I don’t like to use the word hate because it is a very strong word. But I am seriously starting to hate cyclists. I’ve lived in London my whole life and I’ve lived in the centre of London for four and a half years. I don’t drive and as a pedestrian not once have I been hit, almost been hit, or even felt threatened by a motorist here in the heart of crazy town. I wish I could say the same about cyclists. Just a couple of hours ago I walked to the post office on Earl’s Court Road and I was almost hit by a cyclist at a crossing. The same thing has happened a dozen or so times (that’s ONLY traffic light incidents) since I have lived here. So this is my rant about why I hate cyclists.
Yes cyclists, we know the fact that you choose pedal power over cars is much better for the environment and helps in taking the strain off the clogged up road ways and public transport in this great bustling city. There are campaigns to make the roads safer for you on your bikes so motorists don’t pose such a threat. But what about us pedestrians? Don’t we have a right to safety? It seems that no-one cares because a pedestrian hit by a person on a bike is not likely to die, whereas a cyclist hit by a car can often be lethal. But I’m an ME sufferer, and I live a limited life as it is and am usually in great pain. I have few opportunities to go out and walk and when I do I cherish that time out. If I am hit by a bike, recovering from that will take me so much more time than it would for a healthy person and pain-killiers and other medication can also have an adverse effect on my health. However, ill or healthy, all pedestrians have the right to be able to walk without fear of being mowed down by a person on a bike.
After the fourth time I had a cyclist almost careen into me at traffic lights I actually checked online to see if cyclists did not have to follow the red light rule. I spoke to one cyclist friend who said there are a few bad apples that make all the other cyclists look bad. Really? Then I must be the unluckiest pedestrian because I rarely go out and even more rarely have the chance to walk when I do, so how the hell do I seem to be running into so many kamikaze cyclists? These all seem to be experienced cyclists riding their own bikes as well.
However, thanks to that bike riding pillock Boris Johnson, pedestrians are not even safe on the pavement. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve almost been ploughed down by an idiot on one of Boris’ Barclays’ bikes speeding along the pavement. These are normal pavements, and not shared lanes – the cyclists should not be there and yet they are and actually have the temerity to be galled by the pedestrians in their way. The most dangerous time for pedestrians on pavements seems to be during the morning rush hour especially when there’s a train or bus strike and inexperienced people rushing to get to work are trying one of Boris’ bikes.
Even my rare walks in the park are ruined by bloody cyclists. I walk down the shared pedestrian/cyclist lanes in fear, because I have had cyclist come speeding up behind me so many times. How the hell am I supposed to know they’re there? I walk on the side in a straight line, but that hasn’t saved me from being sworn at by a cyclist speeding by. Even worse is when there are clearly posted signs showing areas where cycling is not allowed and cyclists just ignore them. They want their own lanes and superhighways, well us pedestrians have our own lanes, it doesn’t stop a large number of cyclists from invading our space.
They say they’re not seen by motorists and yet they don’t seem to see ‘No Cycling’ signs, or red lights or pedestrians. They quote statistics about how no pedestrians have been killed by cyclists, but does that mean they can continue doing what they want? They say there are only a few cyclists who behave badly, yet I’ve had dozens of experiences and I’m not even out there every day or even once a week. Is it a wonder that there are a growing number of pedestrians like me who have just had enough and hate cyclists?