One of the downsides of following a lot of cyclists on twitter is that suddenly you’re alerted to a world out there of near misses and non-misses, bad driving, threatening behaviour and downright assault. In the last couple of days alone I heard of people I ‘knew’ – some of whom I’ve even met – being knocked off their bikes or just getting harassed in one way or another. It’s distressing to read about and brings home just how much unpleasantness there can be on the roads. Perhaps it’s good for me to be reminded that cycling is not all hello trees, hello clouds but actually an urban war zone for some people. But then again, perhaps a bit of a corrective is needed, if only for the benefit of Bigtownshire’s tourist board (Motto: shh! Nobody knows we’re here).
I don’t tweet on the bike due to a severe lack of co-ordination, working phone and G3 (indeed any) signal, but if I did, my ride yesterday might have looked like this:
Neighbour just about to pull out of gate, saw me coming, waited even though I gave her room to leave. Big smile and wave on both sides
Car hanging well back and patiently waiting for an opportunity to pass… especially noble given I was going uphill and into a headwind
Oops hadn’t noticed that tiny van behind me cos it was hanging well back while I crawled up the hill. Stopped to let him pass at the top. Sorry driver!
Two dog walkers leaping out of my way. No need, but thanks for keeping rover on his lead…
And today? Today, I hardly encountered anybody on the road at all except my shadow (and boy was I grateful to see that after the weather we’ve had. I was beginning to think I’d lost it) and two kids out for a little pootle along the empty roads.
It’s good to share, especially when people share nicely … but it’s even better to have the road all to yourself.