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Updated: 2 hours 13 min ago

Re: Cyclist defence fund Michael Mason

23 March 2015 - 2:48pm
My reading of the police report is that there is no firm evidence to rule out the possibility that Mr. Mason veered to the right suddenly, requiring the driver to take rapid evasive action. In this scenario his inconspicuous clothing would not have helped the driver to spot his manoeuvre quickly enough. What might have led Mr. Mason to veer out is unknown (if it did happen) but it could be something as simple as a cat running out into the road. We don't know that he veered out at all, but we don't know that he didn't. We don't know that he didn't move out in the usual "safe" manner, but we don't know that he did.

And sadly, not knowing must mean that there is no conviction. I know some think differently, but I would not want to have guilt presumed until innocence is proved.

Re: It me or do SUVs alway drive to close

23 March 2015 - 2:43pm
Of course, my cycling experience is local. But my experience of driving is a national rather than a local one, as I do a fair bit of long distance driving. And as a driver, I do find that large SUVs and 4 x 4s, audis, and BMWs are over-represented in the 'what the hell is that one doing' stakes compared to their proportion on the roads.
Just my 2ps worth of course.
Farm-style muddy 4x4s where I cycle are common, and in general are fine. Squeaky clean SUVs loaded with schoolchildren are another matter. In general they do seem to be badly driven, and inconsiderately driven.

But there are of course exceptions. A lady driving a large and clean 4 x 4 a while back was so careful and considerate that I'd give her 10/10. But I think it's significant that I actually noticed how good her driving was....

Re: Cyclist defence fund Michael Mason

23 March 2015 - 10:07am
The rationale presented by the police in their rejection of the complaint is inconsistent and doesn't withstand any forensic scrutiny.

They claim that the driver couldn't be expected to see (i.e. observe and judge speed, position) the cyclist amongst the other lights in the street but also claim that the evidence of other witnesses as to the cyclists road position is reliable. You can't have it both ways.

Re: It me or do SUVs alway drive to close

23 March 2015 - 9:59am
https://goo.gl/maps/701Rk came along this lane yesterday, my normal 1 hour route. A car approached from behind and another approached from in front, all they both met each other at the same time as they met me.

I pulled over and stopped just before the passing place. And looked over to the car behind who was an old fellow sitting there open mouthed. I gestured to the passing place, nothing. Then I had to explain in basic sign language YOU, AROUND ME, INTO THERE.. he finally got it and everyone was on their way!

Re: It me or do SUVs alway drive to close

23 March 2015 - 9:41am
Cycling thru Scotland was particularly nerve-racking. Am not sure if it was the road surfaces,but the big monster cars with the extra width tyres you could hear from 100 metres away. You'd hear them approaching 'minutes' before they over-took. Approaching at speed you had to get ready for wipe-out,and say your last goodbyes. Awful. The lack of roads in the country dictated that 'the monsters' were all funnelled thru what roads did exist.

In my own car(more Miss Marple than Terminator),I am sometimes amazed and 'enthralled'(dunno if that's quite the term to use) to occasionally espy very small people/or very low seating,drivers sunken down so low that it appears they are looking through their steering wheels,not over them! Am not sure if these drivers have 'blocks' attached to their accelerators or braking mechanisms(do such like contraptions exist?). Quite an amazing sight.

FWIW the amount of drivers I now see texting or telephoning whilst driving has reduced. At crossings, whilst waiting for lights to change,I pass time by looking at motorists.

Repeated: Lorry driver once told me the most remarkable thing he had seen whilst driving his lorry was a woman driving down the motorway whilst breastfeeding her child. Remarkable!!

Re: Utility Pannier Bags

23 March 2015 - 1:10am
I found some bargain panniers in the Planet X sale https://www.planetx.co.uk/c/q/accessori ... nd-touring.
Thought I'd grab a pair at £15. Not heard of the name Cordo before. It's an off shoot of Agu. There are also some very good looking Agu bags there, but too good and more than I want to spend on utility bags.

Anyway, first I saw these ones https://www.planetx.co.uk/i/q/BACOCRDCQ ... annier-bag Difficult to tell how good they were, but they seemed to be made (partly) of these same vinyl coated type fabric that Ortliebs are made of. I wasn't sure of the rack fixing arrangement, but thought I'd take the risk. I can surely adapt any short coming (or so I thought). They are actually a nice beige colour, rather than white.

Sale fever got the better of me though, when I saw these bags in cotton duck https://www.planetx.co.uk/i/q/BACOMECQC ... annier-bag
Both sets have a locking mechanism, which I thought was a useful feature if I did leave the panniers on the bike for a period.

Not quite knowing what I was buying, I decided to buy both sets for £30. I reasoned I could always sell the less preffered set.

Having received them, I was initially struck by how well made they were. Both styles were made of quality heavy weight material. The cotton bags are made of the same material as Carradice Super C's - got to be good. They are both a bit heavy as a result, but this is partly because of the so called quick release mechanism, which require a seperate frame that is screwed onto the pannier rack. Both bag types are well sized (17-19L per bag), but not too big.

Unfortunately, both bag types have issues for me, which I can't overcome, or I just don't like

The main difficulty I had was the damn anti sway catch is not a good design at all. It's too clever by half, relying on a cam design to lock the catch in place. But it won't tighten up well and swivels away from the correct position. It's also quite flexible, which isn't good for an anti sway device. It tended to release grip from the carrier stay. Both bags ASC's behaved slightly differently, even though it was the same catch! Mounted on a Tubus Cargo they were not usuable at all. The bags are a bit flexible and if the catch is not mounted centrally, the bags flex too much and the catch looses grip.

I could get the catch on the Melbourne bags to stay solid on the Minoura rack on my daily bike, but then I realised something I'd not accounted for when in sale fever. The bags are long AND square. Heal clearance wasn't there - damn. I guess Dutch roadsters have longer chain stays than 1980's UK tourers

The other bags called CDR had there own issues, but the anti sway catch not working really didn't do them any favours. The lid arrangement is very idiosyncratic and without a load, they don't hold shape well at all. They are tapered slightly for heal clearance though, but not much.

If Cordo could come up with an anti sway catch that gripped and (even better) behaved as a quick release, they would be a decent design. Difficult to explain, but because of the top quick release handle/hooks/plate, the bags have to be dropped in from above and not slotted in side ways, where the ASC's might just grab the stays, locating the ASC's was a real fiddle. I guess I could have zip tied them in place.
Anyway, I must be mad (I am), because I've decided there is a principle of 3rd time lucky, so I've bought 2 of these https://www.planetx.co.uk/i/q/BACOVASIN ... annier-bag
Well, they're only £12, 34 litres in grey/red. I can sell the other bags, can't I?

What I do know is that the rack fittings are different (basic Rixen Kaul). The ASC's may be the same, but as I can mount the bags side ways, locating the ASC should be easier. Heal clearance won't be any issue. If the materials and construction the same as the other bags, I'll be pleased. I'm just wondering how I missed them the first time around, especially as there are cheaper.

I'm telling you all this so that someone can have a bargain without making the same daft mistakes I've made. Thankyou
BTW, Planet X seems to be post free (via Yodel) at the moment.

Re: It me or do SUVs alway drive to close

22 March 2015 - 10:07pm
Ben@Forest wrote:I don't find SUVs (not all of which are 4x4s) the worst culprit. Though it's hard to generalise I think young women driving small cars are among the worst. They're driving Nissan Micras or Fiat 500s but they give little space if overtaking and (a big one for me as a lot of my riding is on single lane roads) don't slow down or move across the road at all if approaching. A small car shooting past at 45mph+ is no fun when you have no confidence in the driver understanding what it's like to be on a bike.
One aspect to the single lane roads and oncoming vehicles that don't use passing places is that they force you to pull into the edge (that or end-up spread over they bonnet) and round me that means moving into the lose gravel and potholes and that is worrying as I feel a lot less in control riding past a (fast) moving car that is close and I can't properly steer or brake ... On a few occasions when I've had enough visibility to see the oncoming vehicle (after they wizz past the passing place) I just stop in the middle of the road blocking them, forcing them to stop at which point I will slowly ride round them.

Ian

Re: It me or do SUVs alway drive to close

22 March 2015 - 9:48pm
I don't find SUVs (not all of which are 4x4s) the worst culprit. Though it's hard to generalise I think young women driving small cars are among the worst. They're driving Nissan Micras or Fiat 500s but they give little space if overtaking and (a big one for me as a lot of my riding is on single lane roads) don't slow down or move across the road at all if approaching. A small car shooting past at 45mph+ is no fun when you have no confidence in the driver understanding what it's like to be on a bike.

And I think that's the problem, women like this have not ridden since their pink Barbie bike with training wheels since they were six. No comprehension.

Re: Utility Pannier Bags

22 March 2015 - 8:12pm
I use a set of panniers I made out of ex-army respirator bags and some grim-lok 's to attach them. Water proof and work really well and cost around £16.

Re: Yet another example of criminal justice

22 March 2015 - 6:45pm
661-Pete wrote:Yes - I see that all right. But of course it doesn't explain how the guy referred to in this thread, who was prosecuted, got acquitted, after a full trial before a jury. Unless the CPS were negligent in not presenting enough evidence?

I don't think that that follows. I'm saying that there's a question of norms. eg Driving and texting is now accepted by many people as the norm, even though it can objectively be shown to be dangerous, in much the same way as drink driving. The big difference is that with drink driving, the objectivity in terms of evidence is provided by testing and scientific analysis. With an allegation of "bad driving," no matter how good the evidence or the advocate presenting it, if the jury believes the driving was OK, that's the end of it. I'm blaming the CPS for having led the way when the investigation of the majority of crashes was abandoned. I'm completely out of touch now, of course, but it's my impression that recently the CPS has tried quite hard to retrieve the situation, at least in KSI prosecutions, but as I've suggested on the current Michael Mason thread, we're past the point of no return.

Re: Cyclist defence fund Michael Mason

22 March 2015 - 5:06pm
For 2014 a Peugeot 301 has a Euro NCAP rating of 54% for pedestrian safety. A Citreon C4 Cactus has a 80% rating. So if a pedestrian dies in collision with a Peugeot 301 is the driver more likely to be guilty because he increased the chances of that outcome by not choosing a safer vehicle to drive?

The CdF have an article library where a number of issues relating to helmet wearing/non-wearing are discussed.

Re: Cyclist defence fund Michael Mason

22 March 2015 - 4:57pm
If it could be shown that the driver was driving dangerously, or carelessly, it would still have to be shown that this was the cause of death. That may be obvious to the folks on this forum, but I think that there is at least a possibility that jury could believe otherwise.

If the victim's family had legal advice from someone competent, I think it would be relatively easy to show that a helmet offered little protection. If, on the other hand, those involved were no knowlegeable about such things, I can foresee the possibility a driver could be found not guilty on that basis. Not because it was certain, but because there was a reasonable doubt.

Re: Yet another example of criminal justice

22 March 2015 - 3:00pm
The cps have failed over a number of years, to the point where death is now considered "unlucky" rather than the result of decisions.

Re: Cyclist defence fund Michael Mason

22 March 2015 - 2:43pm
Bicycler wrote:Re: the helmet issue and its (ir)relevance. I have no idea what is acceptable in criminal trials. Could someone shed some light? Would the defence be allowed to argue that someone is not guilty of causing death by ..... driving because the deceased ought to have worn something which would have prevented the collision from resulting in his death? If that would be permissible then, given that everyone knows how helmets save lives, it is not as irrelevant to a successful prosecution as we might want it to be.
I'm not a lawyer, but I think there is a principle of taking the victim as he was found (or some similar wording). If the death was caused by a head injury that was caused by being knocked off by a car dangerously driving into him, then that is the cause. Even if a helmet would have prevented the death, in no way would the lack of helmet be a cause of death.

I would look for case law around seatbelts. I suppose there are cases of successful prosecution of death by dangerous driving even when the victim was (illegally) not wearing a seatbelt. One possible example: http://www.theargus.co.uk/news/1897922.0/?cid=873816

Re: Yet another example of criminal justice

22 March 2015 - 2:13pm
Yes - I see that all right. But of course it doesn't explain how the guy referred to in this thread, who was prosecuted, got acquitted, after a full trial before a jury. Unless the CPS were negligent in not presenting enough evidence?

Re: Cyclist defence fund Michael Mason

22 March 2015 - 1:56pm
Leaving aside that the hi-viz issue is irrelevant and shouldn't have been mentioned by the police:

surely even mentioning hi-viz is incorrect: the flourescent part needs UV of which there is little at night, so only the reflective part is of interest, so the police didn't even get that right: it is is only the white/silver reflective part that is important at night so that is all that should be mentioned in respect of night time extra and optional safety equipment. Also, I don't think yellow/orange is a that good a colour at night.


Just to make clear, again I think the police were wrong to use hi-viz as an excuse for not sending a file to the CPS: I am just pointing out that even their wrongness is further wrong .

Re: Yet another example of criminal justice

22 March 2015 - 12:47pm
661-Pete wrote:thirdcrank wrote: ... Having said that, could you explain why you single out the CPS for criticism here?

It's something I'm sure I've explained in much more detail before, but there was a time when if there was a crash which the police got to know about, it was almost certain that somebody would be prosecuted for due care. Then, the CPS decided that wasn't appropriate. And, as I tried to explain in the post you quote, it has now become the exception for anybody to be prosecuted after a crash. The main exceptions are when somebody is killed. It's becoming increasingly easy to blame the victim.

Re: Yet another example of criminal justice

22 March 2015 - 12:31pm
thirdcrank wrote:To me, it's self-evident that careless /dangerous driving is defined by the driving itself, rather than the result of the driving. Having said that, it's the result of the driving, rather than the driving itself that generally decides whether a crash leads to an investigation and occasionally a prosecution. Crash into a tree and there may be no official action of any kind unless you or a passenger is killed or seriously injured. Just about everybody, including jurors, knows that. It's hardly surprising that they feel that defendants in "causing death" cases are being picked on only because there has been a death.

This situation was not reached overnight or for a single reason, but IMO, the CPS has a lot to answer for here.

In the meantime, everybody involved except the bereaved can sleep easily, knowing that this was a jury verdict.
Surely it has always been the case that the more severe the consequences of a crime are, the more serious the charges brought against the defendant. If you point a gun at someone, fire and miss, you can be charged and convicted of attempted murder, nothing more. If however you hit and kill your victim, the charge will be murder which carries a far more severe penalty. There is no difference in your behaviour or your criminal intentions, simply a quirk of fate that decided whether your victim survived or not.

Likewise with driving offences. If someone texts while driving and is caught, but without having any accident, the most that's likely to happen is penalty points. But if they cause a fatal accident, society understandably judges them far more harshly. So should the courts. Or should they? Is this justice?

Having said that, could you explain why you single out the CPS for criticism here?

Re: Grab Theft - handle bar kit

22 March 2015 - 11:00am
PH wrote:Drifter wrote:PH wrote:What makes it objectionable is it doesn't add anything to the information. If true and I've heard plenty of similar stories without ever seeing any facts, he stole it because he was a thieving scumbag, not because of his nationality.

It is the information! It's a fact! It's a description! It's a question specifically asked by the police. So there shouldn't be any objection!

The police would have also asked; height, build, hair colour, skin colour, distinguishing marks...
The way you report the story has a bias that isn't there in the facts.
it's the same as those newspaper headlines that shout "Cyclist mugs granny" when the muggers mode of transport isn't the relevant point.


It is in some ways lazy as opposed to accurate...

For instance how many times do you see the Sun describe a female as"an ageing ugly trout", it is always "pretty blonde" or similar

Re: Grab Theft - handle bar kit

22 March 2015 - 10:31am
I was told the other day about a cyclist having his Garmin edge nicked at a food station during a 100 mile charity race whilst he was having a bite to eat. However I won't add any facts about the guys that were responsible in case I get accused of being a neo-nazi, UKIP backing, facist!

Here are the pannier locks for sale on a webshop for those trying to avoid ebay - http://www.cycletourstore.co.uk/product ... k/#reviews

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