Another attempt to start up cycling

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Ben, May 10, 2006.

  1. Ben

    Ben Guest

    I am going to start up cycling again this weekend, ive 3 bikes to choose
    from, all at least road worthy, one of which I bought last year just as
    the dark nights started and has only been ridden once (hangs head in
    shame)... its a dawes horizon budget tourer still gleaming!

    I gave up last time due to dark nights, some built in laziness - almost
    complete sofa inertia!

    Anyway, I want to start again and have about overcome my inertia only to
    find an awful lot of posts .... a lot more than ive seen before about
    the attitude of drivers towards cyclists.

    I myself had a couple of occasions on my other bikes before I gave up
    last time where a white van man's passenger yelled or threw something at
    me from a fast moving (3 mile 50mph section of Chester Road between
    Birmingham and Brownhills)

    Its just giving me enough concern to stop and re-think about getting
    back on the bike ... maybe its my old inertia trying another tactic or
    just plain cowardice but whats going on out there - I certainly feel as
    though driving standards are getting worse .... theres very little
    courtesy on the roads at all ... and im just talking about the lack of
    simple indicating for one thing that seems to be on a downward trend.

    Anyway ... my general cycling would be around north birmingham to start
    with until I can get my legs .... any others use this area - how you
    finding it?
     
    Tags:


  2. elyob

    elyob Guest

    "Ben" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    >I am going to start up cycling again this weekend

    <snip>
    > I gave up last time due to dark nights, some built in laziness - almost
    > complete sofa inertia!


    It's a great time to start again. Set yourself a goal. Achieve it. Do it
    again.
     
  3. wafflycat

    wafflycat Guest

    "Ben" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]

    >
    > Its just giving me enough concern to stop and re-think about getting
    > back on the bike ... maybe its my old inertia trying another tactic or
    > just plain cowardice but whats going on out there - I certainly feel as
    > though driving standards are getting worse .... theres very little
    > courtesy on the roads at all ... and im just talking about the lack of
    > simple indicating for one thing that seems to be on a downward trend.
    >


    It is inertia :) Remember that the vast majority of motorists aren't out
    to get you. Also remember that this is a cycling newsgroup, so that when an
    'incident' such as being cut-up occurs, this is a place where cyclists can
    vent their feelings about it, same if there's some anti-cycling stuff in the
    press, this is where we can have a good old moan about it - basically you'll
    read about it here more than in general life simply because we can come here
    & have a good-old whinge in safety :)

    Example - I see far more courteous behaviour than bad. Yesterday I was out
    on my recumbent. Glorious day, sun, gentle breeze, blue sky... and the local
    HGV drivers doing their usual courteous thing and giving me lots of smiles
    and waves. It was quite *lovely* for cycling. Remember courtesy is a two-way
    street - when I'm cycling I will give a verbal thank you or wave for
    courtesy shown to me. It's amazing how many drivers appreciate a wave to let
    them know you've noticed they held back & didn't overtake until safe to do
    so, as I often get a wave or blink of indicators to show me they've noticed
    my response to them.

    So get out there! Enjoy! Get hold of a copy of the book "Cyclecraft" - read,
    inwardly digest and learn from it how to cycle safely and assertively.

    Cheers, helen s
     
  4. Pinky

    Pinky Guest

    "Ben" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    >I am going to start up cycling again this weekend, ive 3 bikes to choose
    > from, all at least road worthy, one of which I bought last year just as
    > the dark nights started and has only been ridden once (hangs head in
    > shame)... its a dawes horizon budget tourer still gleaming!
    >
    > I gave up last time due to dark nights, some built in laziness - almost
    > complete sofa inertia!
    >
    > Anyway, I want to start again and have about overcome my inertia only to
    > find an awful lot of posts .... a lot more than ive seen before about
    > the attitude of drivers towards cyclists.
    >
    > I myself had a couple of occasions on my other bikes before I gave up
    > last time where a white van man's passenger yelled or threw something at
    > me from a fast moving (3 mile 50mph section of Chester Road between
    > Birmingham and Brownhills)
    >
    > Its just giving me enough concern to stop and re-think about getting
    > back on the bike ... maybe its my old inertia trying another tactic or
    > just plain cowardice but whats going on out there - I certainly feel as
    > though driving standards are getting worse .... theres very little
    > courtesy on the roads at all ... and im just talking about the lack of
    > simple indicating for one thing that seems to be on a downward trend.
    >
    > Anyway ... my general cycling would be around north birmingham to start
    > with until I can get my legs .... any others use this area - how you
    > finding it?



    I had something like 40 years of inertia to overcome when I took up cycling
    (again). Since then I have managed to do about 5000 miles every year and it
    has literally changed my life style.
    4 years ago I would never have believed that I would now be out on my
    "velocepanther" every day. It all started with a bit of a challenge from a
    friend of my sons wife. Less than a year later March 2004 I was on my way
    cycle camping all the way from home to Santiago de Compostela. It was a
    "shot in the dark" for me. I had no idea whether I could do it and as the
    kilometres clicked on by I just kept amazing myself that I was going so far.
    It was 2340.3 kms from my front door to the Cathedral in Santiago. People
    always say that doing the Pilgrimage to Santiago ( St James) can be mind
    changing but for me it was also the beginning of a new way of living my life
    with my bike sitting central in it.
    Travelling on the road you have to be aware of motorised traffic and you
    will indeed encounter some total "petrolheads". But in all honesty most
    people driving are courteous and aware of you -- especially if you ride
    positively and within the law. "Positively", to me, means that the motorised
    traffic can generally tell where you are and what you are going to do. If
    you are a driver, which most of us are, you should already have enough road
    sense to be a competent cyclist but you will find ( at least I did) that as
    you become a better and more active cyclist you will also become a better
    motorist.
    So all you have to do is start!
    Enjoyment is virtually instantaneous!

    Trevor A Panther
    In South Yorkshire,
    England, United Kingdom.
    www.tapan.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk
     
  5. Simon Brooke

    Simon Brooke Guest

    in message <[email protected]>, Ben
    ('[email protected]') wrote:

    > Its just giving me enough concern to stop and re-think about getting
    > back on the bike ... maybe its my old inertia trying another tactic or
    > just plain cowardice but whats going on out there - I certainly feel as
    > though driving standards are getting worse .... theres very little
    > courtesy on the roads at all ... and im just talking about the lack of
    > simple indicating for one thing that seems to be on a downward trend.


    There are some complete pillocks on the roads, but they're rare. Yes,
    incidents do get reported on this group every week, but the combined
    readership of this group probably cycle many thousands of miles per week
    - far more than you will cycle in a year.

    So do not let them put you off.

    --
    [email protected] (Simon Brooke) http://www.jasmine.org.uk/~simon/

    ;; Diplomacy, American: see Intelligence, Military
     
  6. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Ben wrote:

    > Anyway, I want to start again and have about overcome my inertia only to
    > find an awful lot of posts .... a lot more than ive seen before about
    > the attitude of drivers towards cyclists.


    To reinforce what t'others have said, it's not really a general problem.
    If you treat other road users with courtesy they'll generally return
    it. While many non-cycling drivers may characterise cyclists as red
    light running suicidal loonies in conversation, on the roads they will
    recognise a bike ridden inna Cyclecraft stylee and treat it as just
    another vehicle.

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch Medical Physics IT Officer
    Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Univ. of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
    net [email protected] http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  7. Paul Boyd

    Paul Boyd Guest

    Ben said the following on 11/05/2006 00:43:

    > Anyway, I want to start again and have about overcome my inertia only to
    > find an awful lot of posts .... a lot more than ive seen before about
    > the attitude of drivers towards cyclists.


    Right now is a lovely time to be cycling! I think you will find that
    whilst there may be more posts about dodgy drivers, it's just that more
    people are posting!

    > Its just giving me enough concern to stop and re-think about getting
    > back on the bike ... maybe its my old inertia trying another tactic or
    > just plain cowardice but whats going on out there - I certainly feel as
    > though driving standards are getting worse .... theres very little
    > courtesy on the roads at all ... and im just talking about the lack of
    > simple indicating for one thing that seems to be on a downward trend.


    Not indicating, ignoring red lights, not giving way to traffic on
    roundabouts... all accusations continuously aimed at cyclists, and
    motorists are even worse! I am also a motorist, and I consciously try
    to drive as if I'm cycling, if that makes sense! You are right in your
    observation that driving standards are declining, but the very fact that
    you have recognised that means that you will be more aware. It seems
    sometimes as if courtesy and just plain competence are no longer
    required in some areas. I was cycling in Lincolnshire a week or so ago
    (I live in Somerset), and what a difference! Cars actually waited until
    it was safe to overtake, they stopped at junctions, and even stopped to
    let me out! My wrist was aching from all the waving thanks I had to do!

    Go for it!!!!!!!

    --
    Paul Boyd
    http://www.paul-boyd.co.uk/
     
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