Where are "We are CUK" wrt aggression against cyclists ?

PH
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Re: Where are "We are CUK" wrt aggression against cyclists ?

Postby PH » 29 Oct 2017, 6:30pm

BakfietsUK wrote:To PH, I am not sure how you know about the features of the posters here. Whatever the posters' attributes, they represent views in themselves like I do. I am a member and a regular poster. Just because posters may or may not be members is irrelevant, it's the view that matters. People are responding to real issues out on the road when they post here, like I do. If CUK is doing anything right it is in providing this forum, even when it's open to non members.

Sorry you've lost me?
I know about the posters from what they've written, or in a few cases from what they've told me when I've met them. The relevance of whether posters are members was a response to your point about this forum representing members views. If you think it's irrelevant then why did you keep bringing it up, as quoted above?

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Re: Where are "We are CUK" wrt aggression against cyclists ?

Postby BakfietsUK » 30 Oct 2017, 9:35am

You have now lost me PH. The message is that all opinions matter here, whether from members or not. To value one post against another on the basis of CUK membership leads to a failure to acknowledge real problems. If I "keep bringing" anything up on this forum it's of CUK's seeming lack of relevance per se. If the posters are not members, maybe that helps to prove a point. Maybe those people need some other body not yet in existence.

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Re: Where are "We are CUK" wrt aggression against cyclists ?

Postby mjr » 30 Oct 2017, 11:18am

BakfietsUK wrote:To value one post against another on the basis of CUK membership leads to a failure to acknowledge real problems.

Oh but defenders of the status quo love to rule complaints as out of order - it's like how government won't blame obvious crash damage to cycleways on motorists and repair it unless cycling advocates can prove definitively that it was caused by motorists - I mean, have you ever seen a cyclist bend and bring down a lamp post? Yet it's still lying by the fence many months after the first report.

BakfietsUK wrote:Maybe those people need some other body not yet in existence.

Or maybe those people are already members of some other body which has an increasingly-theoretical collaboration agreement with CTC.
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Re: Where are "We are CUK" wrt aggression against cyclists ?

Postby Si » 30 Oct 2017, 6:40pm

BakfietsUK wrote:You have now lost me PH. The message is that all opinions matter here, whether from members or not. To value one post against another on the basis of CUK membership leads to a failure to acknowledge real problems. If I "keep bringing" anything up on this forum it's of CUK's seeming lack of relevance per se. If the posters are not members, maybe that helps to prove a point. Maybe those people need some other body not yet in existence.



To be fair it was you who said
CUK needs a reality check and to listen to it's members

so its a valid response to point out that not everyone on here is a member.

If youd have said that CUK needs to listen to all cyclists then we'd not have been sidetracked by this one :-)

But the issue remains, most cyclists arent actuslly saying that much, or at least what they say isnt very specific, or if it is then its often at odds with other cyclists. If you want three opinions ask two cyclists ;-)

i think its reasonable to say that all cyclists want better, safer conditions. But the auestion remains, what should CUK do to get them?

Dont get me wrong - im not having a go at you or trying to catch you out, i am genuinely interested in knowing what people think CUK should put its limited resources into in order to make change happen. Its the mechanics of change that im interested in....what actual actions should we all be taking to make things better?

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Re: Where are "We are CUK" wrt aggression against cyclists ?

Postby thirdcrank » 30 Oct 2017, 7:33pm

Si wrote: ... But the issue remains, most cyclists arent actuslly saying that much, or at least what they say isnt very specific, or if it is then its often at odds with other cyclists. If you want three opinions ask two cyclists ;-)

i think its reasonable to say that all cyclists want better, safer conditions. But the auestion remains, what should CUK do to get them? ...


There's a specific issue here ie not "road safety" but what it's probably currently described as "anti-social behaviour" towards cyclists:
intentional, aggressive behaviour.

IMO the CTC never recognised this as a problem. If CyclingUK wants to get more people cycling then they will pay attention to this because unlike other minorities on the receiving end, being a cyclist is usually voluntary: if you don't like being badly treated because you are a cyclist, one of your options is to stop cycling. This isn't the first time this has come up and my own experiences are listed elsewhere. As somebody else responded to an earlier post from me, this is hate crime. It's ironic that at a time when our society is becoming less tolerant of bullying, cyclists don't seem to be seeing the benefit.

As to what CyclingUK could do.

Ascertain the extent of the problem. (This isn't measured in accident stats, but the largely unrecorded incidents of bullying. It would need research.)
Look towards things like encouraging cyclists who are on the receiving end to report it.
Model the approach on other campaigning groups' involved with hate crime.

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Re: Where are "We are CUK" wrt aggression against cyclists ?

Postby gaz » 30 Oct 2017, 9:26pm

Arguably Stop SMIDSY deals with the first two. It has been running for five years, encouraging reporting and thereby gathering evidence of near misses and similar incidents.

I do not know if it was modelled on the approach of other groups dealing with hate crime.

Whilst I have some memory of the campaign launch I wouldn't be inclined to view it as ongoing, unless it was perhaps little more than a headline item at the time in the wider Road Justice campaign which I would continue to view as current.
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Re: Where are "We are CUK" wrt aggression against cyclists ?

Postby thirdcrank » 31 Oct 2017, 6:45am

gaz wrote:Arguably Stop SMIDSY deals with the first two. It has been running for five years, encouraging reporting and thereby gathering evidence of near misses and similar incidents. ...


I don't think it does. In it's normal meaning SMIDSY concerns careless driving when I'm talking about deliberate behaviour targeting cyclists for no other reason than their being cyclists. A recent thread is about common assault, where a forum member reported having been overtaken by a motorcyclist who tried to push them off. Of course, if a motor vehicle is used as a weapon, as in a "punishment pass," then the line between a deliberate act and poor driving skill may be blurred and it's not easy to see into a driver's mind to ascertain motive. This wouldn't matter if the police had not largely abandoned dealing with careless driving.

viewtopic.php?p=1163286#p1163286

Conduct like throwing things at riders from passing vehicles, shouting abuse and so on is nothing to do with claiming not to have seen a rider. It's possible that hi-viz togs and conspicuous bike lights attract this unwelcome attention.

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Re: Where are "We are CUK" wrt aggression against cyclists ?

Postby thirdcrank » 31 Oct 2017, 7:37pm

"Older readers" may remember that this is one of my hobby horses.

In the heady days of the Notional Cycling Strategy, the Transport part of Two Jags vast empire (the "T" in DETR) commissioned research to see if drivers' attitudes and behaviour formed a barrier to cycling (my wording.) The results were published in DRIVERS' PERCEPTIONS OF CYCLISTS TRL549 2002.

When the publication of this report was reported in the CTC mag at that time, it was accompanied by an article by one of the members of the research team who was also a CTC staff member. Although this gave me, at least, the impression that the article was summary of the findings, it was the view of the writer on the subject. I'm relying on memory but IIRC, the thrust was that drivers'attitudes were not a problem: grumpy old cyclists were the problem. (If anybody keeps back-copies of the CTC mag, I'd welcome being corrected.) I wrote a letter to the Ed., which wasn't published, but another was, which referred to the good balance of the article. The point being missed was that the article was not a summary of the research. I don't know to what extent the CTC mag reflected CTC policy, but I'm not aware of the CTC pressing for for the further research recommended in that report, especially this:-

Further research into the behavioural response of drivers to frustrating conditions, including encounters with cyclists, should be conducted in order to establish whether the frustration experienced by drivers is expressed as negative behaviour.
(My emphasis.)


One of the other recommendations has a familiar ring, even though it was made fifteen years ago:-

The current low level of enforcement of traffic law with regard to both drivers and cyclists should be increased.


It's hard to know whether to laugh or cry, because traffic enforcement has deteriorated even further since 2002. Cycling UK has eventually latched onto this.

When this research was first published, only the executive summary was available free, and the main document was something like fifty quid so I never bothered. I've just found it free on PDF. Worth a read. IMO, An opportunity missed by the CTC in 2002 to try to tackle the problems that persist.

I'm only trotting this all out again because Cycling UK is said to be keen to identify and remove barriers to cycling. One of the weaknesses of the research was that as it was commissioned by the Transport ministry, it didn't explicitly make the distinction careless driving and deliberate nastiness, but it's a start.

https://icycleliverpool.files.wordpress ... trl549.pdf

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Re: Where are "We are CUK" wrt aggression against cyclists ?

Postby Tangled Metal » 31 Oct 2017, 10:24pm

Well I've not seen much aggression towards cyclists. Close passes aren't that common IME, or at least not so bad as to concern me much. Does that mean anything? What I mean is, am I riding my bike in a quieter area or riding it in a less confrontational way or making myself less of a target? I don't know but how many of those complaining of an issue actually contribute towards their issue?

It's like accidents. By that I mean I've never had any accident when out on a bike other than a rare few, very mild slides on ice and gravel. Nothing involving other road users. However over the years I've read stories of some posters having multiple accidents over the years I've been reading this forum. Is there something you do that contributes? I'm not saying it's your fault. I believe anyone being aggressive to a vulnerable road user could possibly need very little to trigger them. A slight behaviour change in my cycling could trigger someone, similarly could some minor change stop a lot of this aggressive behaviour experience?

As far as what CUK is or isn't doing I wonder what exactly you want from them. If aggression against you on your bike is bad then perhaps police should be involved. If road design promotes close passes or other issues then is that something we should report to the council or relevant authority. Or is it CUK's role? What is it that you think they should listen to you about? What actions should they take?

Put simply, what do you want from CUK? Does your membership fees allow CUK to reasonably do that along with everything else you want for your fees?

BTW I'm not a member so they don't have to listen to me neither. That's the same situation as you're in but I've saved the membership fees! :wink: :D

BTW I once heard something similar in a unionized work place. One guy explained why he didn't feel the need to join the union. Any pay deal a union negotiates has to be applied to non union members too so what benefit is there in joining the union.

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Re: Where are "We are CUK" wrt aggression against cyclists ?

Postby thirdcrank » 1 Nov 2017, 10:07am

Tangled Metal

At a personal level, I'm pleased that you haven't experienced the nastiness, but rather miffed by the implication that anybody who has - including me - has been asking for it. I've posted at length before about my experiences and I'll not repeat them now, if only to keep to my point. Cycling UK is in the business of promoting cycling. This involves rather more than telling anybody who will listen how great cycling is: it means identifying and removing the so-called barriers to cycling. It can't all be laziness because loads of people drive to the gym to thrash about on excercise bikes. The research I've quoted was prompted by the suggestion that drivers' behaviour towards riders was one such barrier. It found various negative feelings towards cyclists such as frustration and a stereotype of nonconforming behaviour which led to cyclists being seen as an "outgroup." Put another way, just the type of people who bullies target. The research report recommended further research to establish if those negative feelings led to drivers behaving badly towards cyclists. That seems to me to be a logical approach and certainly one which carries a bit more weight with the authorities. It's always possible that further research would demonstrate that this doesn't happen, although I'd be surprised.

I'm also saying that the CTC - at least as far as I can tell - took the view that trying to ascertain the reality about this would in itself act as a barrier to cycling: potential riders would be put off by suggestions that cyclists risked being bullied by drivers. That misses the point that they will know how their friends and colleagues view cyclists and if they don't they may soon find out when they get a bike and ride it. In the lingo, cyclists are a minority group and membership of that minority is generally voluntary. All I'm suggesting is that Cycling UK recognise this as a possibility. I've flogged this to death before and only mention it because the issues have been raised yet again.

Back to you and me, none of this has stopped us cycling: we aren't the would-be riders anybody claiming to promote cycling should consider.

Re reporting this to the police, as a retired police officer I speak with some experience. These days, to get the police to tackle anything it needs to be identified as a problem. "Priority" would be a good search term in my numerous posts, often made in response to forum members posting about being fobbed off by the police. IMO, It will never be identified as a priority if we take your approach.

(Free riders, benefiting from the benefits of trade union activity while not paying their dues are not an issue here, IMO. Cycling UK is a charity, receiving public money in the form of grants and tax relief to promote cycling. Everybody is entitled to benefit from that activity, whether or not they choose to support the charity by personal contributions. And they are also entitled to comment on the activities of any charity, as with any other public body.)

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Re: Where are "We are CUK" wrt aggression against cyclists ?

Postby BakfietsUK » 1 Nov 2017, 6:42pm

It needs to be as sociably unacceptable to behave aggressively toward a cyclist as it is now to act in a racist or homophobic manner to those groups concerned. The sort of derision we receive from the authorities about the behaviour of the non cycling public was once applied to other behaviour towards minority groups which we now call hate crime. I personally don't believe CUK has the capacity to turn this situation around on it's own. It would need to campaign in the same way as those groups did in the past and continue to do now, regarding racism and homophobia. I think this feature of UK cycling is specifically related to UK culture and it can be argued that other European nations dealt with this decades ago. Until we see this change, we will always be at the mercy of a culture that is pretty much against cycling.

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Re: Where are "We are CUK" wrt aggression against cyclists ?

Postby Tangled Metal » 1 Nov 2017, 8:30pm

I'm not saying you asked for it. I'm just curious because I've never had any issues. Is it me or you that is doing something that marks us or for no aggression or a lot of aggression?

Basically without doing anything wrong, could something be flagging you up for attention of those thugs in cars?

Personally I've never had issues with violence on nights out neither despite living near a city with a reputation for evening violence. Most ppl I know have had issues I've never. I suspect being 6'5" tall could be part of the reason but I don't have the "I can look after myself swagger" you need at times.

I definitely don't think you deserve aggression or actively do anything that causes the aggression. I just wonder if there's some subconscious signal that they pick up on. Or some other reason. I'm only asking the question, in case there's something you can learn / find out that helps things change for you. Quite possibly not but worth considering even if only to rule out something.

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Re: Where are "We are CUK" wrt aggression against cyclists ?

Postby thirdcrank » 1 Nov 2017, 9:28pm

Anything is possible of course but the variety of incidents which I have experienced has no common factors other than it was me and I was cycling.

Perhaps the most disturbing - though in itself trivial - was when I was fastening up my shopping bike to a bike rack and a toddler passing by in a pushchair made the "Buuurgh" noise which you presumably are unfamiliar with but is often shouted by the passengers in overtaking cars. When the child's mother expressed disapproval, the reply was along the lines "Daddy does it."

Probably the most serious, was one night when riding to work I stopped at the roadside and bent over my bike to change the lights (Nicad batteries which had just gone suddenly flat.) I felt a pain across my lower back and when I turned a van was disappearing down the road with the lights off (presumably to prevent reading of the reg) and the passenger was waving a sort of wire flail out of the window. A few years after I had retired I bumped into the police surgeon who had treated the cuts to my back (inflicted through several layers of thick clothing.) His opening greeting was "How's your back?" He had remembered in spite of all the assault cases he had helped to investigate.

Riding home from half-nights (0200) I was overtaken by a car full of men which slowed down and the rear nearside passenger leaned out of the window with a powerful lamp which he shone in my eyes, completely dazzling me. They drove off at speed but returned several times for a repeat performance.

At 0530 riding to work the driver of a delivery van going the opposite way threw a milk bottle at me accompanied by a load of abuse (which convinced me that the throw was not random.) (Three different police stations involved in the above incidents BTW. At one of them, I was working in the control room so it's unlikely to have been somebody with a work-related grudge who had recognised me.)

Riding home in the middle of the night - not from work - the driver of an overtaking vehicle slowed so the passenger could spray me with a can of drink which was then thrown at me.

Just in case you think I'm somehow provoking this by being out in urban areas at anti-social hours, on a pleasant Sunday afternoon in rural North Yorkshire ie the next county, the driver of a car coming the other way stopped and took a pot-shot at me with an air pistol, luckily, the plastic pellet just lodged in my clothing. On another sunny afternoon also in rural North Yorkshire, a car drew alongside and the passenger tried to push me off balance.

And so on. I'm not some head banger looking for trouble but a conventionally respectable person. Even if I were somehow "asking for it" it's no justification for behaviour of this sort. While I'm not unusually brave, I'm firm enough not to let any of this put me off riding (angina doesn't help these days.) I also try not to exaggerate or embroider.

All this is beside the point I've unsuccessfully tried to make: proper academic research eg a follow-up to the report to which I have already linked, would show the extent of this kind of thing and whether or not it was discouraging potential cyclists. Perhaps I've been very unlucky. Perhaps you've been lucky. Irrelevant IMO.

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Re: Where are "We are CUK" wrt aggression against cyclists ?

Postby Tangled Metal » 1 Nov 2017, 10:33pm

I don't know what is causing it, but I'd be very concerned if I was in your situation. Have you talked to any other ppl you know who cycles at a similar time? Have they noticed the same aggression? If they have then the areas you cycle in is a better possibility than something you're subconsciously doing.

I hope you find a solution for making things better or for managing things when they do become aggressive.

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Re: Where are "We are CUK" wrt aggression against cyclists ?

Postby thirdcrank » 2 Nov 2017, 3:29am

Tangled Metal wrote:I don't know what is causing it, but I'd be very concerned if I was in your situation. Have you talked to any other ppl you know who cycles at a similar time? Have they noticed the same aggression? If they have then the areas you cycle in is a better possibility than something you're subconsciously doing.

I hope you find a solution for making things better or for managing things when they do become aggressive.


We are at cross-purposes here. I've been retired for twenty years so some of these incidents occurred donkeys years ago. These days, heart disease curtails my cycling so aggression against cyclists no longer affects me personally. The last thing I need is counselling as though I have some sort of personality problem. (Or pretty naïve advice about "managing things." If the vehicle involved drives away as quickly as it came, what is there to manage? ) I've mentioned earlier that I've posted about this before. That's generally been in reply to somebody whose been on the receiving end, asking for advice about what can be done. This thread began as a variation of that.

Other riders I've talked to have had broadly similar experiences. One that sticks in my mind was the mechanic in an lbs who'd been out on a training ride with a group and they'd all been squirted with ketchup from a passing car. Obviously, quite a bit of this is IME low level such as shouting abuse: that doesn't bother me personally - "water off a duck's back" - but I can still see it might deter some people as in "barrier to cycling."

It must be at least ten years since I gave up on the idea of the CTC doing anything about this. I'd be surprised if Cycling UK took any greater interest. If they do, more research is the answer rather than a few anecdotes like mine.

FWIW, I completed thirty years police service, most of it operational and during that time an Eric Morecambe-type slap was pretty much it. I've dealt with quite a bit of aggression over the years and not all of it in the canteen queue.