I have been cycling on quiet, country roads for over two months where there was little traffic, and few cyclists. It was just me, my thoughts, grazing cattle, corn fields, and train whistles. I rode fast, often, and never felt in danger.
That has all changed. I am back in the city sharing the roads with cars, trucks, other cyclists, and pedestrians. I’m constantly saying “on your left”, as I pass other cyclists on the bike paths, and “This is a bike path! You’re not supposed to walk here.”. And sometimes, no frequently, I shout a four letter obscenity at inconsiderate cyclists and pedestrians along the way.
Here are a few things that really irritate me.
- Cyclists that do not use hand signals. I ride fast. I need to know if you are going to turn or slow down. Otherwise, I’m going to hit you.
- Cyclists that stop in the middle of a bike path. Don’t do this. There are people behind you, and some, like me, are travelling quickly.
- Cyclists that use their cell phones while they are riding. Pay attention! Cycling is dangerous enough. Put your phone away until you are stopped and off the road.
- Cyclists that ride in the middle of the bikeway. Keep to the right so other cyclists can pass you easily, and safely.
- Pedestrians that walk on cycle paths. Pay attention to the signs, You are not supposed to be there. And, if you must cross a bike path, please look. Don’t just walk out. You wouldn’t do that on a street would you?
- Cars that turn right without signalling. Or, signal but don’t look. I don’t know which is worse. We both have a right to be on the road. Besides, this is a bikeway. A street with reduced traffic and speed.
I have only been back two weeks and have narrowly missed being hit several times. I didn’t swear once when I was at the cottage.
Chas: “Yes you did! Lots. Don’t you remember the times you hit your fingers hammering nails?”
Oh, to be back on those country roads.