Cyclists !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Cdb posted:
The Strat (Fender) posted:

My journey to work takes me on the A413 from Buckingham to Aylesbury - the road is undulating, full of blind curves, horse boxes in abundance, tractors etc.  The cyclists really concern me not least that they have to observe the pot holes and I quite often attract the wrath of following drivers because of my very cautious approach to overtaking cyclists.    

However,  Bucks CC have recently invested in an excellent cycle path at the North end of the route but when I was driving home the other evening I had to manouvere past a cyclist who insisted on using the road - presumably legal but idiot all the same. 

I feel for you having to commute on that road - it's certainly not one to use if you are in a hurry. And it's certainly one I avoid if I'm out on my bike, although I have one or two routes where I cross it.  

Clive

I applaud Strat for a cautious approach to overtaking vulnerable road users. It is the "wrath of following drivers" that is the concern. Why are we all in such a goddamn hurry?

We cyclists get criticised for using roads when there is a "perfectly good bike path". Here's news. If the path was "perfectly good" we'd use it. In spite of how it might appear, we don't enjoy having our lives endangered by incompetent, distracted and impatient drivers.

Strat, I feel for anyone who has to commute by car. Looking at the map there seem to be a number of alternate routes that you could use to cycle to work. The distance is perhaps at the upper end of what most people would consider reasonable (I'd consider it ideal), but an e-bike would make it achievable for all but the most inactive.

As one who was lucky to survive after being mown down on my bike last year by an 89 year old driver who had diabetes, was blind as a bat and should not have been on the road, I'm all for safer cycle routes. 

I'm also all for compulsory medicals every three years for all drivers over 70. And once they get to 85 or whatever, a compulsory test every year. 

Cdb posted:
Don Atkinson posted

 

b. cyclists should pay, as motorists do, to use the roads. This payment should be based on occupancy (ie Lane-Rental) - we have the technology - it's called GPS !!

Actually motorists do not pay to use the roads - they pay an excise duty on their car - the commonly called road tax is no such thing and is not hypothecated. The car tax is based on emissions and since bicycles create no emissions they pay no tax. The same may not be said of cyclists but I'm not sure their emissions could be taxed!

Clive

Unless I tax my car, I can't use the roads. Call it what you like, car drivers pay to use their car, cyclists don't.

tax on car fuel generates billions of revenue. It more than covers the cost of cars in our society per-se. Much more than !,!

I'm a motorist and a cyclist. I already pay road tax thank you very much. 

And I get held up by cars quite often. I can get around Torbay quicker on a bike than I can in a car, even quicker if damn lazy motorists weren't blocking up the roads.

I cycled the 100 miles to my father in law's last summer and my average speed was compromised by motorists clogging up the road for the last 20 miles of my journey along the A38. 

I try not to hold up motorists and when I do and then overtaken by one I always hold up my hand to thank them for their patience. Those that try and brush by my right elbow (it happens a lot) won't stop for a chat. How ignorant.

 

Drewy posted:

I can get around Torbay quicker on a bike than I can in a car, even quicker if damn lazy motorists weren't blocking up the roads.

 

Good point...

I mean how bloody inconsiderate when, having just bust a gut for 5 minutes in order to 'smash' a STRAVA segment and get my name in lights as a KoM holder, some ignorant BMW driver decides to pull out and then have the audacity to stop at a red traffic light in front of me!

Bast@@d!

As a cyclist, my real hate about motorists is the ones that speed up to get past me then immediately turn left right across my path causing me to slam on my brakes. Maybe I should learn how to crash without hurting myself and next time plough into the car, damaging it as much as possible and suing for damages to my bike, clothing and self...

And as a car driver my real hate about cyclists is the ones that wear dark clothing and carry no lights, riding in poor visibility conditions. Maybe ai should just fulfil their evident death wish for them...

Innocent Bystander posted:

As a cyclist, my real hate about motorists is the ones that speed up to get past me then immediately turn left right across my path causing me to slam on my brakes.

I had that this evening when I was out on my bike. From another cyclist. What a tw@t

C.

winkyincanada posted:
Cdb posted:
The Strat (Fender) posted:

My journey to work takes me on the A413 from Buckingham to Aylesbury - the road is undulating, full of blind curves, horse boxes in abundance, tractors etc.  The cyclists really concern me not least that they have to observe the pot holes and I quite often attract the wrath of following drivers because of my very cautious approach to overtaking cyclists.    

However,  Bucks CC have recently invested in an excellent cycle path at the North end of the route but when I was driving home the other evening I had to manouvere past a cyclist who insisted on using the road - presumably legal but idiot all the same. 

I feel for you having to commute on that road - it's certainly not one to use if you are in a hurry. And it's certainly one I avoid if I'm out on my bike, although I have one or two routes where I cross it.  

Clive

I applaud Strat for a cautious approach to overtaking vulnerable road users. It is the "wrath of following drivers" that is the concern. Why are we all in such a goddamn hurry?

We cyclists get criticised for using roads when there is a "perfectly good bike path". Here's news. If the path was "perfectly good" we'd use it. In spite of how it might appear, we don't enjoy having our lives endangered by incompetent, distracted and impatient drivers.

Strat, I feel for anyone who has to commute by car. Looking at the map there seem to be a number of alternate routes that you could use to cycle to work. The distance is perhaps at the upper end of what most people would consider reasonable (I'd consider it ideal), but an e-bike would make it achievable for all but the most inactive.

The new path from Buckingham to Winslow (to be completed through to Aylesbury) rally is excellent - wide and smooth.  Wouldn't be practicable for me though every day in winter I do the journey morning and evening in the dark, and often have to divert elsewhere.  I actually like driving - love cars - but it does require commonsense and courtersy.

Common sense and courtesy both seem to be in short supply. It's such a shame. When I pootle about in the daytime, whether on foot, on my bike or in the car, everything is fine. People say hello, wave and treat each other with consideration. Then it gets to 4.30 and the world seems to go mad. 

Drewy posted:

I'm a motorist and a cyclist.I already pay road tax thank you very much. 

And I get held up by cars quite often. I can get around Torbay quicker on a bike than I can in a car, even quicker if damn lazy motorists weren't blocking up the roads.

I cycled the 100 miles to my father in law's last summer and my average speed was compromised by motorists clogging up the road for the last 20 miles of my journey along the A38. 

I try not to hold up motorists and when I do and then overtaken by one I always hold up my hand to thank them for their patience. Those that try and brush by my right elbow (it happens a lot) won't stop for a chat. How ignorant.

 

Ah ! a bit like me. I also pay road tax. But that entitles me to take my CAR onto the road. Nothing to do with the bike !!

In fact, as I understand it, you can take your bike onto the road even if you don't have a car and DON'T pay road tax !

I could walk along the A4 if I wished to. I don't mean the footpath alongside the A4, but the actual road itself. I wouldn't have to pay any tax to do so.

Not sure why this might be relevant, but it does seem to align with swimming in Chichester harbour !!

My proposal is that CYCLISTS, not pedestrians, should club together, buy the land and invest in safe cyclepaths. I'm sure that if there are enough like-minded cyclists, they could lobby parliament and get funding for such schemes. I think Sustrans is already up and running so might be a suitable starting point.

Alternatively, simply pay to use the current highway system. If enough people transfer from cars to cycles, the Gov will have to charge cyclists anyway, otherwise there will be a wacking big hole in Gov funding for education, NHS, water, gas, electricity etc etc.

I really can't see why cyclists feel entitled to have access to the road system, free of charge !

It's for historical reasons.  In towns you didn't have to pay to ride a horse, but when these newfangled dangerous machines came along, well they had to be taxed as they're so dangerous to other people and animals.  Just think yourself lucky you don't have to pay someone to walk along in front of your infernal device, waving a red flag to warn others of the danger they're in.

My proposal is that CYCLISTS, not pedestrians, should club together, buy the land and invest in safe cyclepaths. I'm sure that if there are enough like-minded cyclists, they could lobby parliament and get funding for such schemes. I think Sustrans is already up and running so might be a suitable starting point.

Alternatively, simply pay to use the current highway system. If enough people transfer from cars to cycles, the Gov will have to charge cyclists anyway, otherwise there will be a wacking big hole in Gov funding for education, NHS, water, gas, electricity etc etc.

I really can't see why cyclists feel entitled to have access to the road system, free of charge !

Don

Your suggestions for cyclists and road tax imply a complete overhaul of the UK's taxation system which is not currently based on hypothecation. The logic of your approach is that we only pay for the services we want, whereas the taxation system is supposed to provide for the greater good and that the rates of tax, etc and the direction of its spending is decided democratically. 

In particular your logic requires the licensing and registration of pedestrians - alternatively they could club together to provide pavements and bridges (or underpasses) to help them get across the roads which they wouldn't be allowed to venture on. And what about those pesky children who get access to state schools completely free of charge?
Clive

I don't think my road bike with skinny tyres causes any wear and tear to the roads and apart from when I fart or put out a snot rocket there's no emissions. 

Charge me for riding my bike and I might just get in my car and accelerate the death of the planet. 

Cdb posted:
My proposal is that CYCLISTS, not pedestrians, should club together, buy the land and invest in safe cyclepaths. I'm sure that if there are enough like-minded cyclists, they could lobby parliament and get funding for such schemes. I think Sustrans is already up and running so might be a suitable starting point.

Alternatively, simply pay to use the current highway system. If enough people transfer from cars to cycles, the Gov will have to charge cyclists anyway, otherwise there will be a wacking big hole in Gov funding for education, NHS, water, gas, electricity etc etc.

I really can't see why cyclists feel entitled to have access to the road system, free of charge !

Don

Your suggestions for cyclists and road tax imply a complete overhaul of the UK's taxation system which is not currently based on hypothecation. The logic of your approach is that we only pay for the services we want, whereas the taxation system is supposed to provide for the greater good and that the rates of tax, etc and the direction of its spending is decided democratically

In particular your logic requires the licensing and registration of pedestrians - alternatively they could club together to provide pavements and bridges (or underpasses) to help them get across the roads which they wouldn't be allowed to venture on. And what about those pesky children who get access to state schools completely free of charge?
Clive

In this thread, and previously, I have suggested that cyclists might democratically seek to get funding to pay for sustainable cycle-based transport (Sustrans) and its associated infrastructure. A bit like people with children have persuaded the Gov to provide schooling, free at the point of delivery, paid for by taxation on the wider population. Seems democratic and fair to me.

So far as roads are concerned we pay an annual tax to have access to the road system and we pay tax on fuel. Combined, these cover far more than the cost of providing, opperating and maintaining our road system.  I am merely proposing that cyclists contribute to the Gov revenue system based on occupancy of a finite resource or to fund a resource for their exclusive use.. Seems to me to be as fair a revenue earning system as any other. It doesn't constitute a complete overhaul of the UK's tax system, which might be a sensible suggestion but is a different topic.

My logic doesn't extend to pedestrians. It extends to cyclists. It's cyclists who insist on having access to the finite-capacity road system. Not pedestrians.

 

 

Drewy posted:

I don't think my road bike with skinny tyres causes any wear and tear to the roads and apart from when I fart or put out a snot rocket there's no emissions. 

Charge me for riding my bike and I might just get in my car and accelerate the death of the planet. 

cars don't wear and tear the roads significantly. It's the HGV's and busses.

Wear and tear is only one aspect of the road system. Occupancy is a significant aspect. My proposal is that occupancy could determine the cost of cycle-related access to the road system. This would be similar in principle to fuel tax which is paid dependent on the number of miles driven, occupancy in other words. For sure, a cycle-access-tax could also be applied, to cover the cost of cycle-access administration, a bit like car tax.

Just because a cyclist doesn't like my proposal, is no justification for extending any perceived "logic" to pedestrians (for example !)

 

If transport is to be taxed on the basis of usage of roads, then pedestrians should be charged, and dogs being walked, this extending to any form of public surface used for traversing - path, track, highway, whatever.  A fair basis would be by gross weight of whatever is doing the travelling: person, baby+pram, person+bicycle, person+dog, person+horse, person+car, for practical purposes banded, e.g 0-10kg, 10-20, 20-40, 40-80, 80-160 etc. it would, however, require a weighbridge at the exit of all homes, or maybe a load sensor attached  to all vehicles and sensors grafted to people's feet. Also, as wear and tear of surfaces, and extent of injury/damage arising from accidents is related to speed, that should be taken into account, so everyone will need to wear a GPS monitor. While at it, these devices could record incidents to identify any guilty party, while also enabling claims for whiplash injury to be proven or disproven.

Until that becomes acceptable to society, perhaps those who feel it is wrong that cyclists don't pay for road use where motorists do should simply adopt an attitude of 'if you can't beat them, join them" and sell their cars and cycle instead, avoiding road tax themselves, and fuel, maintenance, depreciation and insurance costs, while also keeping fit, reducing congestion, reducing pollution, reducing wear and tear on the roads - the list seems endless! Yes, I know some journeys would not be possible, or at least not practicable, without one's own motor-propelled and more capacious transport. And yes, I do have a car, I do enjoy some driving, and at present at least, many of the journeys I do do by car are because other means of transport are deemed by me not to be viable for a variety of reasons....... but if everybody abandoned personal cars, enabling public transport to improve dramatically improved as it would then have a market, I suspect it would be possible for society to abandon private cars.

Don Atkinson posted:
Cdb posted:
My proposal is that CYCLISTS, not pedestrians, should club together, buy the land and invest in safe cyclepaths. I'm sure that if there are enough like-minded cyclists, they could lobby parliament and get funding for such schemes. I think Sustrans is already up and running so might be a suitable starting point.

Alternatively, simply pay to use the current highway system. If enough people transfer from cars to cycles, the Gov will have to charge cyclists anyway, otherwise there will be a wacking big hole in Gov funding for education, NHS, water, gas, electricity etc etc.

I really can't see why cyclists feel entitled to have access to the road system, free of charge !

Don

Your suggestions for cyclists and road tax imply a complete overhaul of the UK's taxation system which is not currently based on hypothecation. The logic of your approach is that we only pay for the services we want, whereas the taxation system is supposed to provide for the greater good and that the rates of tax, etc and the direction of its spending is decided democratically

In particular your logic requires the licensing and registration of pedestrians - alternatively they could club together to provide pavements and bridges (or underpasses) to help them get across the roads which they wouldn't be allowed to venture on. And what about those pesky children who get access to state schools completely free of charge?
Clive

In this thread, and previously, I have suggested that cyclists might democratically seek to get funding to pay for sustainable cycle-based transport (Sustrans) and its associated infrastructure. A bit like people with children have persuaded the Gov to provide schooling, free at the point of delivery, paid for by taxation on the wider population. Seems democratic and fair to me.

So far as roads are concerned we pay an annual tax to have access to the road system and we pay tax on fuel. Combined, these cover far more than the cost of providing, opperating and maintaining our road system.  I am merely proposing that cyclists contribute to the Gov revenue system based on occupancy of a finite resource or to fund a resource for their exclusive use.. Seems to me to be as fair a revenue earning system as any other. It doesn't constitute a complete overhaul of the UK's tax system, which might be a sensible suggestion but is a different topic.

My logic doesn't extend to pedestrians. It extends to cyclists. It's cyclists who insist on having access to the finite-capacity road system. Not pedestrians.

 

 

I'm sorry, Don, but all this just reads like a scheme to drive cyclists off the roads altogether in order supposedly to free up space for cars. Whatever is the case against dodgy cyclists who jump red lights, harass pedestrians, and so on, I don't think there is any evidence that it is the number of cyclists on the road who cause congestion. Where I live in Milton Keynes there is congestion at peak driving times - the rush hour and school runs - and there are very few cyclists on the main roads as they mostly use the separate paths.  So the limit of the resource is primarily about motorised vehicle use not cyclists.

It is logical to refer to pedestrians because - at least in urban areas - road systems are designed to combine vehicle and pedestrian use with all the necessary infrastructure - pavements, crossing places, traffic lights that help pedestrians cross. 

You suggest two options. 1 - to charge cyclists to use the roads. How much do you think such a charge should be, bearing in mind that cyclists are banned from all motorways? How much would the charge need to be, to cover setting up a whole bureaucratic structure to register and collect the charges? Of course once cyclists were charged for using the roads, they would have greatly raised expectations about the quality of the provision for cyclists and their rights in relation to all other users. And why should I have to pay for a car and a bike when I can only occupy the road with one of them at a time? Apart from these practical considerations, charging cyclists to use the roads would be to undermine the health benefits of cycling while also punishing children and less well off citizens who use cycling as a cheap means of getting to work (a necessity in many areas with inadequate bus services).

Option 2. To get Parliament to pay for a completely separate cycle infrastructure. First I cannot see any political party being willing to pick this up given the current shortage of funds for basic services, like the NHS. And the cyclists' lobby is unlikely to have the weight to persuade them otherwise. At the moment the lobby is unable to get much done to help cyclists. But how practical would this be anyhow? You mention Sustrans, but the routes they develop are either primarily on existing roads or off-road, although there are some adaptations such as ex-railway lines, or canal towpaths. But these routes are often leisure routes and not much use for commuting - in towns there's not really any room for a separate infrastructure and where it is developed it's likely to reduce road space for motorised vehicles. It can be done in new developments - and I mentioned Milton Keynes earlier. But here the alternative is a combined cycle/pedestrian network which creates different problems.

Clive

Obviously cyclists who use the roads to commute and for recreational trips will object to the introduction of ANY form of substantial payment rather than continue the current system of free access. That's just selfish. Arguing to pay on the basis of CO2 emmissions or wear-&-tear etc is just obfuscation.

Arguing that we should ALL ditch our cars and move to cycles isn't practical and would simply mean the Gov would need to raise the lost car-use revenue elsewhere !

Most of us accomodate cyclists sensibly and with tender loving care. A few motoring idiots don't.

Cyclists can and do cause obstructions just by their mere presence. Encouraging more and more cyclists will increase congestion. I'm simply proposing that making cyclists pay for occupation will help manage this congestion and provide funds to expand the cycling infrastructure.

Meanwhile, I am still pissed-off by inconsiderate cyclists who whizz past pedestrians on narrow footpaths. This must stop !

Don Atkinson posted:

Obviously cyclists who use the roads to commute and for recreational trips will object to the introduction of ANY form of substantial payment rather than continue the current system of free access. That's just selfish. Arguing to pay on the basis of CO2 emmissions or wear-&-tear etc is just obfuscation.

Arguing that we should ALL ditch our cars and move to cycles isn't practical and would simply mean the Gov would need to raise the lost car-use revenue elsewhere !

Most of us accomodate cyclists sensibly and with tender loving care. A few motoring idiots don't.

Cyclists can and do cause obstructions just by their mere presence. Encouraging more and more cyclists will increase congestion. I'm simply proposing that making cyclists pay for occupation will help manage this congestion and provide funds to expand the cycling infrastructure.

Meanwhile, I am still pissed-off by inconsiderate cyclists who whizz past pedestrians on narrow footpaths. This must stop !

There are nine million bicycles in Beijing, or so sang Katie Melua, just a few years ago. Not so now, it is so full of cars that odd numbered vehicles are only permitted to be used on odd numbered days, and still Beijing is total gridlock. That didn't happen with bicycles. Private cars should be banned, at least for commuting where alternatives are practicable - simple! (Though it won't happen because too many people are too wedded to their cars)

But  indeed, cyclists need thave regard for any designated use of any path or road, and absolutely should be courteous and considerate to other road (or path) users  - just as should all road users to all others, whether on foot, in wheelchair, on bike, motorbike, in small car, big car, tractor, bus, dumper truck, artic or anything else.

 

Penarth Blues posted:

Don

Is this the 5 minute or full half hour argument you're looking for?

Don Posted above :-

"Meanwhile, I am still pissed-off by inconsiderate cyclists who whizz past pedestrians on narrow footpaths. This must stop !"

This is the Full Monty, as per the opening post.

Don Atkinson posted:
Drewy posted:

I don't think my road bike with skinny tyres causes any wear and tear to the roads and apart from when I fart or put out a snot rocket there's no emissions. 

Charge me for riding my bike and I might just get in my car and accelerate the death of the planet. 

cars don't wear and tear the roads significantly. It's the HGV's and busses.

Wear and tear is only one aspect of the road system. Occupancy is a significant aspect. My proposal is that occupancy could determine the cost of cycle-related access to the road system. This would be similar in principle to fuel tax which is paid dependent on the number of miles driven, occupancy in other words. For sure, a cycle-access-tax could also be applied, to cover the cost of cycle-access administration, a bit like car tax.

Just because a cyclist doesn't like my proposal, is no justification for extending any perceived "logic" to pedestrians (for example !)

Sorry but but it's not going to happen. They are more likely to tax motorists more to try and get them onto bikes, fit and less obese. People's obsession with pathetic motor cars has got to stop.

I really hope you get over the disappointment. 

Drewy posted:
Don Atkinson posted:
Drewy posted:

I don't think my road bike with skinny tyres causes any wear and tear to the roads and apart from when I fart or put out a snot rocket there's no emissions. 

Charge me for riding my bike and I might just get in my car and accelerate the death of the planet. 

cars don't wear and tear the roads significantly. It's the HGV's and busses.

Wear and tear is only one aspect of the road system. Occupancy is a significant aspect. My proposal is that occupancy could determine the cost of cycle-related access to the road system. This would be similar in principle to fuel tax which is paid dependent on the number of miles driven, occupancy in other words. For sure, a cycle-access-tax could also be applied, to cover the cost of cycle-access administration, a bit like car tax.

Just because a cyclist doesn't like my proposal, is no justification for extending any perceived "logic" to pedestrians (for example !)

Sorry but but it's not going to happen. They are more likely to tax motorists more to try and get them onto bikes, fit and less obese. People's obsession with pathetic motor cars has got to stop.

I really hope you get over the disappointment. 

Just because I put forward a sensible proposal, I don't expect politicians to grab it with open arms and glee. Nor do I expect cyclists to embrace it whole-heartedly. Reality suggests that we will continue with the current half-baked system where cyclists numbers are controlled by the "Laws of the Jungle".

In this respect, I don't think it's me that's going to be disappointed.

However, as far a cyclists being obnoxious towards pedestrians, since you are clearly a keen and considerate cyclist, I would welcome your advice as to how to deal with them (obnoxious cyclists, that is !)

Don, I wish I knew!

I am a cyclist and occasional driver. I have driven in and out of and across London for 40 odd years and just as there are more obnoxious motorists on the road, there are now more obnoxious cyclists. In fact it is the obnoxious cyclists that have taken over from the obnoxious motorist to make my journey home more unpleasant. ( fortunately I cycle in too early to meet most of them). It is not just the cyclists who think they have a right of way to jump red light or race through pedestrians, the single thing that pisses me off the most is the sodding hipster and his girlfriend on their ever-so cool fixie with no lights all in black and trendy helmet who cycles up to the front  of the pack of cyclists waiting at a traffic light rather than just join the 'queue' and then wobbles all over the place as the lights change without any regard for those behind or to their side. Who may or not turn across all of us without any indication but that we are supposed to know they are going to do because as cyclist and we all have that 6th sense. Or for that matter the motorist who is already pissed off to find a pack of cyclists in front of them and wants to pass all of us/them as fast as possible.

Of course I should take a chill pill or find another route home which I do but I regret I don't have an answer for you. And I avoid cycle/footpaths like the plague! Maybe we just need a proper cycle only network much as there is in Denmark, Holland etc.

And I agree that all cyclists should be insured at least 3rd party which I would suggest most aren't. (of course that may be a fake fact but I doubt it!)

Rant over!

 

More and more people are obnoxious these days. Doesn't matter if it's a cyclist, motorist or pedestrian. The other week I saw a woman in a mobility scooter shout abuse to a padestrian just before I passed her on my bike. She called me a c**t, me and the pedestrian were crying with laughter. We'd done nothing wrong and she wasn't hanging about.

lutyens posted:

 

And I agree that all cyclists should be insured at least 3rd party ......

 

Why? The risk cyclists pose to others is small. There simply aren't enough insurable events happening to make it worthwhile in a general sense. (FWIIW I have 3rd party insurance covered by my club membership.)

winkyincanada posted:
lutyens posted:

 

And I agree that all cyclists should be insured at least 3rd party ......

 

Why? The risk cyclists pose to others is small. There simply aren't enough insurable events happening to make it worthwhile in a general sense. (FWIIW I have 3rd party insurance covered by my club membership.)

Well I also have insurance through my club too but I am pretty appalled at some cyclists care and attention and seen pretty close calls as they have jumped lights and ignored pedestrians. Not necessarily at the same time. People may feel differently if we took some social responsibility by having at least insurance. A bicycle at even low speeds can be pretty harming. I don't really see the issue here but I know you and I have differed about stopping at red lights at all times in the past so no biggy here. We may just agree to disagree. 

And I can only agree with Drewy that we appear to be a lot more angry as a society than we used to be. Me included I am sure. 

Don Atkinson posted:

Cyclists !!!!!!!!!!!!

We’ve just got back from a delightful family weekend at Centre Parcs (Longleat). Don’t ask, it’s not relevant !

We took our bikes and enjoyed cycling around the park. I’m totally satisfied that my lot were completely aware of pedestrians. We slowed down, gave way, dismounted and were pleasantly polite to any pedestrians who eased over to let us pass. I don’t recall any one of us feeling the urge or the need to ring a bell or shout, to inform a pedestrian of our presence. There were 7 of us plus the latest addition in a trailer-buggy.

However, when we were walking, I have lost count of the times I heard an aggressive warning bell just prior to a cyclist, or group of cyclists, whizzing past too fast to cope with a wandering youngster, or simply just “demanding” a mere pedestrian to shift out of their way!

We frequently stroll along sections of the Kennet & Avon canal. Again, cyclists seem to think that sounding their bell (or shouting) is all that is required to ensure that the two of us re-position to line-astern and step aside from the tow-path and into the long grass/nettles/reeds to enable their continued passage at upwards of 15 mph !!

Well, I’m fed up with this element of society. However, I am undecided as to what course of action to take.

Advice ?

I 100% agree with your observations and annoyances. I too, find cyclists' warning bells to be obnoxious (just like car horns). I hate the implied message of "get out of my way" that they convey. That many cyclists ride too fast on shared-use paths is also in accordance with my personal observations. But isn't it a bit of a paradox that many seem to believe that cyclists overtaking pedestrians without due care is unacceptable, yet are prepared to do exactly the same thing to cyclists when driving home from their walk?

I am as courteous and patient when cycling with pedestrians present as I am when driving with cyclists present. I recognize that as a driver, to be otherwise is to significantly place lives at risk.

Another observation on my commute is regarding cyclists and mirrors. The bike path up the Lionsgate Bridge is wide enough for overtaking, provided people ride aware, choose a side and keep fairly straight. Speeds are low on the uphill, so no major safety issues. Some cyclists I approach from behind are cycling right in the centre (preventing overtaking) and remain blissfully unaware of me behind them (I don't use a bell and don't bark "on your left" type orders at my fellow riders). The paradox is stems from an observed a correlation. Having a mirror seems to make cyclists MORE likely to be riding in the centre and LESS aware of what's happening behind them.

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