Demise of commuting cycling



D

Dave Larrington

Guest
In article <[email protected]>, Colin Davidson (cabd2
@biotech.cam.ac.uk) wrote:
>
> "Nick Maclaren" <[email protected]> wrote in message
> news:[email protected]
>
> (Cut)
> > ... the police were/are clearly making it clear that they
> > regard such assaults as acceptable, so I now drive and walk.

>
> That's the rub, isn't it? It seems to be the case that even if you have
> independent witnesses to someone assaulting you with their vehicle or even
> getting out and assaulting you, Cambridgeshire Constabulary are reluctant to
> get involved. Even if you can go and tell them that there's a camera
> pointing that way, you get nowhere.


At which point it may be worth contacting potential interested parties,
such as:

o The Chief Constable of Cambridgeshire Police
o One's MP
o The media - local and national

etc.

--
Dave Larrington - <http://www.legslarry.beerdrinkers.co.uk/>
You can't have ham!
 
A

Ara

Guest
Nick Maclaren wrote:
> 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.


What you have described sounds like you are not able to ride
safely in traffic at all. Are you saying you can't steer at low
speeds? Or steer and brake at the same time? What would
you do if an animal ran out in front of you? I don't see
what riding in the gutter has to do with anything, since
you (and I) don't do that.

> >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 noted about the same number of postings by other people
saying they don't have the same specific problems as you.
Maybe you ignored those?

> 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.


Well I daresay the road "improvements" are unhelpful. But it
still doesn't alter the fact that if you can't balance well, you
shouldn't ride a bicycle in traffic. This seems to me to be in
the category "bloody obvious".

Ara
 
A

Ara

Guest
Nick Maclaren wrote:
> 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.


What you have described sounds like you are not able to ride
safely in traffic at all. Are you saying you can't steer at low
speeds? Or steer and brake at the same time? What would
you do if an animal ran out in front of you? I don't see
what riding in the gutter has to do with anything, since
you (and I) don't do that.

> >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 noted about the same number of postings by other people
saying they don't have the same specific problems as you.
Maybe you ignored those?

> 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.


Well I daresay the road "improvements" are unhelpful. But it
still doesn't alter the fact that if you can't balance well, you
shouldn't ride a bicycle in traffic. This seems to me to be in
the category "bloody obvious".

Ara
 
C

Colin Davidson

Guest
"Nick Maclaren" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]

> Including the Cambridge Cycling Campaign :-(


Ahh, yes. Them. And then the County Council tell you, when you complain that
a cycling facility is bad, that they have consulted with cyclists. By which
they mean the CCyC. Pity, isn't it?
 
C

Colin Davidson

Guest
"Jon Warbrick" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]

> One of the problems that I find with this approach is the number of
> _cyclists_ who then attempt to pass me in the gap to my
> left. Typically this happens when I'm moving at the same slow speed as
> the surrounding traffic (e.g. approaching traffic lights) and the
> other cyclist is obliviously attempting to squeeze to the left of us
> all.


Yes, that's really irritating. Happened to me at a junction the other week,
first I knew about him was when the lights changed, I stuck my left arm out
to indicate again, and I damn near clotheslined him. I guess I should look
before indicating just in case some idiot is trying to die on the road...
 
C

Colin Davidson

Guest
"Dave Larrington" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]

> At which point it may be worth contacting potential interested parties,
> such as:
>
> o The Chief Constable of Cambridgeshire Police
> o One's MP
> o The media - local and national


At which point you start running out of will; free time isn't a never-ending
resource.
 
C

Colin Davidson

Guest
"Ian Jackson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:-tx*[email protected]

> 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.


That's very much my experience too; not so much of London (where I've never
been a regular cyclist), but of several other British cities. Cambridge is
by far the most cycle unfriendly city I know of in the UK.

The bad cyclists get us a poor reputation, the poor facilities encourage bad
cycling, and the motorists believe that you're MEANT to cower in the gutter
and be passed with inches to spare. Some of that happens everywhere, but it
seems far worse in Cambridge.

I would argue that a town with so very many cyclists needs LESS cycle lanes
(forcing you into insane road positions, taking you on silly on-and-off the
path jaunts, etc.) than one with less.
 
J

Jon Warbrick

Guest
In article <-tx*[email protected]>,
Ian Jackson <[email protected]> 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.


I agree that all cyclists should be lit at night and should aspire to
good road positioning. Would it not be dangerous to slip into
believing that slow cyclists should not be using the roads? (not, BTW,
that I'm claiming that Ian is actually suggesting this).

Jon.
 
N

Nick Maclaren

Guest
In article <[email protected]>,
"Colin Davidson" <[email protected]> writes:
|>
|> Yes, that's really irritating. Happened to me at a junction the other week,
|> first I knew about him was when the lights changed, I stuck my left arm out
|> to indicate again, and I damn near clotheslined him. I guess I should look
|> before indicating just in case some idiot is trying to die on the road...

If you are sure that he isn't likely to knock you off under the
wheels of passing motor vehicles (my main dread under those
circumstances), don't worry about idiots like that. An arm
swung sharply into their throat is precisely what they deserve.


Regards,
Nick Maclaren.
 
I

Ian Jackson

Guest
In article <[email protected]>,
Jon Warbrick <[email protected]> wrote:
>In article <-tx*[email protected]>,
>Ian Jackson <[email protected]> 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.

>
>I agree that all cyclists should be lit at night and should aspire to
>good road positioning. Would it not be dangerous to slip into
>believing that slow cyclists should not be using the roads? (not, BTW,
>that I'm claiming that Ian is actually suggesting this).


Certainly that's not my opinion. In general I think most cyclists
should be on the road, even at (say) 10mph. When you get down to
closer to 5mph it can make more sense for them to be on the pavement -
after all, 5mph is a only little faster than a brisk walk. A lot of
this depends on conditions, available space, etc.

Of course the law in this area is a complete mess. Whether it's legal
to cycle on the pavement, and whether you might lose a court case for
not cycling on the pavement (`use cycle facilities where available'),
depends on designation by the council which seems mainly guided by how
badly they need a `cycle route' at that point. It hardly at all on
the factors which ought to guide the decision: your speed, the nature
of the pavement and the road, the other people and vehicles in the
area, etc.

I'm one of those mad fanatics who don't believe that the road is `for'
vehicles and that others should be elsewhere. Walkers, cyclists,
runners, wheelchair users, barrow-wheelers, etc., should feel free to
use the road,, and safe there; that way they can use it whenever the
pavement isn't suitable - eg, because the pavement is too narrow, too
full, too uneven, not safe at their desired travelling speed, or
whatever. The only exception to this should be motorways, which are
specially set aside for motor vehicles and from which other traffic
should be banned (thus forcing the provision of sensible alternatives,
unlike the situation eg on the A14).

What I was referring to is the difference in the way you have to drive
around a cyclist doing 5-10 compared one doing 15-30. The former can
be considered approximately stationary for many practical purposes;
drivers who are used almost exclusively to `stationary' cyclists often
make severe errors of judgement about the times and distances
involved. This is just one of the ways in which the behaviour of the
typical cyclist affects the behaviour of motorists, as I was
describing.

--
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
 
I

Ian Jackson

Guest
In article <ZHv*[email protected]>,
Ian Jackson <[email protected]> wrote:
>Walkers, [etc] should feel free to use the road, and safe there;
>[...] The only exception to this should be motorways,


I should say that the only exception to this _in favour of motor
vehicles in general_ should be motorways. I'm not opposed in
principle to reserved routes for other kinds of transportation. For
example, railways - on which it is very sensibly illegal to walk,
cycle or drive :).

--
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
 
V

Vicky Larmour

Guest
In article news:ZHv*[email protected], Ian Jackson
wrote:
> Of course the law in this area is a complete mess. Whether it's
> legal to cycle on the pavement, and whether you might lose a
> court case for not cycling on the pavement (`use cycle
> facilities where available'), depends on designation by the
> council which seems mainly guided by how badly they need a
> `cycle route' at that point.


I totally agree, and to make matters worse of course it's practically
impossible to find out whether a given stretch of pavement is or is not
a designated cycle path.

Vicky
--
"Bother," said Pooh, "Eeyore, ready two photon torpedoes and lock
phasers on the Heffalump. Piglet, meet me in transporter room
three. Christopher Robin, you have the bridge."
 
C

Colin Davidson

Guest
"Nick Maclaren" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]

> If you are sure that he isn't likely to knock you off under the
> wheels of passing motor vehicles (my main dread under those
> circumstances), don't worry about idiots like that. An arm
> swung sharply into their throat is precisely what they deserve.


I quite understand the sentiment, but I'm not about to set myself up as a
safe cycling vigilante :)
 
C

Colin Davidson

Guest
"Alistair Gunn" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]

> <nods> However, since the driver with a phone pressed to their ear might
> be unware of your presence, it would only be fair to attempt to attract
> their attention in a safe and convenient manner ... eg: Air Zound?


Superb plan :)

I have shouted at someone and the surprise made her drop her phone. Stupid
bat had pulled out into the road in front of me, on her phone, only to get
to the next junction where she was still on her phone and not indicating. It
really should be legal to flour bomb their windscreens in situations like
that.
 
N

Nick Maclaren

Guest
In article <[email protected]>,
"Colin Davidson" <[email protected]> writes:
|>
|> > If you are sure that he isn't likely to knock you off under the
|> > wheels of passing motor vehicles (my main dread under those
|> > circumstances), don't worry about idiots like that. An arm
|> > swung sharply into their throat is precisely what they deserve.
|>
|> I quite understand the sentiment, but I'm not about to set myself
|> up as a safe cycling vigilante :)

Oh, I wasn't suggesting that you do it deliberately - good heavens,
no! - that would be illegal. Merely that not worrying about such
dangerously inconsiderate idiots is fine, if you can.


Regards,
Nick Maclaren.
 
P

Pyromancer

Guest
Upon the miasma of midnight, a darkling spirit identified as Ian Jackson
<[email protected]> gently breathed:
>In article <ZHv*[email protected]>,
>Ian Jackson <[email protected]> wrote:
>>Walkers, [etc] should feel free to use the road, and safe there;
>>[...] The only exception to this should be motorways,

>
>I should say that the only exception to this _in favour of motor
>vehicles in general_ should be motorways. I'm not opposed in
>principle to reserved routes for other kinds of transportation. For
>example, railways - on which it is very sensibly illegal to walk,
>cycle or drive :).


LOL! Though it is of course perfectly legal to drive on a railway, as
long as one is in possession of the correct certification, and a train
(or at least a locomotive) of some description...

--
- DJ Pyromancer, The Sunday Goth Social, Leeds. <http://www.sheepish.net>

Broadband, Dialup, Domains = <http://www.wytches.net> = The UK's Pagan ISP!
<http://www.inkubus-sukkubus.co.uk> <http://www.revival.stormshadow.com>
 
J

Jon Anderson

Guest
Ian Jackson wrote:
> What I was referring to is the difference in the way you have to drive
> around a cyclist doing 5-10 compared one doing 15-30. The former can
> be considered approximately stationary for many practical purposes;
> drivers who are used almost exclusively to `stationary' cyclists often
> make severe errors of judgement about the times and distances
> involved. This is just one of the ways in which the behaviour of the
> typical cyclist affects the behaviour of motorists, as I was
> describing.


I've always had a problem with overtaking motorists when going slower,
not quicker, in town. It might be because they take much more time to
approach cyclists when they are going 15-20mph than otherwise.

What is actually most irritating are those who are too timid to
overtake. I feel far more threatened by their presence than people who
race past.

Jon
--
Durge: [email protected] http://users.durge.org/~jon/
OnStream: [email protected] http://www.rowing.org.uk/

[ All views expressed are personal unless otherwise stated ]
 
A

Alistair Gunn

Guest
In uk.rec.cycling Jon Anderson twisted the electrons to say:
> What is actually most irritating are those who are too timid to
> overtake. I feel far more threatened by their presence than people who
> race past.


<nods> Of course, that's equally annoying when you're in a car as well,
as anyone who's been in the middle lane of a motorway with some eejit
sitting just off your rear right corner. For added fun, you should be
coming up behind an overtaking HGV ...
--
These opinions might not even be mine ...
Let alone connected with my employer ...
 
C

Colin Davidson

Guest
"Jon Anderson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]

> I've always had a problem with overtaking motorists when going slower,
> not quicker, in town. It might be because they take much more time to
> approach cyclists when they are going 15-20mph than otherwise.
>
> What is actually most irritating are those who are too timid to
> overtake. I feel far more threatened by their presence than people who
> race past.


For me, that depends on how far back the timid motorists is. If they're
behind me but not right on my wheel, thats fine. If they come level and then
lose their bottle on overtaking then they're a terrible danger. It all
depends on how timid they are.