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This is a question B3TA fixes the world

Moon Monkey says: Turn into Jeremy Clarkson for a moment, and tell us about the things that are so obviously wrong with the world, and how they should be fixed. Extra points for ludicrous over-simplification, blatant mis-representation, and humourous knob-gags.

(, Thu 22 Sep 2011, 12:53)
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"You're worse than Hitler!"
Being a cyclist in London today probably makes me and my fellow two wheeled warriors the third least popular group on B3ta this week after the nonces and the politicians. I’m typing this during my lunch hour, sat fifteen feet away from my bright orange Marin mountain bike which is parked in the corner of my office right now. Here’s my take on things.

Red Light Jumping
There’s no fucking excuse for it. A red light is a red light. When I walk anywhere in London and use the crossings, I will scream at anyone on a bike who thinks the rules don’t apply to them. As cyclist, I’ve observed that the habitual RLJer is also usually the slowest individual on two wheels and you end up having to re-overtake them after they wobble past you when you’re stood stationary at the traffic lights. Yes, I have screamed at them too and on occasion have wedged my bike in such a way that the daft cunts can’t squeeze past oblivious to the rage in their wake.

Bendy Busses
Whoever it was who decided that London is an ideal place to drive a bendy bus is a complete and utter cunt. Transport for London seem to have an uncanny knack at finding the sociopathic elements of society and giving them a bus to drive. If you had eighteen metres of cuntbus pull away from a stop without indicating and attempt to force you sideways into oncoming traffic, you’d probably scream “You shitcunt!” at the murderous twunt of a driver too.

Fashion
Cycling gear is unflattering. We know this. However, some don’t realise that spending a fortune on Team Sky lycras and matching disco slippers makes them look an even bigger bellend. The rest of us mock them too.

Conversely, the foul-smelling dayglo jackets that some of us wear aren’t a fashion statement, they’re merely a means of alerting bendy bus drivers as to our presence. You wouldn’t subject your finest jacket to a ceaseless drenching of gritty, shitty, oily water directly from the road would you?

And if wearing a linen suit with flip flops isn’t already a crime, it bloody well ought to be, especially when it’s combined with a fixed gear, narrow handlebarred, ill handling monstrosity of a bicycle that’s so prevalent these days.

Lemmings
The act of clamping a mobile phone to your right ear does not endow you with some kind of force field, protecting you from traffic. Also, if you’re a pedestrian who believes this and steps into the road without looking to your right then expect the bloke on the mountain bike who’d just had to swerve to avoid you to shout bad things at you.

“You don’t pay road tax!”
Neither do you. You pay Vehicle Excise Duty based on your vehicle’s CO2 emissions. The Toyota Prius is a shit idea, but the owner of one doesn’t pay VED either. It also takes up a lot more space than I do on my bike. In all probability, the Alfa Romeo hatchback on my drive at home has a higher VED bracket that whatever you’re driving so as far as I’m concerned, that together with the PAYE deducted from my salary and the VAT I pay on my purchases also covers whatever wear and tear I’m causing the tarmac. It’s not my fault if the government spunks it all on nuclear submarines, expensive IT projects and bank bailouts instead of fixing the fucking potholes is it?

“You should have insurance for that!”
I have. I don’t want my transport nicked or damaged either.

“Get off the pavement!”
The small blue sign that you’ve failed to take note of means that half of this pavement is in fact a cycle lane. Yes it’s a shit idea, but it’s the only path we’ve got and cyclists don’t particularly enjoy having to pedal slowly behind a brain dead chavette aimlessly piloting a snotbrat occupied pushchair along our designated side of the pavement. To those cyclists who do insist on riding their bikes footpaths proper, I refer you to my Red Light Jumping paragraph. You cunts.

Boris Bikes
Here’s a great way to improve safety on the capitol’s roads, unleash 5,000 overweight and ill fitting bicycles on the general public who for the most part haven’t ridden a bike since they were twelve.

In reality, I rarely have an issue most days. I keep to the rules of the highway and try to remain assertive but courteous. There really is room for everyone – bendy busses excepted – provided that we all play by the rules and look out for one another. Just remember that next time you drive or walk in London, not everyone on a bicycle is a colossal twat.
(, Fri 23 Sep 2011, 13:37, closed)
Amen.

(, Fri 23 Sep 2011, 13:46, closed)
You win the position of Cycling Educator Of London.
Your powers are not just ceremonial, they shall be strictly and strongly legally enforced.
(, Fri 23 Sep 2011, 13:48, closed)
*Dons Ermine*
Praise indeed.
(, Fri 23 Sep 2011, 13:50, closed)

legally lethally
(, Fri 23 Sep 2011, 13:52, closed)
yes. yes they are.

(, Fri 23 Sep 2011, 13:56, closed)
My daily commute means I cycle 21 miles a day (though not in London)
I obey all the traffic laws, stop at junctions no matter what, indicate, wait at lights etc. I have done many many thousand miles since I started riding and can quite honestly say the most colossal twats are 4x4 drivers. In just the last week I have had one pull out of a parking space right across my path and stop then give me a mouthful because I hit their precious vehicle. I have had one overtake me, instantly slam on their brakes and turn left in to a driveway, I managed to just swerve around them but if a car had been coming the other way I'd have been in trouble and just this morning coming in I had one overtake me in thick fog on a blind corner causing some poor woman in her little saxo to slam on her brakes and stall her car. I am seriously considering getting a helmet cam to film some of these twats. Oh and don't get me started on the shit they do to me on roundabouts, cunts!
(, Fri 23 Sep 2011, 14:13, closed)
By choice I walk 2 miles through central London on my daily commute
And I have seen some terrible driving, but I rarely see cars - 4x4s included - jump red lights, or drive on the pavement, or shout "CUUUNNNTTT!" at pedestrians having the audacity to walk out in front of them on a pedestrian crossing when the green man's on.

But hey ho.
(, Fri 23 Sep 2011, 16:44, closed)
Red light jumping is safe. Sometimes.
I was a bicycle courier in London for two years and I have several issues with this.

Jumping a red light, if done with awareness and basic courtesy is actually much safer than waiting for green. It gives you a head start meaning that the approach velocity of vehicles coming from behind is slower because you are already up to speed. Thus the driver has more time to see you and is less likely to squeeze you into the curb. I still do it all the time but my rule is that if I'm breaking the rules everyone else, pedestrians included, has right of way. I've never been beeped or shouted at but I very rarely come to a stop when I'm riding.

A fixed-wheel bicycle with narrow handlebars is the perfect vehicle for riding in heavy traffic for 9 hours a day. It is extremely tough, easy to maintain, light and small enough to squeeze through the thinnest of gaps in slow-moving traffic. When ridden well a courier on a fixed-wheel can easily keep up with your average spandex-clad roadie. You do see a lot of fucking hipster twats (fakengers) on horrible vintage fixies wobbling around like a dick but sooner or later they get hurt and give up.

Oh, and those commuters on mountain bikes with fluorescent jackets...why oh why would you spend so much money on a heavy, inefficient OFF-ROAD vehicle, only to ride to work and back on the ROAD.

Good post though.
(, Fri 23 Sep 2011, 14:17, closed)
Oh, and if you don't like RLJs, this video will make you angry. I don't condone it but it's bloody exciting.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=HLzGj10fg2g
(, Fri 23 Sep 2011, 14:27, closed)
WTF?
Reminds me of the Claude Lelouch film Rendesvouz but on two wheels.
(, Fri 23 Sep 2011, 14:31, closed)
Yes, but is it as exciting as deleting your posts
When you realise you've been making an utter knob of yourself?
(, Fri 23 Sep 2011, 18:32, closed)

But but but but I drive my mountain bike to work because I don't have room to store two bikes, and it's great fun on the weekends.
(, Fri 23 Sep 2011, 15:25, closed)
Same here
I've two bikes, a cross country bike and an AM bike. If I buy a third, the missus will kill me.
(, Fri 23 Sep 2011, 15:35, closed)
Exactly wrong.
Red Light Jumping is not acceptable at all.

If you can't abide by the laws of the road, you shouldn't be on it - end of fucking story.

Other people's bad behaviour does not justify behaving badly.
(, Fri 23 Sep 2011, 15:28, closed)
Quite
There is no need to get "up to speed" as a cyclist at the lights who is paying attention will almost always pull off in advance of the car behind them.
(, Fri 23 Sep 2011, 15:57, closed)
"almost always pull off in advance of the car behind them"
Arf!
(, Fri 23 Sep 2011, 16:00, closed)
Not acceptable at all?
Picture the scene:

Pelican crossing, button has been pressed, pedestrian has already crossed, light goes red, no hazards in any direction so I ride through with urgent documents for Decimus Fearon LLP (awesome name for a law firm no?) or whoever, saving time and therefore earning more money. And this is wrong?

The alternative is to stop and wait, therefore becoming a hazard to all the motorists who will inevitably pile up behind me and rev off as soon as the light flashes amber, cutting me up or squeezing me against parked cars because after all, I'm not a real road user I'm "just a fucking cyclist", a guest on the road in the eyes of most motorists. When I start being treated like a valid road user I'll start acting like one. Until then I'll do whatever I can to get to my destination as quickly as possible but more importantly as safely as possible.

I'm assuming you're a motorist who's ignorant of the fact that when on a bicycle you have an elevated, unobstructed, panoramic view of the road allowing you to take certain liberties safely, which cannot be taken by motorists.
(, Fri 23 Sep 2011, 16:09, closed)
Not acceptable at all, no.
You wait at the light like every other road user. That's the rules - you don't get special exception to jump the queue because of the job you chose to do.

You're not more important than anyone else, you don't have special dispensation to break the rules.
(, Fri 23 Sep 2011, 16:21, closed)
I think you're just jealous
and probably overweight. Start riding every day, it'll make you thinner, less grumpy, stronger, more attractive, better at doing everything and statistically 97% more likely to enjoy your life. It's a lovely day outside so I'm off to break some rules...
(, Fri 23 Sep 2011, 16:38, closed)
try and do it
next to a bus
(, Fri 23 Sep 2011, 16:39, closed)
I'm not jealous at all, and I'm not overweight, but thanks for playing.

(, Fri 23 Sep 2011, 16:46, closed)
Uh...
I'm not overweight, I ride almost every day and while I'm not a fantastic cyclist I'm capable of overtaking cars when I really want to.

Oh, and I think you're a dick. Get some more gears and you'll be able to pull away a bit faster.
(, Fri 23 Sep 2011, 18:31, closed)
Mr Vagabond has it right
I feel like a right dick sitting at red traffic lights when other cyclists pile past me through the red light. Am I a dick?

Someone please tell me I'm not a dick.
(, Fri 23 Sep 2011, 17:03, closed)
You're not a dick.
The point is that not all cyclists have the same dsicretion. Some will just ride straight through a red oblivious to pedestrians. The rest of us get tarred with the same brush and it hardly helps improve the public's perception of us does it?
(, Fri 23 Sep 2011, 17:07, closed)

No, exactly.
(, Fri 23 Sep 2011, 17:09, closed)
nope not acceptable
just makes you yet another cunt on a bike to everyone who sees you do it
(, Fri 23 Sep 2011, 16:27, closed)
Picture this scene...
You're at a crossroads, both sets of lights are red because the little green man is lit.

You approach, see no pedestrians and only a car coming from the right - but he's got to stop because of his red light.
You jump the lights, because you've got an important job to do.

The driver from your right is also as self-important, and feels he can obey the law as he sees fit, and also jumps the lights (after all, his job is far more important than yours).

Who's in the wrong when you're a greasy smear on the road?

I can see where you're coming from, but at least admit you shouldn't do it, even though you think it's fairly safe.
(, Tue 27 Sep 2011, 12:17, closed)
You are a shining paragon sir.
However, I have another one to add to your list.

I ride a motorbike through London every day. On Tuesday afternoon, I was making my way home, along the embankment.

Pulling up in front of Big Ben, there are roadworks, and only one lane to turn right. I pull up next to a car at the red light, filling the gap between him and the roadwork barriers. A cyclist pulls up behind me.

To avoid leaving the cyclist dicing with the car going round the tight corner, I pull forward into the 'cycle' space, in front of the traffic. Cyclist pulls forward, next to me. All is good. Three more cycles do the same. One of them leans over, points at the picture of a cycle on the floor, and says 'This is reserved for cycles pal'.

Fuck off, ya twat!

Anyway. On behalf of my ilk, and car drivers; Dear cyclists, please do feel free to do all the stupid things listed above. It will be inconvenient for me if I have to hose bits of your spinal cord off of my front mudguard, but I'll still be having a better day than you.
(, Fri 23 Sep 2011, 14:25, closed)
Sorry mate...
But you technically are in the wrong. But frankly the police can't be arsed to deal with such minor indiscretions, so count yourself lucky.

I hate ASLs mainly because they encourage cyclists to undertake or try to push through lines of traffic. Both of which can cause problems. But what annoys me is that scooter and motorbike riders who think the can act just as badly.

I thought us Brits were supposed to be alright with queuing and not pushing through to the front?
(, Sat 24 Sep 2011, 13:29, closed)
I know I'm wrong.
But I was actually just being polite/sensible.

I understand that a cyclist *needs* to be in front of, or at least out of harms way of traffic pulling away.

In fact there's not much of an argument here - obviously the dick who ticked me off hadn't seen that I had done that. Even so . . . I mean, honestly!
(, Mon 26 Sep 2011, 12:10, closed)

Point to the tax disc, the one that says "bicycle", and then challenge them to a race from the lights.

They get all huffy and don't bother you, it's great!
(, Sat 24 Sep 2011, 21:46, closed)

To be fair...anyone that lives in London deserves everything coming to them. Your all a bunch of cunts....to be fair.
(, Fri 23 Sep 2011, 14:39, closed)
Possibly,
but we don't talk with a fucking stupid accent.
(, Fri 23 Sep 2011, 14:45, closed)

Are you sure about that ???
(, Fri 23 Sep 2011, 15:19, closed)
Absolutely.
The advantage of being a Londoner is that I don't have to spend 73% of my waking hours worrying that Londoners think I'm a carrot crunching peasant with a funny accent.

Which we do, but it doesn't take any effort.
(, Fri 23 Sep 2011, 15:38, closed)
londoners don't talk with a stupid accent?
ahahahahhahahahahhahahahahha!!!!
no really?
(, Fri 23 Sep 2011, 16:26, closed)
Not as cunty as the cunts outside London, though ... to be fair.

(, Fri 23 Sep 2011, 14:52, closed)
You're entitled to that opinion
As I don't live in London.
(, Fri 23 Sep 2011, 15:05, closed)
agreed

(, Wed 28 Sep 2011, 0:59, closed)
This would have gone so much better
had you not referred to yourself as a "two wheeled warrior".
I'm pro-cycling, and agree with most of what you've written, but "two wheeled warrior"? You wanker.
(, Fri 23 Sep 2011, 14:58, closed)
I'm at liberty to make my prose as florid as I please.
I've already compared myself to Hitler in this thread. What more could you want?
(, Fri 23 Sep 2011, 15:06, closed)
You could accept that,
whilst you might well be a competent, considerate cyclist, you're also a bit of a wanker.
(, Fri 23 Sep 2011, 15:21, closed)
"you're a bit of a wanker"?
Jesus, if the trolling evidenced here is anything to go by, standards have really slipped. Lazy, very lazy.
(, Fri 23 Sep 2011, 15:29, closed)
It's so lame in fact that I'm going to nick it and use it as my sig

(, Fri 23 Sep 2011, 16:23, closed)
Cool.
Let's get married.
(, Fri 23 Sep 2011, 16:30, closed)
As lasting reminders of our respective literary shitness go...
...that's quite good.

Let it serve as a warning to others.
(, Fri 23 Sep 2011, 16:39, closed)
I'm going to put this out there . . .
Those fuckers on 3 wheeled scooters.

Yes, you, you cunt. You're too agressive, and you're not very competent. Your fisher-price 250 isn't actually that fast either. You're going faster than me on my 660 because you're a dickhead, not because your bike is quicker than mine.

Therefore, sitting 2" from my back wheel, trying to push past me into a gap you'll get stuck in, and I won't, isn't happening.

Get back on the tube you fucking knob.
(, Fri 23 Sep 2011, 15:15, closed)
You get cut up
by toddlers?
(, Fri 23 Sep 2011, 15:19, closed)
Yeah,
that pretty much sums it up.
(, Fri 23 Sep 2011, 15:26, closed)
Bicycle space
I ride a motorbike in London too and always pull up into the green cycle area at the front of the lights. I've always thought that this was fine as it says on my tax disc "Taxation Class: Bicycle"
(, Fri 23 Sep 2011, 16:54, closed)
I'm sure that motorcyclists are entitled to use the green area
Even if they're not, I fail to see what harm it actually does.
(, Fri 23 Sep 2011, 17:00, closed)
Advanced stop lines.
Some signal-controlled junctions have advanced stop lines to allow cycles to be positioned ahead of other traffic. Motorists, including motorcyclists, MUST stop at the first white line reached if the lights are amber or red and should avoid blocking the way or encroaching on the marked area at other times, e.g. if the junction ahead is blocked. If your vehicle has proceeded over the first white line at the time that the signal goes red, you MUST stop at the second white line, even if your vehicle is in the marked area. Allow cyclists time and space to move off when the green signal shows.

[Laws RTA 1988 sect 36 & TSRGD regs 10, 36(1) & 43(2)]
(, Fri 23 Sep 2011, 22:32, closed)
Fucking lycra
Went past some rotund heart attack in waiting the other day riding four figures worth of carbon fiber and dressed in a replica Tour de France yellow jersey and matching lycra shorts. In the City, in nose-to-tail traffic.

Utter penis
(, Fri 23 Sep 2011, 16:20, closed)
This is my excuse for not buying a more expensive bike
The large mass of pies and beer which sits on my bike far outweighs any weight reduction offered by lighter components and frame.
(, Fri 23 Sep 2011, 17:14, closed)
Well done sir.
Everything neat and tidy and well and truly in order.
(, Sat 24 Sep 2011, 9:33, closed)
A fine effort
My two pence worth (as a qualified cycle instructor) is that depressingly, i'd wager that only about 5% of the cyclists on our road acutally have had any form of training, and therefore a fair majority of those on the road have no fucking clue what they are doing, especially when it comes to keeping themselves safe.

If anything, this is because in the main, we really don't give a shit about cycling in the UK, so most people can't be arsed to invest time and energy in doing it properly.
(, Sat 24 Sep 2011, 13:34, closed)
A few comments:
In regards to those who ride mountain bikes on the road regularly - get some slicks for it. A huge increase in efficiency (not as much as a true road bike and wheelset, but the next best thing), and is much easier to pass off to a significant other than a whole new bike.
Ideally if you have a bike with discs, a spare set of wheels and tyres for quick changes for when you want to hit the mud, if not then new tyres and a decent pump so you can switch them over in a matter of minutes.

As for red lights and general naughtiness - bikes are required to follow the laws of the road, full stop. I may disagree at times and wish I could keep momentum when faced with an empty road or a pedestrain crossing with nobody on my side, but if they allow fair use of ignoring the laws, then the arses will take advantage as usual and continue to ride dangerously and put others in danger (getting hit by a bike travelling at speed sure ain't nice) - if they police catch you, you *will* be fined £30 for committing such an offence, as found out by various friends of mine.
If you do want to get a head start, hopping off the bike and pushing across a pedestrian signal is acceptable (as pushing a bike you are of course counted as a pedestrian), and places you on the other side of the junction and moving by the time the cars get to you.
(, Sat 24 Sep 2011, 14:06, closed)
Re using a mountain bike on the road...
...some tyres roll better than others, but I can't be bothered with swapping out wheels each time I choose to ride on the road or offroad. Besides, the physical challenge keeps me fitter.

For the bike geeks out there, a Maxxis Ardent on the back and a Nevegal on the front roll acceptably well and are also great three season off road tyres.

The lower gearing of a mountain bike means that you can normally get away very cleanly and quickly when the lights turn green too.
(, Sun 25 Sep 2011, 11:46, closed)
i like all of this - so naturally i clicked
but i also think you should get a nice BMW end enjoy growing fat in leather lined luxury whilst filtering out the smell of pleb
(, Mon 26 Sep 2011, 16:21, closed)

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