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I knocked over a four year old this morning(42 posts)

I knocked over a four year old this morningMJ
Sep 9, 2002 12:21 AM
I was riding alongside the curb passing a bus (106 - near Finsbury Park) the bus was not at a bus stop - there was about a foot and a half of room between bus and curb - I was going about 10kph due to the traffic bottleneck near the terror mosque

suddenly from the exit of the bus door a four year old girl jumps out into my way - I lock up, my front wheel hits her and she falls down - she starts screaming, but is more frightened and shocked than injured - her mother is right behind her and checks she's ok - the only impact was my wheel and then her hitting the deck

anyways - I'm apologising the whole time - but the woman doesn't even make eye contact with me until I mention that I didn't realise the bus was gonna let someone out away from the bus stop - she gathers up her screaming kid and heads off down the pavement

I feel bad - but I'm also pretty unhappy with the bus driver letting people out in traffic not at a bus stop
re: I knocked over a four year old this morningscruffyduncan
Sep 9, 2002 1:32 AM
I'm surprised the bus driver did that, very bad. The old routemaster busses are the worst, people constantly jumping on and off them in front of you. It's a pity, because they're great busses from the passenger point of view.

P.S. it's not really a terror mosque, they just let some function rooms be used by islamic organisations that have since been shown to be less than savoury.

Any good rides coming up soon?, there's a ride of the falling leaves coming up on 6th October in aid of cancer research, starting from Herne Hill velodrome and doing a 110km loop out into the north downs around Sevenoaks and back. There's a wine and pasta feast at the end, all for a tenner!. It's organised by Matt Seaton (author of "escape artist") any London riders up for it?
Probably up for that...Eager Beagle
Sep 9, 2002 1:37 AM
I did the 200 Audax from 7oaks yesterday (see my article above) - some hard hills and terrible roads, but nice scenary.

There is a centuary from Salisbury next Sunday - I haven't done it (and can't get there next Sunday) but a mate tells me it's a goodie - and takes in Brassknocker hill, which ought to get the blood moving...
re: I knocked over a four year old this morningMJ
Sep 9, 2002 1:58 AM
yeah I pay attention to those Routemasters as they seem to inhale and exhale people at the strangest times - did not expect it from a 'normal' bus... not a good way to start the working week

looking to do a Cherbourg - Caen run that weekend of 6 October - but Seaton's ride is tempting - wanna go to France?

some of them are unsavoury indeed...
re: I knocked over a four year old this morningscruffyduncan
Sep 9, 2002 2:47 AM
Hmm, france?. Always like going to France on the bike. J'aime bien la cyclisme!!

What's your plan?
re: I knocked over a four year old this morningMJ
Sep 9, 2002 4:19 AM
Oct. 4 ferries are at 20:00 and 23:30 arriving at 8:00 and 6:30 respectively - one way in the region of £60 - £70 or so with a bed in a three berth cabin

Saturday morning - ride halfway to Caen along a pleasant route (distance yet to be established - probably 75 miles or thereabouts)

late afternoon - hotel/B&B - eat, drink, sleep

ride next day to Caen for 16:45 ferry return to Portsmouth -one way cost is approx. £40

I'm planning on a seat post rack with minimal 'dining/ferry' clothes and a Camelback
Sep 9, 2002 4:02 AM
-bus exits are on the curb side of the bus?

the bus was eighteen inches from the curb and you were still able to ride between the bus and curb? That seems a bit dangerous for you (if not physically impossible).
Sep 9, 2002 4:07 AM
exits are on the curb side of the bus

it was just wide enough for my 46cm handlebars so it was more than a foot and a half - but I was unclipped with my curb side foot, leaning over and push coasting...

there was enough room - traffic was stationary so no danger from vehicls
Sep 9, 2002 4:42 AM
That really doesn't give you a lane... I wouldn't subject myself to the risk of getting squished against the curb by the bus- certainly the driver can't see you... but that is getting a bit off topic.
Sep 9, 2002 4:46 AM
yep - it's a squeeze (and it's not a lane) - but it's manageable and par for the course in heavy urban nastiness -do you not whiteline where you are? - if the driver had looked in his rear view side mirror he would have seen my big ugly mug
I hate to give you hard time but...Uncle Tim
Sep 9, 2002 5:10 AM

Never ever ever ever pass vehicles on the right!! If you want to get around the damn bus, PASS IT ON THE LEFT!

It's bad enough that this boneheaded move put your own life in danger, but you hurt a little innocent kid. You ought to feel plenty guilty about this! Just because you are on a bike, that doesn't give you the freedom to squeeze through whenever you find it convenient.

If I had been that child's parent it would have been difficult for me to refrain from giving you the beating you so badly deserve.

You deserved to get hurt from this insane move, not the little kid!

Learn from this and don't ever pass a vehicle on the right again. You're gonna hurt somebody!
It don't work like that in London...Eager Beagle
Sep 9, 2002 5:18 AM
For a start, if you try to pass a bus on the outside, that takes you out of the bus/cycling lane where you are fair game for everyone.

Secondly, you have to pass what you can where you can in the rush hour, or you're quicker off walking.

Thirdly, busses aren't allowed to let people off except at designated stops - the whole point being to avoid situations like MJ's.

Unpleasant incident though it is, the kid was lucky it wasn't a motorcycle courier - I last saw one of those gving a woman a femur right out the side of her leg - nice.
Quick points...Uncle Tim
Sep 9, 2002 5:37 AM
For the sake of this discussion, we'll ignore left-right lane issues (one of us has this backwards!) and work with US law (ride on the right; bicycles have a right to the roadway).

1) You bring up what some say are the worst aspects of bike lanes - other vehicles and pedestrians get in them and use them. The rider I've criticized said nothing about a bike lane. Even if a bike lane is present, it is not some kind of jail for bikes. If a bus or other vehicle gets in the bike lane, stay behind it or pass it on the left.

If you are afraid to take the lane (when it's safe to do so) to pass a stopped bus as a legitimate vehicle should, then you shouldn't be riding in a crowded city. Wait for the bus like the other vehicles that are behind it.

2) Just because the traffic is clogged, that doesn't mean you can squeeze through whenever it serves your purpose. We fight to see that bikes are treated equally as vehicles, but yet some cyclists want some kind of advantage. That's roadhog thinking. If the traffic is jammed, get in line and take your turn like the motorists do.

3) There may be rules that say that bus drivers should do this or shouldn't do that. Same for laws over what driver should and shouldn't do. But that doesn't mean that these rules or laws will never be broken. If you risk and limb based on the thinking that a bus driver will automatically adhere to every rule is foolish. That's why passing on the right is so dangerous.
And for youEager Beagle
Sep 9, 2002 5:53 AM
1) I don't like your argument about if you are scared to ride you shoudln't be on the bike in the City. The sensible idea is to take the fear out of riding in the City, especially one like London with its pathetic transpost system - then perhaps more people will ride rather than drive.

2) No "we" don't. "We" want an advantage. Cars, busses and lorries don't need protection. Bikes and their riders are not equal to them and need an "advantage" just to bring the act of riding them in the relms of a reasonable risk, rather than the plainly dangerous.

3) There is nothing inherently dangerous about passing a stationary bus. Letting a child step off a bus in the middle of London in the rush hour is pain madness.

If anyone really thinks that we are going to get any nearer a sustainable transport system in London without making cycling/crossing the road etc safe, they are barking. If people are serioiusly suggesting that we treat bikes like the rest of the traffic, we will be doomed to live in a city typified by strangling congestion, choking pollution, soaring child rspiritory disorder rates and a average traffic speed of 3.8 mph (slower than it was 100 years ago).
he DID pass the bus on the left. nmSteve_0
Sep 9, 2002 5:43 AM
Indisputable the original post!Uncle Tim
Sep 9, 2002 6:02 AM
The cyclist squeezed through a very narrow gap between the bus and the curb. In the US, bus doors are on the right and, naturally, riders exit the bus to the right.

The story makes no sense if the cyclist was passing on the left!

There's no way this incident could have occurred in the US if the rider had passed on the left.

Now, if this had happened in the UK, then the cyclist did pass on the left. But if this is the case, the risky move is equally foolish. The cyclist is completely in the wrong!
Sep 9, 2002 6:22 AM
yep - I'm in the UK - when we ride here we stay over to the left side of the street next to the curb - if traffic wants to go faster it overtakes us on the left - if we overtake traffic we stay next to the curb (which is treated like a quasi bike lane) - in the UK we can whiteline (like in California) and thread through traffic next to the curb or in the middle of the street etc. - (like where a bike lane is) - under no circumstances can we take a whole lane of traffic when it's congested (except at pinch spots for safety) and expect to live through the ride - don't know where you ride but different rules apply in urban centres - most of my morning commute is spent on white and yellow lines threading through traffic, jaywalkers and assorted rubbish

I feel bad about hitting the kid and did apologise but it's normal (legal) practice for cyclists, motorcyclists, skaters, bladers and even sometimes joggers to use this patch of street. you shouldn't have to think about a bus letting people off in the middle of traffic when not at a bus stop - FWIW it is unlikely that I'll ever let my (four year old) kid get off a bus before me...

BTW - The only time you can't pass on the left on a bike is when a bus is at a bus stop for obvious reasons.
Now I'm confused...fbg111
Sep 9, 2002 8:00 AM
I understand that in the UK you ride on the left by the curb, but, what does this mean:

"I'm in the UK - when we ride here we stay over to the left side of the street next to the curb - if traffic wants to go faster it overtakes us on the left"

If you're by the curb on the far left, wouldn't traffic overtake you to your right? If the traffic was on your left, wouldn't it be riding on the curb or the sidewalk then?

And, I assumed from your post that you passed the bus its left, that the driver was on the right side of the bus (as with all vehicles in UK), and the little girl exited the bus via the door on the left side of the bus. But some people are criticizing you for passing the bus on the right when you were actually on the left??? I assume those are the Yanks who didn't get that you're in the UK....
Sep 9, 2002 8:37 AM
I tried to avoid the whole confusing description by using curb side - the UK posters mostly know my handle and can interpret as necessary

I passed the bus on the left between the bus and the curb (curbside) in a gap just wide enough to shoot through (albeit slowly in this case) - the girl got out on the left side of the bus (where UK bus exits are) and hopped down right in front of me - when traffic is stationary here we whiteline past everything - the space next to the curb is used by cyclists whether traffic is moving or not - I was not anticipating a stationary bus in the middle of a lane of traffic, not at a stop to let people get out

I think I'm being criticised for passing a stationary vehicle on the curbside of the vehicle - I find it interesting that in heavy urban traffic people in the US apparently don't whiteline and continue past stationary traffic on the curbside of the vehicle

this is getting funny...
It's not real funny...Uncle Tim
Sep 9, 2002 9:10 AM
First, until you give details, I have no idea if you are from the UK or the US. I have no idea what the laws in the UK are concerning a bicycle as a vehicle. I would assume that they are treated essentially the same: as a vehicle with equal rights and responsibilities with respect to the law.

Of course, this may not be the case in the UK or lots of other countries. But I do know the law in the the US and, in particular, the state in which I ride.

Let's talk about passing: if you are riding fairly close to the curb and cars are going around you, they are PASSING you as they should when they encounter a slower moving vehicle. But when you come upon a slower moving vehicle, you need to pass them just as the cars passed you. That means non-curbside.

I often ride downtown in a fairly big metro area (not NYC or London but it isn't Podunk, either) with plenty of traffic, busses, and pedestrians. I always ride as though I'm a vehicle and I do the best I can to make sure I'm seen at all times. If a vehicle stops in front of me in the right lane - even if it's a bus - I either stop and wait or I pass on the left.

Your situation brings out a couple of issues, particularly in terms of bike lanes. While they are meant to help cyclists, how are people supposed to deal with the problems they bring? For instance, if there is a dedicated bike lane, busses are going to have to stop and let passengers out. They will have to utilize the bike lane in order to exit the bus and make it to the sidewalk. Also, any car turning is going to have to cross the bike lane, setting up cyclists for a "right cross" from a recently passed motor vehicle.

If there is a bike lane, I would think that a stopping bus would encroach upon it and drop the passengers at the curb. Even in this case, I would ignore the pointless bike lane line (it isn't a force field of protection!) and pass the damn bus on the left (non-curbside).

In your posts you mention nothing about a bike lane, just what riders regularly do. In the US, you should ride in the right lane and take the space you can legally take. Just as cars pass you on the left, you should pass any vehicle on the left. It's the only safe way. If the traffic jams up, simply wait in line and take your turn as it comes to go forward.

This "whitelining" you talk about sounds like a dangerous practice. If you pass cars on the curbside and they decide to turn right (US) (left in the UK), then you will likely be hurt or maybe even killed. the drivers simply don't expect you to pass them on the curb side.

The correllary to this rule is that you should never make a car pass you twice. If the car passes you legally, that driver has the right of way. If the car stops due to a traffic light, don't sneak around the poor guy just because you are "whitelining". That's simply rude and bad form. Take your rightful place in line and wait.

I will never do this whitelining thing. It's bad for cycling, just as bad as running red light while cars are sitting all around waiting for a green.
i think it's funnySteve_0
Sep 9, 2002 9:20 AM
I find it funny you didnt realize he was from UK dispite the fact that his post provided indisputable proof (to qoute one) of his place of inhabitation ---

-Finsberry Park
-he was travelling in KPH
-Terror Mosques
-Use of 's' where american words use 'z'

I also find it funny you criticized me for stating that he passed on the left; which he did.

I also find it funny that you cited his behavior as improper even if he WERE in england and passing on the left... then later admit youre unaware of UK laws.

I also like the fact that you know the law in the "US". Um, which city? state?

All very funny, imo.
It's not real funny...MJ
Sep 9, 2002 10:11 AM
in the UK - in London - we ride (pass and being passed) on the curbside - it is standard practice and not frowned upon or forbidden by anyone - I spend 8 miles each way in such a position on the road every day - we NEVER wait in a line of traffic

I think there may be different rules in urban gridlock than where you ride - but dunno - where do you ride?

bike lanes - there wasn't one - I don't care for bike lanes either - I'll take my space where I need it on the road

in Germany, Holland and other continental places - cars must yield to cyclists in bike lanes - I rode with some boys from Bremen and thaht took some getting used to - it scared me to proceed across streets and intersections with them - but there are different rules in different places

whitelining - people do expect cyclists and motorcyclists to whiteline to the middle and curbside - we expect cars to use their mirrors before they turn - it's not rude or bad form to whiteline - it is the way things are done here - perhaps you should visit California and check out whitelininbg for yourself - see how it works before you decide it's so bad - because it's not what you're familiar with doens't mean it's wrong/illegal/dangerous

it's be interesting to get some US riders over for a few rides in rush hour traffic - it'd be a good exchange programme - cause there seem to be different rules

for example - you have led me to believe that a bus that is stopped in the middle of traffic will be expected to crush me, while discharging occupants into my path because passing traffic which is not moving anytime soon is rude - interesting
um reread the original post. He IS in the UK.Steve_0
Sep 9, 2002 6:30 AM
I hate to give you hard time but...RayBan
Sep 9, 2002 7:31 AM
I agree with most of what you said. Why would you pass a stopped school bus on the right???? Poor kid.
school bus?Steve_0
Sep 9, 2002 7:34 AM
as long as we're making things upMJ
Sep 9, 2002 7:42 AM
I feel really bad for bunny hopping on the prone four year old and spitting on her mother too
NO CLUE! NEVER bunnyhop a child on the Right side of a bus.Steve_0
Sep 9, 2002 7:52 AM
Dont worry, we're not all illiterate on this side 'o da pond' (despite my spelling innaccuracies).

I was really humoured by all the left-side; right-side banter when your only qualification was 'curb side'.

and ride carefully!
Don't pass on the right!jtlmd
Sep 9, 2002 5:41 AM
That was a dumb move. If she'd had any injuries the responsibility would lie completely with you. You must have a deathwish if you think its a good move to squeeze between a bus and the curb.
Forget about this LEFT/RIGHT stuff for a minute- it's not the USfiltersweep
Sep 9, 2002 6:14 AM
... in the US, buses can take all sorts of liberties- ie. driving on the shoulder (when cars are not allowed to)...
The point is: don't pass on the curb side!jtlmd
Sep 9, 2002 8:50 AM
Sorry, the right/left stuff is confusing given that the UK drives on the opposite side of the street. BUT, the point remains that he shouldn't have been passing a bus on the curb side. Not only did he hit an exiting passenger, where would he go if the bus turned into him or squeezed him into the sidewalk. By far the safest way to pass traffic is away from the curb. No driver expects to be passed on the inside so you can't blame the driver or the passengers. Suck up some resposibility and stop trying to blame others for your own mistake.
The point is: don't pass on the curb side!MJ
Sep 9, 2002 10:00 AM
a bus here is only meant to let people out at stops

cyclists here pass stationary traffic on the left - most of my 8 miles is spent doing just that - drivers do expect cyclists to pass on the left when tey are stationary

getting squeezed is a risk that exists when you ride in traffic - there are safe times to squeeze past there are dangerous times

don't recall any blaming, or beying of blame
Things are obviously different in London...Uncle Tim
Sep 9, 2002 12:24 PM
...and it's a jolly good thing that it is so. Face it, riding a bicycle on the streets there is dangerous and, as a result, cyclists can pretty much do as they damned well please. There's no law to hamper them from passing vehicles on the curbside (left) nor should they be concerned about "taking a lane" to overtake stopped vehicles in the roadway.

Cyclists can do whatever they please in the UK so that they can be safe.

That little kid got what she deserved by so rudely exiting the bus in front of you as you squeezed by. Why did you even bother to apologize as it is clear that you can do no wrong? Since you are so faultless and you could have been seriously injured by this child, you should have yelled at her, too.

Some people can do no wrong.
Things are obviously different in London...MJ
Sep 10, 2002 12:10 AM
next time you get a chance to put a few days in here in London - we'll take you out and let you experience some real traffic

when in Rome. and all that.. do you expect people to speak English when you travel in their countries?

the little kid was jumping off the bus because her mother asked the bus driver to let them off in the middle of a traffic jam so she could get on another bus - she was doing as she was told and allowed by the bus driver - but I still feel bad about it - next time I'll give your tactic a go and scream at the little girl

her mother and the bus driver are to blame - a mother should not allow children to exit a vehicle first without checking things out - a bus driver should never let people out of a bus except at a bus stop

it is normal, expected and safe to pass on the curbside in London - before you judge the entire cycling population of the UK perhaps you should spend a few miles in our SIDI's

just for the record where do you ride? - what's you experience with urban gridlock? - and can I take pot shots at you if we do things differently here?
re: I knocked over a four year old this morninggregario
Sep 9, 2002 5:59 AM
what were you doing passing traffic on the right?
Sep 9, 2002 6:15 AM
Don't feel too bad MJ. You're still a good man, could have happened to anyone except that Uncle Tim guy obviously.
you ride in New YorkMJ
Sep 9, 2002 6:24 AM
do you pass buses in a similar manner in NYC? - is whitelining an urban phenomena which our suburban friends should become enlightened about? or is it just us daredevils hellions in the UK?
you ride in New Yorkfiltersweep
Sep 9, 2002 9:32 AM
I think there is a more "anything goes" attitude across the pond from what I've observed (scooters passing on the right - not in a full lane- but between traffic and parked cars- on on the left if in the UK- or they just split lanes), scooters and bikes driving on sidewalks- even motorcycles on sidewalks... and they certainly park motorcycles on sidewalks... bicyclists are all over the place. It doesn't seem to be regarded with as much disdain by motorists as it would here... also, and I may be wrong, but people don't appear to drive as aggressively or "road ragefully" overseas, yet also they seem to drive more skillfully (all the uncontrolled roundabouts seem to flow relatively smoothly, and most people don't "cheat.")

I don't think it is fair to judge by "US standards."
I think your right,,there are such things as urban tactics..Sintesi
Sep 9, 2002 10:14 AM
How I ride is dictated by the conditions. Although, I do tend to pass buses on the left. Not out of fear of clipping someone but rather getting pinched by the bus against the curb. Especially when the bus can make a right hand turn(left for you obviously) because this is when most cyclists get killed in NYC. The back wheel tends to come to the inside and get you from behind. A few dozen cyclists have been creamed this way although it's usually garbage trucks that get 'em.

But as I said, this is just a tendency, if I feel death is imminent by passing on the right due to raging traffic conditions, then I'm riding the curb - do it all the time. We have a lot of one way streets here so I'll take whatever side gives the best gap in those situations. Sometimes I'll just be a prick and take the lane and make 'em slow down behind me. It's war somedays, no?
I think your right,,there are such things as urban tactics..MJ
Sep 10, 2002 12:15 AM
most fatalities here involve large vehicles and cyclists squeezing through - same sort of conditions at work - with experience (erring on the side of caution) you learn when it's ok to pass, which intersections/streets etc. - you learn your route - I followd a buddy home the other night after football in Hyde Park - we were on his route home - he was much faster than me cause he knew it

this happened on a one way street

it's war every day - but the trick is to float above it - though I still get scared quite regularly
expect the unexpected especially if ...Marcocyclo
Sep 9, 2002 9:03 AM
passing a STOPPED bus, is my experience. Can't be too careful.
good point...Steve_0
Sep 9, 2002 9:24 AM
should only be one reason for a bus to be stopped.
BTW - around here, bus stops are only for LOADING. UNLOADING can be requested anywhere.
re: I knocked over a four year old this morningflybyvine
Sep 9, 2002 10:26 PM
I think you should bomb the Bus (being an obvious Weapon of Mass Destruction) and ride wherever you damn well want !!!

FWIW, urban commuting in Singapore is much the same as UK. There are no rules for bikes (being left out of the road rules all together it seems) so you take your life into your own hands & do what ever makes you happy & keeps you alive. If you see a gap & go for it & get squished - its your fault. Doesn't stop you sceaming at the guy who killed you though. I'm always passing Buses on the inside (who have usually just passed me on the outside) - we just agree to ignore each other. Not at Bus Stops though - they usually pass & then immediatelly pull over in front of me forcing me either into traffic or up their exhaust pipe.

I don't know Singapore, US or UK law but under Western Australian law the Bus Company is in trouble for letting the kid off (and likelly their Insurance Company may deny cover).