Bikes vs Cars – Road Rules

There has been much debate in the media and on forums everywhere regarding the whole bikes vs cars thing. Whilst most cyclists are well behaved, and most cars are well behaved, i think there are a select few making things bad for everyone by behaving like a child.

So I would just like to clarify things for you all and quote the road code here, just in case anyone was in doubt.

80-90% of Cyclists are also drivers, they pay road taxes, etc and drive on the road just as you do. Stop using this as an argument to justify your bad driving.

It IS legal to ride 2 abreast cycling, this however does take up an entire lane and so single file should be used when overtaking parked cars, or if cars want to get through.

If you are a car, then sometimes they may not notice you behind them, it pays to give a couple of short beeps to let them know you are there. At this point people in bunches will start the call ‘Car Back’ which is passed from rider to rider and they should move into single file.

At the lights,  especially when there are people turning, cyclists will sit in the middle of the lane. This is so that nobody turns in front of them at all, and because they can usually do a fairly fast take off.

Probably the worst situation is the most common, and that’s when a car overtakes a cyclist nicely and without thinking with plenty of gap, then forgets they were there and turns left into a street or driveway effectively cutting them off.¬† Whilst the crash may be minor for the car involve if the cyclist can brake, a resulting road rash or broken bones etc can sting for some time.

Riding on the footpath is illegal for anyone over 12 who is not a postie, its not an option that works for cyclists. The ‘cycling paths’ that are painted onto footpaths¬† are great for teenagers and kids, and even those slower riders or beach cruisers, however they are not in any way suitable for anyone riding faster than 15km/ph. The reason is because often people have children and dogs on the same footpaths which are unpredictable and will often jump out in front of you, not to mention people getting in and out of cars which have to cross the cycle path to get to the walking part, and in general people just not honouring the actual ‘cycle path’ part being only for cyclists.

The average roadie speed on the flat is easily near 30km/ph. A lot of people underestimate the speed they are going and think ‘oh they wont get here before i turn’ or similar’. On a downhill, personally, I’ve seen a lot of cyclists doing up to, and over 80km/ph, can you please be aware of this when you are turning and see a cyclist?

Above all, both Cyclists and Drivers, try to be more tolerant and less angry. You dont NEED to get angry if you get cut off, or if somebody over takes you, its ok to just let it go. Life is too short to waste time on pointless anger or in a jail cell/hospital because of it.

http://www.ltsa.govt.nz/roadcode/about-other-road-users/information-for-cyclists.html

Safety rules for cyclists

  • Cyclists must wear an approved safety helmet. Always fasten it securely, by following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • It’s a good idea to wear brightly coloured or reflective clothing when cycling. That way you’ll be easier to see.
  • Don’t ride your bicycle on a footpath unless you are delivering newspapers, mail or leaflets, or there is a sign indicating it is a shared pedestrian and cycle path.
  • At intersections, you must:
    • follow the rules for motor vehicles, or
    • get off your cycle and walk across.
  • You can only ride alongside another cyclist or moped. You must not ride alongside a car, truck or other motor vehicle.
  • Always ride in single file if passing another vehicle.
  • Your cycle must not be towed by another vehicle.
  • Your cycle can only tow a trailer (one designed to be towed by a cycle) and must not be fitted with a sidecar.
  • You must not carry a pillion passenger on your cycle unless you have a pillion seat and footrest. If you are carrying a child, the pillion seat must protect the child’s legs from the wheels.
  • You must not leave a cycle blocking a footpath.
  • Where there is an adequate cycle path or cycle lane, cyclists should use it.
  • You must ride with lights on when it is dark (from 30 minutes after sunset until 30 minutes before sunrise).
  • You must keep your cycle in good working condition.

http://www.ltsa.govt.nz/roadcode/about-other-road-users/sharing-road-with-cyclists.html

Safe driving around cyclists

  • Hazards like parked cars, potholes, glass, litter and opening car doors may cause cyclists to veer off-line and move into your path. Because of this, give cyclists plenty of room when passing them. Ideally, allow at least 1.5 metres between you and the cyclist.
  • Wait for a clear space before passing a cyclist on a narrow road.
  • At intersections, apply the same rules to cyclists that you would to any other vehicle on the road. Take care to indicate turns.
  • Only drive across cycle lanes when entering or leaving side roads, driveways or parking spaces.
  • If you are crossing a cycle lane, give way to cyclists before you cross.
  • Take extra care around young cyclists.
  • You must not drive in a cycle lane.

When will the Mayhem stop? Cars vs Cyclists

Most of you know im an avid cyclist. I used to be 150kg and clearly very overweight. I used cycling help get me active as i lost weight, and of course started out slow.
Because i was larger 6km took me a long time to bike and was a epic journey, eventually i got better as i lost the weight.
Along the way i tried lots of cycling groups, but they all just went off and left me behind in the dust on the hills because i was larger.
Then i stumbled over a tiny group called the Pickled Pedallers in Albany.
Their motto? “We start together, we finish together”. I never got left behind, “Coach” would sit back with me (i think he liked the break to be honest!) and “Crash” would keep me amused with smart assed wise cracks.
I didnt always have the time to cycle with the group. but whenever i turned up i was welcomed.
As my cycling developed the group grew larger. When i moved to Cambridge from Auckland a year ago the one thing i missed more than anything was the cycling. I actually gave up cycling because the groups here just were not the same. Doing it alone just didnt do it for me (though i still cycle a lot too and from places).
I kept in touch via the forum and occasional visits and races.

So today i heard on twitter from @roadcycling (aka http://www.roadcycling.co.nz ) that her respects go out to the Pickled Pedallers who were involved in an accident today on the waterfront. My first though was ‘omg was anyone hurt’. As it turns out, there was. Unfortunatly the forum was down, however google reader cached the rss feed and i got this.

“Hi guys—-it is serious and it was our group. Greg Paterson is in a critical condition with head injuries, Dave also has a suspected head injury but some of us were talking to him in emergancy and he was quite lucid, cuts on ther left side of his face maybe a broken collarbone, Stev I last saw with a neck brace on and in emergancy but not sure of other injuries, Swampy has a bad cut to his left knee and Red Hot and I helped the doctor stitch him up—well we were there at the time! It is a nasty and deep cut.
Greg’s injuries are life threatening, so if you are into prayers, he needs them. I shall keep you posted.
The woman driver drove straight into the middle of the group so in some respects we are lucky there were not more of us injured.”

It even made the nzherald http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10599761 and several other places. (new update at http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10599817 )

At the moment im still stunned, and really gutted that Greg, and the other guys are now like this, because one person missed a stop sign. Something as small as that, has a guy in hospital unsure if hes even going to live, and if he does live what is his quality of life?

Whilst some of you may hate cyclists, do remember about the personal injury lawyer existence and that there are always the ones that give everyone a bad name. The PP in particular were actively working on making sure they were never aggressive to other members on the road, never stopping in odd places, and never more than 2 people wide (or 1 if there was a car coming – PP forums http://pickledpedallers.forumcircle.com/viewforum.php?f=2 ).

To follow the story check out http://www.vorb.org.nz/crash-auckland-t100615-15.html

Cycling Fun jokes etc

Excellent Fixie vs Road Cyclists Rap

fail-owned-bike-repair-fail

YOU KNOW YOU’RE ADDICTED TO CYCLING IF….

  • You hear someone had a crash and your first question is “How’s the bike?”
  • You have stopped even trying to explain to your other half why you need more than one bike…you just go buy another one and figure it will all work out in the divorce settlement.
  • You buy your crutches instead of renting.
  • You see nothing wrong with discussing the connection between hydration and urine color.
  • You find your Shimano touring shoes to be more comfortable and stylish than your new trainers
  • You refuse to buy a settee because that patch of wall space is taken up by the bike.
  • You have more money invested in your bike clothes than in the rest of your combined wardrobe.
  • Biker chick means black lycra, not leather, and a Marinoni, not a Harley.
  • “Four cheeseburgers and four large French Fries” is for you.
  • You see a fit, tanned, Lycra-clad young thing ride by, and the first thing you check out is his or her bicycle.
  • You empathize with the roadkill.
  • Despite all that winter weight you put on, you’ll take off weight by buying titanium components
  • You use wax on your chain, but not on your legs (girls).
  • You use wax on your chain, AND on your legs (boys)
  • Your current bike is older than your grown up children.
  • Your first course when you eat out is a large banana split.
  • You yell “Car!” when passing another car, and “Bump!” when you see a pothole – while driving your car.
  • Your bike has more miles on its computer then your car’s odometer.
  • You wear your bike shorts swimming.
  • You wear Voodoo T-shirts all the time, including under dress shirts.
  • Your bikes are worth more than your car.
  • You buy a people-carrier and immediately remove the rear seats to allow your bike(s) to fit.
  • When you move to a new area the first thing you look for is a bike shop.
  • You have more bike jerseys than low-cut tops.
  • You take your bike along when you shop for a car – just to make sure the bike will fit inside.
  • You view crashes as an opportunity to upgrade components.
  • You clean your bike(s) more often then your house.
  • You spend weeks during the summer spraying arrows on the sides of roads.
  • You and your significant other have and wear identical riding clothes.
  • You put your bike in your car and the value of the total package increases by a factor of 4 (or better).
  • You can’t seem to get to work by 8:30 AM, even for important meetings, but you don’t have any problems at all meeting your mates at 5:30 AM for a hundred-miler.
  • You regard inter-gender discussion of your genital pain/size/shape/utility as normal.
  • Your New Years resolution is to put more miles on your bike than your car, and you do it.
  • You can tell your other half, with a straight face that it’s to hot to mow the lawn and then bike off for a century.
  • You know your cadence, but you have no idea what your speed is.
  • When driving your car you lean over the steering wheel, just like an aerobar.
  • Your kids bring a rear derailleur to “Show & Tell”.
  • Your car sits outside your garage because your garage is full of bikes and cycling gear.
  • Your surgeon tells you you need a heart valve replacement and you ask if you have a choice between Presta and Schrader.
  • A measurement of 44-36-40 doesn’t refer to the latest Playboy centrefold, but that new gear ratio you were considering.
  • You wear your heart monitor to bed to make sure you stay within your target zone during any extracurricular activities.
  • You experience an unreasonable envy over someone who has bar end extenders longer than yours.
  • You’re too tired for hanky-panky on a Friday night but pump out a five-hour century on Saturday.
  • There is no time like the present, for postponing what you ought to be doing, and go bicycling instead…
  • You no longer require a hankie to blow your nose.
  • You smile at your evening date, and she politely points out that you seem to have bugs in your teeth.