As you all know by know, I am a cyclist as well as other things. I have been using different modes of transport more over the last few weeks, including, walking, public transport, trains and also driving. Why have I been doing this? Well, a combination of reasons, including:
a) being out on site working
b) bad weather restricting cycling
c) general apathy
It has caused me to look at cyclists with different eyes. It has also made me think how others see cyclists.
These forums are full of lively debate, some of it cycle related, other debate not. So, what I hear you ask has this got to do with the title of the thread?
Well, my observations recently are of numerous people on bikes ignoring red lights, riding on pavements illegally where it suits them and riding without lights. This is not to mention riding and changing road position or turning without making any attempt to check it is safe to do so.
No doubt all of you can give examples of all these actions from your own experience. There is a link in all this behaviour. It seems that the person on the bike is riding in such a way as they are only considering themselves. As long as they can progress their journey in the manner they want, they couldn’t care less about the laws of the land or the effect their behaviour has on others.
Then there are those on various forums gloating at the misery motorists are facing with increased costs. See for example the opening post in this thread Cyclist Gloating re Motorists Costs . What would any motorist reading this think of cyclists attitudes.
On another thread we have pratts wanting to get devices to scare walkers or joggers using towpaths. Scaring Walkers/ Joggers Why? because the jogger/ walker who has right of way is causing the cyclist to slow down. Now, I ask you to think of tow paths? They are not designed for fast cycling. Indeed the walkers and joggers have right of way. A jogger is probably running at say 8 miles per hour or more and yet the moron wants to be riding faster. It never occurs to the selfish oaf that if he wants to ride fast he should be riding on say the highway.
Do these people not for one minute think how their behaviour and attitudes reflect on cyclists as a whole? All they are doing is reinforcing the very negative impression people have of cyclists.
As cyclists we are a very vulnerable group on the roads. We are never going to come off best in an accident with several tons of fast moving motorised metal. I know to my own disadvantage after being hit by a car from behind in November 2009 . I am still suffering from those injuries to this day. I have injuries to the left knee that are unlikely ever to repair. I can no longer run, I have a tear in the medial meniscus (I think that is what it was) in my left knee. I am also still suffering from increased anxiety on the road.
With this vulnerability, we need to get people on our side and to be more sympathetic to our issues than they are. This will not be achieved by irritating others or by seeking to scare them especially when they have the right of way.
Now, I have to say that these actions and attitudes are only those of a minority of cyclists, but it only takes one bad egg to get a whole group a bad name.
If you are not a cyclist, then please do not tar all of us with the same brush as a result of the actions of the morons. These people are selfish morons whether on their bikes or not. They are not selfish morons because they are on bikes.
Remember some of those people on bikes are people like me (actually, perhaps you should scrub this last idea!). Seriously, please think bike and try to look out for those cyclists on the roads. We are very vulnerable.