Creating problems - pushies/motorbikes
As someone who's ridden motorbikes for many years in London, I'm struck by how things have changed recently. As we share similar vulnerabilities, risks and benefits when it comes to riding in traffic, I always used to find that bikes and pushies had a fairly easy coexistence.
I've always been extremely careful around pushies, even to the point of using my presence to 'shield' cyclists from bad cabbies, HGVs etc.
Nowadays though, it seems to be different. There's the whole thing about ASLs, which seems to have stirred up problems. Forums like this promote an us-them mentalityy, and it's leading to some crappy behaviour on the roads. I'll tell one story as illustration, but this type of thing generally is getting more common.
This morning, filtering between two lanes up to the lights, a cyclist coming from the left looked, saw me, and hurried to get out into the filter space in front of me. Getting to the front, lights on red, he then stopped in the gap (there was no ASl here), smirking over his shoulder. This left me stuck between a bus and an HGV, waiting for the green.
I asked him to pull forward, and he laughed. Lights turn green, he kept his position, keeping pace with the slow moving heavy vehicles, leaving me still between them.
As I said, there have been more and more of this type of deliberate endangerment, in road spaces we used to share fairly easily.
I don't know if cyclists just enjoy the sense of opposition, but I don't think it helps in terms of safety. I'm starting to feel less tolerant, and lessinclined to make that extra effort around cyclists. Far from it, I find myself accelerating to stop cyclists pulling out into filter spaces, for example. This isn't spite, I just no longer want to risk having nob jockeys like that around me. Before ALSs, bikes and pushies alike would filter, pull ahead of the queue, and move over to allow others in. That seemed to work. Now we get people 'guarding' their precious space.
Is this the desired effect of 'cycle activism'?
Anyway, I'm very impressed by all your research into the Highway Code when it comes to ASLs and so on, but you might be better served by getting on with the people you share the narrow, dangerous bits of road with. I think most bikers, powered or not, ignore the Highway code all the time in favour of doing what makes us safer.