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Cycling Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

Who let Mr Hyde loose ?

So what is it that can make one annoying motorist turn us into car hating, intolerant ranters on bikes ? Yes, that one bad driver really wound us up and they must be blind not to have noticed us at that junction.

Then on some other occasion, someone with a trailer gets impatient and overtakes you in a really stupid place. Suddenly the world and its cars are all against you. You start to notice the smell of every exhaust that passes you.

What happened to the idea of being at one with your bike doing whatever riding you enjoy ?
Do we really want all these people to influence our moods ?

Do you have two Mr Hydes ?

Actually a confession: I've got another Mr Hyde hidden away.

He comes out when I'm driving a car and guess what ? - he rants at cyclists. You know - the ones that veer across the road without signalling. The ones that come up the inside at speed from miles behind, when you are indicating to turn left and cause you to do an emergency stop as you are turning left. The ones that are two abreast for miles with no obvious reason on a road that's really difficult to overtake on.

Really, these two Hydes need to get together and sort themselves out !

Moderate, reasonable cyclists should speak out

Its fair enough that as cyclists we should expect car users, as they are responsible for a potentially lethal machine, to be very careful and to look out for us and our safety.

The trouble is that we allow the extreme people on the car side of the argument to push us into an extreme view on our side. It serves no useful purpose, as there will always be extremes on both sides.

We need to engage with the moderate reasonable people on both sides and not let the extremes dictate what we do, feel or say. It doesn't really serve any constructive purpose.

Don't convert more extremists

If you wave madly or stick fingers up at a driver who simply made a mistake, or wasn't quite concentrating, or just didn't see you, you might convert them into a bike hater.

Do we want that ?

There are the good guys

I had something happen recently that restored my faith. On a social ride I was feeling the pace (not been out for weeks) and the group I was with got ahead half a mile and then turned off to the right and waited for me.

A hundred yards or so from the junction, I was still head down ploughing on and heard a car behind. Expecting it to overtake, I carried on, but the driver must have seen my group ahead, been unsure whether I was going to pull out into the middle and he held back until I got to the junction and turned, which I wasn't expecting.

I made sure I gave a very friendly thumbs up and wave.
It felt much better than when I exercise the old middle finger.

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