Thursday, December 07, 2006

St Christopher... you dawg!

I had another near miss again this morning on my scoo-tay, this time with a car. As I have clocked up a few of these encounters - I think it is about time I shared the wealth of my knowledge to date.

Bristol City - Scooter/Motorcyclist Survival Guide

  1. Give yourself plenty of space/time to brake. This is especially important in the wet. I had my bike for only a few hours before I had to brake really hard - behind a police van. I did have enough distance to stop. 4/5 safety points to me.
  2. Using the cycle lanes. Only do this at a cycle speed! I was caught out going up hill undertaking stationary traffic in a cycle lane, when a car travelling towards me turned right (thats across the cycle lane) between 2 traffic jammed cars. I get 1/5 safety points there because I was travelling way to fast. I ended up glancing the kerb to avoid becoming a bonnet ornament. Having said that, if I was a quick moving cyclist... the same accident would have happened. So thats a black mark on the car driver too.
  3. When travelling down the centre of traffic which has stopped - take extreme care. I have been almost taken down by a pedestrian crossing between a van and a bus... emerging to find me bearing down on them. Also I have been hit by a car who was pulling out of a junction between a bus and a car... 3/5 safety to me. Both occasions I saw the danger and could not avoid it - so I slowed. Had I been faster.. then it would have been another story. This is a classic mistake by motorists and pedestrians - they are being allowed passage by someone else... and therefore are blinded to your position.
  4. Travelling on Bus lanes/cycle lanes. Again this is a dicey one. Take every precaution to see what is ahead. This morning I came closest to flying because a big van allowed a car on the opposite side of a road to cross over his lane and the bus lane to access a junction. The driver did not see me until I was right on top of him... and he was accelerating FAST! 3/5 for my safety there. This was one of those times where I had no chance... but I still knew it was wet and there was a big van at a junction - blinding me and the car driver to traffic. The car driver has a BIG black mark here. If I was a cyclist... travelling at the same speed - then I would have been broken badly. The lane he was crossing is used by bikes and scooters... he has no excuse, car drivers must take care whilst crossing these lanes blind.

In conclusion

When it is wet, take it easy and be extra vigilant. When you approach a bus or van which blinds you and also any other potential road users to your position - SLOW DOWN IMMEDIATELY! Buses and vans are THE biggest risk you have as a biker. Buses and vans remove all control you have over the situation. When you approach these vehicles at speed... you are throwing the dice of death.

Cuba

2 comments:

ollie said...

The same conclusion applies to France but you have to add an extra 1/5 safety points for avoiding dog poo while taking care of cars, buses and brainless scooters...

If you want to discover the thrill of the gate in ski downhill slalom, just try cycling in the neighboorhood of old people having four or five (each) small dog pooing everywhere on the road...

Gary Cuba said...

errrr... stinky sport there Augustus... I won't be trying that one. :-D

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