Saturday, October 06, 2007

Idiot Cyclist

The Times has a story about a cyclist who collided with a pedestrian and killed him. The cyclist - on a mountain bike - was careering downhill at 25 MPH (that's about 40 KMH which is very fast for a bicycle) on the pavement. The coroner recorded a verdict of accidental death (Politaholic would not have been so generous).
Even cyclists can be idiots.
But I suppose - without engaging in what Slugger O'Toole would call "whataboutery" - one should bear in mind that reckless motorists cause far more deaths on the road. I think most cyclists are fairly responsible. Politaholic also sometimes rides on the pavement; but when I do I always bear in mind that the pedestrain has the right of way, and I slow down for pedestrians, and if there are a lot of pedestrians I get off the bike and push it. But sometimes, if the pavement if free of pedestrians, and the only alternative is a very busy road, riding on the pavement makes sense so long as you keep your eyes peeled and travel at a reasonable speed. The same is true with red lights. I often go through them. I know it annoys motorists but it is often the safest thing to do; the alternative is to set off when the lights change alongside white van drivers and 4by4's who will turn sharply left (knocking you off your bike) or - on the other side of the road - run the red light to turn right (also knocking you off your bike). So if the road is clear it makes sense for the cyclist to get ahead of the game and stay safe; play by the rules and you could end up dead.
Politaholic is also annoyed by pedestrians who walk on the cycle path when there is a pavement alongside (There is a stretch of cycle path in Manchester which runs along Oxford Road through Whitworth Park where this is routine; it is common for a pedestrain to stroll onto the cycle path without looking while talking into a mobile phone. As I say there is a pavement alongside. What the fuck is wrong with using the pavement..?)
But all this has nothing to do with the case in hand: the idiot, reckless, thoughtless, selfish bastard of a cyclist who killed a man...


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