/ Idiot parents
Riding along a straight road near me, very slight downhill before a sharp climb, so I'm trying to carry speed. Up on the left, maybe 200m ahead, is a family group looking to cross the road - no cars coming the other way or behind me. Most of the group decide to make a run for it (i.e. they've seen me coming), leaving a woman with a double buggy on the pavement.
I didn't want to ease off the pace (out for a serious training ride), although I was covering the brakes and moved to the middle of the lane (the lot making a run for it are now over the central line), but she's looking at me and it's apparent she's seen me coming, so I think I'm ok.
As I get nearer, without any warning, she shoves the pushchair into the road and starts crossing, leaving me with no option but to fire through the closing gap between her and the 2 girls (aged about 12?) at the back of the rest of the group at something in excess of 25mph.
Personally, I hope I frightened the life out of her, because it sure as hell shook me up - I had to stop further along the road to calm down.
No, I didn't go back and check they were ok - I didn't fancy risking a beating from the 2-3 adults there, if they'd considered it to be my fault.
On the way into work this morning, on an otherwise quiet road, a lorry coming the other way stops and starts indicating to turn right. Then as I approach, he starts to pull across in front of me. I slam on my brakes, start to skid and have just about enough time to contemplate my certain impending death. He then slams on his brakes, I manage to arrest my skid without collapsing in a heap and nobody dies. Hurrah. The driver did, however, see fit to hurl a torrent of abuse at me. Which was nice.
People are wonderful sometimes, aren't they?
Is this a troll? Surely?
Error of judgement on her half perhaps? As not every cyclist trundles along at a decent speed.
Fortunately no one got hurt, so maybe it's time to just move on and forget about it. What we don't need is another 'cyclists are always right, and everyone else in the world is an idiot thread'.
From my experiences seeing a mother with buggy always triggers a red alert, whether driving or on a bike. They seem to have distinctly lemming like characteristics.
Yeah, I was going to say she might not expect a fast cyclist even if the speed chosen was perfectly legal. But were I driving a car (I'm not really fit enough to be cycling at 25mph), I'd think there was a disaster waiting to happen there and be ready and willing to slow/stop beforehand. In the end, I don't want to hit anyone or anything regardless of whose fault it is.
It could be to do with the fact they've probably had 3 hours broken sleep over the last week?
I do find it unnerving when people in town think that pushing the buggy out into traffic is a reasonable way to stop cars... But then I live next to a town where people lumber into the road like cattle and would, I suspect, bounce off the bonnet and lumber off without so much as flinching. Not, you'll note, that I'm about to find out.
In reply to the OP: surely it makes more sense to slow down on the off-chance? When driving I tend to slow down if there are kids playing on the pavement as who knows when one might veer into the road on a whim? Whatever I might have to do really isn't *that* important (much as I sometimes like to delude myself)
Particularly pedestrians who are not drivers, and even more so pedestrians in places like Milton Keynes where there is a very significant degree of segregation. (With the Redway system you can walk or cycle from anywhere in MK to anywhere else without having to cross or ride along anything other than a car park or a heavily traffic-calmed residential street).
I am always amazed at how little road sense my Scouts have, for instance.
If I conciously drove at crossing pedestrians at 25mph in a car I'd be in the wrong. What makes you think it's acceptable when you're on a bike?
We have a local taxi driver that seems to thinks its OK to pull out in front of you because he's given you a friendly wave first! Its happened to me several times, both on the bike and when I've been driving the Land Rover. I know several folk have spoken to him about it, but he's TAPS. I just give him a wide berth now and expect the unexpected.
Which of course, according to the OP's description of events, he didn't do. So what is your point?
I always take as much care when approaching pedestrians with kids as I would with pedestrians with dogs (on or off leash) and livestock.
All can move very quickly in an unpredictable manner. Sadly there's no rule against stupidity.
I dislike riding along shared pedestrian / cycle paths on a fine day - particularly the section of the Preston Guild Wheel along by the river.
Can it be that using the public road as a racetrack is not a good idea?
It's rare that I agree with Tim but the OP did say he was left 'with no option but to fire through the closing gap between her and the 2 girls (aged about 12?) at the back of the rest of the group at something in excess of 25mph'.
Whether he had other options or not, he was aware that he was hurtling by very fast. I'm not saying that what he did was right or wrong, just that the OP *did* say that.
I think Nick's point was that he wasn't riding "at" crossing pedestrians - he was riding at an empty bit of road which a pedestrian then decided to step into...
On the whole, this does sound like a classic violation of the general rule that you should always assume that everyone else on the road is a) an idiot b) trying to kill you or c) both. On the other hand, the fact that the OP wasn't following that rule doesn't make idiots any less idiotic...
A tad ironic, when on another thread youre Looking for tips on beating Speed cameras when driving a car?
Why when cyclist travel at below the legal speed limit for a road are they described as using it as a race track.
This happens to me all the time - it's something about pedestrians in a group. I cycle down a hill past a school, and groups of kids cross away from the lollipop people at either end of the road. There are always some bold ones and some cautious ones and they seem to think that a bike is a static object or something.
I am very, very cautious now if I see a group waiting to cross the road and make absolutely no assumptions about what they will do. It means I have to ride slower, but rather that than the horrible fear of crushing one of them to death as they leap in front of my bike!
"Didn't want to ease off the pace"?
Slip streaming each other
Riding in large groups
Focusing on maximum speed isn't going to help with dealing with and accommodating other road users
I think an unwillingness to slow down to safely avoid an incident (even if not the cyclist's fault) is what points towards that, not the speeds involved.
The time to start emergency braking was the time the parent stepped out, IMO. Even if the OP stopped and gave them a piece of his mind for being stupid, he should still have stopped.
Indeed not. To look at it a different way, though, the kid in the pram doesn't deserve to suffer (or come very close to suffering) just because their parent is an idiot.
sounds like you were damned either way - slow right down, get hammered by the hill, or maintain your course and hope the peds think twice.
Maybe, the way to look at it, is that if it was a horse rider teetering on the pavement edge, you'd probably have slowed right down, hill-or-no-hill as startling it would have been dangerous for everyone. On that basis, if you had an inkling that the buggy-gang might step out, then you should similarly have aired on the side of caution, slowed right and accepted the pain of the hill.
Of course. I'm saying that it's alright to sound off about them on the internet, not that it'd be alright to mow them down...
Regarding Van Summerren's crash - would he not have still crashed even if the women was not standing there ? Would a policemen waving a flag be any more obvious than the fat bloke in the red top ?
< end of hijack - go back to criticising cyclists for riding at 25mph>
I hate to join in this sort of discussion, it is much more fun to read than participate!
I think the Highway Code is very clear on the original point, cyclists should give way to pedestrians. That said cars are meant to give way to cyclists but if you trust that you're likely to end up under someone's wheels.
I'm an old woman, who is always overtaken on my bike, and I never want to "ease off the pace". Not that my pace is very pacey, but it takes an effort to get any pace in the first place, and when I know there is a hill coming up which will take my pace from me, it does make slowing down or stopping a very different thing from doing this in the car, where accelerating takes no effort at all.
I usually cycle at about 10 miles per hour...
Hi mate, I'll have to break with tradition here and opine that you should have slowed down in anticipation of them being complete retards so you could avoid any danger to you or them, same as you'd (hopefully) do in a car. It is a pain when you're out training, which is why I generally drive to somehwere quiet for a ride.
I wonder whether it is more difficult for pedestrians to estimate the speed of a bike than other types of vehicle. This article seems to suggest that it also gets harder once speeds are above 20 mph:
I can think of one brilliant way to beat speed cameras. It means you'll never be caught by one, and what's more it saves you money in fuel, though it might make your journey take a couple of minutes longer.
I'll leave the reader to guess what it is.
:) :) :)
To be honest, when I think about people who put my life in danger by travelling dangerously fast on public roads, road bikers are a long, long way down the list...
Maybe but that wasn't the question.
Why when cyclist travel at below the legal speed limit for a road are they described as using it as a race track.
Well, because he said he was, principally.
And as a result he didn't back off when he might well have done, had he not been racing.
I think it is harder for pedestrians AND everyone! Car drivers seem to think they are overtaking something stationary and pull in when you are still on the inside of them!
Where does he say he was doing less than the speed limit?
He mentions passing them at 25mph, which I have taken with the rest of the post to mean he didn't slow down.
If he *did* slow down he was quite possibly speeding. But we also don't know what the speed limit on the road was.
My point is that in the situation described I'd lift off in order to allow for people doing silly things. The OP claims that he made a conciuous decision not to do so.
I think you're spot on there.
Brings this video montage to mind. Prepare for the unexpected....
Because the speed limit is not a target that you should aim to achieve. It is the absolute maximum speed that you should be doing if the road is clear and there are no potential hazards ahead.
Much better to close it
No, he mentions going "in excess" of 25mph.
We don't know how fast he was going or what the limit was.
Exactly. In the end, I don't want to splat someone, even if it isn't my fault. It's rather nicer to allow for peoples' mistakes on the road, if for no other reason that one day your survival might well require someone else to allow for your mistake on the road. Certainly happened to me.
Doesn't really matter what the speed limit was or how fast he was going. He saw a situation developing and failed to take appropriate action.
If it had been large lorry pulling out I bet he would have braked fairly sharply.
'Serious training ride' - no wonder cyclists get a bad name.
You were at fault for not adjusting your speed to the perceived hazards. A single pedestrian is a hazard, a parent with small child a greater hazard and any pedestrian in a group is an even greater hazard. A single pedestrian has only to think about safety and a child is a distraction and the others in the group are also a distraction.
You should have anticipated the possibility of what happened and you certainly cannot justify the option you took of having to avoid a collision by your earlier neglect to slow down.
The pedestrians were ceretainly at fault but you were the one who was capable of inflicting grave injury and you failed to slow down
When discussing speed limits it is worth considering the braking efficiency of cyclists and cars in making emergency stops.
I cycle by the way.
No he didn't!
By the way, I think I was more stern than I might have been because of your being an intolerant attidude.
If he had been going over 30mph, he would have said so. Trust me, you know.
We don't, in the unlikely event it was a 20, I'll hold my hands up.
You miss the point. The assumption appears to be that anyone going more than 10mph on a bike is "using the road as a racetrack". A driver doing 25 in a 30 is generally regarded as considerate.
No a cyclist who doesn't slow down because he's on a 'serious training ride' is not just 'going more than 10mph'.
Well, if that scenario had occurred while you were taking a driving test, you'd have failed.
Not if he's heading towards a group of pedestrians and trying not to brake, he isn't.
Which he isn't, if you read the OP.
Are you proud of what you've done?:)
No-one going at 25 in a 30 is regarded as considerate if a genuinely considerate road user would be travelling at a slower speed.
Getting into a situation where you have " no option but to fire through the closing gap" between 2 groups of pedestrians at "at something in excess of 25mph" shows a lack of consideration regardless of your mode of transport. To admit that you consciously chose not to ease off because you were out on a serious training ride looks reckless to me!
Are you reading the same OP as the rest of us?
It's possibly not as rare as you think. The mind has a way of remembering disagreements more easily than agreements ;)
Yes of course, your first contribution clearly showed your lack of understanding of it.
controversial OP with multiple replies, but no further contribution from OP
a troll, but a good one- cycling (but not the usual hackneyed cyclist v motorist conflict), nice turn of phrase ('serious training ride', 'no option but to fire through the closing gap'), two young girls supposedly in the firing line- i'd give it 8/10...
Not OK to do this in a car. So not OK to do it on a bike.
If you want to drive a car like there are no pedestrians around, you have to do it on a race track. If you want to ride a bike like there are no pedestrians around, surely the same applies.
I've checked and the section of road I'm talking about has a 40mph limit.
For those that think I wasn't taking appropriate action, I stated I was covering the brakes and moved to the centre of the lane, which was to give me space away from the kerb and from the lady remaining on it and still be away from the rest of the group.
The group that ran across had clearly seen me, as they were running and not walking over the road. There was no reason to expect they would still be a hazard in my lane by the time I got there. The lady with the buggy had not moved with the rest of the group, in which case I would have slowed down and stopped if necessary.
The fact that she was still on the kerb and looking at me made me sure she had seen me and wasn't going to cross, meaning that I still had an entire clear lane to pass.
As it was, I decided that slamming on the brakes that late would probably have resulted in me locking both wheels, possibly resulting in a crash with unpredictable results. So I didn't.
I was also thinking that any action on my part to slow down might have made her think I was giving way and made her more likely to attempt to cross.
Lesson learned for next time - for both of us.
Rousseau had a theory.
If people have a choice between doing something sensible and doing something stupid, they will invariably choose the stupid option!
I may have made that up.
Don't you have a bell?
I normally ding my bell to give folks the opportunity to dive out of my way.
I think every single one of your contributions demonstrates your lack of understanding of the OP ;)
In a car I would have backed off in the situation described, which means slowing down rather than just covering the brakes and hoping. Why should bikes be any different?
Anyway "serious training" doesn't have to mean all out speed - being beasted by a hill start sounds like serious training to me.
What is the point of people keep making comparisons of what would have happened in a car? He wasn't in a car. If he had, the dumb arse family wouldn't have chanced it would they? They saw a bike and didn't give a minutes thought to what speed it might be travelling at and launched themselves across the road except that the last member of the group, laden down with a trolley of more potential idiots paused, stared, still didn't compute and then left all of her common sense on the pavement as she pushed her kids out into the road
Brilliant. If the driver at 0.35 had any class he would have jumped out, donned his beanie and shimmied up the left arete.
No surprise Tim, garbage, but I suppose it saves you actually thinking.
Read the OP again.
They were standing on a traffic island. You wouldn't reasonably expect a racing cyclist to go straight into it. It wasn't cordoned off or on the other side of a barrier.
At no point does the OP apply brakes, even gently to reduce speed as he 'fires through the gap'.
Anyway he says he has learned his lesson so I think you're probably missing something.
So, in your world, cars give way to pedestrians, but pedestrians have to give way to bicycles?
People have walked out in front of me as a driver many times. Perhaps not as often as when cycling, but certainly not unusual.
A very sensible summary.
The moral of this story is that if you try to "carry speed" and "not ease off" on "a serious training run" in the presence of crossing pedestrians to the point that you scare yourself so much you have to stop anyway and calm down, you have achieved the square root of fck all ;-)
Yes it was her fault and all that but that would be no consolation if you'd hit them and hurt yourself or worse, one of the kids. Any responsible motorist would have slowed down in those circumstances and you should have done likewise.
In my world rational people do not USUALLY walk out in front of moving vehicles. These people looked up the road and then decided to step off the curb and cross the road misjudging the speed of the bike
So it's ok to run down irrational people?
You obviously have never taken a driving test.
Sorry OP you have fallen victim to all the know it alls who know everything except:
The road you were riding.
The distances involved.
The time frames involved.
The road conditions.
The lighting conditions.
Who also think a bike is the same as a car.
People are stupid and common sense is mainly defined by being not that common. Good thing no one was hurt and hopefully everyone has points to reflect upon.
I have read it several times thank you. I'm confident that my interpretation is a great deal more accurate than yours.
Plenty of others have apparently reached very similar conclusions, maybe you should read it again?
I really wish I could remember when I pissed in your tea ;)
who got run down?
My mate Dave, terrible it were.
So you're saying that this was more likely to happen on a bike? In that case one would expect the cyclist to be aware of this, and to therefore anticipate trouble with a higher probability than a driver. Followed to the logical conclusion one would therefore expect the cyclist to slow down and/or sound a bell much sooner than a car would.
You would, wouldn't you.
You never let everyone disagreeing with you stop you. Anyway, a few vocal people sharing your mistake hardly equates to plenty.
You really haven't.
Pot calling kettle? ;)
If you've checked back and are confident that you are right why should you stop when someone else comes up with a rather bizarre different interpretation?
I suspect a quick count would reveal that more people think the OP was in the wrong than those who think he was right?
Are you sure I seem to recall you coming in and repeatedly challenging me with similarly marginal arguments a fair few times in the past. I start to wonder whether you are kicking the man rather than the ball?
I don't think my car is the same as my bike.
I know that if I had ploughed in to this group in my car I wouldn't have suffered a scratch.
If I had done the same on my bike I could have been seriously injured.
So I would have been just as circumspect in approaching them on my bike as in my car, training ride or not.
I realise that slowing down on a bike necessitates a lot more work in getting back up to speed, whereas in my car all I have to do is depress a pedal.
But is that really a reason I should take chances when a hazard is imminent?
Not really, more a truism.
Nothing personal, you just hold some strange views. I am sure you think my arguments marginal, but you would wouldn't you!
What is your argument? Most people seem to think slowing down rather than not would have been a better course of action by the OP. Do you disagree?
Well in the first instance, I took exception to Tim's twisting of the OP, to suggest he was riding directly at a pedestrian. He was riding along the road and a pedestrian and pram left the pavement and he had to take evasive action.
Question of the best course of action is always going to be swayed by the 20:20 hindsight that we have after the event. In reality we cannot wind back time, so lets look at the facts.
The OP was travelling between 25 and 30 miles an hour on a 40 limited road, so he was already going less than 75% of the speed limit. He saw a potential hazard and took two actions to mitigate the risk, he moved further from the curb and he covered his brakes. It is about balancing risk and lets remember if an accident had happened, chances are it would have been the OP seriously injured. I am sure you and Tim don't exceed 10mph on bike or in car, whenever you see a pedestrian, but that will make you pretty unusual. I am sure the OP wishes me had slowed, but then it is that 20:20 hindsight kicking in again.
The one thing I have really disliked about this thread is the idea that reasonable speeds for cars and bikes in built up areas are somehow different and the idea that someone working hard on a bike is using the road as a race track, even when going slower than the traffic around them.
Do speed limits actually apply to bikes at all?
Anyway there are reasons bikes might go slower - harder to see, longer stopping distances etc.
But it's not the speed that is the point but the attitude of not slowing because of racing or training. I don't think it is sensible on a bike or in a car. How would you see a claim of "I was doing serious rally training so didn't want to slow down" from a car driver?
Yes, so don't do it.
Or rather, do it sensibly and be aware that it's not worth compromising anyone's safety for. Just like using the road to get home in time for Eastenders or dinner or to get up to the campsite before last orders or get down to West Cornwall before you get bored out of your mind or any of the other reasons that people might have to want to travel as quickly as they can...
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