Saturday, 10 November 2012

Don't tar me with the same brush

I introduced a colleague, the London Cycle Campaign photographer, to one of the founder members of the London Brompton Club (LBC). The pictures and article are going to appear in a forthcoming edition of LCC.

During the interview, the LBC member mentioned he drove a bus for a living and commuted to work on his Brompton, which probably gives a great perspective on road users.  His view was that there are good and bad bus drivers as much as there are good and bad cyclists.

I acknowledge there are bad cyclists but I get annoyed when I read about misleading statistics depicting all cyclists in a bad light, such as those that trigger articles stating the majority of cyclists jump red traffic lights.  I witness RLJing every day and there are a lot of cyclists that do, but I don't. I welcome a red traffic light as the opportunity to stop and bring my heart rate down, to rest my legs or to loosen my jacket to cool down.

On Friday though, I waited at a red traffic light and another cyclist collided with me - coming from the opposite direction!  I watched it all in slow motion as he came from the opposite side of a busy London junction jumped the red light, then realised the traffic to his left was approaching quicker than he anticipated so he accelerated and moved to his right to gain some distance. By doing so (and still trying to go straight over the junction) he found himself on the wrong side of the road. He narrowly avoided hitting a pedestrian crossing in front of me (observing the green man symbol) and then he tried to bunny-hop onto the central reservation to cross to the correct side of the road. He lost his balance executing the bunny-hop and fell onto me and my bike.  Unbelievable and I was speechless (for a change).

I looked around afterwards and I could see drivers shaking their heads in disbelief, mouthing 'f-ing cyclists'.

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