Cycling in Sydney Australia
Last Friday cycling along Brodie St Rydalmere a van overtakes me and turns left in front of me causing me to brake hard. I had my tail light flashing & my helmet rear light flashing. The van driver stopped 10 metres after the turn. Probably saved 3 seconds to almost kill me. Then most of the vehicles leaving the Rheem factory travel on the wrong side of the road to get me head on. Maybe I need front & rear cameras to travel that 500 metres. Does anyone understand this behaviour? Should drivers licences require a sanity test?
Yesterday morning I had a driver drive over the top of a roundabout so that he could overtake me, just to stop at a red light 50m down the road. Luckily I wasn't turning right. Not like I was holding him up - there was no traffic, he had been behind me for all of five seconds total. Not a young hoon either, a guy in his seventies.
I average about one totally stupid dangerous act a week.
In the last 4 days I have observed 2 separate cases of drivers sailing through red lights that had been red for ages already.
In one case the driver that would, had she not been looking that way, have slammed into the offender, pulled up. She was right in front of me (I was just stopped at a red light observing all this). Then a driver behind the one that was stopped on the green beeped, waited 2 seconds only and cracked the shits, slammed it into reverse and screeched backwards, probably intending to go around the cautious observant good driver.
Pity about the ute behind the reverser though. The fagging angry one plowed her suv smack into it causing it to be pushed backwards almost a foot. Glad I was not behind on my bike.
This morning, a scooter rider with L plates went passed me on my left side between me and the gutter on a six lane road, then swerved in front of me to get around a parked car and nearly clipped my front wheel. I should have had a camera.
In terms of explaining the behavior: This is a weird culture I think. Radio shock jocks and other media personalities are allowed to say things in broadcast that encourage violence and aggression towards cyclists (free speech I suppose). One example comes to mind straight away: Derryn Hinch spoke about cockroaches on wheels (on evening television, referring to cyclists). I don't know the reason for any of this though.
Cockroaches are greatly misunderstood.
They colonise parts of the environment that other inhabitants cannot utilise. They are nimble, agile creatures with fast reflexes and a highly developed situational awareness.
They are survivors.
I'm proud to be called a cockroach on wheels.
I don't personally have a problem with cockroaches. I think the problem is that society in general have the attitude that cockroaches should be exterminated. There is of course also the reference to the Hutu campaign to kill Tutsis "Kill the cockroaches". Although I agree with your sentiment about cockroaches, I do believe that Mr Hinch was being extremely, even possibly illegally inappropriate, as I am certain that statements such as his drive aggression and violence on the roads.
Hutu campaign to kill Tutsis "Kill the cockroaches".
So, Hinch is a racist?
I don't know if Hinch is racist. What I am saying is that Hinch has used a tried old method of dehumanisation of a group which he apparently sees as his enemy. Such dehumanisation has been known to make it easier than otherwise to inflict harm on the subjects of the campaign. Having lived, worked and cycled (as well as driven cars, trucks and motorbikes) on all continents except the antarctic, I am horrified at this behaviour and at the culture of conflict that reigns in Sydney traffic on Sydney roads. This is a very unhealthy state of affairs.
I look forward to a WITWIMB from the South Pole :-)