Another way to annoy car drivers

Screen Shot 2013-10-14 at 22.03.35Ever tried cycling down the hard shoulder on the M1 motorway?  Ever tried sticking your head in a gas oven?  No? I thought not, both are equally daft and potentially deadly.

Unlikely as it is, on 14th October Police were called with reports of a cyclist riding along the hard shoulder near Junction 9 on the M1, heading south.  Apparently he was heading towards London and after the Police had spoken to him he agreed to catch a train instead.  While this was against the law, no further action has been taken against him.

This must be an incredibly dangerous thing to do.  To make things worse the conditions were really awful. Secondly he was riding along without any lights or reflective gear.

This must be the kind of thing which absolutely terrifies motorists.  Just imagine moving over onto the hard shoulder in car, and then having to make an emergency stop because somebody is riding a bicycle along, not what you’d normally expect to see.  At least he was riding in the right direction.  I don’t think this is just a case of a cyclist annoying car drivers, it is a case of absolutely terrifying them.

Perhaps this will actually add to the arguments of cyclists being bad news?

Cycling on A roads

Many cyclists avoid using A roads, especially busy ones.  My friend Wallie will sometimes go to extraordinary lengths to avoid them.  And yet I think many A roads are reasonably safe for cyclists: they tend to be relatively straight, without any tight bends.  They tend to be fairly wide with enough room for cars and commercial vehicles to pass cyclists with a good amount of room.  Also maintenance is (probably?) better with fewer potholes etc. I will use A roads if I need to, sometimes there’s little choice but I do prefer the quieter country lanes – I’m not extreme here!

I imagine the man caught for riding his bike along the M1 – arguably the busiest motorway in England – is comfortable with A roads? Was it because he wanted a direct route from A to B?  Wanted to avoid some steep hills?  Maybe just a bit reckless….?


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4 Responses to Another way to annoy car drivers

  1. David Harrington says:

    Fortunate that he/she was not on a Active Traffic Management part of the motorway, in which the hard shoulder is used as an extra lane during busy times.
    There are however, many folk using the roads who are not used to the traffic regulations in the UK.

    • doug says:


      Oh I hadn’t thought of that but you’re right – the hard shoulder does get used when the motorway is really busy. Doesn’t bear thinking about, does it?
      Regards, Doug.

      • David Harrington says:

        Darwin’s law will arise at some point !?

        I wonder if he/she has a sister who tried to cross a train line when the barriers were down ??

  2. MJ Ray says:

    Well, you look at a route map and try to spot the cycle route from Luton to London… it looks like some sort of trick-cycling route, wobbling all over the place, with multiple U-turns in Harpenden, St Albans and Watford. The relatively straight Watling Street route should be extended north of Stanmore with decent space for cycling. If someone didn’t know that cycling isn’t allowed on the M1 (and the no-cycling signs were taken down a long time ago), it’s easy to see why they might feel it was the best of a bad choice.

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