Hard News by Russell Brown

Read Post

Hard News: When "common sense" isn't

426 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 6 7 8 9 10 18 Newer→ Last

  • Stewart, in reply to Sacha,

    You should have followed the guy* in front of me this morning, in his truck-sized SUV; semi-dark rural roads, so he would have been operating on the assumption that another vehicle's lights would warn him, but he was cutting corners, straddling the centre-line & taking as much of both lanes as he wanted.
    (*Assuming throughout that the driver was male but recognising that may not have been the case.)

    But the rest of your post I entirely agree with - compulsion works only where the person being compelled can see obvious benefits to complying. In the case of hi-viz and cycle-helmets the benefits are less obvious than keeping left and doing up seatbelts.

    Te Ika A Maui - Whakatane… • Since Oct 2008 • 577 posts Report Reply

  • Stewart, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Yeah, somethign like that. Through approved driver education facilities, with log-books, etc.
    TBH it is more of a throwaway concept & unlikely to be practicable, but having developed a lot of defensive driving skills through cycling & motorcycling I can see how they improve one's car-driving.
    It makes a fine concept, if nothing more...

    Te Ika A Maui - Whakatane… • Since Oct 2008 • 577 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Gracewood, in reply to Christopher Dempsey,

    Attachment

    Camera Setup? I'm lucky enough to be doing some software work for GoPro, so we have a (literal) handful of their cameras lying around.

    My favourite is of course the top-end Hero 3 Black Edition. They're amazingly small and light, and can shoot 720p at 120fps for my entire commute (45-50mins) no problemo.

    I originally set it up for a laugh. Mr 9 and I adore Nitro Circus and stupid stunts, so we filmed some pratfalls on his scooter, then I set up a time-lapse on my commute. After catching a few red-light runners I'm going to make it a permanent fixture.

    And just so I'm not always a complainer, here's a sped-up version of my commute home to Te Atatu:

    We are so incredibly privileged in Auckland to have the North-West Cycleway. It's a fantastic piece of infrastructure which allows me to relax and not deal with traffic for 90% of my commute.

    Orkland • Since Nov 2006 • 168 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Ben Gracewood,

    We are so incredibly privileged in Auckland to have the North-West Cycleway. It’s a fantastic piece of infrastructure which allows me to relax and not deal with traffic for 90% of my commute.

    It pretty desperately needs that upgrade, though. And happily, the cycleway will be upgraded before the rest of the motorway. Which means it will be above the motorway for a while!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22753 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    It’s hard work getting a bicycle going again from a full stop, and it’s my work not the un-work of a tank full of petroleum pixies.

    Really? I don't find it so, especially if I have one foot on the ground, and the other on the pedal with the pedal at top and just to the front right ready for a strong push-off. And it's just what comes with the territory when I choose to ride my bike, just as paying over $2 per litre for petrol is what comes with the territory when I choose to drive my car.

    I think Christopher Dempsey has got a point when it comes to safety, and there are clearly times when in order to stay alive, a cyclist has to break the road code. Cycling through the top of a t-intersection on a red light doesn't strike me as one of them, 'though I'm sure that there have been particular occasions when safety demands it. Likewise with turning left through a red light.

    I know that as a driver, I get a shock when I am driving through an intersection, on a green, and suddenly a cyclist pops up, unexpectedly because *I* am the one with the green, not the cyclist.

    As a cyclist, I stick to the road code, unless immediate safety needs dictate otherwise, because then other road users have a much better chance of predicting what I will do. That's also why I indicate when I'm cycling - big clear hand signals that I maintain for as long as possible, so that other road users have a good understanding of where I intend to go and they can react accordingly.

    New Lynn • Since Nov 2006 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • John Armstrong, in reply to Ben Gracewood,

    here's a sped-up version of my commute home to Te Atatu

    Jesus that was nerve-wracking at high speed! It's a miracle that anyone survives biking anywhere other than their own back yard.

    Hamilton • Since Nov 2007 • 134 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Decide the principle is worth investigating, then figure out the details and if it’s possible. Can do amazing things with GPS tracking these days.

    I'm seeing a business opportunity for a cyclist - taking other people's GPS units for a bike ride, $5/pop.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Christopher Dempsey, in reply to Ben Gracewood,

    Oh fantastic!

    I would like to get a camera set up just so I can film the dicks that pass me *very* close, and I can send the info to NZ Police (though there is evidence that they don't bother doing anything about the offence).

    And your film of your commute is great! My brother lives out your way, so in recent times I've used that Northwestern cycleway, though I join on at Newton Rd bridge. Can you please slow the film down where you meet Carrington Rd? I can't figure out the best way to cross the road and join the path again at Unitec.

    Parnell / Tamaki-Auckland… • Since Sep 2008 • 659 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Gracewood, in reply to Christopher Dempsey,

    Carrington road is shambolic. Depending on traffic I either:
    - Ride along the footpath to the left and cross the pedestrian crossing (with it's giant "CYCLISTS DISMOUNT" sign that is usually ignored when cycling at walking speed)
    - Cross the road then turn back onto the footpath just after the cycleway entrance (there's a little curb crossing specifically for bikes there but it's a stupid-tight u-turn).

    Neither is ideal, but hey.

    Orkland • Since Nov 2006 • 168 posts Report Reply

  • Christopher Dempsey, in reply to Ben Gracewood,

    Ahh, I've done both... and coming home I ride up to the crossing, cross, then ride down against the traffic to the path... it's not ideal but it'll have to do for the meantime. Perhaps I could ask Rode (bike shop) to ring AT and put pressure on them to fix up that intersection...

    Parnell / Tamaki-Auckland… • Since Sep 2008 • 659 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Gracewood, in reply to Russell Brown,

    It pretty desperately needs that upgrade, though.

    Yup, really looking forward to that, especially the widening of the bridge bits and the tunnel under Patiki.

    Oh and the not being inundated by the sea twice a day. That would be good to avoid too.

    Orkland • Since Nov 2006 • 168 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Kyle Matthews,

    I'm sure that having two people's electronic tags on ones person would be easily detectable and lead to an extended spell in the Gulag, comrade.

    Not to mention that in the brave new world where every citizen/subject is a policeman, armed with a constantly running enforcement camera, determination of anyone's transgressions will be easily detected. Stopping one's government mandated 30 minutes exercise a bit early, eating more than one sweet snack a week, drinking more than 4 units in a night.

    Jeremy Bentham would have loved it.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Christopher Dempsey,

    I can send the info to NZ Police (though there is evidence that they don’t bother doing anything about the offence).

    I'll second that. Aforementioned incident where I got clipped by a car in Otahuhu (and got the bird when I shouted a profanity of surprise) was soundly ignored by the Police when I provided date, time, make, model and vehicle registration. I'm pretty sure the driver did it deliberately, because they had a whole lane to their right in addition to space within the lane.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Anthony Behrens Esq, in reply to Deborah,

    Hi Deborah...Palmerston North safe for cyclists? You obviously haven't been reading SwampThing...tut tut ;0). Palmy is really no better than anywhere else. In fact the closer I look, the worse it gets...except for the great new riverside cycle track. [http://www.swampthing.co.nz/article/107/]

    Manawatu • Since Nov 2012 • 19 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Ben Gracewood,

    And just so I’m not always a complainer, here’s a sped-up version of my commute home to Te Atatu:

    Nice. But don't you find those full-finger gloves get a bit sweaty?

    For variety, you could always get on the Arch Hill path on the north side of the motorway, from Bond Street -- that's quite fun -- and join the main cycleway at Mountain View Rd.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22753 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Maz,

    but how well do you hear in your car with the radio on?

    I NEVER have the radio on. Or discs going. Or use my Nano.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    It requires a 100W (at best) motor to become completely stationary and then try to safely pull away while sharing with other vehicles that have engine outputs that are hundreds of times greater

    Often thousands of times greater, in fact. The average new American car has around a 130 kilowatt output. I'd guess it's comparable here.

    But in a car I've got the protection of a steel cage and I've got dozens of kilowatts of dinosaur juice awaiting my merest beckoning foot movement.

    What kind of weakmobile are you driving? Suzuki 800 or something?

    It's really quite amazing that bikes can go as fast as they do on the flat, considering their power levels. Extremely efficient devices.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Gracewood, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Yup, I ride over the Waima St footbridge (and walk up that killer hill) on the way to work, but cruise down the road on the way home. Dunno why :)

    Orkland • Since Nov 2006 • 168 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Ben Gracewood,

    And just so I'm not always a complainer, here's a sped-up version of my commute home to Te Atatu:

    Nice video! Curious that you choose to bomb Williamson Ave rather than take Gt North Rd, though. You'd save yourself the climb at the end, and you can pretty much sit on your own in the bus lane the whole way.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Russell Brown,

    For variety, you could always get on the Arch Hill path on the north side of the motorway, from Bond Street -- that's quite fun -- and join the main cycleway at Mountain View Rd.

    Yup. Or just take the cycleway from Newton Rd on-ramp. Crossing to it seems like it should be hair raising, but I've never actually found it so.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Ben Gracewood,

    Yup, I ride over the Waima St footbridge (and walk up that killer hill) on the way to work, but cruise down the road on the way home. Dunno why :)

    I ride up that hill, but in the knowledge that I'm doing it for the exercise and possibly the beer afterwards, not to commute to work.

    But try the Arch Hill path one day. It's more ... recreational. And the climb up Bond St ain't so harsh.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22753 posts Report Reply

  • JackElder, in reply to Deborah,

    As a cyclist, I stick to the road code, unless immediate safety needs dictate otherwise, because then other road users have a much better chance of predicting what I will do.

    Agreed, and that's how I ride. It's worth taking five minutes of your day and having a re-read of the Road Code for Cyclists; it's well-written, easy to understand, and actually pretty sensible.

    That said, there's a few minor tweaks that I think we could make to the road code as relates to cycling. Specifically, I'd like to see the following implemented here.

    Idaho stop laws- allowing cyclists to treat "Stop" signs as "Give Way" signs. That is, allowing riders to roll through a stop sign rather than having to come to a complete stop. On a bike, you're usually going slowly enough that you can get a clear view of the intersection and make a judgement on how safe it is to proceed, without having to come to a dead stop. So called because this has been legal in Idaho since 1982 with no obvious ill effects. See BikePortlands FAQ on this.

    Allowing left turns on red for bicycles. Basically, making it so that a red light acts as a stop sign for left-turning cycles - you have to come to a complete stop, check that it's definitely clear, then you can make the turn. A similar rule operates for cars across most of the US, with few ill effects. Wikipedia page.

    Wellington • Since Mar 2008 • 708 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Ben Gracewood,

    Yup, I ride over the Waima St footbridge (and walk up that killer hill) on the way to work, but cruise down the road on the way home. Dunno why :)

    Well, you've got to climb that hill one way or another. Pushing the bike up a really steep part is probably the same total effort exerted as riding it up Chinaman's Hill, then Gt North Rd, or taking the cycleway to Newton Rd and up that way. Also, walking the bike can be restful, because it's a changing which muscles are used.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to BenWilson,

    dozens of kilowatts of dinosaur juice awaiting my merest beckoning foot movement.

    What kind of weakmobile are you driving? Suzuki 800 or something?

    Primera, SR20DE engine. Nominal output is 110kW, which is dozens. Between nine and 10 dozens, but still dozens :P

    And as for bicycle speed, most of my driver-only friends are pretty staggered when I tell them I can maintain 45km/h if the wind is right and the road is flat. I can also, again with the right wind, overtake cars on parts of Pakuranga Rd. Drivers just don't understand that bicycles can achieve speeds comparable to cars even when they're not being ridden by Lance.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Johnny Canuck,

    NZ road toll over the last 12 months incl. 30 pedestrians and 8 "pedal cyclists". In the 12 months before that it was 37 pedestrians and 7 cyclists.

    And then the elephant in the room, 205 people in cars.

    On per capita and per KM travelled bases, I suspect cyclists are more vulnerable (since almost everyone is a pedestrian at some point, yet relatively few people clock up much time on their bikes).

    Hard to say, because a bike goes a lot faster than a pedestrian, and those people who are clocking up time are clocking up quite a lot of time, often. But it's not apples and apples at all. Pedestrian is a term that includes anyone on foot, so small children and the elderly are in there, which blows things in terms of road sense, ability to cover distance, frailty, visibility, and the ability to even be on a bike at all for comparison purposes.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 6 7 8 9 10 18 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.