Monday, August 21, 2006


You think you live in a place where not many accidents happen with cyclists and then 2 happen in the same week. I was emptying out the circus van last week when I heard a screech followed by some shouting and another screech. I stuck my head out of the driveway and saw a car driving off at speed, so I made sure I got his reg and then noticed 2 kids up the road a bit with their bikes on the pavement. One of the kids had a bad graze on his arm. It turns out what happened was that the kids had been riding on the pavement and 1 of them collided with a car at a junction. Now you could blame the kids for riding on the pavement but the car was travelling well over the 30 mph speed limit and, even worse, he reversed back in to the kid to have another go at him!!
I brought the lads down to our house so they could use the phone.
I had to leave before the Police got to the house but I let the lads leave their bikes round the back and the next day they turned up with their dad to say thanks (with a box of roses choccies!) and said that the police were going to pursue the driver – not only for reversing in to the lad, but for leaving the scene of the accident. Hope they throw the book at him.
Later that week I met with my friend James who told me someone who was looking the other way at a junction had knocked him off his bike. Apparently the bike flew in to another car and damaged that as well so he had to hang around for an hour before the Police turned up. He said he was feeling ok on the day but has since developed a very sore back. So remember always take the lane and presume motorists at junctions can’t see you, and if you do crash remember you might have hurt yourself – even when you think you haven’t so always get the police involved.
The amount of people I see riding on the pavements depresses me – in fact I’d say I see more cyclists on the pavement than I do on the road. I always feel like shouting, “come on the road – it’s safer in numbers” but I get a feeling that transport policy over here is increasingly trying to separate bikes from other traffic. There is a stretch of road on my commute that is a bit narrow and on a bend and cars usually have to wait till I get round the bend before overtaking. This stretch of road is down hill and only takes me about 20-30 seconds to get down, but recently I have noticed that alterations are being made to the pavement which seem to suggest that bikes are going to be directed on to the pavement which will become a shared use cycle path with pedestrians. I for one wont be using it – not only do I not want to share space with pedestrians but I don’t want to stop at junctions that I wouldn’t have to stop at if I was on the main road. So I’m sure as this bike lane becomes operational you will see a few more posts from me about the abuse I will be getting from motorists for not using the cycle lane.