Like many of you, I've got lots of stories of near misses and other dumb things I've seen cars do on the road, but I found myself thinking today about the other side of the coin. So, here goes:

 

Thanks to the gracious motorists who let me cross two lanes of traffic as I turn from Flagstaff Hill Road into South Rd every day and again when they see my arm out and let me move across two lanes on South Rd to turn right into Dawes Rd.

 

I commute 23km each way most days of the week and ride hills on the weekend whenever I can and there are a lot of really gracious, considerate motorists out there. Thanks.

 

Let's talk 'em up and hope the rest will learn from them.

 

PS. to the guy in the black, white and red Assos kit riding the beautiful Colnago who paused and then rode through a red light on Duthy St this morning, please don't do that. We need all the grace and support we can get from our four-wheel friends and when we flout road laws we only make it harder for our cause.

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Riding Gorge Rd this week - all cars were gracious in that they approached, did not tail gate and were waving thanks after our small group waved them through.

Truckies as well I find pretty good and often get thank-you waves after I quickly position myself in a safe spot to let them through.

I ride two abreast only when there are no cars - I pay careful attention to the road behind and am quick to move - it might be legal but I don't think it is safe or smart.

Then there are the minority of drivers whom I'd gladly throttle - unfortunately they can spoil the whole experience and it's not unusual to meet one on each ride. My personal safety method - I'm invisible!
I am always rewarding good behaviour with any type of motorists. I always smile, wave, nod and say thankyou, this usually gets a smile, nod or wave in return. It really can change the whold dynamics of a ride. Sometimes a ride can be a bit crap due to a few idiot motorists. I think because we are becoming more of a presence on the roads some are learning to drive and share the road with us. I always find it funny when as the motorist and there are cyclists around that some really are shocked that you are letting them have all the space and time they need, I think some are so used to not having any space etc that it shocks them 'A motorist seeing me and being polite and not trying to kill me.....well I never' :)
smile, wave, nod and say thankyou, this usually gets a smile, nod or wave in return. It really can change the whole dynamics of a ride

Amen.
It's pretty straightforward psychology. If you treat people you meet, even car drivers, as friends, most often they'll treat you well too. You'll enjoy your ride so much more.

If you buckle on your helmet each morning with the attitude that you're riding into a war zone, you'll only notice the bad ones, and likely have an angry, stressful ride.

Yes, we've all met idiot drivers and been put in danger. Sure, I ride defensively, but I still like to think idiots are the exception.
I must have said so before, but while I approve of acknowledging "good behaviour" on the part of motorists ( I often thumbs up when someone eg slows to allow me to change to RH lane). I have to say, 99.9 % of motorists actually DO the right thing almost all the time, at least the MINIMUM right thing : if they didn't , cycling would be as impossibe as some people, usually non-cyclists, really believe. The problem is with those in the **tiny** minority who do not do the right thing, whether to cyclists or anyone else. it's a parallel to the "crime" phenomenon : most crime is committed by a very SMALL proportion of the population. From our POV however, cycling groups & "advocates" often seem to demand expensive engineering solutions to cope with this SMALL number of offenders, instead of supporting initiatives that would eliminate them, or at least reform their behaviour. Meanwhile, [ organised] cyclist propogandists talk about " one less car" - as if ALL cars are an evil - and refuse to participate in constructive dialogue with other road users. "Share the Roads" is good enough for me..
Hmm, there is another side to this. On a bike, I consider myself to be part of the traffic. So, whilst I am grateful when motorists are courteous (ie don't try to cut me off or drive into the bike lane like some D*head did this morning on a road that had no other traffic but me), I also don't like it when cars stop in the middle of a roundabout to let me through, or the middle of Anzac Hwy in anticipation of my desire to cross to turn right. We all should just be going about our business, and stop when required and go when safe. A motorist who tries too hard to please gives riders a false sense of security.
Then there are the drivers who leave gaps for other cars to merge into the traffic but ignore cyclists who try to do the same thing. I've nearly got caught by that the bike crossing at Portrush / Beulah Road. I just have to remember that the cars aren't stopping for me. I'm invisible.
Michael I know what you mean. I almost got caught out when cycling north on King William Road between South Terrace and Victoria Square. A vehicle stopped while waiting to turn right, so I thought it was OK to proceed. I got part way across the intersection, then the car turned right across my path and almost hit me. The driver had been waiting for a car to move through the intersection, but he did not want to follow ARR and also wait for the cyclist.

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