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Re: Wearing earphones

23 July 2014 - 12:36pm
In the eighteen months I’ve been delivering small parcels around central Birmingham, a motorist’s face has only come into collision with my fist once.
He poked his head out of his window because his stereo was so loud. I happened to be looking at my wristwatch at that very moment.

Re: Wearing earphones

23 July 2014 - 12:35pm
We all make mistakes and we should all aim to learn from them. There is no such thing as perfect cycling or driving and no-one who cannot improve. That requires recognising when our actions fall below an acceptable standard. I just find it slightly worrying that you consider the times when your own driving has fallen to the level of 'autopilot' to be perfectly natural and acceptable.

Unfortunately, this view seems to be becoming the norm as evidenced by this quote (reported on another thread) from a driver who hit a cyclist who was perfectly visible:
"I don't think it's fair because I wasn't driving dangerously, I wasn't driving erratically," "I just failed to see someone who was on the road."

Re: A-hole in a van.

23 July 2014 - 12:30pm
thirdcrank wrote:... Some of the older forum members have posted about a time when they would not wheel a pedal cycle on a pavement and spent ages on quiet Sunday mornings, jumping up and down on the rubber strips which activated traffic light. Mutatis mutandis the behaviour of most drivers was similar. Visible police patrolling combined with enforcement produced civilised standards from most road users. ...
Returning to this because after reflection I still don't understand this use of "mutatis mutandis" or in English "changing only what needs changing": yes, most drivers refuse to get out and push their car on a pavement past a broken traffic light... so what's uncivilised in either example or changed by visible police patrolling?

Re: Wearing earphones

23 July 2014 - 11:53am
To bicycler and Vorpal I would simply say that my record of 50 years free from collisions with motor vehicles is much better than my friend [used as an example many replies ago] who has two broken bones in the past 10 years courtesy of collisions with motor vehicles. He advocates riding a metre out because somebody else said it was a good idea, whilst he's a really nice guy sometimes he doesn't think about safety for himself, and this gets him into trouble.

Doubtless you both will continue to ride the way you do and I most certainly will continue in my habits, why would I need to change?

As for bicycler's inference that I'm in no position to give advice about driving habits, FYI my last accident was 40 years ago and my last and only moving violation in the car was an SP30 30 years ago, so my honesty about my driving recollections probably reflects that I'm not holier-than-thou about the realities of life and human behaviour.

Re: A-hole in a van.

23 July 2014 - 11:39am
Even with many more police on the streets you would always end up with an individual officer having to prioritise one thing over another (he cannot be in two places at once) even if there are enough police in total to deal with every minor misdemeanour.

Re: So much for a Road Safety organisation

23 July 2014 - 11:32am
They've been taking a fair old pasting recently on Twitter (https://twitter.com/RSGB_NE). Just two threads with plenty of critical replies -

https://twitter.com/beztweets/status/486830331203686400
https://twitter.com/RSGB_NE/status/486405574515376128

- there are many more

Though, perhaps they are listening -

https://twitter.com/RSGB_NE/status/486992540369825795

Re: Wearing earphones

23 July 2014 - 11:32am
RichardPH wrote:I would argue with the assertion that riding a metre out is the position adopted by many, that implies a majority, try doing a survey of all the cyclists you see in traffic and make an honest appraisal.

I ride appropriately, very occasionally that means moving out and stopping the car behind from passing, under these circumstances I'm going at the speed of the traffic and there is no chance that a half concentrating driver will mistake me for a faster moving powered cycle and pile into my back wheel. I do find the '1 metre out' dogma both dangerous and illogical, I'd rather use my experience and ride according to the conditions, frankly DfT guidelines seem to be for people with no common sense and no imagination of the real world and real drivers.


1 metre out is not dogma. It is pratice, and practice the should be adjusted according to prevailing road codnitions. Including riding further out when appropriate. It puts a cyclist where other road users expect to see other vehicles; in the lane of travel. I ride out further if I am going fast enough to keep up with traffic. It makes sense (common or otherwise) for a cyclist to act as the operator of a vehicle, when amongst other vehicles. I have done so in a number of countries and am quite comfortable with it. The only reason to keep left on the carriageway, is to stay out of the way of larger vehicles. There isn't enough space to do this completely, so I would prefer to give drivers the best possible chance to see me, and force them to overtake properly instead of squeezing by. I will add that people who ride as close to the kerb as they can, often do so in an attempt to get out of the flow of traffic, not to stay with it. John Forrester (A US American cycle campaigner) believes that most people have a fear of traffic from behind, but statistics tell us that traffic from behind is not the cause of the majority of crashes.

I suggest that you get the book Cyclecraft by John Franklin and have a read. Try some of the things he recommends, and see fi it doesn't improve your everyday experience cycling. I learned much from it, despite some years of experience cycling before I read the book.

Re: A-hole in a van.

23 July 2014 - 11:29am
"I'm sorry mrs x, I appreciate we were a long time responding to your 999 call. Unfortunately we encountered a litterer, an illegal number plate and a pavement cyclist without pedal reflectors on the way here"

I'd want police to prioritise more urgent cases over more minor ones

The poster point was that if the officer may not have had time to properly enforce the law with regards to a driver on a mobile phone because of a domestic incident, what happens if that driver then goes on to run over someone because they are not concentrating properly, does that RTA then become more important than the next domestic incident ?

I appreciate it is very difficult for and individual officer, for that very reason they should not be picking and choosing which laws they think have time to enforce. If there is a pecking order - it should be published so we can use it to discuss with police and crime commissioners, this is supposed to be a democratic system after all.

Re: A-hole in a van.

23 July 2014 - 11:28am
I'm not saying the present arrangement is ideal and as I've already posted, I've been stuck in motorway queues fuming with everyone else. It's my impression that most of the protests I read - and I'm not a visitor to diving forums - are against the prolonged delays caused by road closures for a detailed forensic examination, rather than pressure for methods of clearing the queues. Sweep the debris aside PDQ to get the traffic going, seems to be the message and that's what tends to happen unless it's a KSI. I've also been in the duty officer's seat in a police control room when a large chunk of the motorway network was controlled from there so I've some experience from the other end of the spyglass. I've still not seen anything on how this could be done. eg even diverting all the traffic off at the preceding exit - something that happens naturally anyway as drivers see the tailback - leads to further queuing as all that motorway traffic tries to squeeze onto local roads. Turning every vehicle in the queue round and sending it back to that junction would only increase that congestion.

I'm no fan of highwaymen, the Highways Agency or the ministry of transport, but I'm prepared to believe that they look at how these things are handled elsewhere. eg I believe that variable speed limits in conjunction with using the hard shouldr as a running lane was copied from The Netherlands (in spite of police opposition, incidentally.)

Re: Wearing earphones

23 July 2014 - 11:24am
RichardPH wrote:Vorpal wrote:
Riding at least 1 metre from the edge is considered by many to be essential for safety, and it is the recommended practice of DfT through Bikeability and Cyclecraft. IMO, riding at least 1 metre from the edge (with a few exceptions) is more essential for safety than not wearing earphones. However, neither wearing earphones nor gutter riding should get a cyclist killed or blamed for an acc
ident.
I would argue with the assertion that riding a metre out is the position adopted by many, that implies a majority, try doing a survey of all the cyclists you see in traffic and make an honest appraisal.
'Many' doesn't mean a majority. It means a considerable number. If you mean a majority then the word is 'most'. There is a big difference between the opinions of experts in road and cycle safety and the current practice of most cyclists (or drivers).
RichardPH wrote:Did you see the Panorama programme earlier this week, a worrying watch if you believe that riding in the dominant position will keep you safe from inattentive drivers. If the DfT admitted that most drivers are on autopilot and one day one will get it wrong and mistake you for a motorcycle, piling into you
I didn't see the programme though I will have a look. Such an opinion doesn't seem to be borne out by evidence in that very few cyclists are killed and drivers very rarely claim to have seen a bicycle and thought it was a motorcycle. The common claim is not to have seen the bicycle at all. I don't think a bicycle resembles a motorcycle to anybody (except maybe with powerful lights at night). Wouldn't this be a much bigger problem for mopeds seeing as they do resemble motorcycless? I'm not sure how a driver at any distance who cannot discern a pedal cycle from a motorcycle could see the difference between your out of the gutter but not 1m out position (that's got to be a good couple of feet, right?) and someone 1m from the kerb.

I used to commute in my car early on a Monday morning and would arrive at work a hour later and not remember a thing about the journey, I was making all my decisions based on a model of traffic that my mind has built up over 43 years of driving.
Then I don't think you are in a position to be giving advice to others.

the slowest should keep to the nearside [not the gutter of course] where drivers expect them to be,
There's this bizarre motorists' fantasy about a duty of cyclists to keep as far left as physically possible. For the avoidance of doubt let me make it clear that where there is a single lane there is no obligation on slower vehicles to keep further left, there is merely a requirement for all vehicles to keep left. This does not mean anything different for different classes of road user. When you say "the slowest" you really mean cycles because none of the other slow vehicles/animals are expected in law or practice to ride further left than a car would be. Can't you see the inherent problem of a single vehicle lane being occupied by two vehicles side by side ?

Re: Wearing earphones

23 July 2014 - 10:55am
RichardPH wrote:I ride appropriately, very occasionally that means moving out and stopping the car behind from passing, under these circumstances I'm going at the speed of the traffic and there is no chance that a half concentrating driver will mistake me for a faster moving powered cycle and pile into my back wheel.
Travel at the speed of the traffic? What 30, possibly even 40+?
I doubt it. Not only that but you're contradicting yourself, why would you need to stop a car from passing if you're travelling at the same speed as the traffic? Anyone who passes is by definition travelling faster!

Just to check here. You believe that the driver can see you but can't tell whether they're closing or not?
That's utter nonsense. If they can see you they can work out how fast you're going. I've never heard of a case where a driver saw a cyclist and then rode into the back of them because they weren't going as fast as they thought.
OTOH I've heard of plenty of cases where a cyclist near the kerb was ignored by motorists because they were dismissed without thought and then came a cropper.

Re: Wearing earphones

23 July 2014 - 10:31am
Vorpal wrote:
Riding at least 1 metre from the edge is considered by many to be essential for safety, and it is the recommended practice of DfT through Bikeability and Cyclecraft. IMO, riding at least 1 metre from the edge (with a few exceptions) is more essential for safety than not wearing earphones. However, neither wearing earphones nor gutter riding should get a cyclist killed or blamed for an accident.

I would argue with the assertion that riding a metre out is the position adopted by many, that implies a majority, try doing a survey of all the cyclists you see in traffic and make an honest appraisal.

I ride appropriately, very occasionally that means moving out and stopping the car behind from passing, under these circumstances I'm going at the speed of the traffic and there is no chance that a half concentrating driver will mistake me for a faster moving powered cycle and pile into my back wheel. I do find the '1 metre out' dogma both dangerous and illogical, I'd rather use my experience and ride according to the conditions, frankly DfT guidelines seem to be for people with no common sense and no imagination of the real world and real drivers.

Did you see the Panorama programme earlier this week, a worrying watch if you believe that riding in the dominant position will keep you safe from inattentive drivers. If the DfT admitted that most drivers are on autopilot and one day one will get it wrong and mistake you for a motorcycle, piling into you and killing you instantly, well it wouldn't do much for cycling figures would it? Sadly though it's fact of life, I used to commute in my car early on a Monday morning and would arrive at work a hour later and not remember a thing about the journey, I was making all my decisions based on a model of traffic that my mind has built up over 43 years of driving. Our lives are all patterns, if you don't conform to the pattern life will be hard, it's the same with roads, the slowest should keep to the nearside [not the gutter of course] where drivers expect them to be. Ride too far out and drivers will need to register that you don't conform the pattern and make adjustments, I'd rather not be the person who re-educates everyone who comes up behind me.

Sorry to go on and on off-topic but it's so typical of the nanny-state giving misleading advice.

Re: Wearing earphones

23 July 2014 - 9:55am
In all this discussion, no one from the 'headphones bad' side of the argument has given an example of anything they have done differently because of what they have heard, they just assert that they feel safer.

For quite a few years I mostly rode with a pocket radio and ear buds tuned to speech radio. I turned if off in town centres, but used it on suburban and rural roads. I was never at any time surprised by anything that happened around me where hearing might have helped. With the exception of occasional cricket, I now rarely listen to anything while riding, just because I don't want to, not because I feel it is unsafe.

When riding and hearing something coming up behind you, the best action is surely to continue confidently riding the same line. There is no way what you hear can tell you if an overtake is going to be too close, and looking behind may lead to drifting off line, increase the chance of hitting a pothole, and may make the driver think 'he's seen me, so he'll obviously get out of my way, won't he'.

There's one junction I ride through where I rely on hearing - a right turn on to a major road with a poor view to the left. In my car I inch out half way before committing, but I don't like to risk being stuck half way on the bike, so I wait until I can't hear any traffic. (Traffic from the left is coming up a very steep hill, so is always audible.)

Other than that, the only time I can ever remember taking action based on what I've heard was years ago on a twisty Oxfordshire lane. I heard something heavy come up behind me, and when I got to a suitable overtaking stretch, I waved him passed. When he didn't overtake, I turned to see why, and saw it was a tractor plus grain trailer probably only capable of 2 - 3 mph faster than I was going.

Obviously nobody should be listening at a volume where they can't hear emergency sirens, and there's probably an issue for people who get very engrossed when listening to music, but that apart, I can't see any situation where listening to something while riding has any impact on my safety.

Re: Triumph of HiViz over common sense?

23 July 2014 - 9:28am
Stop and put it on - every time.

Mind you there has to be quite alot of rain falling for it to be worth putting a waterproof on.

Re: Triumph of HiViz over common sense?

23 July 2014 - 9:13am
On the day in question I thought Thunderstorms were forecast coming up from the south. I know I would want a waterproof coat on in heavy rain.

So if heavy showers are forecast do you put on the waterproof coat and keep it on or do you stop if it starts to rain and put it on?
After all that is why some cyclists jump red lights and punish slower pedestrians that might slow them down.
They need to make reasonable progress (for them) at all times. Sod the rest of us.

Cycling waterproofs only seem to be available from most shops in Hi Vis or black. So what colour do you pick?

School children wearing so sort of bright top are easier so spot in the little darlings try to escape. Some parents are happy to leave their brats in pubs but get upset if they wander off from a school trip even if found a few minutes later because the child decided that the dog/shop/pond was more interesting.

Having been in the situation of trying to control the little things I would want them in bright orange boiler suits. Also all chained together to stop any of them "getting lost".
Now you know why I am not Minister for Education".

Re: Newsbeat article re conviction rates

23 July 2014 - 8:55am
There is a discussion of the article going on here.
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=88821

Re: Triumph of HiViz over common sense?

23 July 2014 - 8:47am
Mark1978 wrote:I think this is two seperate but conflated issues. Why would someone wear a jacket in this weather of whatever colour. As opposed to a short sleeve jersey of whatever colour.

The colour of the garment and the type are independent variables.
Except people have been told that techno-colour dreamcoats will save us all... regardless of whether you need a coat in any particular weather.[/quote]

You don't know why the person in question was wearing their coat. It might have been for hi vis reasons, it might have been they are a bit cold, or they needed the pockets or any number of reasons.

Re: Triumph of HiViz over common sense?

23 July 2014 - 8:44am
mrjemm wrote:And to that I refer you to the rest of my post that you left out...
Which seemed irrelevant to the points I made, claiming that there's never a background the same colouring as your unspecified choice and that hi-vis will somehow get prats who don't look to look.

Mark1978 wrote:I think this is two seperate but conflated issues. Why would someone wear a jacket in this weather of whatever colour. As opposed to a short sleeve jersey of whatever colour.

The colour of the garment and the type are independent variables.
Except people have been told that techno-colour dreamcoats will save us all... regardless of whether you need a coat in any particular weather.

Re: Wearing earphones

23 July 2014 - 8:42am
RichardPH wrote:depriving yourself of the one sense that will warn you of the presence of 99.9% of motor vehicles does indeed seem Darwinian...

regarding the wind preventing hearing the traffic, I just turn my head slightly to shield one ear from the wind, can easily hear what's behind then.

When wind noise is the worst; on a fast descent, I want to pay attention to what is in front of me and coming up, not be turning my head to hear (or see) the cars coming up behind. I just assume that they're there, and check before I maneuver. Not hearing them is not really a problem.

RichardPH wrote:Also found that recognising local driving norms is helpful, a recent example was Croatia. Don't try and take 'your space' on the road there, it'll be noisy at best [horns] and scary at worst with punishment passes. I don't subscribe to this riding style, but a mate on the same trip who continually rode a metre from the RHS white line whether there was a hard shoulder or not attracted a lot of abuse.

I've not done all that riding without accidents BTW, but they've been with pedestrians, other cyclists or ambition exceeding adhesion, just never with motorised traffic, that can kill you so I pay attention to what they are up to. If the traffic is too heavy and passing me would be risky, then I ride on the pavement, rare, but there are a couple of spots where I always do it, rather have a conversation with the law than a doctor.
I find a contradiction in your assertion that you don't 'subscribe to this riding style' refering to a mate who continually rode 1 metre from the right hand side, yet wearing earphones is 'Darwinian'.

Riding at least 1 metre from the edge is considered by many to be essential for safety, and it is the recommended practice of DfT through Bikeability and Cyclecraft. IMO, riding at least 1 metre from the edge (with a few exceptions) is more essential for safety than not wearing earphones. However, neither wearing earphones nor gutter riding should get a cyclist killed or blamed for an accident.

Re: Cyclsit just fails to get Darwin award

23 July 2014 - 8:27am
In future many of us will not be able to hear traffic, simply because of loss of hearing as we age or due to the increase in electric cars. I was nearly run over by a car which suddenly started reversing out of a parking spot recently. I knew the lady was sat in it, but had never heard the engine start up (thus alerting me to her moving) and nor did I hear an engine ...... So it is pointless to rely on hearing alone to alert us to traffic.... so the use of ear phones is a complete Red Herring as far as I am concerned.

As for the rest, well yes she probably was being a numpty but if you are never taught to use gears then you will never know it is easier to start off in a lower gear, we all started somewhere.....

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