On the rare occasions when I do cycle, a primary aim is to be visible to motorists. Partly because as a driver myself, I know how invisible cyclists can be; and partly because, as a cyclist myself, I know you can’t trust the useless car-driving bastards to be paying attention.
What I don’t understand is why so many of Oxford’s cyclists have a death wish. I don’t want to run them over, I really don’t. Mostly. But why do they have to make not running them over so bloody difficult? I’m not getting into the whole drivers vs cyclists debate, here. Everyone has a right to use the road, there are faults on both sides and until both sides show a bit of respect for (a) each other and (b) the rules of the shared road, the problems won’t be resolved. Which will likely be never. But in the meantime, the sad truth is that even if some cyclists feel they are safely occupying the moral high ground, it does not provide them with a force-field of invincibility.
- If, as a cyclist in the dark, you are wearing all dark clothing and have no lights or anything reflective, I can’t see you. You can literally seem to appear out of nowhere, even when there are street lights and headlights. Go out in a car, at night, during rush hour and take a look some time. Would you see you? No, you fucking wouldn’t.
- You are then reducing my chances of not hitting you even further when you wander vaguely into the middle of the road without bothering to check if anyone has spotted you in your special cyclist’s urban camouflage gear.
- Yes, I know you made eye contact, but this is a lump of metal. It doesn’t stop instantaneously, even from a low speed, and that is not my fault. It’s something to do with the laws of physics.
- Why are you scratching your ankle…? Oh, it’s a turn signal that you’re just too cool to make properly. Oh look, now you’re on the ground and quite broken. How cool is that?
- I was just wondering, is your head actually made from some unbreakable material? Oh, it’s not? Interesting.
Your safety? It’s a joint responsibility.