Rant of the Day - By no means updated daily

Dastardly Drivers

Posted on Thursday 19th of January 2006 09:40:28 PM by Maximinus
Of late, I've been biking to work at least once or twice a week.  Today, trying a different route, therefore not having a nice bike path separate from the road (well, that's only for about 2/3 of the way actually) I was exposed to the dastardly doings of drivers for much of the journey.

Firstly, you have the reversing rascals who decide that since there's a parking lane thing going right by outside their place, they can go right out onto the road before checking for traffic.  Right into the middle of the bike lane I'm in, causing me to have to do some emergency braking to prevent myself from plowing into them.  What has happened to common decency, and common sense?

Next, there are the gas-guzzling gargantuans known as "4WDs" or "SUVs" - often driven by soccer mums, or other people with no use for their offroad capabilities.  When they're not just generally driving badly, or driving at about the maximimum speed that somebody like me can attain on a bike like mine, right in front of said somebody on said bike, belting out huge clouds of smoke right in one's face, they also enjoy taking five times as long and six times as many turns to get their monstrosity out of their driveway and onto the road as any other road user - preferably just in time to cut of a cyclist or two, creating the need for quick braking and perhaps a bit of backwards motion to get out of the way.  They then proceed to take longer than the cyclist to build up speed, all the while pumping out large, thick clouds of smoke.

And worst of all are the cups.  You have very dusty cupsI want to.... Sorry, momentary lapse into the greatest series ever - Black Books.  Anyway, they're not worst of all, but what they are is buses.  They have a nasty habit (although they haven't managed to do it too much lately) of driving ridiclously close to the kerb - sometimes leaving so little space that I have even had to jump up onto the footpath, hauling my bike after me - that it's just not funny.  They also seem to enjoy pulling out of bus stop either as you're going past, or just as you have passed them - either forcing you out into the middle of the road, or forcing you to make a mad dash to avoid having a bus crammed up your rear end.

There are three long-running stereotypes about types of people who can't drive.  They are, in no particular order, Asians, women and old people.  So, what happens when you mix all three?  I found out the answer to this the unpleasant way today whilst waiting to turn right onto the vertical part of a T-junction.  She was sitting there waiting to turn from my right, to her right (ie, across my path).  She therefore had the right-of-way, thanks to New Zealand's crazy road rules.  Several opportunities arose where there was nil traffic and she could have safely turned - and each time, she inched forward slightly as if she were going to go, then thought better of it, and slipped back to her original position.  Eventually, a very large gap opened up, and she finally decided to go - albeit by this time there were a few other vehicles behind her, also waiting to turn.  Next in line was a white-van-man.  But no ordinary white-van-man - a very kind one.  He had obviously seen me sitting there waiting for the old woman to move, and so he signalled for me to go ahead and turn, despite him having the right-of-way.  Thank you, white-van-man!
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