Wednesday, October 30, 2013

FATALITIES GROW ! Complacency ?

Distressing News for Sydney Cyclists as yet another of the Civilian Dawn Patrol , in avoiding a reversing vehicle , loses control and then dies ! Circumstances are similar to so many other incidents in various parts of the world  !"

SMIDSY is alive and continues to be the " watch word " , for those who chose to regard Cyclists , as below consideration ? Leaving Private property or driving off a suburban street onto another , perhaps busier street , seems to require NO Consideration by the average motorist ? Clad in their metal box , some seem to think they are invulnerable , when encountering a Cyclist .

The incident reported here , bears investigation , but it appears that 6 Cyclists were about their lawful business , when an " impatient " motorist , thought that they were important enough , to interfere with traffic flow ? On this occasion , it appears that a vehicle leaving a private property , brought other vehicles to a stop in an area that , because of restricted vision allowed following traffic limited opportunity to come to a stop in a timely manner ?

 Too often a motorist , arrives home , drives straight onto their property , thus requiring the vehicle to be reversed into traffic on the next occasion it is required . WHAT is too hard about , reversing into the driveway entrance , so that the vehicle can be driven forward into the street when required ?


YOUR FAV. TV Programme was about to start ?


NO EXCUSES ! You were TOO LAZY , to think about others !

From the moment you leave the front door , a person using the Roads , with any mode of Transport , should be thinking " SAFETY FIRST ", considering how their actions would be impacting on OTHERS ! It is not good enough for ANY Road User , to think OTHERS will avoid the consequences of a thoughtless action , they do not read your thoughts , nor all the others in their immediate path ! As i leave the property , i live on , i wait to see if Pedestrians will cross on the pavement , Busses or Tractors on the road . Even if i hear NOTHING , i still check , look BOTH ways , then , if the road is clear , proceed . Back in 1996 , i spent GBP700 having a Fiat Car gearbox and Engine overhauled .
Poking out of driveway , behind a parked car , in a suburban London Street , i was hit , whilst stationary , by a car that had hit another car , avoiding a little old dear getting out of her car . She lost her door , the car hitting me was uninsured and thus my insurance wrote off my car at a value price that barely covered the cost of a replacement , bought from a mate . S#+t happens and rarely a day goes by , that i don't see close misses in traffic .

Recently my blogs have called on UCI to consider entering more fully into the " Cycle Safety Issue "! Each Pro Cyclist in most disciplines needs to use the roads as their primary training venue . Over the years i have met many of those Racers reported as Road Casualties , some have even lost their lives through little fault of theirs , other than being the victim of " Misfortune " or Deliberate and Dangerous Drivers . UCI has the ability to create a " Code of Conduct " that they can IMPOSE on ALL their members . With the numbers of members Worldwide , their action could cause National Cycling  Federations to inform THEIR Community of the need for SANITY on the roads .

National Cycling Federations should be able to communicate to their Media , Nat. Trucking & Bus Org.s and the Cycling Community , the desire to see GOOD Behaviour recognised ? London as an example , seems to have a problem with Trucks versus Cyclists , too often Media reports Tip trucks being involved in the death of yet another Cyclist . Perhaps my views are biased as a result of reading

This blog tends to be very conversant with
so much that is changing in the London
Community . There is definitely a need in every
country for CYCLE SAFETY Blogs and thus i
should like to see UCI create the UMBRELLA
Organisation , allowing Blogs and Safety Org.s
to share their IDEAS , thus benefiting ALL!

As individuals , cyclists are as the mercy of the Powerful Motoring Lobby Groups , so many Politicians require " funding " for their election Campaigns ! Where you and I offer pennies , Trucking Groups offer THOUSANDS of Dollars/Pounds ! WHO would you put your hand out to ? When you consider that my local Polizei Officers say they do NOT ride Local roads , it is TOO Dangerous , then i am sure , it is the same attitude in other countries ?

UCI Code of Conduct for Pro Racers on the roads , should include the requirement to " Salute " the actions of Considerate Drivers ! When other drivers see that there is recognition for " Passing safely at 1 1/2M , using signal lights ", they will think about wanting to be recognised in a similar fashion ? Other Cyclists seeing Pro Racers behaving in this manner , will decide to emulate , since they aspire to be recognised as their Profi " idols "? With " GOODWILL " those that treat each other in this courteous manner , could bring about a lessening of the " Hostilities " that currently exist on the roads .

Having created the " Code of Conduct " , UCI would be duty bound to ASK/DEMAND , ALL Nat. Cycling Fed.s to alert the Media and Heavy Vehicle Associations of this decision and ASK that they canvass THEIR Membership to recognise these efforts and to cooperate . Having given a " salute " i regularly see Trucks/HGV , flash their hazard lights , denoting they have seen my effort to respect their thoughtful behaviour .

When driving my cars , over the years , i have seen Cyclists in my path , it has been necessary to ease my speed , so as to avoid last minute braking , wait for a clear road or the double white lines to finish , before overtaking . During this manouvre , i generally slow indicate overtaking , even go to " hazard lights " whilst waiting , then pass and signal turn back into lane forward . It costs me NOTHING , other than a few flicks on the indicator . What those behind me think , really does not matter ! Were they so stupid that they can't see through a car ? Every so often i will see an idiot pass me , regardless od the double lines OR oncoming traffic , but then there are those with a " death wish " , no matter where they are ?

As those reading these blogs will have noted , i am in favour of ALL Transport Vehicles carrying on their
REAR , a " decal " depicting the " 1 1/2M safe pass " ! Even light vans are difficult to see through , so as a commercial vehicle , should be required to wear this " Decal "?  Those driving those 4x4 vehicles and People movers that obscure the road ahead could also consider those following and decide to join in reminding people that Cyclists do coexist and thus need consideration , even in minor roads ?

As Amy Gillett Foundation has canvassed for " A metre matters " , i display their Photo , BUT , in Europe you will see in almost ALL Cycling friendly countries , the 1 1/2M signs ! Frankly , i feel that even 2M with High sided Vehicles , can be too close ,
if they create " Suction "?

Whilst there are many that do not enjoy my views on Cycling safety , it does no harm , to add your comments !


My original post entry :

  "  Distressing News for Sydney Cyclists as yet another of the Civilian Dawn Patrol , in avoiding a reversing vehicle , loses control and then dies ! Circumstances are similar to so many other incidents , in various parts of the world  !"

Insert on 31 oct 2013 at the request of a 3rd party !

  "  Distressing News for Sydney Cyclists as yet another of the Civilian Dawn Patrol type Cyclist  , in avoiding a statioary  vehicle , brought to a halt  by a reversing vehicle , loses control and then dies ! Circumstances are similar to so many other incidents in various parts of the world  !"

This matter has created considerable public interest and this is reflected in the following article :

In this article appears to be a photo of the " Road Junction ", regretably it does not show the gradients involved ? Considerable comment can be found in this series of replies to the " Forum " , where the incident is being debated . Those with the time , will see that my blogs refer to Cyclist accidents in UK , Italy , USA as well as Australia .There are several reports of my attitude to vehicles that choose to cause me grief , breaking 2 Helmets in the current year , justifies my attitude to the " Compulsory Helmet Law " that is not enforced in Europe for Adults !

Sydney on the 30th October , Brisbane on the 31st , WHO and WHERE NEXT ?

BE SAFE PEOPLE ! Helmets help me but i hate seeing them strapped to the handlebars !

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


Dodging the Bullet for the day , or perhaps the rest of the week ? Whatever the period , it was a JOB

Sitting in sunny Austria , watching the News Reports and Internet , i was able to follow a little of what took place . Having many memories of the area and the pleasant interludes , including day trips for lunch , showing overseas visitors the sights and even unpleasant traffic jams passing through the area including during Easter Monday Night 1967 ,after a Weekend trip in South West Queensland .

Constant Media Coverage since last Thursday , has helped me call to mind many weekend trips and places visited . One of those was the Sunday Lunch in a Katoomba Cafe/Restaurant , where as we awaited the main course , a game of Boules was enjoyed with strangers . Nearby there is a " Tramway " that takes you across the Gorges . Another time i passed over the area in a Cessna light aircraft , flown by a Guy who went on to fly for TAA , before the Pilots Strike that caused him to relocate to Europe .

As mentioned in previous Blog posts , in my mid 20s , i lived in Wagga Wagga , whilst working as a Sales rep for a Farm Building production company , that started life as the builder of the Sydney rattlers on the NSW/Sydney Rail System . When the weekends were spent there , i would head over to training sessions with the Volunteer Bushies . Great way to get to meet people as well as learn many useful skills . Coming from life in Sydney to a " Bush Life " , with only a few days in town , meant that you could stand in the bar or get out and volunteer your time . During the week i was sleeping 4 days a week in Motel/hotel situations , so there were evenings to fill and as a result of this i started to organise my travels to coincide with training sessions in other NSW Towns .

Over the years of travelling the Countryside , i was fortunate to be only needed for training . I don't recall being in an area that required me to join an active scene . The late !960s and early 1970s certainly had "Fire Occasions " but i was reading about them , rather than being a participant .

Sydney had a bad scare in January 1994 , i was watching that whilst Skiing in Andorra . Each year since then it seems to me that each of the Australian States suffer " Bush Fires " on a recurring basis , with severe results . In addition , there are also regular Flood occasions that cause loss of property to the community .

With these events bringing hardship to so many people , it comes as no surprise to read that so many people are pitching in to fight for OTHER PEOPLES PROPERTY !

fire fighters have flown and driven from South Australia, Tasmania, Queensland, Victoria and New Zealand. Read more:

 Mateship is one of the foremost qualities of the Australian Character . It is instilled in the Nation's backbone to the extent that , the local scallywag/deadbeat , can find himself doing the same job as the leader of the community , even the Nation's Prime Minister has been seen driving a fire truck  on a 14hr shift :.

The bushfires have been stirring lots of passion on the Herald's letters page, particularly Tony Abbott's cameo with the firies.

  " Mr Abbott was a volunteer firey long before he was elevated to the upper echelons of politics. He is providing a solid role model for all Australians. He should be lauded for this (along with all the other paid and volunteer firies). "

Exchanging his Fire Uniform , his Day Job included a recent visit from Prince Harry in Sydney :

There are of course , those that know better than to roll up their sleeves , they would prefer to write about rather than do !

Poll: Is the time right to make a link between bushfires and climate change?

Poll closed 22 Oct, 2013
These polls are not scientific and reflect the opinion only of visitors who have chosen to participate.

Read more:

Thankyou SMH for the live updates. Have found the RFS website a bit lacking in this Read more: THEY FIGHT you write!

As mentioned above , people are setting aside their DAY JOB and pitching in to save their community , whilst this is going on , School is out , although many of the children are still turning up there , since their Parents will be at work . Amongst the School Community , many of the older Youths are in Exam Season , but rather than studying , they are working on the Fire lines . THere are many whose Exams will have been disrupted , but there is provision for them to attend other Schools to sit and also an escape clause that will allow them to defer to a later date , although i doubt many will be happy to put off an exam after putting in so much preparation ?

The scale of the crisis is such , that many of the most experienced RFS firefighters , are having difficulty recalling more dangerous experiences :

  1. In my 33 years as an RFS member, I've never faced a more challenging fire scenario that we are facing over the next 48 hours.

  2. My wife made this sign- I took to work & look! RT : NSW Governor visited HQ thanking firefighters
NATURE has it's own agenda , it is amazing what can happen from year to year :

Governments try to prepare for ALL Eventualities and that can be said of Australia , just as it was seen recently on the East Coast of India , when a repeat of the 1999 disaster , that cost 10s of Thousands of lives then , resulted in about a 100 lives lost this time through PROPER Contingency planning ! With repeated Bush Fires in Australia , the public have been asked to create their OWN Disaster Plans , so that in the event of an Emergency they can prepare THEIR OWN ACTION PLAN to cope with Nature :

NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell spoke at a press conference from RFS headquaters :

"We are all in this together and we are going to get through this day". "If you haven't prepared yourself, for those in the Blue Mountains, now is the time to leave." "We hope, of course, today's conditions and potential events do not occur. We've planned for the worst but we continue to hope for the best." "Whatever happens today, we are not out of the woods." He said it's too early to tell what the cost to the state will be. But it will be "tens of millions".

With any adversity , there will be those who will try to line their pockets :

  1. "that at a time when so many people have lost their homes it's a good time to try and make some money". Read more:
    • Retweeted Melinda Hayter (@MelindaHayter):
      #Lithgow police say they're disappointed to see looting taking place at evacuated areas on the fire ground. #nswfires
  2. "A coachload of people from Sydney making enquiries about coming up the mountains just to see the fires today "GOT TO BE KIDDING !

There is so much more info available :

My Idea of a " HERO " as i have stated before , is NOT a sporting Star , they may qualify as " legends" or others that people look up to in everyday life .

HERO status , i believe , should be reserved for those that step out of their everyday " role " and put their LIVES AT RISK , for others !

EACH of those that are Volunteering for service in these ardous conditions , deserve the respect of the WHOLE COMMUNITY , some will be held in high esteem by their colleagues and thus can deservedly be described as : " TRUE HEROES " !

SAD Fact to add on 24th Oct :

DAVID BLACK , Rest in Peace ! Gaelic " Ar dheis De go raibh a anam dilis."!May GOD have mercy on his SOUL !

At the going down of the SUN .... WE SHALL REMEMBER HIM !

" He was trying to do the right thing, fighting the fires and for something like this to happen - it’s just tragic. Life just doesn’t seem fair sometimes "

NEVER was so much thanks due to so FEW !

Thursday, October 17, 2013

TRAINING LOSSES ! A possible solution ?

Traffic Warfare is rife ! Vehicle against vehicle , means that the Smash Repair industry is kept busy , perhaps even the Medical facilities are involved to some extent ? Enclosed in a metal case , very few drivers think that they are not going to return home in one piece ? With that attitude  , too many drivers set about their daily business with little regard for the consequences of their actions . Regardless of their skill set , a minority will become the victims of anothers careless or thoughtless behaviour !

Cyclists set out in every manner of clothing , some going to their daily work in rush hour traffic , others shopping , others Cycling for exercise and of course those that are training for either Events or as Profi for their regular daily diet of " Marginal Gains "so as to achieve the fitness level that is required by their Sponsored Teams ?

However the Cyclist is clad , and however carefully they ride , the situation remains clear , that colliding with another object , is going to hurt ! Whether dressed in normal clothes or Lycra , falling from the bike or hitting a vehicle , the extent of damage is going to be a wake up call and spoil the day !

" Cities fit for Cycling " campaign starterd by the London " Times " , came about as a result of Ms Sally  Bowes , cycling to work , coming into collision with a truck , and continuing in a coma for the best part of 2 years !

" Amy Gillett Foundation " came about because an Australian Womens Cycling Team were in Germany for a race in July 2005 . A new German driver lost control of her car and mowed 6 Ladies down , leaving Amy Dead and several others with life threatening/changing injuries !  Thankfully all the other Ladies survived and some demonstrated remarkable courage in returning to race and win many podium results  !

Policing Authorities rarely act to see that Cyclists receive the consideration they are due as "VULNERABLE ROAD USERS ", most Police realise there is a WAR out there ! They are constrained by the Road Regulations in many cases , however , you will find many stating that they ride Mountain Bikes . They will then tell you that they ride these ONLY off road , since they believe the roads are TOO DANGEROUS ! A cop afraid to ride on the roads ?  Well , they are not in uniform are they ? So are tthey saying that the motorist will treat them better if they are in a POLICE UNIFORM , or their pedal bike is marked "POLICE"?

Laughable to advise that i have ridden with many " cops " , in a variety of countries that do ride the roads and whilst Lycra clad , do as many other Cyclists , sneak through Stop Signs even ride slowly through Red Lights as if there was a filter signal . They are as human as you and i , certainly they will suffer just as much , when hit or hitting a solid object .

Over the years , i constantly read of the Road Incidents that involve Pro Racers of each discipline of Competition. The roads are where so many turn to for their core training , as do other Sports Athletes , when Cross Training . So it comes as no surprise to read of Rowers , Skiers as well as Cyclists being injured OR Killed in Traffic Situations .

Kelme Team was the source of so many Great Spanish Racers and thus their training on Spanish Roads would be the norm .Not ALL Spanish drivers think well of Cyclists , i reported an incident in Barcelona , in a blog , which took place on the rest day ,  in 2001 whilst riding with Eric Z. and several other teams .  Not often you see a spaniard leep out of a car at traffic lights with a tire iron in hand , threatening a group of Racers ?  About that same year the Ochoa Brothers were Cycling in Training when hit by a vehicle , one died on the spot , the other after a long coma , survived , but continued his Cycling Career as a Para Athlete. So far as i know , his Court Case is still in the courts , but whilst achieving Paralympic Successes over the years , i doubt he would not wish that the incident could have been avoided ?

Having won the 2012 Tour de France , Brad Wiggins couldn't even ride his Local roads , without a neighbour ignoring him and sending him to Hospital ! Credited with inspiring the Nation , a neighbour treats him as just some other piece of road furniture to be ignored ?  So many things to do when driving a vehicle , concentration being the bottom of the list ? Worth recalling that Lance Armstrong went cycling near his home in Nice , years ago and collided headon with a car , delayed return home that day ?

To avoid boring ALL , by repeating so many incidents i will move to what i should like to happen so as to create the atmosphere for a change of attitude by Vhicle Drivers !

With the death of the World Champion of Cross Cycling on the 3rd October 2013 , i thought i saw the repetition of the " Amy G. event ":  This US Racer had come from Skiing to successfully rise to the top of her discipline , thus was well loved by the Sporting community . Like others i felt for the family , but rather than contributing monies , thought that a more positive way forward could be found , due to her international recognition . For years i have been stressing the need for " Cycling Safety Groups " to coordinate , internationally , sharing ideas and creating Events that have the purpose of gaining the necessary Media Attention , to cause Legislative Authorities to ACT in Common , Worldwide , so that Cyclists would expect whereever they were , a better attitude from Vehicles .

Here is what i sent to the " Amy D. link :

  "Conversation started 5 October
  • Skippy Mc Carthy
    Skippy Mc Carthy

    Another loss of a Talented Athlete , that could have been avoided !
    With the Election of the New UCI President & 3 VPs , i believe the time has come for UCI to ASK/Demand the Pro Racers be more active whilst Training !
    What i should like to see is the following :
    1/ UCI write to ALL Nat. Feds asking they contact ALL their Bus/Trucking Cos , and ask them to INSTRUCT their Drivers to observe the UNIVERSAL 1 1/2 M safe passing Laws !
    2/ UCI write to ALL registered Racers DEMANDING a Code of Conduct that INCLUDES giving a " salute " to ALL Large Vehicles that observe the 1 1/2M safe passing , particularly where they have signalled . It will become obvious to other road users that a simple " salute " is conveying respect to those that treat " Cyclists with care "!
    3/ UCI advise Media that this campaign is WORLDWIDE and seek their assistance to Alert the Public to their desire for an end to the "Cyclists v Vehicles " WAR !
    4/ UCI ask/demand ALL Tour Organisers place on their Websites , Vehicles & Accredited Vehicles a poster that shows the simple message " 1 1/2M safe pass decal "!
    With the appointment of @Gadryt CEO of Amy Gillett Foundation , as a UCI VP , there should be little difficulty in getting UCI to create the environment where ALL Orgs such as " AGF " , Cities Fit for Living ,etc can be gathered under an " Umbrella Org " so as to share Ideas and Coordinate Activities !
    Racers start out as ordinary Cyclists , they develope their skills in School and with their Families , what better way to commemorate the likes of " Amy DomBroski " , Amy Gillett & Sally Bowes ( Times Journo) than making the roads SAFER NOW !
    More ideas found on & @skippydetour
    PLEASE ADD Your Suggestions !

    There is no reason that others should comply with my suggestions , BUT , time passes and in the same week we lose " Amy D. " we read of 2 Italian Women suffering Injuries on the roads . Remove the vehiclar attitudes , it is possible that the few injuries due to " loss of
    control of their Bike " , would not be newsworthy ?
    When will there be the impetus to see Cyclists as " VULNERABLE " , thus deserving of consideration as more than a " nuisance " to be avoided on gthe roads ?

    The mods of the " Amy D link " replied :
    • The Amy Dombroski Memorial
      The Amy Dombroski Memorial

      Hi Skippy,
      While we totally agree that vehicles need to be more careful around bikes, that wasn't the problem in this case. The truck driver was not at all at fault, so we are not going to make this a cause that we advocate for in Amy's memory.
      Thanks for sharing, Nicole and Dan

      Guess that ends their interest in helping to create a means to coordinate for an " UMBRELLA Org. " to bring together the international and disparate " Cycling Safety Orgs. "! To avoid losing an early opportunity to highlight this need i have contacted a number of people , asking that UCI add this idea to their " Management Meeting in Aigle Agendsa on 27th October 2013 !

      ONLY by Cyclists working TOGETHER , will we reach a point that Vehicles routinely treat Cyclists with Consideration !

      By adding your voice to people such as :

      Add your suggested contacts HERE :

      Can any single Cyclist make a DIFFERENCE !