Why are cyclists being picked on?

, posted: 25-Nov-2010 10:09

I attended the funeral for my cousin last week that was one of the cyclists killed in that horrible weekend and week on the roads for cyclists.

That was really hard for me.

I am a commuter cyclist. I say this as I cycle to work everyday on my mountain bike from Petone into Wellington CBD and back. I'm not an enthusiast out on weekends riding in groups (and seem to get so much abuse). I'm just getting to work and back.

After the horror week that was this week seems to me to have been the worst I have experienced, it's just been really crazy on the roads. I have seen the aftermath of 3 cyclists knocked down this week; 1 just after it happened, 1 just as the ambulance arrived, and today one just out of Petone where the ambulance was already there and a cop was talking to another cyclist.

What gets me is how drivers seem to think cyclists don't exist or think that because we're not cars we don't have right of way or bleong on the road. There was a blog on stuff this week that really infuriated me what the mentality of some people have (http://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/blogs/drivetalk/4359968/A-metre-could-have-saved-her-life) either this blogger is a complete idiot or is actually a very good troll.

It seems to me people get so impatient that when they see a 'gap' with a cyclist in it they take it, like the cyclist should stop for them. I can be looking directly into the eyes of someone and see them see me as they make that wrong decision. What is 2 seconds for them could be eternity for me.

Just this week i've had to deal with:
- a van run red light just as my crossing sign turned green
- vehicles pulling out from/into drives/intersections/parks directly into my path - were I to swerve instead of brake I could get taken out from behind by a passing motorist (think tamaki drive)
- vehicles cutting left right in front of me, particularly into drives where they go slow entering stop and block what little room I have
- A BUS did a u-turn from the other side of the road right in front of me and totally blocked me and the cyclists behind me - like we don't have rights???

One particularly hairy part of my daily commute is just before I get home I have to negotiate the Petone off ramp and round-a-bout. It infuriates me the amount of people that swerve just in front of me to get around the corner when they could wait just a few seconds as we're not going slow, I have an odometer and I generally travel at 30kph.

It's these drivers that cannot judge speeds, that are too impatient to wait 2 seconds, that misjudge just how fast we can travel, that are making the bad decisions to speed up and cut in front of cyclists and ultimately will probably kill me one day.

WTF, what is wrong with people, cyclists are dying because people have no patience that for 2 seconds you'd risk a cyclists life?

Alter the road advertisements where 'death' spins the wheel to include these scenes with a cyclist in the mix because that wheel of life will have a lot more black segments on it marked death.


, posted: 12-Sep-2007 09:50

It's coming up to that time again where my troup all dress up in some weird way and converge on the cake tin for two days of partying regardless of what teams are playing on the field. It has to be one of Wellington's biggest annual parties and is a major calendar event - it seems the cake tin is a very unique venue and It's a guaranteed awesome weekend - it's a shame I could only get 2 tickets this year, was the madest lolly scramble i've seen in a while, would love to see some stats on it.

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Cut out the middle man?

, posted: 8-Jun-2007 12:54

I've been buying stuff online since it's been feasible (so much wine) but Sunday saw my first downloaded purchase, some games off steam, and I was quietly impressed http://www.steampowered.com/v/index.php?area=game&AppId=380&cc=NZ I know this isn't new but like all things i'm never the first on the bandwagon and a year ago I couldn't have waited for a download but Sunday morning was painless as I did my domestics while it sat there sucking up zeros and ones. So how about those cost savings? No GST or store markup, this more than makes up for buying online, plus i'm making the greenies happier. So is this the best way of software purchasing? Will I be doing this from now on? I've not bought music online yet since i'm a tiny audiophile and want high quality and i'll not bother with divx/xvid downloads as I like DTS and good quality video when available, but I no longer see why I can't buy software online now so long as it's not a massive download - but like everything it'll be a balance, like having trim milk with my large flat white or a diet soda with those large fries. IMO it's just too damn easy to buy things online.

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Carl Shuker
New Zealand