We hear this campaign on the radio alot. Cars are the bad guys and out there to kill motorcyclists. We need to “Think Bike” at every junction, cross road, turning, exit blah blah.
Well I am sorry but Ranty Friday this week is about the fact I am sick of being painted as the bad guy to motorcyclists. If my experience is anything to go by the biggest cause of accidents involving motorcyclists is the riders themselves.
Take a recent trip for instance. 6pm and I am driving into London. It is dark. It is wet. People are tired driving home from work. I am not, I am heading into London for a night out and all around me people are doing daft things so I need my wits about me. At one point I have to anticipate that up ahead there is a cyclist, the car in the lane on my left is going to pull out slightly as he has looked and seen me on his tail in the outside lane (bear in mind we are only doing 20 miles an hour as it’s so busy). So he pulls out, which causes me to pull out slightly or I am going to be hit.
What do I see coming towards me? In the middle of the road is an area about 3ft wide with chevrons all the way through it, dividing me from the traffic coming the other way. What is in it? A motorbike. Coming towards me, overtaking all the traffic on his side, riding on the chevrons at about 30 mph. Has he seen the cyclist on my side? Nope. He can’t duck in as he is now overtaking a lorry.
So who goes where? If I hit him no doubt it will be my fault. I am in a 4×4 “oh bloody 4 x 4 drivers, its always their fault”.
But is it?
The motorcyclist was by no means a one off. They all seemed to think that part of the road is their own private bike lane. Coming towards me in the dark with the headlights on, it’s hard to tell sometimes if it is a bike or part of another car. It’s terrifying.
Further along the road and we are at a junction that always backs up. I am stationary and indicate that I am going to pull around the van in front as he is going right and I am going straight on. As we are stationary I also catch the eye (accidently) of the lady in the car beside me and she waves me forward. I am indicating. There is a motorbike stationary behind me and I can see him in my rear view mirror. As we start to move the lady on the left stands still to allow me to pull in front of her, remember I am indictating, and what does the motorbike do?
Decide he is going undertake me and nip inbetween me and the lady waiting.
I did actually see a motorcyclist die once as he decided to overtake a line of stationary traffic as he didnt realise the car at the front was turning right (why else we were stopped on an open road I don’t know). As he got parallel to the front of the queue the car turned right and hit him.
It’s a nightmare and I am sick of being painted as the bad guy to motorbikes.
I am not saying all motorcyclists do this but an increasing number are and every trip I do now I have some kind of encounter where I see a motorbike doing something that makes me wonder how they survive.
And don’t get me started on not wearing leathers when they are doing 70 miles an hour on the motorway. I think leathers should be law.
Ranty Friday. A chance to have a rant, or a bit of a grumble, link up, comment and read others.
Image courtesy of Unsplash