own your streets

There’s a campaign on to stop people littering (this being manchester council they’ve probably stretched the remit to cover graffiti and skateboarding as well) and lots of the city centre’s bins tell us to own our streets. I’ve interpreted this by, where possible, taking up my fair share of the road.
The inside two feet of the road is the most likely to hold debris or have pot holes. When i can i stay out of this danger zone. Not only does my bike suffer less damage, it’s easier to drift out to get round parked cars.
Drivers approaching from behind generally accept my right to be there and give me plenty of space as they pass. Some of them give me so much space they’re on the wrong side of the white lines.
Some places, however, seem to bring out the moron in certain drivers. There’s a one way stretch between whitworth street and portland street where i have to get into the right hand lane. Here i stick to the right of the lane, though i might as well ride up the middle because it’s so narrow they’d have to force their way into the middle lane to get past. Yet still they try, desperately wanting to be at the lights a whole second earlier.
Any empathy i’ve built up for drivers is removed every time i see one do something like this. Or blocking the advanced stop lane, parking in the cycle lane, speeding up on amber, parking on the pavement, the list goes on. So, motorists, next time you get the urge to complain about the behaviour of cyclists stop and review your own. Are you really without sin?

0 thoughts on “own your streets

  • Duncan

    Nope, but cyclists really do get on my nerves… They get in the way which I accept, but fell they are the kings of both raod and pavement and any crazy manouvers that almost get them killed are my fault….

    Maybe I should just move away from cycle central…

  • NRT

    With respect, Duncan, that’s the attitude that causes problems.

    Yes, there are poor cyclists, at least as many as there are poor drivers. I feel that those who cycle on the pavement or without lights should be actively targetted for prosecution. On the whole, I don’t regard myself as pro-cyclist.

    However, it’s deeply unhelpful to group all cyclists into a universal stereotype. Cyclists don’t all feel they are kings of the road, only some cyclists do, and by basic probability, the one who happens to be in front of you at a given moment is probably perfectly responsible.
    So why approach all cyclists with suspicion and hostility?

  • ian j

    what everyone fails to realise is that there is a significant fraction of road-users regardless of mode who are dangerous, incompettant, arrogant, self-centred fuckwits …. this unfortunately applies in other arenas too … c’est la vie

  • Ian

    Bad behaviour by a cyclist is annoying, but by a driver it can be deadly.

    For instance- since when has amber meant Speed Up? Since nearly being flattened by someone who sailed through what was a red light by the time he reached it (whilst talking on his mobile), it’s a behaviour that really pisses me off.

    That’s why I’m asking for a bit of perspective from drivers. If they’re not doing anything about amber gamblers and the like, what right do they have to complain about cyclists?

  • ian j

    what many drivers forget is that if you are 100 yards from a set of lights at green you should expect them to change as you approach them, after all it’s what they do … and often if you leave a set of lights at green if you drive at the speed limit the next set will probably change as you reach them …

    and too many cyclists act like a priapic bisexual man at an orgy, you should not try and sneak into any gap you think is big enough for you …

    simply put too many drivers treat the road as a race track and too many cyclists treat it like a playground …

  • Ian

    Cyclists are only horny until the second or third driver decides to turn left into them without indicating.

    Those of us with any sense, anyway.

  • Anonymous

    i recommend cycling with a baseball bat strapped to your back. This may reduce the number of times you are cut up…