As you probably know by now, I am a person who drives, a person who cycles, a person who walks, a person who uses buses, a person who uses trains; it doesn't matter what my form of transport is, I am just a person who wants to get around and surprisingly, that goes for most people.
It is the summer, the silly season and with nothing much going on an article started doing the rounds on Twitter which appeared on the Recombu website back in May last year. That's the great thing about the Interweb, stuff hangs around like a bad smell and boy, does this one hum. It is an article titled "nine reasons motorists hate cyclists". They suggest that the reader checks out "5 reasons cyclists hate drivers" in the name of balance. 9 vs 5, already the numbers don't stack up which is pretty much the result when a someone driving hits someone cycling.
So, let's have a look at those reasons for resentment, but from the other end of the telescope;
1) They think red means go
Yes, people disobey traffic signals, but in the event of a collision the person on the bike is going to come off worse. On my commute, I go through two signalised junctions, drivers always go through on the amber and often go through on a red. But, that's anecdote, not evidence.
2) They zig zag all over the road
Well, drivers certainly know all about zig-zags (at least parking on them). I wonder why someone cycling may have to change direction. Potholes? Gulley grates? Idiots opening car doors?
3) They get in the way
I know, it's absolutely infuriating how all of those people jump in their cars for a short journey and clog up the roads for the rest of us. Selfish swine.
4) They block your path at traffic lights
This seems strange because if one is out in a junction on a bike and the next flow of traffic gets a green, you had better be off quick smart. Officialdom will have us believe that a green signal means "you may go if the way is clear", but in reality it means stick one's right foot through the floor, especially if a pedestrian is still trying to cross.
5) They use the pavement as the road
I know, utter C***S.
6) They offend your eyes
It's interesting that despite wearing brightly coloured lycra, cyclists hit by drivers "sorry mate, I didn't see you".
7) They see lights as a luxury
The article is concerned with people who don't use lights and people who use lights which are too bright. Yes, some people riding don't have lights, they should, even if it is just to avoid contributory negligence (they are quite good for seeing potholes to zig-zag around). But, if you are driving, you should expect to stop and if you cannot stop in the distance your headlights illuminates, you are going to fast.
8) They're overly smug
The thrust of this point is that "we" cyclists wear lycra to show off our athletic build. Yes, some people are like a chiseled Adonis. Me, my waist is the same size as my age, I am smug for a whole load of other reasons; journey reliability, tiny cost, seeing the turn of the seasons, meeting people, a little better for the planet. Not having to sit in a car or on a bus so much.
9) They just get angry
Actually, this is a fair point. On the whole, most people driving are considerate and sensible, so are most people cycling. The trouble is, that when someone driving does something stupid near me, then I am put in danger. So if you close pass me, left hook me, pull out of a side road on me, hurl abuse, throw things or write stupid F****** articles about why drivers hate cyclists, then please do forgive me for having arseache. My arse might actually be aching from all the smug riding I have been doing.