Wed, 31 Dec 1997

1997 Cycle Tours // at 00:00

BNSW 1997 Big Ride — Tamworth to Newcastle
  • Day 1: Tamworth — Werris Creek
  • Day 2: ??
  • Day 3: ??
  • Day 4: ??
  • Day 5: ??
  • Day 6: ??
  • Day 7: ??
  • Day 8: ??
  • Day 9: Stockton — Newcastle — Home

Wed, 26 Nov 1997

Attacked by motorist // at 18:00

At 5:45pm on my way home west-bound along Dandenong road a newish white Ford Falcon station wagon (Victorian rego. ONV-825) drove past me in the left lane. As the car went past, the young male passenger in the front swung his fist out the window at me and screamed something unintelligible. I am used to cars going past with little clearance, but the yell and swung fist almost made me swerve into the kerb at the edge of the road. There was little other traffic on the road at the time and it is unusual for vehicles to drive in the left lane at this point, shortly afterwards they moved into the centre lane and stopped at the traffic lights at Huntingdale road.

At the lights I drew alongside the car and asked the passenger what the hell his problem was. (There were three young guys in the car, and an older male driver, the two young guys in the back were all having a good laugh at the passenger's discomfort). The passenger mumbled that he hadn't swung his arm or yelled, then that he had but that it hadn't been at me. I asked who it was at since there was no one else around and he looked away and just kept shrugging. At this point the lights went green and the driver (who hadn't said anything) drove off.

I rode to the Oakleigh Police Station where officer Deckert told me that “Unfortunately there's a lot of dickheads out on the roads.” I responded that I knew that and that was why I would like to report them, after a few more comments along the lines of, “its your word against theirs” and “some people just drive like that” he then took down the registration number, the words “White Falcon” and my name on a small scrap of paper and said he'd give the driver a ring.

I have severe doubts that that scrap of paper stayed out of the bin once I'd left the building, and I see no reason why no action was taken. If I walk up to someone in a public place and scream at them and swing my fist at their head I'd end up on an assault charge, for some strange reason this behaviour is perfectly acceptable if I'm in a car and they're on a bicycle.

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Thu, 27 Mar 1997

Hit by a bus! // at 18:00

Riding home at approx 5:30pm heading west up Dandenong Rd, I had just turned onto the main road from the service lane, there were 2 cars and a bus approaching in the left most lane, but they were a fair distance back.

The two cars went past, although the second driver slowed right down and crawled past, the “Quinces” bus — Vic. DKA 119 — pulled in towards me as he went past, scraped along my pannier straps and as I through my right hand out, brushed along my knuckles. The driver was looking at me in the mirror and appeared to be either laughing or smirking.

I followed the bus to the Quinces depot in Atkinson Rd and went into the office to make a complaint — the guy (Steve) in the office seemed quite upset and promised to look into it first thing after easter.

Followups:

Wednesday 2-Apr-1997: I received a call from Steve and he said he had spoken to the driver. The driver claimed I had darted out from the side road without looking and swerved into the middle of hte lane in front of the bus. I said that this was not how the incident had appeared to me and was told that “we have spoken to all our drivers and reminded them that cyclists are legitimate road users.”

Wednesday 16-Apr-1997: I was riding back to uni at lunch time along Blackburn Road and there was a semi-trailer parked on the lawn and leaning into the left lane, as I went past, the bus that had just caught up to me pulled out completely into the next lane to overtake. I laughed when I saw the number plate — same bus, same driver.

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Tue, 04 Mar 1997

Lady turns left into me // at 09:00

On my way to work, riding along Willesden road Oakleigh. Just past the Greek school I was pulling up on the left of the two cars stopped at the pedestrian crossing, all of a sudden the lady driving the rear one (Maroon Mitsubishi Magna) decided to turn left into a parking space, no indicators, didn't look. I hit her rear door and fell onto the car in the next parking space.

Her words to me “Oh, are you all right, I so sorry, I didn't see you, I didn't look.”

Damage to me — small bruise on the back of left calf, scraped bar end.

Damage to her — panel damage and a bent-in left rear door.

I was too shaken to take down her number or any details, and didn't bother because there didn't seem to be any damage to me. It did annoy me a lot because every morning I see idiots around this school and every morning I have to do something to avoid being hit by them. Around 100m further up the road after I had got back on my bike I had to hit the brakes to avoid being reversed into by a driver who decided to back out into the traffic without looking.

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Thu, 06 Feb 1997

Taxi driver mayhem // at 12:00

Taxi driver swears, swerves and tries to hit me

Commuting to work along Dandenong Rd, I had just reached a section where the road widens from 3 to 5 lanes — the intersection with Warrigal road — with the addition of two left-turn lanes. I was moving into the rightmost of these (since it was also allowed to go straight ahead) when a Taxi (Vic. rego. M1856) blasted on the horn, and as the driver went past on my left, swerved at me and swung his fist out the window to try and punch me. The taxi, complete with two passengers, then turned left down Warrigal road. The whole time the driver was yelling and swearing out the window, but due to his accent or language I couldn't tell what he was saying.

At the next major intersection (Huntingdale Rd), the now empty taxi was in the right-most of three lanes, and after the lights changed, he saw me and swerved from the right to the centre lane, then was about to change into the left lane (where I was) when a truck came between us. He sped off.

At the next major intersection (Clayton Rd), I left Dandenong Rd to ride along the access road past the shops. The taxi was stopped at the side of the road, and as I rode past, the driver looked up, saw me, and threw a lit cigarette at me.

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