Thursday, July 8, 2010

I Hate Cyclists

Well I don't, obviously. But there does seem to be a lot of angst and prejudice out there on the mean streets. Cyclists ride on pavements and jump red lights. Drivers cut people up and endanger those more vulnerable. Pedestrians wander into the road without thinking. Taxi drivers hate cyclists. Cyclists hate pedestrians. Actually cyclists often seem to hate other cyclists too.

I am a motorist, a cyclist and obviously a pedestrian. I get it every way.

So may I humbly present a few Top Tips:

- You do not have a right to jump red lights.
- No, nor is it your duty to do so.
- Covent Garden is not part of the Tour De France.
- Lycra is rarely flattering; especially if your shorts have built-in haemorrhoids.

- Do look before wandering out into the road. One day it'll be an electric lorry that you didn't hear.
- Quick question: why cross the road THERE when there's a zebra crossing RIGHT THERE?

Taxi Drivers:
- Not all cyclists are actively evil, you know.
- That stick thing next to your steering wheel operates some orange flashing lights; do try to remember what they're for.
- Those taxis must be terribly unreliable; you always seem to be breaking down - often on double yellow or red lines. Awfully embarrassing for you. If this happens to you, do remember to let everyone know, so we can sympathise. It's that red triangular button. No, that one. See the pretty lights? There you go.

Bus Drivers:
- Actually you're pretty saintly on the whole, aren't you? Thanks guys.
- Although do remember to let people on with buggies.

To be serious for a second, what you do observe is that it's crucial that everybody knows the rules and follows them. Everybody - car drivers, lorries, buses, bikes, pedestrians. When people bend and break the rules - so they're in places and moving in directions that other people weren't expecting - that's when it gets dangerous.

And I don't care where you're going, unless you're already in an ambulance it's simply not worth pushing it to get anywhere a minute sooner.

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