be considered as a reasonable response ? I separated out that remark from the letter , so that people would be aware of this .

Wonder if Tony feels in the mood to take a ride in Queensland , when he next has occasion to spend time there ?

Some ideas i read which may help those seeking to make Cycling safer :

 " Governments need to move away from spin and tokenism and show commitment and leadership when it comes to encouraging cycling. There are three areas requiring attention to get results :

1). Education and promotion, first about the benefits of cycling to all, not just the cyclists, and
second about key safety issues facing cyclists. What is needed is not just a perfunctory effort as has happened in the past, but a proper sustained media campaign that produces behavioural changes.

2). Better infrastructure, including continuous uninterrupted cycling infrastructure, separated as
far as possible from motorized traffic. The Government needs not only to commit adequate funds, but actually show the political will needed to implement infrastructure to protect cyclists in the face of opposition.

3). Better laws and law enforcement. Current laws do not adequately protect cyclists as vulnerable road users and the laws that do exist are not properly enforced.

Motorists frequently act with apparent impunity, with illegal and hazardous actions towards cyclists occurring all the time, yet there are rarely any consequences for the culprits.

As usual , those reading this blog , will find it too hard , to offer their ideas ?

ADDITION on sat 19/10/13

Hey Tony , NO Aussie interested in your welfare , but the Chinese appear to be ?

stats on blog

United States
Hong Kong

TONY ABBOTT ! A Cyclist at RISK ?
Oct 18, 2013
Dec 9, 2012
Jul 12, 2011
Oz Cycling's FUTURE ?
Oct 15, 2012


Monday, October 7, 2013

2014 Giro d'Italia ! Pro Racers ONLY Welcome ?

For 16 seasons i have ridden the Routes of the Grand Tours .
This year i completed my 15th Giro d'Italia , although i did not ride  every stage after Tarvisio , Nature played a large part in that failure . I had to laugh after getting out of bed in the Val di Non , intending to ride the Friday Etappe and saw snow on the fields outside . No point going any further after my Host told me that the Passo Tonale was already snowed in . I later saw another rider post a photo of the top of the Passo Tonale , i guess he rode his bike there but i had gone back to bed .

This year the Giro d'Italia seems to have broken their normal traditions . Not only do they start on a FRIDAY in Ireland , but they finish in Trieste . In addition to this they have 3 Rest days ! Looking at the flight from Dublin to Bari ( at a guess ) , it seems to need a rest day to get over the change in Cultures , let alone a probable change of weather conditions ? For Racers , it doesn't matter about the costs involved , in their stay in any Country , but living off my savings , a visit to cold & wet Belfast , is not the ideal start to nearly a month of travelling .

Those Racers that know me , will know that since 2010 , i have had the little green Citroen available as back up for Medical Emergencies. My dose of P.E. after the 2009 Tour de France and repeat in Feb 2011 at the Tour de Med has reminded me that i am getting on in years and Medical Assistance with Hospitalisation is not the best of Ideas . The first bout entailed 10 days in the Schwaz Hospital but the second bout only required 2 Nights since i opted to drive non stop from Monaco to Schwaz , since i knew their records would be able to shortcut any unnecessaryly repeated exploratory work .

From COLD & WET Belfast and Dublin  , with their grey granite buildings to the South of Italy with 30c+ temps and Mediteranean architecture overnight , quite a contrast ? I recall the transfer from Wet & gloomy Belgium , years ago to Bergamo , with a tad warmer but gloomy weather that lasted until the Team Time Trial of Cremona to Piacenza , that was run the next day  in mid 30s sunshine . The contrast was very welcome for me .Several visits to that area since have always produced comfortably warm sunny conditions .

The choice for me is to depart Dublin by air , or to head to Bari and enjoy the warmer conditions as i watch the RAI TV all day broadcast , as they dart in and out of various aspects of the matters surrounding the daily events .

Today RCS had the Formal Presentation of the 2014 Giro Route . Various Racers were on hand , although which of them actually race will not be determined until after the 2014 Tour de France route is revealed .

Here is the daily schedule :

2014 Giro Route :   Total Distance 3450 km

1/ Friday, May 9 21.7 km
Belfast (IE) → Belfast (IE)

2/ Saturday, May 10 218 km
Belfast (IE) → Belfast (IE)

3/ Sunday, May 11 187 km
Armagh (IE) → Dublin (IE)

TRansfer Monday, May 12
Rest day

4/ Tuesday, May 13 121 km
Giovinazzo → Bari

5/ Wednesday, May 14 200 km
Taranto → Viggiano

6/ Thursday, May 15 247 km
Sassano → Montecassino

7/ Friday, May 16 214 km
Frosinone → Foligno

8/ Saturday, May 17 174 km
Foligno → Montecopiolo

9/ Sunday, May 18 174 km
Lugo → Sestola

Rest Day Monday, May 19
Rest day

10/ Tuesday, May 20 184 km
Modena → Salsomaggiore

11/ Wednesday, May 21 249 km
Correggio → Savona

12/ Thursday, May 22 46.4 km
Barbaresco → Barolo

13/ Friday, May 23 158 km
Fossano → Rivarolo Canavese

14/ Saturday, May 24 162 km
Agliè → Oropa

15/ Sunday, May 25 217 km
Valdengo → Montecampione

Rest day Monday, May 26
Rest day

16/ Tuesday, May 27 139 km
Ponte di Legno → Val Martello

17/ Wednesday, May 28 204 km
Sarnonico → Vittorio Veneto

18/ Thursday, May 29 171 km
Belluno → Malga Panarotta

19/ Friday, May 30 26.8 km
Bassano del Grappa → Monte Grappa

20/ Saturday, May 31 167 km
Maniago → Monte Zoncolan

21/ Sunday, June 1 169 km
Gemona → Trieste

  Total Distance 3450 km


Thursday, October 3, 2013


Stupidity on the roads , condensed to this , when you visit the firm owning the vehicle ! Polizei in Austria , like elsewhere , will only act if they see the incident ! It is a fair assumption , that there are three sides to and traffic Incident , The driver of the aggressing vehicle , the intimidated victim  AND OF COURSE , the truth as seen by any UNBIASED Witnesses !

Having photoed the location , i will describe in detail the events at 11.15am , today , 3rd October 2013 , in some detail , when i return to the house . Courtesy of a neighbouring village Internet point , i have emailed the owner of the Kreidl Vehicle in Canada ! Vehicle is a white van with reg plates KU-654GW !

Having made my thursday ride to Schwaz , i called on a buddy in Jenbach on the way home . He was delighted to stand in the sun chewing the fat and commented that Friday was going to be as gloomy as the earlier part of the week had been . With that in mind , having dropped off the shopping , i set out for the ride to Kufstein , 32+km east of the house . This normally takes an hour in each direction , give or take depending on wind strengths . Living in a 40kph zone , i regularly catch up with traffic as it snakes through to Rattenberg . Half a kilometre before the Inn river bridge , the road takes a 90 ° left as seen in the photo of the bus , runs a few hundred metres then takes a 90° right and then over the bridge . Cornering at 30kph is assisted by Mirrows positioned at the left turn apex  , i guess for the Buses , but works for most traffic . As usual i was pushing to maximise the speed , so was surprised as i was passing the Camper Van on the RHS to find a van overtaking me . I heard him coming up behind but with less than 100M could not imagine WHY the risk ?

As he came alongside , coming ther other way was a Yellow Bus , thus he FORGOT me and moved right into my path . But then he braked , he had decided to turn left off this road ! He was heading into his EMPLOYERS Premises ! Both manouvers were ill considered , had the Polizei seen this , they would have spoken to him as they asked for his Driving ID ! Having braked hard , i was able to avoid collision with the kerb and his vehicle , but i was able to see the ADVERTISING on his vehicle ! Moreorless in front of me was his Employers Showroom , so i rode the bike in the door .

What follows would be the classic " Faulty Towers Scenario "! Having asked the receptionist for the " Manager / Director " , i was told the owner was in Canada but expected the " next week "! Having asked for the Next senior i was told they were in Innsbruck . Having called for the driver , this " manfred " arrived then realising the situation , proceeded to draw a diagram of the road as he recalled the incident , including the bus. Meanwhile the receptionist was busy complying with my request for the Canadian Email address , so i could alert their Owner to the " Couldn't care less attitude "!

A fellow rolled out of his office behind the reception , in his wheelchair , joined in discussion with the lady then some " Bolshie , designer stubbled guy rolled up shouting the odds "!  Asked if i was hurt , then said " If you are not hurt , Why are you bothering us "? In german it became " RAUS ; RAUS , RAUS , get off our premises ! Told the lady not to give me the email address and then started physically pushing me around !

I may be 68yo , but at 85kg & 1.85M i don't move easily for some pathetic no hoper . When it appeared the driver was going to join the fracas , i decided that no more would be achieved !

Each time a vehicle passes , a Cyclist has no idea who is driving , but most , when confronted will own up to their careless behaviour with apologies . This is perhaps one of the first occasions that someone has tried to physically assault me , on behalf of the driver concerned !

Of course , when you are arriving back at your employers premises , you hardly expect to be confronted by the person , that you just caused grief ? Try " Googling " Kriedl " , i get more out of that source for " Parrabuddy & Skippydetour "!  Perhaps that is the reason , their vehicles ALL have their company name so prominently displayed !

Not being in the need of Bathroom or heating Equipment , i see no possibility of a result from Boycotting their products ! Nor since the polizei did not see the incident , do i expect them to involve themselves . Later i saw that driver thundering through Rattenberg above the posted 40kph , i feel sure that his licence is at risk, BUT , more importantly , when he buries an innocent , he will drag down his Employer on a Corporate Manslaughter Charge ! Only a question of whether it is a Child or Adult that suffers !

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