I awoke this morning and having prepared all my gear the night before I was determined to get out on the bike despite the threat of rain. Gazing out the window you’d of thought spring had finally arrived but within 5 miles of setting off I was caught in what can only be described as a blizzard. Snow in April is a bit of a rarity but not unheard of.
Even just a few years ago id of forced myself to carry on but within a few minutes the lack of overshoes and fingerless gloves had proven to be my downfall so I swung around the nearest roundabout and headed home. Experience told me its not worth suffering through weather like that and I am not willing to risk another accident when I am only just getting my fitness back.
I became immediately more cautious of things around me the double yellow lines, manhole covers and the fact that brakes aren’t great in the wet. I decided to take the lane in order to avoid having to dodge out into traffic to avoid such obstacles. Now during the few miles home I had two drivers blaring their horns to try and get me out of the way not realising why cyclists take the lane.
It may be a bit of a rant but its starting to feel like humans are losing their humanity. People forget its only people around them not cyclists or motorists and I am sure that extra 20 seconds to safely overtake from the comfort of a heated cage wont do you any harm. Articles have hinted at it being that cyclists upset some sort of unwritten code amongst drivers or the “natural” rhythm of traffic and that’s what annoys drivers but I disagree.
I honestly believe the moment someone hands over large amounts of cash for a car, something they have to keep paying out for they believe in return it gives them some right to do as they please. Forgetting the moment they get behind a wheel they’ve CHOSEN to enter into the agreement of paying, emissions tax, insurance, MOT’s, services, petrol the full whack. This is what truly annoys them when they see someone doing what they’ve paid thousands to do for free, hence the need to constantly tell us we don’t pay road tax.
Unless your stuck in some pre 1937 time warp with a gramophone to play that tired record on then neither do you.
Cyclists have full rights to use the entire lane, after all it is a carriageway not a motorway. The name itself is a give away hinting at the days of horse drawn carriages and slow moving traffic. Yes I agree if all’s well and your travelling along under 20-mph move over let cars past but due to conditions we all need to be a bit more careful when out and if making myself more visible and avoiding obstacles means we all get home be it 20 seconds slower then ill continue to do this.
A quote I read some years back,
“It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.”
This I think applies just as much to weather as contours, you don’t gain as much appreciation for conditions or surroundings in a car as you do on a bike. Its often said cyclists and motorcyclists make the best drivers as they have to be alert so this topics question.
Should motorists have to complete cycle lessons as part of their test?
You never know the odd one might decide to just stick to cycling and not waste on average the 127 hours a year stuck in traffic. And as for drivers you’ll most likely make back your 20 seconds spent overtaking thanks to that one less car.