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To think adults need to be sure their children can ride bikes safely?

18 replies

stayingaliveisawayoflife · 23/12/2019 13:41

Just driving through Barnes and a family is out on their bikes Mum Dad and child. Child is on pavement and Mum and Dad are riding incredibly slowly on the road to be at the same speed. They are directly in front of us in our car.

Child rides straight out across a side road and in the path of a car which beeps at them. Mum and Dad stop straight in front of us and we beep them. We carry on up the road then stop at the roundabout.

Dad comes up to drivers window and hits it so my husband winds it down. Dad then starts shouting various profanities at us for beeping at him when he was watching his son. My husband said he shouldn't have just stopped as we nearly hit him. He then hit the wing mirror and knocked it in.

The child was around 9 or 10 so surely they need to look at his safety not the fact we beeped are them!

OP posts:

Vinorosso74 · 23/12/2019 13:47

I agree but a lot of adults don't know how to ensure this. A lot of London councils do bikeability courses including some for parents and children together. The people who run our one are excellent!


BlaueLagune · 23/12/2019 14:02

Why did you beep them? To stop them from doing something dangerous or just to show your displeasure? If the latter, you were also at fault. Beeping cyclists (and pedestrians) is not helpful.


stayingaliveisawayoflife · 23/12/2019 14:12

We beeped because we thought we were going to hit them as they stopped straight in front of our car.

OP posts:

chockaholic72 · 23/12/2019 14:14

If you beeped because you nearly hit him, you were driving far too close to the cyclists. You need to be a metre away from the side of his bike, and far back, so that even if he stopped without signalling (which he should have done) you wouldn't even come close to hitting him.


redwoodmazza · 23/12/2019 14:26

"Rule 112 of the Highway Code is very clear on the purpose of vehicle horns, and states that they are only to be used in order to warn another road user of your presence. That means you should never honk as a greeting, or as an expression of annoyance.

Sometimes, this is clear-cut. For instance, it is appropriate to beep as you come up to a blind bend on a single track road; it lets drivers approaching from the opposite direction—who are unable to see you—know to give way. Equally, if a car starts to reverse towards you as you are passing, honking alerts them to the danger."


Expressedways · 23/12/2019 14:34

If the child is that much of a liability on a bike and the parents haven’t bothered to teach basic road safety then they should stick to cycling in the park. The child could have been killed shooting straight out of a side road like that- it doesn’t bear thinking about! Dad was probably panicked which goes some way to explain, although not excuse, him hitting your car.

And on the beeping, I think it was appropriate to warn them of your presence and it sounds like the parents shot out of a side road in front of you after the child had done the same with the car in front. I don’t think you could have been following too closely because you weren’t behind them until they failed to give way at a junction. Or am I misunderstanding what happened?


TwoOddSocks · 23/12/2019 14:36

YANBU they're not safe to be on the road. They should find a cycle path or park to cycle in until the kid is safe to accompany his parents on the road.


stayingaliveisawayoflife · 23/12/2019 14:47

The adults were on the main road cycling very slowly but they stopped and came back towards us. We beeped because they stopped came back and were not looking at us but at their child who was almost hit on the side road.

It's interesting that no one has commented on the fact the dad followed us up the road to have a go and try to break our wing mirror which would have been an expensive mistake as we drive a Tesla. Luckily we have a dash cam so it is all recorded.

OP posts:

chockaholic72 · 23/12/2019 14:58

I do around 4,000 miles on my bike - mainly commuting. If I feel that my safety is threatened, I will always have a word if the opportunity arises. I've never damaged a vehicle, but given the state of driving these days, I'd be a liar if I said I hadn't been tempted. I'll tell people they were too close if I catch up at the lights, I've pulled so many people up about texting while driving, and I've followed buses back into the depot for clipping me with their mirrors. If I don't pull people up about things, then they'll just carry on doing them. If they come too close to a sweaty, menopausal, irate middle aged woman on a bike, then they might think twice about doing it again.

I'm not having a go at you, but he was obviously shaken up by your husband's driving and people do funny things when they feel that their safety is threatened, even just on a recreational ride. Roads are for everyone - drivers, cyclists, and horseriders and due to the amount of vehicles on the road, everyone has to be super-aware of what's around them.


stayingaliveisawayoflife · 23/12/2019 15:10

I accept he may have been angry but he had a go at us and not at the driver who beeped at his child who rode out in front of them. It may be no coincidence that they went the other direction and we were going the same way as him and his family.

Anyway we are very careful and rarely beep. We go round Richmond park regularly so are very aware of cyclists especially as they go very quickly through the park.

There are bad of all types but I still believe the dads focus needs to be on the ability of his child to ride safely rather than having a go at us who just tried to warn him he was stopping dangerously and then riding back towards traffic.

OP posts:

Spudlet · 23/12/2019 15:17

I fail to see why the type of car you drive is relevant?

Everyone is wrong here, anyway. You were too close if you felt the need to beep, the parents were wrong for letting their child cycle without being safe, the dad was wrong for hitting your car (and would have been wrong even if it was a cheapo banger), everyone is terrible and Santa is coming to see any of you [bangs tinsel-trimmed gavel]. Xmas Hmm


Spudlet · 23/12/2019 15:17

isn’t. Santa isn’t coming. You are all on the naughty list.


Andonandonan · 23/12/2019 15:30

Given that their child could have been seriously injured, and they were almost certainly in shock, I fail to see what purpose you felt beeping would serve except to prove they’d acted a bit foolishly & you were in the right. Of course they were going to feel wound up.

Yes they should have been more aware of their child’s safety. Yes the dad shouldn’t have been aggressive towards you. But equally you had no real reason to beep them beyond moral superiority (& perhaps frustration that you’d been slowed down by them for the earlier portion of the journey.

I bet you would have stopped exactly like they did if it had been your child though.


stayingaliveisawayoflife · 23/12/2019 15:39

Um are people not reading that they stopped in front of us then rode back towards us against the flow of traffic to get to their child who was on the side road.

I mentioned the type of car as if they had broken the wing mirror it's an expensive repair.

Anyway I'm off now to spend Christmas with my family.

OP posts:

ColaFreezePop · 23/12/2019 15:44

OP I don't live far from there and it is normal for parents to do stupid things especially when accompanying their children on bikes.

Your job is if you see a parent with a child both cycling while driving is to basically stop and wait or go down a side road to avoid them. Never beep.

Wait until summer when you see kids cycling really well but their idiot parent (father) hogging the kerb or doing something else dangerous.


PettyContractor · 23/12/2019 15:48

I fail to see why the type of car you drive is relevant?

I would assume that a Tesla is more expensive than other cars, though I'm not sure why. Google gives one users cost as $600 for this, which I guess would translate to £600 in the uk.

The first price I could find for someone with experience of a more ordinary car was £320.


LoveNote · 23/12/2019 15:58

sounds like op beeped to warn them of their presence!!

so did nothing wrong there


LoveNote · 23/12/2019 15:59

have a lovely christmas op!

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