Cycling in Sydney Australia
Cyclists beware - there are two crazy people driving around Sydney, who do NOT like cyclists. It's a dark red Mitsubishi sedan, their number plates are covered with cardboard with "TRAFFIC" written on in texta.
Yesterday afternoon the guy on the right threw a battery at me, and then got out of the car and punched me. I suppose that's assault and battery?
N.B. I have reported this to the police. They're not hopeful of catching them, given they don't have any good images of their faces, or a car rego.
UPDATE: A friend of a friend said this car is sometimes parked in Petersham. Keep your eyes peeled in that area.
FURTHER UPDATE: My business partners will kill me if I don't plug our bike shop, Omafiets Dutch Bicycles. If the people in the photo are identified, I would love to buy them a beer, and lend them a couple of bikes from the shop for a week, so they could ride around the Inner West. I think they'd be pleasantly surprised - and might make it a regular form of transport? They could even do the City of Sydney's free cycling courses.
I'm not interested in pressing charges. I think a better outcome would be if these people were able to gain a bit of insight, and empathise with other road users. There is too much antagonism on the roads, and I don't want to contribute to that.
This is why I persist in cycling as much as possible on the footpath. Until there are separated cycle lanes everywhere which link up I will mainly be on the pavements. I slow down or go onto the road if there are people coming towards me, I don't like to frighten them and I know it's their footpath and not mine. Having said that, I do cycle past police all the time and not one of them has ever said anything to me. Occasionally I will get abuse even though I'm nowhere near the abuser but guess what? I'm going to keep on doing it, it's more fun than sitting in a traffic jam spewing fumes. It saves me heaps of money in fares as I cycle to work every day. The police don't really want to scrape mangled cyclists off the road anyway. Someone I knew was killed by a young driver in Botany Road Mascot a couple of years ago, his excuse was "the sun was in my eyes". Yes, well, better a bit of verbal abuse than death or serious injury.
You probably know this, but I feel I have to put it here for completeness. In NSW it's illegal for a cyclist to use the footpath unless they are under 13 (the legislation reads "12 or under") or they are accompanying a child of 12 or under - or unless the path is designated as a shared zone.
Police tend not to pull you up for pavement riding unless there's something else you're doing wrong while you're there. I agree that there are times when a rider needs to get on the pavement for a short distance, but riders really ought to use the pavement an absolute minimum. Drivers already hate our guts, we really don't need pedestrians joining them, and deliberately cycling as much as possible on the footpath doesn't sound constructive to me. It sounds bloody-minded and antagonistic.
Before long there'll be calls to strictly enforce the rules and we won't be able to put a tyre in the wrong place without being issued a ticket.
#1 rule: Choose a quieter road. There are parallel streets with less traffic virtually all the way along my daily commute. I'll lay odds you have similar possibilities on yours. Plan your route with a bit of thought and you can avoid the bad traffic AND the busy pedestrian areas. On unavoidable bottlenecks, take the pavement, but act with maximum courtesy and care, and if you're faced with a dense crowd, get off the bike, or wait.
But don't do it just to be bloody-minded. It won't do any collective good.
In that case, they're perfect candidates for shared status, and a letter or two to the local council might be useful. A quick bit of paint and a sign or two and the problem is solved. Illegal ride becomes shared cycle/footpath.
Of course, not all footpaths are suitable. In fact, I don't think all current shared paths are strictly suitable. Review is needed often, I think.
The law is very inflexible, and could do with a redraft, but it's far easier to get your local council's cycling unit to assign some more shared path.
yes, I don't think she meant to be "bloody minded" at all.
I just spent an interesting afternoon out riding with my 9 yo nephew....was trying to get him to slow up a bit on the footpath sections, but in the end decided his endearing habit of saying hello very sweetly and waving to everyone he passed overcame other objections.
Actually, I don't doubt that, because to find it I went and searched specifically for the phrase "12 or under", and I think my course was a Council site or a third party, not the actual legislation page.
Ha ha. Have to laugh: 702 ABC Sydney is talking about why our urban spaces are making it difficult for us to have the human contact that we need for our health and well being.
Gee, I wonder why??
OH THE IRONY.
While it doesn't seem to have engratiated us with the repondent commentator drivers to which the DT has published, you can be pretty sure that that car will be hidden under a car cover for a few months at least.
So some good.