Friday, 3 December 2010

An Insurance Job

Many people, when reading an account by a cyclist of how much of a twat drivers are, don't realise it really is a tiny minority, a tiny, tiny minority of drivers who seriously ve x the average cyclist, and get all defensive and start whining about red lights. And we cyclists should be more careful about tarring everyone in a car with the same brush. Obviously the vast, vast majority of cyclists and motorists pass each other on the roads each day without another thought from either party.

On my commute, for example the same vehicles pass me every morning, There are a handful drivers who cause me problems on a regular basis, and I know their number plates.

The clue is if you're getting shouted at, the chances are you're doing something that is out of the ordianry and dangerous. This morning, a motorist pulled out in front of me even though I had right of way. I had to swerve to avoid him, so I shouted "Oi, Watch where you're going". Reasonable responses would have ranged from "Terribly sorry, didn't see you" to "fuck off, cunt, Get a car" depending on how far down the evolutionary and social scale the driver was. What actually happened was that the driver spun the car round, taking another road to the one he intended to take, and deliberately rammed me. That's the kind of behaviour which makes cyclists hypersensitive.

So. Everyone who's defended "the motorist" on this blog. You can clearly read, and some of your thoughts make sense. It's not YOU I'm getting at, it's certainly not ALL drivers. It's the morons who are causing the crashes with your cars too. The thoughless, idiotic, incompetent and aggressive drivers. The road-rage rammer, The tailgaiters, the 100mph speeders in freezing fog, the women applying make-up whilst driving. It's just the consequences of this sort of behaviour when you're on a bike are so much more severe, Insurance claim vs probate valuation, which makes the cyclist hypersensitive. If you get shouted at by a cyclist, apologise, the chances are you don't know what you've done; a cyclist - by far the most vulnerable road user - felt scared by something you did. Have the humility to realise that everyone makes a mistake from time to time and you just did.

In this particular case, I got the number plate, and the police are looking for him. He's in VERY big trouble. He's going to lose his license and get fined heavily, whereas I'm asking whether I should get a Van Nicholas, Litespeed or a new Condor when I fuck his insurance company for everything I can. I am looking forward to seeing him in court, where I shall laugh at him as he stuggles to explain why he did what he did. Judging by the 14-year old red pugeout 106 he was driving, and his stupid spiky hair, I doubt he's going to be very eloquent in his defence.



36 comments:

startledcod said...

I'm not a cyclist but a motorcyclist and we also suffer; almost as unprotected but faster. After an accident bikers often hear SMIDSY (sorry mate I didn't see you).

As to your most recent contratemps, publish the registration and description ...

BigDai said...

Sadly, I expect he will claim its your fault and the CPS will weigh the odds of a conviction and not take the case further.
Unless you have a headcam footage?

Jackart said...

I'm not publishing the Registration until the matter is no longer sub judice.

A Headcam is on the christmas list.

Anonymous said...

Go for a Mercian Super Vigorelli (fixed of course).

Jackart said...

Ahh The joy of steel. My first Condor was a 531 steel job. It's very tempting. But alas, I have hills and I like my gears.

Anonymous said...

I'm not anti-cyclist but I can't help but think that if cycles had been invented today they wouldn't be allowed on the roads or pavements.

Jackart said...

And you think cars would have been invented without chains, pneumatic tyres, spoked prestressed wheels and so on? If cars had been invented today, would they be allowed?

Stupid comment, anonymong.

Nick Drew said...

when I fuck his insurance company for everything I can

and your reason for thinking he's insured ..?

the local plod in my manor ran an all-day numberplate recognition trap on a very suitable stretch of road the other month (where there are no side-roads on either side for a mile - a perfect trap)

in 8 hours they caught 120 (sic) vehicles with no insurance and/or tax disk

(+ 3 wanted criminals, for good measure)

Nathan said...

What an asshole. Glad you're not injured. Your mode of transport getting written off is annoying and criminal, but I shudder to think of how much worse you could've ended up thanks to this idiot.

I try to be considerate of cyclists, slowing to pass, give them plenty of room etc. Sure I've screwed up more than a few times too, so sorry for those times.

Anonymous said...

**He's going to lose his license and get fined heavily**

Hahahaha, oh you!


I once saw a car pulled up on the side, and a bloke was arguing with his woman. She obviosly made the mistake of disagreeing with him, so he grabed her hair and started smashing her head on the dashboard.

So i go up to him on my bike, "yes, hello, WTF do you think you are doing".

He literally grunted at me, he actually couldnt seem to speak, whether he was off his trolly or just mental i don't know.

He preceded to quickly reverse then to try and run me over.


So, i had witnesses, and his number plate. I went home (2 mins away), and called 999, gave his number, told them what happened.


3 weeks later two plods turned up on the door (with physics so thin and feeble i could probably have taken both of them, and i am not that strong and only 5.7).

"Sir, you reported an incident a few weeks ago, we have come to take the details"

blablalba etc

"Sir, did you take the number plate"

I shut the door on the useless fuckers.

Westerlyman said...

Sorry to hear about what this arsehole did to you. Hope you are not too affected by this and achieve your compensation goal.

I drive rubbish lorries and just cannot believe how many road users (of all modes of transport) are reckless, incompetent and stupid.

The ones that frighten me the most however are the cyclists who undertake me when there is no cycle lane. My vehicle weighs many tonnes and I only have door mirrors to see behind with. A cyclist can appear from 'nowhere' when I am traveling slowly.

Yes I take especial care to look and look again when pulling out, or any other manoevre,but sometimes I wonder if other non-professional road users have any appreciation of the problems of drivers of heavy goods vehicles.

Anonymous said...

I hope you have no injuries or damage to your bike.

Jen

Anonymous said...

Good luck with the litigation and hope you are okay.

I'm a committed car driver - love cars, love driving ("prise the keys to my BMW from my cold dead hands, you loony lefty eco-freaks" etc.) but over the years I have completely recalibrated my attitude to cyclists and bikers. It isn't so hard to be a little more patient, keep your cool, preserve your goods manners, stop and give way, pull slightly in or out within your lane in a jam to let cyclists pass and yes, even bikers cheekily weave through. I agree there is a minority of tosspots in each category of road user, so your point about the car road rager abusing cyclists and intimidating other cars is well made.

My personal pet hate is car/van/lorry/coach drivers who idly hog motorway middle lanes but that's somewhat off-topic here...

Anonymous said...

There are bloody ignorant gits out there (pardon my French) but even if his licence goes west I will put even money on him staying on the road. People as "eloquent" as this will not let a little thing like having no licence stop them. Frankly I doubt the insurance will prove to have been valid for more than the month of his Tax Disc.

Anonymous said...

If your bike was totalled, I hope you get the one you want. Merry Christmas!

Jen

Malcolm Stevas said...

Sorry to hear about the nutter who rammed you – hope he reaps the consequences. I'm not often a cyclist these days, but I do a lot of miles in the car, rural, urban, and motorway. Cyclists are not a problem on the latter, and because I know what it's like on a bike – and because I was once knocked off and wrecked my bike when rammed by a dopey teenage motorcyclist – I'm considerate. But a lot of cyclists are their own worst enemies, and contribute disproportionately to highway stress.
- Those mentioned by Westerlyman who undertake, suicidally, and could easily cause an accident as a motorist over-reacts and pulls out toward the crown of the road.
- The sporty ones in Lycra who insist on riding two abreast on country roads and clearly don't give a toss about the queue of traffic behind.
- The ones who know that steam should give way to sail and think it applies similarly to themselves: sure, a supertanker must give way to a dinghy, and an artic (or any car at all) must give way to any half-arsed twat on an urban mountain-bike hogging the road.
- Those who spurn the quiet parallel bike-friendly road and insist on using the far busier, traffic clogged main road nearby, at inevitable peril to themselves and great incovenience to motor vehicles.
- Cyclists who take drain-avoidance to the extreme of occupying the middle of the carriageway.
- Cyclists who think because they go like the clappers and match the speed of cars in town they don't need to indicate when changing lanes or turning.
There's a small but dangerous and infuriating minority of cyclists who don't just assert their rights on the road, but do so aggressively, to the detriment of road safety and good manners. Bikes are wonderful things, but it's irresponsible and stupid to imagine cyclists have rights fully equal to those of motor vehicles. They don't: tarmac highways are for motor vehicles, and cyclists use them as guests, on sufferance. They should know their place. I don't condone anti-bike roadrage but I can understand why the occasional person such as you describe, with a low boiling point, might react savagely and thoughtlessly, if he's previously experienced aggro from the Angry Biker Brigade. Me, I just had it the other way around, when some bike-bound c**t in Paignton thumped on my car and scratched the paint with his ring, after I'd carefully allowed him between 2 and 3 feet of space, shouting obscenities as he did so. Twat.

Malcolm Stevas said...

A lot of cyclists are their own worst enemies, and contribute disproportionately to highway stress.
- Those mentioned by Westerlyman who undertake, suicidally, and could easily cause an accident as a motorist over-reacts and pulls out toward the crown of the road.
- The sporty ones in Lycra who insist on riding two abreast on country roads and clearly don't give a toss about the queue of traffic behind.
- The ones who know that steam should give way to sail and think it applies similarly to themselves: sure, a supertanker must give way to a dinghy, and an artic (or any car at all) must give way to any half-arsed twat on an urban mountain-bike hogging the road.
- Those who spurn the quiet parallel bike-friendly road and insist on using the far busier, traffic clogged main road nearby, at inevitable peril to themselves and great incovenience to motor vehicles.
- Cyclists who take drain-avoidance to the extreme of occupying the middle of the carriageway.
- Cyclists who think because they go like the clappers and match the speed of cars in town they don't need to indicate when changing lanes or turning.
There's a small but dangerous and infuriating minority of cyclists who don't just assert their rights on the road, but do so aggressively, to the detriment of road safety and good manners. Bikes are wonderful things, but it's irresponsible and stupid to imagine cyclists have rights fully equal to those of motor vehicles. They don't: tarmac highways are for motor vehicles, and cyclists use them as guests, on sufferance. They should know their place. I don't condone anti-bike roadrage but I can understand why the occasional person such as you describe, with a low boiling point, might react savagely and thoughtlessly, if he's previously experienced aggro from the Angry Biker Brigade. Me, I just had it the other way around, when some bike-bound c**t in Paignton thumped on my car and scratched the paint with his ring, after I'd carefully allowed him between 2 and 3 feet of space, shouting obscenities as he did so. Cretin.

Jackart said...

Thanks for the intelligent comments, guys. Especially westerlyman. I take the view that many cyclists are suicidal, and undertaking lorries is the worst, followed closely by those wearing earphones whilst cycling. If you can't see the driver's face in the mirror, he can't see you, and a lot of cyclists forget that.

However.

Mslcolm Stevas. I was with you right up until "They don't: tarmac highways are for motor vehicles, and cyclists use them as guests, on sufferance. They should know their place."

I'm afraid that attitude is the problem. Our place is not in the gutter. It's to let the cars past WHEN IT'S SAFE, because it's the CYCLIST WHO GETS KILLED when impatient motorists try to get past when it's not safe to do so.

We're all trying to get somewhere. Horses, tractors, caravans, and cyclists. And the road is for everyone. Well maybe not caravans. What's the worst that could happen? You get held up for a minute or two till it's safe to pass?

Do you realise what a selfish prat you sounded with that comment?

The Twisted Fire Stopper said...

I'm a cyclist and a motorist. Let's give peace a chance.

Malcolm Stevas said...

Jackart, I was with you right up until you called me a selfish prat - putting you on the same level as the baseball-capped, tattooed driver of a white van who called me something even more vulgar when I remonstrated politely with him about the way he'd positioned his vehicle in a filling station...
I thought you might recognise rhetoric - try not to take things quite so literally. Clearly, any rational person knows that everyone has a lawful right to use the highway with just about any sort of vehicle. My point is everyone has a duty to be realistic, and recognise that in practice a bicycle is very often a bloody menace on the roads because it's so damn vulnerable, difficult to see etc, and causes not only delay to other road users but can provoke accidents by causing excessive anxiety or impatience. Especially the case where the Lycra-clad Angry Bikers are concerned, the deeply, er, "selfish prats" who pretend that they really can behave exactly the same on the road as the driver of a large motor vehicle. In the real world, in practical terms dinghy sailers really don't have the same rights as the captains of super-tankers: cyclists really, really shouldn't imagine they have the same rights as the drivers of HGVs.

Anonymous said...

Good luck with your claim, though I suspect he has neither license, nor insurance, nor money to compensate you. I hope I'm wrong - let us know how it works out!

Anonymous said...

"Good luck with your claim, though I suspect he has neither license, nor insurance, nor money to compensate you."

And probably a fake plate. And as apparently a violent chav, even if the plate isn't fake, the police will be too scared to do anything.

I'd certainly agree that an increasingly large number of British motorists are assholes, but in my experience the asshole percentage of cyclists is much larger and their actions rub off on the average motorist's view of the rest. As mentioned above, the assholes who think they have the right to cycle along a single-lane road two abreast and keep a queue of dozens of cars behind them, the assholes who go straight through red lights even when a car is turning through the light and has to slam on the brakes to avoid them, the assholes who race along the pavement weaving between pedestrians, the assholes who cycle through a pedestrian crossing weaving between the pedestrians who are crossing the road, the asshole who was cycling along the pavement and suddenly turned to cycle across a pedestrian crossing forcing me to do an emergency stop in order to not kill them, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc.

The far left of the British cycling 'movement' are among the worst examples of assholes on the planet, and Labour deliberately encouraged them with their anti-motorist policies. In essence what you see on the roads today is 'class war' between the evil middle class in their cars and the smug class on their bikes, whereas it should be all road users doing their best to be safe and not impede the movement of others.

Anonymous said...

I would also add that I've seen a marked difference in the reaction to bad behaviour on the roads between cyclists and motorists. If a cyclist complains about bad behaviour by a motorist, the response from most motorists is 'that driver's an asshole, they shouldn't be on the road', because few motorists want to share the road with someone who'd drive through red lights, pull out without looking, deliberately ram other road users, or whatever. If a motorist does support such behaviour, you'll see the majority calling them on it, because only a tiny minority ever would.

Whereas if a motorist complains about cyclists running red lights, or a pedestrian complains about a cyclist riding along the pavement weaving between them, the responses will be full of apologists: 'running red lights is perfectly safe if we look where we're going', 'it's not as though we'll kill a pedestrian if we hit them, is it?'

So while I'm sure that many cyclists are 'moderates' in this respect, they're currently in the same position as 'moderate' muslims, who see radicals regularly spout nonsense and do little or nothing to speak out against it. After a few years of seeing radical claptrap all over the web, many motorists have come to assume that all cyclists must believe what the car-hating minority believe.

Jackart said...

Look. Every time I mention cycling, I get this "They run red lights, waaaaa!" from motorists, who equate cycling with sandals vegitarianism and suspect socialist politics. The fact is, I'm a cyclist AND a motorist. I don't for example support speed cameras, but do support the intelligent use of road planning to limit through routes in built-up areas. Cars are vital unless you live in some cities like London, and they give great freedom to us all, but they also remove an incredible amount of freedom to the pedestrian especially, and contribute enormously to stress, noise and discomfort in town They also privatise a lot of public space. Motorists refuse to acknowledge this. On this crowded island, there is little room in towns for parking in particular. So cycling is part of the solution, we may slow you down for a bit, but we're not competing for a parking space. Net net, we're even.

Cyclists have to negotiate a road system designed for the motor car, with little thought given to other road users. In truth, I think the solution is some form of shared urban spaces, which recent experiments seem to have reduced most of the conflict between pedestrians, cyclists and motorists in urban areas. As for the open road, all I ask is you take care, overtake giving plenty of room when it is safe to do so. I would like to see a lot more cycle routes too.

The point is that cycling is on the rise. You're going to see more of us on the road. And experienced urban cyclists regard the red light as advisory because it is safer for us to do so. The difference is if we fuck up, it's at worst a £50 repair to your paint work. If you fuck up, you're in gaol for causing death by dangerous driving.

Your call.

Cycling is brilliant, healthy, quick across town, cheap, gives you thighs girls WANT to have between theirs. Cycling is also joyously unregulated, uninsured, unpoliced and as this is a LIBERTARIAN blog, this is where I discover who's actually libertarian, and who's just selfishly protecting "their" road against another tribe.

Malcolm Stevas said...

"Libertarian blog"? I'd always thought of it as a usefully outspoken but essentially Tory-supporting blog. Let's be realistic: modern tarmac highways are built primarily for motor vehicles ("[the]road system [is]designed for the motor car"). Any objective economic analysis must reveal that the drivers of motor vehicles pay their way on the roads, in terms of taxation (car registration, fuel)and their economic imperative to use the roads in order to further their economic activity, enormously more than do cyclists. I dare say quite a few people in towns use their bikes to go to work, despite the considerable disadvantages in terms of not being able to carry much, getting cold & wet, having to carry changes of clothes or leave a spare set at work, etc; but they are vastly outnumbered by people who use motor vehicles. I ride a bike as well, sometimes, and in the past I've ridden to work. For most people, most of the time, it's not practical: cycling is an indulgence, and unfortunately one that zealous cyclists tend to proselytise about. On the libertarian side of things - and I consider myself a libertarian - I wonder which has contributed more significantly to the liberation of the individual, personal freedom to travel where & when you want: the bicycle - or the car? Those public spaces you say have been commandeered by the private car: aren't those drivers of cars the overwhelming majority of the public...? The ones who "privatise a lot of public space" are surely the public themselves, using that space for their own perfectly justifiable ends?
As for the sexual claims, in your dreams! I never met a woman who thought bikes were sexy: they might not think ardent bike riders are necessarily sandal-clad bearded veggie Lefties but they do tend to be perceived as a bit odd, to say the least... I mean, "Would you like to come back to my place and help me adjust my sprockets" lacks a certain, er, panache.

Longrider said...

The difference is if we fuck up, it's at worst a £50 repair to your paint work.

Assuming you live to tell the tale...

Malcolm Stevas said...

Hah! You suppressed my riposte - not very libertarian... Like to give it out but can't take it, huh? Bet it was my jest about cyclists & sex appeal.

Jackart said...

Malcolm, I certainly did not supress your comment. It appeared as normal in my e-mail inbox, so you must have deleted it here.

Cycles may not be sexy, but then you suggest taking a girl back to yours for some light engine rebuilding and see how far you get. I on the otherhand have once pulled after talking about Jobst Brandt's seminal work, "the Bicycle Wheel".

So there.

Anyway. We've all got to share the road. That means motorists get held up for a minute or two.

Deal With It.

Jackart said...

Malcolm, for some reason it was in the "spam" folder. I immagine the subject matter had something to do with it...

Malcolm Stevas said...

Well Jackart, your spam folder must be very prudish! I'd give it a stiff talking to about the facts of life... Don't know whether to be impressed, or what, re your success with the lady who was seduced by the book on bicycle wheels (does she keep her cycling helmet on in bed?), but it/she sounds a remarkable coup - or something. I used to own a much-thumbed copy of Richard's Bicycle Book but it never occurred to me to display it prominently as a sex magnet.

Weekend Yachtsman said...

Well I think we understand each other perfectly well and I don't believe I am in your tiny tiny minority, who do, without question exist, and are as bad as you suggest.

Fainites? No more insults?

As for "the 14-year old red pugeout 106 he was driving, and his stupid spiky hair", I don't think you'll be fucking his insurance company any time soon, because it's a £ to a pinch of shit that he doesn't have one. Even assuming the vehicle in question was "his", which there's every chance it was not.

'Fraid you're just going to have to suck this one up, mate.

Jackart said...

Thank WY... It's a subject which gets everyone hot under the collar. But in truth, the same people cause EVERYONE problems. The guy who rear ends you because he's doing 65 in freezing fog whilst speaking on a moblile is the same guy who "doesn't see" the cyclist.

But the police are now treating it as a criminal rather than a road traffic matter, so I will have my day in court.

amoeba said...

What a horrid experience.

I wish you luck, but without video or an independent witness, it's your word against his and that leads nowhere.

Even with the video, but without a witness, the chances of a successful claim & prosecution would seem slim.

It's frustrating, but sadly it's true.

amoeba said...

Malcolm Stevas said...
"...tarmac highways are for motor vehicles, and cyclists use them as guests, on sufferance. They should know their place..."

Mr Stevas, people like you should learn the facts before offering your ill-informed opinions as fact. As laid down in law, cyclists belong on the road. See the Highway Code for details.

Cyclists, pedestrians and horse riders all have a right to use the road. Car drivers don't. That is why they have to show a Vehicle Excise Disc. FYI , VED is a licence to pollute, not 'road tax', which was abolished in 1937 by Winston Churchill. Roads are funded out of general taxation and are paid for by pedestrians, cyclists, horse riders and motorists. But that overlooks the fact that motor-vehicles cause vastly more damage to roads than pedestrians, cyclists and horses.

While you're at it, you should google the Dunning-Kruger effect, which describes you to a tee.

WestfieldWanderer said...

"...tarmac highways are for motor vehicles, and cyclists use them as guests, on sufferance."

I have to take issue with that. We all have a legal right to walk, ride and cycle on the road. To drive a motor vehicle requires a special licence, which can be revoked. That's the law.

Both tarmac roads and cycles pre-exist motor vehicles. The local councils, then as now, were/are responsible for highway maintenance in their area and were laying asphalt road surfaces long before the first cars because of lobbying by cycling organisations. So, effectively, when motor vehicles came on the scene, suitable roads were already there. Councils are funded through local and general taxation, so whether we use the roads by right (walking, riding, cycling) or by licence (motor vehicles), we all pay. As others have previously stated, Vehicle Excise Duty, or Car Tax (usually incorrectly called Road Tax - a tax of that name existed between 1909-1936) is levied according to vehicle type and tail pipe emissions. The lowest tax band (Band A), for the least polluting vehicles, is currently levied at £0; there are some 55 models of car in Tax Band A, according to the YouGov web site. On top of that there are electric vehicles, pre 1973 vehicles and various other types of vehicle subject to zero tax.

Then there's road wear. I was told by a highways engineer that road wear is proportional to 10 to the power of 4 of the vehicle weight. In simple terms this means that for every £1 worth of wear caused by a bike and rider weighing 100kg, a small 1000kg car and driver causes £10,000 worth of wear (I think that's right :-)). So, if bicycles were to be subject to some sort of taxation to use the road the figure would either be so low to be not worth collecting or other vehicles would have to be proportionately taxed to remain fair.

The ipayroadtax.com web site is worth a read for those interested.

Matt said...

OMG, Mr Stevas needs to lose his license immediately. He is clearly not qualified to hold one.

Of course, motor vehicles are the recent guests on the roads we all pay for. They are unwelcome too, which is why fuel is taxed so much. The government, rightly or wrongly, is committed to phasing out private motor vehicles. Without them most of us will have to cycle - unless you can afford a horse.

Those of us that choose to cycle where we can, rather than use our cars are genuinely national benefactors whose selfless sacrifice is allowing the rest of us to use our cars for a little longer than would otherwise be the case.

I really hope the guy goes to jail.

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