Wouldn’t it be lovely if…
In France recently I was frankly gobsmacked and thoroughly delighted by the amount of respect that drivers give cyclists. They wait patiently behind on busy roads and when they overtake they give a huge amount of space to cyclists. We never heard a driver honk rudely at a cyclist or roll down their window to shout abuse. Why does it have to be so different in Britain?
All too often it seems as though drivers have a personal vendetta against cyclists. A story witnessed by a cyclist friend the other week summed up the kind of nonsense that cyclists have to put up with on our roads. Two cyclists were cycling on a road, minding their own business and racking up a relatively respectable speed. Behind them a car driver decided to to make it known to them that he was a bit p*ssed off. To start with he drove up close, then he tried to overtake leaving only cms of space, then he slowed down right in front of them. But even this wasn’t enough. Finally the driver screeched to a halt causing the cyclists to veer wildly around his car. The driver got out of the car and gave the cyclists a few choice words of his anger.
And then along came a police car. Clearly the driver thought he would be in the right and was delighted to see a policeman approaching the scene. However, it was the car driver that ended up red-faced. The policeman made it very clear to the car driver that the cyclists had every right to be on the road and to be cycling at whatever speed they felt was safe. It wasn’t up to the driver to take it upon himself to try to drive these cyclists off the road and generally harass them. Hurrah! If only there was a policeman to witness more of these driver/cyclist incidents. Yes, there are drivers who show courtesy to cyclists… but there seem to be far too many who don’t.
In my years of cycling I have been shouted at, spat at, driven at, driven off the road and had my bike driven over with me splatted to the side. It’s not nice. Surely both cyclists and drivers can get on together and “share the road”.