CTC Forum - On the road

Syndicate content
Discussion boards hosted by CTC, the national cycling charity
Updated: 41 min 48 sec ago

Re: Abuse

12 November 2014 - 10:26am
Generally I don't think people like having vehicle faults pointed out to them unless its by someone they know. I think some can take it very personally. Many years ago following a taxi with no working brake lights (and having found myself standing on the brake before realising the fact) I jumped out at the next set of traffic light to let the cabbie know. He wasn't abusive but his attitude was 'who gives a [inappropriate word removed]?'

I was amazed that a professional driver, who could have a fare in the back when being rear-ended could think such, but once I was gone he might have gone to fix it, or get it fixed straight away.

Re: Visibility: why are do so many riders in black

12 November 2014 - 9:52am
Last night, driving a windy country lane in the wet, I came across a car 'parked' across my lane with the bonnet in the hedge. I'm unsure whether I noticed the obstruction or the blue lights of the police car the other side of it first; but it was as I came to an unhurried halt that I noticed the policeman two car lengths ahead of me, wearing 'hi-viz' and directing traffic (me) around the obstruction. The yellow vest was not particularly visible against the background light and the reflectives only when he walked into my headlamp beam. His reliance on his 'hi-viz' jacket was worrying: Without it I feel sure he would have been using a torch to signal.

I have worn hi-voz (because it is expected of me) and had plenty of drivers claim not to have seen me. OTOH they claimed not to have seen the multiple lights either ...

Re: Abuse

12 November 2014 - 9:31am
Oh dear - some years ago, there was an occasion when my son got stranded without a rear light, but he had a spare front light, so he mounted it facing rear as an emergency get-you-home measure. Illegal, OK, but I was relieved that he thought of this, rather than attempting the ride home with no rear light whatever.

But, talking of white lights - I went out for the first time with one of those super-bright ("stupidly bright", some will say) front lights, last night, on a filthy night with driving rain, on completely unlit narrow country lanes, I was jolly glad to have this, it lit up the road before me as well as a car's headlights would. I really need this - my previous ride along the same roads, with just a cheapo LED front light, I found it quite a strain to follow the road.

But I did manage to annoy another road user. I was studious about 'dipping' my light to the lower setting whenever facing an oncoming driver or rider. But I omitted to do so when overtaken by a car - it's a rather fiddly operation especially in gloves. One passing motorist took exception, he stopped about 100 yards ahead of me and flashed his hazards and rear fogs. And there I am thinking, every rear-view mirror I've ever experienced has invariably had a secondary, low-reflection surface, which you can bring into instant use by flicking a lever. I wonder what sort of 'rage' might have ensued if I'd ridden up to this motorist and confronted him/her?

No matter. I dutifully switched my light to low power and he drove on. I'm not the sort to pick a fight.

Re: Abuse

12 November 2014 - 9:28am
I generally don't bother telling other cyclists about their failings as there does seem to be a core around here that are fine with doing all the usual cyclist stereotypes. Apart from teh older people blithely cycling through red lights there's a group that cycle with no lights on what so ever. They generally seem to be 13 - 14 year old boys on those fake bmx things with no brakes. I have to say if it were my kid I wouldn't have let them out on the bike which they couldn't stop properly let alone let them out without lights at the moment. I'm thinking if one of them gets squished Taunton may do something about it's rubbish cycling infrastructure though. Silver linings and all that...

I did this recently and scared the bejesus out of the people in the car. They had a rear flat tyre so I rolled up to the passenger window and politely knocked on it whilst smiling. Passenger jumped out of their skin, and the driver looked like I had teleported from nowhere. The driver didn't even crack the window until he had worked out i wasn't going to rollock him for poor driving, and even then only cracked it an inch so he could hear what I said. No thanks either, just a grunt.

Abuse

12 November 2014 - 9:11am
Normally as I commute I'll tell other cyclists if their rear light batteries are failing, or motorists if they have lost a light.

Generally I get a pretty good response... today I passed a vehicle showing white lights to the rear - one of the few things that is actively illegal via the RVLR (rather than passively illegal - lamps without BS marks etc).

Nothing but abuse - complete prat. Went far enough as to stop and be abusive.


Yes, they were on a bike...

Re: Visibility: why are do so many riders in black

12 November 2014 - 8:53am
mjr wrote:One of the key problems is that too many riders ARE seen dead in it, yet the calls to wear yellow against low winter sun remain as loud as ever.

Very few riders are seen dead in anything - and the vast majority of those wouldn't have their situation changed by a change in any sort of clothing. Drivers, particularly of large vehicles, not looking where they are going aren't affected by the clothing worn by people in their way.

Re: Park and Ride

12 November 2014 - 8:29am
Park and ride here has bike lockers you can rent for a season. Brilliant idea. Drive from the villages to the park and ride, do the last mile by bike. Pity there are only a few of them as I understand demand is quite high.

Re: Visibility: why are do so many riders in black

12 November 2014 - 8:13am
One of the key problems is that too many riders ARE seen dead in it, yet the calls to wear yellow against low winter sun remain as loud as ever.

Re: Park and Ride

12 November 2014 - 12:56am
Is that the same Kings Ferry whose coaches I see in Bristol? Looks like that rack could be lifted into the back of a transit no problem

Re: Park and Ride

11 November 2014 - 11:58pm
But not high demand with just 4 racks. And they're in the open as well.

Re: Visibility: why are do so many riders in black

11 November 2014 - 9:59pm
mjr wrote:OK, if you're going to play dictionary lawyer, can we agree that no-one has much complaint about having some reflectors/reflectives on the bike and/or rider, but fluorescent clothing is obnoxious and makes riders look like detained terrorists?
I had no desire to be unnecessarily pedantic but it does help if we are all talking about the same thing. When I think hi-vis it is definitely highlighter pen colours with reflective stripes.

And yes we agree I don't tend to buy the stuff because it is only useful on the bike. No-one would be seen dead in it elsewhere and that's a problem if you are riding to somewhere rather than just going out for a ride.

Re: I Hate Virgin Trains

11 November 2014 - 9:54pm
MikeF wrote:The much criticised privatisation of the UK railways copied the much acclaimed privatisation of the Japanese railways. Go figure.
But the cost of rail travel in Japan is a fraction of that in the UK, and there aren't multiple prices for the same journey. [/quote]

Not true. The fares are based on speed. You want to get there quicker, you pay more.....much more. And fares are more expensive, not cheaper, than the UK.

Re: I Hate Virgin Trains

11 November 2014 - 9:52pm
I think you are right about that. IMO they definitely need to look at the ridiculous Anytime fares for long journeys. It's fully believable that a lot of people are put off making long journeys because of excessive peak walk up fares. In reality overcrowding is not caused by those taking long journeys but by peak commuter flows. Putting a silly £300 fare on a journey has a negligible affect upon reducing the overcrowding of trains but may well deprive train companies of significant amounts of revenue from those travelling greater distances.

Re: Visibility: why are do so many riders in black

11 November 2014 - 9:49pm
OK, if you're going to play dictionary lawyer, can we agree that no-one has much complaint about having some reflectors/reflectives on the bike and/or rider, but fluorescent clothing is obnoxious and makes riders look like detained terrorists?

Re: Help with choosing bike type and/or commute through Lond

11 November 2014 - 9:48pm
Ok that's good to know. Definitely allows you to expand the opportunities to cycle.

Re: I Hate Virgin Trains

11 November 2014 - 9:45pm
I think the point is what someone once called "Windows Syndrome". Windows is/was available in a bewildering variety of versions: Basic, Home Premium, Home Office, Professional, etc. etc. etc. All of these basically do the same: it's not like it costs Microsoft much more to produce Professional than Basic. (I think someone disassembled them once and found that there was no difference - the code on the CD was exactly the same, it just activated different bits depending what serial number you punched in.)

But what this means is that Microsoft can sell Windows for £50 to the bloke who can afford to pay £50, and for £300 to the company who can afford to pay £300. They're not turning money away. Advance fares are a lot like that - the train company can sell the same seat for £200 or £20, and they get the maximum possible income up until the time that the train is full. Then, and only then, they start dialling back the availability of Advance fares on that service.

What's particularly interesting is when this goes wrong. FirstGroup's bid for West Coast, I believe, made the case that Virgin's extreme price-setting strategy had been counterproductive: by selling the same tickets for £30 and £300, they argued, Virgin were putting off a lot of people who'd be prepared to pay (say) £150 for a walk-up-and-go ticket. (Certainly I know one person who was put off using the train almost for good by Virgin's Manchester-London prices, though "the plural of anecdote is not data" and all that.) So the briefly successful FirstGroup bid would have seen a reduction in the prices of several turn-up-and-go tickets, and yet envisaged an increase in revenue from this.

Re: I Hate Virgin Trains

11 November 2014 - 9:45pm
Offering cheaper tickets on less popular services allows them to attract more people onto trains at times where they are normally running below capacity. The lower prices may draw people away from busy peak trains which is helpful because (as you say) there is a national shortage of rolling stock and problems with infrastructure which mean it isn't so easy to just put extra carriages or trains on for a couple of journeys a day. Advance fares allow train companies to compete with coach travel and domestic flights, where similar discounts are available for those booking early.

Re: Help with choosing bike type and/or commute through Lond

11 November 2014 - 9:36pm
Yes, I feel safe. It's uncomfortable and less fun because of the abuse I get in those situations, but it's not unsafe. I've got fairly fast bikes but there are limits to how quick I move when I'm pulling a load.

Re: I Hate Virgin Trains

11 November 2014 - 9:34pm
john4703 wrote:Advance booking must make it easier for the companies to plan the right number of carriages etc
At least, it should, but rolling stock orders seem to be effectively regulated by the government these days and everything seems to be fixed-formation multiple units. Even the few locomotive-hauled services like the Great Eastern Main Line seem to be run as if they were multiple units. The only flexibility seems to be in a few places where there are small units that appear to be joined/split/replaced if absolutely needed, such as the Diesel Multiple Units around Bristol. Anyone know what's the point of Advance fares in this scenario? Just making the railway cashflow easier?

Re: Visibility: why are do so many riders in black

11 November 2014 - 8:48pm
My understanding is that Hi-vis means clothing featuring both fluorescent material (for the day) and reflective stripes (for the night)

Archive

  • Patron: Her Majesty The Queen
  • President: Jon Snow
  • Chief Executive: Paul Tuohy
  • Cyclists' Touring Club (CTC): A company limited by guarantee, registered in England no.25185. Registered as a charity in England and Wales No 1147607 and in Scotland No SC042541

Copyright © CTC 2015

Terms and Conditions