back to article Google robo-car suffers brain freeze after seeing hipster cyclist

A cyclist riding a fixed-gear bike claims to have brought a Google robo-car to a standstill. The rider, one “Oxtox” took to the forums of Road Bike Review with a tale in which he spotted “a Google self-driving Lexus”. Oxtox says “near the end of my ride today... we both stopped at an intersection with 4-way stop signs.” The …

  1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    The two guys were laughing? Haha... Lucky...

    I would have gotten out and knocked the wanker off his bike. Then run over his bicycle. Five times.

    1. Nick Kew Silver badge

      So, if I encounter you, the choice is to proceed across your path at the risk of being run down, or to be beaten up?

      I find the number of upvotes for this violent thug disturbing.

      1. deadcow

        Somebody needs his coffee this morning Mr Grumpy-puss.

        1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

          Oh, no, this morning was fine - so many trucks and lorries on the roads that the cyclsists were all either mown down at the outskirts of the city or hiding in their holes. Mwahahaha.

          1. Graham Marsden
            Boffin

            @Vladimir Plouzhnikov

            Might I suggest that you contact your local IAM or RoSPA group and get yourself some Advanced Driving training so you can learn how to use the road in *co-operation* with other road users, rather than in competition with them.

            Similarly I suggest that cyclists also remind themselves of the rules regarding red lights, pedestrian crossings, using lights at night etc.

            That way the roads might actually become nicer to use for those of us who aren't prone to Tarmac Tantrums.

            1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

              Re: @Vladimir Plouzhnikov

              Advanced Driving course? Hmm, sounds good... These cyclists are so wiggly, they often escape at the last moment. I'm sure I could do with a better technique!

              I'm sorry - I couldn't resist. :D

              1. Drudgery Leak

                Re: @Vladimir Plouzhnikov

                I'm with you Vlad. But no need to crush the pathetic machine under your wheels - just fling it over the nearest fence. It's fun seeing the fight or flight response.

                Dear Cyclist: Your actions play a large part in how you are treated.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: @Vladimir Plouzhnikov, @Graham Marsden

              May I suggest that you appear to be in need of such training?

      2. Dan Paul

        Maybe you "Entitled" cyclists....

        should be a little more cautious and follow the rules of the road better and drivers might have less anger at cyclists of any kind.

        ALL of you arrogant idiots feel like you can ride or pass anywhere on the road and drivers are just supposed to somehow miraculously avoid you and if you were a motorcyclist and rode like that would be pulled over and ticketed by the cops. Not enough bicyclists are ticketed for their traffic infractions as it is, do you want Darwin to solve that for you?

        When you are at an intersection keep in line with the vehicle ahead of you and stop riding in peoples blind spots, wait your turn just like an automobile must if you have to share the road with one. Stop cutting around vehicles like a bike messenger and they will be less able to hit you. SIGNAL your direction, or the driver has no idea where you are going and YOU are responsible if they hit you. I never see that.

        The roads are designed for Autos. They pay the taxes that provide upkeep for the roadways. YOU DON'T! The most any registration for a bicycle pays for is tracking down the owner if lost or stolen.

        The vehicle that weighs the most is also the most difficult to stop. An Ocean Liner can't stop on a dime for a sailboat. The larger vessel has the right of way.

        In similar fashion, your little toy has no chance when being struck by a car so you should yield to the larger vehicle, especially when you are about to tempt fate and argue with the laws of physics. The same rule applies to autos versus trucks (if you value your life).

        You can argue the laws of Man and God all you want to but the laws of Physics are incontrovertible.

        Try using some common sense instead of your "entitled" arrogance and "righteous indignation" (puke voluminously) and you may cause less grief and survive longer.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Regulations_for_Preventing_Collisions_at_Sea#Section_I_.28Conduct_of_vessel_in_any_condition of_visibility.29

        1. J Bourne
          Mushroom

          Re: Maybe you "Entitled" cyclists....

          "The roads are designed for Autos. They pay the taxes that provide upkeep for the roadways. YOU DON'T!"

          Really? May be true for the USA. But If the roads in London were designed for cars, then they'd be quite different. 'Autos' I drive a manual - or do you mean 'automobile' how quaint. In the UK at least the vehicle excise duty doesn't pay for roads maintenance - there isn't any except for widening the whole of every motorway all at once. (need to give the european workers something to do).

          "The larger vessel has the right of way."

          Since when? to take your analogy of water craft in actual fact paddle/oar has priority over sail over motor - size doesn't come into it: it's not a case of my ***** is bigger than yours.

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: Maybe you "Entitled" cyclists....

            "Since when? to take your analogy of water craft in actual fact paddle/oar has priority over sail over motor - size doesn't come into it: it's not a case of my ***** is bigger than yours."

            Within the same power sources, "my ship is bigger than yours" really does apply, and it's all down to physics and inertia. Outside them, you have a point, the harder to steer vessel needs the space more than you. I would think in the late 19th century (when sail was giving way to self-powered watercraft), powered craft gave way to sail craft out of desire not to cause wrecks. That's also why drivers are told to give lorries more way and why you must never trust your gut at railroad crossings (in both cases, it's easy to misjudge the amount of momentum these vehicles have and just how difficult it is for them to stop suddenly).

            1. Dan Paul

              Re: Maybe you "Entitled" cyclists....

              Motorized craft do not have to yield to sail powered craft if the motorized craft is larger.

              It is the other way around. Lighter craft are more maneuverable thus they have to get out of the way of the heavier/larger craft

        2. malcolmus_rex

          Re: Maybe you "Entitled" cyclists....

          I don;t know about the US vehicle taxation, but in the UK it's just plain wrong to say that it's car drivers that pay for the roads.

          In the UK, most roads are maintained by local councils, using funding from council tax. Cyclist pay rhan.

          The motorways and major roads are paid for out of central taxation.

          Vehicle Excise Duty brings in approx £5bn per year (to central taxation). The road building program was approx £15bn last year, so cyclists are subsidising drivers.

          I suspect that the situation isn't that different in the US.

          1. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: Maybe you "Entitled" cyclists....

            "Vehicle Excise Duty brings in approx £5bn per year (to central taxation). The road building program was approx £15bn last year, so cyclists are subsidising drivers."

            How much income did the UK govt take from motor fuel excise duty? Convenient of you to miss that out.

            I'll save you the trouble of looking it up: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motoring_taxation_in_the_United_Kingdom

            "VED and fuel tax raised approximately £32 billion in 2009, a further £4 billion was raised from the value added tax on fuel purchases. Motoring-related taxes for fiscal year 2011/12, including fuel duties and VED, are estimated that will amount to more than £38 billion, representing almost 7% of total UK taxation."

            Who's subsidising whom?

            1. PNGuinn
              Thumb Down

              @ Alan Brown

              You forgot the take in tax on insurance premiums. I'll raise you road / bridge / tunnel tolls and parking charges.

          2. Fraggle850

            @malcolmus_rex Re: Maybe you "Entitled" cyclists....

            To be fair we also pay rather a lot in fuel tax too. Around 80p/litre and raising well north of 25 billion from a cursory Google. There is likely a significant amount of productivity associated with some of the vehicles moving on the roads network too, which shouldn't be underestimated in terms of contribution to the economy.

            Central government does also disperse funds to councils for local road building and maintenance.

        3. Mark 85 Silver badge

          Re: Maybe you "Entitled" cyclists....

          Simple.. there's a basic rule of thumb.. one can be "right" or one can be "dead right". Choose wisely.

        4. Richard Plinston Silver badge

          Re: Maybe you "Entitled" cyclists....

          > The roads are designed for Autos.

          Roads existed well before automobiles. Bicycles existed well before automobiles. Where do you get your silly ideas from? Arrogance?

          > They pay the taxes that provide upkeep for the roadways

          Motor vehicles do the most damage to roads, bicycles do no damage (except when squashed into the road by a car). That is why cars and trucks pay for the maintenance.

          > your little toy has no chance when being struck by a car so you should yield to the larger vehicle,

          There are rules of the road, such as when you can overtake another vehicle, following distance, giving way. Bicycles are vehicles too, obey the rules and stop bullying smaller vehicles.

          > Try using some common sense instead of your "entitled" arrogance and "righteous indignation" (puke voluminously) and you may cause less grief and survive longer.

          The only lack of common sense, entitled arrogance and righteousness that I see is from you.

        5. Fungus Bob Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: Maybe you "Entitled" cyclists....

          "The roads are designed for Autos. They pay the taxes that provide upkeep for the roadways. YOU DON'T!"

          WRONGO! Autos don't pay taxes, the owners of the autos pay taxes. Since road wear and tear rises exponentially with weight, bicycles cause almost no damage while cars cause about 1% damage and OTR trucks are responsible for about 99% of the road wear and tear. The problem is not that bicyclists aren't paying their fair share, the problem is that the owners of the trucks aren't paying their fair share as they only pay 35% of the cost of road maintenance. These are US figures.

          Read more here:

          http://truecostblog.com/2009/06/02/the-hidden-trucking-industry-subsidy/

          http://www.vabike.org/vehicle-weight-and-road-damage/

          And no, I do not ride a bicycle, I drive a minivan. A loud, butt-ugly minivan that gets people the hell outta my way!

        6. Robin Szemeti

          Re: Maybe you "Entitled" cyclists....

          Since you mention the COLREGs ...

          "The vehicle that weighs the most is also the most difficult to stop. An Ocean Liner can't stop on a dime for a sailboat. The larger vessel has the right of way."

          Err ... no it doesn't Power gives way to sail. See COLREGS, section 18

          A power-driven vessel must give way to:

          a vessel not under command;

          a vessel restricted in her ability to manoeuvre (this may include vessels towing one another[12]);

          a vessel engaged in fishing;

          a sailing vessel.

          1. Dan Paul

            Re: Maybe you "Entitled" cyclists....

            Only for small ones that are similar in size. Ocean Liners versus Sailboats is not the same, the smaller vessel must move out of the way unless it is dead in the water.

            Same for Trucks versus bicycles.

            1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

              Re: Maybe you "Entitled" cyclists....

              > Only for small ones that are similar in size. Ocean Liners versus Sailboats is not the same, the smaller vessel must move out of the way unless it is dead in the water.

              You are a simpleton. The rules are very complex and who gives way depends not on size but on many factors such as whether it is open sea, traffic lanes, or restricted areas. It also depends on particular activities. Your example above may be true in a harbour, but not at sea. Please refrain from commenting until you actually know something about the subject.

              > Same for Trucks versus bicycles.

              You are an idiot who should be prevented from ever holding a driving licence.

          2. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: Maybe you "Entitled" cyclists....

            And there are reasons for each noted line:

            "a vessel not under command;"

            Meaning essentially a vessel adrift. Since it has no means to steer itself, you must give way to it.

            "a vessel restricted in her ability to manoeuvre (this may include vessels towing one another);"

            Same reason as above; they can't steer so well. This is also why a smaller powered vessel must give way to a larger one: the larger one can't steer so well due to inertia.

            "a vessel engaged in fishing;"

            Fishing vessels have equipment overboard and therefore are pretty much fixed in place. An emergency move for them would entail some costly consequences, usually in lost or damaged equipment.

            "a sailing vessel."

            Sail vessels are at the mercy of the wind, including to steer, meaning they can't always move on demand, so you have to give way to them.

        7. Guus Leeuw

          Re: Maybe you "Entitled" cyclists....

          Dear Sir,

          Might I kindly remind you that Rules of the Sea *do not* apply to the Road?

          If you were so kind and to actually open you eyes and mind you would see all kinds of traffic rule violations by drivers of all kinds of vehicles (and I include shoes in the term vehicle for the purpose of this reply).

          And I'm speaking for Dublin.

          Everybody who uses the road these days seems to be tempted to go on an egoistic type of trip: taxi drivers jumping through orange (which is the color that signals: Clear the intersection), busses starting to accelerate while the light is still red (which is the color that signals: Stop), pedestrians crossing on a whim and without looking, cyclists stopping between the lines used for pedestrian crossings. Nobody ever uses any signalling anymore these days, and the use of hand signals by cyclists go largely unnoticed by cars. Oh and what's the story with all sorts of vehicles stopping inside the bike box so that there's actually no room left for a bike in that box?

          It is not just cyclists that need going after. The police (Gardai) should do what they're paid for: Fine / Arrest people for violating the laws, which includes traffic. And in terms of registration: Cyclists / pedestrians should not need to be registered, instead their fines should be paid on the spot, no arguing.

          Kind regards,

          and please do read up on the Highway Code,

          Guus

        8. Sleepy 1

          Re: Maybe you "Entitled" cyclists....

          Anyone who knows about friction will tell you that a heavier vehicle does not need a longer stopping distance

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: Maybe you "Entitled" cyclists....

            "Anyone who knows about friction will tell you that a heavier vehicle does not need a longer stopping distance"

            That depends on the strength of the vehicle's brakes versus the inertia of the vehicle. Since the brakes on a truck aren't proportially larger relative to its weight versus a car, that means the truck has a harder time stopping. With trains, the brake:weight ratio's even lower AND it has to contend with the reduced friction of its riding surface (a smooth steel rail versus a rough, frictious road). Then you have ships, which cannot use the sea as a means to stop so have no real "brakes" persay. They stop by reversing thrust, which for a huge vessel takes some time (again, huge ship, tiny propellers). Airplanes are somewhere in the middle of all this. They have brakes but they're really only for when they're taxiing so have to first use thrust reversers upon landing to slow down to come back down to taxi speed.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        If you are a bearded, iphone enabled hipster with a stupid sock hat and stupid holes in your ear lobes, and some tatoo thst was fashionable for five minutes once, then I fully endorse the original proposal.

      4. E_Nigma

        The cyclist saw the effect he had on the vehicle and decided to keep doing his balancing act when he could have simply stood on his feet for a second, allowing the car to pass normally (so your implication that the only alternative to what the cyclist did came with a risk of being run down is nonsense). But no, he decided to be a self-righteous prick, like most cyclists on the road seem to be, and just keep doing what he was doing and not give a toss.

        1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

          > The cyclist saw the effect he had on the vehicle and decided to keep doing his balancing act when he could have simply stood on his feet for a second, allowing the car to pass normally

          There is no indication that the cyclist knew that is was _his_ actions that were affecting the car. He had no way of knowing how the car was programmed or what sensors were used, nor that putting his foot on the ground would 'release' the car.

          The only 'self-righteous prick' that I see is you.

    2. John Miles

      re: I would have gotten out

      Like this?

    3. CAPS LOCK Silver badge

      Dear Vlad

      There are now several types of treatment for impotence. I'm sure one of them will fix you up.

      1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

        Re: Dear Vlad

        Haha! Look, all those cyclists are coming out like worms after the recent rains :D

        Cyclimorons Londinicus - an invasive species in need of pest control. LOL.

        Sorry, guys, no amount of healthy lifestyle reasoning or moralising about saving the planet will turn me around. Cyclists on city roads - my sworn enemies (and I love cycling, by the way...).

        1. Jagged

          Re: Dear Vlad

          Ooh, a hypocrite too. Nice.

        2. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

          Re: Dear Vlad (@ Vladimir)

          > Cyclimorons Londinicus

          Surely that should be Cyclimorons londinicus (note the lower-case "l" in the species name).

    4. Captain DaFt

      "I would have gotten out and knocked the wanker off his bike."

      Oh yeah? Talk to this guy.

    5. Payne

      Sure you would, Vladik.

      I go to the same kickboxing gym as a 6 foot tall Romanian bloke - quiet, polite guy with a pleasant smile. Holding the kick pads for him is quite an experience which I have to brace for and my forearms have visible bruises for days afterwards, even though I'm not exactly a small guy (a little under 13 stone, he's around 15). He cycles to gym and to work.

      Now, I would pay good money to see what happens when you get out of your car and try to knock him off his bike. I'd wager the majority of readers on here would chip in for the popcorn.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    6. TK1
    7. John Bailey

      "I would have gotten out and knocked the wanker off his bike. Then run over his bicycle. Five times."

      Whiny forum tit to English translation:-

      I would have sighed, muttered something profane under my breath, and done bugger all.

    8. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      I would have gotten out and knocked the wanker off his bike. Then run over his bicycle. Five times.

      Dammit Vlad, stop driving in Mother Russia Suburbia, da?

      1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

        @ Destroy All Monsters

        stop driving in Mother Russia Suburbia

        But... but... I just renewed my cyclist hunting licence! You know how expensive that is? So many applications and such a small quota...

        @Payne: tsk, tsk, threats, I see... Well, your Romanian friend - nothing that a wheel wrench won't fix, you know...

  2. glen waverley

    Photo <> hipster

    Rider in stock photo cannot be hipster. Is not sporting a Ned Kelly beard.

    Or are the style rules for hipsters different in northern hemisphere? (Assume northern hemisphere as London black taxi in foto, and WashPost mentioned in article.)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Photo <> hipster

      "Rider in stock photo cannot be hipster. Is not sporting a Ned Kelly beard."

      Had one of them in the village shop on Wednesday. Picked something up, took it to the counter, assistant rung it up, then he "remembered" all the other things he had to buy and wandered off round the shop.

      Assistant cancelled the sale and dealt with the other people who were now waiting. He looked hurt that he had lost his place...wanker.

      Yes, he had a bicycle.

      So: no prejudice against cyclists but special get-out for ones with silly beards.

  3. Nick Kew Silver badge
    Go

    Is it specified who (should have had) priority? Could it be that everyone concerned was in fact doing exactly the right thing?

    Funnily enough, I had a long-hesitation situation while cycling into town just yesterday. Needed to turn right[1], but some car coming the other way slowed and stopped just in front of the junction. I wasn't about to turn right[1] across the path of a car whose driver was behaving unpredictably and had right of way. Had to resolve it with a "what are you doing?", whereupon the driver asked if I knew [some road name he was looking for]. So evidently he'd stopped to look at the name of the road I was turning into and he was blocking.

    [1] This is in England. Readers in countries that drive on the right, please read this in a mirror.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      The general rules of thumb at an all-stop is (1) first in, first out; (2) if two or more vehicles arrive at once, drivers yield to the one to the side of their driving hand (eg. right in the US, left in the UK), meaning the one with no vehicle to his driving side normally goes first and proceeds in reverse from there; (3) in the event all approaches are filled at the same time, meaning the driving-hand rule has an infinite loop, that's gonna have to be hashed out between the drivers.

      Anyway, in this case, the Google car was obviously waxing caution. It just turned out it hit an edge case: someone who didn't exactly follow the driving-hand rule. If I read this correctly, both car and bike arrived at the same time, and the bike was to the right, meaning the car was correctly yielding to the bike. Thing was, the bike didn't move right away, so the car started to move, but stopped when the bike started moving, too. It's sort of a case of ping-ponging hesitation, each flinching when the other moves and then vice versa.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "(eg. right in the US, left in the UK)"

        Hmm, I think that is the wrong way around?

        ANyway, I'm not sure it was a yeild thing, it was probably the slight forward motion of the bike would have put him into the 'safe area' of the Googlecar and as a vulnerable road user the car took evasive action. What the car didn't realise was that the forward motion was only going to be for a few inches and not continue into its path. After it happened a couple of times the vehicle just got annoyed and sat there in a strop, it is only a toddler after all.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Whichever side of the road you drive on is considered your "driving hand". The US makes you drive on the right (so is a right-hand) while in the UK you drive on the left (a left-hand). There's no advantage or disadvantage either way and mainly boils down to cultural and practical considerations (how did you do it before cars, where do most of your cars come from, etc.).

          1. Graham Marsden

            As Mythbusters demonstrated...

            ... Roundabouts are much more efficient than Four-Way stop sign junctions and this sort of situation would be much less likely to happen on one.

            http://www.wimp.com/testroundabout/

            1. Tom 7 Silver badge

              Re: As Mythbusters demonstrated...

              I live in the sticks and there are about 5 roundabouts in a 20 mile radius of me. Frequently we get things called traffic jams four or five cars long which are invariably caused by four cars at the entrance to the roundabouts all politely waiting for someone else to go.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: As Mythbusters demonstrated...

              "Roundabouts are much more efficient than Four-Way stop sign junctions and this sort of situation would be much less likely to happen on one"

              Back in the day I was visiting Kentucky on business and was told that there was now one of these roundabouts in Louisville. It was seriously suggested that we make the trip so I could show my work colleagues how to deal with them.

              It was, more or less, a mini-roundabout.

            3. DougS Silver badge

              Re: As Mythbusters demonstrated...

              Roundabouts are becoming more common in many US cities. Where I live in the midwest there are over a dozen now. They like to place them in areas where they don't foresee the traffic ever reaching a volume where lights become necessary, but don't want to back up traffic the way a four way stop can.

              They sometimes act like a stop or yield sign for those unfamiliar with them, but most of the time traffic flows through them pretty well. The more they build the more comfortable with them people around here have become. The delays I see tend to be people with plates indicating they are from more rural counties that likely don't have (or need) them, or out state of plates which probably also indicate people who don't have them where they normally drive.

              1. Alan Brown Silver badge

                Re: As Mythbusters demonstrated...

                "They like to place them in areas where they don't foresee the traffic ever reaching a volume where lights become necessary,"

                Lights slow traffic down more than roundabouts. The difference is that when roundabouts gridlock they do so _hard_.

                Lights in combination with roundabouts are common in a number of locations. They are often only activated during peak periods.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "while in the UK you drive on the left (a left-hand)"

            Must be an obscure definition. In the UK they drive right-hand drive vehicles, no such thing as a "driving hand". They often refer to nearside and farside though to designate a side of the car. Also they always give priority to the right, there isn't a 4 way stop afaik, it will either be a single stop, two give ways and a free through or it will be a roundabout, either full or mini.

            1. ravenviz
              Headmaster

              Re: nearside and Gary Larson?

              Ahem, I believe it is nearside and offside!

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: nearside and Gary Larson?

                "I believe it is nearside and offside!",

                Doh! Yes, that's what I meant...

            2. John H Woods

              "They often refer to nearside and farside though to designate a side of the car"

              ITYM nearside and OFFside, And we use the left in the UK for the same reason we mount our horses from the left, it keeps one's sword / lance arm free when mounting and available to engage oncoming traffic when riding!

              1. Alan Brown Silver badge

                "And we use the left in the UK for the same reason we mount our horses from the left,"

                Virtually the entire world used the left side (for much the same reasons as elaborated)

                Europe only moved to the right side when Napolean Bonaparte decreed it and sidedness tended to go with colonial expansion. (It only became important once motor vehicles were common).

                Interestingly, there are stats which show that the crash rate is generally lower in countries which drive on the left as people are more likely to steer out of head on crashes.

                Heavy carts tended to have the driver sitting curbside as that way he could see more easily when manouvering for deliveries. There are a few places in the world where the handedness of the driving is changed from the norm for similar reasons (Benmore dam access tunnel in New Zealand is one example, so that tour bus drivers can accurately assess their distance from the rather unforgiving tunnel wall.)

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  "Europe only moved to the right side when Napolean Bonaparte decreed it."

                  Myth. Danté records in the 13th century that traffic regulations were necessary on a Florentine bridge and that the traffic lanes were on the right. This practice seems to have spread as other towns became big enough to need traffic controls.

                  1. Alan Brown Silver badge

                    Re: "Europe only moved to the right side when Napolean Bonaparte decreed it."

                    "traffic regulations were necessary on a Florentine bridge and that the traffic lanes were on the right."

                    I'm aware of that. Given the normal position of a coach or carriage driver of the period, it's logical to go to the right on a narrow passageway such as a bridge. You need to be able to see how close your wheels are to the edge as this is more critical than possibly bumping the other coach.

                    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                      Re: "Europe only moved to the right side when Napolean Bonaparte decreed it."

                      "Heavy carts tended to have the driver sitting curbside as that way he could see more easily when manouvering for deliveries. There are a few places in the world where the handedness of the driving is changed from the norm for similar reasons."

                      "I'm aware of that. Given the normal position of a coach or carriage driver of the period, it's logical to go to the right on a narrow passageway such as a bridge. You need to be able to see how close your wheels are to the edge as this is more critical than possibly bumping the other coach."

                      If the edge of the road is more important than oncoming traffic, then the driver's seat is to the edge side. Two other examples of this: open pit mine trucks (no guardrails, so edge observation is a matter of life and death) and mail trucks (so that mail/post boxes in places that use them are within arm's reach of the truck driver).

            3. J Bourne

              There are four way junctions in the UK, and will have either four give ways, four stops or no road markings at all. The rules of precedence of arrival apply first then give way to the right. Where two vehicles are facing each other across the junction and one is indicating to turn across the others path then I'm not sure who has right of way (if anyone). similarly there would be a deadlock to resolve if all 4 approaches were to be occupied simultaneously (unlikely, these sort of junctions are never in busy locations).

              1. Vic

                There are four way junctions in the UK

                Not many without traffic lights...

                Where two vehicles are facing each other across the junction and one is indicating to turn across the others path then I'm not sure who has right of way

                When turning across traffic, the oncoming traffic has priority. It *used* to be the case that you had to turn behind any oncoming traffic that is also turning across, unless the road markings say otherwise - but last time I looked, that has been reduced to a recommendation only.

                Vic.

              2. Charles 9 Silver badge

                "Where two vehicles are facing each other across the junction and one is indicating to turn across the others path then I'm not sure who has right of way (if anyone)."

                When two opposing cars meet at an intersection at the same time:

                - If both are going straight, there is no conflict and both can proceed within the law.

                - If both cars are turning in the same relative direction, there is no conflict and both can proceed within the law.

                - If one is turning and one is going straight, the turning car yields to the ongoing car.

                - If both cars are tuning in opposite relative directions such that they'll meet on the same street, the one turning across traffic yields to the one who doesn't have to cross traffic to complete the turn (IOW, the one turning opposite the driving side yields to the one turning with the driving side).

              3. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                > Where two vehicles are facing each other across the junction and one is indicating to turn across the others path then I'm not sure who has right of way (if anyone).

                In Sweden, the turning vehicle should yield to the one going straight.

                If both are turning across the road (left here) the passage could be done 2 ways, either go straight and pass each other as if both going straight, and then turn (NEVER seen this practiced, but it's mentioned in the theory books), or both vehicles 'cut' the turn and let the other vehicle pass 'on the wrong side'. I'd expect 'interesting' things would occur if one driver each picked a different method...

                1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                  "both vehicles 'cut' the turn and let the other vehicle pass 'on the wrong side'. I'd expect 'interesting' things would occur if one driver each picked a different method..."

                  I think most traffic codes prescribe the latter method, as this has the practical consideration that neither car has to cross the other's path, meaning each can proceed at his/her own pace.

                  1. Vic

                    I think most traffic codes prescribe the latter method, as this has the practical consideration that neither car has to cross the other's path

                    More importantly, both cars can see the oncoming traffic.

                    Vic.

            4. Vic

              They often refer to nearside and farside though

              Nearside and offside

              Also they always give priority to the right

              Do we buggery. That's the French. Sometimes.

              Vic.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                That's the French.

                - Priorité a droite. Because in a well organised republic, there must be a sufficiency of business for car bodyshops. And the nausée, the existential dread of existence, this must be fended off by the exciting possibility of collisions at street corners. Is this not so, Antoine?

                -I do not know, chérie, because I am contemplating this madeleine and asking myself, is it true that we French are logical, rational and philosophical or is it just that we think we are, and our traffic regulations, far from being a statist dream of order and discipline, are in fact nothing but a bétise sanglante?

          3. Guus Leeuw
            Joke

            Dear Sir,

            the US does not make you drive on the right... In fact, for some people the US advices that they drive on the left...

            Regards,

            Guus

  4. This post has been deleted by its author

  5. Fraggle850

    '...useful during track cycling spring races...'

    Yes, but what techniques do they use during the other three seasons?

    1. Michael M

      Re: '...useful during track cycling spring races...'

      Don't concern yourself, it's all in the passed.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Crushed nut algorithm

    I remember the first time that I rode a fixie on a banked track. After a sprint I stopped pedalling but did not realise that I had to relax my leg muscles. Having my feet attached to the pedals meant that I was repeatedly thrown up and down in a rapid manner. My nuts were being hammered into the hard saddle. You only do that once.

    1. Joey M0usepad Silver badge

      Re: Crushed nut algorithm

      so they really are fixed? wasnt clear in the article. What on earth is the point of a fixie?

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Crushed nut algorithm

        According to Richard's Bicycle Book ( late nineties edition), the only purpose of fixed-wheel bikes was for training - forcing the rider to spin quickly when going down hill and pedal powerfully when going up can help tone their legs.

        If I lived in a mostly flat area, I might not bother with gears (one less mechanism to maintain, and a single-speed bike can have thicker, more durable chains and sprockets), but free-wheel hubs are so reliable that there is no practical reason not to fit one.

        Each to their own. My personal preference for a flat city would be a BMX (if chained to a fence those small tough wheels present a challenge to any pisshead who wishes to kick them in), but I would respect the choice of anyone riding a cyclocross bike, hybrid, folding Brompton, mountain bike, whatever if it works for them.

        1. Grikath

          Re: Crushed nut algorithm @Dave 126

          "If I lived in a mostly flat area, I might not bother with gears "

          The Netherlands are notoriously flat, this means you're also very much exposed to the fickle follies of wind... We cloggies love gears on our bikes, this may be a hint...

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Crushed nut algorithm

          "f I lived in a mostly flat area, I might not bother with gears (one less mechanism to maintain, and a single-speed bike can have thicker, more durable chains and sprockets)"

          You can have as strong chains and sprockets as you like with modern hub gears. My son in law is a convert, and he lives in one of the hilliest parts of the country and carries a child on a child seat, so the "extra" gears of derailleurs don't seem that essential.

      2. theOtherJT

        Re: What on earth is the point of a fixie?

        You can do pretty awesome stunts on them, as well as ride them backwards :D

        so... on roads? None at all, and in combination with clip-in shoes they're bloody dangerous.

      3. Grikath

        Re: Crushed nut algorithm

        "What on earth is the point of a fixie?"

        Weight reduction. The things really are only used in track-cycling by sane people (for a given level of sanity, if you're pursueing that particular sport) .

        They're not particularly useful on normal roads, and actually relatively dangerous to use there, given that the fixed gears mean you can't properly bank your bike in turns at speed without running the risk of hitting the ground with your pedals, which is especially unfunny if your feet are also strapped to said pedals. There's a solid reason speedcycling tracks have those heavily banked corners....

        1. Joey M0usepad Silver badge

          Re: Crushed nut algorithm

          well , thanks for the replies folks. I see now that on the road a fixie is a bloody stupid and dangerous idea . no wonder the google car was surprised. All to save the weight of a little ratchet mechanism on the back hub! (20grams?)

          1. DocJames
            Coat

            Re: Crushed nut algorithm @Joey M0usepad

            All to save the weight of a little ratchet mechanism on the back hub! (20grams?)

            Additional weight is saved: you don't need brakes. This (again) isn't too much in itself. But then you don't need braking surfaces on your rims (or disc brakes, which are heavy). And rim mass obviously has significant impact on acceleration.

            And finally, you've seriously negated the chance of something breaking or need for maintenance. No gears/sprockets/freewheel, no brakes - just about all that can go wrong is the headset, tubes or chain. This is a good bike for riding around town. It is of course perfect for riding round a track.

            Still agree they're bloody lethal (and I quite want one; wouldn't ride on roads in the UK though). My grandmother told me about all the hard men in her cycling club riding fixies (freewheels were for wimps) for pretty much all the reasons I've outlined above. 1930s were a while ago though in terms of bike technology...

            Mine's the fluorescent one (with long sleeves, long back short front and weird back pockets: design is everywhere, once you start looking)

  7. Your alien overlord - fear me

    "during track cycling spring races" - what technique do they use in summer,autumn and winter races?

  8. Ian Emery Silver badge

    Joined up thinking

    People who ride fixies on public roads are morons.

    And so are probably Apple customers.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Joined up thinking

      Yawn..

    2. Lionel Baden

      Re: Joined up thinking

      Way to obvious, but have an upvote to annoy others :D

      This whole thread is brilliant for a Friday morning. Grinning my ass off

      1. Guus Leeuw

        Re: Joined up thinking

        It works on a Monday morning / lunch time as well!

    3. This post has been deleted by its author

    4. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Joined up thinking

      Apple owners include some drivers of 10 year-old VW Passat estates, some pedestrians who wear Tricker's brogues, some skateboarders riding Independent decks, some users of the Swindon to Paddington rail line etc etc

      Riders of fixie bikes though don't really want an iPhone. They want a WASP T12 SpeechTool: http://trashbat.co.ck/

      1. Trygve Henriksen

        Re: Joined up thinking

        And this Appleist drives a 1999 Citroën Berlingo.

        I have also been seen on a very, very cheap Chinese scooter(may it rust in pieces... what little isn't rotted-out plastic) and have an old 21gear bicycle that has been converted to full PEDELEC electric bike standard...

        I've even been known to take the bust to work sometimes...

        1. Omgwtfbbqtime Silver badge
          Gimp

          Re: I've even been known to take the bust to work sometimes...

          Ooooh!

          Where can I get I bust I can travel to work in?

          Do I sit in the cleavage?

  9. Hugh Pumphrey

    Track Stand? Bah.

    As a regular cycle commuter for the last 40 years or so, there are few things that provoke a greater level of irrational annoyance in me than people who do a wobbly track stand at traffic lights. I struggle to resist the urge to push them over. Put your Bl**dy foot on the floor! And if it is too hard to get your foot off the pedal, then those shoes and pedals belong on a race track, not on a public road.

    1. Aitor 1 Silver badge

      Re: Track Stand? Bah.

      Completely agree.

      automatic pedals can be ok for city, just unclip:it is safer.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Track Stand? Bah.

      Track Stand? Bah.

      As a regular cycle commuter for the last 40 years or so, there are few things that provoke a greater level of irrational annoyance in me than people who do a wobbly track stand at traffic lights. I struggle to resist the urge to push them over. Put your Bl**dy foot on the floor! And if it is too hard to get your foot off the pedal, then those shoes and pedals belong on a race track, not on a public road.

      I would normally agree (and I upvoted you), but upsetting a Google car with that?

      All is forgiven.

      :)

    3. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Track Stand? Bah.

      That's nothing. The track stand was also what killed slow bicycle racing. I think one rider was able to pull off a track stand for several hours, hinting that if this kept up, there would soon be a point where a race would never finish in a reasonable length of time.

    4. MJI Silver badge

      Re: Track Stand? Bah.

      Can't they afford a proper bicycle?

      Bottom end Shimano setups are not that expensive. Though I note that Sturmey Archer hubs cost a lot more than they used to.

      Last time I road a fixed gear bike I was small and it had stabilisers

      My bicycle has 15 gears!

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Track Stand? Bah.

        >Sturmey Archer hubs cost a lot more than they used to.

        Haha! You should see the price of Rholoff 14 speed hubs.... about £800! However, people who are setting on a 10,000 mile expedition by bike find the reliability and minimal maintenance worth the high asking price and extra weight.

      2. ravenviz
        Boffin

        15 gears?

        Well, 15 gear combinations which you'd never sensibly use all of*. My bike has 21 gear combinations (3 front x 7 back) and I use all 7 on the front middle cog, and about 2 backs each on the other two fronts, so in all is 11 +/-.

        *apparently you can weaken the chain links on some combinations

        1. MJI Silver badge

          Re: 15 gears?

          I use the low range ones mainly as I am heavy!

        2. Graham Marsden

          @ravenviz - Re: 15 gears?

          > apparently you can weaken the chain links on some combinations

          Bicycle chains have a degree of flexibility, but they are really designed to transfer energy in a straight line.

          So if you go from, for instance, the left-hand front chainwheel to the right-most sprocket on the rear wheel, you'll be putting a hell of a lot of lateral strain on the chain that it's not meant to take and this will cause excessive wear on it and the sides of the sprockets too.

          The point of 12 or 15 (or even 21) gears on a bike is to give a smooth range of gear ratios from low to high, but if you worked out the full range you'd find that, if you wanted to go through all of them, you'd end up having to shift front and rear sprockets repeatedly which is why nobody actually uses all 12/ 15/ 21 gear speeds in real life.

          If anyone's interested, they can work out the ratios by simply dividing the number of teeth on each front sprocket by the number of teeth on the rear sprockets. If you multiply those numbers by pi times the diameter of the rear wheel you'll find out how far the bike will move in each gear for a single revolution of the pedals.

    5. WraithCadmus

      Re: Track Stand? Bah.

      Yes, you're commuting on a road you have to share. Be prepared to stop, and have a suitable vehicle. Unless you live in a dead flat area get something with fucking gears too, I don't want to be stuck behind you huffing and puffing up a 2% incline for the sake of your fashion.

      In this instance the Google car has done precisely what it should have done, seen someone acting weird and going "Erm, wtf are you doing?" and not just ploughing on.

      1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

        Re: Track Stand? Bah.

        Haven't seen this kind of fix-gear bike hear yet (this being the Netherlands, and me being a cycle commuter, I get to see LOTS of bikes). The only single speed bikes I have used a lot myself had back-pedal breaks and certainly a freewheel. These types are still popular here, what with the Netherlands being so flat, there is not much use for the lower two thirds of the 24 speeds of my current bike Koga-Miyata (fun in Dartmoor, though)

        1. Vic

          Re: Track Stand? Bah.

          Haven't seen this kind of fix-gear bike hear yet

          Who are you, and what have you done with Michael?

          Vic.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Track Stand? Bah.

        In this instance the Google car has done precisely what it should have done, seen someone acting weird and going "Erm, wtf are you doing?" and not just ploughing on.

        Nah. Down with them, I say. Develop some targeting software, paint them blood red so the smudges aren't too obvious and away we go.

        Bonus points if they wear Spandex.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Track Stand? Bah.

      I agree. I was stationary at a set of traffic lights (Red Light) cyclist comes up my inside "track stands" looses his balance lands on my car and smashes my passenger window as he falls, gets up, cycles off on the pathway while giving me the finger... thus, I had to buy a new window thanks for that idiot!

      Cyclists shouldn't be allowed to get away with damaging peoples cars but they do as their "special" and road laws don't apply to them.

    7. Extra spicey vindaloo

      Re: Track Stand? Bah.

      I track stand if I know that the lights are going to change, there is no point putting your foot down if it's only going to be for a couple of seconds.

      It's less of a problem now as it's now legal to ride through some red lights in Paris.

      1. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Track Stand? Bah.

        It's less of a problem now as it's now legal to ride through some red lights in Paris.

        So you're the one parisian cyclist who actually stops for red lights? I thought I saw you the other day but no-one would believe me.

      2. ravenviz
        WTF?

        Re: Track Stand? Bah.

        "no point"

        Eh?

    8. Graham Marsden
      Thumb Down

      @Hugh Pumphrey - Re: Track Stand? Bah.

      I am also a regular cyclist. I don't ride a fixie (12 speed Dawes racing bicycle), but I do have toe straps on my pedals because they give me better efficiency when pedalling.

      I also, where possible, track stand at lights because it allows me to move away quicker and make more progress which is the advantage of cycling in town in the first place.

      If you feel the need to assault other cyclists, then perhaps it's you who should not be on a public road.

      1. Trygve Henriksen

        Re: @Hugh Pumphrey - Track Stand? Bah.

        Look ahead, plan the next step!

        Generally, the light changes from Red to Yellow, then to Green, right?

        How difficult is it to put your foot down when it's at Red, and make ready to kick off again when it switches to Yellow?

        Probably as dificult as it is for some motorists to shift into 1st gear while waiting, but that's another issue entirely.

        1. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

          Re: @Hugh Pumphrey - Track Stand? Bah.

          Generally, the light changes from Red to Yellow, then to Green, right?

          In a lot of places it's directly red -> green.

          But I agree with you on the basics: a VERY important rule for road safety is to make your intentions unambiguous to your fellows road users. The track stand is the exact opposite of that, and that's why the GoogleMobile was confused. Going... not going. Going... not going. Repeat ad libitum .

          The annoying part is that it is a major part of the hipster cyclist's mating parade apparently, together with hand-free riding at speed in the traffic, so all the cool kids are doing it (and by all the cool kids I really mean all the 30-somethings in suit pants and sneakers)

          In some places, "foot on the ground" is what makes the stop; for example on my (gas-powered) bike I know I'generally safe from a fine if I put the foot on the ground at a stop, even if I did not completely stop the bike. There's no rule for (human-powered) bikes, but I'm pretty sure that's one of the things they taught us at school on the road safety initiation courses: when you stop, you put your foot to the ground, no exception. It's a bit like starting on first gear in a car: there's no law preventing you from revving the engine up and starting in second gear, but very few people would consider it sane. I don't know why so many cyclists insist that whatever they do is fine because there is no explicit law against it. The other day I barely avoided a cyclist who ran a red light on a low visibility intersection, almost trashing myself in the process. When I objected he answered that it would have been "hard" to pick momentum back up if he had stopped and that it was up to me to keep control on my vehicle at all times. Apparently he genuinely thought "pedalling is hard" is a valid reason to shit all over road rules.

          Note that I am routinely more annoyed by careless car drivers than by careless cyclists though.

        2. Fraggle850

          @Trygve Henriksen re: @Hugh Pumphrey - Track Stand? Bah.

          I don't think you should be in first with the clutch down while waiting. You should only engage first when you are going to move away. And you should never use the clutch or footbrake to hold a car in a stationary position. If you are stationary you should be in neutral with the handbrake on.

          1. ravenviz
            Joke

            Re: @Trygve Henriksen re: @Hugh Pumphrey - Track Stand? Bah.

            Why? I always enjoy being blinded by brake lights!

          2. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: @Trygve Henriksen re: @Hugh Pumphrey - Track Stand? Bah.

            "If you are stationary you should be in neutral with the handbrake on."

            If you do that at lights in a number of US states, you will _automatically_ fail your driving test.

            Reason being that in cold weather, the brakes can freeze to the drums and result in the car being rendered immobile.

            For the same reason, I never used the handbrake when parking my pug 106 - if the weather went below freezing overnight, the brake shoes would freeze to the drums - except that instead of stalling the car, trying to drive off would result in the (glued on) shoes snapping off the brake arms, with the end effect being no rear brakes _at all_ and a £80 repair bill to boot.

      2. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

        Re: @Hugh Pumphrey - Track Stand? Bah.

        I also cycle and I also would... react negatively to someone doing that ahead of me.

        Probably park my bike on its stand, walk ahead, and blow hard on the guy, sideways. Remount and cycle past the wreckage.

        Or, not blow him over, just stand there and mock him.

        But doesn't Google have a fleet of deathray satellites in orbit to deal with these situations?

        Heck, why don't I??

      3. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

        Re: @Hugh Pumphrey - Track Stand? Bah.

        I also, where possible, track stand at lights because it allows me to move away quicker and make more progress which is the advantage of cycling in town in the first place.

        Running traffic lights and stops would also allow you to move quicker and make more progress, I fail to see how it can be a justification for what is, in effect, dangerous behaviour.

        1. Graham Marsden

          @ElReg!comments!Pierre = Re: @Hugh Pumphrey - Track Stand? Bah.

          > Running traffic lights and stops would also allow you to move quicker and make more progress, I fail to see how it can be a justification for what is, in effect, dangerous behaviour

          What on earth are you talking about?

          Running traffic lights is not only dangerous behaviour, but illegal and, believe me, I have yelled at other cyclists for doing stupid things like that (along with "get some lights you pillock" and other such bon mots). Similarly, by the way, I have also commented to drivers that they must be riding a very nice bicycle because they're (illegally) stopped in the advanced *cycles only* stop area at traffic lights.

          Track standing *behind* the Stop line at traffic lights is neither illegal, nor dangerous.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @ElReg!comments!Pierre = @Hugh Pumphrey - Track Stand? Bah.

            It's not illegal for a car to stop in an advanced stop box, it's treated as two stop lines. If the light changes and you haven't cleared the box, you have to wait in the box for the light go green. The small cycle lane on the left which penetrates the first line is what allows cyclists to advance to the second line in the box without having to stop at the first line.

            It's perfectly legal for a car to cross the first line under a green light, then stop before exiting the box should the light turn against them.

            1. Graham Marsden

              @AC - Re: @ElReg!comments!Pierre = @Hugh Pumphrey - Track Stand? Bah.

              > It's not illegal for a car to stop in an advanced stop box,

              Fine (this is El Reg I should have expected pedantry!)

              *IF* a vehicle has *already* crossed the first Stop line under green and *then* the lights change after they have entered the marked area, but *before* they have crossed the Advanced Stop line then, yes, they are not stopped illegally, although they should not have proceeded across the first Stop line if the junction ahead is blocked.

              Highway Code paragraph 178

              Advanced stop lines. Some signal-controlled junctions have advanced stop lines to allow cycles to be positioned ahead of other traffic. Motorists, including motorcyclists, MUST stop at the first white line reached if the lights are amber or red and should avoid blocking the way or encroaching on the marked area at other times, e.g. if the junction ahead is blocked. If your vehicle has proceeded over the first white line at the time that the signal goes red, you MUST stop at the second white line, even if your vehicle is in the marked area. Allow cyclists time and space to move off when the green signal shows.

              Laws RTA 1988 sect 36 & TSRGD regs 10, 36(1) & 43(2)

              However in the vast majority of cases, it is simply a case of an ignorant (or uncaring) driver stopping at the Advanced Stop line instead of the first one.

              1. Guus Leeuw

                Re: @AC - @ElReg!comments!Pierre = @Hugh Pumphrey - Track Stand? Bah.

                But what ground do we ordinary people have if the police (Gardai here in Ireland) are upsetting the rules of the road by stopping with their motorcycles and cars in a bike box... I asked one officer so as to whether the bicycle icon on the ground meant anything to him. His reaction: A shrug and he drove off through the red light...

          2. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

            Re: @ElReg!comments!Pierre = @Hugh Pumphrey - Track Stand? Bah.

            Foot doesn't touch ground? Vehicle not stopped. I'm very sorry that normal rules may apply to you. Not my fault. Sorry.

            1. Graham Marsden
              Boffin

              Re: @ElReg!comments!Pierre = @Hugh Pumphrey - Track Stand? Bah.

              > Foot doesn't touch ground? Vehicle not stopped.

              I don't know what country you are in, however I was quoting from the article I linked to which was published by the Institute of Advanced Motorists in the UK. They *WILL NOT* put their name behind something which is not backed up by the law.

              So, sorry, but in the UK, provided the vehicle comes to a complete halt, whether or not the rider puts their foot down, they have complied with the law.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: @ElReg!comments!Pierre = @Hugh Pumphrey - Track Stand? Bah.

                "So, sorry, but in the UK, provided the vehicle comes to a complete halt, whether or not the rider puts their foot down, they have complied with the law."

                If you're track standing, the bicycle is likely wobbling (unless you can achieve some zen state of balance), meaning it's not halted (which in my dictionary defines it as "motionless") because you're still moving from side to side, which as other commenters have noted is still enough to affect other vehicles, even to the point of smashing their windows.

                So in order to be properly halted, you need to be motionless and stable relative to the ground, and just as one cannot define a plane in geometry on two points, so one cannot maintain a stable position on the ground with fewer than three nonlinear contacts. Since the wheels can provide no more than two, you must provide the third contact point to show you're motionless and stable. Put it this way. Would you like to see a motorcyclist on heavy bike attempting the same feat in heavy traffic?

                1. Graham Marsden

                  @AC - Re: @ElReg!comments!Pierre = @Hugh Pumphrey - Track Stand? Bah.

                  Nice physics, but so what. The requirement in English Law for a vehicle to be stopped is that its wheels have stopped rotating. Full stop(!)

                  You can pedant this all you like, but that's it.

                  > Would you like to see a motorcyclist on heavy bike attempting the same feat in heavy traffic?

                  I have. It was a Class One Police Rider who was taking me on my Advanced Motorcycle Test.

                2. Vic

                  Re: @ElReg!comments!Pierre = @Hugh Pumphrey - Track Stand? Bah.

                  one cannot maintain a stable position on the ground with fewer than three nonlinear contacts.

                  I can - and frequently do - on a motorcycle. It's spectactularly easy once you know how[1]. The trick is to ignore all those people who claim it requires excellent balance skills...

                  It is, obviously, harder on a pushbike - although slow-riding is still possible. I've never tried this "track stand" procedure, so I can't comment on that.

                  Would you like to see a motorcyclist on heavy bike attempting the same feat in heavy traffic?

                  Sure. It's a trivial skill.

                  Vic.

                  [1] Slow riding - including coming to a full stop - is effected by putting the rear brake on and then feathering the clutch to keep the engine off idle whilst proceeding at the desired speed (including being stationary). It takes less than 20 minutes to learn...

    9. theOtherJT

      Re: Track Stand? Bah.

      As a motorcyclist who had just such a pillock fall off his stupid hipstermobile into the side of me at some traffic lights I'm with you all the way. I won't stop next to them now, they're idiots and don't know how dangerous what they're doing is.

    10. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Track Stand? Bah.

      "there are few things that provoke a greater level of irrational annoyance in me than people who do a wobbly track stand at traffic lights"

      I know cops who will ticket any cyclist who does a track stand at a stop sign. If the foot's not on the ground, the cyclist isn't stopped.

      1. Graham Marsden

        @Alan Brown - Re: Track Stand? Bah.

        > If the foot's not on the ground, the cyclist isn't stopped.

        That may be the case in your country, however it is not the case in the UK.

        To quote from the Institute of Advanced Motorists "Common Confusions" document:

        26. Misconception: At STOP lines the rider must place at least one foot onto

        the road surface.

        There is no specific requirement for the rider to do so. The essential requirement is that a rider’s machine must come to a complete STOP.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This situation would happen anyway

    It may be fun to laugh at the Google "Johnny cab" but to be honest wobbly cyclists cause fleshbag drivers to be overcautious on occasion (unless they are the ones with crossed out pictues of bikes down the side of the car...)

    1. Graham Marsden

      Re: This situation would happen anyway

      Fleshbag drivers *should* be cautious when around cyclists, the Highway Code says exactly that:

      212 - When passing motorcyclists and cyclists, give them plenty of room (see Rules 162 to 167). If they look over their shoulder it could mean that they intend to pull out, turn right or change direction. Give them time and space to do so.

      213 - Motorcyclists and cyclists may suddenly need to avoid uneven road surfaces and obstacles such as drain covers or oily, wet or icy patches on the road. Give them plenty of room and pay particular attention to any sudden change of direction they may have to make.

      NB Cyclists should, of course, also obey the rules, but they are not some sort of second-class road users who should get out of the way of those who "pay to use the road" (nobody has since the Road Fund Licence was abolished before WWII), they have as much right to use the road as anyone else and ALL road users should treat others with courtesy and respect.

      1. LucreLout Silver badge

        Re: This situation would happen anyway

        @Graham

        Let us not forget:-

        Rule 59 that says you should wear a helmet and high vis.

        Rule 64 that says you MUST NOT cycle on the pavement.

        Rule 66 that says you should cycle in single file around bends or on busy roads.

        Rule 68 that says you MUST NOT ride in a careless, inconsiderate or dangerous manner.

        Rule 69 that says you MUST OBEY all traffic signs and signals.

        Rule 71 that says you MUST NOT jump red lights.

        Rule 72 that says you MUST NOT pass on the inside of an indicating vehicle.

        Cyclists are responsible for their own safety, but everyone should leave enough space & time for the other road user to make a mistake - shouting rules at each other is not the best way to achieve that, it has to be cooperative and that requires compromise from each of us.

        Note: I capitalised the MUST NOT bits not to shout, but because highway code convention differentiates SHOULD NOT to mean advice and MUST NOT to mean backed by law.

        1. Graham Marsden

          @LucreLout - Re: This situation would happen anyway

          Yes, I'm aware of all that, as I said "Cyclists should, of course, also obey the rules".

          However where you say "Cyclists are responsible for their own safety" that doesn't mean that other road users shouldn't take equal care. As a motorcyclist as well as a cyclist, I'm very familiar with the words "Sorry, Mate, I Didn't See You" uttered by a driver who simply failed to *LOOK*.

          1. LucreLout Silver badge

            Re: @LucreLout - This situation would happen anyway

            @Graham

            However where you say "Cyclists are responsible for their own safety" that doesn't mean that other road users shouldn't take equal care.

            Equal care as they do with other traffic? No, other road users should take extra care around bikers and cyclists. Collisions with cycles or bikes won't just be a call to the insurance and a trip to the body shop.

            Equal care as the cyclist? No, again, because the cyclist must be primarily responsible for their own safety. How could they not be?

            SMIDSY is a consequence of the driver not looking and the rider not allowing them space & time to make a mistake. That said, I appreciate that there's only so much you can do - I try to leave the other guy room, but I've still had panel damage. I'd quite like to see fault or partial fault accidents penalised in some way - help the special ones stay focussed on the task at hand.

            1. Alan Brown Silver badge

              Re: @LucreLout - This situation would happen anyway

              "SMIDSY is a consequence of the driver not looking and the rider not allowing them space & time to make a mistake."

              Doesn't help if you're on a country lane doing under 20 and a cyclist comes round a bend going hell-for-leather on the wrong side of the road.

              That happens regularly around here. Apparently the road rule about only going fast enough that you can stop in the clear viewing distance of the road ahead (half is there's no centreline) doesn't apply to them and nor does "keep left" or "use extra care on blind bends" (The posted speed limit is an upper limit. You can be ticketed for speeding at any velocity if the cop feels it was unsafe for prevailing conditions)

            2. Fraggle850

              Re: @LucreLout - This situation would happen anyway

              'SMIDSY is a consequence of the driver not looking and the rider not allowing them space & time to make a mistake'

              As someone who has experience of both four and two wheeled transport (motorised and self-powered) I have to say that 'mistake' is often incorrect when applied to bicycles. I've had drivers make eye contact with me as I've approached a junction and still pull out on me when on a pushbike, this was around 20 years ago (last time I used a bicycle as a means of transport). I can only imagine that things have got worse since. We seem to be increasingly living in a culture of self-absorbed kidults where it's more important to keep up with your Twitter feed than pay attention to the road around you when driving.

              1. Vic

                Re: @LucreLout - This situation would happen anyway

                I've had drivers make eye contact with me as I've approached a junction and still pull out on me when on a pushbike

                The one I get quite a bit is drivers who do not believe that the bike is moving at all. So they'll overtake, leaving lots of room, and then pull in again without looking, having travelled just enough distance to have passed a stationary object where I was at the beginning of the manouvre. This leaves me hard on the brakes trying to avoid being side-swiped...

                Vic.

          2. Vic

            Re: @LucreLout - This situation would happen anyway

            As a motorcyclist as well as a cyclist, I'm very familiar with the words "Sorry, Mate, I Didn't See You" uttered by a driver who simply failed to *LOOK*.

            There was a guy in the pub some while back with a wondrous patch on his jacket. It said simply "Save a Biker's life - open yer fucking eyes"...

            Vic.

        2. JakeMS

          Re: This situation would happen anyway

          Cyclists should have to take a road license test just like a car or motorbike in my opinion. Their bikes should also have to have a yearly road safety check just like a motorbike or car (Tyres can still go flat/blunt, breaks can still wear out and chains can rust and potentially be just waiting to break..)

          Additionally bikes should be required to have LIGHTS so that other road users can see them at night when they are not wearing a high visibility jacket, have no reflector pads and are wearing a black hoodie on a dark country lane (Happened to me, I almost wiped him out, his lucky I happened to see a slight movement out of the corner of my eye which made me focus and have to slam on breaks and skid to avoid him..)

          Additionally, they should have registration plates so that if they run red lights, ride on walkways or damage peoples cars they too, just like any other road user can be held responsible.

        3. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: This situation would happen anyway

          "Rule 64 that says you MUST NOT cycle on the pavement."

          This rule would have to depend on the locality because where I live, the rule is that, barring a designated bike path, you MUST cycle on the pavement because the sidewalk is meant for walking. Besides, some places sidewalks don't exist. You stick to the outside so that cars can pass you.

          1. Steven Raith

            Re: This situation would happen anyway

            In the UK pavement = sidewalk, where pedestrians go.

            I expect your US based, where pavement = road (and sidewalk = where pedestrians walk)

            I can understand why that would have been confusing to read :-)

      2. Vic
        Joke

        Re: This situation would happen anyway

        ALL road users should treat others with courtesy and respect.

        Point of order.

        Sir appears to have forgotten the White Van Exemption...

        Vic.

  11. TeeCee Gold badge
    Facepalm

    track cycling sprint races

    The most incorrectly named sport of all time.

    Bloody funny on TV though. Listening to a commentator trying to make two blokes riding incredibly slowly and/or standing still on bicycles sound exciting is comedy gold.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      The thing is, the sprint only occurs over the last, say, 200m. Everything before that is jockeying for position, and getting behind a cyclist to slipstream before pulling away late is a known sprint tactic. So yes, the final part is the actual sprint and is accurate; it's just the leadup that stinks to the audience although to the racers, it's valid headgames.

  12. Fraggle850

    It does seem somewhat ridiculous to have one's feet fixed to the pedals...

    ...if riding in city traffic. What happens if you have to do an emergency stop? Do you just fall over?

    Fixed wheels? Whatever floats your boat but having your feet firmly fixed to the pedals? Wrong on city roads. You have to take some responsibility for your own safety.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It does seem somewhat ridiculous to have one's feet fixed to the pedals...

      What happens if you have to do an emergency stop? Do you just fall over?

      Where do you think the idea for speed bumps came from? Sleeping policemen came much later :)

    2. John H Woods

      Re: It does seem somewhat ridiculous to have one's feet fixed to the pedals...

      "It does seem somewhat ridiculous to have one's feet fixed to the pedals...if riding in city traffic." -- Fraggle850

      ... Or, indeed, in the country. Slowing for dog on a transverse vector, I wobbled into an electric fence and lay there with my feet fixed to the peddles getting a blast of twitching every two seconds as the fence continued to operate normally. My wife and sister in law almost injured themselves laughing.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It does seem somewhat ridiculous to have one's feet fixed to the pedals...

        My girlfriend was riding with her cycling club and her left clip would not come out of the pedal when they stopped at a store.

        She lost her balance and fell, breaking her arm and the rear fork (carbon fiber) of her beloved Bianchi.

    3. Rikkeh

      Re: It does seem somewhat ridiculous to have one's feet fixed to the pedals...

      You get used to it surprisingly quickly. Clipping in also means you don't slip off the pedals if it's wet, or if you're pedalling hard for some reason (e.g. trying to get a head start on a murderous HGV that's coming up behind you at a junction).

      1. Fraggle850

        Re: It does seem somewhat ridiculous to have one's feet fixed to the pedals...

        You may get used to it surprisingly quickly but I still don't see how you can do a safe emergency stop.

    4. ssharwood

      Re: It does seem somewhat ridiculous to have one's feet fixed to the pedals...

      It takes half a second to clip out. Not a massive risk, at least for cyclists who ride assuming everything else on the road can kill them and will after a moment of negligence. That's how I ride. If I'm not visible and predictable I assume I'm a statistic waiting to happen.

    5. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: It does seem somewhat ridiculous to have one's feet fixed to the pedals...

      "Fixed wheels?"

      Shouldn't be road-legal, for all the reasons everyone has gone into.

      End of.

  13. Mage Silver badge
    FAIL

    Programs

    The more complex it is, the harder to maintain. So called A.I. are exceptionally fragile compared to a Lathe controller, set-box GUI, accounts program because it's impossible to predict all eventual inputs and situations. Unlike a GUI an autonomous car can't ignore input until it gets "valid" input.

    Autonomous vehicles need their own dedicated pedestrian and cyclist free road ways, the equivalent of railways without tracks.

  14. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
    Terminator

    But what were they typing in?

    Must. Kill. Hipster. Cyclist?

  15. ZanzibarRastapopulous

    Impossible situation.

    Such a cyclist is totally unpredictable, as such the only solution that doesn't carry any risk of killing him is to wait for him to go.

    Car was right.

  16. a well wisher

    So he would have preferred it just to run him down !

    Complaining it stopped seems a strange argument

    1. Nick Kew Silver badge

      Re: So he would have preferred it just to run him down !

      Who's complaining?

      The original story seems to have been a good-natured encounter, where none of the human parties got stressed or upset. We're told the googlers found it amusing, and it no doubt adds incrementally to the experience that'll bring self-drive to the masses in due course.

      It's only amongst the Reg commentards that anyone seems to be getting bothered, let alone expressing extreme prejudice and advocating psychopathic behaviour as at least two have done. I came here to post to tell the little strangely-analagous anecdote about what happened to me yesterday (above), when I got held up by an a car messing about but nothing bad happened, and noone lost their temper at anyone.

  17. Joey M0usepad Silver badge

    " have no freewheel so when the pedals are moving, the wheels are moving"

    no freewheel? whats the point of that?

    and did you mean "when wheels are moving, pedals are moving?

    and how is any of the above relevent to the technique of not putting your feet down?

  18. Cuddles Silver badge

    "Is it specified who (should have had) priority? Could it be that everyone concerned was in fact doing exactly the right thing?"

    Indeed, this is likely to be one of the biggest problems for self-driving cars. Even once we manage to get them to know and follow all the rules and recognise everything around them, what happens when the rules are don't actually lead to a sensible conclusion? For example, if four cars arrive at the junctions of a four-way mini-roundabout at exactly the same time, the law says that everyone has to give way to someone and no-one actually has right of way. As humans, we solve that by making embarrassed eye contact for a bit until someone says fuck it and just goes for it. But if the rules say a computer isn't allowed to move, it doesn't, and it's not going to get impatient and force a resolution (although presumably there will be special programming for Audis to cover that). The usual issues people always bring up about identifying obstacles and so on are actually relatively easy to solve, it's situations that require the car to technically break the rules that are likely to be the trickier ones.

    @ Fraggle850

    ".if riding in city traffic. What happens if you have to do an emergency stop? Do you just fall over?"

    You what? Have you never actually ridden or seen a bike before? If you have to do an emergency stop, you simply do an emergency stop. Cleats don't mean bolting your feet to the bike and needing a workshop full of power tools to release you again, it takes a fraction of a second to make the tiny sideways motion needed to unclip. If you're unable to stop safely then absolutely you shouldn't be using cleats, but incompetence is not a problem that banning cleats could solve.

    1. Omgwtfbbqtime Silver badge

      "incompetence is not a problem that banning cleats could solve"

      No, but enforcement of the Highway Code would.

      As would plates, insurance, testing etc.

      Prove you're not an incompetent lunatic all the time - just like drivers and motorcyclists have to before they get out on the road unsupervised.

      The sooner they ban headphones on the road the better, nothing worse than the cyclist wobbling side to side infront of you completely unaware of everything except the ipod blaring in their ears.

      1. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

        Re: "incompetence is not a problem that banning cleats could solve"

        The sooner they ban headphones on the road the better,

        In most places they fall foul of the "keep aware of your surroundings" rule. It is rarely acted upon by the cops, though I remember that Montreal's city police started dishing out heavy fines to cyclists sporting headgear when I was there a couple years back. I heard a lot of my colleagues bitch about how unfair it was that they were fined as the motorists were a danger to them, not the opposite. Idiots.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: "incompetence is not a problem that banning cleats could solve"

          "In most places they fall foul of the "keep aware of your surroundings" rule. It is rarely acted upon by the cops, though I remember that Montreal's city police started dishing out heavy fines to cyclists sporting headgear when I was there a couple years back. I heard a lot of my colleagues bitch about how unfair it was that they were fined as the motorists were a danger to them, not the opposite. Idiots."

          It's like that where I am as well. You cannot block both ears when driving or riding because one needs to have aural awareness (in the event of a horn or siren, for example, the source of which may not be immediately visible). I think they let a monaural earpiece slide, though, since one ear was still free.

          1. Graham Marsden

            Headphones - Re: "incompetence is not a problem that banning cleats could solve"

            Many (many!) years ago I used to do a paper round on a bicycle and (back in the days of the Sony Walkman et al) I used to listen to music on headphones, but I kept the volume down to just above the ambient level of traffic noise, so I was still aware of what was going on.

            Now compare that to the idiots who drive around with massive bass bins in their boot who would probably not hear a bomb if it went off outside their car...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Indeed, this is likely to be one of the biggest problems for self-driving cars. Even once we manage to get them to know and follow all the rules and recognise everything around them, what happens when the rules are don't actually lead to a sensible conclusion? For example, if four cars arrive at the junctions of a four-way mini-roundabout at exactly the same time, the law says that everyone has to give way to someone and no-one actually has right of way. As humans, we solve that by making embarrassed eye contact for a bit until someone says fuck it and just goes for it. But if the rules say a computer isn't allowed to move, it doesn't, and it's not going to get impatient and force a resolution (although presumably there will be special programming for Audis to cover that). The usual issues people always bring up about identifying obstacles and so on are actually relatively easy to solve, it's situations that require the car to technically break the rules that are likely to be the trickier ones."

      I think in a situation such as an all-way roulette, the best solution would be to resort to chance. If a car encounters such a scenario where all the roads are occupied but no one moves for a certain length of time, indicative of a yield lock, then the simplest solution would be for each car to pull a random number from say 1 to 50 and wait that many tenths of a second before making an assertive move forward, say a foot or two. Odds are one car will move first, it asserts right of way and we go from there. If more than one move at the same time, repeat between all the cars that moved then. Law of Averages should create a case where just one car moves before too long. At least with computers, there'll be no emotional inclination to "cut".

      1. Guus Leeuw

        Standardization of intra car comminucation would come in handy here...

        Also, there are exceptions even when all cars come to the intersection at the same time:

        1) Those that do not go straight have to wait for traffic to clear

        2) Amongst those that go straight, the ICCP (Intra-Car-COmmunication Protocol) can determine who goes first

        After that, the nearside rule applies, and every cars goes in turn.

        Regards,

        Guus

    3. Alan Brown Silver badge

      "For example, if four cars arrive at the junctions of a four-way mini-roundabout at exactly the same time, the law says that everyone has to give way to someone and no-one actually has right of way."

      The same way you do collision avoidance in Ethernet - random delays before making the next decision to move.

  19. WibbleMe

    Would the Google Car stop if two mimes pretended to hold a piece of glass over the road?

    1. LucreLout Silver badge

      Most computers are already familiar with mime types.

      1. Barely registers

        Genius.

        Get on over to the caption competition whilst you're on form.

  20. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

    Laughing and punching stuff into a laptop

    if ( count > 3 ) { RunTheFuckerOver(); }

  21. Jelder

    I'd love to see the config panel:

    Hipster avoidance: on/off

    Drive style: old lady/tourist/normal/effective progress/joyride

    Speed limits: 0 / +5% / +10% / ignore

    Tyre screech: off / dramatic moments / always

    Wheelspin: never / two lane traffic lights / always

    Priorities order: pedestrian / cyclist / other vehicle / GoogleCar: drag to edit

  22. smartypants

    The way forward is simple...

    Quite rare for me to recommend a Metro article, and don't be put off by the title. It contains both a video of an idiot-cyclist breaking a red light and ending up getting hit by a bus (and most of my fellow cyclists cannot stand such idiots), and a thought-provoking idea of why our crowded streets could be better if 30% of people got around by bike.

    http://metro.co.uk/2015/06/03/the-law-should-protect-cyclists-and-penalise-motorists-5227953/

    It's about time we enforced the rules for all road users properly. The way to protect the idiot cyclist in the video is to police the roads properly and catch these idiots. Why are they allowed to get away with it? The way to protect the vast *majority* of cyclists is to make it socially unacceptable for drivers to hold the sort of poisonous, aggressive attitude of our friend 'Vladimir' as he drives around our towns. The vast majority of motorists show me a lot of courtesy when I'm cycling, but every once-in-a-while a 'Vladimir' almost wipes you out on a stupid overtake. As a car driver I know that this is pointless, because it is other vehicles which slow down car journeys through towns.

    Roads are for people. No matter how we get around, we should all stick to the rules and respect each other's rights to safety.

    1. Dan Paul

      Re: The way forward is simple... Okay Smartypants

      How is the well deserved, tongue in cheek, comment by Vlad "Poisonous"? Just because he's talking about YOU? Feeling bereft, diddums?

      As far as I can see, it is a well deserved response to the arrogant, narcissistic, rude, law breaking, cyclists that infest the roads. If you are a jerk then be prepared to reap what you sow and meet Darwin personally!

      Stop with the "Socially Unacceptable" PC bullcrap! Everyone has a right to express an opinion and these cyclists deserve a negative one. Take some PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY. That doesn't take a "village".

      People don't have to kowtow to the religion of political correctness, they just have to use some common sense and a little "gray matter".

      That alone will prevent it (gray matter) being splattered all over the highway.

      1. smartypants

        Re: The way forward is simple... Okay Smartypants

        @Dan Paul

        "As far as I can see, it is a well deserved response to the arrogant, narcissistic, rude, law breaking, cyclists that infest the roads.."

        So to clarify, you consider that 'I would have gotten out and knocked the wanker off his bike. Then run over his bicycle' is a 'well deserved' punishment for a cyclist who yielded at a 4 way stop junction to an automated car.

        The world has its problems but thank fuck people like you aren't in charge here at least.

  23. myhandler

    Why does the cycling subject bring out so many trolls?

    Anyone would think the user's in their metal boxes stand to get physically injured, but no, it's the soft objects around them that petrify ther sense of ownership and importance.

  24. billium

    It is funny to see idiots like Dan Paul using the tax argument. Most adult cyclist have a car and therefore pay road tax. Do you want to road tax pedestrians? Double if they are walking a dog? Bicycles are very light cf. cars and do not damage roads.

    1. Dan Paul

      billium

      It's hilarious to see entitled moronic dolts like you comment vacuously against any opinion they don't care for.

      What do you pay as a cyclist towards roads and their upkeep?

      NOTHING!

      An automobile driver pays for roads with the taxes on gasoline, the taxes on his /her vehicle, the registration fees, the insurance etc. This list is ENDLESS.

      These fees and taxes are effectively a "Use Tax". Don't give me the malarkey that "Bicycles don't damage roads". That's common knowledge. What cyclists do is use the roads and thus they should pay to do so whether they have a car or NOT.

      WHY NOT CHARGE CYCLISTS WITH REGISTERING, LISCENCING, TESTING AND INSURANCE JUST LIKE AUTOMOBILE DRIVERS ARE?

      Anything less is discriminatory!

      1. billium

        I have a car ... I pay road tax, just like most adult cyclists. Is this too hard to grasp?

        You do not stop paying road tax when you use a bike, if you have a car!

        1. Steven Raith

          In the UK, if you pay pretty much any tax, you pay for the roads - it's maintained out of general taxation, not a specific road tax itself. VED isn't to pay for the roads, it's to encourage the use of smaller cars. It's a tax on the car itself, not the road use - otherwise hybrid 4x4s would still pay the higher rate.

          No idea what the criac is in the US, mind (which, Jagged, is where I assume Dan Paul is from)

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            "No idea what the criac is in the US, mind (which, Jagged, is where I assume Dan Paul is from)"

            The general rule in the US is that road maintenance is collected through a combination of gasoline taxes and vehicle registration fees (the latter getting more attention lately because it can make up for the lower gas taxes brought in by high-efficiency and non-liquid-fuel vehicles). Other taxes may be involved but they're done on a case by case basis depending on the needs of the state or locality. Virginia, for example, restructured its gasoline tax structure a few years ago to bring in more revenue (for much-needed road repairs) and to reduce the need to adjust for inflation again in future.

      2. Jagged

        @Dan Paul

        You don't pay road tax, you pay car tax. Roads are maintained out of general taxation. Car Tax is based upon CO2 emissions. So you do not pay for the roads, you pay a levy for the amount of poison you spew out into the environment.

        So as a matter of fact all cyclists pay the same as cars with similar emissions i.e. nothing.

        1. Down not across Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: @Dan Paul

          Car Tax is based upon CO2 emissions. So you do not pay for the roads, you pay a levy for the amount of poison you spew out into the environment.

          So as a matter of fact all cyclists pay the same as cars with similar emissions i.e. nothing.

          So lets get the cyclists to MOT station and stick the emissions meter tube in their gob and see how much CO2 they breathe out then.

          And road tax is not necessarily based on emissions. Older cars go by engine displacment. Not sure how you'd measure that on a cyclist.

        2. Graham Marsden
          WTF?

          Re: @Dan Paul

          Y'know, I find it fascinating (and hilarious) how Right-wing Libertarian Americans are *SO* against additional taxes that affect them, yet, somehow, when it's an issue like this, they're in favour of taxes for *other* people!

          1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: @Dan Paul

            I find it fascinating (and hilarious)

            Which is just another way of saying "it rustles my jimmies though I'm not fully sure why" or "somebody is wrong on my Internet".

            Right-wing Libertarian

            Mr. Marsden, I do think this omelette fell out of your cranium?

            Next up: Dry Water, Unblue Sky, Leftists for Freedom and Free Money.

            1. Graham Marsden

              @Destroy All Monsters - Re: @Dan Paul

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right-libertarianism

              (And, yes, I know it's Wikipedia, but I can't be bothered to do any more searching now)

      3. J.G.Harston Silver badge

        Re: billium

        Nobody (in the UK) pays road tax. Car owners pay *CAR* tax.

        "Bicycles damage roads, they should pay tax".

        Ok, how? **CAR** tax is calculated on the vehicle emissions. So, bicycle=zero emissions=zero tax.

        Wah Wah! bicyles wear the road just as cars do!!! Wah!!!

        Ok. Road wear is proportional to the cube of the rolling weight of the vehicle. My bicycle with me on it weighs 80kg. My car weighs 1600kg. 1600/80 is 20. The cube of 20 is 8000. So, my wear-on-the-road bicycle tax should be 1/8000th of the £180 vehicle tax my car is liable for. 2.25p TWO AND A QUARTER FUKCING PENCE. Now, who do I send the cheque to?

        1. Nick Kew Silver badge

          Re: billium

          So, my wear-on-the-road bicycle tax should be 1/8000th of the £180 vehicle tax my car is liable for. 2.25p

          Doesn't that assume you do the same mileage with the two vehicles?

          1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

            Re: billium

            I do about ten times more mileage in my car than my bike, so ok, reduce that down to 0.225p.

  25. etz

    The car behaved exactly as it should (ie. avoided hitting idiot, unshielded meatsack regardless of priority) , the cyclist should have ridden on.

    Four way stops aren't common in the UK (I've never seen one), but are in other countries (South Africa, Australia). The rules are pretty simple: first come, first serve. Arrive at the same time, yield to the right/left as per usual. In the event 2 cars opposite arrive and one is turning across the other, the turner enters the junction and waits for the other car to go straight across. The turner then has priority over all other cars outside the junction. It's really simple, also way easier and fairer than all the idiotic roundabouts we have in the UK.

  26. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
    Pint

    "A.I. is hard."

    Next, they'll stumble across James May in his Push-Me-Pull-You double-fronted car.

    Then Edd China will show up with his 75 mph couch.

    Next, a motorized Shed will close in on them, leading to several '1202 Alarms'.

    I'll be out walking my kangaroo and it'll get loose, leading to CPU meltdown.

    A truck delivering huge mirrors should be amusing.

    Try winter diving in Canada, when the entire visual field is just shades of white.

    "A.I. is hard."

    They're not only not done, their hardware is incapable of accomplishing the complete job.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "A.I. is hard."

      "Next, they'll stumble across James May in his Push-Me-Pull-You double-fronted car."

      So what? Which end is moving forward is all the car needs to know.

      "Then Edd China will show up with his 75 mph couch. Next, a motorized Shed will close in on them, leading to several '1202 Alarms'."

      Same here. Who cares what shape it's in. If it's moving, it's a potential vehicle and potential hazard.

      "A truck delivering huge mirrors should be amusing."

      Don't those trucks have to cover their mirrors during transit due to the glare issue?

      "Try winter diving in Canada, when the entire visual field is just shades of white."

      Radar doesn't care what color is the target, only that it can reflect back.

    2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: "A.I. is hard."

      They're not only not done, their hardware is incapable of accomplishing the complete job.

      It's like someone is talking about the human brain here.

  27. Bob Dole (tm)
    Holmes

    I read through that topic on the cyclists forum. Considering the OP couldn't follow the conversation very well I'm not putting a whole lot of stock into his summary of the events.

  28. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Trollface

    A new problem in AI

    The Google Car Driving Dilemma?

  29. Disko
    Mushroom

    So much rage

    and it's not even about a clown on a unicycle

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