After my recent post on the subject of road safety, I was thinking of what irritates me on the road as I cycled to work today. In that good old British tradition (well I say its a tradition), I decide to make a list
Things That Irritate me About Cyclists
1. Cyclists who ignore Red Lights – I’m thinking here of those who just ride straight across cross roads irrespective of what is happening. They will bimble round the queues of traffic, determined that nothing will stop their slow progress. They seem unable to stop. Perhaps they don’t have brakes on their bikes? Perhaps they are suicidal as they do not seem to wear helmets and often have headphones on. They also get us cyclists a bad name.
2. Cyclists who change road position without signalling or even looking – they will change from riding next to the kerb in the gutter, to the right hand of 3 lanes of busy rush hour traffic without so much as a glance behind let alone a signal. They are a danger to themselves and other road users. They also get us cyclists a bad name.
3. Cyclists who wear Headphones – its a potentially hazardous environment on the roads and you need your wits about you. Being able to hear the traffic is essential to help you keep safe on a bike. So why do people insist on wearing headphones? Some people claim it doesn’t affect their hearing, other claim it helps improve their concentration. Those of us who have even half a brain cell realise this is simply nonsense. They also get us cyclists a bad name.
4. Cyclists who Ride on the Pavement – its illegal, its a nuisance and danger to pedestrians. Its often done because the individual is too lazy to ride round a pedestrianized area or too scared to ride on the road. There is no excuse for it. They also get us cyclists a bad name.
5. Cyclists without lights – a cheap set of lights can be bought for £20 or so. Do they not value their lives at this sum? My biggest concern is for any motorist who hits such an idiot or who sees them at the last minute and swerves to avoid them, causing an accident with someone else. The cyclists deserve to have their bikes confiscated. They also get us cyclists a bad name.
6. Cyclists who have red lights at the front and/ or white lights at the rear – These are clearly related to the cyclists in the preceding point. I’m not really sure what they are trying to prove, apart from their stupidity by showing a red light. They also get us cyclists a bad name.
7. Cyclists Wearing Face Masks, but no Helmet – Now this seems a strange risk assessment to me. Firstly, I am not in favour of compulsory helmet wearing even though I do wear one. I however would think you are far more at risk from a head injury than from breathing in pollutants. Actually passengers in cars in urban environments get more pollutants than cyclists owing to their relative positions in relation to car exhausts and car heating/ ventilation systems. There is a striking connection between those cyclists in this category and those in point 1. They also get us cyclists a bad name.
8. Cyclists who stop in front of Stop Line at Traffic Lights & Can’t see the Lights – What is the point of stopping where you are unable to tell when it is safe to proceed. These Muppets have to wait until the traffic behind them has moved off from the lights and caught them up before knowing it is safe to set off. So as the traffic is passing them at speed, they are just setting off. They also get us cyclists a bad name.
9. Cyclists riding wrong way up street –Do I need to say much about these people? Why do they do it? too lazy to go down the next street? A failure to appreciate the risk & or inconvenience they cause others? Whatever the cause, its no excuse. They also get us cyclists a bad name.
and my 10th and biggest hate about cyclists is
10. Grannies on Heavy Shopping Bikes who breeze past me – you know the feeling, you are riding as fast as you can and someone breezes past you. Its not too upsetting if it is a lithe young Lance Armstrong or Bradley Wiggins type sprinting to the next lights. When it is someone your grandmother’s age on a heavy shopping style bike making their way home from church, then that is embarrassing!