As we all know, bicycles are the first vehicle we get to drive when we are young. First we’ll be wobbling from side to side like a newborn fawn before faceplanting into the ground countless times until we learn how to properly balance. And then we more or less have a limited independence thanks to that vehicle but… where do we learn to be an annoyance to other drivers and people in general?
Don’t get me wrong, I always like taking a ride on my bike every now and then when I need to cool down or I feel like doing a little exercise. I wear my helmet, stay glued to the shoulder… As well I follow the same laws I would follow on my car and DON’T listen to music… so what bums me the most about cyclists on the roads?
This little rant based around my personal experiences will certainly teach you a thing or two about what to expect when encountering this environmentally friendly but highly annoying vehicle on the road.
THE WORST HABITS TO HAVE AS A CYCLIST
- • -Using main roads when there’s literally cycle paths or country roads along the main road.
We get that sometimes there’s literally no available bike paths to cycle on, so I would naturally seek for an alternative road along the main road or… Simply try to hug the shoulder as much as I can when using the main road! Even then I can always find Cyclists who literally can drive on a country road that goes along the main road… and they’ll choose to drive on the main road even if the country road is overall safer for them.
And so… hesitant drivers are ALWAYS forced to slow down behind the SLOW cyclists when they can’t overtake the cyclists on a blind corner. And at either side of the road you can see an ALTERNATIVE road that goes to the same direction as the main road!
- • -Cycling side by side on the shoulder of narrow roads.
I get it, You do WANT to talk to your buddy wearing that same lycra Maillot that tightly hugs every part of your body. But at the same time, you’re also ignoring the kilometers of traffic jam you’re causing on the main road because the car driving on its lane cannot overtake you. And mostly because in order to give you that safety margin of 1.5 meters they’ll have to invade the busy oncoming lane and risk having a head on collision with that 18 wheeler… because you’re cycling in parallel!
So, they’ll be stuck behind you at barely 20-35kph until the oncoming traffic lane clears up enough for them to give you that safety margin… as more than half of their vehicle has to invade the oncoming lane! You could’ve simply cycle in a row formation and talk the same way just fine to your cycling buddy. Maybe in a group of 6 and above you’ll have an excuse to drive side by side on the shoulder, but what is your excuse to be so ANNOYING cycling side by side when you could always cycle in a ROW?!
• -Disobeying road rules/ZERO consideration for safety.
Granted that car drivers often disobey speed limits, sometimes they overtake without looking or run stop signs/yields… But in all of the years I’ve been driving my car back and forth from work or studying… I’ve had one too many jumpscares sharing the road with cyclists, You can be turning in a roundabout and suddenly… A cyclist barrels past the yield sign forcing you to slam the brakes and risk getting rear ended by cars turning behind you
You honk angry and they give you this “what I did wrong? I’m just a cyclist!” look on their face, some cyclists don t even bother to hand signal their turns to other drivers, have small lights or reflective vests that help improve their visibility. Much less they learn how to properly hug the hard shoulders or cycle in a straight line if it comes to narrow roads.
As icing on the cake, most young cyclists don’t even bother wearing helmet. They think that nothing will happen to them if a car runs them over, guess what? Their head will crack open like a melon the second it slams against the pavement and their arms will get bruised to the bone the second they roll over hot asphalt on summer days.
A small reflection though…
Taking a look at myself, I consider I’m not totally clean in comparison… I’ve driven like a complete Pillock in occasions, I’ve driven fast through mountain passes, did a couple skids in a lone parking lot at 3am during a car meet… But I’ve never thought about recklessly blasting past stop signs, much less not bothering to wear a seatbelt… or drive side by side matching my friends speed at the highway causing inconvenience to everyone. Yet the more wheels… the more at fault I am for some reason I have yet to understand.
Why we don’t make mandatory for bicycle owners to register their bikes and pay at least a small tax like car owners for the usage of the roads? Why we don’t enforce the same rules on them just like on cars? Much less why we don’t make mandatory a small introductory course on road laws before even allowing a new bicyclist to drive on an open road? There is just no excuse not to do all of these things.
For now… we’ll have to deal with this slow problem in our roads until road legislations all around the world take a proper stand against the problem that bicycles represent for motor behicles in an infrastructure designed for cars.