/ Why are cyclists so militant?

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
dudders - on 20 Jan 2013
From reading the forums on here and talking to cyclists in real life, I see a real "us and them" attitude among cyclists.

The overwhelming majority of motorists just want to get to where they are going as safely as possible, both for themselves and other road users, including cyclists.

Sometimes a motorist makes an error of judgement, but it is probably exactly that, just an error. Not a personal vendetta against anything on two wheels.

fwiw I cycle a lot but do not consider myself a "cyclist"
highclimber - on 20 Jan 2013
In reply to dudders: you seem to assume that all 'cyclists' don't drive a car. FWIW all the drivers that are involved in high profile accidents are not cyclists and in that intance there might be 'them and us' attitude as it pays to be a defensive rider when you are confronted by dangerous drivers who have no sympathy for how effing dangerous it is to pass a cyclist on a rural road just because thy think they have a right to not be held up.
Boogs on 20 Jan 2013
In reply to dudders:

I've been knocked off of my bike 3 times by drivers , two of whom did not indicate whilst turning , I did clearly one of the drivers was on his phone at the time .

I also drive I have never knocked any pedestrians or cyclists over . I don't consider my self a militant cyclist , but if someone knocks me off my bike and I'm able to go and have a word I will .

Should I just be quiet like a good little boy ?
yorkshireman - on 20 Jan 2013
In reply to dudders:
> From reading the forums on here and talking to cyclists in real life, I see a real "us and them" attitude among cyclists.

Maybe the people who feel that way are more likely to post on forums? That would mean its not a fair representation of all 'cyclists'? For the record I was just finishing off some work emails, was a bit bored so thought I would poke the stick through the cage on this thread.

I cycle (road and mtb) but its not my primary hobby. I drive a car as well. I don't feel a 'them and us' attitude. What I do see is a small number of situations where people on both sides refuse to see things from the perspective of the other. Out of the millions of KMs driven and cycled though, they're in a vocal and visible minority.

Sorry that's not very interesting, but it probably covers 99% of people who drive and/or cycle.

> Sometimes a motorist makes an error of judgement, but it is probably exactly that, just an error. Not a personal vendetta against anything on two wheels.

Sometimes. Sometimes its more sinister and is vindictive. Either way, the result for the person on two wheels can very easily be fatal - this understandably gets tempers flaring.
dissonance - on 20 Jan 2013
In reply to boogie man:

> Should I just be quiet like a good little boy ?

i always like the way there seems to be two definitions of militant.
firstly those who tend towards high explosives and automatic weapons.
and then there are those who dont shut up.

dunno why but think a different word needs to be used for at least one group.
The Norris - on 20 Jan 2013
In reply to dudders:

I guess the more the Jeremy Clarkson types of this country give out their views, the more the cycling community feels compelled to huddle together and try to defend themselves. Media fuelled polarisation.

Tis a shame. I drive and I cycle, i tend to get annoyed at anyone on the road who's travelling dangerously, whether by 2 wheels or 4. Most of the time all the bike/car interactions on the road are fine, but I guess we remember the odd bad incident and naturally have a moan about it.
nniff - on 20 Jan 2013
In reply to dudders:

Quite possibly because an error of judgement car to car mostly means no harm done or a bit of bent metal. Car to cyclist it means life flashing before eyes, injury or worse. Ergo there is likely be a greater reaction.

I wonder what would happen if the driving position on cars were mounted on the front bumper? Would drivers be so tolerant of people who overtook and then turned left?
Boogs on 20 Jan 2013
In reply to dissonance:

Absolutely indeed .

Its bloody hard to lock on target when your on your bike heading in the opposite direction as well . Those MP5s are pain in the arse when you've got handle bars to consider too .

But I'm working on it .... ;0)
Fat Bumbly2 - on 20 Jan 2013
Perhaps it is a reflection on the crepe that you sometimes get when daring to use a bike in meathead country. Like the above, I too am a bit fed up with the us and them culture pushed by those who fail to understand that folk ride bikes even though they have a driving licence.
Chris the Tall - on 20 Jan 2013
In reply to dudders:
100+'fatalities a year, little or nothing being done about it, casual disregard for the victims by the CPS and a media which seems to enjoy fermenting hostility...

I am both a cyclist and a motorist, and whilst I wouldn't accept that I'm a militant, the above state of affairs makes me pretty angry
Enty - on 20 Jan 2013
In reply to Chris the Tall:
> (In reply to dudders)
> 100+'fatalities a year, little or nothing being done about it, casual disregard for the victims by the CPS and a media which seems to enjoy fermenting hostility...
>
>

This ^^^^

If I was to walk into a pub and start waving a gun about the whole world would be down on me like a ton of bricks and I'd do jail time - If I drive past a group of cyclists at 60 mph and miss them by 6 inches c'est la vie.
Both things are the same to me.

E
Ciro - on 20 Jan 2013
In reply to dudders:

In the last couple of years:

Two male car drivers (one an OAP with his wife sat beside him) have deliberately knocked me off my bike from behind whilst trackstanding at the lights - on both occasions for having the audicity to filter past them and wait in the advance stop box.

One woman almost cleaned me out by turning right across the front of me whilst I was doing around 30mph down hill, and when I went back to ask her what she was playing at, told me it was my fault as I was being rude by not slowing down to let her across when she had her indicator on.

One male car driver overtook me and slammed on the brakes as he pulled in, putting me into his rear windscreen, then jumped out and stood over me ranting about holding him up on his way to work, while I was still lying on the floor.

I've had countless arguments (which have come close to blows a few times) with car drivers simply for asserting my right to use the road and not be bullied out of the way by a guy in a tin box with a horn who wants the bit of road I'm using.

Nobody has ever tried to do any of these things to me when I'm driving a car, which leads me to believe some of "them" are definitely against "us".
IainRUK - on 20 Jan 2013
In reply to dudders: I'm not a cyclist.. but I understand the anger.. I've been hit running a number of times.. plus numerous close misses..

Have a wing mirror brush your shoulder at 50mph and try not to react..
IainRUK - on 20 Jan 2013
In reply to Enty:
> (In reply to Chris the Tall)
> [...]
>
> This ^^^^
>
> If I was to walk into a pub and start waving a gun about the whole world would be down on me like a ton of bricks and I'd do jail time - If I drive past a group of cyclists at 60 mph and miss them by 6 inches c'est la vie.
> Both things are the same to me.
>
> E


I do see your point.. but also feel for the guy who 'innocently' kills a cyclist.. accidents do happen and the law should reflect that.

TBH as I mainly cycle in rural areas its normally OK.. in north wales the biggest fear is sheep or tourists stepping out on the road, but around the peak district it's far more aggressive.. on Friday I properly lost it when almost clipped.. threw my chocolate bar at him.. he pulled over.. did that fake stop thing, but then realised I was pretty pissed off and drove off quickly..

There's this strange mentality that you can 'clip' cyclists/runners and just scare them.. not kill them..
Tim Chappell - on 20 Jan 2013
In reply to dudders:


Cycling Kensington High Street, this morning. Big coach goes past me; fine. Big coach pulls back in because there's a traffic island that I can't see through the coach, almost sideswiping me; not so fine.

What I said to him when I caught up at the next reds was, verbatim, this:

"Please be careful. That was a bit close. You were almost on top of me when you pulled back in back there."

What he said, so far as I could hear it, was: "Yeah, well there was a traffic island."

What I replied, verbatim, was "Well, you know, you could have held back a bit and not endangered me. Please think about it, is all."

Does saying this to someone who had just nearly killed me, make me militant?
Toby_W on 20 Jan 2013
In reply to IainRUK:

Yes if I innocently killed someone while shooting cans off a park bench I'd hope the law would fine me and ban me from shooting for a few months or rather if I was on a range taking all due care, maybe.

Road users do not take enough care and the stats for a shockingly large number of road deaths involving cyclists show a driver at fault.

Cheers

Toby

Call-Me-Bryce - on 20 Jan 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell:

I'm not sure I can muster anything so polite when I've just about been squashed. I can occasionally squeeze out a "Does your mum know you're out at night?" or something arsey.
Tim Chappell - on 20 Jan 2013
In reply to Call-Me-Bryce:

I go out of my way to comment on bad driving that endangers me or other cyclists (I've been known to chase a car down). When I catch the driver, I usually go out of my way to say what I have to say totally politely. Though I do sometimes lose my rag.
Boogs on 20 Jan 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell:
> (In reply to Call-Me-Bryce)
>
> I go out of my way to comment on bad driving that endangers me or other cyclists (I've been known to chase a car down). When I catch the driver, I usually go out of my way to say what I have to say totally politely. Though I do sometimes lose my rag.

I do try to be polite mostly but when that pr*ck on his phone drove through me sending me over his bonnet I momentarily lost it . He wouldn't get off his phone or out of his car , I was close to dragging him out , he wound the window up , locked the doors and just sat there looking worried.

Some people seem to have trouble accepting responsibility for their actions . But I think alot a drivers believe they are exempt from this .



Orgsm on 20 Jan 2013
In reply to dudders:

troll
ads.ukclimbing.com
Boogs on 21 Jan 2013
In reply to A Game of Chance:

has to be , I considered calling it but my militant tendencies got the better of me ......... ;0S
IainRUK - on 21 Jan 2013
In reply to Toby_W:
> (In reply to IainRUK)
>
> Yes if I innocently killed someone while shooting cans off a park bench I'd hope the law would fine me and ban me from shooting for a few months or rather if I was on a range taking all due care, maybe.
>
> Road users do not take enough care and the stats for a shockingly large number of road deaths involving cyclists show a driver at fault.
>

some... most drivers are fine...

Radioactiveman - on 21 Jan 2013
In reply to dudders:

Maybe because its soooooo easy for a metal box of death to squish/crush/mangle a ickle bendy snappy human being to pieces, where on the other hand all a cyclist does to a car is dent the paint( unless avoidance causes a car to car/object collision etc)

I would suggest get out on a bike and put some miles in, you will see plenty of good drivers, quite a lot of poor awareness, occasional bad judgements, some playful rascals shouting/throwing stuff and a definite handful of psychopaths.


The reason post's from cyclists are so "emotive" or "militant" as you put is because of their experiences of dicing with death and feeling that *some* drivers do not value another human beings life of at least don't give consideration to the the consequences of their actions.

Tim Chappell - on 21 Jan 2013
In reply to boogie man:
> (In reply to Tim Chappell)
> [...]
>
> I do try to be polite mostly but when that pr*ck on his phone drove through me sending me over his bonnet I momentarily lost it . He wouldn't get off his phone or out of his car , I was close to dragging him out , he wound the window up , locked the doors and just sat there looking worried.


Yes, I think in that situation I might have got a little animated too.
Jimbo W on 21 Jan 2013
In reply to Chris the Tall:

> 100+'fatalities a year, little or nothing being done about it, casual disregard for the victims by the CPS and a media which seems to enjoy fermenting hostility...

My brother got knocked down by a white van man while cycling defensively going past a train station, and which just drove off. He was knocked out, and his bike totally written off, but luckily he was otherwise fine apart from concussion. There were numerous witnesses who saw the van, and several who got the number plate. This was all reported to the police. They took a statement from my brother, and told him that it was some local crooks who they were aware of. My brother presumed it would all be taken further, but no, phoned up several times, nothing happening, not taking it further... ...why would that happen?
wilkesley - on 21 Jan 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:
but no, phoned up several times, nothing happening, not taking it further... ...why would that happen?

I have had a couple of similar, non bike, related problems with the police. In my case there were a couple of reasons:

* Police couldn't manage to come out and get a witness statement - doesn't apply in your case.

* Can't identify who was actually driving the car.

In several dealings with the police, mainly relating to thefts, I have found that some officers just don't provide feedback unless you continue to pester them. If possible get the phone number of the officer is dealing with your case and speak to them directly.
tlm - on 21 Jan 2013
In reply to dudders:

> Maybe 'militant' cyclists, are a bit more vocal and noticeable than non-militant ones, like yourself? I'm ever-so fluffy, myself.
fxceltic on 21 Jan 2013
In reply to dudders: I drive and ride

In my experience many (not all) drivers who do not have any experience of riding a bike on the road are highly ignorant of the highway code and, worse, fail to recognise the inherent danger they pose to a cyclist.

If a driver commits an accidental "error of judgement" around a cyclist, its highly likely to result in serious injury or even death for the cyclist. If the cyclist does the same, its highly unlikely to result in injury to, or the death of, the driver.

Anything else about who is right or wrong is irrelevant, its a total red herring. Even if the cyclist is a total bell end, it ultimately makes no odds, its still not OK to accidentally injure/ kill them, yet this is what happens.
Drivers who are involved in accidents with cyclists will often cite blame or fault on the part of the rider, which isnt especially helpful to the injured/ dead cyclist, even if the driver is technically correct.

I realise its human nature to do this, but we'd all be better off with a better education of drivers re cyclists and the highway code, and the potential implication of an accident. Afterall, (almost) nobody actually wants to run a cyclist over and have to live with what they did.
MG - on 21 Jan 2013
In reply to fxceltic:

> Drivers who are involved in accidents with cyclists will often cite blame or fault on the part of the rider, which isnt especially helpful to the injured/ dead cyclist, even if the driver is technically correct.
>


If I ever hit a cyclist while driving (and off course hope I won't) it will very likely be due to them having no lights or abruptly changing lane or similar. It will be rather important (and "helpful") to me to establish it wasn't my fault in such circumstances for all sorts of reasons, not least to avoid the chance of going to prison.
jubolo - on 21 Jan 2013
In reply to dudders:
>I see a real "us and them" attitude among cyclists.

I jumped off my bike (us) to push a woman in a car (them) up a snowy Sheffield hill the other day, she seemed rather grateful.
fxceltic on 21 Jan 2013
In reply to MG:
> (In reply to fxceltic)
>
> [...]
>
>
> If I ever hit a cyclist while driving (and off course hope I won't) it will very likely be due to them having no lights or abruptly changing lane or similar. It will be rather important (and "helpful") to me to establish it wasn't my fault in such circumstances for all sorts of reasons, not least to avoid the chance of going to prison.

Agreed, but Im sure you understand what it was I was trying to say.
fxceltic on 21 Jan 2013
In reply to dudders: http://www.rospa.com/roadsafety/adviceandinformation/cycling/facts-figures.aspx

the stats do bear out the fact that drivers are more often at fault.

An interesting stat there though is that male cyclists are involved in 80% of accidents, not sure of the stats in participation terms, but this would suggest men perhaps ride more aggressively than women.
Mike Stretford - on 21 Jan 2013
In reply to dudders:

>
> fwiw I cycle a lot but do not consider myself a "cyclist"

You've answered you're own question and you don't even know it.

You have labeled the more aggressive bicycle riders as 'cyclists', distinct from people who 'cycle a lot'. There are some non-motorists who do this with 'drivers'.... so that's it, you now have two groups calling each other names.
tlm - on 21 Jan 2013
In reply to jubolo:
> (In reply to dudders)
> >I see a real "us and them" attitude among cyclists.
>
> I jumped off my bike (us) to push a woman in a car (them) up a snowy Sheffield hill the other day, she seemed rather grateful.

I jumped off my bike to help push 2 different cars on Friday. :-)

a lakeland climber on 21 Jan 2013
In reply to tlm:

We helped a white van man and a "my GPS sent me this way" driver a few weeks ago. Neither were equipped for winter conditions.

ALC
Chris Harris - on 21 Jan 2013
In reply to dudders:

>
> Sometimes a motorist makes an error of judgement

My experience is that it's not usually an error of judgement.

It's usually a total absence of judgement of any sort as the motorist sails obliviously along in their metal box, insulated from the world around them.

Cappa - on 21 Jan 2013
In reply to MG:
> (In reply to fxceltic)
>
> [...]
>
>
> it will very likely be due to them having no lights or abruptly changing lane or similar.

This would highlight the difference between Cyclists and people on bikes, something that I have to constantly remind myself of when I drive.
Indy - on 21 Jan 2013
In reply to dudders: I've always thought that there 3 types of cyclist....
1) the militant the sort of rider that knows there rights and damn well expects them ie won't give way despite the other vehicle being being a 20 ton dump truck. Will squeeze through the tightest spot at traffic lights get in front of the cars so as to make them crawl away at green coz there's a bike space there.

2) the clueless. They cycle down the middle of bus lanes despite there being 4 buses trying to get past. Its there right to expect you as a pedestrian to get our of there way whilst cycling on the pavement. No lights, no reflectors, going the wrong way up a 1 way unlit street at night? No problem.

3) The pragmatist. Cars/buses/trucks are hard, fast and likely to fare much better than you in a collision. Be nice and we'll all get to where we want to go in one piece. A vehicle driver that kills/injures a cyclist is going to feel pretty shit about it
fxceltic on 21 Jan 2013
In reply to Indy:
> (In reply to dudders) I've always thought that there 3 types of cyclist....
> Be nice and we'll all get to where we want to go in one piece.

if only that sentiment were actually true...

yesbutnobutyesbut - on 21 Jan 2013
In reply to Indy:
> (In reply to dudders) I've always thought that there 3 types of cyclist....
> 1) the militant the sort of rider that knows there rights and damn well expects them ie won't give way despite the other vehicle being being a 20 ton dump truck. Will squeeze through the tightest spot at traffic lights get in front of the cars so as to make them crawl away at green coz there's a bike space there.

Cyclists try to get to the front at traffic lights so they have a clear safe space to pull away into rather than being squeezed into the gutter as they get going.
>
> 2) the clueless. They cycle down the middle of bus lanes despite there being 4 buses trying to get past. Its there right to expect you as a pedestrian to get our of there way whilst cycling on the pavement. No lights, no reflectors, going the wrong way up a 1 way unlit street at night? No problem.

In nearly any city a bike is quicker than a bus. The bus might be behind them for a few hundred metres but will soon stop at a bus stop as the cyclist pedals away.
>
> 3) The pragmatist. Cars/buses/trucks are hard, fast and likely to fare much better than you in a collision. Be nice and we'll all get to where we want to go in one piece. A vehicle driver that kills/injures a cyclist is going to feel pretty shit about it

But not as shit as the cyclist!

ti_pin_man - on 21 Jan 2013
In reply to dudders:

I think you have some answers above.

Militant is too strong a word but if you ride regularly in busy streets you quickly begin to feel on the defence, you see accidents occasionally but you see near misses frequently. This can only put you on the back foot and raise your heckles. Many cyclists feeling this way will become aggressive, it sometimes feels the only way you will survive. Undoubtedly this spills into forums and sounds militant, but militant is the wrong word. I 'try' to be assertive not aggressive but it can be a really fine line out on the road and clearly that daily frustration is going to come out somewhere.

It's time drivers where educated, it's time every driver as part of their test experienced what it's like to ride a bike in heavy traffic. Cycle a mile in a cyclists shoes and you might drive differently near cyclists in the future!
subalpine - on 21 Jan 2013
In reply to ti_pin_man:
> if you drive regularly on busy roads you quickly begin to feel on the defence, you are often held up. This can only put you on the back foot and raise your heckles.
i know- let's build more roads!

Orgsm on 21 Jan 2013
In reply to dudders:

The NRA says the solution is to arm cyclists..
mikehike on 21 Jan 2013
In reply to A Game of Chance: very troll
mattsccm - on 21 Jan 2013
In reply to mikehike:
Accidents involving people do not happen.
Some one makes an error of judgement. Thats their fault if its an avalanche or a bike rider.
Toby_W on 21 Jan 2013
In reply to mattsccm:

And let's end this here.

Started by a troll

Ended by a troll

Goodnight.

Toby
Fat Bumbly2 - on 21 Jan 2013
In reply to Indy: "1) the militant the sort of rider that knows there rights and damn well expects them ie won't give way despite the other vehicle being being a 20 ton dump truck. Will squeeze through the tightest spot at traffic lights get in front of the cars so as to make them crawl away at green coz there's a bike space there."

Advance stop lines are there for a reason - that is when the white van is not waiting on one.
biped - on 21 Jan 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
> (In reply to Enty)
> [...]
> >
> There's this strange mentality that you can 'clip' cyclists/runners and just scare them.. not kill them..

That's just it, isn't it. It's like if builders could drop rubble from scaffolding onto the street, and they know that they won't hit anyone, probably, and missing pedestrians by inches is fine, because no-one got hurt, and then everyone gets humpty when the pedestrian gets angry, or militant as this thread would have it.

I was tempted to start a counter thread called 'Why do Brits turn into reckless cowardly bullies when they get behind the wheel of a car?' or, 'Why do UK drivers have such self righteous and casual disdain for other people's lives?', but I can't be arsed.

999thAndy on 21 Jan 2013
In reply to Toby_W:
> (In reply to mattsccm)
>
> And let's end this here.
>
> Started by a troll
>
> Ended by a tool
>
> Goodnight.
>
> Toby
Fixed
999thAndy on 21 Jan 2013
In reply to 999thAndy: not you Toby I was referring to Matt

xplorer on 21 Jan 2013
In reply to dudders:

Cyclist's are just that little bit more annoying than climbers.......

MattJ753 - on 21 Jan 2013
In reply to dudders:

I am a cyclist and a white van man. I get pissed off when cycling and someone puts me in danger, I think anyone would.

A lot of drivers are great at passing sensibly, but the ones that really annoy me are the those who seem to think they have the right to not be held up by a cyclist, as though you are no more than a peice of street furniture, and will squeeze by at all costs. The cost being my pissing life.

Another thing I have noticed, is that there is a big difference between a cyclist, who respects other road users and takes pride in riding pro-actively and within the law...and a knob-head with a bike. The first being someone like the sort of person who takes time to write on this thread about such an issue, and the latter being someone treating streets like a bmx track, without lights, carving people up, etc.

I can understand why the latter type of rider gives a bad name...not that this is an excuse to kill them, but maybe more should be done to educate at an early age?

And as for the person who wants to squeeze by at all costs, well maybe if they are caught doing this they should be made to commute on a bike for a month...they'd soon have a better understanding.

MJ - on 21 Jan 2013
In reply to dudders:

Why are cyclists so militant?

Because they can't spell beligerant.
Edd Reed - on 21 Jan 2013
In reply to ti_pin_man: I like that idea about it being part of the test, I think some experience of motorcycling should also be compulsory for drivers. Unfortunately not every prospective driver would be physically capable of riding a standard bicycle or motorbike.
risby - on 22 Jan 2013
In reply to MJ:
> (In reply to dudders)
>
> Why are cyclists so militant?
>
> Because they can't spell beligerant.

*bel·lig·er·ent
Toby_W on 22 Jan 2013
In reply to 999thAndy: I know, thank you.

Toby
MJ - on 22 Jan 2013
In reply to risby:

*bel·lig·er·ent

You perdantic so and so...
ti_pin_man - on 22 Jan 2013
In reply to Edd Reed: I'm sure there would be exceptions and also ways they could be included if it was ever done.

to the other point, we dont need more roads, we need better structured roads.
davidbeynon - on 22 Jan 2013
In reply to dudders:

It's the doping making them paranoid.

*gets coat*
Indy - on 22 Jan 2013
In reply to fxceltic:
> (In reply to Indy)
> [...]
>
> if only that sentiment were actually true...

I genuinely think it is.
Time and again I see its the overly assertive cyclist being the one on the deck. There definitely are times when you have to hold your line or cycle in a defensive way where by you ensure a driver can't overtake. Conversely there are times when taking a few extra seconds to let a driver past is going to ensure that they don't try and squeeze past you at 30mph with a 1/2 inch gap out of pure frustration.
Indy - on 22 Jan 2013
In reply to yesbutnobutyesbut:

There are bad drivers there are bad cyclists.

The wife said last night that cyclists felt bullied on the road so they cycled on the pavement where they have no problem bullying pedestrians.

Still think that this is a respect thing.
AlunP - on 22 Jan 2013
In reply to Edd Reed:
> (In reply to ti_pin_man) I like that idea about it being part of the test, I think some experience of motorcycling should also be compulsory for drivers.

A good idea if a bit impractical. I have car (and at 56 did a big motorbike test last year to celebrate my male menopause). The more experience you get with different vehicles - ideally everything from a HGV artic to a pushbike - the more tuned in you get. Not many car drivers realise how scary it is to a cyclist on the receiving end of insensitive driving. A lot of the 'aggressive cyclist' responses come from the fear hormones kicking in...

BTW With a padded 'biker jacket on and black visor down I look like a cross between a night club bouncer and an extra in a Tarantino movie - and on a 1000cc motorbike you are looking down at car drivers. Funnily enough they tend to treat me differently when I am in lycra on a bit of carbon fibre.
alan wilson on 22 Jan 2013
In reply to dudders: For info/discussion, I was reading on another website, a court in England recently gave a guy a £35 fine and 3 pts after he collided with a cyclist who later died. The same court a week later fined a woman £150 and 7 pts after she dented another car and left the scene.
Now I dont know all the details, but on face value the signals being sent out by the court most definitely indicate a pro-motorist stance.
Dax H - on 22 Jan 2013
In reply to MG:
>
>
> If I ever hit a cyclist while driving (and off course hope I won't) it will very likely be due to them having no lights or abruptly changing lane or similar. It will be rather important (and "helpful") to me to establish it wasn't my fault in such circumstances for all sorts of reasons, not least to avoid the chance of going to prison.

I always thought this until a few weeks back.
I pulled up at a give way in my white van, looked left and right and and though there was a pair of car headlights approaching me I had plenty of time to cross the road to turn right. I was just about go pull out but something tweaked the back of my mind and I hung on a bit and a cyclist came across the front of me, had I set off either I would have broad sided him or he would have done the same to me.
Due to his position on the road what I saw as a pair of headlights were actually 1 head light and 1 bike light (the other headlight was blocked by the push iron).
Due to the difference in proximity between me, the bike and the car the bike light was the same size as the car light and it was only noticeable once he was right on top of me.
That was a very lucky cyclist thst day because I csnt explain why I did not pull out, just something did not feel right.
DancingOnRock - on 22 Jan 2013
In reply to alan wilson: What website was that? Did they go into the detail of each situation or was it an anti motorist website just highlighting the two cases?
DancingOnRock - on 22 Jan 2013
In reply to dudders: Last week I was out running when an 8man pelaton came riding two abreast round the bend up ahead. They were closely followed by a car. It was obvious that the car wanted to overtake but the cyclists continued to take up the width of the road.

She eventually passed them further up the road whilst being given loads of abuse after hooting several times.

I don't know why car drivers are in such a rush or why cyclists are so adamant it's their right to ride as they please, but somewhere there must be a balance.
alan wilson on 22 Jan 2013
Liam M - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Dax H: There is an interesting argument that reminds me of regarding lights on bikes. It goes, if, as an increasing number of cyclists seem to, you mount two headlights on your handlebars try to avoid them both being in the same horizontal plane.

As they're generally a lot closer together than the headlights on a car if a driver sees them against a dark background (i.e. little or no street or building light) they will make an assumption of a car relatively far away rather than a bike much closer.

By offsetting the height something doesn't appear correct to the driver and they check again - essentially make yourself look like a bike!
EeeByGum - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Liam M:
> (In reply to Dax H) There is an interesting argument that reminds me of regarding lights on bikes. It goes, if, as an increasing number of cyclists seem to, you mount two headlights on your handlebars try to avoid them both being in the same horizontal plane.

Good point. If you have also invested in one of these uber bright headlamps (the ones brighter than a car full beam), don't point it in the face of oncoming traffic. I nearly fell of my bike after being completely blinded by an oncoming cyclist the other night. I am not really sure what point such actions are supposed to make. Blinding drivers so they don't hit you seems counter intuitive.
yorkshireman - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Liam M:
> (In reply to Dax H) There is an interesting argument that reminds me of regarding lights on bikes. It goes, if, as an increasing number of cyclists seem to, you mount two headlights on your handlebars try to avoid them both being in the same horizontal plane.
>
> As they're generally a lot closer together than the headlights on a car if a driver sees them against a dark background (i.e. little or no street or building light) they will make an assumption of a car relatively far away rather than a bike much closer.
>
> By offsetting the height something doesn't appear correct to the driver and they check again - essentially make yourself look like a bike!

When I used to cycle commute in London I would always have one fixed headlamp, and one flashing. Same with the back, with the flashing one on the back of my helmet.

Seems to give a good indication to most people that I'm not a faraway car. If you still can't tell, you shouldn't be driving.
alan1961 - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Indy:
> (In reply to dudders)A vehicle driver that kills/injures a cyclist is going to feel pretty shit about it

Not as shit as the cyclist feels!!!

Dax H - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to yorkshireman:
> (In reply to Liam M)
> [...]
>
> When I used to cycle commute in London I would always have one fixed headlamp, and one flashing. Same with the back, with the flashing one on the back of my helmet.
>
> Seems to give a good indication to most people that I'm not a faraway car. If you still can't tell, you shouldn't be driving.

that is a cracking idea, a pal of mine used to have 3 lightd on his motorbike one normal head lamp and two small spots halfway down his forks. The triangle of light was very unusual a d stood out for miles.

Moggsy on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Poor&simple.:
> (In reply to dudders)
>
> I've been knocked off of my bike 3 times by drivers ,

Maybe you should stick to the bus
Trevers - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to dudders:

I'd say the issue is this:

Most cyclists are drivers. They start off with a strong awareness for other road users. Most drivers however aren't also cyclists. It's true that it's only a minority that are bad drivers, but it's still a large minority. All it takes is 1 or 2%. If you cycle regularly you get overtaken by a hundred odd cars in a week. If you meet that minority in a vulnerable position, good luck to you.

So regular cyclists have a few close shaves and find themselves constantly on the defensive and checking over their shoulders. They also tend to become more blase towards rules of the road, which doesn't improve their reputation with drivers at all. The percentage of cyclists who run red lights is definitely far higher than drivers, and though in some cases it may be the sensible and safe thing to do, this still winds drivers up. It's a downward spiral, started by misunderstanding and a few maliciously ignorant individuals.

I don't commute by bike but I do like taking my road bike out for a spin on country roads (not single track lanes). Usually I try to communicate with drivers around me, letting them know I'm aware of them, and indicating when it's safe or not to pass if I can see further ahead than they can, and a thumbs up or a wave when they do wait. It makes my day when someone smiles and waves back. I just want to spread some good feeling. However when someone wilfully cuts me up, you can't blame me for flying into a rage- as another user said, the fear hormones kick in. I haven't dragged a driver from their vehicle yet, but I'd defend the cyclist that did.
ianghogg - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to Trevers: I was run off my bike on a roundabout (in leeds)by a car that ignored the high way code and right of way. I lost it a bit and bashed the bonnet, bent the car swindscreen wiper, before going to the drivers door to drag them out and give them a doing over in the middle of the road. I looked into the eyes of a petrified & very frightened middle aged women in a nurses uniform in the drivers seat and felt really ashamed on myself ever since. Since then I have cycled 'defensively' , obeyed the code myself (mostly), use a mirror on the handle bar all the time, and take command of the road space defensively. I also now avoid main roads on the route, and take exceptional care at every road junction, expecting every car driver to be an unknown variable and likley to do anything.
Trevers - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to ianghogg:

Sounds pretty standard. I once had a shout at a woman who crossed the bus lane I was in forcing me to slam on the brakes to avoid going over the bonnet. She was extremely apologetic, and she had a frightened looking kid in the back. It was only afterwards I thought about it and realised the stretch of road was exceptionally poorly designed, and that having waited for a break in the line of traffic next to me to pull out, the poor woman probably couldn't have seen I was there at all. I felt pretty ashamed after that.

I wasn't trying to be the big man. I don't think it's right or justified, but in the heat of the moment, having seen your life flash before you and with hackles raised, you may say or do something you'll regret later.

The worrying thing is that the majority of the near misses I've had were not genuine mistakes or indecisiveness but willfully selfish or malicious. Since I don't often ride in towns and cities, most incidents are drivers behind me who had more than enough time to see me and make the right decision and chose to prioritise a few seconds of their time above my life and limbs. Until they actually kill someone, they'll never be brought to justice, and even then they'll probably get off on some lesser charge.
jubolo - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to Trevers:
> Usually I try to communicate with drivers around me, letting them know I'm aware of them, and indicating when it's safe or not to pass if I can see further ahead than they can, and a thumbs up or a wave when they do wait. It makes my day when someone smiles and waves back. I just want to spread some good feeling.

I try and do the same when I'm on the bike, it's kinda like positive reinforcement training with your dog;]

adsheff - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to dudders: Because most car drivers are inconsiderate and choose to risk the lives of cyclists instead of delaying themselves by a few seconds, the only people that regularly cycle on the roads are the slightly militant ones who are confident enough to engage with these half-tons of metal flying around.

Its an unfortunate consequence of the car drivers. If car drivers drove slowly, passed cyclists with plenty of room, waited patiently behind instead of needlessly overtaking, checked their mirrors properly etc, the roads may well be full of happy smiling families of cyclists, and the militant ones would become a minority.
DancingOnRock - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to adsheff: Most? Do you drive?
Orgsm on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to dudders:

Because its a war if you read and believe the tabloids!
ads.ukclimbing.com
Enty - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to A Game of Chance:
> (In reply to dudders)
>
> Because its a war if you read and believe the tabloids!

Hey - there's a few on here believe the tabloids all right.

Oh no they don't, oh yes they do, oh no they don't..............

E
John1923 - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to dudders:

To cycle in the UK you have to be prepared to mix it with cars, lorries and the general traffic. This means that only the nutters (like me) cycle regularly.

If the cycling infrastructure was better, and other road users more tolerant, then the nutters would be diluted with normal people and cyclists would be less militant on average.

Also on a typical cycle you may be overtaken by 100 cars. It only takes one or two passing too close to make the road feel hostile. That is a minority of 1-2% of drivers.
John_Hat - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to Dax H:
> (In reply to yorkshireman)
> [...]
>
> that is a cracking idea, a pal of mine used to have 3 lightd on his motorbike one normal head lamp and two small spots halfway down his forks. The triangle of light was very unusual a d stood out for miles.

Noticed the other day a cyclist with an amazing front light - it was pretty much the exact same level of brightness as a car headlight. It was certainly a cyclist as opposed to a car with a light out or motorcycle (I checked), though I wasn't able to see the small baggage train of batteries he was also pulling:-)

Seriously good light. More people should have them!
Bimble on 25 Jan 2013
In reply to John_Hat:
>
> Seriously good light. More people should have them!

Check the price tags of such lights!

As for being militant, I can see this from both sides, as a driver and as a cyclist.
When driving, I give plenty of room to bikes, allow at least 5ft when I pass them, am courteous, look out at traffic lights for bikes filtering up etc. However, I do get a bit miffed at those cyclists who really don't help themselves; no hi-vis clothing, no lights at night, riding about 6ft out into the road instead of a more reasonable 2ft-ish from the kerb (far enough out from road crud, far enough in from cars IMO), and those who ride two abreast chatting to each other, making getting past nigh on impossible where if they'd been behind in single file, passing wouldn't be an issue.

As a cyclist, I hate being cut up, hate not being seen, hate cars treating me as if I'm not there, hate having them pull out across me when they are turning right & waiting to get across as if I've got to wait for them, hate pedestrians stepping out without looking, hate being stuck behind buses, and most of all, hate those who skim your elbow with their mirror in a rush to get past. Yes, I'll pull in as close as I can when there's people waiting behind, but that's not always possible.
I know how frustrating it can be to get stuck behind a bike if you're in a rush, but it's a give & take on both sides. Shame not everyone sees it that way.
MG - on 25 Jan 2013
In reply to TryfAndy: Good post. Someone else posted this elsewhere; it should be required reading for all road users

http://www.londoncyclist.co.uk/raf-pilot-teach-cyclists/
balmybaldwin - on 25 Jan 2013
In reply to TryfAndy:
> (In reply to John_Hat)
> [...]
>
> Check the price tags of such lights!
>

Agreed for the brand names, but there's some seriously good cheaper lights available now. look at www.mtbbatteries.co.uk, or even the cree torches on ebay for about £10 are very good (although you have to fiddle with batteries)
a lakeland climber on 25 Jan 2013
In reply to balmybaldwin:

You need lights for two things: to see and to be seen. For the latter I've a set of these - http://www.wiggle.co.uk/moon-comet-light-set/ they are each about the size of a packet of chewing gum and are seriously bright and in the flashing modes are very obvious even in daylight. I think you'd need an extra front light if you were going to be riding on roads without street lights though. USB rechargeable so simply plug in to your computer when you get to work.

ALC
dudders - on 25 Jan 2013
By the word militant I meant being forward and aggressive with opinions. I perhaps wanted to upset people slightly, as some have guessed.

The purpose of this thread wasn't to suggest that there aren't drivers who knowingly put cyclists at risk out of impatience, because there are some.

However, I do believe that the majority of crap drivers have good intentions. Everyone thinks they are a good driver, but I won't believe anyone that tells me they haven't had a near miss which was their fault. And the person on the receiving end of these incidents probably gets the impression that the first is a crap driver. Therefore, by my count everyone is a crap driver (except me, obviously)

Ultimately is there any point blaming drivers because it is you're life at risk, not theirs. It probably is their fault, but is that any consolation if you are killed of seriously injured?

I've never been knocked off but I have been doored twice in the last year. Both times I probably came across as more than a little "militant" to the person at fault, but as others have said this is more down to adrenaline than anything. I wouldn't bear any grudge against them for what was an innocent mistake. I am sure that before this happened I must have opened my car door without checking behind, but I am just lucky that there was never a cyclist there. (I always check now)








Tim Chappell - on 25 Jan 2013
In reply to dudders:

> I must have opened my car door without checking behind, but I am just lucky that there was never a cyclist there. (I always check now)


And I always pass parked cars far enough out for it not to matter if some dozy fool opens his door without looking.

If the drivers behind me don't like my road position, that's tough. If they get car-doored, the door might come off; if I get car-doored, my head might come off. These risks are not equivalent.
yesbutnobutyesbut - on 25 Jan 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell: In Holland they teach drivers to open the door with thier 'wrong' arm. In the UK this means drivers should open thier doors with thier left hand. The reason being it forces you to twist your body and you can check for cyclists and other traffic alot easier.
Bimble on 27 Jan 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell:

+1

I've been known to ride past and slap the door shut if it's just starting to open towards me & the berk inside has obviously not seen me. I don't think I've seriously damaged anyone, but have created a few decent howls of pain, and compared to what damage they'd have done to me, it's a nice reminder for them to check first before opening the door.
DancingOnRock - on 27 Jan 2013
In reply to TryfAndy: I can't see that helping the cyclist/driver relationship. You're lucky someone doesn't give chase and smack you back.

This morning I had an idiot wandering around the middle of the road in no particular lane, eventually he pulled into the left lane and swung the front of his car out across the right lane blocking both lanes of traffic. Then he indicated right and drove across to the turning right in front of a cyclist coming the other way.

It's not like drivers like this are deliberately targeting cyclists, they're just bad drivers full stop. He's lucky he didn't get rammed in the side by someone who had enough of him and decided to overtake.

It takes two to tangle, keep your distance and shake it off when you can't.
Alan Taylor - on 27 Jan 2013
In reply to dudders: BBC is reporting that two cyclists killed in a hit and run in Bristol.
Uluru on 27 Jan 2013
In reply to Alan Taylor:
> (In reply to dudders) BBC is reporting that two cyclists killed in a hit and run in Bristol.

So sad and such an unnecessary loss of life.

One of the local news outlets are saying that police know who they are looking for in connection with this. I really hope they catch them and the judge gives them a long sentence.
Bimble on 27 Jan 2013
In reply to DancingOnRock:

It helps by stopping the door opening fully and not knocking me from my bike, and by reminding them to check before opening their door next time. I've only been chased once by a driver, and that was for smashing the mirror from a BMW that cut me up savagely & nearly sent me over the bars. Thankfully, I'm a lot quicker through traffic than they were.
Uluru on 27 Jan 2013
In reply to Uluru: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-21225233

Looks like the guy who killed the two cyclists in Bristol has handed himself in.
Nigel R on 27 Jan 2013
In reply to dudders:

> The overwhelming majority of motorists just want to get to where they are going as safely as possible, both for themselves and other road users, including cyclists.

I checked your profile to see if you lived in the UK, as I can only assume from this statement you live in Holland or Denmark.

MG - on 27 Jan 2013
In reply to Nigel R: You honestly think a significant proportion of motorists are indifferent to injuring others!?
stewart murray - on 28 Jan 2013
In reply to dudders: It's simple. If you are in a car no way, no how is your life going to be endangered by someone riding a bike should they make an "error of judgement".
balmybaldwin - on 28 Jan 2013
In reply to Uluru:

Sounds like there is more to it than your average "car driver didn't care about cyclist safety" angle, BBC now reporting the car was being persued by the police:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-21226126

Which does beg the question how he managed to flee the scene (I'm guessing the police were more interested in attending the injured cyclists)
alan1961 - on 28 Jan 2013
In reply to adsheff: Well put.
Bimbler - on 28 Jan 2013
In reply to dudders:

You could argue that this guy is quite militant. Not sure if he got his apology. Quite an entertaining chap who I suspect is living on borrowed time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jsY79JzzPaU
PeteA - on 31 Jan 2013
I'm a motorbiker, car driver, work in highway management and am a cyclist. As said above I try to be courteous to others and let people out safely etc, but I had one incident where a guy in a large 4x4 tried to over take me while I was on a mountain bike entering a restricted width tunnel, met another car head on and then swerved to the side so close in front of me that he nearly sideswiped me. If I had been thinking straighter I would have let my bike scrape all down the side of his vehicle. I've also had a car clip my handle bars with it's mirror doing over 40mph as it came past. When I'm on two wheels the motorbike training kicks in... treat every vehicle as if it may deliberately try to kill you at any time.
Jim C - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to stewart murray:
> (In reply to dudders) It's simple. If you are in a car no way, no how is your life going to be endangered by someone riding a bike should they make an "error of judgement".

I have thought of one.
What if they veered over the lane right at you doing 40 mph when you are doing 70 and he is 17 stone on a mountain bike and comes through your windscreen?
Do I get a prize ?
( maybe not, but I do get the point, , but it would be unusual rather than ' no way no how'
joel182 - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to dudders:

I think it's the lack of reciprocity in the situation.

If a motorist behaves aggressively towards a cyclist - overtaking in a position which is unsafe - they put the cyclist in unnecessary danger. The then cyclist has no way to hold the motorist responsible for their actions.

I reckon if there were a way to hold motorists responsible if they endager cyclists, cyclists would be a lot less militant.
Orgsm on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to dudders:
> The overwhelming majority of motorists just want to get to where they are going as fast as possible, endangering both themselves and other road users, including cyclists.

Remind me, who are the ones with the lethal weapons in this discussion about militants?




SI - profile removed on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to dudders: It's just a fact that 1 in 10 drivers is a total dickhead. 1 in 10 cyclists is a total dickhead too I'm sure but I don't get overtaken or cut up by bikes much.

Bimble on 31 Jan 2013

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.