Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Lowering the Stakes

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  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Su Yin Khoo,

    Problematic. What if it’s a second bike purchase / upgrade / replacement and you already own all of those things? Does this apply to second-hand sales on TradeMe?

    If you think it's time to upgrade your bike then your helmet probably needs an upgrade.

    If you plan to sell your bike on trademe because you've bought a new one then you now have your old helmet to sell with the bike.

    Sure it could get a little silly for some people (looks at my friend with 3 different bikes now) but those people will be the minority.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4458 posts Report Reply

  • Su Yin Khoo, in reply to Sol K,

    Cycle Action Auckland are doing quite a lot of advocate work in this area, as are people like Pippa Coom on the Waitemata Local Board.

    The council tends to be glacial to act on their recommendations but there have been a number of wins.

    I do encourage people to sign up as members of CAA — I am — and support the work they are doing.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2011 • 25 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    This Lance Wiggs post on the 'Why do cyclists run red lights?' report that has been completely ignored is an absolute must-read.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22825 posts Report Reply

  • Su Yin Khoo, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Ew, I wouldn't want to be wearing someone else's old helmet. I don't know if it's road-worthy and sweat and germs. Also, size.

    I upgraded my bike from a cheap beater to a more suitable town bike within a year — helmet did not need an upgrade.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2011 • 25 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Stewart, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Second hand helmet? If my sweaty noggin is anything to go by, this would be on a par with opshop undies :-)

    Pt Chev • Since Feb 2012 • 71 posts Report Reply

  • Sol K, in reply to Su Yin Khoo,

    chur

    Auckland • Since Feb 2010 • 13 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen R, in reply to Sacha,

    Mr Tangiia was also an inexperienced cyclist who may not have looked for hazards like that.

    Having just started biking again, the first ride home saw me crash (and break my helmet) because I was trying to go from the road to the separated bike-lane over a curb that was not suitable for bikes. There are lots of little things to look for that I knew 15 years ago when I was cycling a lot, but have forgotten in the meantime, and worse, I'd forgotten that I'd forgotten them.

    Now I'm being a lot more cautious, and haven't even had any close calls (yet).

    Wellington • Since Jul 2009 • 259 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Tristan,

    If you switch the view of the Stanley St intersection around you can see a concrete truck make its way up Stanley…fuck being a cyclist on that road!

    Currently having a conversation with a pedant on Twitter, pursuant to that picture. Money quote: “If you can’t ride safety and legally, don’t ride.”

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22825 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Sure it could get a little silly for some people (looks at my friend with 3 different bikes now) but those people will be the minority.

    You mean there are people who only own one bike? Man, that's real poverty. More seriously, most of the people I know who commute regularly own a spare bike, often their old bike from when they last upgraded. If only so they have a backup.Storage would be the main reason not to keep a spare.

    Remember that when we're talking about bikes that a lot of new bikes sell for under $100, and second hand bikes can be found lying around free. Any regulation has to allow for this or be quite regressive in its effects. See the discussion about bicycle registration for more details. That discussion is quite relevant to most attempts to regulate bicycles, not least because it reminds us that bicycles are a benefit not a cost to society, which is much less obviously true for private motor vehicles.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1229 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch, in reply to Russell Brown,

    This Lance Wiggs post on the ‘Why do cyclists run red lights?’ report that has been completely ignored is an absolute must-read.

    It certainly is. And it’s not a good look for Auckland Council, at all. They’ve ignored the recommendations, and completely misled the public about its contents.

    Didn’t mean to derail the conversation into other areas of bike safety. But to clarify, I would think that a requirement that the seller get clear confirmation from the buyer that the buyer has equipment to add to the bicycle would be more than sufficient.

    I wouldn’t use a second hand helmet. Grubby and smelly, and you have no idea if it has been dropped (which compromises its integrity).

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to Russell Brown,

    "If you can't ride safety and legally, don't ride."

    "If you can't DRIVE safely and legally, don't drive" would be more germane.

    If we applied that guideline there'd be a lot fewer private cars and a lot more publiuc transport.

    Complete side issue: I found out recently that NZ rules have changed so that any infernal combustion engine makes your "bicycle" a moped - power assist on a bicycle has to be electric to be legal. A friend was looking at some US-made toy with a ~20cc engine which counts as a bicycle in the USA and I hunted up the rules. But that's a very positive development.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1229 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to George Darroch,

    not a good look for Auckland Council

    Auckland Transport

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19706 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Richard Stewart,

    sweaty noggin

    Dude the sweatiest part of my second hand bike is NOT going to be the helmet :).

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4458 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Stewart,

    On the subject of cyclists doing things that invite the ire of motorists, something I seem to encounter regularly is when a bunch of riders (usually the look-at-me-in-all-my-flash-gear-on-the-way-to-a-cafe-Sunday-rider-types) ride 2 or 3 abreast effectively preventing following traffic from passing without crossing onto the wrong side of the road. I understand the notion of 'owning' your space on the road, but this sort of behaviour does nothing to improve cyclist/motorist dynamics.

    Pt Chev • Since Feb 2012 • 71 posts Report Reply

  • Sol K, in reply to Richard Stewart,

    agree, 1) there's a time and a place 2) a long train can be particularly annoying. That small group of inconsiderates causing angst. Whenever I've gone bunch riding, if a car comes, back rider calls "car back" and we all drop to single file so they can pass safely.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2010 • 13 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Richard Stewart,

    ride 2 or 3 abreast

    Well they are allowed to ride two abreast.

    If you are following such a pack ride they will almost certainly be doing 30-40 kph or more. In most places this is slightly less than the speed limit. In most cases driving behind them for a minute or more will delay your journey time by seconds.

    And lets be really clear here, this claim is being used by drivers of large heavy metal objects as an excuse to behave in a way that creates a very real risk to the lives of the cyclists.

    Yes it is inconsiderate, but also unlikely to put the driver's life at risk.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4458 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Stewart, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Yes, riding 2 abreast is allowed. And yes the time delay to motorists is negligible.
    I'm allowed to drive in the right hand lane of the motorway at 80k. But it doesn't mean I'm not a twatcock if i do it.

    Pt Chev • Since Feb 2012 • 71 posts Report Reply

  • Dan Salmon, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    I'd rather wear no helmet than have the false security of a secondhand helmet with no idea of its condition. If I got a secondhand helmet with a bike, it'd go into landfill. It'd also be unlikely to fit my head shape

    Auckland • Since Mar 2011 • 39 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to Richard Stewart,

    I understand the notion of 'owning' your space on the road, but

    See the point above about "If you can't DRIVE safely and legally, don't drive".

    Honestly, any time you find yourself wanting to say "yes but" is a good time to think very hard about what you're about to say. The cliche is "I'm not racist but". "I think cyclists should be allowed to obey the road rules but" is definitely in the same vein. And I think deserves the same caution.

    Context is important. Following up a discussion of "cyclists often feel obliged to choose between their own safety and obeying the law" because "some annoyed motorists kill" with "even cyclists who obey the law annoy me" is hopefully not the impression you wanted to give of your feelings.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1229 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Johnson,

    I have cycled in every major city in NZ for the last 20 years. Now living in Auckland, I think I can say I've never been as terrified on the road as I am here. The roads are awful - cycle lanes disappear into multicar lanes with no curb space throughout the city, in a way that I haven't seen anywhere in NZ.

    I cycle 99% legally and 100% defensively... but in Auckland, I find myself more and more having to do illegal things (hello, footpath!) to stay safe. By the time my children get to cycling age, I'll be leaving Auckland. This city is increasingly unlivable.

    Auckland, mostly. • Since Nov 2006 • 8 posts Report Reply

  • Dan Salmon,

    I know I'm quoting him twice today, but the old man used to reckon most of these problems would be solved if cars didn't have windscreens. That way drivers would have a proper sense of speed and vulnerability. Maybe making car drivers feel less godlike would be a good political plank for Colin Craig.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2011 • 39 posts Report Reply

  • TracyMac, in reply to Richard Stewart,

    Agreed. And I'm sorry to Bart, but whenever I've encountered those packs of "Sunday cyclists", they've maybe been doing half that speed.

    If the road is narrowed down by those stupid "traffic calming" features, or for some reason isn't wide enough accommodate a car and cyclist simultaneously, sure, keep the pack bunched and move it though as quickly as possible. Otherwise, be considerate and maintain single file if the road has constant car traffic (and no room for 2 cyclists + car + 1.5 m). If the road only has occasional car traffic, and there is plenty of opportunity for one to pass/overtake safely, sure, fill your boots.

    And FWIW, I'm a Sunday cyclist to the cafe a couple of suburbs over, but that doesn't mean I can be the kind of entitled prick I may act in my car the rest the week. (Disclaimer: I actually commute via public transport.)

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 701 posts Report Reply

  • Brodie Davis, in reply to Dan Salmon,

    The old 6" spike in the centre of the steering wheel system of car safety.

    This case is hitting me a bit, as I used to ride down stanley street (on the footpath, I would never in a million years be on the road where that concrete truck is) and have to navigate this intersection to get down to Tamaki drive for fun riding.

    And even obeying the lights, riding on the strand is straight up playing russian roulette with trucks. Road design in auckland just tends to be shit. And where are they funneling the riders from the cycleway extension in the gully? onto wakefield street or grafton road? From looking at the plan it pops you out onto beach road, right next to this set of lights.

    Since Aug 2008 • 54 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Transportblog fisks the AT study gently.

    A couple of quick thoughts spring to mind about these intersections, on Quay St/Lower Albert is it cyclists travelling through the intersection while the pedestrian phase is running? On Tamaki Dr are the numbers high due to pack cycling? At Tamaki Dr/Paterson Ave there was clear trend of cyclists running red lights towards the city in the mornings and away from the city in the afternoons. On both the Quay St/Lower Albert and Tamaki Dr/Solent St intersections the red light running by cyclists was almost exclusively by those going westbound. Why are westbound cyclists more likely to run reds at the intersections (perhaps at the Solent St intersection it is to do with the cycle lane on the footpath being clogged up with traffic signals?

    However as I said, there were really just four intersections that were studied and I doubt they give a fair representation about how most cyclists at intersections behave. By releasing the information as it has I wonder if AT have done more harm than just letting the issue blow over. The information and how it has been reported in the Herald and other sites is only helping to create an us vs them attitude between different modes which is exactly the opposite of what needs to be happening.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19706 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie, in reply to TracyMac,

    But these Sunday cyclists, pretty much by definition, are out and about on the weekends, generally using quiet or scenic roads. I have little sympathy for the poor motorist forced to spend some time travelling at a slower pace: the world doesn't revolve around the maintenance of the highest possible speed of cars.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

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