Spokes(Wo)Man

Scared of traffic ? No bike infrastructure ? Too Far ? Helmet hair ?

 

Fuck it, ride anyway

Trucks

They're noisy, they take up their entire lane and sometimes a wee bit of yours ...

But sometimes they surprise you, in a good way.

I don't think we have the same intensity of the issue that London has; trucks are 4% of London traffic but are involved in or outright responsible for 53% of cyclist fatalities. 

Here's an demonstration of a truck's blind spots. Bit sobering isn't it ? That's not where I thought they'd be. And as someone who regularly rides and pulls-up alongside these beasts, you've got to be aware. 

My thing when I am waiting at lights, and I generally don't filter through to the start because of the width of my panniers, is that I look around at motorists, especially those in trucks near me, I stretch, I make eye contact, I give them a grin, I make them see that there is a human being out there next to them. And sometimes I get a smile back, occasionally I get a sneer from some bogan, pffft who cares. At some level they've registered your presence, and will be conscious of it when driving. Unless they're literally Damien from The Omen, in which case they're a psychotic fucker anyway.

There's a lot of angsty stuff written saying that all responsibility lies with the motorist or truck driver - and as the licence holder operating a 2-tonne murder box, yeah, it behooves you not to be texting and driving, eating a bowl of cereal while steering with your knees, applying make-up or any of a number of stupid things you see drivers doing.

It's not my responsibility to go out looking like a bloody hi-viz beacon in the hopes I'll catch your peripheral and you'll slow down. It doesn't work consistently enough to be the only solution to the problem.  Good drivers are looking for the possibility of a me anyway.  Good drivers, like the ones who indicate even if they can't see another vehicle, because there might be a pedestrian trying to cross.

You have got to be  fucking  kidding me.  This  is the new normal attire for anything out of the bloody house ?

You have got to be fucking kidding me. This is the new normal attire for anything out of the bloody house ?

But unexpectedly doing something about this - truck manufacturers are getting behind cyclists (figuratively speaking) Mercedes Benz, in conjunction with London cycling groups and construction logistics bodies, has designed a lower cab with a panoramic windscreen, full glass door and side cameras.

With a lower cab and driver seat, this is better for the driver as well as other road users. With a line of sight to the driver like this, I could bust out an entire interpretive dance.

On my way to work. G'day ! How ya doing' ?

On my way to work. G'day ! How ya doing' ?

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has banned up to 36,000 trucks with poor visibility from London's road, but this is to be implemented over the next 4 years.

Argh. Too slow.