Ranty Friday — Think Bike

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

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  • As a woman who often is on the back of a motorbike I do tend to agree. Some motorbikers, but not all, do take risks, squeeze through gaps, especially when there’s a traffic jam. I think the term Think Bike might do with being extended to Think Bike – because they are nutters.

  • Completely with you! Car drivers are always the bad guys! I do think bike, my very dear friend was killed by a driver who didn’t – but it doesn’t you the excuse to add like a dick and break rules of the road!

  • I totally agree, I have seen some idiotic behaviour, on the part of both cyclists and motor bike riders, and it is insane that whilst we have to be careful, watch for bikes, “think bike”, that they get away with atrocious road behaviour. We have the ridiculous “hair dryer with engines” as my other half calls them, in our area, the low cc scooter type bikes, that can be driven on a learner licence and they go about like idiots, cut up cars, don’t follow the road rules for when to turn, when to give way etc, and yet we are the ones that have to “watch for bikes”.

  • Argh!!!!! Don’t get me started on bike riders! I live near the Brecon Beacons and quite frequently you see bikers over taking on blind bends and then giving you the finger because you beep your horn at them for their stupidity!!!!

    I’m sorry, but what’s good for the goose is good for the gander and if we have to drive carefully and respect them then they should drive carefully and respect us! There’s room on the road for us all if we’re considerate to each other!

  • I nearly knocked one off his bike in Fleet yesterday. I was signalling to turn right and indeed, as the coast was clear, had already started to turn, when he roared up the outside of the waiting cars behind me and straight past me, narrowly missing being flattened by my car. While I was regaining my breath, he overtook another car in the face of oncoming traffic then sped through a red traffic light.

    • That is EXACTLY my point. I look at these people and I think “Are you actually trying to kill yourself?”

  • As a non driver I’m always shocked at the risks I see bike riders take, I can’t imagine ever being that stupidly reckless, and I’ve had my stupid moments.

    I saw a young guy on a motorbike the other day no leathers and no hands on the handlebar, just an accident waiting to happen, scary how little regard they have not just for themselves but other road users too.

    Road users shouldn’t have to ‘Think Bike’ bike riders should think ‘Don’t be a reckless twat’

  • Oh yes, I second your emotion on this one. Living in London, glorious Hackney to be precise, I see all sorts of driving antics, from lorries, cars, motorcyles and bikes – or rather the people driving or steering them. My pet hate is the cyclists who don’t wear a cycle helmet, wear dark clothes and cycle along plugged into their iPods. Talk about asking for trouble…

  • Totally agree with you – I had one overtake me today and make hand gestures as he had to pull back in front of me quickly causing me to stand on my brakes so I beeped him.
    My other pet hate is when they don’t have their lights on at dusk, they’re so hard to see sometimes!

  • I just passed my driving test 2 weeks ago and i am terrified of motorbikes, cyclists, other car drivers?! It is absolutely shocking the way some people seem to forget the law and their own common sense.

  • I nearly witnessed an accident driving home from work the other evening when the motorcyclist behind me decided he didn’t have to queue in traffic at a busy junction. There’s a left turn and a right turn at the top, usually lorries queuing in the right-hand lane so it’s hard to see when the road is clear anyway; this idiot goes zooming up the middle and just out onto the carriageway; how the car that was coming managed to stop without there being a collision I don’t know. Scary stuff.

    Makes you wonder where they’re going in such a hurry that they don’t actually care if they get there at all?!

  • Completely agree with your rant this week. Many a time I have seen motorcyclists show some shocking behaviour and near miss accidents.

  • I remember in London what some doctors at a hospital told me about motorcyclists….put it this way they regularly expect them in A & E or worse. It’s fun being on the back of a sensible motorcyclist (preferably a Harley) but I would never want to be riding post on most of them….especially after what I heard the doctors say.