feat
  • donncha

    Haven’t noticed much difference in motorist’s behaviour tbh. Have heard lots of stories about cops pulling cyclist over for nonsense, including a gem from the weekend where one policeman pulled one of our riders over and wanted to have a chat with the whole bunch because they hadn’t indicated when changing lanes. Apparently the usual practice of the guy at the back indicating, taking the lane and calling the bunch over wasn’t OK. According to this officer, every single person in the bunch is required to indicate that they’re changing lanes…

    • Liam Hodgkinson

      Unless you take the stance that it was safer to maintain both hands on the handlebars; if court is required to defend it, I’d have my day & hope for a sympathetic Magistrate

  • martin

    I expect bell sales have gone through the roof

    • 1393%. Not at all going to comp the loss of general sales for those who will no longer ride (or take it up – as a result of the draconian laws).

    • jules

      the irony is that it’s quite legal to have a bell but never use it.

      • Liam Hodgkinson

        I never do, freewheeling on my bikes are bell enough – the human ear can fairly easily discern approaching speed & direction if a sound is frequent. Better than a one or two ding dings that may have differing audio volume

        • Dom

          I sense an exciting opportunity for compromise here. Maybe the government can provide us all with chris king hubs (free of charge) to use instead bells, everybody wins.

      • ebbe

        In my country it’s actually far safer (for everyone involved) to just shout out loud, than it is to ring your bell. I experience this almost daily. How’s that in Australia?

        ps, something decent, such as “excuse me” or “pardon” is of course better than shouting curse words. I even try to say “thank you” when I’m passing.
        ps2, I do still have a bell, because it’s also the law here.

        • Dave

          I find that a bell carries further as a result of having higher energy frequencies, and is more easily heard by people with degraded hearing (i.e. everyone over 40). Voices get muffled and unintelligible the further away you get, as a result of having a wide range of frequencies which are affected by wind to different degrees.

          It’s also a commonly understood code – in Australia at least. Motor vehicles have horns, trains have massive horns, and cyclists have bells. Everyone understands that.

          I agree about offering thanks, a wave or similar when someone else inconveniences themselves to assist my passage – regardless of whether I’m riding, driving or walking at the time. If we all give way a little more often and smile a little more often, we won’t have so many problems on the roads.

          In Australia, it is always the responsibility of a cyclist to give way to pedestrians (carries an on-the-spot fine of $54 in SA, more if an actual collision occurs and it gets prosecuted in court) and so any effort they make to assist my passage is a favour that is not compulsory. Pedestrians being the ‘softer’ user in a space shared with cyclists, they deserve treatment at least as good as cyclists deserve from motorists.

          • ebbe

            Interesting. I’ve had several elderly people NOT hear my bell, even though I was riding right behind them and ringing it 4x. Only when I ask them to move (using my voice), do they move, but sometimes they stop or swerve and look over their shoulder first. I had a small chat with two of them last week. They “honestly” claimed they did not hear the bell at all. I have a Spur cycle bell, which is quite loud, so didn’t know what to make of it at all.

            I guess the big difference is that in Holland, we mostly (not always of course) try to separate traffic. Most busy/dangerous roads have separate (either really a separate road, or lanes separated by a line) spaes for cyclists. And of course, motorists are used to cyclists. But boy, do we also have wankers here. A friend of mine got a door thrown in his face form a driving car at full speed some years ago. My friend did nothing wrong, was just riding at too high a speed… according to the motorist. (I know that stretch, it has a 60km/h speed limit). Wankers are everywhere. As you say, I try to make it a point to show people that even “speed cyclists” can be friendly, and hope that people are friendly back to us ;-)

        • Tom Wells

          Depends if it’s a student. If it’s a student I have to pass I generally just shout “Move you pleb!”. Saying excuse me or pardon, they just ignore you…

          • ebbe

            Haha, nice one! ;-)

      • Andy B

        I use my regularly on my commute.. people seem offended by it

        ME + BELL+ :) = :(

      • Andy B

        a bit like a brain

      • James Gilmore

        And using one seems as likely to elicit a glare, retort of “f*ck off”, or total ignorance due to headphones in or eyes locked on screen over-riding capacity of ears to function!

    • Robert

      Does anybody know of someone being fined for not having a bell (on the road, not for shared cycleways/pedestrians)? Or is this just paranoia?

      • James Gilmore

        Yes. A club mate of mine was just in the last few weeks.

  • Daniel

    I struggle with the discussion around fines, laws, and enforcement. Be they pro-cycling (e.g. passing laws) or anti-cycling (e.g. helmet). We seem to be stuck in a constant them and us cycle (pun intended). Cyclists get on cycling forums and get worked up about the inequity and very real hatred and dangerous driving behaviours. It doesn’t change anything. Anti-cyclists seem to be online and on the airwaves everywhere and share their version of hate.
    I don’t care if the the person driving the car that nearly hit my elbow gets a fine. I just want them to understand it scares the #$# out of me, could kill me, and we need to share the road. Similarly, I don’t want a fine for not having a bell on my road or MTB (my commuter has one). I want the police/ public to understand that mostly a bell can’t be heard by a person in a car. And when I’m alerting a pedestrian my voice does a better job, more easily.
    I would prefer our elected leaders and various cycling bodies advocate for and spend their time and money on attitudes that promote sharing the roads and community.

    • jules

      the new cycling laws/penalties in NSW are a useful, miniaturised case study in what is wrong with Australian govt today.

      anyone with a few brain cells to rub together can easily work out that:
      – 80-90% of car-bike collisions have been assessed as the fault of the car driver.
      – you only need regulation to intervene when the natural order of things doesn’t sort it itself out.
      – an example of where regulation isn’t needed is breathing – yes it’s a matter of life and death. but because people tend to understand that, they don’t need a regulation and penalty associated with not breathing.
      – an example of where regulation is needed is driver behaviour towards cyclists. with cyclists being so much more vulnerable, it is inevitably a problem that some motorists lack sufficient incentive to not kill them.
      – an example of where less regulation is needed is cyclist behaviour. like breathing, cyclists tend to comprehend that riding unsafely is bad for their health.

      so based on that, why are we not getting regulation that supports those points above?

      the answer is of course – votes. there are more drivers than cyclists. Ministers can do the ‘right thing’ and regulate against the majority, then have plenty of time to sit back and feel satisfied – after they’re voted straight out of office.

      or… they can do what’s popular. it may not have the claimed benefits – hell, it might even be counter-productive. but if it gets them re-elected, surely that’s the main thing – or even their job?

      Duncan Gay is a shameless populist with no interest in cycling safety. he has his eyes on re-election – for himself. and he doesn’t care 2 hoots how many cyclists get run over in the process.

      • Daniel

        Yeah fair points. Obviously we want the same outcome: motorists driving safely. I just prefer less stick, more carrot and a lot more education.

        • jules

          evidence is clear that you need some stick and some carrot – applied in right circumstances. but yes, education is lacking.

        • Vlaamse Dunny Bowl

          Most cyclists resist education- they already ‘know how to ride a bike’… And the finger pointing blame game is an Aussie thing all round. Not just car drivers & ped’s.
          A quality ‘instruction’ course (like UK’s national standard) akin to the StayUpright for moto’s could be a pre-requisite for all drivers – eg count towards L-plater logged hours…
          that would solve education issues for riders and cyclists (since driving licenses are universal)
          Not coaching… Instruction
          Not faster – better

          Ps
          A bike without a bell is less.

      • Rosannakendall

        “my room mate Lori Is getting paid on the internet 98$/hr”…..!cs332ctwo days ago grey MacLaren P1 I bought after earning 18,512 DoIIars..it was my previous month’s payout..just a little over.17k DoIIars Last month..3-5 hours job a day…with weekly payouts..it’s realy the simplest. job I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months. ago. and now making over. hourly 87 DoIIars…Learn. More right Here !cs332n:?:?:???? http://GlobalSuperJobsReportsEmploymentsTimesGetPayHourly$98…. .??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??::::::!cs332n….,….

        • ummm…

          ok im in. i just closed my company. where do i sign up?

        • Andy B

          Hi Catherine, I am interested in a job, sounds lucrative!

        • James Gilmore

          Hi Catherine, that’s awesome, I think I know your room mate Lori. Phwoar!

      • ummm…

        i dont disagree with many of your points, however im not sure if NOT riding a bike is an excuse for being a turd. I dont have a monthly “dot” but I empathize with my loved ones that do and if requested would go down to the pharma and pick up the proper supplies. If you vote and drive, but dont ride a bike, that is no excuse to be clueless – and I’m not sure that is what is at play here. It is probably the fact that much of humanity is involved in the pursuit of stupidity and self centeredness.

      • Ann Rodriquez

        “my room mate Lori Is getting paid on the internet 98$/hr”…..!ca398ctwo days ago grey MacLaren P1 I bought after earning 18,512 DoIIars..it was my previous month’s payout..just a little over.17k DoIIars Last month..3-5 hours job a day…with weekly payouts..it’s realy the simplest. job I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months. ago. and now making over. hourly 87 DoIIars…Learn. More right Here !ca398n:?:?:???? http://GlobalSuperJobsReportsEmploymentsSecureGetPayHourly$98…. .??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??::::::!ca398n….,…

    • MadBlack

      So true and I agree with all of the above, unfortunately though common sense is not so common anymore. I realize this every day!

  • Dom

    I feel you should be fined for the heinous behaviour of defacing a beautiful road bike by sticking reflectors and a bell on it, as opposed to being fined for not having that trash costing you precious precious watts.

    • ummm…

      too much Fred here ;-)

  • Mark Blackwell

    I remain convinced that the apparent deal made between cycling lobbyists and politicians was a bad one i.e. cyclists get 1m passing laws in exchange for higher fines and lower tolerance. The 1m passing laws are having little apparent effect on actual passing behaviour and are practically unenforceable. Meanwhile, I will almost inevitably be slugged with a meaningfully large fine for behaviour that is demonstrably safer than the alternative. For example, I regularly:
    1. Use a pedestrian crossing to get across multiple lanes of traffic into the right turn lane, or do a Melbourne-style “hook turn”
    2. Wait at a red light in front of the cars and thus beyond the white line
    3. Don’t signal a turn when I need both hands on the bars (particularly not all the way through the turn)

    Each of these are things that are an evolved response to my desire to live longer and keep cycling. I’m not trying to flout the law or be anti-social… but I’m quite sure that the new zero-tolerance approach will land me in hot water one day soon.

    • donncha

      It’s my understanding that a hook turn is legal for cyclists at any junction in NSW.

      edit: Yep: http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/roads/bicycles/safety-rules/road-rules-for-bicycle-riders.html

      • Mark Blackwell

        Thanks for the link… hadn’t seen that before and didn’t know about “Bus Only” lanes. Might have to take a closer look at the section of York St next to QVB tonight!

        • Dave

          In SA, Bus Only lanes (as opposed to normal bus lanes) have the surface coloured red. Is this practice also used in NSW?

          • Mark Blackwell

            All the normal bus lanes I’ve seen in NSW are painted dark red… I didn’t know about the bus only variety until today, so dunno about them.

        • Stuart

          York st is a normal Bus Lane. Most ‘bus only’ lanes are fairly short and at lights so the bus can get down the side of the traffic and they often have a bus light too. But then bus lane that runs parallel to Anzac Pde is bus only.

    • jules

      I would strongly recommend you consider challenging a trivial fine in magistrate’s court. Magistrates are often willing to apply common sense that is all-too-often lacking in some police officers and their ‘gotcha’ attitude to their job.

  • raphanatic

    The “will i be harassed” issue is real. I worked out that since the new laws came in, I’ve ridden 41% fewer km’s compared to the same time last year- and I’ve put on 2kgs. There’s already plenty of things to overcome to get out out bed and go ride (rain, too dark, too cold, too tired) and the risk of harassment is another one which seems to make a difference – maybe its the magnitude of the fines and all the stories about police targeting cyclists. I hope it will pass.

  • To be perfectly honest nothing has changed. Nothing. Just plain nothing. Not to the bad, not to the good. Just plain nothing.

    • Steel

      When I looked at the laws when they were mooted, and considered the likely levels of public awareness and enforcement that would go with them, this is exactly what I expected.

  • Winky

    The new laws have reinforced my resolve to never return to NSW. Not a significant effect for anyone but me, but I’m throwing it out there anyway!

    • Gavin Adkins

      Yeah, I lived in Sydney for awhile about 6 or 7 years ago. Riding in the inner suburbs of Sydney on a road bike was just unremittingly shit. One of many reasons that I moved back to Melbourne.

      • Dave

        Shit, it must be bad if going to Victoria is an improvement!

        • Winky

          I left the country altogether! I now live in Canada.

        • Andy B

          Victoria is heaven compared with Sydney.. riding in Sydney is f*cking terrible!
          If I lived there I ultimately think I’d probably give up riding

          Have tried it a few times, always left me feeling like I’d been to war with a screw driver

  • velocite

    My reaction to the headline to this article was to think that it’s a bit early to judge the effects, but maybe some interesting stats are available. Sadly, it turned out not. More heat than light.

  • douglas

    The main difference that i have noticed on one of our regular rides – McCarrs Creek Rd – is that it now seems more dangerous, as many drivers seem to think that the 1m passing rule now allows them to cross double yellow lines anytime they like, rather than waiting for it to be safe to do so. On a number of occasions since March 1st, I have almost been wiped out by an oncoming car overtaking a cyclist on blind corners/bends (both whilst on my bike and in my car).

    • Andy Logan

      I would agree with this, have seen more cars making unsafe overtaking procedures coming up there, often on blind corners.

  • roklando

    Do I only pay 50% of the fine if I am just riding grumpy?

  • Ross

    $520K would buy some decent cycling infastructure.

    • bc

      In Sydney that buys 1/80th of an unwanted bridge put against the cycling budget

    • Andy B

      Based on what the council spends in my area I think it would buy around 300m of cycle path

  • Beak158

    It was interesting to see the blitz on riders in the last week before the new fines came into force. They cynic in me thought it might be a way to increase the number of tickets issued prior to the new fines starting, so that in a year’s time the authorities can declare the changes a success because of a reduction in tickets issued. But I could be wrong.

    My riding is almost exclusively on the road. I’ve seen minimal change. Without stereotyping drivers too much, the good ones are even better, the bad ones remain as before.

    To me, the biggest concern is the complete lack (from what I’ve seen/read) of any drivers being fined for breaking the minimum passing law. Anecdotally we’re hearing that close calls continue, but it appears there’s minimal (zero?) action by police. Consequently my expectation is that, with no examples in the news of any car driver being fined, then before too long there will be a valid perception that the minimum passing distance law is unenforceable, and therefore ignore it.

    • Robert

      With the police and the minimum passing law, I would be happy if the police forwarded a letter to the driver, acknowledging that there have been complaints about their driving and educating that the rules are in the interest of public safety and to protect people’s lives. If I am maimed or killed from a collision with a car, it’s not going to have much of an impact on me if the driver was fined.

      • ummm…

        that sounds like a resource drain. furthermore, government couldn’t handle such a “complicated” task. I’m afraid the only solution is outright revolution

  • Superpilot

    What are the fines for similar acts by drivers? The pandering of the media to sensationalise these issues, and rally clicks and comments, it just makes my skin crawl. Ewww. It’s just pandering to a negative perspective, something I think really comes across on Aussie TV and dailies. Did they also check how many motorist broke the speed limit, I’m wagering more than 1 in 10 motorists goes 1kmh or more over the speed limit everywhere they drive…
    But it is not us and them, we’re all productive members of the same melting pot society. This will go on forever however, as people seem to want to identify and divide, and you get more coverage than a good news story this way. Can’t we all just get along, man?

    • jules

      people are just vicious. if they identify a point of difference, some people will just go in for the kill. cyclists, gays, refugees – if they can draw a fence around them and position themselves outside of it – all bets are off, no mercy.

      • ummm…

        oh geez we agree again. I’m not sure this has ever happened, let alone twice in one article – unless I’ve “misremembered” our last interactions. Nothing to bring cyclists together like police and cars!

  • Nick

    I’m a Victorian but the NSW laws infuriate me. As others have canvassed, the laws are poorly thought out. The problem isn’t an 80kg rider and bike travelling at 30km/h, it’s the 1.5 tonne tin can coming up behind at 50km/h and a lack of experience of driving in a shared context.

    From the anecdotal evidence it seems the police are picking the low hanging fruit because enforcing the passing laws is too hard. I’d say that’s a fair indicator of needing to scrap the lot and start again.

    • jules

      the laws are well thought out. it’s just that the objectives aren’t what they’ve told us they are.

  • Stuart

    My experience as a club bunch and commuter cyclist is that safety has not improved at all. In fact, I’d say drivers have become more aggressive (that may just be my perception but there it is).

    Gay’s comments are laughable. He’s a 70 yr old dinosaur with an acknowledged hatred of cycling and is the ‘biggest bike lane sceptic in the Government’ who wanted to introduce licencing and rego for cyclists. He got the College St cycleway ripped out because as he was driven past it in his government limo by his chauffeur he thought it held him up on his 3k drive from Redfern to parliament house. He has no clue about whether his criminalisation of cycling has had any safety effect because he doesn’t care. He just wants to drive down the rates of cycling in Sydney and reinforce in the public’s mind that cycling is dangerous, cyclists are all law breaking ‘lycra louts’ who deserve to be punished and are at fault when they are injured or killed by drivers. And still he won’t but speed/red light cameras in the CBD where red light running by drivers is rampant and extremely dangerous.

    As for the police, it seems to me that their enforcement of these new fines and laws has been heavy handed and very enthusiastic. They are fining kids for having no helmet; kids who could never afford the fine. They are putting five police at a time on the cycleways and then fining riders for running the bicycle light when it only stays green for 10 seconds. Its deliberate persecution designed to reduce the amount of cyclists, hand in hand with the Government. Scipone himself is not a friend to cyclists and these ‘crackdowns’ bear all the hallmarks of appealing to a certain demographic that votes Liberal. It has lowered my opinion of the Police and made me fearful of being randomly pulled over for rolling stop sign at 5:30am. I also ride without a helmet when I got to my local shops for a 6 pack, ride on the footpath sometimes when it’s for my safety, ride across pedestrian crossings, treat some lights as stop signs when they don’t register my bike – I guess I break every one of these rules at some time during the week.

    Cycling in NSW has been taken back decades – and that’s just the way that Mike Baird and Duncan Gay want it – all approved by Amy Gillett Foundation, Cycling NSW and Cycling Australia.

    • ummm…

      Here in New York City it is likely “liberals” that advocate for cycling infrastructure and friendly laws – how did the aussie “liberal” end up against freedoms and liberal laws?

      • Stuart

        In Australia the conservative (i.e. Republican) political party is confusingly named the Liberal Party. A cruel joke to be sure.

        • ummm…

          lmfao…just read the about section on the LIberal Party website. If they are about Freedom, then why are they seeking to limit the freedom of transportation!

  • MBB

    I lived in the Eastern Beaches of Sydney from the late 90s to the early 2000s. I rode my bike there then, but it was a disaster waiting to happen most of the time. The only truly safe places were Centennial Park on Tues/Thurs (that got shut down), and Tempe Velodrome. I went to Sydney for a conference last year, took my bike, and hoped to re-trace some of the old training routes. That lasted about an hour before I retreated to the safety of my hotel room. I’ll never even bother taking my bike to Sydney again. It’s actually a great, in fact awesome place to ride your bike, if it wasn’t for the homicidal/sociopathic driver vs cyclist war that is proliferated by the local “media”. I wonder what Tourism NSW thinks of all this?

  • Being forced to ring a bell… involves taking your hands off the hoods, brakes, and/or drops when you could otherwise just use your vocal cords. On a compared to basis = less safe. I usually just say a loud “good morning”, or “afternoon”. An “on your right” is also far more effective at indicating what’s happening. A bell doesn’t signify which way you’re going if you’re dealing with pedestrians. A bell is less social, and more jarring. It creates more ill-will. More to the point: if you’re riding on roads — then a bell is utterly useless. Drivers can’t hear you…

    • Sean parker

      Bells are better on shared paths. Civilians get scared pooless by the shouted ‘excuse me’.

      They expect bells. Compromise is not a bad thing if you’re using shared paths a lot in your commute.

      • Accepting that for the sake of argumetn, and if there “ought to be a law” then it should specifically refer to shared paths. Where the vast majority of road cyclists don’t ride.

        • Sean parker

          I am not convinced that it ought to be a law but it’s better to use a bell on shared paths to alert pedestrians than voice.
          I can’t imagine any other circumstance where one might use a bell so, yes, probably redundant for most road cyclists.
          I don’t own one but am thinking of a discrete one for the mtb- for bike paths and shared tracks

  • Sean parker

    I take it that the NRMA did not have a similar survey of whether motorists passed at the correct distance…. Anyway, is it an offence to exceed the speed limit when no speedometer is by law required to be fitted on a bicycle in NSW? How is a cyclist to know if they exceed the speed limit?

    And another thing…just what is ‘riding furiously’?

    • MBB

      RACV has led the way on a number of cycling/road-sharing initiatives in Victoria. It seems unlikely NRMA will advocate for shared road use in NSW, no?

    • Dave

      > Anyway, is it an offence to exceed the speed limit when no speedometer is by law required to be fitted on a bicycle in NSW?
      Yes. The offence is going faster than the speed limit, not knowing that you’re going faster than the speed limit.

      > How is a cyclist to know if they exceed the speed limit?
      Plenty of options, it doesn’t matter what they use. They can work out their speed from estimating their cadence and multiplying by the gear ratio, estimate their air speed and subtract the wind, buy a speedo, guess based on tyre noise, count the number of seconds to cover a known distance, ride so slowly there’s no doubt…

      Same as a driver really. There are other methods of controlling speed which can be used in conjunction with occasionally glancing at the speedo. A competent driver will have no trouble using engine noise alone to maintain a cruising speed within a ±5 km/h margin for at least five minutes without a single look down at the speedo.

      • Sean parker

        motor vehicles must have a calibrated speedometer fitted but it is a defence to have an incorrectly calibrated speedometer out of the driver’s control. This has been tested in court by drivers who have purchased a motor vehicle with non standard wheels fitted, but no recalibration of the speedometer; or where a mechanic incorrectly calibrates a speedo.

        This tells me that the offence is not exceeding the speed limit but exceeding the speed limit where the driver would reasonably have known that they were speeding (in effect – the principle of mens rea, intent, by neglect, to commit the offence).

        Given that there is no requirement for speedometers on bicycles, nor any agreed australian standard for bicycle speedo , design, calibration limit etc. I think that would be a reasonable defence to offer to the magistrate that there actually is no way for a cyclist to know their speed . As there is no instrument, calibrated to a standard accepted under the road traffic act, that is judged to be sufficient for determining speed there is no way for the court to prosecute the legal point that the cyclist ought legally to have known there speed. It is not a reasonable point from the prosecution that the defendant could have known their speed (i.e. had gear tables, possessed their own radar, had a gps etc) because their is no requirement under law, nor no validated standard speedometer for bicycles. A could does not equal an ought under law

        So a speeding cyclist satisfies one of the requirements for the offence (exceeding the speed limit) but not the other (ought reasonably to have known). The cops would still book you but any competent lawyer would have a good chance of convincing a magistrate that no mens rea (intent) was present – therefore no offence.

        • jules

          the offence is most definitely exceeding a speed limit – whether the offender knew they were or not.

          these are strict liability offences – the prosecution is not bound to prove any element of mens rea – merely that the offence occurred. ignore of the law is not a defence.

          however, a magistrate may be swayed towards leniency, depending on the circumstances.

          • Sean parker

            Very well.

  • If anyone is interested in the actual solution—you need to first understand the problem. No-one does, and I am yet to see any proper commentary on it. Consider the following starting from first principles:

    Alone on his island, the Secret Pro can do whatever he pleases. For him, the question concerning rules of orderly human conduct — social
    cooperation — simply does not arise. This question can only arise once a second person, Driver McDriveFace, arrives on the island. Yet even then, the question remains largely irrelevant so long as no scarcity exists. Suppose the island is the “Garden of Eden Bikes n’ Roads”. All external goods are available in superabundance. They are “free goods,” just as the air that we breathe is normally a “free” good. Whatever the Secret Pro does with these goods, his actions have no repercussions — neither with respect to his own future supply of such goods nor regarding the present or future supply of the same goods for Driver McDriveFace (and vice versa). Endless pavement everywhere. Hence, it is impossible that a conflict concerning the use of such goods could arise between Secret Pro and Driver McDriveFace. A conflict is possible only if goods are scarce; and only then is there a need to formulate rules that make orderly, conflict-free social cooperation
    possible.

    In the the “Garden of Eden Bikes n’ Roads” only two scarce goods exist: a person’s mode of transport (bike or car) and its lane. The Secret Pro and Driver McDriveFace each have only one body and can move only at one place at a time. Hence, even in the “Garden of Eden Bikes n’ Roads” conflicts between The Secret Pro and Driver McDriveFace can arise: Driver McDriveFace and The Secret Pro cannot occupy the same standing room simultaneously without coming into physical conflict with each other. Accordingly, even in the “Garden of Eden Bikes n’ Roads” rules of orderly social conduct must exist — rules regarding the proper location and movement of human bodies. Outside the Garden of Eden, in the realm of all-around scarcity, there must be rules that regulate the use not only of personal bodies, but of everything scarce, such that all possible conflicts can be ruled out. This is the problem of social order.

    What is the good in question? The roads. Who “owns” them? Everyone thinks they do. The drivers get irked because they think you’re infringing on their right to their road. You’re violating their property. You’re encroaching their space, you’re uninvited, and a trespasser.

    The cyclist likewise “owns” the lane; and feels they are well within their rights to be there. The conflict arises because there is a lack of
    legitimate ownership and private property. It’s a tragedy of the commons (https://wiki.mises.org/wiki/Tragedy_of_the_commons).

    The solution isn’t “sharing” the road, it is to give each party their “own” lane. What’s that mean practically speaking (within the current system
    of state ownership of roads? Bike lanes. Where there’s a road, there’s a bike lane. QED – better infrastructure. But how can the state calculate
    whether its economical or not to do such a thing? Exactly, it can’t (See: http://conza.tumblr.com/post/17837962702/how-can-it-ie-the-government-the-state-know tl;dr one reason why socialism fails). The ultimate solution is to privatise the roads (http://conza.tumblr.com/tagged/roads).

    • Sean

      The “Garden of Eden Bikes n’ Roads” is Belgium. Wallonia and Flanders are very different, but both are exceptional compared to stralia. I haven’t had a single indecent since I arrived, but in OZ I couldn’t commute to work without fearing for my life once or twice.

    • Dave

      The problem with The Secret Pro’s idyllic island is that Zwift is no fun when nobody else is online with you.

  • Drastique

    I’ve not noticed much change out on the road but I did hear a great use of the bell when A grade passed B grade at my local crit a few weeks ago. We gave away some bells to the winners and sold them at sign-on and they proved very popular.

    • ummm…

      a fun anecdote that I wish we didn’t have to hear

  • ummm…

    Hearing the predicament of cyclists in NSW makes my blood boil. *head explodes*

  • OverIt

    One thing is certain to me out of all this. That being there’s something that doesn’t belong here in this group.

    – Common Sense / Rational thought.
    – Data
    – Education
    – Politics/Government
    – Consideration

    • Doesn’t belong anywhere ;p

  • Andy B

    Interesting timing, I recently had a friend who doesn’t ride ask if things had changed since the introduction of the new laws
    After some thought I came to the conclusion it hasn’t
    I felt like the first week or two people seem to give a wider birth than usual due to the laws being a bit more in their face but now I find its no different
    Both in terms of policing cyclists and driver attitudes, all much the same, but I don’t live in Sydney so I am not faced with as much traffic/issues

    I would really appreciate more driver training for young drivers on how to drive around cyclists, one thing the frustrates me daily is how people drive and the decisions they make, particularly with overtaking

    One common problem I face is where a wide road goes thin coming into a roundabout (there are lots of cases in Newcastle) and the car will see you well ahead going into the roundabout so they speed up trying to get in front of you and it creates a dangerous wedge.. they need to understand that I’m not really any slower than a car at a roundabout and this stupid move isn’t saving them time
    the other one is people overtaking with full power accelerations, they just need to know it isn’t necessary.. i’m not suddenly going to jump to 70kmh

  • Holby City

    It always disappoints me how uneducated we Australians seem to be. Does anyone know spelling/grammar these days?
    Not surprising that these same people don’t know the road rules.

  • domboy

    In my narrow experience (just around the lllawarra and on Lawrence Hargrave in particular) I have found a difference. Yes there are still the small minority of idiots who seem to like to buzz by as close as possible BUT the vast majority of cars are passing at a greater distance and at least appear to be trying to give more room – even if noone ever waits in case its unsafe. In a way, it seems that ‘permission’ (yes, permission that was always there) to move out over the double lines etc. has made more of a difference as people do this much more willingly than before in my observation. Unfortunately, it sounds like the city is a different story altogether. On a side note I wonder if a greater focus and recognition on the passing law alone by all sides would have enhanced its communication. Yes, the bells, reflectors, pointlessly high fines and in particular the ‘illegal’ riding on pavements when they are removing cycling infrastructure are all utter shit but not letting the passing law get lost in the noise might have been to our advantage. Lastly, given that many of us now have cameras on us, should we have a coordinated campaign to send the police/RTA all clear instances of cars breaking the law to both see if anything is done (my guess is not) but also further drive publicity around the 1m+ and let drivers know they can be caught.

  • James Gilmore

    This recent occurence shows exactly the kind of selfish, entitled, ignorant & dangerous mentality that sadly seems to abound among NSW drivers. I was riding single file with 3 mates in a breakdown/parking lane at the left edge of a semi-quiet road and as we were approaching a roundabout ahead and the “lane” we were in was disappearing we checked back, saw the nearest approaching car was well back so we indicated, moved out and took the lane riding 2 abreast for long enough to get through the roundabout to where we could again safely move back out of the main road to the side. That car (late model expensive Mercedes being driven by a 60ish yr old well to do lady) slowed as it passed and the driver started yelling a lecture through her window that we should ride single file. I guess she felt it her right to pass during the roundabout and no doubt squeeze us into an accident – proof we did both what was required to protect ourselves from her momentarily and annoy her at the same time. The logic that she had lost more time whinging to us than waiting for us to be safe seemed completely lost on her when I pointed it out. Also the fact that when she first saw us and again by the time she was whining thru the window we were in fact doing exactly that.

    It’s only anecdotal but my personal experience is that real aussie men (ute drivers) and couriers or other tradies in their vans are most likely to harass, intimidate or abuse me and use their vehicle as a weapon in doing so. This has not decreased since the new laws IMO, it may have increased but its always sporadic so hard to quantify. I guess they’re just a bunch of young angry arseholes and we’re easy/safe targets. Next behind this group for danger to cyclists are probably entitled, wealthy, upper middle class baby boomers in their luxury cars/SUVs. They just love being right and always are. They own the road, the world and everything/everyone in it. Again, I see no evidence they give a shit about our status as legal road users and if they could get away with running us down, some would.

    A mate of mine was fined for not having a bell so I know its not just stories. He was not fined for anything else at that moment, so he was stopped simply to check on this and then fined. It is ridiculous on so many levels. I have bells now on my bikes so use them as intended all the time. It’s kinda fun to ring a shitty little bell on a $15K race bike and watch people’s reactions. (Most don’t react of course because their phone screen/headphones overpowers my bell’s super powers.) I have heard quite a few stories of Sgt Plod over-stepping good sense but other than my mate’s bell story I have nothing direct. I do ride with a sense of foreboding at times though wondering when something I do which makes complete and utter total good sense is not seen that way by Sgt Plod. It’s a shame because cycling is so wonderful when bogans, entitled arseholes & dick-swinging coppers fade away.

    • jules

      I’d argue that predominantly – drivers don’t harass cyclists because they resent being held up for a few seconds. the fact that they may spend 30 secs. yelling at you is evidence of that.

      rather – drivers feel a sense of importance and status. when a cyclist takes the lane ahead of them and fails to yield to let a driver pass, you – as a cyclist – see that as your equal status and necessary to ensure your safety. that’s not how many drivers see it. they see you threatening their higher status. it’s not a conscious process of thought – they don’t think that out loud. but subconsciously, that’s their reaction. their instinct is to put you back in your ‘rightful’ place.

  • Brandon Heng

    I was recently booked for “Riding a Bicycle on Footpath -12yrs or older”. – Retrieved my bicycle from a rank of bike racks outside a cafe, mounted and rolled on the sidewalk past 2 shopfronts (7m) to merge back onto adjacent cycleway. Was stopped by a cop on the motor bike on the opposite side of the road. I thought a warning/lecture would have sufficed, but a penalty+fine arrived a week later. I have since contested the issue and was rejected. I guess the message is clear – if you are thinking of throwing your leg over a bike in NSW, zero tolerance to the rules – otherwise drive or walk. Discretion and reason does not apply here. (https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10154152198147650.1073741861.709502649&type=1&l=e7fc1c2a45)

  • Rupert Luxton

    I recently got a fine for not having my helmet ‘clipped up’ of $319. just wondering if anyone has had a similar fine and challenged it? is it worth challenging or should I just cop it and pay it?

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