You’re Looking for Trouble

I’m often told that I’m looking for trouble when I go out on my bicycle. After all, anyone that videos their bicycle ride is quite clearly acting up to the camera!

Comments range from

I ride a bike everyday and have never been aggressed in any way, so do thousands of others. The reason why is we aren’t looking for it.

to

it looks to me like you are looking for trouble and antagonising people for the benefit of the camera.

These comments come from all kinds of people, even from cyclists. They base this opinion around a few videos and presume that because I cycle in a position which they think is incorrect or because I did something different to what they would have done then I am acting up to the camera.

There are a few things to consider before making the assumption that I am looking for trouble. Distance, time, location, vehicle interactions and limited view.

Distance

My commute is 17 miles each way and I cycle to work and back again 5 days a week. Totalling my weekly mileage at 170 miles and that is not including the miles I do on the weekends. I miss a few days because of illness, holiday and occasionally bad weather. So my yearly mileage is normally around 7,000 miles. Much higher than the average cyclist.

Time

I work the 9 to 5, so the time I’m on the road is at rush hour, 170 miles a week at rush hour! Lots of traffic trying to get to work as quickly as possible and a few of them not thinking about anyone else but themselves.

Location

I commute from Croydon to central London. Whilst Croydon isn’t as big as central London, there is still a large quantity of traffic and I’m sure we are all aware of the traffic in central . I also follow some of the busiest routes in south London, with lots of different kinds of traffic all trying to get to their destination as quickly as possible.

Vehicle Interactions

In a single day I will have nearly a thousand interactions with other vehicles, by that I mean them passing me or me passing them. So weekly it’s +5,000 interactions but I only upload maybe 10 videos a week. Why? Because I’m not looking for trouble and most people drive safely. There are a few videos where at the time I think it was bad but on reflection it doesn’t look so bad on the video, in this case I don’t bother to upload the video

Limited View

Most of my videos show bad drivers, so of course it might look like I’m out looking for them. I rarely post videos of good drivers, mainly because they don’t get many as many views and it’s hard to see how good a driver really is.

Conclusion

I bet it doesn’t look like I’m antagonizing drivers or looking for trouble 99% of the time, and that is because I’m not, the other 1% is just down to people’s perceptions of a minority of incidences where they think they would have done better.
Pedal 7,000 miles in my shoes, ride 170 miles a week on the same roads as me and see how you react.

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9 thoughts on “You’re Looking for Trouble

  1. Well put! Helmet camera cyclists videos do tend to be the inverse rose tinted spectacle type thing.
    Much like yourself most drivers I encounter fall firmly in the reasonable category, they don’t do anything that endangers me but neither do they take care to NOT endanger me and they go largely un-noticed. The way I prefer to look at it is like the normal bell curve where most road users fit nicely under the central hump – it’s only the drivers at the extreme ends, good and bad, that tend to make it onto Youtube šŸ™‚

  2. I ‘m actually quite grateful that I mostly cycle in the suburbs of South West London. Based on my infrequent forays into central London, I have no doubt whatsoever that if I were to cycle there more often I’d experience a greater number of incidents.

    Perhaps, just pehaps, some of the rose tinted spectacles brigade submissively ride in the gutter, appeasing motorists but compromising their own safety.

    From my own experience, most of the less pleasant interactons I have stem from having the tenerity to put my own safety above their perceived inconvenience.

  3. I think riding defensively and so called “looking for trouble” could be the same thing, ie there are sections of road or junctions in every town or city that are a black spot for cyclist, so the only thing to do when in that area is ride defensively cause you know something is going to happen. And bingo you have some footage of a nutter doing a close pass screaming get in the bus lane, but you can’t go in the bus lane because the bus is going to stop or there is a nasty bump or you can see something the driver of the car cannot.
    So in my opinion “looking for trouble” does not exist.

    Hope this made sence

  4. Asking for trouble? No.

    Actively asking for change, and this is different. This frightens people. Change that will bring happier, healthier people. Bring safety. Bring about a solution to road congestion. Aid air purity, abate noise pollution.

  5. I think they mostly refer to how you always get angry when somebody actually endangers you. While i think thats a perfectly acceptable behaviour to stand up for your rights, a lot of people tend to ignore it and/or are just frightened to actually confront/upset anybody.

    I can get shouty aswell if i feel the need to, so i know where you are coming from.

  6. HAHAHA I also get a bit of this, e.g. “dude u just happend to have 3x cameras on u ?
    or were u planing on screwing someone over?”
    You have to wonder about the intelligence of someone that thinks you can entice drivers into dangerous driving just by carrying a camera!

  7. To me it does not look like you are looking for trouble. As you say: most of the drivers are nice, pay attention to others but some do not. And if their behaviour on the street is as bad as shown in your videos they should be shown on these videos.
    People who do not cycle (that much) theirself can not judge IMO.

    Best wishes and have a safe ride!

    PS: I hope I did not make to many mistakes, English is not my mother language.

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