CityCyclingEdinburgh Forum » Commuting

Sir Anth and the Irate Taxi Driver: A True Fairytale

(15 posts)
  • Started 10 years ago by Wilmington's Cow
  • Latest reply from cb

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  1. Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin...

    Once upon a time there was a brave knight, Sir Anth, and aboard his steed he was making his majestic way to Castle Workalot. On this particular morning, however, Sir Anth encountered a smoke-billowing black dragon, a Taxi Dragon from the lands of Moronia. Fortunately for brave (brave) Sir Anth the dragon had already swallowed an occupant, and the dragon's keeper, a slightly overweight man with receding hair, was taking the dragon to some far off place to devour the occupant completely. This meant that as Sir Anth crossed the dreaded 'Cobbles of Regal Distance', which had been placed to test the surefootedness of anyone wishing to travel through the Kingdom of Embra in order to prove their resolve, the dragon passed close to Sir Anth, very close.

    The dragon roared off leaving Sir Anth to shake his head in wonderment at how large the brain of a dragon must be. Dragons, however, have a natural aversion to red light (something discovered by the philosopher Codus Highwaticus) and Sir Anth found the dragon further on, behind two other dragons. Everyone knows that knights take priority over dragons and therefore Sir Anth headed the triumvirate waiting at the red light, having glanced at the Taxi Dragon as he passed.

    It would seem that Taxi Dragons have managed to develop an immunity to the colour red, however, as further on, with Sir Anth now heading over the horizon, it roared with a gutteral diesire, managing to break free of the constraints of the red light that had held it captive. And they are fleet, Taxi Dragons, for it drew alongside, the dragon keeper bellowing, "What is you problem this time mate?" Sir Anth was unaware of having met the keeper before so simply smiled and said nothing.

    Once more the dragon, weaving amongst many other dragons now in place, drew alongside, with incoherent shouts from the keeper finishing with a barely audible, "And you look comical". Sir Anth maintained his dignified silence, and merely raised a hand in defiance, forming the rough shape of a mouth to complete the universally accepted sign language for "you're rabbiting on".

    Sir Anth arrived at Castle Workalot, the dragon continuing on its way to devour the occupant who had been in the back of the dragon the whole time.

    Posted 10 years ago #
  2. Truly bizarre. He cut me up; broke the speed limit; ran a red light; weaving across (two lanes of) traffic; had a shout at me twice through his wound down window. All because I 'looked' at him for the original cut up. I didn't even stop. It was a ride-by looking. And I'm the one who looks 'comical'?

    And yes. He had a fare in the back the whole time.

    Posted 10 years ago #
  3. mgj
    Member

    Wonder if he got a tip?

    Posted 10 years ago #
  4. wingpig
    Member

    Ahem. I assume you're only describing him as a slightly overweight man with receding hair in order to aid us in identifying him for our own safety.

    Where did he run a red light? If you were at the head of a queue waiting at the red light, then went over the horizon, presumably there was a green light involved somewhere?

    Is it worth starting a "taxi aggression" thread so that we can keep track of the registrations and taxi numbers of repeat offenders?

    Posted 10 years ago #
  5. PS
    Member

    When you looked at him, did you look at him "funny"?

    Posted 10 years ago #
  6. I have to admit to a certain amount of conjecture on the red light. He'd passed me at the top of the Royal Mile, but was stopped at the roadwork lights at the bottom of Johnston Terrace (where, indeed, I did look at him 'funny'). Spittal Street is closed, and I know I can make the 90 degree turn into Lady Lawson Street a lot faster than the cars - it's then a short sprint up that street to turn right into West Port.

    The lights to make the turn at the top of Lady Lawson Street went green as I turned onto the street at the bottom. I know they're not on for long so I put the hammer down and cruised round onto West Port. There were 2 cars behind me, and then the taxi. There's NO WAY the green stayed on long enough. not a chance with how far behind they were. But in court I'd have to say I didn't see it.

    Onto East Fountainbridge I stayed left, cos I could hear the diesel roar. I'd normally be in the right lane for making headway to Semple Street, but I could hear the diesel roar, so knew he was chasing me, and the queue in the left lane meant I was sheltered then going into the bike lane. So we were separated by cars as he shouted across at me from the right lane.

    So over the lights I've stayed left as if I'm going to Fountainbridge, but the traffic for Semple Street is stopped, so I can easily pull into the ASZ. Next thing he's then on my left. So he's been on the right of three lanes, put there so he can get level with me to shout, seen me in the left lane, cut acroos from far left to far right, stopped to shout some more.

    I did, genuinely, say nothing whatsoever during the whole thing. I smiled at him at the first shout; and indicated he was nattering away with my hand at the second.

    And he did, unbelievably, have a fare the whole time.

    The fare looked at me just after the first pass. Either he'd realised we were close; or the taxi driver had made some comment about 'bl**dy cyclists'; or the taxi driver had seen me shake my head and shouted something at that point.

    Posted 10 years ago #
  7. Min
    Member

    "Is it worth starting a "taxi aggression" thread so that we can keep track of the registrations and taxi numbers of repeat offenders?"

    Yes I think it could be. There are some really good taxi drivers* as well so the really violently aggressive ones are probably the same ones each time. And they are usually REALLY bad.

    * Including just before Christmas and in keeping this thread, one in a dashing white steed who consistantly did not tailgate or accelerate at me whenever I tried to pass something all the way from St Andrew Street to Crosscauseway. I really wish I'd waved a thanks at the time as I peeled off but I was too surprised.

    Posted 10 years ago #
  8. Instography
    Member

    Pity the man. He's got to drive around like that all day and if he's already middle-aged and overweight in a sedentary and stressful occupation, he's a classic high risk for a heart attack.

    Posted 10 years ago #
  9. In fairness I think the majority of black cab drivers are fine, verging on great (strangely I always feel more at risk when I'm actually in a cab).

    It's the private hire cars you've got to look out for...

    Posted 10 years ago #
  10. minus six
    Member

    I've been in more real danger from black cab drivers than private hire drivers, because of the increased maneuverability of the black cabs.

    They seem able to go *directly* sideways across lanes, in a bid to bully you right off the road, in response to any altercation.

    Posted 10 years ago #
  11. PS
    Member

    Black cabs are most dangerous when they do u-turns, in my experience. Classic SMIDSY territory as they glance up and down the road, don't see any cars/buses, and swing round nice and quick straight into a cyclist's path. One almost t-boned me into a utilities trench on Clerk Street. I wasn't impressed.

    Posted 10 years ago #
  12. recombodna
    Member

    http://houseofpistard.bigcartel.com/ House of pistard do these very fetching bike stickers. haven't had the guts to put it on my bike manly because my kids can read.

    IMAG0279 by muzza!!, on Flickr

    Posted 10 years ago #
  13. kaputnik
    Moderator

    Castle Workalot

    Fort Forumalot? :)

    Redeeming feature of the 'ackney carriage over the taxibus things / private hire vehicles is their weak and noisy Transit reject diesel engines. You can here them coming a mile off and know they are behind you without having to shoulder check.

    As noted above, I don't like the knock-kneed steering* that allows them to pull U-turns too easily and at too high a speed. It also encourages the drivers converted to the Mercedes / Peugeout taxibus things to try the same, fail pitifully and end up stuck perpendicular to the flow of traffic as they try to extricate themselves.

    * not sure of the official mechanical term. Basically the wheel on the inside of the turn can rotate further than the outside wheel thanks to a clever rack and pinion design, decreasing the turning circle.

    Posted 10 years ago #
  14. Seems it today. Should be workalot, suspect the afternoon will be a bit more full-on.

    Weird atmosphere at the mo (had a review of the legal 'community' here published yesterday and essentially we're all having to re-apply for our jobs - interestingly, with me being on a temp contract at the moment, it could work out better for me. Possibly).

    Posted 10 years ago #
  15. cb
    Member

    "not sure of the official mechanical term. Basically the wheel on the inside of the turn can rotate further than the outside wheel thanks to a clever rack and pinion design, decreasing the turning circle. "

    All cars do this, taxis just do it more so (some vans have pretty small turning circles too).
    Ackermann steering. Remember building this with Mecanno.

    Very quick google suggests that taxis can turn sharper to the right then the left.

    Posted 10 years ago #

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