Wednesday, 21 May 2008

A Big Yellow Bus

How good would it be to have campaigns like this locally?

I'm pretty lucky that I don't see or cop much grief when riding the roads (why should I be lucky?? This should be the norm!), but it's that 1% you get every now and then that throws you, drives up the adrenaline, arcs up the defences and makes you realise that it's a mean nasty world on the bitumen, and you are only ever millimetres away from injury or death.

I do believe however, that there is a major deficit in non-cyclist road users' knowledge of what cyclists can and can't do on the road. One of the biggest ignorances is being able to ride 2 abreast, particularly on multi-lane roads. Drivers just don't get it, mainly claiming impedence. Funny thing is, if the 2 abreast cyclists were a tractor, slow-moving truck etc, the road rage wouldn't be flung around as it is. I actually made this point to a woman once, who had abused 2 of us riding on a back road into Geelong. It was a quiet empty road (apart from her, and us), and part of the Otways Classic (the original Otways Classic) so well sign posted. Unfortunately for her, she got stuck at an intersection, which gave me the opportunity to tell it to her like it is. When I made the tractor comparison, she wound up her window. That's one way to end a discussion. I think my point struck home.

The ongoing campaigns regarding cyclists' use of roads are aimed at cyclists, which in actuality make victims of cyclists by providing education on how not to be hit by cars, and continues to undermine cyclists' legitimate use of roads. Let's have some balance, and aim some of this education at motorists on how to avoid hitting cyclists, and on promoting the road as a shared and shareable space for a range of transport modes.

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