Otterman speaks... (2003-2007)
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Otterman speaks...

Cycling, macintosh, natural history and life in Singapore - Archives

List of Categories : travel * museum * cycling * Singapore Naturalist * science * kakis * mangroves * movies * mac and the internet * meow * NUS * life in Singapore * lit * world *

Sat 16 Apr 2005

Leeway for cyclists

Category : cycling

On my road rides, I have noticed that many bus drivers give cyclists considerable leeway.

I first began noticing this behaviour when Jas, KMY and the other Zendogs used to ride from Serangoon Gardens to Changi. Along certain stretches like along Houngang Ave 3, buses plying the road would leap-frog us as they pulled in at bus stops and later overtook us on the stretches in between. In a highly populated area, the bus-stops are numerous and leap-frogging intensifies.

Yet, bus drivers would pull out to the second lane when overtaking us - a safe and considerate gesture that we often acknowledged with cheery waves. The relatively empty Sunday morning three-laned roads made this possible and I came to appreciate the restrictions they worked under on other days when roads were congested.

This morning, I took this photo at a narrow juncture of Lim Chu Kang Road just before we turned left into Lim Chu Kang Lane 3. As you can see, the bus driver has pulled out to the opposite side of the road, in the absence of oncoming traffic, to steer clear of my cycling-kakis toiling up the slope!

We rode from town to the west, up north-west and back to town again in more than 3 hours and I observed more than 20 other acts of caution or consideration practised at give way signs, before and after bus bays, at traffic junctions and amidst lanes. I gave up counting; and these were commemdable driving practises by just bus drivers.

In emails to my cycling kakis recently, I suggested that since many riders lack a rear-mirror, we are further oblivious to acts of consideration by bus drivers behind us. having one, I have noticed that some drivers slow down to a crawling speed to prevent pressurising us, while others maintain a distance or switch lanes to overtake.

Trouble is, we tend to remember only the bad (and rare) incidents, when a rogue driver (they do exist) tries or manages to squeeze us off the road. Or we remember the account from a friend of a friend.

My experience appears to suggest that rogue bus drivers are in the siginificant minority. Sure, we need to keep a lookout for these and ensure they are rehabilitated, or banned from driving.

But we will also have to attempt to acknowledge good driving practises just as enthusiastically.

And cyclists will have to scrutinise their cycling methods on the roads just as closely. Are we innocent of all guilt?

Posted at 8:51AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | , .