Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Cyclists beware?

 Yesterday was a great ride in to the City.

Most traffic lights had coppers to "advise" cyclists.

I have NEVER seen so many cyclists STOPPING for RED lights!


Riding home was a different story. No coppers so no stopping. Hmmm....

And this morning?

Same old, same old....  At every red light a gang of cyclists.  Some Stop, Some Pause, Some just carry on as if it is a green.  It's a kind of Russian roulette on wheels.

For ages Lorries have had reversing warnings.  First it was a beep, now it is a voice that says "Vehicle Reversing!!".  Today I came across a lorry that blared "Vehicle Turning Left" at me as it (guess what??)  TURNED LEFT.  The yellow flashing things, what are they called?  Oh yes... INDICATORS were also flashing, telling me that it was TURNING LEFT.

What next?  A man (let’s not be sexist) or woman walking in front behind, left and right of every lorry carrying a red flag and shouting "lorry coming!", "lorry slowing", "lorry passing" etc.....

I am out on a motorbike most days and see such stunning acts of stupidity and carelessness that I am lost for words (I have not been at any of the recent incidents and so cannot make any valid comment about the circumstances, I am speaking in general terms (It goes without saying that I am sorry for the families of the cyclists that have been killed on our roads, it is a terrible loss and I feel for you)).

Cars are the worst (actually push bikes are, but let’s not labour the point).  They pull out without looking, stop for no readily apparent reason and deliberately block the road so that Bikes (motor) can’t pass.  I have seen cars, that have been over taken by several bikes (in traffic) move over in to the gap so that other bikes cannot pass.  Car’s jumping red lights, closely followed by bikes (push) that must have jumped the light by an even larger margin.

The roads are what they are.  Painting Blue Bicycle Super-Highways will not change that and will not make more road space.  Perhaps, over time, as new roads are built and old roads are redeveloped, the planners can devise a way to magic some reserved space for each class of vehicle.  Until then is it beyond the wit of man for us to coexist?

There is a kind of natural hierarchy that is imposed upon us by the laws of nature.  Much like the game of Rock, Paper, Scissors.  A motorbike in collision with a car will lose.  Metal box Vs Me (I have no chance).  A car in collision with a Lorry will lose.  Hard metal Vs Soft metal.  It goes without saying Cyclist Vs Lorry…

Whatever the rights and wrongs of the situation (I have been knocked off and can say, with some level of certainty, the road is hard!  It hurts when you hit it!  Lorries are hard, it sounds like a silly statement, but how many of us have touched a lorry?  Try it.  Cars deform when you push them.  Lorries do not.)  Look after yourself and just keep as far as is possible away from things (machinery) that can seriously hurt you (however inadvertently).

The thing that many Motorbike riders hear as they lie on the road waiting for the ambulance… “Sorry mate, I didn’t see you”.

Oh and one last thing.

Lycra.  It's not a good look.

MAMIL's please cover up.

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