Tuesday, 12 October 2010

The curse of the kamikaze cyclist

I know cyclists and motorists are a bit like cats and dogs, and both could do with giving the other a bit more give and take - but yesterday I had a nasty experience with a bike that both left me upset and unhappy with at least one member of the cycling fraternity.

I go out of my way to give bikes lots of room when I overtake them, and generally apply the rules of the road to them - and I think it's not only polite, but stupid from bicyclists not to the same. I won't go into how many cyclists I see without lights or any reflective gear at night - that's just loony. Round our way I wouldn't walk at night with lights, let alone ride a bike. But this wasn't such a cyclist. He had a helmet, all the reflective gubbins - apparently took it seriously.

It was late afternoon - plenty of light - and I was pulling out of a T junction with a left filter. Let's be clear about this: the traffic lights for crossing the top of the T were red and I had a filter to pull out from the downstroke of the T into the top left arm of the T. I was about half way out when a cyclist came screeching up right to left across the top of the T and practically fell off in the effort not to run into me. The only way he could have done this was to ride straight through a red light.

A lot of cyclists do ignore red lights - and some argue they have the right to do so as it's the only way to keep safe. But the fact is it wasn't right to do so, and he was anything but safe. I was left shaking as I drove off. I'm afraid incidents like this are liable to drive me into the 'cyclists like that shouldn't be allowed on the road' camp. He certainly deserved to be disqualified... but then you don't need a qualification to ride a cycle on the road, and perhaps that's part of the problem.
Post a Comment