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Kill cyclist’s enthusiasm? First weekend round of year…

Out for the first round trip of the year. (last weekend was just a trolly ride to the leisure Centre)

screen-capture-2

Such a different ride to the daily commute – out in the country, on roads (actual roads!), letting your body drive the bike and ride!

In comparison, “the daily commute” is a dodge-fest, a series of trolly rides between and around numerous obstacles, detritus, and  incompatible structures and traditions.

It’s been a while since I rode out on the ‘open’ roads. I used to ride them on the commute but considered them too dangerous and so in September switched to the ‘cycle-path’ jungle.

Riding today brought me to entertain the old road again.

The problem with the cycle-path v mechanical-pedestrian v automobile route is that it seems a series of compromises:

  • It seems to say as a cyclist you  should be on the road not the pavement but you are not a motor so you need your own painted-line cycle-path to be in.
  • Then they advise to “claim your road” you are a road user, and you should ride in the road like the other traffic.
  • Some ‘authorities’ even advise caution about cycle-paths: “If there’s a cycle lane on the left, Owen advises caution: make sure before using it that the lane is sufficiently separate from the traffic?” 
  • Most routes are a combination of shared pedestrian path, cycle path, road and other. If it’s an unfamiliar route it’s near impossible!
  • When you ride the pedestrian path you pass numerous people cycling on the road.
  • On the Shared path you get daily comments and gestures to “get on the road!”.
  • When on the road you get regular comments to “get out of the way”.
  • When on the road you have to decide, am I compatible with the traffic or should I cut my losses and not risk death.
  • Two or more driver’s vehicles in collision = insurance claim.
  • Cyclist and driver’s vehicle in collision = serious injury or death.

As I say sometimes it’s near impossible – other road users do not have to constantly decide where do/should i fit in here?

#keepcycling ?

Anyway the ride on the relatively open country roads of Leicestershire was again a joy.

#keepcycling !

 

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Bike Uncategorized

Consider the birds of the air?

Yes, I’m occasionally guilty of unhealthy attitude, impaired perspective and disappointing reaction, aren’t we all?

Consider the person in front and the one behind?

Reconsidering one’s perspective can be a slow process. Perception can be blurred and clarity can be lost for a while. Perhaps that’s why sometimes it might be hard, seem not possible, or even not an option.

Is deference compatible with difference?  Is love compatible with life?

I’m starting to consider if riding a bike is incompatible with modern road attitudes. It’s compatible with the written rule of the road but all too often that (common sense) is forgotten in the heat of the moment.

Having moved from road-cycling to commuting on the cycle-path/back-road route, I find you encounter more of people and more real-life. The previous route was a traffic route, even though it was part rural and mainly b-roads etc it was flowing traffic, and in retrospect the mindset was ‘driverly’ – arguably it had to be, to join with the flow. After a year, I came to realise that someone cycling might not survive with the current general dominant attitude of ‘drivers’ (on this route) and to be safer, I moved to the new route.

On the new route I now interact more; I ride a “5 lollypop-lady route”, I say ‘morning’ etc to 4 of them. I pass children who exchange smiles and ‘youff speak’. I meet dog-walkers with various salutations. I exchange gestures of acknowledgment with drivers at numerous junctions. Generally people are glad to be alive when given the opportunity. However, on the new route, I also see all sorts of all sorts, yes there’s still the problematic driverly attitude, but also there are still crazy cyclists, unobservant pedestrians, dizzy kids, and unconsidered attitudes.

It seems obvious to say that the challenge is not drivers, it’s not cyclists, it’s not pedestrians, it’s not young people, the affluent, arty, sporty or any other group, stereotype or sub-culture…  The challenge is perspective and attitude – both mine and yours.

It’s not one’s mode of transport, one’s choice of attire, one’s hairstyle, age or preferred drug – it’s one’s perspective, attitude and reaction.
It’s the not just my attitudes that need discipline (love?), it’s also the attitudes one encounters… it takes two to tango. Yes, some attitudes are just hard to believe. It often seems difference has usurped deference and survival of the fittest, brightest, shiniest, richest is often perceived king (or queen).

Yes, I’m occasionally guilty of unhealthy attitude, impaired perspective and disappointing reaction. Even with good intentions, in the heat of interaction, reactions can be inconsiderate. I guess the key is aiming to stay warm but minimise the heat?

Thoughts;
In the heat of interaction “I AM” - Images cause Assumption which causes Motivation (and reaction).
Alas, you will always find some attitudes and characters that are intolerable.
The interaction between things is what makes them fecund.