I recently blogged about my friend Jon (here) who amongst other things I described as a “good egg”. You might generally assume this is a complementary term. He’s a runner and also has his own blog Cobbies Collective Contemplations where I’ve spotted he’s laid into cyclists a bit. How could you do this Jon? C’mon, really? Surely you’re doing this as a ‘wind-up’? Simply can’t let this go unchecked! Sorry, this just ain’t on pal.
Here I am going to address each of the issues he has with cyclists and I trust all my readers be agreeing with me!
This is where Jon is showing himself as a wound-up typical motorist. They sit in their cars at rush hour, crawling along in a stop-start fashion, burn loads of fuel, make little progress. They are dealing with red traffic lights, a large volumes of traffic, the stress of the day is bugging them. To make matters worse for these motorists, cyclists get past them by under and overtaking and get to the front of the queue by the red lights. Many motorists can’t stand being out-done by a cyclist and become frustrated and need to make sure they are in front and making more progress.
My response? In an ideal World, we’d be more enlightened in this country, perhaps like the Netherlands who are more cycle friendly. This is where cyclists are catered for by design. However, we live in the Home Counties and things aren’t like that. The solution is for the millions of motorists like Jon is simply r e l a x a little. I know that many will have a longing for being on who wheels but they can’t for one reason or another. Many will be fat overweight executives who are secretly jealous of cyclists enjoying a fit, healthy lifestyle. They’ll be in great shape. Just because you are frustrated by crawling along in your over-priced, expensive-to-run executive car, please don’t take it out on a cyclist who actually has just as much right to use the road!
Cycling two abreast
This is when you might see a group of cyclists riding along side by side each other and making it even more difficult for faster cars to over take them.
Yes Jon, you do have a fair point to make here. My comment on this is that you would only very rarely see this. The vast majority (99.9%) of cyclists will hear a car coming and pull so they are single file. So just keep it in perspective Jon!
Jumping red lights
Shouldn’t do that on a bike, agreed, period. Outside London that’s an urban myth and just the kind of snowball motorists like to throw at cyclists. As for London cyclists, most are trying to get ahead so they stand a bit of a chance ahead, instead of being harassed even more by you motorists. Once again, you motorists just need to r e l a x a little!
Cycling without bells etc
Are you trying to say the sound of my creaky saddle isn’t loud enough?
Cyclists and runners are rude, especially in affluent areas
You might, just might, have a point here Jon but don’t get carried away with it. I might even join you with this rant! Saying “hi” to another cyclist or runner seems the most natural thing to do; fostering a good brotherhood and commaraderie. Besides, your help might be appreciated one day by someone stranded by the side of the road for some reason. Expressing a greeting is also an encouragement, especially if someone is slogging up a hill. No need to over do it, generally I think a smile, a “hi” or a “morning” is sufficient.
But, like Jon, I have noticed that there are plenty of cyclists and runners around. Being “in the zone” is all very well but a bit of common decency isn’t going to hurt you! Maybe there’s a kind of pecking oder based on how many Kg’s a bike weighs, or how many thousand of pounds it cost, how fit you are and so on. You get the drift?
Whether Jon is right about affluent areas being more snooty, it’s hard to know. After all people run and cycle through many different areas and I can’t believe their behaviour changes according to whether there’s nothing less than a year old BMW in the drive, or at best a 12 year old Toyota.
So what do you think?
Jon might have a point about some cyclists being a bit snooty. Otherwise c’mon Jon, relax, take it easy. Better still, buy a bike. But don’t stop running!