Demise of commuting cycling



N

Nick Maclaren

Guest
In article <[email protected]>,
"wafflycat" <w*a*ff£y£cat*@£btco*nn£ect.com> writes:

[ A lot of nonsense ]

I have a perfectly satisfactory roadster, thank you. All I would
like is to be able to use it to ride to work with reasonable
safety, as I did for 25 years until the latest road scheme.

You may be one of the unusual people who can ride head-up while in
a racing crouch, comfortably, but it is a very rare ability. The
physiological information is all well-documented, so why don't
you look it up? You clearly won't believe anything I say, so I
won't bother giving you references.


Regards,
Nick Maclaren.
 
D

dkahn400

Guest
Alistair Gunn wrote:
> In uk.rec.cycling Richard twisted the electrons to say:
> > ...although they're quite happy to park in the disabled parking bay
> > because they're just "nipping into the shops for a minute, I won't be
> > long".

>
> Ah, but that merely inconveniences some hypothetical (which is say,
> non-existent!) disabled person ... Whereas running one over is a
> slightly different matter.


Although it does free up a disabled parking bay for able-bodied
motorists who just want to nip into the shops for a minute.

--
Dave...
 
A

Alan Braggins

Guest
"wafflycat" <[email protected]> wrote:
>mishap has given you a serious problem. I suggest you require some therapy
>to sort out your problem. I mean that in a polite way


*plonk*. I mean that in a polite way.
 
T

Terry

Guest
In article <[email protected]>,
[email protected] (David Martin) wrote:

> One was reminded of this as a teenager immediately upon leaving a dent
> in the back door of an illegally parked van. Surprisingly enough the
> chrome rim survived without too much of a buckle so after a brief walk
> till my head stopped spinning I was able to resume my journey home.


My dad had a deep hollow on his forehead from having (motor)cycled into a
truck during the blackout in WWII. The truck driver had reversed his truck
into the road and then got out to close a gate. My dad's bike had a pencil
beam illuminating the patch of road immediately in front of the wheel. He
hit the truck side on and nutted the door handle.
 
T

Terry

Guest
In article <[email protected]>,
[email protected] (David Martin) wrote:

>
> Terry wrote:
>
> > Yes, we all know that car drivers do stupid stuff too, but that
> > doesn't mitigate stupid behaviour by cyclists. If I see a cyclist
> > spitting in the street I don't immediately think, "well, pedestrians
> > do that too".

>
> > It's false justifications like that which car drivers use when they
> > harass or otherwise threaten cyclists. They justify their unlawful
> > behaviour by reference to unlawful behaviour by cyclists, and that,
> > I'm sure we can agree, is nonsense.

>
> It is the 'tu quoque' fallacy. Whilst it cannot be used to justify
> behaviour, it can quite reasonably be used as part of a consideration
> of the relative enforcement of breach of the offence.


Thanks, that's helpful. In prior responses I've had it seems to me (and I
may be wrong) that 'tu quoque' has been used as a justification, and while
I do not agree, I do understand why people take that view. But, I think
that the only way that conditions for cyclists will improve is if we are
respected, and while we continue to be associated with ignoring the rules
that will not happen.

Yes, I would like motorists (and all road users in fact) to behave better
but I can't make anyone behave in ways I would like. I can only do the
best that I can to avoid making too many egregious errors while travelling
and one thing I can easily do is to stop at the lights, as the law and
common sense requires.

Some here may think I am letting the side down and I apologise if I've
given that impression but I commute across London by cycle daily, in the
morning, at lunchtime, and again in the evening, and I have yet to see a
car shooting the lights. I have not yet had the pleaure of a commute
without seeing several cyclists shooting the lights, and I mean at real
junctions, not deserted pedestrian crossings.
 
T

Terry

Guest
In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] (Tony
Raven) wrote:

> Terry wrote:
> >
> > Many but by no means all of the cyclists I see shooting the lights
> > are wearing helmets and often have reflective coats, etc. Possibly
> > they imagine the safety gear makes them invulnerable, or maybe
> > they're just stupid or anti-social. It's a mystery.
> >

>
> Its nothing to do with their self perceived vulnerability but all to do
> with how vulnerable the motorist perceives them. Who do you think they
> give more room - an old lady wobbling along slowly or a full lycra clad
> cyclist head down riding a straight line?


I think I know what you're trying to say but you've accidentally conflated
two separate arguments. Cyclists wearing helmets adon't shoot the lights
because of the perception of motorists as to the cyclists relative
vulnerability.

That said, I tend to wobble a little when appropriate in order to help
focus the attention of following motorists.
 
A

Ara

Guest
Nick Maclaren wrote:
> In article <113986[email protected]>,
> Ara <[email protected]> wrote:
> >
> >It's sad and everything but if you have no balance, *should* you be
> >riding a bike in traffic? To me it seems irresponsible on your part.

>
> It's sad and everything but if you have no comprehension, *should* you be
> replying to Usenet postings? To me it seems irresponsible on your part.
>
> I suggest that you reread what I posted. It is a common myth that
> balance is entirely a matter of middle-ear function - it is a
> combination of that, sight and touch. That is what I said.


Okay, let me rephrase that. If you have severely compromised balance,
*should* you be riding a bike in traffic? To me it seems irresponsible
on your part. Given the self-stabilising property that a moving
bicycle has, if you are really unable to recover from any minor
perturbation, as you have claimed, then honestly I think you aren't
safe to ride a bicycle on the public highway.

Perhaps, either consciously or not, you compensated for your
disability by riding in an unorthodox manner, and this was the cause
of your frequent incidents? You certainly claim to have had many
more than any other Cambridge cyclist I know, and this does
suggest that you are either unlucky, doing something differently
from everyone else, or they really are out to get you.

Ara
 
N

Nick Maclaren

Guest
In article <[email protected]>,
Ara <[email protected]> wrote:
>
>Okay, let me rephrase that. If you have severely compromised balance,
>*should* you be riding a bike in traffic? To me it seems irresponsible
>on your part. Given the self-stabilising property that a moving
>bicycle has, if you are really unable to recover from any minor
>perturbation, as you have claimed, then honestly I think you aren't
>safe to ride a bicycle on the public highway.


Being bashed into by another vehicle is a minor perturbation?


Regards,
Nick Maclaren.
 
A

Ara

Guest
Nick Maclaren wrote:
> In article <[email protected]>,
> Ara <[email protected]> wrote:
> >
> >Okay, let me rephrase that. If you have severely compromised balance,
> >*should* you be riding a bike in traffic? To me it seems irresponsible
> >on your part. Given the self-stabilising property that a moving
> >bicycle has, if you are really unable to recover from any minor
> >perturbation, as you have claimed, then honestly I think you aren't
> >safe to ride a bicycle on the public highway.

>
> Being bashed into by another vehicle is a minor perturbation?


No. Now who got da problems wiv da comprehension?

You claim that minor perturbations (not bus strikes) could
make you fall off due to your compromised balance. I suggest
that, perhaps unconsciously, you ride in an unorthodox fashion
to compensate for your disability; this increases your risk of
incident relative to other cyclists and this is why you appear to
suffer more such incidents than anyone else.

Without reference to any individual, very limited balance and
riding bicycles in traffic are not a good combination in my
opinion. Just as blind marksmen haven't really caught on.

Ara
 
N

Nick Maclaren

Guest
In article <[email protected]>,
Ara <[email protected]> wrote:
>>
>> Being bashed into by another vehicle is a minor perturbation?

>
>No. Now who got da problems wiv da comprehension?


You, clearly.

>You claim that minor perturbations (not bus strikes) could
>make you fall off due to your compromised balance. I suggest
>that, perhaps unconsciously, you ride in an unorthodox fashion
>to compensate for your disability; this increases your risk of
>incident relative to other cyclists and this is why you appear to
>suffer more such incidents than anyone else.


Such as clipping a pedal on the curb, riding off the edge of the
metalling, riding onto the edge of a sunken gutter? Yes, I do.
Firstly, those aren't minor. Secondly, riding a reasonable distance
out from the gutter isn't unorthodox - if you haven't read Franklin
"Cyclecraft" (HMSO), then you should do so.

You may be happy to cower in the gutter like a well-whipped
peasant, but it is a recent and insane attitude on the part of
cyclists that cyclists have no right to ride on the body of the
road. And, certainly, that attitude is one of the main
factors that prevents cycling being regarded as a respectable
form of transport by the majority of the UK.


Regards,
Nick Maclaren.
 
T

Tony Raven

Guest
Nick Maclaren wrote:
>
> A case that wasn't absolutely clear-cut would have everyone (probably
> including the Cambridge Cycling Campaign, given what some people said
> to me) claiming that I had provoked the incident.
>


Just because you're paranoid it doesn't mean they are not out to get you ;-)

--
Tony

"The best way I know of to win an argument is to start by being in the
right."
- Lord Hailsham
 
S

Simon

Guest
Ara wrote:
> Nick Maclaren wrote:
> > In article <[email protected]>,
> > Ara <[email protected]> wrote:
> > >
> > >Okay, let me rephrase that. If you have severely compromised balance,
> > >*should* you be riding a bike in traffic? To me it seems irresponsible
> > >on your part. Given the self-stabilising property that a moving
> > >bicycle has, if you are really unable to recover from any minor
> > >perturbation, as you have claimed, then honestly I think you aren't
> > >safe to ride a bicycle on the public highway.

> >
> > Being bashed into by another vehicle is a minor perturbation?

>
> No. Now who got da problems wiv da comprehension?
>
> You claim that minor perturbations (not bus strikes) could
> make you fall off due to your compromised balance. I suggest
> that, perhaps unconsciously, you ride in an unorthodox fashion
> to compensate for your disability; this increases your risk of
> incident relative to other cyclists and this is why you appear to
> suffer more such incidents than anyone else.


Riding a sensible minimum distance (Cyclecraft suggests a
minimum of 18 inches at all times) from the edge of the road
is not unorthodox, it's advice published by the government.
Riding in the centre of the moving traffic lane when appropriate
is also advised by the gubmint. I have had a bus driver try
to intimidate me out of this position, when I was riding at
27mph, and easily keeping up with the vehicle ahead of me.
The driver shouted that I should be in the cycle lane. At 27mph,
with the cycle lane barely wider than my shoulders, and a bus
driving along with its wheel on/adjacent to the white line? I think
not,
and neither does Cyclecraft. If I had been a motorcyclist, riding
in exactly the same manner, at the same speed, none of this
would have happened.

I cannot vouch for Nick's skill as a cyclist, but his story about
the Stagecoach driver is all too believeable, given my experiences
of cycling, being a bus passenger, other people's experiences
over the years that have been reported on cam.transport, and
otherwise observing their behaviour towards other cyclists, in
Cambridge.

Simon
 
C

Chris Malcolm

Guest
Nick Maclaren <[email protected]> wrote:
> In article <[email protected]>,
> Robin Stevens <[email protected]> wrote:
>>In cam.transport Nick Maclaren <[email protected]> wrote:
>>
>>> I live nearly opposite Scotsdales and work in the centre, and chose
>>> to live there because I could cycle conveniently. Now, you have
>>> all of the timetables, maps etc. at your disposal - YOU tell me a
>>> decent way of getting into work, and returning when I often cannot
>>> control the exact time and often have to do so after 6.15?

>>
>>I take it all forms of two-wheeler, powered or otherwise, are out of the
>>question?


> I looked into that, too. A small powered two-wheeler is nearly as
> vulnerable as a cyclist.


Depends what you mean by small. Being able to match the speed of most
of the traffic, and being able to out-accelerate most four wheeled
stuff up to 30mph, entirely removes the being threatened from behind
scenario. In urban areas I guess you ought to be able to do that on a
125cc bike, and in the country maybe a 200cc.

--
Chris Malcolm [email protected] +44 (0)131 651 3445 DoD #205
IPAB, Informatics, JCMB, King's Buildings, Edinburgh, EH9 3JZ, UK
[http://www.dai.ed.ac.uk/homes/cam/]
 
N

Nick Maclaren

Guest
In article <[email protected]>,
Chris Malcolm <[email protected]> wrote:
>
>> I looked into that, too. A small powered two-wheeler is nearly as
>> vulnerable as a cyclist.

>
>Depends what you mean by small. Being able to match the speed of most
>of the traffic, and being able to out-accelerate most four wheeled
>stuff up to 30mph, entirely removes the being threatened from behind
>scenario.


No, it doesn't. I have several times been in a StageRoach bus which
was driving 9-12' behind a small motorbike at 30 MPH - in a 30 MPH
zone, in a queue solid as far as the eye could see. One of the times
I was rammed was when I was stopped behind a car which was stopped
at some red traffic lights. Malice does not need a justification.

> In urban areas I guess you ought to be able to do that on a
>125cc bike, and in the country maybe a 200cc.


By 'big', I am not referring to the engine.


Regards,
Nick Maclaren.
 
I

Ian Jackson

Guest
In article <[email protected]>,
Chris Malcolm <[email protected]> wrote:
>Depends what you mean by small. Being able to match the speed of most
>of the traffic, and being able to out-accelerate most four wheeled
>stuff up to 30mph, entirely removes the being threatened from behind
>scenario. In urban areas I guess you ought to be able to do that on a
>125cc bike, and in the country maybe a 200cc.


Nonsense. For example, I've had a rubbish lorry drive a mere foot or
two behind me when I was riding at 25-30mph, my speed limited by the
car in front (on Gilbert Road, towards Milton Rd).

I've been hooted and shouted at by a taxi driver who was offended that
I was riding at about 20mph on the right hand side of the lane behind
a bus which I was considering overtaking (on Regent St); I probably
would have overtaken it but after that aggressive behaviour by the
taxi I was shaken and preferred to pull over, stop and let the idiot
past - and of course I later caught up with both vehicles and of
course the taxi hadn't managed to get past the bus.

The incident I've recounted before in cam.misc where I was assaulted
deliberately, by a bus driver using the bus as a weapon to express his
anger, happened basically because the bus driver was upset at me
taking a primary position and preventing him from overtaking. I was
travelling at 20mph - the speed limit there (Emmanual Rd) - and the
road was too narrow (and too short, even assuming the driver was
willing and able to get up to 30) for any kind of overtaking manouevre
by a bus.

I don't always manage to ride as fast as 25, and it's really
noticeable how much worse the harassment gets if I can only (say)
manage 15mph uphill against a headwind. At 25, these kind of
incidents `only' happen once a month or so, on a daily commute. At 15
conflict with drivers is a constant source of aggro. So it's true
that speed makes a big difference, but it's not sufficient to be
travelling at the speed of the traffic, in the flow.

--
Ian Jackson personal email: <[email protected]>
These opinions are my own. http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~ijackson/
PGP2 key 1024R/0x23f5addb, fingerprint 5906F687 BD03ACAD 0D8E602E FCF37657
 
M

Mark Thompson

Guest
> At 15 conflict with drivers is a constant source of aggro.

This flys in the face of my experience of city riding. Could you perhaps
be taking a primary position a little far out to the right? Or perhaps
taking the secondary position when the primary would do?
 
I

Ian Jackson

Guest
In article <[email protected]>,
Mark Thompson <pleasegivegenerous[email protected]*_turn_up_the_heat_to_reply*.com> wrote:
>[Ian Jackson:]
>> At 15 conflict with drivers is a constant source of aggro.

>
>This flys in the face of my experience of city riding. Could you perhaps
>be taking a primary position a little far out to the right? Or perhaps
>taking the secondary position when the primary would do?


I don't know if you're used to Cambridge or not; I suspect that
drivers in Cambridge are much worse than elsewhere. I've recently
taken to bringing my bike to London on the train, depending on where
and when I'm going, and I've found that cycling in London is like a
dream compared to here. Why, they give you road space ! Incredible !

My theory for this is that in Cambridge the population of people on
bikes is dominated (at least in the centre) by unlit 5-10mph gutter
POBs - so every cyclist gets treated the way that those people expect
and encourage the drivers to treat them. In London I seem to get
treated as if I were a commuter (I'm not, but I imagine I ride much
like one) or mad cycle courier.

--
Ian Jackson personal email: <[email protected]>
These opinions are my own. http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~ijackson/
PGP2 key 1024R/0x23f5addb, fingerprint 5906F687 BD03ACAD 0D8E602E FCF37657
 
D

dkahn400

Guest
Ian Jackson wrote:

> My theory for this is that in Cambridge the population of people on
> bikes is dominated (at least in the centre) by unlit 5-10mph gutter
> POBs - so every cyclist gets treated the way that those people expect
> and encourage the drivers to treat them. In London I seem to get
> treated as if I were a commuter (I'm not, but I imagine I ride much
> like one) or mad cycle courier.


Even in London you will occasionally encounter furious hooting from
behind when you are moving along in a relatively slow line of traffic,
say 15mph, and obviously keeping up comfortably. It's hard to imagine
what must be going on in what passes for the driver's mind.

--
Dave...
 
A

Ara

Guest
Nick Maclaren wrote:
> In article <[email protected]>,
> Ara <[email protected]> wrote:
> >You claim that minor perturbations (not bus strikes) could
> >make you fall off due to your compromised balance. I suggest
> >that, perhaps unconsciously, you ride in an unorthodox fashion
> >to compensate for your disability; this increases your risk of
> >incident relative to other cyclists and this is why you appear to
> >suffer more such incidents than anyone else.

>
> Such as clipping a pedal on the curb, riding off the edge of the
> metalling, riding onto the edge of a sunken gutter? Yes, I do.
> Firstly, those aren't minor. Secondly, riding a reasonable distance
> out from the gutter isn't unorthodox - if you haven't read Franklin
> "Cyclecraft" (HMSO), then you should do so.


So what degree of perturbation is needed to make you fall
off? Major, as you now claim? Minor, as you said before?

I have never claimed that riding in a primary position
is unorthodox (READ WHAT I WROTE, as you might say in
your weird ranty way). I am saying that you might be doing
something (else) that *is* unorthodox. It seems like there
should be some explanation as to why you experience so
much more harrasment than other reasonably fast cyclists
who assume the primary riding position (like me, for
example - I have been cycling in Cambridge for about 15
years, bought a copy of Cyclecraft about 10 years ago
and found that it chimed well with what I do anyway).

Your experience of cycling is so far outside the norm that
it is not likely to be explained by chance, so I am led to
conclude that it is most likely to be because of something
you are doing incorrectly. You are obviously not interested
in exploring this possibility but maybe this is for the best,
since it might not be physically possible for you to ride
safely in traffic.

Ara
 
N

Nick Maclaren

Guest
In article <[email protected]>,
Ara <[email protected]> wrote:
>
>So what degree of perturbation is needed to make you fall
>off? Major, as you now claim? Minor, as you said before?


As I said, you are severely lacking in comprehension. I have said
I cannot ride in the gutter at all safely (and explained why), and
said that I cannot recover from being knocked into at speed. The
change is purely in your mistaken interpretation.

>Your experience of cycling is so far outside the norm that
>it is not likely to be explained by chance, so I am led to
>conclude that it is most likely to be because of something
>you are doing incorrectly. You are obviously not interested
>in exploring this possibility but maybe this is for the best,
>since it might not be physically possible for you to ride
>safely in traffic.


You don't seem to have noticed the postings of several other people
with similar experiences. Your observation seems to be faulty, too.

I did it for 25 years in Cambridge and I have done it in Nottingham,
London and other cities, and all without any significant change in
my physical condition or riding style. The change that made it turn
from unpleasant to dangerous was the "road improvements" associated
with the Trumpington Park and Ride, with the predicted consequence of
increased conflict. I have met half a dozen other people who gave
up for that reason, but I can't say what proportion of the people who
gave up at that period did it for the same reason.


Regards,
Nick Maclaren.