Get Back! Plus some rambling of the motoring kind.

9

November 22, 2017 by welshcyclist

I want to get back where I belong. That is a lot happier with myself my body shape and so on and on.

Since my DVT episode back in January of this year, I’ve done very little cycling, and rarely commuted to work. This has left me overweight and not feeling so good about myself. I’ve grown soft and lazy, making all the excuses to myself about the reasons not to ride that I used to laugh at. Oh, it’s too wet! Too cold! Too far and I’ll get all sweaty! It’s too much trouble to wash and change when I get there!

I must say I’m disgusted with myself!

Not that is all discouraging me, can I call it cowardice or my need for self-preservation. Read on!

One major thing that has struck me about not riding the way I did is the realisation just how vulnerable I, we, cyclists are on the roads. I have been using the car to travel to and from work and have noticed the commuting fraternity of cyclists has grown and is growing considerably. It has meant that I am interacting with them a lot in my car. Not only do I recognise their vulnerability, but the real danger selfish drivers constantly put them in. I have to admit I even find it quite frightening driving in my car with these idiotic drivers racing about, cutting in on me, but they do it with even more scant regard at all for cyclists. In the past, I have had to endure quite a few near-misses that put me in real danger of injury or worse. Simply by the law of averages, because there are so many more cyclists commuting now the numbers of near-misses must have increased by a very alarming factor.

Personally, wherever possible I stick to cycle paths and will do so, even more even if it adds some distance to my commute. But I worry a great deal about our brethren of lycra-clad cyclists who because they are timing themselves on their commute, always trying to improve their speed, who “have” to stick to the road, even if it is a dual carriageway. I say what madness but it is a free country, and the law allows them to. But they make me shudder. My car driving commute has convinced me that cars and cyclists don’t mix, can’t mix!

We have to be kept separate.

It needs a massive infrastructure shift.

Meanwhile, the real question that needs to be answered is how do we get them, that now make large “minority” of selfish stupid and inconsiderate drivers, off the road, to keep the rest of us safe!

It would prove a real encouragement to me, and no doubt many other would-be cyclists.

What do you think my faithful reader?

Yes, I’m still here.

9 thoughts on “Get Back! Plus some rambling of the motoring kind.

  1. tootlepedal says:

    What do I think? It’s a very difficult situation. That’s what I think.

    You have touched on one problem which is that some cyclists and some motorists think that they have a divine right to go as fast as they want at all times and it is equally hard to persuade either group that more consideration for others is required.

    Relatively speedy cyclists take the view that roads are open to them as well as motor traffic so why shouldn’t they use them when they offer the quickest route to where they want to go. It is hard for motorists, who have had many very expensive speedy routes specially opened for them with no cyclists allowed (motorways) to argue that cyclists should be banned from all the other direct roads as well.

    If this makes for tricky traffic conditions, then the cyclist argue that the motorists should slow down as they don’t have a divine right to go as fast as they want but then….

    …and so on.

    The only answer is to get all the motorists out of the cars and on to bikes and now electric bikes are available at a fraction of the costs of a motor car, lets wait and see. I would start, in my role as supreme dictator, by banning all single driver commuting to work.

    How’s that for some random thoughts?

    I hope that you can find some good weather to get cycling regularly again soon.

    • welshcyclist says:

      Brilliant! Everything could be solved by a dictator, democracy just doesn’t work, it just makes things too complicated. All we need to arrange is a coup for the cycling revolution (sorry about that!) to begin and put you, tootlepedal at the head. Never mind pedal on parliament revolution is what is needed, who better than cyclists to provide the way forward! Viva la revolution!

      • tootlepedal says:

        Up to a point Kieron. Although I would be happy to take the job, I realise that there may be those who might object and then there would be more trouble. We’ll just have to settle for democracy and moaning. This is my standard mode.

      • welshcyclist says:

        But I had plans for you could have been a contender! I see you’ve recognised my standard mode, “moaning”. By the way, “Good Moaning” as those real revolutionaries would have said. Cheers.

  2. cyclingcoder says:

    It’s an interesting problem and I think the solution unfortunately requires vision (rather lacking at the moment) or a dictatorship as tootlepedal suggests.

    Basically, a cycle network would have to be pervasive (getting you to within a few hundred ft of where you live / work / shop etc) before most people would meaningfully cycle. Having to cycle a km or two on a narrow, busy B-road would put most people off, even if the rest of their route were pristine cycle path. Without the pervasive cycle network, you never know what the demand for such a network would be. Without pre-emptive building of paths etc, the only places where cycling has got traction are where driving and public transport have become hellish experiences (e.g. London).

    Also, where cycle networks are built, you do need to be able to keep up some speed, otherwise it becomes pointless riding a bike in the first place. In theory, I could get from home to work pretty much all on cycle paths. However, about 30% is impassable when it rains. I could get a mountain bike (some sections might still be tricky for my competence), but the route has so many meanders that it’s 50% longer than the road. Also throw in a load of gates and road crossings and it’d take about an hour to get to or from work. Compare this to 20 minutes by car, I’d probably use the car. Whereas 20 min by car or 30 min by bike on the road, I’ll take the exercise. This being said, none of the roads on my route are insanely fast. I probably would use a short section of scrappy cycle path (as long as I could get through) to avoid a km of 70mph dual carriageway.

    Anyway. In terms of vision, I think something like a car free day would be interesting so people could see what life is like on the other side.

    • welshcyclist says:

      Pervasive dictatorship with tootlepedal at the helm os the only answer! Lol. Regaining respect for other people is the first step, then respect for the law. People today only think of themselves on the roads in particular. When it comes to the roads we need the police to be in charge and the courts to savagely penalise those who break the law from parking to dangerous driving. Discipline has to be brought back to the roads so we can all travel safely on either two or four wheels.

  3. Self crashing cars will solve everything, they will remove the anger, aggression and stupidity from cars. Of course the first few will kill some people, but that’s progress and for the greater good. I’ll be upset if I’m still driving in 10 years and dealing with d heads on the road. Self crashing cars can be smaller too, saving width for me to get past the queues.

    Until then, man the hell up, you jessy, get on your bike and pedal, you can thank me later. This time of year you earn the right to be called a cyclist. Those lame, turbo training Nancy boys aren’t.

    • welshcyclist says:

      Cheers for that, I need a damned good kick up the arse, as they say, however, I’m glad I’m not in kicking range, Cheers.

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