I met an idiot today.

S.Giles

Guest
I very rarely have altercations with vehicle drivers, but unfortunately a long run of good luck was broken today. A woman driver felt the need to shout 'use the cycle path!' in a very unfriendly manner as she overtook me (there was plenty of room to do so, by the way - my presence on the road wasn't impeding her journey in any way).

She should have checked that the traffic lights ahead hadn't just turned red, though. I pulled up alongside her and explained to her in no uncertain terms that I was just as much within my rights to use the road as she was. At this point she changed tack somewhat and intimated that I was foolish not to use the cycle path and it was ok with her if I didn't mind being run over (ie, she feigned a kind of faux concern for my safety).

I've heard reports of this kind of exchange on this forum, but previously could never quite bring myself to believe these people really existed. I guess humans are essentially tribal in nature, and as a member of the four-wheel tribe, she felt it was her duty to be aggressive towards a member of the rival two-wheel tribe. (She claimed to be a cyclist herself, BTW, but I very much doubt that).

I've been cycling on and off for forty-six years, and don't need a car-driver telling me I'm doing it wrong!

Steve
 

fossyant

Ride It Like You Stole It!
Location
South Manchester
Smile and wave.
 

Wafer

Veteran
Just-smile-and-wave-boys-penguins-of-madagascar-20799079-500-240.gif
 

runner

Guru
Location
Bristol
never let it put you off...over the years I have had many a ***khead making comments at me but I just ignore. I cycle because I love it and nothing can change that and I can see S. Giles that you do the same stretching back over 46 years.....and I am equally sure you have had many great times during that period and will have many more...^_^^_^
 

Ern1e

Über Member
I had that the on thursday morning ! th guy shout's at me whats the point of making a cyle path if you f******g idiots are not going to use it ? and n his way he continues for all of 50 yds or so then as to stop ! oh deep joy I thinks to myself and pull up besides him and after me telling him that normaly I do use this because it keeps me out of the way of W*****s like you ! but due to it being about 4/5 inches deep in snow that I thought it may just be a little dangerous for me to use,so if he did not mind to much I would continue on my way to the supermarket because I needed to go and get the cats something to eat.Now at this point I had not seen one of our local PCSO's arrive (on foot I may add) who then asks is there any trouble ? to this I replied why no officer it's just this kind chap seemed to be concerned for my safety here and as to why the local council ets are wasting money on bike paths ! Oh and why is this sir he ask's the driver at this point I thought time for me to go lol.
 

pclay

Veteran
Location
Rugby
I have had this happen twice in the last 6 months.

First time a white van beeped me, overtook then slowed down. He shouted 'use the f****ing cycle path. I just shouted back that I don't have to, and read the Highway Code.

Second time a woman in a 4x4 beeped me and as she overtook, pointed to the cycle path. I flipped her the bird.

These two incidents happened on a quiet-ish 50mph road. I don't get how they expect me to do 20mph on a shared use path that's full of thorns, twigs and side junctions.
 

palinurus

Velo, boulot, dodo
Location
Watford
She claimed to be a cyclist herself, BTW

They almost always say that.
 

John_S

Über Member
Hi S.Giles,

Good post and I was interested to read this because I get the same verbal abuse from car drivers sometimes say about half a dozen times a week. I've been cycling for about 25 years and I don't know why but I don't seem to remember getting the same levels of abuse whilst out on the road when I cycled a great deal of miles in my younger days between school and friends houses which were spread out over a large distance.

On my daily commute, which is a 20 mile round trip, I pass a stretch of cycle path which is probably about half a mile long so makes up less than 10 per cent of my journey. This cycle path is covered in loose chippings, hedge trimmings, various other plant debris and it is not gritted when it's cold. In addition it is a cycle path, in what seems to be the only excuse for a cycle path in my area, i.e. what was previously the path anyway but it's had a cycle sign stuck up at the start of it and it's now dedicated as a mixed use pedestrian path for walking as well as being allocated for the use of cyclists. As well as being a cyclist I'm a parent with two young children and I'm accurately aware of the many types of people walking on the path such as parents with prams, toddlers walking with them, dog walkers, the elderly, the hard of hearing, partially sighted people the list could go on. Fingers crossed I like to consider that I'm a pretty considerate person and I believe that the last thing that pedestrians using the path need is a large number of cyclists sharing the path with them. Now I'm not saying that there aren't places, such as perhaps the Netherlands or Denmark for example, whereby planners have really thought about cycling infrastructure and have constructed dedicated cycle highways for cyclists only separated from both the road and pedestrians which maybe a very sensible idea to use. However that type of cycle path does not exist in many places in this country.

Therefore taking my cycle commute as an example I choose not to use the one bit of mixed use cycle & pedestrian path that makes up less than 10% of my journey distance and I choose to cycle on the road. This leads to an almost daily barrage of abuse from car drivers who seem to deem it acceptable to drive up right behind me honking their horn and sounding down their window to hurl verbal abuse at me. I like to think that I'm a considerate cyclist and it's a wide road meaning that I'm not blocking the road and the vast majority of road users drive straight on past me with no problem at all. However the is a persistent and intimidating minority who carry out the type of behaviour that you have described. On the same stretch of road I also witnessed the same verbal abuse that I've received dished out to many other cyclists who choose to use the road in the place and so it's not just me.
 
I very rarely have altercations with vehicle drivers, but unfortunately a long run of good luck was broken today. A woman driver felt the need to shout 'use the cycle path!' in a very unfriendly manner as she overtook me (there was plenty of room to do so, by the way - my presence on the road wasn't impeding her journey in any way).

She should have checked that the traffic lights ahead hadn't just turned red, though. I pulled up alongside her and explained to her in no uncertain terms that I was just as much within my rights to use the road as she was. At this point she changed tack somewhat and intimated that I was foolish not to use the cycle path and it was ok with her if I didn't mind being run over (ie, she feigned a kind of faux concern for my safety).

I've heard reports of this kind of exchange on this forum, but previously could never quite bring myself to believe these people really existed. I guess humans are essentially tribal in nature, and as a member of the four-wheel tribe, she felt it was her duty to be aggressive towards a member of the rival two-wheel tribe. (She claimed to be a cyclist herself, BTW, but I very much doubt that).

I've been cycling on and off for forty-six years, and don't need a car-driver telling me I'm doing it wrong!

Steve
Snot tribal. She probably had a go at a few drivers that day as well.
She is either just an idiot or had just had really bad day
Car drivers are not a collective...they are just people.

I drive a car, I ride a bike, I walk, take taxis, take the train, ride a motorcycle...a scooter and even a white van...which tribe do I belong to?
 
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