A Cyclist's Perspective

This semester, I had an interesting start to uni. In first week, I popped a pretty bad blister during my Netball match, that I couldn’t even walk properly for first week of uni. So, I had to use crutches, because it was that bad. Hahaha. Then in the second week of uni, I recently was involved in a cycling accident. Please don’t freak out. I came out with minor injuries luckily (bruises and whiplash), and my bike was perfectly fine… with a tiny scratch (phew).

My advice when you get into an accident is to remember to get their details! Adrenaline is shooting up in your system, and you have totally have no idea whether your injuries is major or minor. But at that time, I knew it was minor injuries (surprisingly).

Before the accident, I remember the traffic was so heavy (two-way traffic), and I had to use the roundabout. Sure, I should’ve used the pedestrian pathway, but it’s against the law (even though we all do this occasionally when we need to), and plus I was already on the road. So, I couldn’t just get off the road by getting off my bike, and drivers get really angry if I did this.

When I got to the roundabout, I signalled, annnnddd the driver didn’t see me. So we crashed; I couldn’t brake as quickly as I can. Luckily, my bike was perfectly fine, and I came out with minor injuries (bruises) and whiplash (after effect of a crash).

Now, on that day I needed to get my ankle braces from my physio, and I needed to get back home quickly to study and practise. So, I said, “I’m all good,”  after a couple of minutes, and I went off. Boy, I was really in a rush, and dear lord, I totally forgot to get their details! Hahahahhahahahaa. I had too many things going in my mind.

So lesson learnt, get their details, put on front headlights (flashing), wear reflective vest (which I haven’t got into quite yet), and drink your afternoon coffee (I forgot to do that, because I didn’t have time; I had to leave uni early after I had lunch at uni – I had a driving lesson that day).

ALSO, please note that cyclists have to communicate with drivers, pedestrians other cyclists on the road. However, you need to be mindful that sometimes drivers don’t see it sometimes (blind spot). During that day, it was just plain bad luck. Oh, I had numerous encounters with cars, and even a bus in my cycling life.

NOTE: Buses and cyclists are NOT FUN. I got beeped by the bus driver, because I was out of the way, even though the buses, or any other motorised vehicles should give way to cyclists in general. During at that time of year (back in Year 9), loud noises wasn’t my cup of tea, so I almost lost balance (or supposedly almost flipping off my bike).

Whenever I’m at uni, (CBD Melbourne), NO ONE communicates on the road, and it makes me annoyed (sometimes) when they don’t communicate to alert pedestrians, or other cyclists. It’s so dangerous to see that no one communicates on the road, and there’s jam packed of cyclists going down past uni so fast.

There’s one time I had I collided with another cyclist on the road, because the cyclist didn’t communicated with me behind. The cyclist should’ve said “slowing” (pulling the brakes slowly), then “stopping” (stopping at a safe distance). So instead, it was a sudden stop, and I tried to avoid the sudden stop, but ended up hitting the curve instead. It was damn scary when I collided with that cyclist. Apparently, I did a 360 with my bike and landed on the side. I couldn’t remember what I did during the crash, but I certainly remember the before and after accident. After the accident, I had a permanent scar on my face, cuts and grazes on my left leg, mild concussion, and of course whiplash (a day after the accident). This was a week before my VCE Japanese exam, and I couldn’t study for a few days. HAHHHAHHA.

So moral of this short story? Please use hand signals (non-verbal) and verbal communication on the road 🙂

Here’s a link for the types of signs we have to use on the road:

http://cyclingtips.com.au/2009/09/verbal-and-non-verbal-communication/

I use verbal and non-verbal communication on the road always. It’s so important to communicate on the road between drivers, pedestrian and cyclists!

You’ll get used to it in the end. In Beach Road, these get used very often. If you don’t, a few serious cyclists get really annoyed on beach road, or many on Great Vic Bike Ride. I got told off for not using my stopping/slowing sign properly one time. Hahahahaha.

NOTE: I haven’t rode to uni quite yet, and I’ll probably won’t in the future, because I get on the train during the peak hour. Hahahaha. But I do ride occasionally around my place, if I can during uni days, and mostly during breaks. I hope this post really informs you about we (cyclists, drivers and pedestrian) need to be aware of in the future.

ANOTHER NOTE: I had to go to Netball training (the next day after the accident) with the after affects. Boy, running with a bruise on your left, bum cheek is like something is poking you as you run. :s
Even though I had to take it easy, I was sure glad to be back training, and I SURVIVED the entire session! Woo hoo!

For more further information about bike rules/laws/tips on the road…

https://www.bicyclenetwork.com.au/general/policy-and-campaigns/2689/  or
https://www.bicyclenetwrk

You can search up on google for hand signals, ask me on campus about cycling, or just post down a question down below!

Music suggestion for this blog post? Bicycle Race by Queen 😉

Enjoy your weekend! Sunday is looking pretty mint!

– Nicole


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