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There’s only one way to beat road rage – and it isn’t just shouting louder than the other guy

Road rage is a curious phenomenon. In our quietest, most reflective moments I hope we would all be prepared to admit that none of us is perfect – that we sometimes react to perceived poor road craft in a way that doesn’t show us in a very good light and which might even inflame any confrontational situation in which we happen to find ourselves.

When cyclists feel threatened by bad driving, more often than we care to admit it we shout and swear and gesticulate with the worst of them, justifying our uncharacteristic loutishness by saying that we are in fear of our lives in these situations. And of course that’s true – there’s nothing quite like a near-death experience with its unwanted rush of adrenaline to add a bit of an edge to your debating style.

What’s also true is that far too many motorists (and let’s not duck the fact that most of us are motorists too) get dreadfully wound up when they’re behind the wheel and do things that they – we – wouldn’t dream of doing anywhere else. We shout at strangers, we refuse to consider views other than our own, we threaten each other, we explode if our progress is impeded, we protect our place on the road with a rabid, disproportionate zeal. Most of the time, most of us do none of these things, of course, but it’s a pretty rare motorist who can truly claim to be innocent of all charges. I know I can’t.

With depressing regularity, things escalate to a ridiculous level. We all watched the recent YouTube clip of the cyclist’s altercation with everyone’s favourite Australian café chain owner and Landrover driver with a mixture of horror and barely concealed glee, our prejudices hardening by the second as we stared, slack jawed at the driver’s spittle-flecked lunacy. Many of us chose to downplay the role played in the drama by the cyclist himself. Or if we didn’t, we rationalized it with the old yes-but-we’re-not-endangering-anyone’s-life defence. It’s a good defence too, even if it doesn’t take any of the heat out of these volatile clashes.

It is mind-boggling that this titanic confrontation, which could so easily have ended in a serious assault and injury – perhaps even a jail sentence – stemmed from a moment’s misguided irritation triggered by someone not using a cycle path. Can you imagine such an explosive encounter stemming from something so trivial anywhere other than on the road? At the supermarket checkout, perhaps, when someone brings six items to the five-or-fewer queue? In the café, when someone beats you to the fairy cake you had your eye on? Hardly.

The only comparable scenario I can think of might be in a city centre pub at chucking out time on a Friday night when a pint is spilled, but that would be fuelled by industrial quantities of lager and shots. There is no such explanation for road rage.

So what does explain it? Is it cultural? I don’t think so. I’ve never seen any violent bike vs car encounters on French, Italian or Spanish roads and, let’s face it, they're hardly nationalities known for suppressing their feelings. Perhaps that’s the issue – perhaps us Brits are all so buttoned up for so much of the time that we need an outlet for our rage. But laughing boy in the Richmond Landrover was Australian so there goes that theory.

The only logical explanation I can think of is traffic congestion. My completely unscientific observation is that the emptier the road I’m using, the nicer other road users are. I’ve never felt safer than I did when I was cycling in the Massif Central a few years ago. On the odd occasion that I encountered cars (perhaps a dozen on a really busy day), drivers would toot (not BLARE) their horns and wave and smile as they passed, giving me as much space as the road allowed. But then they weren’t late; they weren’t being held up; they weren’t desperately cursing the moment they started this infernal journey…

So what do we do about it? I have no idea. In order for congestion to ease, the roads would have to become emptier, at which point we would flock back to them like the fools we are. We are so completely, pathetically and terminally in thrall to the motorcar that I can’t see this pattern ever changing.

So collectively, perhaps, we are doomed. But individually we have the power of choice. We can choose to not drive. We can choose to avoid the busiest roads at the busiest times – leave earlier; take the scenic route! We can choose to be courteous rather than combative.

Perhaps we can even choose, in those red-mist moments of inflamed passions and righteous fury, to remember that really we’re all the same. That crimson-cheeked loon you’re screaming at for being so wrong, so stupid and so dangerous really might as well be you.

Lifelong lover of most things cycling-related, from Moulton Mini adventures in the 70s to London bike messengering in the 80s, commuting in the 90s, mountain biking in the noughties and road cycling throughout. Editor of Simpson Magazine (www.simpsonmagazine.cc). 

40 comments

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sm [405 posts] 4 years ago
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Great post Martin, nice to see some reason. Much comes down to education and perception. In this instance the driver perceived the cyclist to be running foul of the law. Education and training as part of the driving test would help. The rules of the road and how to overtake cyclists, two things we should never misjudge.

More here on why drivers rage against cyclists, we're simply not normal!
https://humancyclist.wordpress.com/2014/01/12/driver-cyclist-hate-war/

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lolol [214 posts] 4 years ago
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Definitely an education problem, there really should be a passing a cyclists safely part of the driving test.
I have recently thought that motorists are nervous about passing cyclists, they dont know what the right thing to do is, so they get all het up and blame the cyclist for putting them in the situation, bloody cyclists making me feel all nervous.

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Martin Thomas [384 posts] 4 years ago
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Thanks sm - that's also a fine blog post you link to. I'll take some time to wander around there and read some more of your stuff  1

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SamShaw [267 posts] 4 years ago
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Very good, Martin. A change in attitude is key, as you say, not sure how that happens!

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ianrobo [1213 posts] 4 years ago
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SamShaw wrote:

Very good, Martin. A change in attitude is key, as you say, not sure how that happens!

make people resit driving tests every 10 years and attend driving awareness courses. Simple really. Stupid you can pass a test at 17 and not be tested again for 50 years when everything changes.

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trekker12 [42 posts] 4 years ago
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A fairly alcohol fuelled debate a few weeks ago after a session in the pub with close family members gave me a typical insight to a non-cyclists viewpoint. From my own family it was hard to take but the usual comments about not using cycle paths and riding two abreast came up.

I wasn't in the mood to try calm education and went to bed feeling somewhat let down. In the cold light of the hangover I realised they actually didn't know any better, no-one had told them anything about cycling or cyclists attitude (one had been knocked of his bike in London and never got back on - but managed to get compensation from them). All of them have had driving licences longer than me and the test simply didn't include such information.

Regular re-examining in my opinion is one answer but the outcry would be so huge no government is ever going to risk attempting it so they make noises and build cycle paths which I won't use because I commute a long way and need to average 15-16mph to get work at a reasonable time - too fast for safety of other cycle path users but try telling non-cyclist that who doesn't want to listen.

I don't know the answer, I don't think any of us do. I make a conscious effort to not end up shouting at car drivers doing stupid things or accusing me of breaking their perception of the law. Where I live I actually believe the idiots who refuse to listen are in a minority and most driving is fairly courteous but I'm not keen to start riding in a big city!

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gazza_d [471 posts] 4 years ago
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Over the last few years since I started using the bike for transport, rather than just the odd leisure ride, I have noticed that overall driver behavior and consideration does seem to have improved.

I think some of this is down to things like the TDF and TDY up here and the media coverage that gave. More people are tuning in to cycling as well. I've noticed a definite increase this year in fellow cycle commuters than last year, especially where new infra has gone in. When I mention cycling, more are positive and often are keen to tell that they are going out occasionally. Even when renewing my home insurance, the guy on the phone started telling about his mate completing LEJOG, and how he was starting to cycle as well.

Education will only help so far. the nutters in vehicles fall into 3 categories, whih cannot be helped:
The illegal drivers with no licence or clue
The thickos that are probably too dense to be educated
The shallow self obsessed, who are unaware of anyone else as the facebook their mates whilst driving a "designer" cars like a mini, beetle or Fiat 500

The best longer term answer is separated facilities that most people will choose to use, along with things like blocking of rat runs and through routes. Stronger enforcement and punishment is also needed for all driving offences.

Making bikeability an essential "life skill" part of the school curriculum and as a practical prerequisite to a driving licence would help, and appease those that demand cyclists are tested and trained  3

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3wheelsgood [63 posts] 4 years ago
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There is a far more fundamental issue highlighted by Jason Wells' appalling outburst: why should anyone feel it necessary or appropriate to behave in such a primal manner? This type of behaviour would not be tolerated in any normal human interaction so why is it so common on our roads?
I am not Jesus or even a Buddhist, but, so far, have always turned around and moved out of range when confronted by angry animals. Sometimes a squirt from the water bottle has been called for on forays into Foreign parts.  1

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kitkat [471 posts] 4 years ago
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ianrobo wrote:

make people resit driving tests every 10 years and attend driving awareness courses. Simple really. Stupid you can pass a test at 17 and not be tested again for 50 years when everything changes.

This AND

Making more in the driving test of how to pass slow moving road users. A lot of drivers will come up to a cyclist or horse without considering their overtake plan until they're on top of the person and then if something is on-coming it's about emergency manoeuvres

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atgni [432 posts] 4 years ago
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kitkat wrote:
ianrobo wrote:

make people resit driving tests every 10 years and attend driving awareness courses. Simple really. Stupid you can pass a test at 17 and not be tested again for 50 years when everything changes.

This AND

Making more in the driving test of how to pass slow moving road users. A lot of drivers will come up to a cyclist or horse without considering their overtake plan until they're on top of the person and then if something is on-coming it's about emergency manoeuvres

Odd that a first aid qualification is only valid for 3 years (potentially helping someone), but the driving licence (regularly causing first aid skills to be needed) only needs re-signing at 70ish not even a re-test then.

Seems relatively simple to get everyone to re-take the theory element for renewal of the photo card every 10 years. That way everyone might be up to date on highway code revisions.

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Quince [381 posts] 4 years ago
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I thought the post was going end up as a trite essay on 'turning the other cheek', but it's more thoughtful and interesting than that.

I think you've got a point about congestion. Our time in the car is us at our most powerful. We have't just upgraded to the power of a horse; we have more horsepowers under our foot than most equestrian schools. Throw in all the cultural and commercial symbolism representing cars as a symbol of freedom and status, and the reality of in being boxed in among a sea of other boxes becomes frustration in its purest form.

Unable to move the box itself, we become aware of ourselves within in; strapped down to a seat and caged in on all sides. A bit like that scene in Casino Royale, but with less testicle smashing. A bit. The thing that was meant to free us has become our prison.

And rather than get annoyed at our own choice (I don't think most people think of driving AS a choice, just as basic, necessary mobility) we externalise the frustration onto the things around us; onto the other cars (which we're annoyed at for being there, though too aware of the hypocrisy to ever voice it) and onto anything else in the environment.

Which leaves the people riding bikes as the targets of our frustrations. They're weaker, they're smaller, they're not obeying social norms, they dress up in odd hats, clothing and glasses which makes them look the same. And we're all but anonymous behind them, and behind glass.

Most prominently, they're a 'they'. They're not 'people', they're 'cyclists'. They're not 'themselves', but 'members' of a larger group. Bez recently took this apart in a typically illuminating manner:(http://singletrackworld.com/columns/2015/06/bez-them-and-us/#comments)

However, I don't believe this excuses things: "that crimson-cheeked loon you’re screaming at for being so wrong, so stupid and so dangerous really might as well be you".

Perhaps he 'might as well be', but up to this day, he has yet to be.

I don't drive my wing-mirror into people's shoulders and then get angry at them scratching it. I don't stab people in the chest and get angry at them for bloodying my knife. I don't believe in 'an eye for an eye', but neither do I believe in 'turning the other cheek'. Meekly accepting abuse only breeds resentment. If I'm genuinely under threat, who yells what is the least of my concern.

What I do agree with is - in the current conditions - looking for routes that minimise conflict and maximise pleasure is probably worth the time.

More long term, I believe there are both structural and educational processes we need to go through. Designing tight populated spaces primarily around the motorcar is like selling every bag of peanuts with a complementary sledgehammer. But also tackling the bizarre manner in which people riding bikes are viewed and treated (in the courts as well as the pubs) wouldn't hurt either. Rolling out Bikeability, increasing cycling's position in driving tests, etc. This whole education vs. infrastructure debate often seems farcical. They're not mutually exclusive. What we have at the moment is a low quality of both.

Hopefully we can largely fix these issues by pushing collectively; but in our own day-to-day rides, it seems we have to avoid the pitfalls of the current system every time we step out the door.

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sm [405 posts] 4 years ago
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Thanks Martin, glad you enjoyed it and happy reading!

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farrell [1946 posts] 4 years ago
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gazza_d wrote:

Education will only help so far. the nutters in vehicles fall into 3 categories, whih cannot be helped:
The illegal drivers with no licence or clue
The thickos that are probably too dense to be educated
The shallow self obsessed, who are unaware of anyone else as the facebook their mates whilst driving a "designer" cars like a mini, beetle or Fiat 500

I've never been caught in the tar of generalisation about motorists before, so that's new. It's quite amusing.

I can guarantee you I am not a nutter when driving, and definitely not where cyclists are concerned but then I've never thought of a Fiat 500 as a "designer" car before though, perhaps someone should tell these Fiat wankers too:
http://www.fiatpress.co.uk/actionphp/thumb.output.php?src=UK%2F2013%2FFI...

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gazza_d [471 posts] 4 years ago
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farrell wrote:
gazza_d wrote:

Education will only help so far. the nutters in vehicles fall into 3 categories, whih cannot be helped:
The illegal drivers with no licence or clue
The thickos that are probably too dense to be educated
The shallow self obsessed, who are unaware of anyone else as the facebook their mates whilst driving a "designer" cars like a mini, beetle or Fiat 500

I've never been caught in the tar of generalisation about motorists before, so that's new. It's quite amusing.

I can guarantee you I am not a nutter when driving, and definitely not where cyclists are concerned but then I've never thought of a Fiat 500 as a "designer" car before though, perhaps someone should tell these Fiat wankers too:
http://www.fiatpress.co.uk/actionphp/thumb.output.php?src=UK%2F2013%2FFI...

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To be fair, I didn't mean all Fiat 500 & Mini drivers are shallow self obsessed nutjobs, but rather that a lot of the mobile phone jockeys and makeup adjusters I see in traffic queues are behind the wheel of such cars. Not suggesting that you wear makeup either.

I know some decent sane people that drive them, just as I know some nice Audi & BMW drivers.

I'm wary of all drivers btw

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mike the bike [955 posts] 4 years ago
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gazza_d]
[quote=gazza_d

wrote:

To be fair, I didn't mean all Fiat 500 & Mini drivers are shallow self obsessed nutjobs,

You could have been right first time. I was a Fiat 500 driver for five years and just look at me .....

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giff77 [1275 posts] 4 years ago
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Many Thanks Martin. A great blog and some great insight. Today I had an altercation with a motorist. I had moved into a stronger primary after checking to negotiate a traffic island and could hear this guy behind me gunning his engine as he pulled out and cut in violently clipping his mirror against my arm. I launched an expletitive - which I hold my hands up to and raised my hand in resignation (no fingers be it two or one). The guy stopped and wanted to know what my problem was. By this stage I was totally calm and tried to explain. But he was shouting over me and cutting me off. I finally got through that he had squeezed me within a traffic calming measure and passed me well within the recommended distance and was told that the roads were wide enough to overtake. Seemed the calmer I was, the more he ranted. He then informed me he was a cyclist ( why do they always say this?) as well and I calmly asked him why did he pull the stunt if that was the case to which he blasted I was giving cyclists a bad name and drove off! Also was accused of abusing him though if I wanted to be pedantic the word I used could only be described as an adverb in its context rather than a noun or adjective  26

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giff77 [1275 posts] 4 years ago
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lolol wrote:

Definitely an education problem, there really should be a passing a cyclists safely part of the driving test.
I have recently thought that motorists are nervous about passing cyclists, they dont know what the right thing to do is, so they get all het up and blame the cyclist for putting them in the situation, bloody cyclists making me feel all nervous.

There was a column in the Glasgow Herald last week that a significant majority of motorists felt that their overtaking skills endangered themselves and other road users. Of the people questioned I think it was 85 % that felt this way. Many felt that they were unsure of when and where to make an overtake.

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alotronic [526 posts] 4 years ago
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lolol wrote:

I have recently thought that motorists are nervous about passing cyclists, they dont know what the right thing to do is, so they get all het up and blame the cyclist for putting them in the situation, bloody cyclists making me feel all nervous.

There's a lot in this. Nerves. Adrenaline goes up <- errors and confrontation more likely. Specially when there are lines of vehicles and there is perceived pressure on to make a fast pass from other cars.

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Martyn_K [218 posts] 4 years ago
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I would like to see educational advertisements on TV advising the laws of the road concerning cyclists and giving advice to drivers regarding how to negotiate cyclists.

For all the good that British Cycling do to the sport they have a massive membership base that is recreational. Surely they have some weight with the government to get these sort of info videos made and transmitted.

There is talk of the now household names of professional cycling, Sir Brad, Cav, Froome, Trott etc. Could these names be roped in to add something to the education?

As noted it is a problem that has many facets. I am only in control of a single facet, how i ride and react to incidents. Thus far i have only had a single near miss in 3 years of road cycling which i think is a good return.

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Zermattjohn [235 posts] 4 years ago
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Interesting post and comments. Some odd things happen when we get in a car I believe. We become closed off from normal social interaction and are left with arm waving and horn blaring. Add to that is the cost and therefore protective nature of car ownership, plus that to many people the inside of their car is an extension of their living room - with associated cuddly toys and preferred music. We've spent most of our evolution travelling slowly up to about 20mph, once we tamed the horse and used them, but in the last 50 years we've suddenly rocketed to 70mph plus, without the social interaction skills to do it well. Humans interact with subtle means, such as eye contact and body language - stick people in a car and that's gone, we're left with just a metal grill. I'm guilty, as I am sure many are, of saying BMW drivers are all idiots - possibly its because BMW's "look" aggressive..!?

Add into all that the way much of our road network is designed. For 50 years everything has been designed to standards for motorised (ie fast) transport - from turning radii at roundabouts to the visibility of traffic signals. To expect a different vehicle such as the bicycle to slot into this seamlessly is unrealistic. We have also accepted this notion of "priority" while driving, so if someone dares to pull out on us we are left raging. As in the main article, take away the car and this just wouldn't happen - we are an achingly polite society, people apologise when they get out of lift FFS, but put that same person in a car and it all goes to pot.

The "answer" to all this must be a mix of education, better design and awareness of just how dangerous cars are. We have almost become immune to the car and the consequences of incidents - if you're on the motorway and you hear there's been a bad smash is your first thought honestly about the people in the car, or how much you might be delayed? This was highlighted well by the 1st paragraph or so of Bez's blog - during the time it took him to listen to a phone-in about a person on a bike knocking down a child he heard about 10 deaths or serious injuries caused by the car. We've almost accepted having a car, and its disastrous side effects, as part of life.

It is odd that this type of road-rage/driver-cyclist shout-off doesn't happen as often abroad. In France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland & Spain I have never once had anything like this happen, so there must be a cultural side to it. It may well just be that we're not as developed as we like to think we are.

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rggfddne [221 posts] 4 years ago
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Culture can be contributory. Yeah yeah, latin stereotypes, but {almighty citation needed, I promise I have seen it} a culture of politeness can encourage violence, since perceived impoliteness (e.g. not using a cycle lane) is treated as a greater insult. If you're not expected to be polite, it isn't. Also, it's just hard to not be complacent in a car - to forget that your "consideration" is designed to stop people dying. Not because british manners.

Very true, however, that lack of resources (in this case, road space) contributes. Honestly, people fight for stuff when they need it and don't have it.

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ragtimecyclist [160 posts] 4 years ago
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Nice balanced post Martin - can't help thinking that often we cyclists can be blind to our own role in this collective bad behaviour.

I don't know what the answer is, but I think that the role of adrenalin is underestimated in all of this; it makes people behave in strange (and aggressive) ways.

Thankfully, living here in Lancaster the roads are largely a pleasant place to be!

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pmanc [209 posts] 4 years ago
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Three words. Sense of entitlement.

You allude to it when you say "in thrall to the motorcar". This entitlement is not genetic, but it has been bolstered by years of infrastructure which promotes and caters for the private motor vehicle, while marginalising other modes. We ban speed cameras to allow drivers to break the law with impunity. We cut sentences for reckless drivers, even when they kill or injure. We tolerate pavements full of cars and continually cut petrol tax increases, despite millions suffering from austerity in every other area.

We need cars - they're very useful. But in return drivers need to understand that in many ways they are the bad guys, causing far more harm than their treasured "road tax" will ever compensate for. Don't get me started on air pollution. Please. Drivers need a little more humility, a little more restraint.

And I wouldn't excuse the cyclist in question with "the old yes-but-we’re-not-endangering-anyone’s-life defence". I would point out - as the article does - that he feels his safety and possibly his life has been threatened. I know what that feels like and I'd challenge anyone to debate soberly and reasonably under the circumstances. The driver doesn't have that excuse.

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alansmurphy [866 posts] 4 years ago
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I feel the need to add to Gazza's previous list of illegal, thicko's and aggressive; I think we struggle massively with the unaware. The majority are not passing giving safe consideration because they know hitting another 2 tonne shiny thing hurts their pride and joy, unaware that a grid or pothole is likely to make us swerve or the fact that simply passing that close can be frightening.

The frustrating thing is they (to use the royal 'they') also seem to have no sense that they could have been wrong, or remorse. They will often try to overtake just before traffic lights or a roundabout, realise their pride and joy is halfway across an oncoming lane and point their car mercilessly at a cyclist and force you off the road. At this point, lycra mysteriously becomes a cloak of invisibility as the inhabitant of the car stares into space like you didn't exist. Rarely would such an idiot even consider the brake pedal and/or the reverse gear on the car.

Also 'the commute' is a massive contributory factor. I tend to cycle upto 100 miles a week as 'recreation' in the evenings or a lovely Sunday countryside toddle and there's probably about 1 incident a week I could put down to careless or impatient driving. I cycle about 4 miles a day commuting to and from work and I don't believe there's a single day where I don't have an incident. I'm not talking near death experience, more inconsiderate stupidity, but that's enough to get you finger waving. I very much believe it's the rat race, the average commute taking 45 minutes by car and people leaving just 30 minutes to achieve this, trying to nick those vital seconds back by charging about like a lunatic!

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Daveyraveygravey [535 posts] 4 years ago
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A great blog, caused me to have a think.

One thing to point out, when I watched that video, I thought there were a lot of cyclists. I don't know where it is, I don't know what time it happened, but there were plenty of bikes going in both directions. So I don't think you can reduce it down to "It is mind-boggling that this titanic confrontation, which could so easily have ended in a serious assault and injury – perhaps even a jail sentence – stemmed from a moment’s misguided irritation triggered by someone not using a cycle path. " This attitude is not that uncommon; the extent of his reaction was, but he is far from being the only person to react like this.
Mr Cafe Owner was completely off the scale; I'd say 11 out of 10 for mental-ness. The only thing worse he could have done was to actually hit the cyclist.
The only thing better the cyclist could have done was tone down his language and his anger. I will shout after every vehicle that close-passes me or causes me a problem; I used to call everyone an effing c but have come to realise that isn't the best approach. I now shout come on and gesticulate how much space there is. I do it because I hope it will make the driver not do the same the next time he encounters a cyclist; possibly wishful thinking but I have seen following cars REALLY give me some room after I have done this.
If the Cafe Owner rates an 11/10, I would say I meet a 5 or a 6 once or twice a ride, and a 7 or 8 a few times a year. Can we please have some kind of driver education about who has rights to what on the road and how to behave around all other road users.
My wife doesn't drive and presumably has some idea of how much cycling means to me, yet I hear her talk of "Bloody cyclists holding people up".
And quiet country roads do tend to be better, but you still meet pricks on them.

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BikeBud [256 posts] 4 years ago
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Interesting article.

If I have the day off and want to go cycling, I wait until after 9am to set off. If I'm cycling in the afternoon I'll get out before 3pm, or wait until after 6pm. The mindset of commuting drivers is largely very different from daytime drivers (as well as less busy roads).

Time pressure weighs heavily on people (including me) and changes their attitudes and behaviours. Attitude is the issue, combined with awareness of other's situations.

BTW - I understand that Australia has a worse problem than the UK.

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vonhelmet [844 posts] 4 years ago
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Daveyraveygravey wrote:

I don't know where it is, I don't know what time it happened, but there were plenty of bikes going in both directions.

It's on one of the main roads to Richmond Park in London, which is a bit of a Mecca for cyclists in that neck of the woods. Any day of the week there will be absolutely loads of cyclists there. It makes it all the more bewildering that anyone could get angry with cyclists on that road - if you're even remotely familiar with the area you probably know that it's rammed with cyclists.

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Username [219 posts] 4 years ago
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You've nailed it: the problem is congestion.

You ask what the answer is. The answer is: MORE bicycles.

This can only be achieved by better infrastructure.

Training, promotional campaigns, well-meaning celebrity endorsements, free hi-viz vests, etc have all be tried yet cycling as a means of transport remains abysmally small. Telling my seven-year-old all she needs to do is take the lane, in front of London's HGVs and Australian restauranteurs, does not work.

We need infrastructure first. Then from that flows less car-dependency. Then we can work on strict liability, driver-training, harsher congestion charges, harsher VED rates and ultimately better policing of motoring offences. Jason Wells should be serving time for assault with a deadly weapon, not a few quid slap on the wrist for shouting bad words.

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barbarus [480 posts] 4 years ago
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A good article, thanks. It's good to have a bit more light and a bit less heat. People are understandably upset by potentially life threatening situations but the question remains; what can we do about it?

One thing I notice anecdotally is that drivers on the rural part of my commute and leisure rides are more considerate than urban ones.

Another was that in northern Italy last summer drivers gave cyclists a lot of space but were absolute pests to each other and to mild mannered Englishmen driving hire cars within the limits of the law!

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PhilRuss [393 posts] 4 years ago
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[[[[[[[ Perhaps the clue is in the name; "Road-rage"!! The name excuses the behaviour, legitimises it. (It's not the fault of the driver, it's the road conditions that are to blame...). If the twerp who coined that phrase ever invents "Shop-rage", "Plane-rage", "Rush-hour rage" or "Bus-queue rage", then those examples of infantile stupidity will become accepted too. And I bet it wasn't a cyclist that thought up such a wonderful cop-out.
P.R.

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