OK then, a drive in the life of a car driver

  • By ivan on at 07:01am 20 Sep 2011
  • Posted in: General
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I drive a nice clean car - no congestion charge you see, trains are OK, but more expensive than driving and there are many people with colds which I'd rather not catch.  I used to get the train and since stopping, about a year or so now, I haven't had one cold when I used to get them all the time.

This morning another fantastic drive (55 mpg) nice and relaxed, radio on, not a care in the world, a particularly considerate cyclist too.  I was going down a one way street in the City when a bike comes the other (wrong) way, there is no allowance for bikes to go the wrong way on this street as there is on some.  I stop to let him go past (not sounding my horn oddly enough, the incident referred to yesterday, as I said yesterday, was the only time I have sounded my horn in the many times some cyclists have tried to commit suicide in front of me) and he stops by my window to remonstrate with me about nearly killing him, what?  I said that it was a one way street, to which he replied, and I'm not joking, 'get out of there and I'll thump you'!  I said to him that I didn't want to fight him and that I didn't want to kill him either, geuss what?  The finger again.

My reason for writing is not to upset you all, I too ride a bike as I said yesterday, I write because I want to try to instill a little common sense into cycling, there are rules on the road for drivers, riders and pedestrians, most of us are all three.  Would you drive your car the wrong way down a one way street, and if not why not?  It's obvious, I hope, so why ride a bike like that?  The same is true of list I included yesterday, why do all those things when everyone knows they are dangerous and against the law?

You may blame poor driving; there is certainly a lot of that, but as I said yesterday look out for yourselves, do not rely on car drivers to do it for you!  I am probably the exception as I do look, bit there are many who don't.

Replies

Sorry to hear you encountered an aggressive and ignorant person on a bike. Unfortunately, aggressive and ignorant people exist in all walks of life.

At least this one was riding a bicycle, and so was largely (apart from the rather pathetic threats) only endangering himself.

There's a serious problem, though, when you put these people in motor vehicles, because they become potential killers. I heard only this week of a young female colleague being threatened by a car driver, who used his vehicle to intimidate her off the road. 

It's good you're not that type of driver, though I'm rather fearful by your saying you "have no a care in the world" while you're behind the wheel.

I'd be wary of riding my bike in anyone's vicinity if they thought this level of detachment is a good thing. Perhaps you meant something else...

You're right that public transport can encourage respiratory infections, though if you think driving is the key to good health you're sadly mistaken.

The overuse of motorised mobility is a factor that has contributed a great deal to the nation's ill health, as more sedentary lifestyles and obesity encourage greater incidence of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and numerous other life-threatening diseases – many of them affecting children as well as adults, and all of them costing the taxpayer billions of pounds to treat.

If you want good health, the evidence says keep active, and the best way to do that is ride a bike every day.

It used to take a train-assisted 55 minutes from Addington Hills, Croydon, to my London Bridge desk, my folding Brompton tucked neatly under my desk. Could work or read on the train, too. When I drove I had to allow two hours minimum.

If it's any consolation, cyclists riding the wrong way down a road are around four times more likely to have an accident: http://www.bicyclinglife.com/Library/riskfactors.htm .

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