Driving time and cyclists
This is a repost for this blig with additional commentary regarding cycling and cyclists
This is not about the time you are on the road or how to find space in your diary but more properly I should maybe have entitled this Drive timing.
This is borne out of a few minutes driving the other day which highlighted how a very short space of time can make a huge difference to anyone’s day and also brings into question how much does luck factor in whether or not you are involved in an incident.
It was a typical morning as I left the drive to start the journey to work. Up the road to the corner and a swift check to the right (having been caught out once already) swing left and continue up the close. Then from the right a neighbour came off his drive without looking as if he would stop before I reached him. I slowed at the same instant as he slammed on his brakes stopping only a couple of feet into the road. Having decided he was going to let me past I waved generously and carried on. A few turnings later and his journey took a left whilst I had gone to the right.
Now this piece of the track took us both towards the main road up parallel roads. I should explain the reason I used the right hand of two routes was because it was a lot easier to exit the road I took due to no parked cars obscuring the view of oncoming traffic and I had often also noticed that, for no explicable reason, this road was usually also free of oncoming unlike my experience of the other road.
So while we were both headed in the same direction but on different roads I expected to be ahead of my neighbour when I exited onto the main road. Imagine my surprise when, just as I approached the road end, a numpty brained cyclist came into view cycling on the pavement straight across in front of me! As I already had my foot on the brake and was probably only moving at walking pace it was not any problem not to run over him. He sheepishly lifted a hand in thanks for my magnanimously leaving him capable of motor functions and continued.
I speculated quietly to myself on his parentage and obvious lack of intelligence and after a car or two went past got out onto the main road then after a few yards noticed the cyclist doing the same thing to my neighbour who even more generously rolled back a couple of feet to give him room to continue to be a hazard to pedestrians for whom the pavement is intended.
It hit me then that if I had not slowed to avoid running into my neighbour as he rashly came off his drive I would have in fact been that fraction of a second earlier at the road end and would have, I believe justly, been parked on the top of the cyclist and ringing the police and ambulance to sort out the mess he would have made of the front of my car. Instead of that scenario, we were all going to get to work roughly when we had intended when we all started our respective journeys.
Time to think about what might have occurred and to ponder why the hell adult cyclists think they have any right to ride on the path. We have enough idiotic regulations governing cycle paths, cycle boxes at traffic lights and cycle crossings which are all paid for by motorists who pay a lot of money for the privilege of using the roads and the cyclists, meanwhile, ride anywhere but in the cycle lanes. That fails to address the other issue of jumping red lights which cyclists think they can get away with because they ride on the path.
Time spent behind the wheel or pushing the spokes around on a bike is more dangerous than sitting on the sofa so using the senses to ensure safe driving or cycling will reduce the danger and maybe keep you alive.
Ohh and just as a bye the bye, I spent the first twelve years of my driving experience on two wheels powered by my own muscles before getting an engine (Royal Enfield Crusader sports) and after a short stint avoiding dipsticks got my own carriage with a wheel on each corner. (That was an Austin Healey Sprite MkII in powder blue if you were wondering)
So just in case any town planners with excess zeal about making roads safer for cyclists should be reading this I would politely ask how many miles you have ridden on a bike and if the answer is any less than 50,000 miles then contact me before you dream up any more hare-brained schemes which won’t work because cyclists mostly don’t share your romantic ideas of cycling.