Tuesday, March 17, 2009

This Cycling Life


I'm a cyclist. I ride my bike to work most days. When I don't, I take the tram.

Cycling is an excellent way of getting around. It makes you fit, it's green, it's free and, most of the time, it's fun. The state government should definitely be improving bike tracks, bike lanes and other bike-related amenities. As well as doing more to improve the public transport system and getting more cars and trucks off the road. It's obvious, but it's not being done.

Anyway, that's not why I'm here. Many motorists put cyclists' lives in danger by the way they drive. In the 30 minutes it takes me to get to work, there will be at least 3 incidents which, if I wasn't being vigilant, could have led to me being sprawled on the road in a pool of blood and possibly guts. Maybe even brains. But I am vigilant and I ride carefully. This doesn't eliminate all potential for danger of course, but it helps. I don't listen to an ipod, talk on my mobile phone, run red lights, ride with no hands, fly past stationery trams offloading passengers, zig zag through traffic or get self righteous every time a driver even looks like he's going to do something stupid and start pounding on his window. But most cyclists do. Most cyclists do some of these things. The reason? Most cyclists are cunts.

I'm not just talking about the lycra wearing poseurs. I'm also referring to brown corduroy-wearing hippies and skater helmet-wearing bogans. Red light runners the lot of 'em. The problem is they give cyclists a bad name. Most motorists, who aren't cyclists, hate the sight of bikes because of they way they use the road. Message to cyclists:

Lift your game.

35 comments:

Perseus said...

Is that your bike? It would be much cooler if you had a dragster.

Lewd Bob said...

No, it's the first one that came up on a google search.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Most cyclists are indeed cunts.

While walking with The Boy the other day (on the footpath mind you) we were nearly mown down by some cunt on a bike - who had the nerve to glare at us.

I was tempted to say "Do that again shithead and I'll ram your bike pump up your jacksie".

Where it not for the presence of The Boy.

squib said...

Some time ago, I was driving along a really busy local road and there was this guy riding a full on penny-farthing. I was really curious about how he going to stop

Boogeyman said...

One problem I have with cyclists is that, one a busy road with little verge, cars bank up behind the cyclist/s until there is clear room to overtake. It's a time-consuming process, and most drivers are respectful enough to give the cyclist plenty of room when overtaking.

Then after all that, you come to a red light and the cyclist rides up to the front of the queue, necessitating another period of lining up to overtake them.

When motorcycles ride to the front of the queue it's fine, because they are faster than cars anyway. But if you're travelling in a vehicle that's slower than the general traffic (ie. a bike or a scooter), then have the decency to wait at the back of the queue.

Louche said...

I think that until cities design proper bike lanes in CBDs, motorists will continue to hate cyclists, for the reasons Boogey pointed out.

Sydney has random bike lanes that just stop randomly at an intersection or turn into a bus lane after 50m, etc. Plus there are lots of hills. It's really dangerous.

The Nerd rides a scooter and does drive up between stationary lanes of traffic, although at least doesn't weave in and out. Heaps of fuckers do that.

wari lasi said...

At least Bob you admit that too many cyclists are sanctimonious arseholes. Brisbane leaves Sydney and Melbourne for dead with amenities for cyclists, by that I mean keeping them separated from the cars, not competing for space and right of way.

Boogey would know but Mrs L said they can ride almost all the way from Chapel Hill to town on dedicated cycle tracks. She was amazed.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

And people who wear giant, inflatable hats on Saint Patrick's Day are cunts as well.

Happy St Patrick's Day, Catlick.

You note, I don't say "St Paddy's Day".

Lewd Bob said...

Yes, Wari, Melbourne has built one, yes ONE, 'Copenhagen-style' bike lane in Swanston Street, where the lane is separated from the road by the line of parked cars. More of these would be good but new dangers arise such as pedestrians walking across blindly, passenger car doors opening into the lane etc.

Perseus, you have to be cool to ride the dragster, not the other way around.

Boogeyman said...

The Nerd rides a scooter

Why, couldn't you guys afford a real bike?

Scooters must be great for all the twisting turning inner city roads, but on the open road nothing sucks more than to be stuck behind those toy bikes puttering along 20km/h less than the rest of the traffic.

Lewd Bob, are you a fan of those newer dragsters with the sit-back 'chopper' style seats?

Lewd Bob said...

Love the Chopster, Boogey!

patchouligirl said...

Roads are for cars. Cycleways are for cyclists. There should be no sharing until cyclists pay road levies and until they can go as fast as the cars and not slow cars down. I actually had one cyclist give me road rage once - on a road I am paying for and he isn't! I should have run the prick down.

Lewd Bob said...

I agree PG. And while we're on it, please, no homeless people in public parks. They don't pay taxes!

catlick said...

Oh fuck Ramon, my head hurts. As Dorothy Parker once said, I think I ate a bad string bean.

patchouligirl said...

Push bikes belong on the roads as much as horses and carts. Theres an idea - send them all to the parks with the homeless people, ride circles around them or something - just don't hold me up on the road. Get your exercise, save the environment or whatever in your own time, not mine is all I'm asking.

Lewd Bob said...

Come on! Seriously PG? How many minutes of your life have you lost being stuck behind a bike? 3? 4?

patchouligirl said...

Its not just the time lost, its also dangerous. Cycleways should be completely separate to roads.

Lewd Bob said...

That would be ideal however I don't see the Vic state government doing much about it. There are some dedicated bike paths around but not enough. It seems a bit mean spirited to suggest bikes shouldn't be allowed to use the road because they 'don't pay for it'. Or that they should be 'run down'. I pay plenty of taxes, I pay car registration, I use bike lanes and paths where they exist, I use the roads responsibly and don't hold anybody up. Yes, there are many cycling arseholes but there is an equal proportion of driving arseholes who happen to be a little more dangerous. Unfortunately drivers who need to be somewhere in a hurry cause many of the accidents on the roads.

Puss In Boots said...

A scooter, Louche? Grr. I hate people who ride scooters. When I ride my bike, I do not ride up between stationary cars (even at traffic lights). One, because it's dangerous, and two, because it's actually illegal. And I've seen people get wiped out twice by some vengeful dickhead opening their car door on them when they see a motorbike rider in their mirror.

But how many times have I been sitting there when a dickhead on a scooter has come zooming up the side and then stopped right beside me in my gap? And then continued to ride beside me once the traffic starts moving! Get your own freaking space! I did not invite you to double-file with me! They usually move out of the way once I start weaving over in their direction.

Scooter riders are mostly stupid bastards who don't know how to ride properly. Like the stupid woman I saw who tried to do a hill start in the rain on a painted arrow. Oh how I laughed when her tyres wouldn't grip to the slippery painted surface. That's almost the first thing they teach you when you do a riding course - do not ride on painted surfaces. But of course, people who buy scooters think that just because they don't need a license for them (which is plainly ridiculous), they don't need to do a riding course. And don't even get me started on the lack of safety gear they wear. I feel no sympathy for the ones who crash and lose all their skin.

Of course, the Nerd might be a perfectly good scooter rider. I've just never met one before.

Oops. Sorry for the rant. I just really hate scooters! I guess my hatred has been multiplying since I got to Italy! They're everywhere!

Lewd Bob said...

Puss, scooter riders do need motorbike licenses, at least in Victoria. Anybody riding more than a 50cc bike needs one. So this woman is even more stupid because she did the course and forgot. I rode a Vespa in the late 90s BEFORE they were cool. Had to do the full license thing for that and I always wore protective gear and stayed in my own space. It's only logical to do so. Logic, however, doesn't seem to apply to many people.

Mad Cat Lady said...

I think Qld may be the only state you can ride a niftyfifty with an open car licence.

Perseus said...

I rode a Vespa in the late 90s BEFORE they were cool

Um. They were cool in the 60's first. They haven't been totally cool since. Only partly. Like bowler hats.

Boogeyman said...

I concur with Perseus.

Lewd Bob, Vespas haven't been cool for the last 40 years.

Lewd Bob said...

Let me be more specific: before they were cool/ubiquitous in Melbourne.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Aren't the words "cool" and "ubiquitous" direct opposites, Bob?

Perseus said...

Boogeyman said "I concur with Perseus." .

There's a first. I was waiting for hell to freeze over.

Boogeyman said...

There's a first. I was waiting for hell to freeze over.

Mind you, I also don't think Aquaman or wearing crocs are cool either, so you're on your own with those two.

Perseus said...

Not this again. For the last time: I said crocs were comfortable, not cool.

Louche said...

Scooters must be great for all the twisting turning inner city roads, but on the open road nothing sucks more than to be stuck behind those toy bikes puttering along 20km/h less than the rest of the traffic.

The whole way from our place to work is 60kph with a max of 70kph for one short stretch, but in Sydney peak hour traffic we are talking 40-50kph on average. So no holding up motorists as he can actually accelerate faster than cars too.

Puss -he has a license and IMO is a good driver as he drives with the assumption that most cars probably can't see him. I guess scooters can zip up between cars as they aren't usually as wide as motorbikes. It is a little more risky though and I wish he wouldn't, although the morning traffic is so horrific you can understand why they do it.

Boogeyman said...

I suppose the only point to risking life and limb to ride a bike/motorbike/scooter amongst general traffic must be the opportunity to squeeze past the rest of the traffic.

I'd buy a motorbike for that very purpose, if only I could work out how to get the kids to/from school on it.

Louche said...

U R doing it wrong Boogey.

Check out Vietnam for some examples.

Lewd Bob said...

Thanks Ramon, being a little facetious I was.

Puss In Boots said...

Just goes to show how stupid Qld's laws are again. You don't need to get a bike license for anything under 50cc that is automatic. You can just use a car license. So no bike training is required, and most people don't do it.

And Louche, I could definitely ride my bike between stationary cars if I wanted to. It would fit. I just don't because of the reasons mentioned. People stuck in traffic can be nasty, and they will open their doors on you. Also, when I drive my car, I really hate it when a bike zooms up beside me and then inserts himself between my car and the next one, effectively pushing in. It does my head in. I think it's so fucking rude. So I refuse to do it to other people. I don't need car drivers pissed off with me. They already do stupid things enough, like changing lanes without checking their blind spot, without wanting revenge as well.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Sorry Bob.

Lewd Bob said...

Apology accepted Ramon.

I saw a guy fly off his bike this morning. A driver turned his car into the Richmond McDonald's carpark, across the bike lane, the rider slammed on his brakes - a little heavy on the front - and did an aquaman...no, wait, someone cool...a spiderman, and landed on his face. Actually, not a cool move at all.

Then I ran over something, buckled my wheel and 'limped' to work.

Cycling sucks sometimes.