Bike Rage

12 Mar

I’m generally a bike rider or pedestrian. Not one of those lycra clad going out for some exercise riders, more I want to get places without taking an hour to walk there riders. Most of my riding is to and from uni, a nice and easy 10 minute ride.

For the most part I’m on a bike path. Pedestrians occasionally walk 2-3 abreast taking up the entire path, but when ringing my bell they move out of the way. On the parts where I’m on the roads, there cars are mostly fine. There are a few they over take me slightly closely, but it is rarely. These things don’t worry me.

What worries me is cars trying to be nice. They see me waiting to cross the road (this happens as both a pedestrian and cyclist), and think “Oh, I’ll be nice and let the person go through”. Here, in NSW, Australia, cars have right of way unless it is a marked pedestrian zebra crossing or the car is turning into a side street that has a pedestrian already crossing (well obviously they can’t run over pedestrians on the road, but the pedestrian shouldn’t be crossing). Bicycles are considered vehicles and should not be on foot paths, only marked bicycle paths. Obviously slightly different rules if you are on a major road. The problem with being “nice” is the cars behind the “nice car” has no idea that the person is trying to be “nice”, so they swerve around the “nice” car and nearly run into the pedestrian/cyclist.

Or what happened to me this morning. I was half way crossing a road waiting in the refuge island. The path on the opposite side of the road isn’t wheel accessible, so I turn into the road and then turn onto the path. A car stopped waiting for me to cross. Initially I didn’t move as they had right of way. The lady driving was waiving me through and I could see cars behind her getting annoyed (not enough room to over take here) I decided just to go. Just a bit further down the road where there is sort of room to over take (only sort of) she decided to over take me. Not safe, not a good idea.

So if you are car, please remember who has right of way. Being “nice” does no one any favours. If you are a cyclist or pedestrian,  don’t accept favours from cars, as there are other cars around that won’t appreciate it.

 

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