Author Topic: Idiots on bikes  (Read 5060 times)

Idiots on bikes
« on: October 30, 2013, 09:50:38 pm »
I'm using the term Idiots on Bikes (IoBs) to refer to bike riders who break the law, highway code, or do stupid things like filtering on the left of turning HGVs. Be they Neds-on-bikes, fakengers, Mamils or Weirdy-beardy-AUKs, if they ride stupidly, they're IoBs.

On YACF, there is quite a bit of condeming red-light jumping cyclists, etc. and also we are talking more about campaigning issues - go Dutch etc.

Where I live far more people are cycling, we have a new millitant cycling campaign. However, around 90% of cyclists I see, break the law.  >:(

The thing I've been wondering about is how to address the issue of IoBs?


Are IoBs the product of bad cycling facilitites?
Are they the product of a generation that has had no cycle training?
Is it new cyclists or are we learning bad habits?

We complain about bad driving, but I see far more 'bad cycling'. They give cycling bad press - did we not ought to put our own house in order?

Should cycling campaigns address the issue?
What can be done?
Will 'Go Dutch' solve the issue or will it lead to more IoBs?
If it ain't broke, fix it 'til it is...

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: Idiots on bikes
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2013, 10:16:22 pm »
I think it's just a symptom of the de-facto rules of the road having only a vague link to the law.  People do what they know usually works, regardless of their mode of transport.  I expect a lot of the IoBs are the same people as the bad drivers and the lemming pedestrians.

What can be done?  Better policing, I suppose.

'Going Dutch' may make IoBs less dangerous.

Should cycle campaigns address the issue?  Maybe as a PR exercise?  But better to demand better policing, I think.


Oh, and a local group are arguing that IoBs are because immigrants.   :facepalm:
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Zipperhead

  • The cyclist formerly known as Big Helga
Re: Idiots on bikes
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2013, 10:19:07 pm »
I don't know, but for a while I've thought that the thing that would stop me cycling in London is not motor vehicles but the danger from other cyclists.

A case in point tonight - To get away from the idiot cyclists I left the Embankment to cut back across through Pimlico (not that that matters). I came up to a traffic light where there was a bicycle at the front then a motorcycle and taxi, both indicating left. I wanted to go left as well so I stopped behind the taxi.

When the lights changed and I was moving forwards a bicycle came up on my left - and tried to straight ahead, whilst still on my left. I expressed some "dissatisfaction" with his riding and his answer was "what have I done wrong?"

The level of gross stupidity is incredible. How many people did I see with no lights, but wearing helmets (I didn't leave work until 6:30 so it was properly dark) probably 20+
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Re: Idiots on bikes
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2013, 10:30:46 pm »
  I expect a lot of the IoBs are the same people as the bad drivers and the lemming pedestrians.

Worryingly, there seems to be a higher proportion of IoBs than IiCs.  :-\

Maybe they're just more obvious.


If it ain't broke, fix it 'til it is...

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: Idiots on bikes
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2013, 10:34:03 pm »
Maybe the de-facto rules for what's acceptable to do while riding a bike are just stupider?
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Biggsy

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Re: Idiots on bikes
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2013, 10:39:21 pm »
People do what they get away with.  I think it's as simple as that.  Cyclists go through red lights, motorists speed.  I just hope it's not used as an excuse for more control over cycling - which wouldn't be necessary for the safety of others, in any big way.
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Re: Idiots on bikes
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2013, 10:40:20 pm »
It's depressing isn't it? Every time you try to campaign for some compromise for cyclists, no matter how small, you have to first overcome all the negativity created by these cretins.
Last night there was the guy who was riding along one handed, attempting to hold a rear light behind him. Except he couldn't direct it properly and it was just pointing sideways. Because it was a bit windy he was weaving around all over the place.
Tonight it was the usual crowd of unlit, red light jumping, undertaking morons who were the most evident crowd. However, lots of "smartphone glow" coming from the laps of drivers in traffic, so there's plenty of idiocy to go around!!!

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: Idiots on bikes
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2013, 10:43:08 pm »
Last night there was the guy who was riding along one handed, attempting to hold a rear light behind him. Except he couldn't direct it properly and it was just pointing sideways. Because it was a bit windy he was weaving around all over the place.

I think this would score points for effort in the odd lighting decisions thread.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: Idiots on bikes
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2013, 10:56:03 pm »
The cycle facilities we get infantilize cycling, taking responsibility for safety away from cyclists and making them dependant on the road designers getting it right and motorists being aware of the new (often unstated) rules that are required to make edge based facilities safe.

We then get a generation of cyclists who belive that staying to the left is always, the right choice, that all pavements are just not shared use yet and that whatever happens there's nowt they can do about it and its some else's fault.

I'd rather be responsible for my own safety.

clarion

  • Tyke
Re: Idiots on bikes
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2013, 10:56:59 pm »
People do what they get away with.  I think it's as simple as that.  Cyclists go through red lights, motorists speed.  I just hope it's not used as an excuse for more control over cycling - which wouldn't be necessary for the safety of others, in any big way.

Of those who get the opportunity, the same proportion of cyclists as motorists go through red lights.
Getting there...

Re: Idiots on bikes
« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2013, 11:01:21 pm »
Of those that can pedal fast enough, the same proportion of cyclists as motorists would probably speed.  :demon:
If it ain't broke, fix it 'til it is...

LEE

Re: Idiots on bikes
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2013, 11:06:10 pm »
I've said it before on this forum but most (not all) of my issues with my (very infrequent) drives into London are with cyclists.

I do my best not to kill them and, so far, have succeeded, but really it's been close sometimes and many don't help their own cause.

Possibly it's a case of many London cyclists not being drivers and not appreciating the needs of the driver.  That would be the reverse of the issue elsewhere,  where most drivers aren't cyclists and don't appreciate our needs.

Whatever the reason I always come away thinking "what a bunch of dick heads".

The blue "Boris Highways" may be the answer in so far as they keep incompetent cyclists away from cars (I suspect the idea was the opposite but whatever works is fine).

I'm happy not to drive or cycle in London for 364 days a year.

Biggsy

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Re: Idiots on bikes
« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2013, 11:13:36 pm »
Yes, motorists go through red lights, too:

http://www.bikebiz.com/news/read/labour-mp-who-called-cyclists-law-breakers-busted-for-running-a-red/015603

We complain about bad driving, but I see far more 'bad cycling'.

I don't.  I see bad driving everywhere all the time, and it's more dangerous than anything cyclists do.  It's just that blatant IoBs stand out more.  Yes it isn't good for PR, but to balance that, there is an increasing amount of good publicity for cycling in general, I feel.
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Re: Idiots on bikes
« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2013, 11:17:43 pm »


We complain about bad driving, but I see far more 'bad cycling'.

I certainly don't, and you can't even tell the MOT worthiness or insurance credentials of a car.

Zipperhead

  • The cyclist formerly known as Big Helga
Re: Idiots on bikes
« Reply #14 on: October 31, 2013, 12:46:53 am »
I see far more bad cycling, and because the idiots are closer to me I am at risk more often from it - I would estimate that I am at risk from accidents from other cycling idiots on 50% of my commuting journeys, that's far higher than motor vehicles.

Without trying very hard I can think of another one this week. Taking the "off-road" route along the river, between  two blind 90 degree bends another cyclist tried to overtake me (I was taking it easy because I can't see round blind bends). He met another cyclist coming the other way and lacking a plan B swerved straight into me, so I had to brake suddenly to avoid him.

What made it much worse though was 100 metres further along, where the path was straight again, there was a woman walking along with a child of about 2 years old - when I see children or dogs I slow down because they're unpredictable and I don't wish to cause them harm. Not this guy, didn't slacken his pace and as he came up towards them the child suddenly veered into his path. He swerved and the mother went into his path.
Our son does know who Boz Scaggs is, we've done ok as parents.

Re: Idiots on bikes
« Reply #15 on: October 31, 2013, 12:53:50 am »
A cyclist swerved and avoided an accident. Sounds terrifying. But that's the difference, cyclists may nearly hit other people, drivers do hit other people.

Zipperhead

  • The cyclist formerly known as Big Helga
Re: Idiots on bikes
« Reply #16 on: October 31, 2013, 07:54:43 am »
I'm telling you what I experience on a regular basis, if you wish to dismiss it that's fine by me. But it's not just swerving to avoid accidents. What I didn't bother with because I was only dealing with this week is that in the last few years I've found myself lying in the road 3 times because when I've stopped for traffic lights, not emergency stops, other cyclists have ploughed into the back of me. One of them ended up with a broken arm after his short flight.

Cyclists have hit me, car drivers haven't.
Our son does know who Boz Scaggs is, we've done ok as parents.

Re: Idiots on bikes
« Reply #17 on: October 31, 2013, 08:49:43 am »
All my close shaves over the last ummmm year? have been with cyclists. Actually, that's not true, the other night I had a WVM almost take me out as he was pulling out from the side of the road, but that's still something like 9:1 against cyclists.

The problem is that IoB come in three shapes. The first shape is the bimbling blinkered cyclist that has no idea what is going on around them. Often seen with those round helmets, iPod in ears and some sort of city bike, they are totally oblivious to anything else on the road and they depend on everyone else to keep them alive. They actually tend to be the least dangerous. The next two present a similar danger: the (normally young) rider who has some skill but wears a cloak on invulnerability, and the Superior Cyclist, who can Do Anything and Go Anywhere and nobody is going to tell him what to do. That second sort is the exact same as the IiC.

The only answer I can see is education, that and enforcement - equal to bikes and cars. The City Police have successfully done some of that and as a result cyclist (and driver) behaviour in the cuty has improved substantially over recent years. If only other areas would follow their example.

ian

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Re: Idiots on bikes
« Reply #18 on: October 31, 2013, 09:56:09 am »
The great thing about a bike is that you can get on it and ride. That's the attraction (and one we should sell). It's easy and cheap. You don't need training, licenses, insurance. You can get on and go. It's also generally the preserve of younger people, and let's face, if you're young you have little appreciation of your own mortality. You drink, you smoke, you slide down the side of large lorries. Cycling, by definition, isn't rule-based, any more than being a pedestrian is. Even Swiss cyclists don't follow rules.

This is a group of 'proper cyclists'. You see that in the threads about cycling infrastructure and facilities. We have mudguards and lights capable of waking the undead. We'd cycle to the Moon via an A road. We take it all very seriously. That said, I see plenty of proper cyclists behaving like idiots too, but that mostly seems to be the race mentality, where every commute is a stage on the TdF.

I see a lot of idiot cyclists. Yes, they're annoying and, no, they don't help the cause of cycling. But I kind of understand it. But it's also bullshit to categorise the danger as akin to motorised vehicles. Sorry, I've been hit by a car and I'd much rather it were a errant cyclist. I really don't recommend you try this experiment but I think you'd agree. In several years of London cycling I've been knocked off by one car and no cyclists.

You're not going to get 'professional cyclists'. It's not the nature of the game. But you can change the culture, shame and the occasional FPN go a long way. Mostly it's not a case of following specific rules, it's just a case of not being such a dick. In the end though, life's too short to spend your life worrying about someone scooting down the pavement. Maybe we should accept a little more freedom and stop pretending bikes are merely little cars.
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clarion

  • Tyke
Re: Idiots on bikes
« Reply #19 on: October 31, 2013, 10:16:40 am »
The great thing about a bike car is that you can get in it and ride drive. That's the attraction (and one we should sell). It's easy and cheap. You don't need training, licenses, insurance. You can get in and go.
Getting there...

Re: Idiots on bikes
« Reply #20 on: October 31, 2013, 10:20:18 am »
Yes, but.

The problem is that people have difficulty understanding when rules work in everyone's favour. By all means get on yer bike, but in some circumstances it really is better for everyone if you follow some rules.

LEE

Re: Idiots on bikes
« Reply #21 on: October 31, 2013, 10:43:42 am »
A cyclist swerved and avoided an accident. Sounds terrifying. But that's the difference, cyclists may nearly hit other people, drivers do hit other people.

This reply summarises the problem, you aren't allowed to mention that some cyclists are idiots without antagonising people into pointing out that some car drivers are idiots.

We all know car drivers hit other people and that cars present a higher risk of serious injury but it's not as simple as car drivers bad, cyclists good.  Why can't we mention that some cyclists are idiots?  There are plenty of threads where we can say the same of motorists.

"cyclists may nearly hit other people" is ignoring some replies where cyclists HAVE hit people.

Just as I am tarred with the "selfish motorist" brush because I drive a car I am concerned that I am also tarred with the "Red light jumper" brush, and the "Bloody cyclists" brush because of some cycling idiots in towns and cities.

Cycling through Winchester last week some tosser wearing full pin-stripe suit, sam-brown belt and day-glo helmet came barrelling down the pavement (one way street), slalom-ing  through the pedestrians.  It's a steep downhill and he was flying along relying on people not to suddenly turn to look in a shop window.  He'd have hospitalised them (and himself I imagine).

If I was guessing I'd say he was a barrister or some professional along those lines (Winchester is full of them).

I just heard a "Fucking cyclists" from a pedestrian closest to me.  Not "Fucking Tosser" (which he was) but "Fucking cyclists".  That's my issue with idiot cyclists.  I imagine many careful  and responsible White van drivers get pissed off as well (I'd ask them if they put their fucking mobile phone down for a second).

I know someone will now say "yebbut..motorists are bad" but hey-ho, what can you do?.

Re: Idiots on bikes
« Reply #22 on: October 31, 2013, 10:46:25 am »
Spot on, Paul.

Re: Idiots on bikes
« Reply #23 on: October 31, 2013, 10:48:20 am »
The great thing about a bike is that you can get on it and ride. That's the attraction (and one we should sell). It's easy and cheap. You don't need training, licenses, insurance. You can get on and go. It's also generally the preserve of younger people, and let's face, if you're young you have little appreciation of your own mortality. You drink, you smoke, you slide down the side of large lorries. Cycling, by definition, isn't rule-based, any more than being a pedestrian is. Even Swiss cyclists don't follow rules.

This is a group of 'proper cyclists'. You see that in the threads about cycling infrastructure and facilities. We have mudguards and lights capable of waking the undead. We'd cycle to the Moon via an A road. We take it all very seriously. That said, I see plenty of proper cyclists behaving like idiots too, but that mostly seems to be the race mentality, where every commute is a stage on the TdF.

I see a lot of idiot cyclists. Yes, they're annoying and, no, they don't help the cause of cycling. But I kind of understand it. But it's also bullshit to categorise the danger as akin to motorised vehicles. Sorry, I've been hit by a car and I'd much rather it were a errant cyclist. I really don't recommend you try this experiment but I think you'd agree. In several years of London cycling I've been knocked off by one car and no cyclists.

You're not going to get 'professional cyclists'. It's not the nature of the game. But you can change the culture, shame and the occasional FPN go a long way. Mostly it's not a case of following specific rules, it's just a case of not being such a dick. In the end though, life's too short to spend your life worrying about someone scooting down the pavement. Maybe we should accept a little more freedom and stop pretending bikes are merely little cars.

Love it - POTD material.

I agree with most apart from the last paragraph. Freedom is great, until you interact with other people - not just if you cause injury or inconvenience by your actions, but in perception. Perception changes culture - up to a few years ago, cyclists were portrayed in television dramas, as weirdy losers. Now much less so - possibly due to more people cycling, but also the positive portayal leads to increased numbers cycling.

Contempt of the rules breeds contempt of the rules.  >:(

Rules of the road are there to try to get us to play nicely together, and if we don't play nicely, eventually someone gets hurt.
If it ain't broke, fix it 'til it is...

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Idiots on bikes
« Reply #24 on: October 31, 2013, 10:53:01 am »
I think the IoBs we identify tend to be doing obviously illegal things like ignoring red lights and riding unlit, whereas IiCs are doing what everyone does - speeding just a bit, for instance. The rules we all have to (should) follow are made mostly if not entirely due to motor traffic - traffic lights are a good example, if all traffic was nimble bikes and slow horse carriages, we simply wouldn't need them because we'd just navigate round each other. It can be a pain to stop at a red light on a bike, especially up hill or heavily laden. In a car it might be frustrating having to wait, but it's not actually an effort and won't leave you wet and cold. The rules are very car-based and we're also a very rule-following society; even the most law breaking IoB in Europe probably follows more rules than an average Indian driver.
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