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 last month but everyone seemed to be pretty well behaved (which I always find a miracle on St Kilda road, 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 am 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 9.30 am. 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, 8.45 am or so, bus registration
Happy f’kin birthday to me.
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: Following a written complaint to the bus company from the University transport office and the Monash University BUG we received a comprehensive apology.
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!