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Friday 19 September 2003 9.23am
Is anyone else hacked off with the attitude of some bikers in London - you know... driving up the wrong side of the road, accelerating like mad for short distances, smashing your mirrors as they weave through the traffic.

Sort of a screw you attitude?

Post edited (19 Sep 03 12:38)
Friday 19 September 2003 11.08am
unfortunately they're not just limited to motorbikes.

Friday 19 September 2003 2.36pm
I agree with Dave. Too many motorcyclists are wreckless and selfish. A biker is twice more likely than car-drivers to cause a collision with a cyclist, seams to me most never worked through their BMX thang and now we're all paying for it. Its my way or the Skyway!

Wednesday 24 September 2003 1.18pm
Yes, there are undoubtedly bad riders.

But, I don't think you can argue with the fact that (since they're at a lot more risk of dying every day - unexposed and right in the traffic - than car drivers are - listening to the radio, picking your nose and talking to your mates on the mobile - in their cars) in general bikers have a hell of a lot more incentive to be safe roadusers than car drivers.

What annoys me when I ride to work every day is the amazing way that car drivers deliberately won't let me in, move right up to the centre of the road to stop riders filtering past while the cars are stopped, and think it's great fun to try to race bikes off the lights, drive up their arses, etc.

Face it. Even a cycle is quicker than a car for journeys of under 5 miles in London (cant' remember where I read that, but it was somewhere official). Bikes (rightly) take up the same roadspace as a car when moving at speed, but they can legally use the outside margin of the road to filter past traffic when the other traffic is stopped/moving very slowly. It's got nothing to do with car drivers, but somehow they seem to get offended by it, and sometimes they deliberately take action to stop bikes going on their way. Why?

By design (not because car drivers have smaller willies), bikes will nearly always be quicker from 0-30mph than cars. There should be no shame in this for car drivers, it's just an engineering fact. The reason why bikes pull up to the front of the queue at lights is that (unless you're driving like a nutter) a bike will always be off, up to 30 or 40mph (max speed in town, for cars as well as bikes) and down the road before a typical car has got into second gear. Even if you are driving your car so as to be away from a standing start as fast as a bike, you and your car will be stopped by traffic again within a few hundred yards, whereas a bike is MUCH more likely to have a safe and legal way to filter past the same traffic that blocks the car. It just makes good sense for bikes to go first (if only car drivers would swallow their pride and realise it).

That's what's really behind a lot of this anti-bike feeling, in my opinion. It is shitty trying to drive a car in London. But don't blame it on bikes.
Wednesday 24 September 2003 3.23pm
to be honest I think all car drivers should spend some time on a scooter or motorbike. You become instantly more aware of other road users and safety aspects of riding. I believe I'm a better car-driver (it's all relative) because of having riden a motorcycle too.

Wednesday 24 September 2003 3.29pm
I totally agree.

(Speaking personally) it also helps to stop road rage, as you realise all the potentially dangerous things that you used to do in a car and get more patience.
Wednesday 24 September 2003 4.23pm

As a (mere) scooter rider I agree with your post. However, my experience is that it is a small minority of car-drivers who intentionally block motorcyclists. I always make a point of acknowledging a driver who has made space for me to pass through with a nod of my head: something I have noted most riders fail to do. I think we should, whenever possible, acknowledge courteous driving and perhaps we would be rewarded with more in the future.


I would be interested to see the source of your statistic.

Post edited (24 Sep 03 17:24)
Thursday 25 September 2003 11.08am
One of the reasons that motorists intentionally block bikes at lights etc (I do it myself sometimes) is that there are enough people who ride bikes out there who have no idea how wide their bike is, and are quite happy to try and fit through tiny gaps between cars which will often end in a nice long scratch down the side of the car from a clutch or brake lever.
Thursday 25 September 2003 12.25pm
Its taken from the London Cycling Campaign newsletter. LCC.ORG is the website and they would back me up - honest. (p.s. I was actually suprised myself when I read it).

Thursday 25 September 2003 1.09pm

normally ones knee-caps get dented when trying to go through gaps that are too narrow for the bike... although handlebars and wing-mirrors are about the same height.

When I drive my car, I try to be aware of motorcycles, and leave them a big a gap as possible to get through. Even in stand still traffic I check my mirrors for feeding motorcyclists and try to position my car with this in mind.

I think most drivers get agitated with traffic in general, and then the smallest thing can spark things off. Majority of bikers are perfectly reasonable and are more concerned about their own safety then causing criminal damage. I guess it's always the small minority.

Another thing that doesn't help, are people's reactions to one another.
A driver may well make a small mistake that upsets someone else, but then often the reaction to that is a little over the top, with the result that the original offender feels agrieved and also a little bit annoyed about the reaction, forgetting that they did actually cause the problem...

I'm certainly no angel when it comes to driving (or many other past-times). But it is worth a thought.

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