Sunday, 30 November 2014

Cyclists - know your place!

I'm going to have a rant. I'm just a tad fed up with the local Sunday Surrey cyclists deciding that they are in some major road race and cycling 2 or 3 abreast down roads.  I understand perfectly if the road is clear and you don't have cars trying to pass, but when you are holding up traffic, you need to move over into single file at the very least.  You wouldn't walk 3 abreast down a narrow pavement, chatting and expect everyone to get out of your way or just wait behind you. Or would you?

Boris Bike Stunts (http://www.konbini.com/)
I've heard the justification of this as "riding side-by-side makes us bigger to see and more like a car, therefore drivers have to overtake us like they would a car".  Reality check - you are NOT a car. You do not travel at the speed of a car and any car driver following another car doing 20 mph in a 30, 40 or 50 mph road will soon be on their horn and losing their patience.  You are no different! In fact, you are more annoying as you seem to think you have a god-given right to go bloody slow, not bother to pedal and hold up traffic when you know full well cars are behind you.  Heaven forbid if I car driver toots you to try and get you to move over or speed up a bit - you are all V signs and swearing.  Positively charming.  Horse riders move apart and often look for traffic to help us poor car drivers get past.  Cyclists ignore everyone and don't give two shits a hoot most of the time.  I bet you all complain about horse riders on the quiet.

Do any of you drive a car?  I bet you all do and I bet you don't happily sit behind a group of cyclists when you want to get to work thinking "ah, bless them riding 3 abreast to stay safe. I'll just get to work late".  I bet you're a right Mr/Mrs Angry when you're held up!

No-one in their right mind wants to hurt another road user and cyclists are no exception but sometimes you do things that are beyond comprehension and I wonder if you remove your brain cells when you put that Lycra cycling gear on?  For example, when you are a road user, you abide by traffic signals.  Red means stop. It does not mean slow down a bit and then go through the lights when you fancy it.  Pedestrian crossings are for people.  You stop like every other road user and let the pedestrians cross. You do not ride across in front of them or between them and nearly run them over.  You do not pedal on the pavement, press crossing lights, wait for them to change to red and then decide you are a bloody road user.

You need to look behind you before you pull out to go around parked cars, other cyclists and general road hazards.   Do not swerve out into the middle of the road and expect my psychic abilities to kick in to know that you have now decided (with no indication) to turn right/left/stop/become a pedestrian on 2 wheels!

Do not clean your visor/glasses at a major road junction whilst standing chatting to your mate and then, as I'm about to turn left, decide that you are now a road user again and almost crash into the side of my car as you haven't looked to check what traffic is coming that may have rightly assumed you were stationary because you were!

Some riders - I'm sorry to say - seem to have a death wish. They consider the road is theirs and everyone else needs to bow down to their whims and desires.  They ride around with a GoPro on their helmet but with no lights on their bikes and cunningly disguised in a black outfit at night.  If you want to die, please don't choose my car as your tool of destruction.

Before you hop onto your helmet box and start shouting at me - I'm a cyclist too.  However, I am also a car driver and a pedestrian. I try to do all with equal care and consideration and just for once, I'd like the cycling clubs around Surrey to do the same.  So, if you're off for a cycle, be safe, wear something we drivers can see at night, put lights on your bike and decide whether you are a pedestrian or cyclist and behave that way.  I want my children to learn courtesy and safe cycling and I'd like you to be a good example.

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