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 Oct 2007

Ride to work day, out here, who'd have known… // at 19:00

Ride-to-Work day was amusing in some small way. In the morning could I tell it was RTW day? Not really, North road was bumper-to-bumper stationary cars, in twenty minutes I saw one other cyclist, the traffic choked to a halt as the road gets widened to accommodate more cars, with a special bicycle ghetto being built in the median strip that you a) can't get to, then b) have to give way at every single cross road at then c) use the footpath past the primary school. Cyclists dismount please!

In the evening could I tell it was RTW day? Riding up a one-way lane I come to a halt as the p-plate bearing commodore screeches around the corner and comes straight at me. Me: “Mate it's a one way street,” him: “Get fucked, I live here,” me: “I guess if you live here you know its a one way street.” I then had to dive off to the side as he drove straight at me screaming abuse about faggots bicycles poofters f'en cyclist c*ts.

All this followed ten minutes later by a different knob-end throwing the door open and heaving his wobbly belly out of the car and nearly collecting me with the wine bottle he was waving as a counter-balance.

RTW day. Oh yeah. Maybe in the CBD, but out here in 'burbs the petrol-heads go on for ever

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Wed, 04 Oct 2006

Ride to work day // at 20:14

Woohoo, ride to work day! Um, I guess that'll be just like any other day, except with Bicycle Victoria pumping wildly in the background.

As they asked, and as I replied, in their questionaire: How will you celebrate Ride To Work Day?

The same way I celebrate every day, happy to be alive after the idiots in the tin boxes yabbering on their phones haven't killed me.

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Wed, 02 Oct 2002

Ride to work day // at 23:59

[*] [*] A little detour on the ride to work this morning — I headed into the city for Bicycle Victoria's annual “Ride to Work” day and free breakfast. Everything there was all sweetness and light, in some contrast to the ride to get there!

One car parked in the clearway/bike lane on Bridge Road. Seven cars and a tow-truck stopped in the bike lanes at traffic lights. Two out of four “forward bike boxes” at the lights had cars parked in them. One taxi double-parked and disgorging passengers out both sides, and a motorist who attempted the “overtake and then turn left” manoeuvre. Heading to Monash afterwards I'd have to add the solid mass of vehicles blocking “Swanston Walk,” the couriers' vans parked in the St Kilda road bike lane, and the woman who reversed out of her driveway without looking, and then drove past too close for comfort while yabbering into her mobile phone.

Oh well, at least BV will have their camera footage, parliament will see that there are a few bikes around — at least for today — and I managed to get my drivers license number engraved in my bike frame. Its supposed to aid recovery in the event of theft; I think I'd much rather prevent the theft in the first place since the proportion of stolen bikes that is recovered is very low.

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