Tue, 09 Mar 2010

Evolution in action // at 16:30

What happens when you combine stupid people with cars? Here's a local genius who may have spent too much time watching Hollywood movies and lost track of reality just a wee touch.

Man in hospital with head injuries after jumping from car at 90km/h

A 21-YEAR-OLD man who jumped out of a moving car while he was driving it at nearly 90km/h is in hospital with serious head injuries.

Police Constable Nikki Drever said the man was driving on the Surf Coast Hwy in the right-hand lane when he opened his door and jumped out of the vehicle about 1.25am Saturday, the Geelong Advertiser reports.

"Apparently he said, 'Wouldn't it be funny if I jumped out of the car while it was going' and then the next thing he jumped," she said.

:

Definite Darwin awards material, and we all have to share the roads with them.

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Tue, 02 Mar 2010

Once, an accident; twice, a coincidence // at 17:30

Trundling home on the mountain bike towing the trailer, today I decided to go the slightly longer way via Huntingdale station and the full length of the bottle-strewn bike path to Oakleigh. Making my way carefully through the Huntingdale station car-park in case of idiots I had to suddenly slam on the brakes and stop to avoid an idiot reversing at speed out of a parking space without looking.

Surprise, surprise, surprise; same idiot as last week, same car as last week — old blue Ford Falcon rego. ODS-520 — same place as last week and pretty much the same behaviour as last week. Bogan boy come tearing backwards out of the space without looking — or maybe he looked but didn't care. Same sunnies, same fag hanging out the corner of his mouth.

I stop with the front wheel almost up against the driver's door.

“Thanks for watching where you're going,” in response he glares at me and sneers. “Yep, fine, have a nice day.” at this he muttered something and gave me the finger, planted his foot and tore off showering us with gravel and rubbish.

At least this time he didn't drive the wrong way out the one-way entrance.

I wonder if I'll meet him again next week?

So trivial, and so commonplace — aggressive idiot tries to flatten someone on a bike — if it hadn't been the exact same guy two weeks in a row I wouldn't have bothered mentioning it.

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Wed, 24 Feb 2010

More Melbourne Motorists // at 18:00

Riding home today I think it must be the day of the d*ckhead and that I missed the announcement.

Heading towards Clayton road in the Dandenong road service lane, trundling along on the mountain bike towing Cam in the trailer, a courier car comes out of Clayton primary school and goes screaming past me and the trailer driving the wrong way up the service lane heading for the McDonalds or to a shortcut across Dandenong road to head east.

Passing the Oakleigh motel there's a large tattooed arm hanging out the window of a parked crappy commodore and a hand holding a cigarette... or so I thought. Automatically gave it a wide berth just in case the owner steps out or flicks the butt out the window or just drives off without looking. Didn't have to worry, driver was blissfully kicking back, stoned, eyes closed, deep in the throes of his spliff.

Quarter of an hour later I'm trying to turn into Huntingdale station carpark to get onto the bike track, can't get in, a bogan-boy in his commoford is coming out the wrong-way out the one-way entrance and barges me, trailer and toddler out of the way before spinning the wheels as only a bogan-boy commoford can and racing the 50m to stop at the corner into Huntingdale road.

Yep, you're sharing the roads with this lot too.

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Thu, 16 Oct 2008

Ride to Work day + 1 — a bus, again // at 09:30

Bloody typical! Yesterday was “Ride to Work day” and I rode from home — Oakleigh — to Federation square then back to Monash and had a near perfect ride. Maybe it was all the publicity about the cyclist's death last month but everyone seemed to be pretty well behaved (which I always find a miracle on St Kilda rd, whether they're on bikes, on foot, or in cars). Had my coffee and roll and made it back for a slightly latish 9:20 start. Didn't really need a third breakfast at Wholefoods on campus!

This morning, back to the normal ride, straight along North road, carefully and legally not riding in the bus lane since its not yet 9:30am. Cars pass on the right, cars illegally pass on the left. Stopped at the lights at Clayton road with a car on my right and a turning car on my left, and a bus behind on the left. Bus driver calls out the window “Excuse me!” then proceeds to tell me over and over again that I am NOT allowed to ride on the road and MUST ride on the off-road path. “That is your path, over there, this is my lane.” I tried to point out that I was on the road, not in the bus lane and explain that bicycles are legally allowed on the road, she ain't having none of it, louder and louder she tells me I MUST get off the road.

Lights go green and off I go through the intersection, with a continuous, deafening and intimidating blast of the horn she came up behind me and unfortunately I finally got annoyed and gave her the finger, she sped past on my left and I raised my hand up and hit the mirror since it was only about 30cm from my head.

Followed her to Monash bus loop and as I walked up to the bus there were four or five passengers1 having a huge argument with her loudly complaining about her attacking cyclists and what the hell was she on about. I took her photo and she started yelling that she had video showing that I was attacking her and “road-raging her bus.” Once again she tries shouting that I must use the off road path “it is law” (crap, closest law is VicRoads rule 247 which says you must use an ON-ROAD bicycle lane where provided unless it is impracticable to do so2.)

Not Grendas, it was Eastrans this time, driver's name badge says Maryla, 8:45am or so, bus registration 5485-AO.

Happy f'kin birthday to me.

references: 1, 2, 3

1. Talking to one of the passengers later, she said the driver had been in a bad mood all morning and had shouted at her to "turn her music down" on her iPod. I hope she's in a better mood tomorrow, or Monday, or the next time she drives 10 tonne of bus past 100kg of cyclist.

2. there is no on-road bicycle lane so rule 247 does not apply, and anyway, the off-road path is unsuitable for commuting, and is downright dangerous where it crosses side roads and uses a footpath past a primary school that used to be illegal to ride on and that now crosses a McDonald's drive through! Yet another bike path built by VicRoads with the attitude of "get the cyclists off the road" that nobody ever seems to use because it is no use!

REVISITED: 2008-Nov-11: Following a written complaint to the bus company from the University transport office and the Monash University BUG we received a comprehensive apology.

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Wed, 17 Sep 2008

Victoria, Gardenstate or road-rage state? // at 09:00

There I was riding to work along North road, same as I always do. Obeying the law and riding in the lane adjacent to the bus-lane, same as a I always do. Nearly every other person using the road seems to be able to safely and legally pass me, same as the always do.

But there's always one...

The driver of a tow-truck from Gardenstate towing, registration TOW-836, was somehow unable to pass me and instead drove along for 400-500m blasting on the horn, yelling abuse and gesticulating wildly for me to get off the road and into the bus lane. I tried to wave him past, he just kept on hooting and yelling, finally as we got to Clayton road he swerved from being in the left-hand lane behind me, across the right-hand lane and into the right-turn lane.

Why is it that once or twice a week I get to meet a neanderthal who is insistent that I break the law so that they aren't inconvenienced?

last

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Thu, 31 Jul 2008

Abused by motorists for not breaking the law! // at 09:30

Twice in two days, given a mouthful of abuse while riding to work ... for not breaking the law! This morning the driver of Subaru (Forester probably) Vic. rego. UCA-754 felt he couldn't overtake me legally and safely in my lane or the lane to my right, so he swerved into the bus-lane to overtake on the left, meanwhile blasting on the horn and screaming at me to “Bloody move over”, then swerved into my lane when he was only half-way past. I braked and swerved and thankfully there was nobody behind to avoid as well and he was off in a great screaming rush to stop at the red-lights a couple hundred metres up the road.

Yesterday it was a woman in a Mitsubishi Magna blasting on the horn and frantically waving her hand in a “get out of here, go and ride through the McDonalds building site or the bus-lane or something” kind of motion.

Ride in the bus-lane, break the law and get abused verbally and physically by the bus-drivers.

Ride in the left-most legal non-bus lane, get abused by the motorists.

Thank you so much VicRoads for what you have done to North road.

Refs: 2007-Dec-17, 2008-Jan-09, 2008-Jan-22, 2008-Apr-04.

next

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Sat, 14 Jun 2008

Cycling things in the news // at 14:00

Bumper stickers reveal link to road rage
Hardly earth shattering, but their research shows that people who most strongly identify with their cars are the ones that get the angriest and are most prone to road rage.
Hating cyclists: some preliminary findings
Not much in the way of interpretation, but a large body of analysis of the feedback to any media stories on cyclist-motorist interaction in Australia.
Road Safety and perceived risk of cycle tracks and lanes in Copenhagen” (pdf)
Fascinating reading, a safety report from Copenhagen, home of those "Copenhagen lanes" that Bicycle (paths) Victoria are obsessed with — when they're not obsessed with other bicycle paths. Reports what many cyclists already know or believe, that while cycle paths encourage more people to ride, they also increase the collision and injury rate.
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Wed, 09 Jan 2008

North road, bus lanes and road-raging bus drivers // at 09:30

How odd... as I was riding along North road this morning I was thinking that I really should write back to Vic. Roads and thank them for their clarification of the use of the bus lanes. Less than a minute later I had to bite my lip to stop from laughing as a Vic. Roads maintenance vehicle drove out of a side-street, safety orange light busy spinning around on the roof, assorted warning signs all sitting in the back... and the driver chatting away on THE MOBILE PHONE. Bloody typical. Debated jotting down the details to forward them to Vic. Roads for comment, but then it all went out the window, and out of memory, in a frantic bid for self-preservation.

The driver of the 9 o'clock Grenda's route 900 bus, rego. 6114-A0 then tried to run me off the road. Blasting on the horn as he went flying past without pulling out, forced me completely out of the lane and onto the 20cm wide, debris-filled concrete kerb. When I caught him at the Dandenong road intersection he told me that it was "bus lane, you not allowed to ride in it". I informed him I had been told by Vic Roads that I could and was told "You not allowed to ride after 8:30". I informed him again that Vic Roads had told me that it was legal for cyclists to use the bus lane at all times and he changed his words to "I just letting you know I was there".I pointed out that I was fully aware of his presence and that his actions were aggressive, dangerous and unnecessary. He told me I should not ride on the road. At this point I realised it was pointless to continue attempting to discuss it with him, and as per the recommendations of the two other cyclists at the intersection, I recorded the details of his vehicle.

I've written to Grenda bus lines, with Cc to Bike Vic and Vic Roads, asking for their response to this drivers actions, and what they intend to do to prevent it recurring. I have asked that they not introduce specious arguments to the effect that I should use off-road cycle paths, as under no circumstances do their presence, however unsuitable they may be for commuter cycling, excuse road rage in other vehicle operators.

...as for the "bicycle path", well it still isn't finished, and it still has all the design problems that make it appear more of an after-thought designed from a viewpoint of getting bicycles off the road and not with any view of providing all road users, be it by car, bicycle or bus with a safe and effective route.

So far this year I've seen about twenty people cycling along North road, in all cases they've chosen to ride on the road, since it appears that the incomplete and unsuitable "bicycle path" doesn't provide any advantages — and in many ways, its presence reinforces the dangerous belief in many people's minds that cyclists have to get off the roads.

1. [2008.01.11] — Damn! Just saw on my scribble pad notes that although I'd written 6114-A0, in the letter I've written to Grenda I typed 9114-A0, probably because it was route 900 at 9 o'clock.

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Thu, 17 May 2007

BMW, 4WD, SMS, IDIOT // at 17:00

Quite amazingly, the TAC has finally decided that their 100% obsession with speed being the cause of all collisions is not the be-all and end-all of road safety. There's a new campaign telling motorists to — shock horror — pay attention and put the phone down, stop fiddling with the radio, stop playing with the children and DRIVE THE BLOODY CAR WITHOUT KILLING PEOPLE.

A good start, but sadly reality intrudes. Another day, another ride to work, another dickhead in a 4WD on the phone on the road.

There I was sitting at the lights at Dandenong road and North road. There he was sitting next to me — big shiny BMW 4WD, (rego. Vic. SUB-116), chatting away, SMSing away. I point and shout out 'put the phone down', he swears and gesticulates and swears some more. The lights go green and I ride off, then he roars past, swerving in to give me a scare.

All the campaigns in the world are meaningless when the vast majority of Australians believe its their god-given right to do what they damn well please the instant they get in their little metal boxes.

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Fri, 20 Apr 2007

Morons with their mobiles // at 13:27

Dear selfish bastards... PUT THE PHONE DOWN BEFORE YOU KILL SOMONE!

You'd think that with all the recent media focus on idiots who insist on breaking the law, that maybe, just maybe some drivers would actually STOP USING THEIR BLOODY PHONES. Obviously not, they just can't resist their mobile phone addiction. I'm not really looking for them and in my fifteen minute ride to work I'm still seeing four or five a day, every single day.

Today's Mr Important was sitting there at the Dandenong road, North road lights in his shiny green BMW, Victorian registration RWC-726, chatting away. I sat across from him in the next lane staring, pointing at him so all could see — he got a little embarrassed and tried to hide the phone below the door, then behind his head, but no way was he going to put it down. Eventually the lights went green and off he drove, phone still clamped to his head, still chatting away.

When will the police start to enforce the law?

When will someone start to confiscate the bastards' phones?

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Tue, 27 Mar 2007

The knee jerks, and having jerked, moves on…. // at 23:59

OK, so there was a bad collision in the Burnley tunnel last Friday. Yes, there are no emergency lanes or emergency bays in the tunnel, and yes, the speed limit is 80km/hr — except for the majority of the time when I seem to go through and its been reduced to 60 or even 40.

But come on people, the amount of crap we've seen in the papers for the last few days about "a disaster waiting to happen" is complete bollocks. Every bloody motorist in Melbourne is a disaster waiting to happen, they don't need a special tunnel for them to be stupid and drive too close together too quickly!

Amazingly, on Saturday as we drove in stop-start traffic to get off the freeway before the closed tunnel. There was a semi-trailer in front inching its way along, us, also stationary, then a largish gap and another semi-trailer with the driver slowing as he approached. So what happens? Typical idiot comes flying up the closed-off lane to overtake as many people as possible and swerves into the gap between the bumper of the truck and the back of our car! Semi-trailer driver had to brake hard to avoid flattening Mr Important in his 4WD. Um, wasn't it idiot antics like that that caused the crash in the first place?

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Thu, 22 Feb 2007

More of Victoria's finest road users // at 12:00

At the moment, Thursdays seem to be crap days.

Woken — yet again — at 5am by garbage trucks then while riding to work I was hit by a truck at a set of traffic lights.

At the corner of North road and Clayton road I know that there's usually a left-turn arrow, so I'd stopped at the far right-hand side of the lane to let traffic turn with the arrow, five or six cars turned through with plenty of room, then the truck pulled up, the driver yelled out the window "Fucken idiot get out of the way" and turned the corner — striking me with the tray of the truck as it went around and pushing me half a metre over into the car next to me!

Thanks mate, glad to know that getting that truck around that corner was more important than my life and me.

I guess next time I just won't bother trying to be helpful to other road users and letting them pass, I'll just sit in the centre of the lane and let them wait — that is unless this idiot truck driver comes up behind me, in which case he'll probably just swear again and drive over me.

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Mon, 19 Feb 2007

What the? // at 23:59

Freeway crash leaves one dead

from The Age News Headlines

One person dies and three others injured after a car strikes a tree on the Tullamarine Freeway.

What the? Bloody dangerous roads those freeways, trees sticking out the middle of them for motorists to just drive into. Is there going to be an investigation into why there is a tree on the freeway? I guess its a change from people driving into each other, picking on the trees for a change....

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Fri, 08 Dec 2006

Bad Friday // at 23:59

Something is getting me down today. Either I ate too much last night, or Christmas is bugging me, or I didn't sleep well or something. I know I ate too much, the Chicken Parmagiana from Groove Train was a ridiculous size, I've never seen a chicken that size, it has to have been from an ostrich....

It didn't help that when I went out for a ride this morning before work some idiot drove into me in the last kilometre before I got to work — he thought he could squeeze his Hyundai Excel between the stationary row of traffic and me, it didn't fit. Thumped me into the kerb, I bounced back and came down on my hand on the back of his car, then he swore and waved his fists at me for daring to touch his car!

Christmas this year is a real pain. Jo and I just don't want anything. I want to visit people, to see them, I don't want to get anything. We don't need anything. The World Vision Give-a-goat scheme is looking more and more attractive.

Bah. Humbug.

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Thu, 17 Aug 2006

Phone ph*ckwits // at 00:00

AAaaarrrg! Every day I ride to work. It's only five kilometres and it only takes fifteen minutes. Every day I see a couple of idiots on the roads on their phones in the morning, and another couple in the evening. Every week once or twice I have to take some evasive action from the antics of one of these idiots.

The local papers state that the police had “a massive crackdown”on motorists on the Monash freeway with “round the clock staffing” for an entire month. A whole 72 motorists were booked for using their mobile phones — illegally — while driving. Um, forgive my mathematics but 72 in a month is about 2 and a half a day, or a mighty one every ten hours!

How the hell can the police see one motorist every ten hours on an eight lane freeway using their phone when the rest of us have to put up with seeing 2 or 3 every fifteen minutes? Maybe the police should get out of their shiny protective police cars and see what its like being a pedestrian or cyclist on our roads!

Prompt for the rant? Today's dickhead du jour in his red Nissan Skyline, RGK 034, pulled out to pass me in Haughton road, then swerved back in when only half-past since he was about to ram into the traffic island and keep-left sign. I ran up the gutter to avoid being hit while he blithely roared off, the steering wheel in his right hand, the phone in his left as he SMSed away.

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Tue, 08 Aug 2006

Ow, that's my leg! // at 16:00

Another bloody motorist who can't be bloody bothered to watch where they're bloody going and obey the bloody give-way signs. Idiot old builder in crappy old white Ford station wagon, tears up the merge lane of North road from Huntingdale and goes straight through the give-way sign, straight past the “watch for bicycles” and would have hit me square on if I hadn't swerved out of the way. Glancing blow on the knee and hand, looks round in amazement at the loud bang as the bike hits the door and slows for a moment, then roars off up the road. Registration Vic. DPC-215, oh yeah, only one working brake light too....

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Wed, 22 Feb 2006

Neanderthal motorist // at 00:00

From both the Sydney Morning Herald and the Age, the latest motorised moron to be caught attacking people with a car as a weapon:

A man has been charged after allegedly trying to run down a group of cyclists in a road rage incident in Sydney's south.

An argument broke out after the 50-year-old man allegedly almost hit a group of about 20 cyclists on General Holmes Drive in Brighton-Le-Sands shortly before 6am AEDT yesterday as he drove out of a service station, police said.

The man then allegedly drove up behind the group and across three lanes of traffic, narrowly missing the lead cyclist.

The Rockdale man will face Downing Centre Local Court on March 17 charged with dangerous and negligent driving.

Chris Sutton, a champion Australian cyclist riding professionally in France, and an off-duty police officer were believed to have been among the group from the St George Cycling Club.

....

So he not only tries to attack twenty people at once, but picks on a professional racer and police officer! I guess for once the cyclist will have a few witnesses. Shame about the number of times its one-on-one and the police then refuse to take any action.

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Fri, 09 Sep 2005

Why you hit me mister? // at 23:59

Ow ow ow! Another day, another motorised moron.

Rush hour traffic in Haughton road? A fifty kilometre speed limit and traffic in both directions. A road specifically narrowed by the council to stop everyone using it as a short cut. A road narrowed so that motorists have to actually think and pull out to overtake cyclists safely. Not a problem for our local inhabitants. Speed up and go head-on towards oncoming cars, then swerve back in and slam on the brakes to avoid hitting the next car up ahead. Only problem was the little lady driving the big bronze Lexus 4WD, she pulled this idiot stunt just as I was approaching one of the little roundabouts, swerved back in to avoid the traffic island and slammed the side of the 4WD straight into my shoulder, arm and hand! “But mister, why you hit me? I turning left! What you doing, why you run into me mister?”

Bruised knuckles and a hand that hurt to type with for the whole day.

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Tue, 14 Oct 2003

Cycling fun'n'games // at 23:59

More fun and games with Norky bike today. Off I went to deliver the spare wheel to the bike shop so that Jo's dud wheel can be replaced with a spare — the infamous evil replacement wheel from hell (or Devizes in the UK). Casually mentioning that my gears aren't quite working properly, investigation reveals that old bottom bracket and the new cranks don't quite agree with each other, and a narrow bottom bracket is required... The shop is then turned upside down and many a box is emptied trying to find appropriate sized parts, and a quarter-hour quick visit turns into a leisurely hour and a half.

Then on the way home some idiot decides to run into me. I was stopped at the traffic lights, parked in the “forward bicycle box” when a car pulled up behind me, parking inside the bike box markings. Pale blue sports car, registration Vic. NOY-007. The left-turn arrow went green, and without indicating, the motorist started off, then turned sharp left, pushing me sideways off my bike and left me sitting on my arse on the ground! No idea what (if anything) was going on in his head — he stopped around the corner and sat there looking at me in the mirror, then drove off.

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Mon, 19 Aug 2002

untitled // at 23:59

Monday morning; traffic banked up along the freeway all the way back to Warrigal Road. Nudging the motorbike along behind the lady in the Honda Accord—she weaves from side to side, mostly staying within her lane, the phone's in her left hand, or sometimes resting on the passenger seat, she's busy chatting. Flashing the high beam does nothing, she glances up and continues babbling. To top it all off, the left rear tyre of her car is so flat she's just about driving on the rim. But she's not speeding, which is all that's important, because, as we all know from the television ads, Speed Kills.

Tried to compile tra this evening to see if it fits better with what I want to do with maintaining my home directory and replicating it between multiple machines. Only problem is, I can only get it to compile on one machine! Linux is fine, but there's no Windows port, and it fails on sng since the assembler is missing.

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Sat, 08 Dec 2001

A near dooring // at 23:59

So many car doors, so few motorists with brains.

There we were, riding up Swan street on the way home. Suddenly Jo yells out “lookout,” I screamed out “Door!” Yep, both passengers in the taxi (Vic. M-3561) had decided that sitting in the lane of stationary traffic was enough, so without indicating, pulling over to the side of the road, or obeying any other form of road laws, they'd just thrown open both left-hand doors and got out. Jo made it around them, I couldn't swerve far enough without hitting her wheel so I ran into the back of the calf of the rear passenger. Both passengers then started screaming at me to watch where I was FW#$%%%ing going and get off the F*#W$@#$%ing road. Taxi driver meanwhile had driven off, caring only that he'd made another fare in the minimum possible time.

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Fri, 07 Dec 2001

A world first // at 23:59

A first apparently, a motorist in Chicago who deliberately ran down and killed a cyclist has been charged with murder. It'll set a precedent, and in one way I'm pleased with the verdict, but it sure is disturbing reading about the case ... especially knowing the number of times I've exchanged words with motorists after they either try to “scare me” by going a little close, or just don't look and don't care.

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Mon, 03 Dec 2001

Motorist du jour // at 23:59

... and today's motorist of the moment award goes to the driver of the metallic green hatchback in Richmond. Why? I hear you ask. Well, I couldn't work out why he was having so much trouble making it around a right hand corner from a standing start, then as I went past I realised that he had a bowl of cereal in his lap, spoon in his right hand, and was driving with his left.

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Wed, 28 Nov 2001

Idiots in metal boxes // at 23:59

sigh discovered today that a person I know has just spent the last six weeks in hospital after being driven into by a drunk driver while out cycling. Apparently the driver simply fell asleep and ran into them. This didn't put me in the best of moods for a quick jaunt in from Clayton to East Melbourne to attend a product demonstration. Then along the way I met:

  1. A motorist travelling slowly who started to veer into my lane as I passed; surprise, surprise, he had the Melways street directory open across the steering wheel and was reading it.
  2. A motorist travelling slowly in the right-hand lane; sure enough, when I pulled over and passed her I saw she was deep in conversation on her hand-held phone.
  3. The piece de resistance, a small truck travelling slowly in the middle lane and gradually creeping into the left; as I past him I noticed that the driver was on the phone, using a hands-free kit, but was holding his credit card in his right hand and appeared to be reading out the numbers to whoever he was talking to.

Can someone please shoot the lot of them!. Oh, that's right, I forgot. According to the police speed is the number one cause of “accidents,” it couldn't possibly be the total carelessness of the majority of the morons out there.

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Tue, 20 Nov 2001

The motorists are revolting…. // at 23:59

The motorists ... the motorists.... This morning there was the lady who unsuccessfully tried to peel and eat a banana with one hand while trying to drive her mercedes with the other. If she'd only looked before swerving into my lane I wouldn't have had to blast on the horn. Now she's probably going to tell everyone about the mean biker who appeared from nowhere, and how dangerous motorbikes are.

Then in the evening someone drove into someone else, but managed to completely block the Monash Freeway inbound so that everyone had to be diverted off at Toorak road and crawl bumper to bumper through Hawthorn and Richmond. If I'd had a book of tickets I could have made a fortune, since every second motorist stuck in the traffic was on the phone, frantically calling: “Hi honey, I'm stuck in traffic and illegally using my phone, don't be mad when I get home late with a $165 fine.”

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Thu, 27 Sep 2001

Another motorist, another red-light runner // at 23:59

Cycled to work and guess what, another driver tried to flatten me where the cycle path crosses Malvern road. I'm getting sick of this sequence. Stop, wait, light goes orange, wait, light goes red, wait, cycle path light goes green, start to ride across intersection, stop and scream abuse as maroon Commodore NCI-033 drives straight through the red without slowing down.

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Fri, 21 Sep 2001

Bah, idiots in tin boxes // at 23:59

Today we have another shining example of Melbourne's finest drivers. Silver Holden Commodore, (Vic. QKU-199), at first I wondered what he was doing, attempting to drag me off from the lights on Dandenong Rd. Then I realised as he swerved in at me: the left-turn only lane didn't apply to him, and it was more important for him to ram the motorbike out of the way so he could go straight ahead and on down Dandenong Rd at 110km/hr in the 80km/hr zone.

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Sun, 05 Nov 2000

Motorist du jour // at 21:12

I've no idea what the motorist did, but months later I found this note to myself in one of the notebooks that I carry while cycling. If I wrote it down at the time then they probably either tried to hit me or threw something at me or similar...

Gold Holden Kingswood
IMG-472
21:12

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Thu, 14 May 1998

Verbally Abused, then deliberately hit by car // at 21:00

Riding home from work along Willesden road Oakleigh at 17:05, there were parked cars on the opposite side of the road and traffic from head on passing. Somone in a car behind me decided they couldn't pass me and the driver gave me a long blast on the horn which I ignored. The car, (white Holden Commodore sedan, black tinted rear window, rego. Vic. OXI-706, then pulled alongside with the occupants yelling abuse, then swerved in at me, clipping my front wheel with their rear bumper, then spun the wheels and drove off. Driver was not visible due to the darkness of the window tint.

At the Willesden road-Poath road intersection the car was stopped for the traffic lights and as I tentatively rode past on the left, the passenger again yelled something at me and threw a cigarette butt at me as I rode past. I yelled out “Learn the road rules!” in the window and then rode up to Murrumbeena Police station. The police officer took the details on the back of a scrap piece of paper, stating that “I won't take a statement now, after I ring them up and find out what happened I'll get back to you tonight or tomorrow and we'll see whether you wish to take it further.”

The police officer called me back the following evening, stating that he had interviewed both occupants of the vehicle in person and “given them a right serve on their driving behaviour.” However, both deny that their vehicle hit me, deny that a cigarette butt was thrown, and claim that I swore and abused them first, so it was pointed out that it would be fairly pointless to take the matter further as it would be their story vs mine in court.

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Wed, 11 Feb 1998

Nearly “doored” by a Taxi driver // at 09:00

8:40 riding along Atherton Rd through Oakleigh, I had just left the traffic lights at the shops and had a two-tonne van overtaking me. A taxi (Vic. M-3631) pulled head-on into a parallel parking space, leaving at least a foot of his car sticking out into the traffic, as I drew alongside to ovetake, the driver threw open the door and stepped out without looking. The van to my right had to swerve to avoid hitting the door, I had slid to a stop inches from the driver and yelled. The driver swung his arms at me and screamed “Don't ride on the fucking road, dickhead!” As he seemed quite angry, I left the area, since I felt that he would attack me if I tried to point out that motorists in Australia are required to check before opening their car doors and it is an offence to hit someone with one!

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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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