CTC Forum - On the road

Syndicate content
Discussion boards hosted by CTC, the national cycling charity
Updated: 1 hour 53 min ago

Re: E petition surfacing redressing

22 July 2014 - 4:47pm
experience of working for a local authority for quite a while and observing the effects of several outsourced contracts.
My experience of a local authority is they have their favourites that constantly get the work. There is a list of preferred contractors but it seems to be a secret thing. I could never get a peep at it. I worked with local business and they constantly voiced their frustration at not being able to be included on "The List".

Re: A-hole in a van.

22 July 2014 - 4:17pm
One point I repeatedly make is that the full-blown all-the-king's-horses-and-all-the-king's-men approach isn't appropriate to a lot of relatively minor offences. It's taking a hydraulic press to crack a nut. For all sorts of reasons the CPS decided from the creation of the organisation that it wasn't in the public interest and, unless successive DPP's have been lobbying behind the scenes, they didn't offer an alternative. Some stuff has been taken outside the CJ system altogether, but not much eg yellow line parking. Fixed penalties have been introduced but a recipient can still insist on a trial if they like. All manner of court diversion schemes have been introduced, but whatever the declared intention in terms of reform, the net result has been avoiding the cost of prosecutions. Every so often, some party politician gets self-righteous over the numbers of cases being cautioned, but this is with the connivance of the authorities. Ironically, as public confidence in the system falls and fewer people bother to report what's happening, so it can be dressed up as a reduction in offending.

It's government by spin.

Re: E petition surfacing redressing

22 July 2014 - 4:13pm
bigjim wrote:Got me thinking readin this. There is a constant plethora of roadworks around here. I can't remember ever seeing a steamroller. Yea I know they aren't steam anymore [mores the pity]. I may have seen one of those tiny hand roller things but not the proper jobbie. Does the real thing exist any more or do they not roll these days?

In the case of surface dressing the wheels of the traffic do the job of the road roller over a period of time. That's why there's always a gap between doing the initial treatment and re-applying the road markings some time later. Cheap and really a little bit nasty all round, but the money only goes so far.

Machine laid tarmac presumably has a roller in the leviathan somewhere.

Re: Wearing earphones

22 July 2014 - 4:06pm
beardy wrote: However have you actually ever tried riding with a walkman on?
Do you ever wear a walkman?

Perceptive questions, in order, no, but you probably realise this from my stance on the subject and rarely. I'm one of the people who regard music as just another aspect of life, to be taken in moderation, not an evangelical calling.

Re: Wearing earphones

22 July 2014 - 4:03pm
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
Except it isn't 99.9%. If the wind is blowing in the wrong direction (particularly if you're wearing a helmet) then you'll be lucky to hear any.
Not only that but for most of my riding I'm being overtaken continually by nose to tail cars - what benefit is there in hearing them coming? I already know there's another one on the way.
Personally for the most part I rely on my mirrors but even then in heavy traffic they're not really that much use, eyes are usually better off looking ahead to see what the idiot who's just overtaken is up to.

There's no denying 50 years without an accident is impressive but I wonder under what conditions. How much of that is during rush hour on busy roads, what sort of mileage etc etc.
IME riding on busy roads during rush hour you'd really be relying on luck to do any real mileage and never have at least the occasional minor incident.

RichardPH wrote:Or fiddling with their infotainment systems, my car has one and I've taken to stopping to do anything complicated/new with it. Have to comment that if you think a car accelerating hard behind isn't reason for you to be alert, then you may be in for a shock one day.
Nobody accelerates hard whilst tuning their radio. When someone decides to cane it their attention becomes focuses forward. In all the years I've been riding I've never even had a close pass by someone nailing it - they've always left loads of space.
When I have made contact it's usually by people who knew I was there and conversely who I knew were there. Like the guy that cut me up on a roundabout and knocked me off claiming he thought my flashing rear light meant I was turning off or the woman who started overtaking and then moved left knocking me off coming up to some lights because 'I was in the middle of the road', or the guy who happily sailed onto the island as I passed the entrance he was on.

To be fair I could have avoided all of the above by riding on the pavement so rather than worry about listening to music perhaps the real question I should ask myself is where I should be doing my riding.

Re: Wearing earphones

22 July 2014 - 3:57pm
I've always described the fact that a vehicle has never so much as touched me on the road as luck, but over 50 years of riding that can't be the whole story can it?

No it isnt just luck (though of course there is always some luck involved of not being totally in the wrong place at the wrong time) you obviously know how to keep your wits about you and avoid accidents.

However have you actually ever tried riding with a walkman on?
Do you ever wear a walkman?

Obviously nobody can come and type that they have 50 years of accident free riding while wearing a walkman.

There are plenty of things that others can tolerate or get benefit from that distract or incapacitate me.

Re: Wearing earphones

22 July 2014 - 3:39pm
kwackers wrote:
I'm afraid I think "halfway to membership of the Darwin club" is nonsense. In my experience by the time you're aware something is wrong it's pretty much going to be too late - either that or you're going to spend most of your time pre-emptively jumping into bushes or swerving out of the way.


I guess road sense is just instinctive, never given it too much thought. I've always described the fact that a vehicle has never so much as touched me on the road as luck, but over 50 years of riding that can't be the whole story can it? You make your own luck and depriving yourself of the one sense that will warn you of the presence of 99.9% of motor vehicles does indeed seem Darwinian

kwackers wrote:A car accelerating hard behind you means very little since if nothing else they're much more likely to be looking where they're going. If you're going to get taken out it'll be by some fool who's tootling along texting their mates.

Or fiddling with their infotainment systems, my car has one and I've taken to stopping to do anything complicated/new with it. Have to comment that if you think a car accelerating hard behind isn't reason for you to be alert, then you may be in for a shock one day.

Re: Cycling on single-track roads

22 July 2014 - 3:37pm
Yeah it's a nice little road. Is been meaning on riding it for a good while but never got around to it as although it's a through route it doesn't really serve any useful purpose. Which I suppose is why it's such a small road.

Re: E petition surfacing redressing

22 July 2014 - 2:45pm
Isn't the main issue that councils have a yearly budget for repairs. So it doesn't matter that the repair is substandard and they'll have to do it again next year as long as it's done cheaply this year.

Re: A-hole in a van.

22 July 2014 - 2:41pm
Pugwash wrote:Thankyou. You have described my sons job perfectly. He is an experienced response officer. He says it never stops. While he is dealing with one urgent situation, the radio is screaming for him to attend another. Most of the work tends to be drink related domestics. The last thing he wants to do is make an arrest, as he is then stuck back at base for hours writing it up while the mayhem continues outside. The job has been cut and cut.
Most of the time he is single manned and of course at great risk. On the subject of mobile phones he says you cannot keep up with them. He does issue penalties when he sees it, but he is usually on the way to another urgent violent incident. Often he has to just tap on the window and rollick them as he moves on.
I think he would leave in an instant if he could get something else.

I really don't see why officers see that it is their responsibility to manage their own workload by skipping an arrest, they should do their job properly and let their highly paid superiors concern themselves with lack of resources.
"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

Re: A-hole in a van.

22 July 2014 - 2:30pm
Thankyou. You have described my sons job perfectly. He is an experienced response officer. He says it never stops. While he is dealing with one urgent situation, the radio is screaming for him to attend another. Most of the work tends to be drink related domestics. The last thing he wants to do is make an arrest, as he is then stuck back at base for hours writing it up while the mayhem continues outside. The job has been cut and cut.
Most of the time he is single manned and of course at great risk. On the subject of mobile phones he says you cannot keep up with them. He does issue penalties when he sees it, but he is usually on the way to another urgent violent incident. Often he has to just tap on the window and rollick them as he moves on.
I think he would leave in an instant if he could get something else.

I really don't see why officers see that it is their responsibility to manage their own workload by skipping an arrest, they should do their job properly and let their highly paid superiors concern themselves with lack of resources.

Re: Wearing earphones

22 July 2014 - 2:20pm
RichardPH wrote:But in answer to the central question, wearing headphones whilst riding a bicycle, if you do this you're halfway to membership of the Darwin club. The attitude of the driver approaching unseen can be read by the noise of the engine and the rate at which it's getting louder, all clues to staying alive on a bike. Actually even the fact that there is a vehicle in the vicinity is important information that helps us avoid an accident.
I'd be lying if I sad I hadn't been take by surprise and 'jumped' at the occasional passing vehicle (and I don't wear headphones).
I guess if I did wear them then I'd be used to cars that manage to silently steal up on me.
All it takes is the wind in the wrong direction or an unusually quiet car (particularly with narrow, low noise tyres).

I'm afraid I think "halfway to membership of the Darwin club" is nonsense. In my experience by the time you're aware something is wrong it's pretty much going to be too late - either that or you're going to spend most of your time pre-emptively jumping into bushes or swerving out of the way.

A car accelerating hard behind you means very little since if nothing else they're much more likely to be looking where they're going. If you're going to get taken out it'll be by some fool who's tootling along texting their mates.

Re: Wearing earphones

22 July 2014 - 2:17pm
On very quiet roads I have in the past have used headphones, but I also have a mirror and I use to find that while listening to music I was more observant constantly looking at my mirror.

Re: A-hole in a van.

22 July 2014 - 2:05pm
The decreasing numbers of police constables engaged on that type of duty are doing the response bit: dashing about from job to job, usually under pressure to move on to the next incident.
Thankyou. You have described my sons job perfectly. He is an experienced response officer. He says it never stops. While he is dealing with one urgent situation, the radio is screaming for him to attend another. Most of the work tends to be drink related domestics. The last thing he wants to do is make an arrest, as he is then stuck back at base for hours writing it up while the mayhem continues outside. The job has been cut and cut.
Most of the time he is single manned and of course at great risk. On the subject of mobile phones he says you cannot keep up with them. He does issue penalties when he sees it, but he is usually on the way to another urgent violent incident. Often he has to just tap on the window and rollick them as he moves on.
I think he would leave in an instant if he could get something else.

Re: Wearing earphones

22 July 2014 - 1:52pm
RichardPH wrote:As for the 'well I've got music in the car' argument, my car is so isolated from the outside world that mirrors are essential, as is using them, I rarely hear any other traffic.
So rather than relying on hearing you are relying on observation. Seems to work perfectly fine for you. A bicycle is not lumbered with the obstructive pillars and mirror blind spots of a car. You can of course get mirrors for your bicycle if you find looking round is too burdensome. There are also other non motorised road users so hearing can never be an adequate replacement for observation. This is going to be more and more the case as electric cars become more popular

Re: Wearing earphones

22 July 2014 - 1:44pm
Actually even the fact that there is a vehicle in the vicinity is important information that helps us avoid an accident.

This seems obvious until you ask why this is so.

Re: Wearing earphones

22 July 2014 - 1:38pm
Wind the clock back 70 years and pretty much the only music available was live music.

Nowadays anyone who questions the use of personal entertainment systems in any scenario is regarded as odd and out of step, but frankly to remove one sense and then go out into a world full of hazards is asking for trouble. So, yes it's a factor that should be taken into account when assessing blame. The example you quote does seem a bit odd however since the victim was on a machine that was itself noisier than the car behind, I doubt he could hear the car coming even if he wasn't wearing the Walkman.

But in answer to the central question, wearing headphones whilst riding a bicycle, if you do this you're halfway to membership of the Darwin club. The attitude of the driver approaching unseen can be read by the noise of the engine and the rate at which it's getting louder, all clues to staying alive on a bike. Actually even the fact that there is a vehicle in the vicinity is important information that helps us avoid an accident.

As for the 'well I've got music in the car' argument, my car is so isolated from the outside world that mirrors are essential, as is using them, I rarely hear any other traffic.

Re: Wearing earphones

22 July 2014 - 1:18pm
Insurance companies will try and claim almost anything as contributory negligence (lack of helmet/ hi-vis/ lighting and reflector irregularities...). From what I've heard they don't like taking such cases to court for fear that a precedent may be set in the claimant's favour. Most people settle before court though.

FWIW, I can both see the benefit of using hearing in addition to observation and also the risk of relying on it instead of adequate observation. After a while on quiet roads I find myself getting lazy and not looking round very frequently because I can hear things coming. Personally I believe that all (non-deaf) road users should be able to hear a car's horn and shouldn't be distracted by loud music. However, we don't apply that rule to drivers and I can't see why it would be more important for the less dangerous road users.

Re: Triumph of HiViz over common sense?

22 July 2014 - 12:11pm
mrjemm wrote:Sounds like you're arguing that because someone in hi-vis can be seen by a motorist, he'll get less space... despite making little sense to me, I think I'll stick to wearing hi-vis when I deem it suitable (i.e. when I remember or can be bothered); I'd rather be seen than not.
Which is fine except 1. the important thing is contrast not fluorescence (ride among the yellow sunflowers and other crops here while wearing yellow and you're not going to be seen); and 2. by visibly endorsing the idea that special clothes are helpful/safer for ordinary cycling you are helping to deter people from riding if they haven't spent money on the special gear.

Those two reasons combined with some informal testing of rides with/without hi-vis and counting the close passes (no significant effect, FWIW); and the general faff of remembering/carrying special clothes mean I put more reflective (which does seem to work, especially in low-light) tape on my bikes (because I forget the bike when riding) but rarely wear fluo any more.

Also, there was a small but not statistically significant reduction in the amount of verbal/horn abuse from other road users when not wearing hi-vis and helmet. Make of that what you will, but Ian Walker's research is probably more reliable than my counts.

Re: Triumph of HiViz over common sense?

22 July 2014 - 11:33am
honesty wrote: The school took a class of pupils across the path into the play area, and all of them were wearing hi vis tabards. they then proceeded to play in the tabards...

I was in the park yesterday and there school doing some end-of-term park trip. Their whole school-full of children were each wearing hi-viz bibs in the middle of the park. It was a sea of fluorescence.

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

 

Terms and Conditions