The other day I was cycling along a quiet, midmorning Kesgrave Road when I was hailed by a driver. She had stopped me specifically to tell me that I shouldn’t cycle on the road!
Why? Simply, because she didn’t like it.
I was incandescent. I reminded her that cyclists are perfectly entitled to use the road, and she grew angry that I was too busy to listen to ‘her side’. Lady, you HAVE no ‘side’. Stopping a cyclist because you are in a larger and heavier vehicle to tell them not to cycle where you are driving for no better reason than you are ignorant of the law is not a matter for discussion. It is harassment.
And that IS against the law.
Imagine how this driver would have felt if her car were cornered by an articulated lorry whose driver wanted her to stop driving on the road? If only I had a magic wand I would have conjured one up just so she got a taste of what it feels like.
Most people on the roads are – largely – considerate. Most are aware that a bit of give and take is necessary. And most are – largely – law abiding. But for the very few drivers who are unaware of the law and uncaring of other road users, here is a brief reminder:
1) Bicycles are allowed on British roads unless there is a sign saying otherwise;
2) Just because a cyclist is on a bicycle and not in a car doesn’t mean they don’t have somewhere quite as important to go as you do. You are not entitled to prevent them from getting there;
3) Yes, sometimes a cyclist will go faster than you do in your car. This is generally because you are in a traffic jam. As they are not contributing to this jam you have no reason to feel miffed;
4) And it is NOT appropriate for a car driver to feel entitled to bully a cyclist because they are in a bigger, heavier vehicle
5) O, and that ‘Road Tax’ you say you pay and which entitles you to take a high hand with cyclists? It was abolished in 1937. Most cyclists also drive, so they pay Vehicle Excise Duty too, which is what you are talking about. Personally, I don’t drive, but I pay half of the munificent annual £140 it costs to licence the family 2CV.
Which has never once made me feel entitled to say ” Get off my road!” to other road- users.