Several recent experiences have caused me to develop something of a grudge against cyclists. Now, being a reasonably sensible person I am aware that there are some cyclists in the world who follow traffic rules, don’t ride on the pavements and don’t run pedestrians over. But rather a lot of them don’t. So, without further ado, here is why I don’t like cyclists.
My main and most selfish issue with cyclists is their tendency to almost run me over, often followed up by shouting and swearing at me; how dare I exist? How impertinent of me to want to walk along a footpath, pavement or pedestrianised area without fear that someone will knock me to the ground because their trajectory is more important than my safety! It has happened more than once that cyclists have almost run me over, and some proceed to berate me as though I should have thrown myself in a river to get out of their way, rather than hoping that they might move round me. I even saw one cyclist hit a fellow pedestrian, whereupon both were knocked down and the cyclist stood up to yell at the pedestrian for a good 10 minutes for damaging his bike! If a cyclist were hit by a car, do you really think the car driver would get away with yelling at the cyclist for damage to his windows or bonnet? Somehow I suspect not.
But onwards, there is only so much ranting that can occur before repetition infiltrates. The second reason cyclists annoy me is, when they DO decide to ride on the road or cycle path where they are supposed to, they show a complete lack of respect for the rules of the road. Traffic lights seem invisible to them, the highway code is unheard of and other road users are simply obstacles to slalem around. My theory is that this is because they cannot easily be held responsible for their behaviour. Unlike cars, which have number plates, cyclists are nigh on impossible to easily identify once they’ve zipped off to cause more traffic problems elsewhere. As such, they can’t really be prosecuted as they cannot be found. So they don’t care. Sadly this is often the way with people; as long as they’re happy, everyone else is just a passing annoyance, unimportant in their lives.
My final reason (though I’m sure I could find many more) is that many cyclists consider themselves to be Good People, helping the environment and being healthy. This is all very well, but can do a bit of a number on their ego. As they are Good People, they are never in the wrong. Which means that if they break the rules and it goes wrong, that’s everyone else’s fault. Or if they approach a pedestrian, it’s their right of way, because the pedestrian is not part of their Good Person club. Even though, technically, pedestrians generally have right of way. This once got to such an extent that I was shouted at by a cyclist for not thanking her for not running me over. She had reached a gate, the sort that only allows one person through at a time, as me and a friend were halfway through, and thus had had to stop. She proceeded to berate us for not thanking her for, essentially, not ploughing through us. Not that it was a gate that could really be cycled through anyway.
Having had several such experiences, I now regard cyclists with a healthy amount of suspicion and scepticism, lest they try to run me over, shout at me, or involve me in traffic accidents.