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Motorist V Cyclist

This article in the Guardian Bike Blog certainly rang true with a few things that have been happening to me recently out on my rehab cycles. I've been riding a bike for over 30 years. During that time I have used it as my main method of getting to work which I've always referred to as "playing with traffic". In all that time I've been lucky and only had three accidents, two of which were due to motorists. The third was me being too aggressive going round a roundabout which was at the bottom of a hill - not big or clever and certainly wised me up to slowing for such things.  

What I have noticed over the years is that there is an ever increasing attitude from some motorists to cyclists. There is also the minority of numpty cyclists out there who pay no regard to the rules of the road that get me just as irked as the motorists who refuse to give us the respect we deserve. So many times I have heard the argument "why should cyclists be allowed on the road coz we don't pay road tax". It doesn't square up as there are only a small minority of cyclists like myself who don't drive and it certainly doesn't justify running  us off the road.

The majority of my cycling has been in and around cities, Edinburgh, Glasgow, London. Cycling in London was certainly entertaining with me moving faster than the majority of cars a lot of the time. It was the one thing that I noticed most when I moved back to Glasgow a few years back. My commute to work was via a busy route heading for the Clyde Tunnel and even though it was meant to be a 30MPH it didn't feel like it. I regularly took my life in my hands dodging the pot holes with the cars whizzing past. Now I'm down in deepest darkest Ayrshire speed is certainly a big danger, that and narrow country roads. I don't know whether it's just me getting feart in my old age but I'm quite glad that I live so close to part of the National Cycle Network. It certainly makes my cycling more enjoyable.

I'm hoping that at some point soon there will be a sensible debate on proper recognition for cyclists and their safety before too many others are needlessly killed or injured.


  1. When I was looking at quieter options for cycling in to work that I knew had facilities for cyclists I used the Transport Direct route finder website. Really good it is as you can select "Quietest" a the route option and it then shows you a way to commute without the traffic. I've been okay so far since I started commuting on my bike again, I do find going steady and moderate speed helps me avoid problems and seems to be better for my bike too. Shame even in Manchester some of the cycle lanes are still neglectic after they are first installed and some even on the main routes still have the grids facing the wrong way. Nearly took a photo last week as the cycle painted on the floor is even over the wrongly positioned grid. :-)

  2. That Transport Direct website looks quite good Jamie but is only for England and Wales even though the Scottish Government has got some for of input to running the site.I have used their "Contact Us" to see what they say

    I've also contacted the local council about the lack of bicycles painted on the pavements of NCR 7 & 73 partly due to being fed up with people giving me daggers for cycling on pavements which are joint pedestrian/cyclists. It's bad enough taking chances with cars never mind upity folk

    As for my speed on the bike, I do keep an eye on the speedometer and tend to do between 15-20MPH on most roads though uphill is another issue ;-)

  3. "why should cyclists be allowed on the road coz we don't pay road tax"

    It's a non argument that one, usually delivered by moron drivers who think they own the road and don't understand what they are paying for...

    Technically there is no such thing as "Road Tax" it's called Vehicle Excise Duty and is emissions based so that's why cyclists don't pay it. Going by the logic of these numpties who give you this argument then cars such as the Toyota Prius should be banned from the highway's too as they are also exempt from paying. The upkeep of the roads isn't paid for with this revenue either, it comes out of your council tax.

    It also annoys me as my previous car was a 17yr old Beamer therefore was in the highest bracket and my current car is a 10 year old Landy, again in the top bracket. This means I probably more "road tax" than these idiots anyway.

    If I'm honest Elaina, my bottle has gone somewhat after I was clipped by that blind old codger who overtook me a month or so ago. I'm getting back on the bike tomorrow night to commute again tho. Sod 'em.

    Oh yeah, dont get me started on the farcical cycle route they've painted down pavement alongside the dual carriageway going pastr the racecourse here either. That was another waste of South Lanarkshire's dwindling money pot.

  4. I know exactly where you're coming from with the "bottle has gone somewhat" - that's where I am too especially after my wee tussle last week in Fairlie

    As for the "sharing of pavements" which seems to be the compromise reached by many local authorities are adopting again not ideal but could be made better by pedestrians realising that it is a cycle route and not tut at us as we use it or deliberately obstruct it. Don't get me started on that one. I am already in discussion with my local authority on that one


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