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I'm a regular cycle commuter in London and like everyone else, I witness bad, inconsiderate and sometimes dangerous cycling of others on a regular basis. Typical examples such as cycling through red lights, dangerous manoeuvres, not generally looking before turning and cycling fast down pedestrianised areas. I'm talking about 5% of cyclists here who out and out think they're above the rules of the road or just don't care for them, not the other 95% who cycle respectfully with due care and attention like i imagine probably most people who venture on this website do.

As we all know, rightly or wrongly the 5% fuel the negative and misconstrued views towards cycling .

Is it time the responsible cyclists stood up to the bad cyclists? Actually tell them what they're doing is detrimental for the rest of us. I know its not our responsibility to do this, but i see these morons flying through red lights and pedestrian crossings and get away with it. Maybe if the other cyclists who witness this actually tell them its not cool or call them a "red light dodging w******r" then maybe some of them would stop and help pave way for better cycling/car relations.

65 comments

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a.jumper [846 posts] 2 years ago
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Yes but what we should do is push for and support more traffic police to enforce laws against ALL road users without bias of type. By all means comment socially that anti social cycling isn't cool, but please stop short of vigilante action.

If you haven't already, try to help www.roadjustice.org.uk

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downfader [203 posts] 2 years ago
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I've had the odd grumble at people myself, but in reality we're not the Police.

When idiots spout "get your own house in order" they are completely wrong. They are attempting to make lawful riders feel somehow collective guilt for another individual's actions. The best we can actually do is write to the Police and formally notify them of problem areas. I've also done this (for driving as well as cycling) with my local MP and councillors - the more of us who do this will mean a greater chance of change.

I also wonder if the attitudes of drivers sometimes contributes to people riding in a way in which they wouldn't normally. There have been a raft of rather strong anti-cyclist letters and articles in my local paper recently (The Southern Daily Echo) and I think this does not lead to a feeling of inclusion. Some might even say "dammit, if you keep treating me as if I'm a criminal perhaps its safer if I act like one?"

Just speculation, but you get my point

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Scoob_84 [374 posts] 2 years ago
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oh I'm not proposing vigilante action here, just a bit of verbal, so that the wrong doer gets the vibe that his fellow cyclist don't approve of his actions either and might think twice next time.

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Paul_C [413 posts] 2 years ago
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whenever I've suggested to stealth cyclists I've met along my commute after sunset or before sunrise that they should get some lights, I've usually been met with abuse...

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ron611087 [318 posts] 2 years ago
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It's not incumbent on cyclists to police the behaviour of other cyclists in much the same way as its not incumbent for a motorist to take action on another motorists bad driving. There is however sometimes an appropriate social response to any bad behavior, whether it be littering or bad cycling.

I avoid confrontation but have been a bit mouthy at cyclists who have put pedestrians at risk. Cyclist should do what they think is appropriate according to the situation providing what they do is within the law.

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oozaveared [936 posts] 2 years ago
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I'll have a friendly word if I think it's something that cyclists didn't know. I cycled up behind a lady last week who had lights on but she was on an MTB and the big beavertail mudguard obscured the light until you were about 5 metres away. So I pulled alongside and mentioned that to her as we were cycling. She had gone to the bother of having lights on in the day (gloomy morning mind) so she wanted to be seen and to be safe. She's just not had a look at her bike lights from any distance back (most people probably don't).

Not sure I'd tell some cyclists what to do or how to behave. For a start I am 52 and despite cycling on the roads since I was a kid and in clubs since around 1974 as far as even my own son is concerned I don't know anything useful. Plus I would have laughed my socks off at some old bugger telling me how to cycle properly when I was a teenager.

I think this is just inevitable though. Back before the Ark proper cyclists had been or were in a club of some sort and had learned about roadcraft on club runs. The massive expansion in cycling means there are some out there with all the gear and simply no idea.

Same goes for the car. I am an advanced driver and could go hooting and flashing my way through Surrey correcting people that variously drive with no lights at dusk, broken headlights, full beams on all the time, fog lights on when it's misty not foggy, and on and on and on.

And not one of them is going to appreciate an old duffer telling them what to do no matter how many advanced driving qualifications and experience he has.

The best you can do is set a good example.

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jmaccelari [238 posts] 2 years ago
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The problem is that there is a very good reason they have a s*** attitude. It's because they have a s*** attitude and your talking to them (no matter how nicely) will most likely lead to them just telling you to f*** off.

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a.jumper [846 posts] 2 years ago
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Oh I do occasionally shout "your light's gone out" to an oncoming cyclist at night even if I'm 95% sure they have no light at all.

I sometimes to the "get your own house in order" by asking if they've got double standards or they think no more motorways should be built until no drivers commit offences, including stuff like seatbelts, mobile phones, red-light jmping and speeding.

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parksey [343 posts] 2 years ago
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Paul_C wrote:

whenever I've suggested to stealth cyclists I've met along my commute after sunset or before sunrise that they should get some lights, I've usually been met with abuse...

oozaveared wrote:

And not one of them is going to appreciate an old duffer telling them what to do no matter how many advanced driving qualifications and experience he has.

The best you can do is set a good example.

This is the crux of the problem, as I see it. I'm not the sort for confrontation, so am unlikely to call the typical, hooded 20-somethings riding unlit BSOs down crowded town-centre pavements out for their behaviour, as I frankly don't want to suffer the consequences... Some people just won't change their behaviour regardless.

Generally-speaking, the "proper" cyclists round my way are usually doing the right thing in terms of the gear they've got and the way in which they're riding.

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Scoob_84 [374 posts] 2 years ago
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Paul_C wrote:

whenever I've suggested to stealth cyclists I've met along my commute after sunset or before sunrise that they should get some lights, I've usually been met with abuse...

...but some of those cyclists may reflect on their encounter with you and subsequently change their ways.

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qwerky [184 posts] 2 years ago
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For me its down to judgement. I'll call out bad riding if I think it will actually do any good. If I see bad riding and I think its due to lack of skill/experience or just ignorance then I might say something, but I'll do it in a nice way in order to get the person to understand. I won't preach or berate or come across high and mighty. I might make up some anecdote about how an action could be dangerous.

Of course if I see someone who is putting themselves in real danger, such as riding up the inside of a bus/HGV then I'll call it out straight away.

You can usually judge if your 'advice' is going to get you a mouthful of abuse.

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OldRidgeback [2566 posts] 2 years ago
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Ok, so we've got the good and the bad. What about the ugly?

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Scoob_84 [374 posts] 2 years ago
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OldRidgeback wrote:

Ok, so we've got the good and the bad. What about the ugly?

Don't get me started on those couriers and hipsters with their fixies riding around with no brakes  40

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oldstrath [558 posts] 2 years ago
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Given that most of them are less likely to hurt anyone but themselves than are crap drivers, I assume you've posted something similar on petrolhead fora to ask them to stop bad drivers.

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ribena [178 posts] 2 years ago
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I fear it'll be counterproductive unless you can make it sufficiently amusing so other people join in... Maybe start singing as loudly as possibly: ## ROXANNE! Why do you go through the red light? ## (by The Police).

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Malaconotus [92 posts] 2 years ago
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Should good pedestrians do more to stop bad pedestrians?

There is no 'us'... http://aseasyasridingabike.wordpress.com/2014/01/13/there-is-no-us/

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Gkam84 [9080 posts] 2 years ago
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I have seen many videos now, people shouting at other cyclists for something they say is "wrong", sometimes it ends in violence.

Get on with your own life and let others make their mistakes.

As for your opening question.

Should good cyclists do more to stop bad cyclists?

Who decides you are a good or bad cyclist? Are you a self declaring good cyclist? I or anyone else may not agree with your version of "good" cycling.

So best just get on with your own riding....

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oozaveared [936 posts] 2 years ago
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Gkam84 wrote:

I have seen many videos now, people shouting at other cyclists for something they say is "wrong", sometimes it ends in violence.

Get on with your own life and let others make their mistakes.

As for your opening question.

Should good cyclists do more to stop bad cyclists?

Who decides you are a good or bad cyclist? Are you a self declaring good cyclist? I or anyone else may not agree with your version of "good" cycling.

So best just get on with your own riding....

In general I agree with the idea that we should all get on with our own riding and that in many cases advice is poorly received and counterproductive. I can't remember that statistic exactly but some survey found that 90%+ of drivers thought that they were above average. I have also posted on here about the phenomena of people making up their own personal Highway Code and and treating traffic laws as a pick n mix. My favourite pub bore that mentions cycling every time I am in there usually followed by some anecdote about how some cyclist had no lights, jumped a red or something is a classic case in point. He has his own scheme for driving on motorways. I just get in the "car lane" and stay there he says. According to him you should only enter the "lorry lane" to enter and exit the motorway on your way too and from the "car lane". He doesn't bother with the "overtaking lane" because he's a good driver you see. But he does have nine points for speeding on minor roads and hates the traffic camera. But cyclists he opines should have to learn the Highway Code and stick to it.

So yes there is an element of people's perception on whether they are a good or bad diver or cyclist.

Where I disagree with you is about the self appointed bit. Whether people subjectively think they are a good rider has nothing whatever to do with whether they are actually and objectively a good rider. By which I mean some bad riding is due to ignorance. Some is laziness, some of it is a deliberate disregard. Much like many car drivers.

But there is a reality. It isn't all subjective. Knowing the rules and your rights and the rules and rights of other road users (a flaw in most motorists) is the starting point. The foundation. Then on top of that you add some skills and knowledge and then top it off with some experience.

Some newer cyclists may welcome a bit of advice. Other cyclists may well tell you to sod off. If I see someone with a nice riding style on a decent bike with proper gear being an arsehole I'll let them get on with it. My assessment is that they probably know they're being an arsehole and don't care. If I see an obvious newbie getting it wrong but in a way that looks like they might want to do it the right way. I might take the time to advise especially if they might endanger themselves and most importantly I tell them why. That's the key to understanding. If you know why you shouldn't even dream of squeezing up the inside of a lorry then that's a lot more useful than just being told not to.

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Scoob_84 [374 posts] 2 years ago
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Gkam84 wrote:

I have seen many videos now, people shouting at other cyclists for something they say is "wrong", sometimes it ends in violence.

Get on with your own life and let others make their mistakes.

As for your opening question.

Should good cyclists do more to stop bad cyclists?

Who decides you are a good or bad cyclist? Are you a self declaring good cyclist? I or anyone else may not agree with your version of "good" cycling.

So best just get on with your own riding....

Bad things happen when good people do nothing.....or something like that

Well, spurred on by downfaders, Paul_C and oozaveard's posts. I thought its high time i speak up rather than just get on with my own riding and grumble about it online where it makes bugger all difference

So this morning along Camberwell rd, I'm patiently waiting at a red light pedestrian crossing with around 7 other cyclists when some Herbert tries to undertake us all on the pavement and then rejoins the road at the crossing startling the old lady crossing the road, then peddles on through the red light as if nothing had happened.

Now GKam84, maybe you don't see anything wrong with that in your eyes but some people do.

As soon as the lights turn green I catch up with the lad and tell him "that's not cool, you give the rest of us a bad name etc etc". He had his headphones in, so I'm not 100% sure if he heard me. But to my delight he stopped at the next set of lights (he probabl would have anyway) and in case he didn't get the message earlier, another chap who saw the incident explained in a courteously manner to the perp that what he did was wrong. I have a feeling that that guy would think twice next time before pulling off stunts like that in the future.

I agree on the whole with some of the earlier posts though, you have to treat these incidents very delicately. There's nothing worse than being preached to by a lycra'd up tosser!  21

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Scoob_84 [374 posts] 2 years ago
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ribena wrote:

I fear it'll be counterproductive unless you can make it sufficiently amusing so other people join in... Maybe start singing as loudly as possibly: ## ROXANNE! Why do you go through the red light? ## (by The Police).

 21 21 perfect!!

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Comrade [204 posts] 2 years ago
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It's a difficult one, seeing as you don't know what might happen next. Sometimes I comment and sometimes I don't. However, on one occassion I slowed down and stopped to allow a woman to cross the road at a zebra crossing, but she was hesitating and did not cross so I waved at her trying to gesticulate that she should cross. The next thing two guys flew past me at a decent speed, I could not help but shout out advising them that they should have waited for the pedestrian. What got me a bit miffed was the fact that it was the last couple of kilometers of a sportive, so these guys were obviously not concerned for anyone else except their own times.

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Scoob_84 [374 posts] 2 years ago
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oldstrath wrote:

Given that most of them are less likely to hurt anyone but themselves than are crap drivers, I assume you've posted something similar on petrolhead fora to ask them to stop bad drivers.

So you deny that bad cyclists cause a problem for the rest of us? Today i saw an old lady nearly run down by a cyclist going through a red light.

The car debate is separate debate.

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oldstrath [558 posts] 2 years ago
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Scoob_84 wrote:
oldstrath wrote:

Given that most of them are less likely to hurt anyone but themselves than are crap drivers, I assume you've posted something similar on petrolhead fora to ask them to stop bad drivers.

So you deny that bad cyclists cause a problem for the rest of us? Today i saw an old lady nearly run down by a cyclist going through a red light.

The car debate is separate debate.

I disagree. If everyone who was nearly run over or nearly knocked off by a car, using your definition, posted on the web, we'd have more posts even than cats. But you don't expect me to conclude that all car drivers are law breaking eejits because one woman passed too close last week, so why believe it of cyclists? Why accept close passes as just one of those things, whereas a close pass by a cyclist must be evidence of poor skills or lack of moral fibre?

But if you must harangue other cyclists, let's spread the love and demand that carists harangue all the shit drivers. That would slow the traffic down nicely.

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Scoob_84 [374 posts] 2 years ago
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oldstrath wrote:
Scoob_84 wrote:
oldstrath wrote:

Given that most of them are less likely to hurt anyone but themselves than are crap drivers, I assume you've posted something similar on petrolhead fora to ask them to stop bad drivers.

So you deny that bad cyclists cause a problem for the rest of us? Today i saw an old lady nearly run down by a cyclist going through a red light.

The car debate is separate debate.

I disagree. If everyone who was nearly run over or nearly knocked off by a car, using your definition, posted on the web, we'd have more posts even than cats. But you don't expect me to conclude that all car drivers are law breaking eejits because one woman passed too close last week, so why believe it of cyclists?

But if you must harangue other cyclists, let's spread the love and demand that carists harangue all the shit drivers. That would slow the traffic down nicely.

See my original post, we're talking about 5% of cyclists here, not all.

I'm not the BBC and have no obligation to attempt to be impartial or have to post a yang to my ying on a carist website.

If you want to talk about bad driving, go ahead and start another topic. I agree bad driving is a major issue to us cyclists and i nearly get run over on a regular basis every day (even this morning), but its a bit one eyed to think that we don't need to get our own house in order as well.

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Jimmy Ray Will [452 posts] 2 years ago
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Two things for me, of which only one is directly related to the original question.

1. We are not part of a big club, or a religious group, or anything else, we are just individual people who each choose to ride bikes for whatever reason. Therefore, why should we need to look out for each other, why should we feel any responsibility for other cyclists actions, why is it up to us, to get our 'collective' house in order? etc etc?

If another riders actions directly impact on me, then yes I'll say something, otherwise good luck to them.

2. This thread made me think... does all the publicity surrounding red light jumping ultimately encourage or discourage red light jumping? Personally I think it encourages it.

As a society, we work to the rules of fear of getting caught, and directly associated with that, the fear of the implications of being caught. It would be nice to think we're all good, dutiful folk, but actually we are wild animals controlled by societal restraints and enforced rules. That doesn't make us bad people, it's just as it is.

So... every time someone says, 'gosh, look at all those cyclists jumping lights, they are all doing it' it merely reaffirms that everyone gets away with red light jumping, that its the norm, its what the majority are doing.

So yes, those evangelists out there may get more frustrated and resolute, whilst everyone else will just think the decision to run the light is a little less significant, and more acceptable/normal.

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a.jumper [846 posts] 2 years ago
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Scoob_84 wrote:

Now GKam84, maybe you don't see anything wrong with that in your eyes but some people do.

I'm pretty sure GKam84 didn't say it was OK. I think he was cautioning against vigilante behaviour like yours. Yes, you got away with it that time. Next time, the scofflaw may take a swing, or worse. We aren't the traffic police and if we encourage mob rule, how do you think that will end on our car-dominated roads?

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themartincox [488 posts] 2 years ago
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So I've started a fun game on my ride in/out of nottingham every day. we have a pair of junctions 50m apart, both with ASL attache to them.

If a vehicle is turning right (as I do) and stops illegitimately in the ASL I nonchalantly ride my bike in front of it, a take the lane.

I indicate right and upon the green light I pull away slowly, sometimes very slowly, knowing full well that because of the light timings we will get stopped in 50m anyway.

If the car overtakes in the 50m then you can bet your butt it won't encroach into the ASL again!

NO-ONE has ever said anything about it......

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FluffyKittenofT... [1163 posts] 2 years ago
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Should all responsible wearers-of-glasses do more to challenge bespectacled people who misbehave in public?

Should all bald men do more to prevent anti social and criminal acts by their fellow follically-challenged?

Or just maybe, people all have to make their own individual decisions about how confident they feel about challenging bad behaviour, depending on how safe they feel, how bad the behaviour and how dangerous the person indulging in it appears to be?

And whether the miscreant is a fellow hat-wearer, bike-user, jogger, or smartphone-user, really has absoutely bugger-all to do with it?

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FluffyKittenofT... [1163 posts] 2 years ago
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Scoob_84 wrote:

its a bit one eyed to think that we don't need to get our own house in order as well.

Don't know about you, but while I certainly need to get my house in order (oh Lord, do I!) there are no other cyclists living in it, so I'm not sure what point you are trying to make.
You aren't suggesting everyone who has a bike lives in one big metaphorical house-share are you? Because that would be a daft thing to suggest.

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Scoob_84 [374 posts] 2 years ago
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FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:

Or just maybe, people all have to make their own individual decisions about how confident they feel about challenging bad behaviour, depending on how safe they feel, how bad the behaviour and how dangerous the person indulging in it appears to be?

So you agree with me.  41

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