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What a night - road rage, broken spokes....

Discussion in 'General' started by Hwulex, 13 May 2005.

  1. Hwulex

    Hwulex What's a Dremel?

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    Warning: This looks like a monster; but bare with me!

    Whew! As most of you probably know from my new bike thread, I'm a cyclist.
    I can't drive and, apart from the odd inconvenience, I'm really not fussed about learning to do so either until I live somewhere really remote. I'm quite happy keeping myself in shape whilst also not polluting, in fact, I love my cycle to work and back every day, so long as the bloody car drivers keep to themselves and let me ride my bike.

    This evening, I alighted my train a little later than normal as I had to stay a little late at work fixing something. Journey home from the train started around 20:05. On my route home, there are a couple of sections of road which I consider to be quite dangerous even if the lack of double white lines suggests that the police / council don't agree with me. One of these sections is Wharf Road. You see where the road bends to the left before becoming Lake Road²? Well that bend is uphill, and due to raised verges and shrubbery, is totally blind. For this reason, I have always cyled down close to the centre line of the road to discourage any thoughts that oh-my-god-my-house-is-burning-down-I-must-get-home-so-quickly-NOT drivers might have about overtaking me on the bend as it is dangerous and I know this from incidents where people have tried it before when I wasn't cycling so far out - they meet a car coming the other way half way through overtaking, swing in to avoid the oncoming car, and narrowly miss putting me under their wheels in the process. So, I'm only looking out for myself.

    Tonight isn't the first time I have gotten, what we like to call, 'angry horn', on this particular stretch of road (hell, people have thrown burning cigarettes at me there before), but you have to understand that I am a very considerate cyclist. When I get up the hill and round the bend to the straight road, I move right over and let everyone past (that is, if they overtake me in time before we get to the next bend which they don't always). When I'm out riding, I slow and allow cars to pull out else I know they'll get stuck behind me, I pull over if it's particularly busy with few overtaking opportunities and let everyone pass before continuing. I think the problem is that all cyclists are the same in motorists' eyes. You see a non-motored two wheel device and you automatically think you've got the god given right to overtake it. It might not matter that we're DOING THE SPEED LIMIT. I can understand it if I was Joe Bloggs on my 20KG "mountain bike" trundling along, but I'm not, I'm not a 'normal' cyclist. Unless I'm going up a steep hill, I cycle between 18 and 36 mph. I think this is half the problem and why people get so angry with me and my kind. If I was just pissing along, then you could overtake me fine, but I'm not. I'm normally not doing quite the speed limit (24/25 on the flat) so you feel you should be going faster, but if you go to overtake, you have to break the speed limit and so you sit behind me frustrated. Because I cycle fast and an expensive bike, I don't normally cycle at the very edge of the road (have you looked at the conditions of the tarmac and crap that gets swept there? Would you!?) and that means I'm not always the easiest to overtake either.

    Anyway; this all leads me on to the next stage of tonight's incident. I've just let three cars pass me before I [signal and then] move towards the middle of the road to go round this short bend. Some impatient SOAB drives right up behind me, swings his car out a bit, but then realises it's far too dangerous to overtake. Excellent, he realised, job done. Oh no, when he realises he can't, he thinks "I know, I'll be a complete tosser and drive right up 6" behind his back wheel". Brilliant. I slow down a bit because I'm feeling hasseled (probably the opposite effect to what he wanted; me speeding up) and I turn round and wave my arm at him to back off as he's putting me in danger (imagine I suddenly get a blow out, or hit a lump in the road and come off - 6" stopping distance = me dead). He just revs his engine, so I give him the V.

    By now, he's aggrovated me which is a silly thing to do to a cyclist if you've not got a good stretch of road to overtake us with. I now slow my bike to 5mph and drive right down the middle of the lane so he has no chance of getting past - that'll learn 'im. When he does get a chance, he pulls along side and points frantically to the side of the road, gesturing that's where I should be. I flip him the bird. He then goes past me, indicates, and pulls in to the side of the road. "This should be fun" thinks I so I pull up crawl past him and he shouts all sorts of expletives at me. I say he's a crazy git or something similar, and he gets out his car. Brilliant. I pull over and stop just in front of his car and he walks right up to me (all 5' and a *** but of him) and gets right into my face shouting, where the conversation goes something (a little more colourfully) like this:
    Him: "What [the *] are you doing!? You're a * dangerous driver, a * liablilty!"
    Me: "Excuse me?"
    Him: "You. You're cycling down the middle of the road, * move over"
    Me: "The only reason I cycle down the middle of that short stretch of road is to stop impatient * drivers like you from trying to overtake me on that blind bend"
    Him: "What are you talking about, I didn't * overtake you!"
    Me: "No, but you were trying to! Then you realised it wasn't safe enough to do so. When you couldn't, you drove 6" off my * back wheel"
    Him: "You got a name?"
    Me: "Not for you!"
    Him: "Come on, what's your name?"
    Me: "Err.. why?"
    Him: "Because I want to report you for * dangerous driving!"
    Me: "WTF? You try to pull a dangerous overtaking manouver, then drive 6" off my back wheel, and you want to do ME for dangerous driving? You're * crazy. You're the one that'd get done, mate"

    At this point, a police car rounds the corner, lights going, and the guy flags it down. I honestly thought it was impressive that he'd called the police and they'd come out so quick.

    Policewoman (through window): "Yes?"
    Him: "I want to report this guy for dangerous driving!"
    Her: "I've got my lights going mate, I've got places to be"
    <policewoman drives off with a dismissive look>

    Me: "That was * clever, flagging down a cop car with it's lights going - nice one" <crank crank>
    Him: "Come on, let's do this, let's swap details"
    Me: "I don't think so, you tosser".
    I start to push away
    Me: "And take the * learner plates off your car, dick"

    It was a little lengthier than that, but that's the long and the short of it. I then pull away, but cycle down the pavement 'cause I'm scared the crazy mofo's gonna run me over, and I start slowly down a side road (St Catherine's Road). He then starts off and follows me down this [narrow] road. Just after he pulls past me 'cause I think he wants round 2 and maybe some fisty cuffs, I pull a u-ee and do one off down the main road (Lake Road) again. :D Anyway, as I get round the next bend, there's the cop car again, lights blazing, and there's been a crash. Some guy's still trapped inside the car, stacked up against a tree - not a pretty sight.

    I dismounted and walked past ('cause road was mostly blocked, and that which wasn't was covered in splintered wood and I didn't want a flat 'cause I'm still a few miles from home). As I'm pushing my bike past, I notice some resistance on my back tire. Check it out and it's buckled slightly - dammit. Check it a bit more, and realise one of my spokes has snapped - doh! So, then I walked home. In cleats. I got home gone 21:00. :( I've already got the bike booked in for a service on Tuesday which is lucky, but then I realise I have a race at the weekend too and my bike's now b0rked until I can get it to a shop.

    About 5 minutes down the road, the guy came past me again whilst I was walking. Must've taken him a while to find somewhere to turn around in that side road then getting past the scene - muahaha, my plan worked perfectly. :D

    And all this after last week when some Murphey's lorry driver was screaming out his window that he was going to * run me over! But that's another story. All I'll say is; don't piss a cyclist off. On the right bit of road, we can go at 4mph and flat out stop you from overtaking. If you try, we'll just speed to 30, and hold you till the next bend. Be very careful near traffic lights. We can pull right in front of you and sit there whilst they change green... and red.... and green... and red.... and green.... and red... You've been warned. ;)

    So this ends my little (well, not tiny) rant about car drivers, and the frustration of the snapped spoke. Thank you for your time.


    ²Random; the straight bit of road after the bend - on the right is Lakeside Country Club, where they play the darts
     
  2. RotoSequence

    RotoSequence Lazy Lurker

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    To be honest that kind of behaviour is exactly what pisses people off; when you start controlling them. I really cannot side with you too much, because you both are in the wrong. Thats just not right to slow to 4 MPH to aggravate them. If you need to cycle, just go the speed limit and give them a chance to overtake if you are going to remain under the speed limit. Sheesh :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: 13 May 2005
  3. jonesie

    jonesie What's a Dremel?

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    Nice. I cycle a lot, and totally agree with you, but the biggest stereotype cyclists have is that they think they own the road - and by saying things like that about traffic lights you're not making life easier for us. Although I suspect you mean differently that's the way it can be taken. I'm glad you weren't hurt - you get some stupid drivers down those roads. I cycle in London traffic here at uni but in some senses I feel much safer up here than in the headlights of some stupid ex-volvo 4x4 driver bringing freddy and matilda back to the farm...

    edit (didn't see roto's response):

    sometimes it's better to cycle up at 4 mph when the only alternative is to walk up at 2mph - you get out of the way quicker and may even take up less space.
     
  4. SitraAchra

    SitraAchra Minimodder

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    OMG...i would have closed that 6" distance and ran you into the dirt. If you're scared of some bend in the road TAKE A DIFFERENT ROUTE. Roads are built for cars, and bikers that use the middle of the road are a nuisance. You do sound very courteous - and I wouldn't have cursed at you and all of that, but the last 1/3 of your post irritates me.
     
  5. jonesie

    jonesie What's a Dremel?

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    Quite frankly, on some of these bends CARS should be going less than 10mph - but they don't, because hey, stopping distances are for nerds! Funnily enough, when it's your own skin between you and the oncoming vehicle you're a little more sensible about things..
     
  6. rK@NE

    rK@NE Rover's gonna get it...

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    Because the definition of sensible is to antagonise the driver of a two tonne piece of metal ;)

    While I agree the car driver was bang out of order By pissing him off even further you needlessly put yourself in a dangerous situation. He'd only have to clip your wheel and you'd be eating road :eyebrow:
     
  7. Shadowed_fury

    Shadowed_fury Minimodder

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    Nice going. :)
    I've a lot of respect for the way you went about that. Cars should bloody well slow down for cyclists, and overtake on a nice clean route.
     
  8. ArtificialHero

    ArtificialHero We were just punking him sir!

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    100% agree with Roto - I don't drive or cycle so I'm pretty impartial, and I think that both cyclists and car drivers have just as much right to be on the road. I disagree with the fact that he felt it necessary to run his mouth at you, but on the other hand you have absolutely no right to control what other drivers do, and inflicting the "punishments" you were talking about is reckless, petty, and frankly out of order. All you can reasonably do on the road is drive defensively, put yourself in the safest possible position - no one should be overtaking you on a blind bend, but if they choose to, that's their decision, and you shouldn't violate the highway code to prevent them doing so - a much better option would be slowing down to allow cars behind you to pass before the blind bend, so that there's no one to attempt the manouvre on the bend. Frankly I think you are placing far too much importance on "winning" - what's important is that everyone's safe, and if someone wants to attempt a dangerous manouvre, let them, stay out of the way, and be the bigger man. It doesn't matter one jot to you to lose 10 seconds by slowing down and letting them past, and if it bothers you so much to lose that time that you would get in the way of someone else on the road, endangering them and yourself in the process, then as far as I'm concerned you and the "offending" driver are as bad as each other.

    Sorry for the essay!

    AH
     
  9. Techno-Dann

    Techno-Dann Disgruntled kumquat

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    You are amazingly bold. And lucky. I rode a bike to school all last fall (7-8 Km either way), and often had to deal with jerk drivers. And then my bike got hit by a car (technically, I hit the car... it pulled out of a driveway right in front of me), and I haven't ridden much since.

    I hope you get the spoke fixed quickly, and do well in the race, too.
     
  10. Bogomip

    Bogomip ... Yo Momma

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    yeah, me too.

    I cycle every day, and its so annoying when cars think they own the road. I cycle in cycle paths whenever possible, i signal (more than i can say for some drivers i encounter), and i cycle fast. But any chance they get to overtake, they try and take it (for the most part anyway, not all!).

    Theres a corner like that I have to go around some times, and i do the same thing - go into the middle of the road and take it. Ive had ****ing buses try to overtaking me there. BUSES! its not even a big road!

    You gotta remember, 30 is the "max", not the minimum.

    edit: btw - im a driver too, and i slow for cycles! it really isn't hard!
     
  11. Rolo

    Rolo Minimodder

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    really? were there not roads before cars?


    sorry but that guys just a prick, i mean if someone aggrovates you, you return the favour there was no need for him to try and overtake on a blind bend putting

    *himself
    *other drives
    *cyclist

    in danger, and possibly anyone else that drives that route. He would have been taking how many seconds off his journey? maybe a handful he was just being impatient. Just for the record, which way do you travel home sitra? would that be the shortest/quickest? perhaps hwulex is taking that route, or hes taking the route he prefers. At the end of the day whatever you or hwu does, the route is irrelevant, cyclists have just as much right to be on the road as cars do and should therefore be held in the same stead, if not higher due to protection. At the same time they must remember this themselves before getting into awkward situations, but hwulex seems to be extremely mature about it. Admittedly i wouldnt go so far as to go out of my way to annoy people when i cycle, i try and stay out the way of cars, they can do enough damage to themselves let alone me so therefore id not think about taking any of the measures said in the first post unless extremely necessary. Of course when driving there are similar thing which you do if someone continues to drive up your backside on the motorway when im passing lorries uphill for example and im doing say the speed limit which is some 10-20 mph quicker than them, but people still want to pass me, ill slow down to teach them a lesson.

    ill leave the point there for discussion but sitra i think you should engage brain before posting, like youd actually intentionally hurt someone on a bike when youre in the car? cowardice in a way and tbh completely uncalled for.

    Hwu- fair play for doing what you did, some people need to be stood up to sometimes and this is one of those occasions.

    p.s. took me 20 mins to write, should really concentrate on getting my point across rather than listening to music :hehe:
     
  12. SitraAchra

    SitraAchra Minimodder

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    Ok - I'll address the stuff I bolded.

    -I take a route that is the fastest and safest.

    -If cyclists have just as much of a right to be on the road, they should be held to the same standard. That means no special treatment.

    -Hwulex said things that were both mature and immature.

    -I did infact engage my brain before posting. I was being sarcastic saying I'd run him over. I think bikers don't get road respect largely because they only adhere to rules that are in their benefit. Bikers are always blazing through neighborhood stop signs, cutting on and off the sidewalk, and using whatever means possible to arrive somewhere. If you want the respect of an automobile, then you need to ride a bike as if it were one. I understand a bike can't always go the exact speed limit, but it's not a car driver's job to make the road a heaven for bicyclists. I'm probably a bit more hard on bikers because I live in Austin [where Lance Armstrong calls home] so there are a huge number of bikers here. And they all break the rules...
     
    Last edited: 13 May 2005
  13. Firehed

    Firehed Why not? I own a domain to match.

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    It's funny how people will swirve out of the way out of a turtle (or something) crossing the road and get into a head-on collision but would be willing to commit manslaughter (or even murder 2) if a biker dare make them drive sensibly.

    People are always in way too much of a hurry and speed everywhere and are always driving wrecklessly. It's just plain stupid. You'd think it would make more sense to either leave earler or be a couple minutes late than to kill yourself or someone else. But I guess not.

    I think you were quite right to bike in the way you did, although your reaction to what he was doing wasn't really the best. However if something had occured, he most certainly would have been at fault by the sound of it.
     
  14. Malvolio

    Malvolio .

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    Cyclists are classified as motor vehicles, and are thusly permitted every right as a car and are liable in the same way as a car would be if traffic laws are not adhered to.

    Being a cyclist as well, I can say that riding a bike through any city is a very dangerous proposition. Take what happened to me today for example: I was riding my track bike (tiny rims, single gear, huge gear ratio) through downtown, doing about the speed-limit, maybe just under. Anyway, I pull over into the right most lane, shoulder check, and make sure my way is clear, turn completely keeping up my speed, and continue down the street. About 5 car lengths down the block a large van decides to pull out directly in front of me, no blinkers, didn't even check his mirror. Just before him and I collided, he decides to do a shoulder check as his van is completely blocking both lanes, which is when he sees me, and decides to tromp on the gas. Thankfully, my bike is very sensitive and I manage to just barely brush his fender, while swerving into oncoming traffic, nearly hitting a little red sports car.

    This is about when I get mad at the guy.

    So after coming within a foot of the other car, nearly causing him to get into an accident in rush-hour traffic, I see off to my right that the van is coming to proper speed, so I go faster. At this point, I'm doing about 58km (according to my speedometer) and manage to overtake the van again. I looked back, tromped on my break after signalling right, and pulled over slightly.

    The guy in the van doesn't even hit the breaks, he just pulls hard right, hitting another car that was parked on the side of the road. This guy had the nerve to run up to me and begin yelling at me while I was locking my bike up. The only thing I said to him was "if your going to stay out here, watch my bike, I don't want it to get stolen." From there I just walked off and into school leaving him behind.



    Moral of the story: bikes are cars, and rules exist for a reason. I don't want to die right now, maybe tomorrow, but not today.
     
  15. Blue Raven

    Blue Raven What's a Dremel?

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    I admire your boldness and as a person who cycles to school, I have had my share of cars that don't bother to move out when they are passing and leave a tiny bit of space between them and me even though they could easily go closer to the centerline. I also drive and I don't mind slowing down for cyclists for cyclists and giving them a wide berth when I'm passing them.
     
  16. Kameleon

    Kameleon is watching you...

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    Way to prove Hwu's point...:p

    I'm not a cyclist, but I do believe that cyclists have the right to respect on the roads for this one reason: in an accident involving a car and a bike, the guy on the bike is always gonna come off worse. Put yourself in their shoes, think about how the crazy things you pull off on an everyday basis are seen from the point of a completely unprotected pair of wheels in front of you. You have to be more careful of bikes than cars because you can't see them as easily, and an accident is going to be a lot more damaging. The normal car-vs-car attitude ('well, there's a few feet of crumple zone and airbag between me and him, if the worst comes to the worst we'll still survive so why shouldn't I be reckless') can't apply.
     
  17. mushky

    mushky gimme snails

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    On the right bit of road, a car driver can fold you, and your bike, in half. Be equally warned.

    I drive and cycle equal amounts. I don't think your attitude will do a lot for cyclists rights.
     
  18. Sc0rian

    Sc0rian Here comes the farmer

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    ahhhh, the good old British society!. Nothing like this would happen in the netherlands. It's just every *er out their, think they own the road. It's stupid. One day we will see the light. Netherlands have, and created bike routes. But UK has far times more jobs than netherlands till blair even thinks about it.
    Problem's like this wouldn't happen
    End of the day, UK is not designed for cyclists .. So the only thing cyclists can do, is make there own rules.
     
  19. Hwulex

    Hwulex What's a Dremel?

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    I understand some of the posts on here having a go at me and how some of the comments in the latter part of my post could annoy you, but understand that the traffic light point is a very rare thing and was only employed in this instance because of the following situation:

    On my first section of cycling home (before I get the train), there's a steep-ass hill. Just over the brow of the hill, there are two crossing islands about 100 yards apart. At the bottom of the hill is Reigate town where there are 5 sets of traffic lights - so no-one's going anywhere in a hurry. As I came over the hill on this ocassion and accelerated to 26mph for the descent a silver car pulled out to overtake me, suddenly saw the crossing island and realised he was going to plow through it, and so botted it past me as much as he could, then swung his car inside in the nick of time, very narrowly missing me. Now, I was already cycling in the middle of the lane for this reason, to try and discourage people trying to overtake till we've passed the islands and I'd move back in. It's a straight road, and there's no reason why they wouldn't have seen the island anyway.

    After I pass this first island, I get a 'king 18 wheeler behind me. He then does the same thing as the silver car. Despite teh fact I'm now pushing 30mph (THE SPEED LIMIT) he moves out to overtake me (which means he must now be breaking the law), sees the next crossing island in a similar situation to the silver car boots it, and then swings in. The problem with a lorry is that they carry great length compared to a car and where a car's rear wing might narrowly miss you, a lorry keeps coming inwards for a long time, even if the cab misses you by feet, the back end won't. At this point; I **** myself. Lock up, swing over left, and hop the kerb, nearly totally wiping out in the process as there's vegetation, trees, and 'ck knows what else. Lorry driver, probably chuckling to himself, drives off down the road. I gather myself, change my underwear, and continue my journey down the hill towards town. Low and behold, round teh corner the lorry didn't even make it through the FIRST set of traffic lights. I pull along side, and he swears at me. WTF!? I give him the V and move in front of him. Why? Because I can. Motorbikes do it, and ffs, if you cars could do it, you would as well. To prove a point, I manouver my bike in front of his lorry, and sit there. The lights go green. I sit there. The guy's now stewing but wtf do I care, he just tried to kill me. He then leans out his window, revs his engine and threatens to "'king kill you. I'll run you over!". The next set of traffic lights are 30 yards from the first, so on the next change I crawl towards them, then stop where they change another couple of times. I then eventually move away at normal speed, and the lorry revs right up past me, overtaking mere inches past my side, and threatens to kill me again.

    I'm sorry. My behaviour might seem immature to you, but if you'd gone through the situation like I had you'd understand I was 'king livid. I am obeying the laws of the road whilst looking out for my own safety. I'm cycling in the middle of the lane for good SAFE reason and yet they still pull a manouver like that, it's just beyond me, it really is. Especially when they're approaching the town with all those traffic lights, where do they really think they're going. They must understand I'm only going to catch them up anyway. Unbelievable. To let you know how serious I consider this incident, I have since written a letter to the owning company of the lorry with the license plate, and CCd it to the local police.




    To answer some other points raised:

    The route I'm taking home is, for me, the most direct, but it's not the main route for cars. It is in fact a cut through for cars that should be taking the main road which is something the local council are trying to discourage and in which will soon be fitting speed bumps.

    As for pulling over and just letting everyone through before taking the bend; if I know there are cars up behind me, I slow down and let as many of them past before the bend without totally stopping. At the time I'm cycling, there is quite a bit of traffic going home (although they should be using the main road as above) and if I were to pull over and let them all through, I'd never get home so I let as many through as I can, and then signal to move into the middle of the lane, round the bend which is very short and takes about 10 seconds to get round, then move over and let them through again. I really don't think this is unreasonable behaviour.

    As for my reaction to the driver. Believe me, when you get it as much as I do, and you realise the dangers of someone driving 6" off your back wheel, you'd do the same thing. I am obviously not alone as other cyclists have voiced similar and agreeing opinions in this thread. Yes, I realise I'm not going to actually have any mass effect, but if I feel they're putting me in danger, and if I can try and at least teach them a small lesson about trying to pull a dangerous manouver on a cyclist, then I will, and driving slowly is one of the only ways I can do this. It's to prove my point. Wtf is the rush!? If they weren't so impatient as to drive so damn close to me in the first place, then they would have been on their way in good time and would have soon made up the 5 seconds they lost following me round the bend. As it is, they acted like an impatient tosser, and their lesson for being so is that they lose even more time.

    Further along my route, there is another straight uphill and whilst people can overtake me there, at the very brow of the hill, my side of the road is lined with parked cars and so I have no choice but to ride the white line. A lot of people totally disregard the brow of the hill and overtake anyway. I'll flash them (I have 15W halogens on my bike) and curse to myself, but there's nothing I can do, it's their impatient choice. Ocassionally (I'm talking twice in 12 months) a driver has followed my up the hill patiently and let me get past the cars, up the hill, and pull again to the side before going past. As they then pass, I stick my thumb up in appreciation and they will often signal back, and the world is a happy place.

    It's not just cyclists and cars, it's everywhere. Everyone's always in such a bloody rush to do everything, it bewilders me.

    Oh, and just to reiterate; a large part of the reason I cycle in the middle of the road is the state of the tarmac in this country. It's just totally shocking, proven by my smashed spoke. In the next election, if someone wants my vote; promise to resurface this country (or my local county) and my vote is yours. Drivers often point furiously at me gesturing that I should be on the cycle path. I'm quite sure teh police would have something to say about that if I were to use the cycle path and go careering into a padestrian at 30mph. Not good. Also, whilst I'm not a frantic omg-must-get-home-before-it-burns-down-NOT driver, I do like to cycle uninterrupted as much as possible and cycle paths cross far too many side roads which you have to stop and unclip (effectively dismount), get across, reclip into your pedals, carry on. It'd take me hours to get home. Besides, the point is invalid as there are no cycle paths around my way, heck, you're lucky to get pavement half the time.


    @musky: And for their troubles, they'll spend some time getting aquainted with their local prison guard so it's not entirely likely is it.
     
  20. Hiren

    Hiren mind control Moderator

    Joined:
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    Some people are just arseholes.

    That's my 2 pence.
     

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