Cycling in Sydney Australia
Got hit by a car this morning – didn’t come off. Ok, just my wrist and knuckles hurt where the car made contact with my handlebars. Was just riding normally in left lane, keeping up with traffic, lights went red, I started slowing for it, P plate girl driver behind then overtook then slammed back into my lane in one movement. Hit me with her B-pillar, so she really didn’t get far. I stayed up, but hands on brakes got wedged between car and handlebar. I was taking the lane, and affecting no one because of it.
Saw it coming so was on the brakes early to minimise contact, lean into car so you don't end up in the gutter - that's when you can come off and possibly end up under something bad. Its like rugby league - stay away from the sidelines when you are being tackled - no good can come from being taken over it. Yes, Sydney cycle commuting is a contact sport apparently.
So she stopped for the red light, then just drove off normally. Fortunately the car behind stopped, but that was only to tell me it was my fault for riding a bike on the road and not getting out of the way of cars (me keeping up with traffic notwithstanding). We all stopped at the same next red light further up the road too anyway. Situation was just over. She wasn't stopping. So just low intellect, or bike red midst really. So now the driver has to have the nearside of her car resprayed because there is a 105 brake lever mark all down it. For what? she couldn't even save .5 of a second with that move. The Defy lives up to its name and lives to see another day...
But the thing is, no authority really cares about this stuff. Not even with video, and stat decs witnessed by prominent persons (have tried). Its just not worth bothering anymore. The camera wasn't even on the bike this morning since its rebuild, and I doubt it would have made any difference to anything anyway (hasn't in the past). I am not debating the rights and wrongs of it, that is just how the situation is (not) dealt with.
The thing is for all intents and purposes I may as well be another motor vehicle. I keep up with the traffic (bearing in mind most of my commute is separated from cars anyway (thanks Clover et al), and I don't filter. Just hold my place in traffic both moving and stopping so I offer no delay whatsoever to any motorist. Had I been in a car, and they tried the same thing (most unlikely), there would have no doubt been the same collision, so they just did it as they saw a bike and just wanted to get in front, even though there was already a line of stopped traffic ahead. This modus operandi of mine usually works pretty well, hence the pretty calm previous 6 months.
In all honesty, its probably a good thing. This was only the 2nd incident of note this entire year. Everyone is generally pretty cool, or easy to avoid these days. Most of the idiocy I have just seen from the sidelines. If anything I might have started to get complacent if something hadn't have happened soon. So just a reality check that there may be less issues for me of late - they do still happen. I did let loose with the Air Zound just before impact, They knew I was still there, they knew there would be a collision, but they didn't care apparently and just completed their move into me. Very rare, but just Sydney traffic life it appears.
Take care out there...
Even though the police will do nothing (other than look for reasons not to follow up your complaint) you should report it just in case she's done something like this before or does it again.
Anyway, I'm glad things weren't too serious and you're relatively okay.
To be honest, my 'meh' attitude started immediately. I didn't even bother remembering the plate that was right in front of me. Given we were stopped at the lights for the best part of 120 seconds (irony not lost on them of course), I had plenty of time to take a pic of it with my phone in the absence of my vid cam. But my heart just wasn't in it.
I know what you mean. The times I've reported even serious incidents have only been because I had my helmet camera running at the time and the whole point of reporting was a case of seeing just how little would be done. If I hadn't got the video I wouldn't have made a point of remembering rego plates etc.
Previously when I reported incidents I've been told things like "...it was your fault for being in a car lane..." (yup, a "car lane") and "...drivers are allowed to do that do get around obstacles..." (the obstacle in the case being a cyclist), and, "The video doesn't show the driver" (even though it clearly shows the rego, time of day, location and that if requested, the registered owner must provide details of who was driving.)
Still, I felt it was worth at least making the report each time in the hope that these incidents might be recorded again the drivers.
I did report when I was knocked off by a red p plater in 2012, and the cops were interested precisely because something came up on the computer
Sorry to hear about this - but I'm not surprised in the slightest. We just have to wait for the general community attitudes and authorities to change. It is completely socially acceptable for a motorist to hit a cyclist, or pedestrian.
You have handled it remarkably calmly, no kicking in of side panels. I've seen people kicking other peoples cars in for less perceived slights on the road.
Hilarious when you read about the people banging on about traffic around Green Square on the SMH today. Plenty folks don't get it. Sydney is going to be a large world class city one day, and that means you can't drive in and around it as you please.
It was actually very near Green Square ironically.
I suppose I am very much still in the mindset that I am lucky to still be here to be slightly concerned by such things given I recently flew a number of flight sectors on Lufthansa over eastern Ukraine on an almost identical track to that flown by MH. Still its a notable conversation to be had in this group.
If you had video evidence, including her 'qualified licensed P driver' comments this should be reported.
Good it was not any worse.
Sorry to hear this Andrew,
I believe the police only need to attend if it's something like towing or hospitalisation is required. Something along those lines. It is a stupid piece of legislation when bikes (cycle and motor) are involved.
I would really like to know what would happen if someone took something like this to court for attempted murder as a private citizen.
I think you need to work on your flopping technique.