I came across this rant from someone in England, and decided to post my response. Here is the original piece and my reply:
“Dear Mr. Cyclist,
Please learn how to ride your bike on the roads.
YOU ARE NOT A CAR!
Good for you being out riding your bike at 7.45am, Yay for the environment and Yay for your health and fitness, but there is no Yay for me being late to work, because I can’t drive around you. You are not doing the speed limit, you have space to ride your bike quite happily over to the left WHERE YOUR MEANT TO BE!
This is England, we have little roads that sometimes means it is impossible to get past you bikers when there is constant traffic on the other side of the road and when you are so far out that we have to actually drive on the other side to get past.
The Red Micra crawling behind you this fine morning.”
Dear Penny in your red Micra,
You just don’t get it do you. It is precisely because I do know how to ride my bike that I am riding out here a short distance from the edge of the road.
Oh I could ride on the extreme edge of the road, amongst all the broken glass and other crap people throw from their cars. Then you could speed on by at 60 mph. as if I didn’t exist.
But what if at the precise moment you pass, I come across a large pothole, a storm grate, or a fallen limb from a tree. Where do I go? Do I swerve into your path; do I hit the obstruction and risk falling under your wheels? Will you be able to stop at 60 mph, I doubt it.
I am not riding out here just to piss you off; I am riding out here because on this particular piece or road it is unsafe to pass me, unless you do it carefully. That means slowing down, waiting for a small gap in opposing traffic, and simply driving around me.
And no, you don’t have to go into the opposing lane to pass. If you include the short distance I am from the edge of the road, I am about four or five feet wide, and seven feet long, and traveling at 20 mph. It is not like passing a London Transport Bus; you will be past me lickidy-split and on your merry way.
Count how many times you are delayed and it is not a cyclist. On the Motorway (Freeway.) for instance; no cyclists there. How often do you have to sit behind someone waiting to turn? Do you get your knickers in a twist, and curse at the driver for being so inconsiderate as to stop in front of you while he waits to turn into his own driveway.
I will be always be considerate to you as long as doing so doesn’t endanger my life, that’s where I draw the line. If I am passing a row of parked cars for example, I am not going to ride within five feet of them. Drivers have been known to open their doors, knocking the cyclist in front of your red Micra speeding by.
So if I am in the middle of the lane at that point, I am sorry it is such an inconvenience for you to slow, signal, and move over to the other lane.
You would do well to remember I am a fellow human being, cut me I bleed; run over me and I squish and my bones break. I am someone’s son, someone’s father, someone’s husband. These people would miss me terribly.
Oh, and if I should make you late for work. I am sorry, but I am not responsible for poor planning on your part. Try leaving home a few minutes earlier. You may get delayed by a traffic accident, road repairs, any number of reasons. It is all part of driving on the roads today.
Get used to it, and get over yourself, just because you are in a motorized vehicle and mine is pedal-powered. Does that make you more important that me, or my life any less valuable.
(Unofficial spokesman for cyclists.)
Footnote: Within minutes of posting my comment Penny deleted her post, and posted an apology here. See the first comment.
Thank you Penny.