This is the comment I received today just before I set off on another ride. I knew he hasn’t seen me which is why I didn’t start riding as the large van would have done some serious damage to me and the bike. I’ll re-write that last bit, the bike and me, as followers of the rules will know the bike comes first! (see rule #11)
I have never really got into the whole debate about the position and standing of cyclists on the road before now. On the roads I ride you simply can’t ride close to the curb. If I did I would either end up in a bush or tree or after being smashed by a stray branch end up in the middle of the road. I don’t much fancy eating tarmac and damaging the gear. Most of the time I have only encountered ” helpful” or drivers who respect by position on the road. Where possible I will try and wave cars through if I can see they can pass safely, especially I’d they have given me some space and time.
There has also recently been the driver who doesn’t seem to care for other road users, not just cyclists but cars, pedestrians and others. This week I was out and I had the driver who passed me without much of a turn of the starring wheel. If I was any fatter I would have been the polish on the car. It was an expensive make an model too and my bike would have make a lovely scratch in the metallic paint work and my heavy body weight would have made the body very much less aerodynamic! Saying that the driver could have had the attitude of why are you in my way or just didn’t see me. Only they will know!
The way forward is clear. Since riding a lot I have gained an appreciation of life as a cyclist, especially in the commute. All drivers should have to experience using the road outside of their vehicle, especially on a bike. This real life experience won’t solve every car v cyclist incident but if more drivers experienced the viewpoint from the cyclist it would help. On the flip side cyclists also need to not jump red lights etc and help vehicles out by not riding unresponsively.
We need to have more people cycling to help the environment, save money in these financially difficult times, help with the health of the nation which are all personal benefits, but the state need to help out too. More cycle to work schemes need to be available, all future road plans in the UK need to include the viewpoint from the cyclist, car, lorry and bus etc. Only then we will start to get a system which work for everyone and not just the vehicles.
If other countries can make the change I’m sure the UK can as well. Come on Government, take the road by the handlebars and make the UK the envy of the world for cycling and not just in sport on the track and in the Tour de France!