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Cycling in Central London

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Current: 8 of 21
Tuesday 3 December 2013 5.21pm
Brendan D wrote:
... the wonderful 'Richard's Bicycle Book' on cycling 'defensively' in cities I almost learnt by heart. By 'defensively' he really meant - 'how not to get killed and always have a 'plan B'. I then cycled everywhere and built up my road sense gradually
It is the bible, really. And by 'defensively, he also meant 'assertively', with presence. He wasn't in favour of ditch-crawling amongst the broken bottles and bricks.
But it isn't just about how to ride. I would bet good money that the tyres of 90% of bikes on London roads are drastically under-inflated, that 50% of brakes are slack, and that 20% of wheels are un-true.
Tuesday 3 December 2013 11.26pm
I am not uncritical of cyclists, even though one myself, but I was cheered by this comment by Brendan D

"I agree training is PART of the answer, after all anything that saves lives is welcome, but we do need to improve driver awareness, HGV safety and road design as well."

ie all have to play their part, there are no easy answers
Wednesday 4 December 2013 2.44pm
This is the most depressing thread I have read on the SE1 website... as a pedestrian, cyclist, motorist, & a professional in the transport industry. Anyone would think the cyclists and pedestrians and motorcyclists are killing themselves from reading these comments with no vehicles even involved in the incidents!

for example:
a tree surgeon walks down the street with a running chainsaw and chops off a passerby's head by mistake - manslaughter.
Drive along in your vehicle looking at your phone or not paying attention for 2 seconds... kill a pedestrian - 3 month driving ban.

Our car dominated culture is way out of balance. Apply proper training and retests to drivers at 10 year intervals; for any injury accidents automatically remove their license during the investigation - just like in industrial accidents.
Wednesday 4 December 2013 4.04pm
pedestrians can really put us cyclists through our passes huh!?
i find a fast cycle home relieves all the stress of the day at work :-)
Wednesday 4 December 2013 4.07pm
Little Richardjohn wrote:
Guy's street wrote:
I've done a fair amount of cycling in traffic and elsewhere - I'd say that while in some cases you might be right that cyclists think that jumping the light is the safest option, the majority do it because it is convenient for them.
We have no way of knowing the breakdown. But it is still the safest way to avoid being sideswiped by a vehicle racing from the green light. And most experienced cyclists sense this, as indeed you do.
The issue is not the patience of the grid, which you are very charitable about, but being clearly visible in the distance to as many drivers as possible.
Naturally, not looking before you cross is inviting suicide. Tellingly, that is not the objection raised by drivers. Rather, it is that of 'breaking the rules', as if they didn't.
It may also be significant that many cyclists now are ex-drivers, with a driver's mentality and habits, and all that brings to their behaviour.
And prize idiot thought he his, Johnson is right about cyclists who deliberatey disable an entire sense while riding in town. Earphones are the equivalent of wearing blinkers.

i disagree with breaking the law, so i dont jump red lights.
but i do understand WHY cyclists do it for the safety aspect.
this is proved by the fact that in some places (i forget where, sorry!) cyclists are allowed to go through red lights if turning left.
also, in some places, cyclists have a separate "green" light to let them go before the rest of the traffic. this clearly proves that in SOME instances "jumping" a red light is the safest option.

i wont do it until its legal though
Wednesday 4 December 2013 4.22pm
peterroe wrote:
I speak as a pedestrian (mostly) but I can appreciate that this current situation (poor provision) is not good for motorists, cyclist and pedestrians alike. What is stopping me from cycling is that mainly I'm too scared to and I have no secure storage for a bike (there have been several thefts of bikes from our address on Long Lane). As a pedestrian I do see may examples of bad cycling and sometimes that bad cycling is a direct threat to my health. But that goes for motorists too and sometimes even other pedestrians. What I do find really annoying though is the attitude as shown by Brit above. Brit says that "... most pedestrians walk around with earphones." and that "... pedestrians cross roads everywhere but at the lights, without much consideration for cyclists, ...". Well neither apply to me Brit and as I walk around, I see that the majority don't behave like this either. You see common sense tells us that it's not wise to test the body against the impact caused by being hit by a fast moving vehicle.

fair point, "most" pedestrians obviously DONT walk around with headphones.
and "MOST" pedestrians dont cross everywhere except at crossings.


thing is, this is exactly the same sort of finger that gets pointed at cyclists....
MOST cyclists dont jump red lights.
MOST cyclists dont wear headphones.....

its just a shame, because obviously the worst tar the others with the same bad brush , and that goes for cyclists, taxis, pedestrians, white van man, etc etc
Wednesday 4 December 2013 4.24pm
Little Richardjohn wrote:
'cyclists should have years of experience or take a cycle proficiency test/lesson.'
So you'd be in favour of a formal test. As with a car.
One way to poison cycling at the root, I suppose. Numberplates and licences and compulsory insurance are other ways.

yes i would!

the thing is, i'd also like to see motorists be retested regularly (every 5 years?) and stricter eye testing for all.

driving a motor vehicle has got to be the only thing in the world where regular restesting and keeping up to date with latest standards (eg highway code) are not requirements.
Wednesday 4 December 2013 11.22pm
Little Richardjohn wrote:
'cyclists should have years of experience or take a cycle proficiency test/lesson.'
So you'd be in favour of a formal test. As with a car.
One way to poison cycling at the root, I suppose. Numberplates and licences and compulsory insurance are other ways.

Perhaps not an "on the road" test, as in a car, but a theory test might help.
Can't see the argument against number plates, and insurance, unless cyclists are concerned that the plates will work against them going through red lights and cycling the wrong way down one-way streets, and the insurance would be a bummer when they are witnessed scraping the paint of vehicles as they squeeze through narrow gaps.
When I was a black cab owner-driver that was virtually a weekly occurrence, and the last cab I bought, (in 1999), was just south of 40,000.
My take on it was always that cyclists are perfectly entitled to use the roads, but when a pedal, or handlebar scores the side of a 40,000 vehicle, it doesn't exactly endear you to cyclists.
Wednesday 4 December 2013 11.32pm
[quote Tom Pepper][quote Little Richardjohn]
My take on it was always that cyclists are perfectly entitled to use the roads, but when a pedal, or handlebar scores the side of a 40,000 vehicle, it doesn't exactly endear you to cyclists.[/quote]

Would really hack me off too...... I have third party liability insurance as part of the London Cycling Campaign, but I wouldn't scrape someones car :-(
Thursday 5 December 2013 10.05am
Pleased to read that you have third party liability insurance as part of the LCG campaign, Brendan, I wish all cyclists did the same.
Two cyclists collided and one fell to one side and the end of his handlebars put a deep and sharp dent in the rear corner of my parked car. When asked for his details by a witness the response was "B*****ks" and he rode off. The 350+ bill has not left me enamoured with such behaviour from cyclists.

In this instance it is only a car that was damaged and I have insurance, which I am loathe to claim on, but what if it had been a child that suffered life altering injuries. Who would the parents claim compensation from? The uninsured cyclists? Pointless.

So why do cyclists resist the idea of compulsory insurance, it is in their interest as much as the general public's.
Current: 8 of 21

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