SAFE PASSING 101

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

TWOfer ? No just disappear !

Tuesday is my shopping day so it is a westward ride to Schwaz . Several roads to
choose after Weising but to get there requires a ride up a short incline that finishes with a traffic island . With this being a 70kph zone , the traffic island was installed to control traffic coming over the crest of the climb , since in the westward direction there is a Bus Stop on the right and the ebtrance to the Trading estate on the left . Passing the traffic Island opens up some space , but if you move over then you run into the kerb at the exit of the Bus Space .

Holding your line means being in the centre of the lane . In any language that is the correct position           People Mover at a Halt after trying to leave
 to be in a ONE LANE ROAD !  But there is
 room to sneak through if you are that STUPID ,
 SELF Centred Motorist that thinks " What you get away with is OK !" . Just such a moron , driving the " Decalled Company Vehicle", did just that this morning . In failing to give me necessary room , the Legal requirement of 1M +1Cm/Km Safe Pass doesn't exist in his peanut size brain , he forced me to brake hard as he scraped against my wind jacket and left me facing the kerb stones that project into the roadway . Since his company is located in the next village , he will have passed this way , at excessive speed on a regular basis . Yes i was about 30kph and he was following at 70kph , but since when did he have the right to touch me as he passed?

From this point the road is on a decline and i have the ability to get to a fast pace , so that the 600M to the roundabout , that he was waiting at , was quickly achieved . Knocking on his driver window , got the " Why are you here " look . When asked if he knew he hit my jacket , i got the " So what "!  Told that the Polizei post was around the corner , he agreed to meet there . Silly me , he fled onto the Autobahn entry , where i have no access on a Bike .

On arriving at the Polizei , i am met with " You have been here before "!  Yes because POLIZEI have the same Computer & Radio Service throughout the Tirol !  Details come first , even though the matter was urgent . WHY intercept a " Rogue Motorist " when the Polizei can get around later in the day to looking for the plate number on the Traffic records . YOU the cyclist have had YOUR trip interrupted , but God forbid causing a Motorist inconvenience ?

On leaving the Polizei Post , i turn right down the hill to join the B171 to Schwaz . It crosses the River Inn and the Main Trans Austria Rail Lines . Some distance past there is a gradual turnout for traffic exiting onto the B171 . Before reaching this , i hear the air brakes of a Truck . this is a Profi Driver , he knows where he is going and he respects other vehicles , especially Bikes . On entering the slip road , i am aware that he is also using what amounts to a One Lane roadway . Signalling him to pass , i then see the rear trailor pass wide , so i touch my helmet in  " Salute " , not often you see considerate Truckers . On seeing him flash his hazards then             Profi trucker was driving a similar Unit                signal left turning , i find a " People Mover coming                                                                                         alongside . He also has seen the left flash so decides to pass on the right . BUT , i am in his way , so regardless he moves right causing me to have to go right also . This is not enough for him , so he crosses the RHS white line and i am on the RHS of him , now bouncing along on the gravel & grass .

Just then he decides it is a good idea to put his RHS front wheel flasher on , to warn that he is turning right ?  I on the other hand am trying to stay upright whilst braking . His brakes and road contact are a lot better than mine so that when he comes to a stop , still on the white line , with the Truck & Trailor alongside , i slam into the rear of his vehicle . I land on my feet , thankfully , but the bike finishes on it's LHS in the middle of what is ONLY NOW , the right lane .  When he tries to drive away , i bang on the Rear Window and take hold of his Windscreen wiper , after about 5 metres he decides to wait . When i open the door , he starts to speak German , after all it is an Austrian Plate on the vehicle . When challenged he replies in English , apologies become an offer of paying for the damages . He offers to call the Ambulance , but i am bruised and breathless , not Dying and there are No Broken Bones . So he calls the Polizei who wander along from a Kilometre away as if they have all the time in the world .

Since i have repeatedly reported Bad Driving Experiences at this Polizei post , i recognise both of The Inspectors / Constables . Immediately on exiting the police Vehicle the Female officer goes to the People Mover Driver . There she tells him that they know me , since i am always reporting Bad Driving . As the convo is in German , i am not following their interchange , but they inspect his vehicle for any damage , then remember that i am there . Hey there , i am the " OutLander Cyclist " , that nuisance that causes them to practice their quite acceptable English .

Eventually they get to me and it is like , "why are you once again causing us problems " ? The Woman is right in my face giving me what for , then she is complaining that i am spluttering . Yes when agitated i can be a splutterer , but you would think from the attitude that i was spitting in her face , trying to impress her ? i ask them to take photos of the scene , but this is not done until i refuse to move the bike . I point out the narrowness oof the road , asking them to photo approaching Trucks , with cars alongside . IF a car cannot get past a truck , then how can it squeeze between a Large Truck & Trailor and a Bike ?   Too hard for that to be understood ?

So YES , i am injured , so she decides that the Ambulance has to come . Having already refused the driver's offer , she has not consulted me . However she says i have to see a Doctor and tells me i cannot ride my bike any further today !  I then ask her if the P M Driver is able to drive and i am told " YOU have delayed him from his Business "!  Such a nice lady , i am the victim , i am not dead , so i can't ride my Bike , BUT , her Countryman having failed to KILL me , is allowed to leave after rendering details and documents !

Anyone heard of Ferguson , Missouri ?                         Yellow truck unable to pass car , which is about    There , if you are BLACK/Coloured ,                          where the People mover decided to pass me and 
 they will shoot you and leave you rotting in the street !   the original truck & trailor
 Here in Austria , you ride a Bike , you are interfering
 with the " LAW ABIDING Vehicle Driving CARELESS/Inconsiderate Citizens !  STAY at Home where YOU are safer !  Nearly every Polizei Officer i speak to , tell me they ride their Bikes in the Forest !

When the Ambulance arrives with Lights & Siren , i am interviewed with a less determined attitude . They listen to my explanation of what had taken place , even getting back out of the Vehicle to look at the places that i pointed out to them . When they tell me the Bike does not travel , i refuse to go to the Hospital . Fair enough , same happened in london in May 2014 and on the Tour de France in 2013 . I am then required to sign the " waiver/release form " . Now that i am not going to the Hospital , the Woman Polizei Officer tells me to walk to theit polizei Post . With a smile , she tells me that there is no room in the tation Wagon size vehicle .

They then pass me as i ride to the Polizei post in Strass . There  the Male Officer escorts me to their interview Room . Eventually a member of the " Piste Control section of the Polizei " arrives to ask as an  Interpreter . Eventually my " Statement/Report " is completed so that i am able to go see my Doctor . In arriving out of hours , he kindly sees to the Legal requirements , even though it interferes with his Personal Affairs ! Remarks to me that they recognise that I am an " Advocate for Safer Cycling " mean little when they report that there is few if  little reporting by other Cyclists . Fact is that every Cyclist i speak to , including Serving Polizei Officers , tell me that they consider it a cOMPLETE WASTE of their time !  They know that only if they go into an Ambulance , they will get less than the time of day , i can see their point of view , only too well , with my own experiences .

When Dublin Parliament provided their Gardai with the teeth to lock up those that " Text/Phone whilst driving " , after ONLY their second conviction , the Austrians regard that as a WASTE of Money , since it COSTS to have someone in the Pentitentiary . DEAD Cyclists are in no way able to complain !

On Sunday whilst at the Woergl Polizei Post , i discovered that the Traffic Violence visited upon me at a Roudabout in Woergl , last April , will not be persued , since I was NOT INJURED ENOUGH !

A Vehicle Driver breaks the LAW , causes Injury , BUT , it is NOT ENOUGH to take Money or Points from the drivers licence / feurershein , so as to encourage OTHERS to Comply with Austrian Driving Laws !
 Got it ! Put the Cyclist in a Coffin or Hospital Bed , then we will consider whether to deter Others from causing ANY Cyclist , DEATH or  Injury !

It is NOT the Polizei that decides on traffic Violence , it appears to be some Nameless/Faceless " Cyclist Hating " nonenity in the Tirol Government at  Innsbruck !

When  a long serving Senior Polizei Officer can be out riding a bike , with his daughter on a Sunny Sunday, have a " smartassed Merc Coupe driver " come alongside and tell them  to get off the road , onto the Fussgangerweg , ONLY give that driver the finger , you can see HOW Pathetically lopsided the Tirol/ Austrian justice System has become !

These Blogs are just a few of those that think the Legal system ANYWHERE , is out of balance :

http://departmentfortransport.wordpress.com/2014/08/12/hand-me-my-gun-im-cycling-to-the-shops/

http://cyclingfront.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/the-cyclist-killer-bill-why-its-time-to.html












Wednesday, May 14, 2014

INCONVENIENT TRUTH !

Politicians are PROVEN LIARS as is all too often demonstrated by their utterances before Election , then failure to deliver after passing the line !  Problem is that people have no choice , but to vote for the person that they think is the " Least Obvious LIAR "!  Of course the voter could decide , as regretably so many do these days , and not vote and thus suffer the consequences brought on them .

Politicians have a self interest , survival ! Generally they will back any horse in a race , that will keep them in the running for another term of office .  There are some that have " Ethics " , but they are a rare breed !

Cycling has been praised  of late by " savvy shysters aka " politicians " . With people seeking to lead a healthy lifestyle , Cycling has come to the fore and is in some quarters regarded as the " New Golf "! It appears that many are rushing out to buy the Latest , most expensive Bikes , so as to impress their Friends & Colleagues . Bit of a pity that their Bikes stand outside the Coffee Shop or in the storage for longer periods than their purpose , usuage ?

With more cyclists on the roads , BIG OIL is getting concerned , their products already under threat from the " Environment Lobby " because of pollution , are busy encouraging drivers to treat Cyclists as " That bl##dy nuisance holding back the traffic "!  Regardless of the increasing numbers of Vehicles clogging the roads , thus traffic speeds declining to 14mph ( London average ) , Cyclists that generally pass stationary traffic , at upto 20+MPH are being targetted as the cause . That these Cyclists are generally the holder of Driver permit/licences , is totally irrelevant to the stationary & frustrated motorist !

Could it be that the Ire of the motorist , that they direct at Cyclists , is due to the feeling of despondency brought on by the knowledge that they are TOO LAZY to join those that have chosen to ride rather than sit?

Freedom of movement is available to ALL , provided that they can muster the Courage & Determination to join those already enjoying life and fresh air !  Getting out of bed in the morning has risks , it even requires making decisions . Walk to work and you will have to cross a road , perhaps ride in the bus or on the tube , even the Railways & Air Travel , pose a risk . Getting in the car poses risks with other motorists having had a bad experience  , either in the house or along the route , making contact with your paintwork . Various other factors will have influenced your attitude as you motor along , whether you live alone or in company , there are influences to your mood at the wheel . However in the vehicle , most people feel anonymoous , thus able to vent their frustrations on others around them .

Cycling is also influenced by the family environment , but as you exert energy to propel yourself along the road , rarely do you hold onto what has passed , since you will be so busy concentrating on the task at hand.  Increasingly experienced Cyclists are having to cope with hazards that did not previously exist , the careless motorist . In the past , motorists thought of driving a vehicle as a full time task , requiring 100% attention ! Not any more , it appears that " Multi Tasking " is the new Buzz Word for motorists !

 Not content with seeing the neighbouring stalled vehicle drivers filling their time with activity , most drivers are now copying their example . As Cyclists pass they are not surprised to see drivers Text , Phoning , reading the paper or a book , even applying make up . ALL these activities continue as the vehicle moves forward , until , Oops , another fender bender !  Of course these activities are prohibited by the Road codes in ALL Countries , but, are the authorities Policing this ? NO WAY , they would be run off their feet writing up the Fixed Penalty Notices ( FPN ) , of course they would also be solving the Budget shortfalls that the Poli.s are complaining are too large .

Whilst Policing Authorities are so busy ignoring the obvious , Cyclists are increasingly being hit in the rear , occasionally the errant motorist stops and takes responsibility . SMIDSY ! " Sorry mate , i didn't see YOU"! Guess !  They didn't LOOK !  Too busy " multi tasking " to pay attention to the road in front , since "Texting" is an absorbing task !  So funny to see a texting pedestrian walk into a lamp post , but no harm usually done since they have their hands in front of them , thus absorbing most of the impact ?   Bit different when the vehicle contacts the rear of a Cyclist !  Whilst Cyclists take a glance over their shoulder , before deviating from the straight line ahead , rarely should they have to look at the following traffic . Even if riding with a rear vision mirror , would a Cyclist be able to spot a hazardous vehicle persuing them , unless it was zig zagging along the road .

World wide Cycling Fatalities are SOARING , yet Politicians are treating those that Cycle as the agent of THEIR OWN DEMISE !  Victim bashing is so CONVENIENT !  They are not there to put their part of the story to the authorities !  With Prisons overflowing with Petty Crime Offenders , why add those that are GUILY OF KILLING PEOPLE to the pressure on facilities ?  Lives lost , cannot be given back ! BUT what about the Families ?  Children without a Parent , their quality of life DESTROYED !  Parents provide security , education and a quality of life that is removed in the blink of an eye by the  INCOMPETENCE  of an inconsiderate motorist .

Judges when sentencing a Motorist guilty of KILLING a Cyclist , tend to think that Society cannot afford to incarcerate , the LIFE IS GONE ! Left behind are children who LOSE ! A Partner who LOSES ! Society ALSO loses , the deceased is generally paying TAX , supporting a Family and contributing to THEIR COMMUNITY . Yet all too often , the matter is settled by a " slap on the wrist FARCICAL Sentence ! It should come as NO SURPRISE , that the Victim's Family walk away totally bereft of emotion ?  They endure the court proceedings hoping for the Judicial system to do it's work , yet they see their relative treated as if they are of NO CONSEQUENCE !

For me the ONLY WAY FORWARD , is for an Umbrella Organisation that draws in ALL COUNTRIES separate " Cycling Safety Org.s " , puts ALL their Needs/Desires into a COMPREHENSIVE SCHEDULE that is published WorldWide and works to implement that " Manifesto " and ADVERTISES it , so that Politicians in EVERY COUNTRY will know that WHEN the request is made , there is substance to back it up !  Each Country has it's Olympic Committee , each Country has it's National Cycling Org. , thus UCI already has the ability to influence the Country's Politicians !

How many Countries fail to send Politicians to an Olympic Event , unlee when making a Political Statement ?

UCI are working on many matters , creating an environment of Trust !  Due to thee stewardship of Mc Quaid  that was lacking before  Cookson was installed .  Whilst i have heard Brian speak on Cyclist safety and a TV Campaign such as Football runs on " RESPECT " is a way forward , LIVES are being lost DAILY !  Even Pro Cyclists such as Amy D. , are becoming the victim of Traffic Violence !

ACTION TODAY PLEASE !














Tuesday, February 25, 2014

HEROES ? Or are they Role Models ?

Media Hype is at an all time HIGH , as Athletes who competed at Sochi 2014 Olympics , return to their Home Countries . Some will display evidence of their successes , others will regale their families and friends with their experiences at the Olympic Events . Almost ALL will deserve aclaim , for a JOB well done . As was to be expected , WADA had their successes also , since the latest reports that i have seen , reveal the detection of at least 5 Athletes that failed to fool the Testing Protocols ?

Each Athlete that competed will have dedicated a large proportion of the previous 4 years to reach the required standard to participate . Some will have been to multiple Olympic Games , even fewer will have achieved a Better Medal than at their previous attempts and then there are those who did not reach the podium in either Winter or Summer Games , but were content with " It is not whether YOU Win or Lose , it is how you play the GAME ", as the mark of their participation .

To ALL ATHLETES , THANKYOU ! You provided 16 days of your best efforts and immense displays of Sportsmanship ! As to those " short cut B...s ", 4 years out of competition , is not enough ! Being chosen to represent your Country , then thinking you would suffer no detection , when you CHOSE to disgrace your colleagues and thus Disgrace your Country , deserves a LIFE TIME BAN ! No excuses will be acceptable when the tests are proven ! Dodgy Low life Lawyers will attempt to profit from your attempts to evade your responsibilities , but in the end we will be rid of YOU !

Certainly there can be the odd case , where a miscarriage of Justice will occur , but hopefully every Athlete is NOW taking their responsibilities seriously , in respect of ANYTHING they choose to use ? Alain Baxter , the Scottish Skier , that medalled in the Salt Lake 2002 Olympics , must rue the fact that he failed to check the WADA /USADA website before buying replacement medication in the USA . Forgetting his UK Prescribed medication , he rushed out to buy the " Same Name Product " in Salt Lake and thus suffered years of Heartache whilst he fought to prove " Mischance rather than deliberation " , losing the Medal , even though the placing was eventually restored . Had he thought to consult the USADA / WADA schedule , he would have noted that the US produced medication contained " prohibited substances "!  Will others make this mistake and seek the indulgence granted ? One hopes that this Lesson is now part of WADA Folklore and the Future Olympians will not seek to use this excuse ?

Each and every Athlete that aspires to be an Olympian , adopts a rigorous Training Regime . Just as YOU and I , set out to do the JOB for which we receive recompence . In doing these Jobs , some of us will achieve " Excellence "and thus , will be deemed " Role models " by our colleagues ? This is the same for Athletes in any Sport . They will reach the podium and others will aspire to achieve the same or better results and thus also be regarded as " Role Models " . This is what Sport is all about , Excelling in the face of Competition .  Such a shame that the Media confuse " Role Model " replacing it with " Sporting Hero " ?

In March , we will see the start of the 2014 Paralympic Games in Sochi .
Amongst the Athletes from all over the World , will be Athletes with a variety of Disabilities . During recent years , the number of Classes/Gradings of Disability have been reduced , thus there were less " Classes of Disability " at Vancouver 2010 , than at Salt Lake 2002 . The combining of several degrees of disability may have seen many outstanding Athletes retire from International Competition . It may also have reduced the numbers of competitors eligible to participate in the Para Games ?

Amongst those now competing will be Athletes that were born with Disability , those that found their original Life Style disrupted through Road Traffic Trauma or Industrial Incident , AND , those that served their Nation in " Harms Way " and now seek to serve once again on the Sports Field . Whether losing Limbs in Harms Way or by Civilian Incident , these Athletes deserve especial recognition for their rising to the challenge that Life has thrust upon them .

It would be harsh to deprive Alex Zenardi of the " Hero Acolades " heaped on him after his successes in
Handbiking at the London 2012 Paralympic Games . So also would it be , in respect of PierAngelo Vignati for his Successes in Sydney 2000 Para Games and Athens 2004 . Even Armin Zoegler , the Luge Olympic Medal Winner at each of his 6 Olympic Appearances , would refrain from accepting the " HERO " designation , when his Sporting Career is compared to Other Italian Paralympic Athletes , who served ITALY in " Harms Way ", then took up the challenge to serve their Country once again on the Sporting Field .

The examples used to illustrate my point are ALL from Italy and i use them , since i have met them ALL , at various Cycling and Winter Events . I have also met Aussie Para Athletes and i feel sure that the likes of Mike Milton , a Very Successful Para Athlete in the Winter Games and who now competes in the Summer Games as a Cyclist , would point to an Aussie Para Athlete who served in Harms Way , as a " TRUE Blue Hero " .  The USA will have many more candidates that will qualify for the Para Games after being rehabilitated from the various Mid East Conflicts that their Country has been engaged .

One thing you can count on though , the Media will be verbose whilst at the games , but a month or so later , try and see whether they recall more than the Medal Winners from the Para Games ? It would be interesting to look at their work and see to what extent they have associated with Olympic and Paralympic Athletes during the progress to these Games ?

" HERO " , is a description so often trotted out to describe " Role Models " , thus tends to devalue the efforts of those Exceptional People that TRULY deserve the Acolade ? Each Country' Armed Forces have a series of " Ribbons/Medals "that designate Theatre of Service or Feats of Courage . For me it is confusing to see Police wearing a Ribbon that was earned by service with the United Nations in a number of Actions ,
then see a Trooper with a chestful of Ribbons that were earned through Injury or Exemplary Bravery , mixed in with " Theatre Operations " Ribbons . Regretably the Highest UK Award , the Victoria Cross , tends to be awarded to a " Postumous Recipient " , as does the US " Medal of Honor " . Yet i feel sure each of these People whilst deserving the " HERO " designation , would tend to point to others that they would consider as " Heroes "?

No doubt the Media will continue to award " Hero Status " to Austrian Skiers and Aussie Footie Players , even though they are well paid for their work and efforts to be " Role Models "?

No one will take the time to tell me their thoughts on the subject , although i would be happy to hear from them !

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