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Europe

Friday, 01 August 2014
Tailgating on Titsey Hill

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So I did a little survey this week, over three days. I spent about 6 minutes on each of three days cycling along Titsey Hill between Bluehouse Lane and Pilgrims Way, at about the same time every day.  This is a well-known accident hotspot, and the scene of several of my complaints about dangerous driving. In addition, once departing Limpsfield Village, the speed limit goes up to 60 mph, and drivers seem to take advantage of that, despite the bends and uneven surface of the road in places.  The total distance of this stretch of road is 1.8 km, and the difference in elevation between the start and end is 39 metres.

Using my video footage, I counted the number of cars that passed me (in both directions) and I also counted the number of cars that were either tailgating the car in front of them or were being tailgated by a car behind them. (I did not count the same car twice).  My definition of tailgating is if they were travelling less than 2 seconds behind the car in front.

I ignored the speed at which the vehicles were travelling, whether the vehicles were speeding, how closely they overtook me, or any other factor.  I only measured whether they were tailgating at the time they overtook me, and if there was any doubt, I gave the drivers the benefit of the doubt. I did not include whether the driver tailgated me, only whether they were tailgating (or being tailgated by) another vehicle. There were between 57 and 72 cars on each day, and the percentages for cars involved in tailgating varied from 59% to 64% on each day.

Besides for the percentage of drivers involved in tailgating being much higher than I had expected, what I realised when doing this survey is that when you are being tailgated by another driver they are not only being rude and inconsiderate, but probably a distraction too. They are not only putting their own lives in danger, but also those of you and your passengers.

Posted by bigblue on 01/08/2014 at 11:14 PM
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Thursday, 31 July 2014
Oxted drivers are idiots


And, as you can see, they drive recklessly, erratically and dangerously too.  (OK, some of them).

Posted by bigblue on 31/07/2014 at 02:12 PM
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Wednesday, 30 July 2014
Road rage in London

Taxi driver goes mental because there are cyclists blocking the way in front of him.  The cyclists tried to explain calmly that there was no room for him to move forward safely due to the procession of cyclists in the road, and asked him to be patient a couple of minutes. He lost it, and a few members of the public saw fit to try and intervene with him.

Because Critical Mass takes place without an official route or sanction, participants in some cities have sometimes practiced a tactic known as “corking” in order to maintain the cohesion of the group. This tactic consists of a few riders blocking traffic from side roads so that the mass can freely proceed through red lights without interruption….

The practice of corking roads in order to pass through red lights as a group is in contravention of traffic laws in some jurisdictions and is sometimes criticized to be contrary to Critical Mass’ claim that “we are traffic”, since ordinary traffic does not have the right to go through intersections once the traffic signal has changed to red.  However, groups of cyclists are allowed to pass signals as a group at least in Germany and Austria.  Corking has sometimes led to hostility between motorists and riders, even erupting into violence and arrests of motorists and cyclists alike during Critical Mass rides.

~ see Critical Mass on Wikipedia.

Posted by bigblue on 30/07/2014 at 07:57 AM
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Tuesday, 29 July 2014
Man and dog - the video

This man was skate-boarding with his dog in London on Friday night. I suggested to him that he was “cheating” by using his dog as an “engine” for his skateboard. He joked that he didn’t know that Critical Mass had such a rule…  Of course I hadn’t been referring to the rules of Critical Mass (there aren’t any that I know of), but to the Rules of Skateboarding in a general sense.

Posted by bigblue on 29/07/2014 at 12:40 PM
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Monday, 28 July 2014
Man and dog

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This man was skate-boarding with his dog in London on Friday night.  The lead is actually harnessed around the dog’s chest so that she provides some of the energy for his ride.

Posted by bigblue on 28/07/2014 at 09:09 PM
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Saturday, 26 July 2014
Solidarity with Gaza

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It’s kicking off in Kensington High Street.

Posted by bigblue on 26/07/2014 at 12:47 PM
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Wednesday, 02 July 2014
Deep down in the belly of the earth

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It’s the first time I’ve had to go so deep underground in order to catch a plane.

Posted by bigblue on 02/07/2014 at 08:33 PM
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Critical Mass London - June 2014

Some excerpts from the #CriticalMass ride in London last Friday night.

Posted by bigblue on 02/07/2014 at 08:38 AM
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