Selfish and inconsiderate [rant]

awright!! Morris Dancing rocks! This whole thread is worth it just for that.

Craig, you’re still the tops.


I like to think a wave or nod of appreciation to drivers who do the right thing doesn’t hurt - it can help motorists feel better about their driving ability. Who doesn’t feel good when they let someone else in and get a wave of thanks? Conversely, a screaming fit through the window can also encourage motorists to realise when they’ve done something wrong. :wink:

Are we really that free if it’s expected that the choices we make still fall within the acceptable limits of society? (Sorry, off-topic … long morning at work)

Choices have consequences. Everyone is free to run a red if they choose to do so. Most probably do it with their (and others) lives intact. Some cause injury or even death. You may choose to ignore the traffic signals but you better be prepared for when the shit hits the fan if you make a mistake.

For me, the idea that we should obey traffic signals so that drivers will respect bicyclists is irrelevant. We share the roads with others and as civilized people should ride in a way that does not bring danger to others. Hell, it would be even better if you could show alittle kindness to others on the road (Give way when you don’t have to etc etc.).

I understand that the road laws aren’t good enough for cyclists in traffic but it isn’t all that bad either. Try riding in Singapore or Malaysia if you don’t believe me. I’m not “for” or “against” running reds. I don’t have a strong stand on that, but riding in the style that I’ve described above usually means not running reds.

Am I being too optimistic to believe that most people can use the road in the that manner? Probably. But, it’s shouldn’t stop me (or anyone else) from doing so.

That is all.


I’m not advocating running reds by any means, but…

I’m not sure if it’s the same in Melburn, but here in Slow-bart, there are a number of intersections where the traffic lights remain green in one direction until a car activates a pressure sensor under the road by rolling up to the red light in the opposite direction. I can think of at least three of these intersections in and around the city where this is the case. I guess it’s set up like this because there aren’t as many cars approaching the intersection from side roads as there are heading along the more busy road. In Hobart late at night though, there really aren’t that many cars on the road, which means you can wait a long time to get a green light.

My housemate has a really small 2-door car, and often has to sit in his car and bounce up and down in order to activate the pressure sensors to get a green light (strange but true). The pressure of a cyclist on a bike (even a heavy clunker) isn’t anywhere near enough mass to trigger the sensor.

If you’re a law-abiding cyclist, technically you need to wait for a car to come up to the intersection going the same way you are, or alternatively roll onto the footpath, find the pedestrian crossing button and push that, in order for the lights to change. If you’re rolling through the city late at night on a weeknight, often there might not be a car coming up to the intersection for five minutes or more, in either the green or red light’s direction.

Is this just a Hobartian phenomenon?

here they cut into the road surface in a grid at the lights and lay a square that projects some kind of magnetic field that sense large masses of metal. i’ve had the same issue with right turn arrows at 2 in the morning, that never came on, because i could’t set off thee sensor, no matter how many times i rolled over it. bad if you’re on a bike, (or a corvette possibly)

there is one intersection on st kilda rd, where i consistently ride over the pedestrian crossing, and wait on the other side, so that i am visible to all the cars that have to change lanes at that particular point. being stuck in the middle lane when half the cars in that lane want to get to the left of the road as quickly as possible is not my idea of fun or safety.

do you think they would have caught you?

should i answer i wonder.

running reds. yep, about 30 a day.
not if i’m not working, or have spare time to sit and wait.
yes if i’m holding 6 bullets and no time.

but every single traffic light i ever come to i will jump by a bit to establish myself in the lane when the lights change. i’ve been hit from behind by some fuck head reving away from the lights, and i’ve been hit from behind by some other fuckwit just not looking before he took off. so now i make sure they see me by being in the lane, half way across the intersection before they start out.

as for general road rules, they will get you killed.
if not the idea of sitting to the right hand side of a lane to turn right (where you will get run down like a deer in the headlights), then by waiting for a left turning car to just roll right over you.

not a single day goes by when i’m working that i don’t see something that if the timing was a little different would kill me stone dead. opening doors, u turning cars, cars pulling out of side streets, cars running red lights lights, pedestrians jay walking, parents using prams as traffic testers, kids running out, other cyclists wobbling their way to work on the daily commute, and skaters and scooter riders trying to commit suicide. all of it can hurt, maim or kill me, and i avoid the majority of it by not following like a sheep, and getting my job done.

pretty much every injury i’ve ever received while working as a messenger was the result of someone else doing something stupid to me. the worst i’ve done to myself was a big gravel rash. worst done to me? broken back and both legs. i save self inflicted injury for mountain biking.

the idea that you get respect from car drivers doesn’t exist i think.
car drivers who ride, yes. they will see you, and make minimal efforts to not murder you.
people who don’t ride, don’t care.
they don’t see you as a threat, so they don’t need to worry about you.
every one who has ever ridden a motorbike knows this if they want to live a week on the thing, and people who ride bikes should know it as well.
buses will pull out on you and push you into oncoming traffic, or move to the curb and crush you, and they’ll smile while they do it.
cabs will open doors, or change lanes, or stop without warning.
mom in her SUV will be on the phone and won’t see you at the intersection, or care if she does see you.

might makes right.
and i’ll live longer by moving through this shit fight, not floating along at the same pace as the lumps.

What whatthekoon and lupine said.

I think a meaningful illustration of Lupines post would be when somebody does almost kill you in one manner or another and they then roll off the bog standard replies

“sorry mate” -Like you being seconds from death or injury was a harmless error

“oh sorry I didn’t see you” -Yeah no shit, and here I was thinking you did it on purpose, well if you just ‘didn’t see me’ I guess all is well in the best of all possible worlds and your completely off the hook for acting like an alabaster retard and all-most running me off the road, Have a nice day.

“get off the fucking road” - Don’t even get me started on this one

Or in the worst case scenario they don’t even grace you with dialogue. They just honk at you.

I get excuses like the ones above all the time and every-time I do it reenforces the fact that I am on my own on the road and no one is looking out for me.

If you’re going to do it then you’d better be aware of the consequences i.e. getting honked or yelled at, casting a negative shadow over all other cyclists or worst of all death.
My ethos is that if I had enough time to walk briskly through the intersection without getting trampled then all is well. I don’t always do it, maybe two or three times per ride.
Most of the time it’s nice to just sit and watch things go by.

I run red lights and do other stupid things to get thrills, but at the same time i rescind all rights to criticise anyone else on the road. Like others have said, i have almost been killed countless times by careless motorists and even other cyclists, but thats just too bad for me. I cant change them, no matter what i do; and that will never change, regardless of whether i obey the road rules or not. Perhaps this attitute is selfish, but in my years of riding i have found it to be the best approach to the perils of road riding.

Actually no. Virtually every set of lights in australia that uses a sensor, uses magnetic induction loops, sawcut into the surface. The sensitivity of the sensor can be adjusted and also varies depending on the shape (figure 8 are generally the most sensitive) and the location of the bike. The best location is directly over one of the sawcuts, not in the middle of the loop. If it is too sensitive, the lights will be triggered by all sorts of things, cars in the next lane, etc. Given a few written complaints to the local city council alderman (only way to get things changed), it isn’t uncommon to get the sensitivity adjusted or new loops cut into the road.

I understood that if the lights did not register that a bike was there (after a reasonable time), the lights could be treated as if they were inoperative (flashing orange or off). You could legally ride through red! I’m happy to be corrected about this point though.


One day tony accepted a lift from Sam, as they drove along Punt rd they came up to a red light and Sam fanged it to fly across the intersection with the red still on. Tony was a little confussed and thought ook. As they drove along they came up to another red and BAM! Sam floored it again throught the red! At this stage Tony just had to ask, dude what the fuck? So Sam calmly replied “well its this thing my brother taught me, run a red and seriously you will never get hit” and continued to drive, soon they aproached a green and Sam hits the brakes to a screming halt! Tony is looking at Sam like WTF? So Sam calmly replies “my brother could be comming from the other way”

shouldn’t you be in the middle of nowhere right now?

thats nowheresville to you! And so far its an awesome day! Nicole and Nath have just jumped on the track! Go Baby Go!

I don’t run reds because I don’t want to be part of the problem. While I agree that red lights are superfluous for pushies, I’d at least like to set a good example and do the right thing. It really makes fuck all difference to how long it takes me to get somewhere. I’ve got a mate who does that the fuck he feels like on the road. He rides so aggressively and gets angry at cars all the time while doing stupid shit himself. I’ve had a go at him a few times and he just doesn’t get it. If I wanted to be angry and frustrated I would have kept driving everywhere. My favourite aspect of using a bike to get from A to B is how relaxing it is.

That said, for a courier, time is money.
I do also agree that traffic lights and stop signs are largely superfluous for people on pushies but the cars that you annoy don’t understand the reason you run reds which is why they get mad. Also because they’ve been sitting on their arses for 45 minutes in bumper to bumper traffic. Suckers.

This is interesting, thanks for the info - I stand corrected on this one. I’ll have a look for cuts in the road next time I come up to one of these intersections.

I wonder how much metal it takes to trigger them? (no Manowar or Iron Maiden jokes, please…)

I read on teh interweb that you superglue a small, but strong magnet to the bottom of your frame. Apparently that’s enough to set the lights off. Google it and you’ll probably find it.

On reds… mostly I see it commuting and the guys that do it, I usually pass further up the road anyway. It doesn’t get you to work any quicker, and who’s in a rush to do that? For couriers - time is money and you know the risks. I just think, especially in peak hour, that it’s good road karma.

I only do it when I’m riding pissed, being chased by the bike cops cause I’m not wearing a helmet. .