I have a death wish - riding home from Wellington City

, posted: 26-Mar-2009 08:40

Well not actually death wish, but it feels like it sometimes......

What is it about 5pm drivers that makes them more obnoxious and aggressive than their 4pm counterparts?  Is it because they're more angry they have had to work that extra hour??

Yesterday i left work on the bicycle at 5pm. Normally i try to leave if cycling between 3 and 4, because there is less traffic on the road.  but yesterday it was 5pm.

Ok well the Terrace will always be 'fun' regardless of the time. Just the amount of traffic and pedestrians. So last night traffic was banked up and pedestrians have a wonderful habit of waking between the stopped cars. I don't have a problem with that, I'd do it myself. But try looking both ways you idiots. I locked my rear wheel twice and got very close to one chap who blindly walked in front of me. Now I'll hear you all bitch at me that it was my fault for riding faster than the traffic, even when not doing that, pedestrians blindly walk out after the cars had passed. One advantage of bumper to bumper traffic is no taxis or couriers trying to u-turn in front of me. the terrace is a go slow zone because of all this.

Next point of issue is just the amount of traffic to while trying to keep left. Coming from Thorndon quay to the Hutt road there is a cross over where traffic from the ferry or Aotea quay merges. Normally there is no problem here as there is very few cars coming from Aotea but after 5 it is full and pm you rely on somebody, a, seeing you, b, slowing down to let you cross. I was fortunate last night a blue Nissan let me in. I will always wave thanks if I'm able to (sometimes it's just not possible to wave/indicate explain later).    

But while riding down the Hutt road here, just before the traffic lights I get a honk from some woman in the bluebird, and she points to the side of the road.  This is the type of person that really pisses me off.  There was no other traffic around her, I was just on the white line (at the side of the road), maybe a little on the right of it, as the road is pretty crappy/bumpy/dirty at that point, and she honks like she owns the road.  WELL LISTEN UP!! I pay road taxes as well for my car that I CHOOSE to leave at you snobby bitch.  You should be dropping to my feet and kissing them (I wanted to say something else, but this is a family show) for choosing to take a form of transport that takes another car off the road.  Its people like this that makes me want to catch up to them and rip their mirrors off. 

Now I'll get just as angry when I see a group of arrogant cyclists riding 2 - 3 abreast using the road, I think it's bad manners and a bad image, but a single cyclist, you is probably just trying to avoid a crappy section of road is a different thing, and they should be cut some slack.  Again, while you may have to slow down to get around us for 3 seconds isn't it better than me being a selfish tin box driver and clogging the roads!!

On to the motorway is pretty uneventful, well apart form the Mana/Newlands buses, some of those guys have a particular dislike of cyclists, pulling out in from of them, passing them then pulling into a stop, and cutting it very close when they pass.

The only other areas of note are on the surface streets on Lower Hutt, being after 5pm people are more likely to take stupid risks at intersections as they are impatient and have been sitting at the intersection a while, and what this means to a cyclist is they are less will to wait, and more likely to pull out in front of you.  This may surprise you but a bicycle - especially a road bike - doesn't stop that much quicker than a car.  Our tires are so thin they just lock up....so don't be surprised one day to find a cyclist on your bonnet if you are one of these impatient assholes.  Mountain bikes with knobbly tires are pretty similar to stopping distance.

So there you go, a ride from Wellington to Lower Hutt, after 5pm, remind me not to do that again in a hurry and leave at a less congested hour. I'm fortunate that this is an option to me, for most people it is probably not.

Other related posts:
Little Boys and their Sewing Machine Cars
Breast is not always best.
The ongoing Epuni Train Station saga

Comment by Tony Hughes, on 26-Mar-2009 09:43

Great post...

Pity it was required to start with!

Comment by GeekGuy, on 26-Mar-2009 10:12

I have noticed there is a very dangerous trend in Auckland where traffic is built up on a side street (that mergers with a main road) with cars wanting to turn left, idiots will actually drive onto the other side of the road just to get to the intersection to turn right. Very unnerving when you are driving down a street and you have cars heading towards you on the wrong side of the road.

Comment by alikat, on 26-Mar-2009 14:50

I remember learning to drive. My instructor said it was 5 points for each cyclist I took out, 50 if they were behind a lamp post. What kind of curtesy does that teach us?

Comment by mruane, on 27-Mar-2009 09:00

When I am driving my car to work, I show respect for buses and trucks but none it seems towards motorcyclists, scooterists and cyclists. When I am riding my scooter, I show respect for buses, trucks, cars and motorcycles but none for cyclists.
It looks like, that as a cyclist, the only person who will show you respect is a pedestrian!
Such is life...

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davidcole Cole
Lower Hutt
New Zealand

Been thinking it would be nice to have a blog but not sure if I have enough to say.

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