Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: I'm not a "f***ing cyclist". I'm Ruby's daddy, on a bike

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  • Sacha,

    Quick action - 4 carparks to be removed from Tamaki Drive tonight.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Geoff Lealand,

    I think you’d become a damn sight more thoughtful as a driver if you had to spend a year’s community service changing colostomy bags and learning how to fit a urinary catheter before getting your license. Your brief moment of fuck-wittery could have profound, life-long consequences, numb-nuts.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report

  • Sacha, in reply to Bryan Dods,

    It is also funded by the users of faster and heavier transport

    Largely taxpayers and ratepayers, actually. But again why should who pays affect whether legally entitled road users can expect other users to obey the law? I have yet to hear of a cyclist killing a car driver, so let’s drop the false equivalence shall we.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

  • giovanni tiso,

    Road tax is meant to capture damage to the road.

    You could also make the point that many roads were originally built for horse and carriage combos and people on foot, and that includes the vast majority of street roads that are now the god-given domain of cars.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report

  • giovanni tiso,

    I have yet to hear of a cyclist killing a car driver, so let’s drop the false equivalence shall we.

    Yes, although it's not as if drivers who escape unharmed don't suffer consequences. I saw a cyclist die on the road in front of my eyes once, and the fault lay entirely with him - he literally swerved in front of a car to his left in the middle lane of a busy overpass. However I am sure that the driver would have been tried for manslaughter, simply because the blame back home (not sure of the extent that it may differ here) lies always with the motorist unless proven otherwise.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report

  • Craig Ranapia,

    It is also funded by the users of faster and heavier transport.

    Orly? Never owned a car, seldom drive and mostly use public transport. Still pay local and central government taxes though; and I'm pretty sure everything I buy has transport costs built into the pricing models.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    Liability here is by normal apportionment, and still the motor vehicle driver is largely or entirely at fault in 75% of collisions between motor vehicles and bicycles. If liability were assumed to lie with the motor vehicle driver I imagine that the figure would be well over 90%, because most cyclists aren’t, contrary to apparently common belief, possessed of a strong suicidal streak. [ETA: unlike the one in your example]

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report

  • Ross Mason,

    Sciblogs has a nudge at the Mantrol ads.

    Way back in 1965 I remember sitting down on a sunday afternoon and watching this wee cartoon on Disney.

    Well, I found it again and 45 years have passed and it is still hellishly, nightmarishly pertinent. What is even scarier is that the carton was made 60 years ago!!!

    Motor Mania.

    Recognise anyone??

    In searching for it I found these. Someone somewhere got Disney to do some Social Engineering.

    Freewayphobia 1
    Freewayphobia 2

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1590 posts Report

  • Lisa Black, in reply to Bryan Dods,

    Bryan, bike riders ARE entitled to equal rights as road users. That's the law, regardless of any real or perceived inequalities such as ACC levies.

    As an aside, I'm given to understand that road development (back in the day, obviously) came about as a result of cyclist lobbying. The better, smoother surfaces made motoring more pleasant & popular & contributed to the rise of the car. Irony, no?

    Wellington • Since Jul 2010 • 71 posts Report

  • Sacha,

    Sorry I wasn’t clearer – I meant there’s no level playing field in physical or economic terms, but yes there certainly is in terms of legal rights to be on the road.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

  • Bryan Dods, in reply to Sacha,


    The behaviour of a cyclist has never caused injury or death of a driver?

    Matthew gives statistics that show cyclists don't even cause their own deaths.

    They're almost perfect then - except for an ability to discuss the issue without getting emotion involved.

    Northland • Since Nov 2006 • 46 posts Report

  • Ross Mason,

    As an aside, I’m given to understand that road development (back in the day, obviously) came about as a result of cyclist lobbying.

    From Papers Past

    Cycling Conference 1897

    Heh. Fancy cyclists wanting to put bikes on trains for gods sake. Didn't they know that it will take f*&king centuries???

    I am sure you could find something in the old papers about it. Race ya.

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1590 posts Report

  • Bryan Dods,

    I thought I said they wanted to be treated equally. Isn’t that the crux of the matter.
    I know they have legal rights.

    I still think testing and registration would be of overall benefit to cyclists as far as raising their status with other users goes.

    Anyway, playing any sort of devil’s advocate on the subject of cyclists only invites trouble.

    I am pleased to see that the ridiculous chicane has been eased by removing four parks from the bend in question.

    Have a nice weekend people. Oh!, and happy cycling.

    Northland • Since Nov 2006 • 46 posts Report

  • Sacha,

    Bryan, making an honest and informed argument helps. And equitable outcomes does not mean treating everyone the same.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

  • Lisa Black, in reply to Bryan Dods,

    It would certainly be interesting to know whether cyclists are a cause of driver injury. I tend to the view that driving for the conditions includes being aware of the possibility of cyclists though.

    I read on another cycle comment thread that bike riders tend to become emotional/angry primarily when they (we) think our lives have been threatened. Because that's what has triggered this discussion I'm not surprised to see emotion. I think you will see, though, that behind the emotion are some fairly level-headed statements.

    You must forgive the stream of consciousness posting. I can't edit from this infernal device.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2010 • 71 posts Report

  • paul reifel,

    I'm not a f***ing cyclist.

    I'm not a f***ing driver either.

    I cycle sometimes, and I drive a lot. I usually enjoy both. So which brush to tar myself with?

    There are some fools on bikes out there. Yup, some flaunt some road rules and create hazardous situastions. And p*ss (that asteryx again!) off drivers.

    There are some fools in cars out there. Fools who repeatedly drive drunk. Who drive beyond their (or the road's) capabilities. Who drive with no regard for any other road user, other than hatred for whoever is in their way at that moment.

    I've been reading a lot of general anger this week - that those poor people who lost their lives (and left many other shattered lives behind) somehow deserved it because cycling on our roads is dangerous. Even that because cycles and cars don't seem to mix, bikes SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED to share roads or use them.

    What f***ing bullshit. By that logic we could equally ban all cars becuase of those fools who kill while driving drunk, or hit cyclists or pedestrians. We know that cannot happen.

    I don't know how attitudes change but I'm guessing it's a long haul - many years, not an overnight thing just because of a Coroner's enquiry. The only people we can control, are ourselves. Whether we are driver's or cyclists, we can only manage how we react to other users out there.

    Germany and The Netherlands have structured their laws so that in a car/bike accident, the car is ALWAYS deemed to be at fault. The onus is always on the driver of the larger vehicle to anticipate and react to any behaviour (wreckless or otherwise) of the smaller one. It's a start, it works there.

    Since Nov 2006 • 8 posts Report

  • giovanni tiso,

    Yeah, except, I don't know. Does it? Because it's the same law in Italy and we have shocking statistics on cycling injury and death. I'd say it's more a cultural issue than a legislation issue.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    I’d say it’s more a cultural issue than a legislation issue.

    And, much as I’d like it to be different, it’s tricky to legislate to keep at home people who believe they are the pivot around which all of creation revolves. In a small dark room. Preferably with a paper bag over their heads.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to paul reifel,

    Fools who repeatedly drive drunk.

    The "cyclist" who prised the u-bolt from the wall of my front porch, and rode off with the thing dangling from the "security" chain (I was just in time to witness him disappearing into the distance) left a near-full can of shit-bourbon-mix on the front step in his haste to make off. Maybe the other three bike thieves I've encountered in recent years were pissed too.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Never quite got bikes and buses ?What's all that about? Stupidity? Faith? Just weird shit?

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Bike and bus lanes that is.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report

  • Ross Mason,

    Forn the Colonist 1897 via Papers Past

    New Zealand Cyclists' Touring Club have conducted, with success, several cases charging diivers of vehicles with not allowing cyclists a reasonable portion of the road whereon to pass. In one case where £10 for damages to the cycle was claimed, and the driver of the vehicle sued for breach of the rule of the road, the defendant paid the amount claimed into Court with all costs, and, moreover, gave a guinea to the funds of the 0.T.C., and the cases were withdrawn.

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1590 posts Report

  • Ross Mason,

    More: (And check out what they thought of pneumatic tyres!!!!)

    North Otago Times 5 October 1896


    It is probable that bicycling will, within a few years, produce social effects of some importance. The notion that it is a mere fashion or a ” craze,” like the skating on little wheels which years ago led to an investment of scores of thousands of pounds In a speculation that proved absolutely futile, is, we are convinced, a pure delusion. The bicycle has greatly added to human powers, and will no more be given up by those who have once learned to use it than horse-riding will be given up or travelling by railway. The number of those who cycle increases day by day as the objections raised by prejudice or custom disappear, none of those who acquire the art show the slightest disposition to give up the practice, and the probability is that in a very short time it will become far more popular than riding or swimming, or even walking for amusement ever has been. It has been discovered that everyone who chooses, and has any kind of vigour remaining, can learn to ride in a fortnight. The exercise distinctly improves, the health of all who use it in moderation, and as soon as an obstacle or two have been surmounted, not to cycle will be nearly as unusual as not to walk. The cost of a wheel is at present considerable, but that is a result only of monopolies, and must sooner or later disappear. There is no reason m the world why a thin wheel of steel, every part of which, except the tyre, can be made by machinery, should cost from L10 to L30, and, as a matter of fact, people who cannot pay those sums already contrive to possess themselves of very serviceable machines. Poor students, domestic servants, and artisans may be encountered m the evening in scores on every road out of the great cities, and regular systems of selling bicycles at cheaper rates have been invented with an ingenuity most creditable to everything but the dealers’ moral sense. You may buy certain machines “for export” at a little more than half the advertised prices; or you may buy “second-hand” article, which have perhaps been taken out three times, or you may buy machines which have been superseded by some trivial, or, if you are tolerably sharp, some imperceptible improvement. The manufacturers are just now making fortunes but the moment the demand slackens and the markets are a little glutted, competition will bring prices down with a run until they settle at between L 5 and L 7, according to perfection of finish. The remaining difficulty — that of the tyre — will disappear when inventors seriously set their minds to it. We shall annoy the holders of shares in pneumatic tyre companies by the remarks; but we are entirely unable to believe m the permanence of those costly and aggravating “Improvements.” They are much too apt to leave the rider stranded twenty miles away from home, and unless they can be improved again by some lacquer, which we fancy a clever Japanese could invent, and which would be impermeable to a knife or a call, or a flint stone, they will be superseded by some contrivance for obtaining “resilience ” either from spring coils rising from the spokes under a rim of thin steel, or by some new material which will spring and yield, and yet defy any injury short of a total smash. In India, where yon have flat roads hundreds of miles long, and where, for climate and other reasons, indiarubber is out of favour, men glide about all day in cold weather on wheels of tenacious steel. The moment the cycle coats L 5 as a pivot price, will last ten years, and is independent of repairs, cycles will become for all the healthy and universal means of locomotion, and will be hired out in thousands, instead of tens, for pennies an hour where shillings are now charged. A register of bicycles will soon be established by law, new rules of the road will be enforced at once by law and by opinion, wilful Injury to bicyclists will be declared a separate and a serious offence, and all men and women will find that they have suddenly gained a new power, have become more free, and will henceforth enjoy a much enlarged, horizon. That will be the essence of the, social change. — Spectator.

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1590 posts Report

  • Ian Dalziel,

    risk averse kiwi stars...

    that asteryx again!

    I love this innovation,
    a truly kiwi ( apteryx )
    take on punctuation...
    ...it flies!
    :- )

    our clotted arteries...
    Much like our own circulatory system
    roads are symbiotic transport arteries.

    I've never understood why drivers don't
    realise that each cyclist on the road,
    often equates to one less car taking up
    space and thereby shortening the driver's trip
    and freeing up possible parks...
    ...it is usually the cyclists who stop and clear
    the road of dangerous objects when necessary.
    I'm constantly doing this, mostly to right
    toppled road cones, which are all round chch these days, I still do it when I'm using the car...

    If we use these venous transit systems, we have responsibilities to others, behaving selfishly
    and venially, creates clots in all senses of the word!

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report

  • Lisa Black, in reply to Ross Mason,

    Ross that's very apt. I'd like to post that on Cycling in Wellington.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2010 • 71 posts Report

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