I have been cycling for a long time. I don’t mean in the sense that I learnt as a kid, but on a routine basis as part of my commute. I am also a fairly safe cyclist – I wear a helmet, I have lights when it is dusky/dark/bad weather and I always signal and look before manoeuvring. It’s only 1.5 miles between the station and my house so you would expect that on most days, it should be a relatively issue free cycle. Yet, for some reason, it quite often isn’t. The reason…drivers.
My main gripe I have with drivers is their general lack of care, spacial awareness and appreciation of speed. The number of times I have have a speeding car over take me (on a 30mph) at 6:58am and cutting me up near a traffic island is really far too high. Or, worse, you get the drivers who have to anchor up before they hit the traffic island because they didn’t appreciate I was travelling at a fair speed. Neither of these annoy me as much as the drivers who don’t give you space when the overtake. There is a road cleaning firm in my town who has an awful set of drivers who drive less than a metre from the curb. However, they were trumped on Wednesday night by a Parcel Force HGV that gave me half a metre of space – I actually hit the curb. I was not happy.
Of course the biggest bug-bear is people who overtake when you are trying to turn. There is mini-roundabout near our house and I always go right. There have been several occasions where, having indicated and started pulling out, someone will still overtake. The first time it was a rude boy who shouted something abusive. The second time, it was a police car. I do despair..! But, inspite of everything, the number 1 prize for terrible observation and driving goes to ‘Man Who Looked Left, Looked Right But Didn’t Look Straight On’ as he was only centimetres from me. When I yelled, his response was “Oh sorry”. Ok, better than the rude boy abuse I guess…
It also makes me slightly irritated when your local police force decide to try and cut down ‘yobs’ on pavements. How do you strike that balance between those who are really yobs and those who are cycling on the pavement because it is pouring with rain?
Anyway, rant over. Nothing will change from complaining but it does make me feel better. Now I have spoken I can be happy in the knowledge my views are public! Also, for those who are interested in what the road rules are with regards to cyclists, I would refer you to sections 163, 167 and 212 of the highway code, as a starting point.