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.
After a long day out yesterday we came home by train, getting out at the station Jo and Cam went one way to the house while I went to the shops to get some take-away noodles for dinner. A five minute wait and dinner is ready, then back down Station street and two pedestrian crossings to the station. Half way across the road and I leap backwards to the sound of squealing tyres and an acccelerating engine, as per usual one of the local drivers has decided to plant his foot going around the roundabout to race for the crossing to get there before the pedestrian.
Bah, Friday, who needs it.
Family circumstances altered, toddler sleep requires a no show at Goat. Normal commute home, hopefully avoiding the wind and rain.
First ride home on the new road bike. First ride on a road bike for about a year. First ride in Shimano road cleats for about five years. East Oakleigh: approaching little roundabout down a gentle hill, there’s a Falcon coming down the street from my right but he’s way back and I’ll be across the roundabout before he’s even got there.
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. Courtesy of my favourite fish-wrapper, the Herald Sun:
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.
Trundling home on the mountain bike towing the trailer and toddler, 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.
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 a courier car comes out of Clayton primary and goes screaming past me and the trailer 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.
Around and around we go; Connex and Monash City Council, Monash City Council and Connex….
Every couple of weeks someone decides to ignore the no parking signs, to ignore the huge white markings on the ground, to ignore the fact that they’re blocking the footpath and bike path, and decides to park illegally at the end of the Oakleigh station car-park. Anyone on foot who is skinny enough can squeeze past, anyone on a bike, with a pram or shopping trolley or who is fatter than average either cannot get past at all, or has to scrape along the side of the idiot’s car.
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 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.
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-###, 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.
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) Victorian registration ###-### 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.
“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.
There must be something about their “professional training”, I really can’t think of anything else to explain it.
Every day I ride up North road, usually with no problems
Every day I am passed by several hundred cars, usually with no problems.
Every day I am passed by one or two buses from other bus lines, usually with no problems.
About once a month some maniac in a Grendas bus seems to want to kill me.
How odd… as I was riding along North road this morning I was thinking that I really should write back to VicRoads 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 VicRoads 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.
Very rare I’ll admit, but the Vatican on Tuesday 19-Jun-2007 issued a set of “Ten Commandments” for drivers. I saw a couple of newspaper articles about them, but none of these seemed to print the list out. Finally I found a copy.
The “Drivers' Ten Commandments,” as listed by the document, are:
You shall not kill. The road shall be for you a means of communion between people and not of mortal harm.
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.
Dear selfish bastards… PUT THE PHONE DOWN BEFORE YOU KILL SOMEONE!
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.
Must be international idiot on the roads day, or maybe just Melbourne Motorised Morons…. A few drops of rain on the way home and two idiots try to hit me, one successfully.
Major idiot number one was the one that missed; traffic was banked up all the way back from the roundabout on Haughton road to North road in the right lane by people wanting to go around and turn right, so what does our hero do?
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.
At the moment, Thursdays seem to be crap days.
Woken — yet again — at 5 am 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 small tow-truck pulled up on my left, the driver yelled out the window “Fucken idiot get out of the way” and with that promptly drove left around 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!
from The Age News Headlines:
Freeway crash leaves one dead
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….
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 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.
Aaaarrrg! 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.
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” sign 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.
I experiment. I play. I write and I take pictures. Some of the site is organised around topics, other parts are organized by date, then there’s always the cross-references between them.
Long ago it started as a learning experiment with a few static HTML pages, then I added a bit of server-side includes and some very ugly PHP. A hand-built journal/blog on top of that PHP, then a few experiments in moving to various static publishing systems. I’ve never wanted a database-based blogging engine, so over the years I’ve tried php, nanoblogger, emacs-muse, silkpage and docbook before settling on emacs org-mode for writing and jekyll for publishing. But the itch remained… I never really liked jekyll and the ruby underneath always seemed so much black magic. So now the latest incarnation is org-mode and hugo.