[scene: riding past the new Haberfield UTS rowing club, which is being built in Iron Cove. The builders are setup on one side of the path, and the building site is on the other. The path is combined walking/running/cycling/commuting effort and is very heavily used. The builders, had a bridge over the path which they have now removed. So they cross the path with all their foot traffic. They have erected 'Dismount from bike' signs, which the cyclists happily ignore]

Incensed mother: Didn’t you see the sign
Me: What sign?
Incensed mother: The one that says you have to dismount from your bike.
Me: Look love, I can’t read every sign on the cycle path - I wouldn't do anything else if I did
Incensed: It says you have to dismount
Me: Who says? It isn’t an official council sign (now looking at the sign)
Incensed Mother: You are endangering people’s lives by riding through here
Me: I don’t think so – I am riding through here at walking pace you know. No real difference to walking really.
Incensed Mother: I have half a mind to call the cops to see what they would say
Me: You haven’t been listening have you? FYI, what you just said wasn’t English
Incensed Mother: If everyone thought like you there would be chaos in the world
Me: There is. If everyone thought like you love, life wouldn’t be worth living

Views: 633

Comment by Neil Alexander on January 30, 2014 at 12:53pm

You should be a politician. ;-)

Brings to mind the legendary (or possibly mythical) exchange:

Incensed voter: "I wouldn't vote for you if you were the Archangel Gabriel."

Robert Menzies: "Madam, if I were the Archangel Gabriel, you wouldn't be in my electorate."

Comment by Jon on January 30, 2014 at 7:10pm
No, see you read the sign wrong, it says children dismount out of their prams.
Comment by dr bean on January 30, 2014 at 7:29pm

'I have half a mind to call the cops to see what they would say.'

Before you call them, I'd engage the other half as well...

Comment by Colin on January 30, 2014 at 7:36pm

Just to repeat the obvious for the thousandth time, but this sort of conflict happens because too much public space has been set aside for cars, leaving everybody else to squeeze together and get annoyed with each other.

There's a big wide road there, yet only a minority of people on that route (ie, drivers) are able to use it in practice.

Comment by DG on January 30, 2014 at 8:43pm

Colin, I’m with you and I regularly, ride, run and push a pram through that exact spot. I do everything in my power not to drive (or sit in a parking lot as the case may be) in that area. Yes, it’s a misappropriation of space, but Ian I can’t condone your behaviour. In all likelihood, that mother (I assume she had child / pram for you to identify her as a mother) has now walked home, confirmed her belief that all cyclists are arrogant pr1cks.

I don’t know the answer, I don’t think we have to be holier than thou to earn respect, but I do think you have to cut the mother some slack in this instance. She is probably not as familiar with the NSW road rules and council regulations as we (unfortunately it seems) have to be.  She saw danger, and was trying to protect her and her child.  Tell me how you feel next time you are riding on a “shared zone” and a car comes straight at you saying “don’t worry mate, only doing walking pace”.

Who knows, she may be married to the truck driver that overtook me this morning as I had taken the lane approaching a stop sign, then left hooked me as he went through that stop sign.... I wasn’t as composed as you..... 

Comment by Ian on January 31, 2014 at 7:17am

You know, I couldn't have been nicer to her considering her (very) nasty attitude. I didn't take it personally since I its probably whats going at home, and she just needed someone to vent on. 

I am not a big fan of the nanny state because it simply justifies people's sense of entitlement to whatever. Like this woman.

I was actually riding through that section slower than most people were walking so posed no safety threat at all. 

If you want to go all nanny state on me, then the builders should have been forced to put a cycle path on the outside of the building path rather than have the existing one go right through the middle of their building site. That would have made their lives much easier too.

Personally though, I like a bit of chaos. We in Australia spend too much effort trying to engineer and legislate all risk out of our lives. Strangely this does not make people any happier it seems. Just unhappily entitled and justified.

Comment by Bob Moore on January 31, 2014 at 7:47am
Even more egregious is the Dismount sign on the other side of the Bay Run and Cycle as it should be called, at South St. Work stalled there over Xmas period and still doesn't seem to be happening. Meanwhile thousands of walkers and cyclists are herded through a narrow path. Can't see why the road couldn't have been closed to car traffic and opened to cyclists only.
Comment by Robflyte on January 31, 2014 at 8:22am

An ex SC member and poilce office told me several times that he would dismount and then immediately remount his bicycle upon coming across a dismount sign.

The signs never tell you for how long you should dismount or where you are allowed to get back on.

Comment by cafard à deux roues on January 31, 2014 at 8:46am

There have been "Cyclists Dismount" signs at that spot - plus bollards - for ages, well before rebuilding the club was even thought of. The only time I have ever seen a cyclist dismount there was when some boaties were carrying a racing shell across the path, and I couldn't hold the trackstand long enough. I agree with Ian about riding slower than walking pace - you actually take up less room than if you were walking the bike. Angry people need to take a chill pill.


Comment by Mark on January 31, 2014 at 9:07am

That lady only had a go at you because you were going so slowly, the crazy fast riders are too difficult to abuse.


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