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I went out cycling - being bed-ridden is no fun, especially when you don't really feel ill. So I cycled down the seafront to Hove Lagoon, which is actually just a piddly little lake by the sea... But the fun was the ride - the weather was perfect. The sun was lovely, there wasn't a cloud in the sky, and the sea was so calm...

It was great - the weather really reminded me of my childhood - walking through the woods near Jordans in the winter, with all the frost on everything making it all shine... And the seafront always reminds me a lot of Rockaway in New York... Ah, it was all really good... When I was out, I had a load of stuff to say, but now it all seems irrelevant and stuff...

But one thing - damned car drivers. Damn them... Cycling around the streets of a city for an hour is all it takes for me to hate damned cars. Even when you're halfway across a junction, the bastard things still drive straight at you, as if you're not there. And pedestrians cross the road in front of you as if you're not moving, so you have to brake. The only people sympathetic to you are the other cyclists, and they're too busy trying to evade death to care...

Being a cyclist is no fun :o\

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the other perspective

And as a motorist, the one thing I hate most are those damn cyclists... cycling in the middle of the road, wavering about everywhere. You're trying to navigate a huge hunk of metal travelling at between 40 and 50mph around some small oscillating prat travelling at about 20mph whilst avoiding the conveyor-belt of metal chunks screaming towards you. You end up slowing down to about 30mph, getting beeped by the guys behind you as you break the unspoken national speeding code, indicating rather furiously as you give the guy a wide berth and nearly get your wingmirror torn off by the oncoming machines. You finally overtake, and check your mirror before returning to a normal speed and position whilst every other driver in your lane goes through the same torture. You slow down, reaching a red light.
The bastard calmly mounts the pavement and cycles to the front of the traffic.

Repeat to fade.

The reason why cars drive at you when you're halfway across a junction is that they have a green light. Which means that you had a red light. Being a vulnerable cyclist, driving across a junction when there is oncoming traffic is sheer madness- you can't expect any driver to believe you're actually doing it- let alone have the mental ability to comprehend your actions *and* stop.
The only case I can sympathise with you is if it were an *unmarked* crossroad- ie: nobody had right of way. But there are virtually *none* of those, let alone in town centres. Or if it was a marked crossroad that gave *you* right of way - ie: had white lines sectioning off them and not you. In which case, rant away. Drivers in city centres suck.

Having had a difficult time as a new driver thrown into Manchester city centre, I can fully appreciate that there are thousands of inconsiderate drivers around. But I also know how fucking annoying cyclists are, pretending to be both pedestrians and cars at the same time. Countless times a cyclist has entered a main road from a side street in front of me without even slowing down, forcing me to slam on the brakes. I have also seen cyclists simply ride through red lights without even looking properly. It's dangerous. Sure, motorists should pay more attention to cyclists, but you can't expect them to drive about at 10mph to compensate for their actions. If you as a cyclist feel vulnerable on the road, get closer to the side, slow down and pay detailed attention to road signs. If you don't understand all of them, you need a highway code. Because if you intend on doing any cycling on the road, it's vital. Understanding signs that show you whether you have right of way or not, for example, is an important skill that many cyclists don't seem to have.

You're working under a very wrong assumption

For some reason, you seem to think that I have less understanding of the highway code than the drivers around me, and that they are in some way right and I'm wrong simply because they're driving cars.

cycling in the middle of the road, wavering about everywhere

I do neither. I stay on the pavement side of the left-most lane, while taking care not to pass cars on left hand side, even when they're stopped in queues. As it is meant to be. Nor do I hop up onto pavements to avoid lights. I behave on the road exactly as a car would, with as much respect as I can muster for the morons I have to share the highway with.

The reason why cars drive at you when you're halfway across a junction is that they have a green light. Which means that you had a red light.

Surely you know better than to state something at me masquerading as fact when I can just spank you on your silly bottom and tell you "Wrong!". It was a junction where people on the main road (i.e. me) have right of way, and those looking to turn right across the flow of traffic have to bloody well wait until the road is clear. Presumably you've come across such junctions before, right? Is it usual to pull out practically into the side of the oncoming traffic (regardless of the vehicle)? My experience suggests not, EXCEPT when it's me on a bike and some asshole wants me dead.

I had the right of way, it was my road, and the signs said the same thing.

Yes, there are idiot cyclists who endanger themselves on the roads, I know that. But when I'm cycling, I obey the highway code to the letter, having had it drilled into my head since before you even learned your times tables. So don't come over all condescending and assume that I'm at fault. I ride my bike as if it's just another road vehicle, albeit on the far left of the road so as to help anybody trying to overtake me - I give way when it's appropriate, and I'll bloody well pull out when it's my right of way and there are other cars behind me looking to do the same.

Understanding signs that show you whether you have right of way or not, for example, is an important skill that many cyclists don't seem to have.

In my experience (specifically earlier today, which is what I was referring to), it's drivers of cars who seem to think that they have right of way over bikes, regardless of road signs. Cyclists aren't the only ones who ought to learn their highway code...

Re: You're working under a very wrong assumption

I thought you meant T-junctions, sorry. In that case, so long as there were no traffic lights (which to me seems highly suspicious, unless the other road was a minor road) you are in the right, and I jumped to conclusions.

All the rest is true. ::nods::. There are more cars than bikes on the roads though, and I have more problems with bikes per bike than cars per car. City centre traffic is hell, and it's difficult to take it all in when you are, as you said, scared for your life.

Re: the other perspective

Although I used to be a hardened Mountain Biker, and by that I mean I actually used my bike in places that were more uphill and downhill than flat, Cyclists, both motor and non-motor based annoy the fsck out of me now.

The problem with cyclists of all types, both push-bikes and Motorcycles are that they only adhere to the Highway Code when they feel like it. How many motorcyclists do you see waiting in line at traffic lights or roundabouts or junctions? None. They just skip right to the front. How may times do they undertake you in perilously dangerous situation? All of the time. How often do they decide to skim past your wingmirror while you're concentrating on avoiding a barrage of lorries and cars at a junction? All of the time.

In summary, I used to defend the actions of cyclists to motorists based on me being a cyclist. Now I'm a motorist, and I see the other side of it, I share your view on cyclists.

Re: the other perspective

Just to clarify, not all cyclists do this, and I wasn't accusing James of doing so. Just in my experience a large proportion of Cyclists cycle dangerously, and try to blame motorists for what is essentially the cyclists fault.

Re: the other perspective

I have nothing against running over cyclists who do that - those bastards ruin the image of those of us who know how to behave ourselves on the roads.... :o)

Re: the other perspective

I'm not making a case for the cyclist, as if they're the better road users or something. However, it does piss me the Hell off when, after waiting in line at traffic lights with the other cars, and effectively acting like a car (i.e. not hopping up onto the pavement, or overtaking queues down the middle), that when I reach a junction the cars coming the other way seem to think that they have right of way over me just because their vehicle is bigger.

Re: the other perspective

Unfortunately, just like you get bullied on your bike, I get bullied in similar circumstances by vans, lorries and larger cars. On the way to work this morning, I was doing 40 around a large roundabout, and a lorry pulled out on me when I was 10 feet away from him. I had to swerve into the left-hand lane to narrowly avoid his cab.

Re: the other perspective

I meant to say right hand lane.

Re: the other perspective

am i wrong in thinking that bikers and cyclists are actually legally allowed to feed through lines and lanes? i don't know, as i don't actually do either, but my folks are bikers...

nice icon.

Re: the other perspective

Yes, you're wrong. It doesn't explicitly state in the Highway code that they can or can't. They do it anyway though. If an accident occured, then they would be 'up shit creek' insurance-wise, that's for sure.


Re: the other perspective

You have a valid point - many cyclists do not hold a full driving license and can behave erratically. However, I cycle with due care and alertness, which is far more than can be said for most drivers on a monday morning, and yet still get cut up and nearly run over by countless idiots who just haven't been looking hard enough, or are driving around in fogged up cars. I'm not exactly invisible, I wear a dayglow coat with reflective patches and lights at night or on dark mornings. Yet still morons try to kill me either because they think they can get away with it as their vehicle weighs more or they're just not paying enough attention to what the hell they're doing. In revenge on the regular occasions they cause me hastle I generally catch them at the next red light and, how can I put it, make an impression on them.

Anyway - if you're so frustrated with cyclists overtaking you at junctions and generally getting to their destination first... why not ditch that ton of metal you're driving and pick up a pushbike? Ideally I'd have both, car for long haul and heavy goods trips, bike for short distance hops around town, to work, etc. Cheap, quick, easy. The only thing I can see that stops people cycling much is it's bloody dangerous however safe you try to cycle!

Re: the other perspective

Hehe- that wasn't my complaint. My hour-long journey would probably take me about twice as long by bike- there are just points of heavy traffic along the way that are painful :)
Nobody "makes an impression" on me at lights- but that's because I nearly kill myself trying to give them the room they justly deserve. I'm not saying that all cyclists are suicidal road-users - your reflective clothing probably implies that you are reasonably serious about cycling, and I trust that you don't jump lights or ride straight onto major roads without slowing down or checking, unlike a few of your kin.

On the note of reflective patches... it's distressing the amount of people who don't wear them. Recently I've been horrified at the amount of cyclists choosing jackets in tasteful "road", or helmets in the rather fetching hedge-green. It's as if they're so scared of being run over they're trying to hide...

Anyway, I wasn't attacking all cyclists, nor was I defending the vast majority of motorists. I'm just saying that there is another side to the argument, and that a higher proportion of cyclists to motorists piss me off on my daily route.

Re: the other perspective

Conclusion: Everybody is a cunt :o)

Just do what most other cyclists do - cycle on the pavement.

I do, where there are designated cycle paths... But elsewhere, you have pedestrians to contend with...

If you're ever gonna be in Reading (I don't know if you ever go there, but you live near it!), or Paddington thinking about it (that's where I get the train to Reading from), let me know in advance, and I'll give you your DVDs back.

Sorry. I thought I was gonna be staying with Shaun, but I didn't get around to it...

No, I never go to Reading - surely you've noticed by now, it's not that great ;o)

But yeah, I'll let you know - there's no real rush though :o)

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