Thursday, riding alone day, as distinct from Monday to Wednesday which are “riding with the five yr old” days. Thursday’s traffic is more hazardous, but at least it’s more predictable!
Riding with a small child in Melbourne it is amazing how much more polite drivers seem to be, they pass safely, they tend to (not always, but tend to) stop at stop signs rather than shoot across our bows after “slowing down a bit… maybe… it’s only a pushbike.”
But my god they can be unpredictable, in some bizarre version of people thinking they’re “being nice to the kid on the pushbike.” Three days in a row this week I’ve had drivers make up the road rules to try and be nice, in each case it failed to achieve anything other than first slowing us all down and secondly confusing everyone concerned. What with my bike, the trailgator and Cam’s 16” bike attached, I can’t go from 0 to 20 in the blink of an eye, so almost any attempt to “slow and let the bike nip across in front of the car” is doomed to failure.
Monday morning; we turn left from a sides street onto Huntingdale road, then pull into the middle to wait and turn right. Traffic is moderate heading towards us, there’s a gap after about 10-15 cars. But no, somewhere in the middle some genius heading towards us decides to stop right in the middle of the road and try and wave us across in front of him. Of course the motorists behind have no idea why he stopped, and about three cars back they all pull over to the left and start passing him on the left. Now if I turn across in front, as he is madly waving for me to do, I risk being collected by the drivers overtaking him on his left. Perhaps sir should just simply drive in a a straight line along a straight road and let me turn when there’s no traffic!
Tuesday morning; waiting to turn right into Normanby road near Monash uni. Three cars coming towards me then a big gap then a heap more, the first two drive past, the third one slows, and slows, and slows some more, then turns on his left indicator to turn into Normanby road. He gets to the corner, turns in far enough to be in both streets, then stops and starts to madly wave to get me to, you guessed it, turn right across in front of him. By now the big gap has vanished, Cam and I on bike + trailgator can’t start from a dead stop and get across so I shake my head, he toots at me, does a great big gallic WTF shrug and drives around the corner. Perhaps sir should just simply drive around a left turn and let me turn in behind him.
Wednesday afternoon; slowing down, in pissing down rain, as we approach a small roundabout much favoured as a speed hump by rat-runners through East Oakleigh. Driver approaches from my left, enters the roundabout, starts turning right around the roundabout, no, he’s doing a complete u-turn around it. OK, we stop, he gets to almost in front of us and, you guessed it, stops. Dead in the middle of the roundabout, he stops and, surprise surprise, starts frantically waving for us to ride across in front of him. I shake my head, and yell out, JUST GO, GET OFF THE ROUNDABOUT. He gets more vehement, waving and gesticulating. I wait. He drives forward until he is completely in front of me, winds down the passenger window and starts yelling and shouting at me, “You are with a small child, what are you doing, I am stopping for you!!!” I just stood there, tried to stay calm, another car was approaching from his rear, a fair way back. JUST GET OUT OF THE WAY, YOU ARE NOT HELPING, YOU ARE PARKED IN A ROUNDABOUT. He got a bit stroppy and really started shouting and waving his fist at me (all this across his primary school kid sitting in the passenger seat). Then he planted the foot, spun the wheels and tore off down the road sliding around a bit in the rain. Perhaps sir should just simply drive around the roundabout and I’ll enter it when safe!
Last update –.