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Originally posted November 2 2004 at 18:11 under General. 0 Comments. Trackbacks Disabled.

Bloody Cyclists

Home, no cyclists hurt, no thanks to some

Disclaimer: This is going to be something of a rant. I fully accept that I’m actually talking about a (possibly rather large) minority of cyclists who give others a bad name. One tends only to notice the bad ones, almost by definition. Having said that, this is my personal blog and if I feel like a rant I’ll have one.

This rant stems from the cyclist I encountered a little over an hour ago, whilst driving. I’m on a fairly busy road with quite a busy junction onto it coming up on my left. I clearly have priority and a clear road ahead, no reason anybody should come out of that junction. Indeed a queue of cars, I notice, is patiently waiting. Accept apparently this cyclist thinks none of this applies to him. He decides he wants to turn right and can’t possibly wait, so does it anyway (note, this is the UK, where we drive on the left, so a right turn is across the flow of traffic (me)). He’s come straight out, no signal, from beyond the waiting car. Don’t worry mate, I’ll be the one slamming the brakes on to avoid you. In the glare of my headlights I clearly see the headphones stuck in his ears, so I’m not sure if he hears the horn I’m also now sounding, more in frustration than warning. I also see the bloody unworried look on his face, not comprehending what a fucking idiot he’s just been and how he’s fortunate I’m awake, and paying attention and know what I’m doing.

This sort of thing is the trouble with the bad cyclists. They think the rules don’t apply. They’ll weave on and off the pavement, so you never know where they are. They’ll come out of junctions as if they always have the right of way. They don’t believe traffic lights mean them, or zebra crossings exist (accept of course when they’re riding across them…). But the worst thing, and if you ever have the cyclist debate with those who blindly defend them (and if you’ve had the debate you know what I’m talking about) is they don’t think common sense applies. Yes, sometimes they are technically correct, but no car driver in their right mind would ever have done what they did, mainly because it’s blatently stupid (I have never seen drivers do such a stupid bunch of things as cyclists, especially given the hugely greater number of cars around—and I’ve seen drivers do some pretty stupid things [and yes, probably done some myself].). I don’t know if the fact you have to take a test to drive helps this, but I can’t help but think it must. At least then you get to know the rules. For instance an incident from a couple of weeks ago. I’m turning out left of a junction, nothing coming towards me at the time. Unfortunatly some clever town planner has put a zebra crossing immediatly around this corner, so I end up stopped sort of quarter way round the bend, a car in front stopped at the zebra. By the time the pedestrians cross (again, a much larger number of those but they don’t do stupid things like cyclists) a car has arrived and has patiently held back so I can get out. Just as I’m pulling away, I notice the cyclist arrive. He’s not taking the common sense approach but instead travels past the waiting car and into the space I’m just about to be in, if I hadn’t been that aware and stopped again. Grrr.

The clock’s have just gone back to GMT in the UK. That means it is now darker earlier, which means my problems with cyclists will probably just get worse. Because don’t mention those dressed in black without any lights on…

Rant over, for now.

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This Crazy Fool

Dr Ian Scott
Croydon (and Gateshead), United Kingdom
Bullding Services Engineer (EngDesign), PhD in Physics (University of York), football fanatic (Newcastle United), open source enthusiast (mainly Mozilla)

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