Has The Times Cycling Campaign Woken The Bees?

Two abrest. One of many agitations.
The Times has recently run a wonderful campaign which highlighted the need to correct our highways to protect cyclists. In it was an 8-point manifesto calling for cities to be made fit for cyclists which included lorries to be fit with sensors, improvements to road junctions, better cycle routes, better training and introduction of 20mph limits.

However, I'm of the belief that no matter how good the campaign was intended to be it has unfortunately awoken a nest of imbecile that we unfortunately have to cope with in this country.

Today I heard the news that a club member has been deliberately knocked off his bike. The incident happened on his way home from Barnton to Warrington. Along a country lane he was squeezed by a car coming towards him. The next is what you, as a cyclist, have nightmares about. The car turned around and followed him. As the club member slowed down, the driver swerved and deliberately knocked him off his bike. As he lay on the floor the car reversed back running over his bike. Luckily he managed to unclip or he would have gone over his legs. Fortunately he remembered the registration number and the case has been reported to the police.

For the cynical of you out there, no I wasn't there personally, neither was anyone else, however I have roomed with this club member and I would very much doubt there was any aggravation. Especially to the sort that someone would knock someone off his bike and then commit, what could be assumed as,  attempted murder.

Agitated Drivers

Since the campaign I've noticed an increase in the number of agitated drivers. You normally get the odd one on a Sunday club run. From my experience, you can even bracket the driver, they are normally male, in fact all male, driving a decrepit vehicle like an old Volvo estate, a group of individuals in a white van or someone in a Jaguar XF or BMW. The most common feature of the driver is that they tend to be fat. I'm not being condescending either here. I believe the main problem from driver harrasment comes from those that don't participate in sport. They don't understand nor are they bothered. Until the government better encourages sport to all ages we will always be in this problem.

Llanberis

Since the campaign, I noticed, especially on our training weekend to Llanberis, that drivers were becoming increasingly agitated. Riding single file with plenty of room to overtake, drivers were insistent to exploit their anger for what reason I don't know. On a quiet road with no traffic with no problems to overtake, we had car windows down and even at one point a car door open. Fortunately these morons don't have the brain to understand that we can't understand what they are saying driving past at 30 mph anyway. In some cases, traffic going the other way, driving past without any delay or obstruction gave us the wanker sign.

I have never known such abuse, it was wierd, definitely out of the ordinary. I can only attribute it to The Times campaign. It has not only supported the cyclist but at the same time affected them. I believe it has rattled the cage of those who perhaps were frustrated by cyclist but have now joined the backlish of mindless moron inept of understanding the concerns of a cyclist.

A Misunderstanding

It is obviously a mis-understanding between those who cycle on the roads of the UK and those who don't. The main agitation is those cyclists who run red lights. I totally disagree with this practice and I believe any cyclist should be fined for doing so. I also believe it should be mandatory for a cyclist to wear a cycling helmet.

However drivers need to be aware of the problems we cyclists face, skirting around massive potholes and the need to keep momentum being the main problems. We all know fuel consumption in a car increases massively when stopping and starting, well it is the same for a human. The majority of us are clipped into our pedals, which allows us to travel efficiently to avoid you any disruption, unclipping and reclipping is a difficult situation, as such cycling lanes would aid any disruption to you.

Two abreast

One of the major problems I would imagine is cyclists riding as a group, two abreast. We can ride single file, but this would mean the group would be twice as long and twice as hard to overtake, especially on winding county roads, due to the length of the group. The likelyhood of drivers being able to overtake cyclists single file on country roads with an oncoming car would be nil anyway. With two abreast drivers can overtake us easily despite a probably 10 to 20 second delay. Cyclists also ride two abreast as it needs two people on the front to look out for potholes and to point them out to our fellow group members.

We do everything we can to avoid disrupting the flow of traffic. I just don't get the problem but it needs to stop as the situation with my club mate has confirmed today it is getting serious. It shouldn't be us against them, we should be us working together.

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