Helmet debate... new twist

lemmy

Esteemed Pedelecer
Quite sure, done two hours and even a couple of minutes below on that run a number of times times. It doesn't need anything like 140 though, just maintaining around 95 to 100 consistently where possible and trying to stay well over 60/70 at other times. Speeds used to be higher on my motorbike though, cruising at 115/120 for long periods.
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But doesn't the law apply here?
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
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But doesn't the law apply here?
Of course, I apply the time honoured interpretation, the law is for the obedience of the foolish and the guidance of the wise. My long term safe driving and riding record specifies me as one of the wise, so I use it as a guide to match it to my abilities.

My abilities change with age and circumstances, so though I'm still safe at high speeds, the length of time I can maintain optimum concentration has changed so the maximum journey length I undertake is much shorter now than it once was. I will continue to adjust speed and endurance over time until I determine that I should stop driving altogether and will then sell my cars and take taxis or other public transport instead.

If others would pay a little less attention to the letter of the law and take more personal responsibility for their behaviour as I do, the UK accident rate could fall much further from it's present low levels. My decisions are not all about high speed of course, sometimes 30 mph isn't safe and I even know one spot at school chucking out time where the 20 limit is just too fast and you'll see me trickling through at 8 to 10 mph maximum.
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lemmy

Esteemed Pedelecer
Of course, I apply the time honoured interpretation, the law is for the obedience of the foolish and the guidance of the wise.
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One thing I've found as I've got older is that I find less and less call to speed. I used to jump in the car with family and drive straight to the south of France, for example. Comfortable 16 hour journey with stops for children and so on.

I do the trip two or three times a year and these days I take 3 days over it! Just for the sheer pleasure of enjoying the beauty of the country. I don't know what average speed that works out to but it isn't much!
 

flecc

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Oct 25, 2006
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I do that sort of thing too since I love the countryside, and spend lots of time walking in it. That's where I've been for a couple of hours before the last post I made. It's the A to B longer boring runs which I prefer to get out of the way at speed, our motorways in particular win no prizes for their beauty, and there's nothing to be seen when driving in the dark either.
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bode

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 14, 2008
626
0
Hertfordshire and Bath
Of course, I apply the time honoured interpretation, the law is for the obedience of the foolish and the guidance of the wise. My long term safe driving and riding record specifies me as one of the wise, so I use it as a guide to match it to my abilities.
That's what they all say.
Quite sure, done two hours and even a couple of minutes below on that run a number of times times. It doesn't need anything like 140 though, just maintaining around 95 to 100 consistently where possible and trying to stay well over 60/70 at other times. Speeds used to be higher on my motorbike though, cruising at 115/120 for long periods.
Sadly, this proves otherwise.
Much as I admire your expertise in many fields, no-one is infallible.
 

lemmy

Esteemed Pedelecer
The only place I enjoy driving now is France. And astonishly, they drive better in general than the British these days.

Not because they've improved but because our standards have deteriorated so much.

You don't notice it until you've lived in France for a few years and you come back here. It hits you in the face, the level of aggression and the sheer weight of surveillance.
 

lectureral

Esteemed Pedelecer
Apr 30, 2007
396
60
Suva, Fiji
Lemmy - I love the French motorways - of course the fact that my regular run, Geneva to Paris and back costs 85 Euros in tolls might explain why there are not more cars on the road.

However I have experienced more road rage and speeding tickets here in 2 years than in the 30 years or so I drove on British roads.

The French can be very aggressive drivers - just this week I had one overtake me and slam on his brakes, force me to a stop and then get out and shout unintelligibly at me (he did give up when I explained I couldn't understand French) for the sin of pulling out of a blind side road entrance and causing him to brake.
 

lemmy

Esteemed Pedelecer
The French certainly can be aggressive but the standard of driving in the London suburbs now has to be seen to be believed.

I lived there for 5 years - not in Paris - but I've never seen the desperate driving that I see here now.

Obviously all this is anecdotal but my brother and I were going for a couple of pints when a truck practically knocked us down on the pavement, going at high speed round a junction. My brother yelled careful, the guy tried to reverse into us and we backed against a wall so he couldn't. The tattooed gentleman then jumped out and asked what our problem was etc...we went on our way, he followed us screaming abuse before getting back in his lorry and steaming off. Scary.

Off the track but I had to go to Wimbledon one Friday evening at about midnight. I've never seen anything like it. Vomiting drunks, sobbing girls it was something out of Hogarth cartoon. When did that start?

Re the motorways, I love the tolls. It means people don't just go out aimlessly so the motorway remains a usable highway for travellers and business.

I speak French more or less fluently which made my stay there much more pleasant than otherwise it would have been - since no one round my way spoke English!
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
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That's what they all say.

Sadly, this proves otherwise.
Much as I admire your expertise in many fields, no-one is infallible.
I'm certainly not infallible and I always say I'm a learner driver, since that is what I am, fully prepared to learn something fresh every time I go on the road, and act upon what I learn. I never claim to be an expert and on principle do not support the Institute of Advanced Motorists since passing their test implies being an expert.

That said, your above assessment is clearly wrong, it proves nothing of the sort since the wisdom I refer to is proved by the record. Cycling 63 years without a single injury, motorcycling for 52 years without ever coming off on the road, driving for 59 years without ever hurting myself or anyone else and all of it with full no-claims bonus throughout, plus an extra preferred policyholder discount when that was also available. That proves road usage wisdom, obedience to the law does not as you imply, since all that proves is subservience.

Speed limits are almost always wrong, sometimes too high or too low for the weather or road conditions, often to high or too low for the vehicle and it's load, usually too high or too low for the ability of any one individual driver. "One size fits all" doesn't work well and never will, and the arbitrary speed limits cause as many accidents as they prevent as drivers so often see them as the desirable speed to travel at, regardless of the circumstances.

Our fastest roads by far are our motorways, but they are also by far the safest, amply illustrating that speed alone is not a cause of accidents. The primary cause of accidents is drivers and riders, and admitting to that is the first step to a safer driving and riding life. Relying on adherence to speed limits is a first step to nowhere.
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themutiny

Esteemed Pedelecer
Feb 26, 2009
354
0
Originally Posted by bode

"That's what they all say.

Sadly, this proves otherwise.
Much as I admire your expertise in many fields, no-one is infallible."

And a previous terse comment "does not compute"

Consider (or if you will 'compute'). Driving without a seatbelt does not attract the attention of the law enforcement agencies. Try riding a motorcycle on the roads without a helmet and see if the same applies..

Are you the same Bode who recently took a nasty tumble at near walking pace? Presumably speed was not a factor?

You are welcome to express your opinion, but you should realise that so are others. Your posts imply an unpleasant intolerance for opinions which do not concur with your own.

I have been driving for over 25 years, with an average annual mileage in excess of 35k. I have been e-biking for over 4 years with an average annual mileage in excess of 5k. NO accidents. Please do not judge others by your own yardstick with such unnecessary vitriol.
 

bode

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 14, 2008
626
0
Hertfordshire and Bath
Your record may well be immaculate, as you say. But if everyone decides for themself whether or not they are competent, and that they can best decide how they will behave on the roads and elsewhere, total anarchy is the result.
Not everyone has the finely-tuned self-awareness necessary to regulate to a nicety their each and every potentially dangerous action, and, in the absence of rules, it will be difficult to predict how others might be expected to act.
 

themutiny

Esteemed Pedelecer
Feb 26, 2009
354
0
I'd stop short of anarchy, but that is a well-reasoned response, and more appropriate to this forum.

Regards,
 
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flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
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if everyone decides for themself whether or not they are competent, and that they can best decide how they will behave on the roads and elsewhere, total anarchy is the result.
Not everyone has the finely-tuned self-awareness necessary to regulate to a nicety their each and every potentially dangerous action, and, in the absence of rules, it will be difficult to predict how others might be expected to act.
I agree with this, and that's why I don't totally ignore the law. As I said, I use it as a guide, so if I judge that the conditions are right to travel 20% faster than the speed limit I do so. After all, the authorities permit me my judgement in the other direction, if conditions mean 20% slower is the safe limit I do that, as we nearly all do. So if my judgment is good enough for the latter, what is it that you or the government think that makes it invalid for the former?

The answer is nothing! My judgement is either valid or invalid, no ifs or buts.

If my judgement has no validity, it means I must travel at the indicated speed limit at all times, since without my judgement nothing else is possible, I must just blindly obey dictates like a zombie or robot.
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Xcytronex

Pedelecer
Jul 23, 2009
139
0
'The answer is nothing! My judgement is either valid or invalid, no ifs or buts.'

Your judgement is SOMETIMES valid or invalid-no ifs or buts.There are no absolutes---other than there are no absolutes !
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
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Let me word it in full then, if it is permissible for me to use my judgement, it is valid, no ifs or buts about plus or minus.
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themutiny

Esteemed Pedelecer
Feb 26, 2009
354
0
That's a bit deep for me...

"There are no absolutes".

"First of all, the relativist is declaring there are absolutely no absolutes. That is an absolute statement. The statement is logically contradictory. If the statement is true, there is, in fact, an absolute - there are absolutely no absolutes". :p

PS, I find it makes slightly more sense if you substitute the word absolute (and all it's derivations) with the words certainly and certainty - eg "there are certainly no certainties".
 
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Xcytronex

Pedelecer
Jul 23, 2009
139
0
That's a bit deep for me...

"There are no absolutes." First of all, the relativist is declaring there are absolutely no absolutes. That is an absolute statement. The statement is logically contradictory. If the statement is true, there is, in fact, an absolute - there are absolutely no absolutes. :p

PS, I find it makes slightly more sense if you substitute the word absolute (and all it's derivations) with the words certainly and certainty - eg "there are certainly no certainties"
It is the HUMOURIST declaring- a simple wry comment on the spurious nature/ argument involved in this thread
 

themutiny

Esteemed Pedelecer
Feb 26, 2009
354
0
I appreciate the sentiment, I really do. Unfortunately the pedant in me is impelled to point out that the correct term is humorist :)
 

lemmy

Esteemed Pedelecer
My personal view is that speeds of 120mph are unnecessary on any public roads.

The simple stopping distance at this speed is almost 200 yards. That makes no allowance for reaction time which for a simple stimulus like a light coming on is 200ms. This increases to a minimum of .5 seconds for the more complex stimulus of a road situation.

These figures are for an experienced grand prix driver in his prime. Half a second at 120mph equates to about 30 yards. That's a stopping distance of 230 yards total.

Thus these figures are all the very best possible for a perfect vehicle on a road with perfect grip and a driver with the best human reaction time possible. ABS does not improve these distances for a skilled driver.

In practise given all these figures are likely to be around 30% greater than this, we have a practical stopping distance of 300 yards.

Let's say the route was from the south London suburbs to a village in Dorset - we need a route with totally clear vision for 300 yards for most of it, and a minimum of 80 yards for the slow (60-70mph) section. Any traffic lights, hold ups or even sharp road bends will necessitate longer and longer periods at higher speeds.

To average 70mph door to door we must pass the starting point at 70mph and at no point in the journey go slower than 70mph until stopping dead at the destination. A practical stopping distance at this speed is 100 yards. To average this speed safely therefore, there would have to be no part of the route where you could not see with absolute clarity for a minimum of 100 yards. No parked cars, hidden driveways or obstructions of any kind.

If speed is lowered in suburbs, before pedestrian crossing, close to parked cars, to pass cyclists, then the speeds on other parts of the trip will need to be drastically higher.

If Flecc says he is safe at these speeds I'll take his word for it. But I do wonder what is the purpose of making journeys at such speeds. What is gained? A few minutes? Half an hour? Why? But especially, is there no increased risk to other road users from these speeds? There would appear to be no safety margins in this style of driving unless you are utterly infallible and nothing unexpected ever occurs. I stand to be corrected, of course.

When Harold MacMillan was asked what he most feared in politics, he answered, events, dear boy, events. Lacking FDlecc's self-confidence in his driving I am sad to say I concur with MacMillan.
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
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It is the HUMOURIST declaring- a simple wry comment on the spurious nature/ argument involved in this thread
The proven outcome of what I say on this subject indicates it's anything but spurious.

Until I find someone definitely showing me a more productive path than mine towards road safety, I'd be a complete fool to listen to any opposition to my opinion. I'm very ready and willing to learn in this as in all fields, but I find nothing to learn from in the blinkered opposition I so often meet on this subject.
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