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.

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.

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.

Keeping your children amused during school holidays – geek style

Oh no! its that time again! I really dislike having to change my whole routine for school holidays, i have to pay a babysitter, or work from home (my employer is fantastic like that!), and generally try and keep the kids from going nuts with boredom.  During the summer its fine because they can play outside at parks, bike, swim, and go to camp. During any other season, chances are its to cold to do a lot of those things, and its often windy or raining.
So, what do you do? Well heres a few ideas I came up with for my kids.

rag-doll-kung-fu-fists-of-plastic-20080715052128948_640wGame Consoles: they don’t have to guns and sit down games, my children currently favour Kung Fu Ragdoll on the PS3 which involves shaking the controller, and apparently a lot of jumping up and down, tongue out the side of the mouth and often screaming. Keeps them amused for hours. I’m not overly fond of them sitting down much so we also have a WII which has tons of games that involve action and movement. Not to mention Rockband/Guitar hero which both involve drums, singing, and guitar!

Creativity: If you havn’t found it yet, check out , where you can make easy fast entertaining things like an LED stuck to a battery (aka throwies) , to building your own Yurt. In fact they even have their own category specifically for kids!

: If you have a GPS device and its a nice day, try . Sign up, put your address in the finder and look for Geocaches nearby. They give you the GPS co-ords, you go to the area and then the hunt for the geocache is on! its somewhat like a treasure hunt, only world wide. Once you find the cache, its usually a plastic container, you can sign the log book, log it on the website, and if it contains “trinkets” you can take one and put something else in its place. Geocaches are usually around the most scenic places in the world and include lovely strolls through areas you probably never noticed before. This also makes a long journey down New Zealand fun when you stop every hour or two to find caches! You can even start a few of your own caches! Check out my photos taken whilst Geocaching

Here are a few other awesome DIY items you can try:
ducttape-walletCreate your own Sun in a Jar
Duct Tape Wallets :
Diet Coke and Mentos: – however you may want a nice sunny day for this and some old clothes, and PROBABLY want to do it outdoors!
DIY things with solar panels

And should you have a computer setup for every child in the house, here are some  excellent non-social networking websites – Addictive educational games for kids. They wont realize they are learning whilst playing! – NASA have space related fun things to do – explore the Museum of Science and Human Perception Online!

Last but not least, go into your cuboards and drag out those board games. Cranium, Monopoly, Trivial Persuit, and the new favourite Hannah Montana game with CD (it makes you dance and sing!)

If you dont hear much from me this will be why

They say children cost a lot of money, about $250,000 each or some such, but what they dont talk about is the time!

One of my daughters recently did a Bugsy Malone stage show at school,  I encourage them to join in things like this as its great for personal growth and self esteem, anmd often cheap entertainment! However any parent whos done it knows there is a lot of commitment also from the parents to get them to practices on time, making sure they have costumes etc.

Currently my second daughter who is in a cheerleading show. Now this isnt your normal cheerleading, we live in Cambridge which is a smallish town of 16,000 people. Once dance teacher does pretty much all dance classes. From Hip Hop to Ballet, Tap dance, and of course the cheerleading. So as a result the Cheerleading is more of a dance style than traditional, however the kids like it and enjoy it so im happy enough.

On saturday they are doing a Dance show, it includes the entire dance school. This means a good couple hundred children, some of which are in multiple dance classes and costumes. Logistical nightmare for most but the lady who runs the dance class is fantastic, and everyone pitches in. A side effect however is the time spent  practicing making sure each group has their part down pat.

Anyway, I digress, what I wanted to do was give you an idea on the schedule we’ve been keeping the last week.


7am wake up

7:10 Im up and dressed

7:20 Im putting vegs in slow cooker for dinner

7:30 Throw ingrediants into breadmaker for Foccacia bread dough

7:40 Making sure kids have medication, reading school notices, checking schedule

8:00 Leaving the house

8:30 kids all dropped at school and we have 30mins spare for breakfast. Hit the cafe to have a break as well

9-13 Working at

13:00 Lunch

14:45 Leave to pickup kids from school

15:20 got kids, waiting at bus stop for mother coming into town on a bus (that was late!)

15:45 Arrive home, roll bread dough out and put it in the oven.

16:00 finish dressing daughter for dress rehearsal, cover her hair in enough product to hold it in place for hours

16:30 Get bread out of oven, dish up soup and bread for kids

16:45 Leave for dress rehearsal late. Left other kids with mum at home and another bread mix in the machine and intructions for mum to cook it.

8:30 Left dress rehearsal earlyish as our part was done, got home, had my dinner and other load of bread

9:30 caught up on emails and anything urgent, planned next day

Friday – Plans for today

7am: awake

7:20 got up slower today, woke at 2am and couldnt get back to sleep till 5am – too much stress?

7:30 Got chicken out of freezer, tossed it in oven tray with potatos and program the oven to have it cooked by 3:30pm

7:45 Head out to the supermarket to do shopping, run outta milk, marg, tea, bread, sanitory pads, and pretty much everything

8:15 get back from shopping, take kids to school

8:40 arrive at work and type up this post

9:00 work till lunch

12:00 Lunch break i need to , buy bras that dont show in costume for daughter, birthday present (her birthday is sunday), pay bills, ring sons doctor and have lunch

1:00 work again

2:45 Head out to pickup kids

3:30 get home, cook veg to go with roast, slice up roast whilst they cook

4:00 feed kids, get daughter dressed and made up again, add more product to her hair

5:00 be at rehearsal again

8:ish finish and come home, shower daughter

Saturday: I get the morning free to sleep in! then show is on at 2pm and 7pm and we have to go to Hamilton somewhere this day

Sunday: Clear out rumpus and get food out for birthday party, deal with 10 squeeling girls and feed them for a birthday party lasting 4 hours

Monday: Im doing as little as possible! Its my birthday! 36 and ill be feeling every year of it i reckon 🙂