I can ride but that’s it

I rode in today which was so nice after using the van all week. I’m still sore but pedalling is OK. I did a family shop at Sainsbury’s and met James and Jemma with their six week old bundle of joy. James can’t race as he’s ill which puts my injury into perspective.  My pains and aches should be soon be over. At least they have a new life to dote over.

As I left the supermarket I thought I’d ride through the carpark pushing my empty trolley to its bay. Cool you may think but it took four attempts to get my leg over the bike (my groin is still strained)  and with the weight of the shopping I nearly dropped the bike. Not so cool. Who’s that idiot on a bike must have been the cry from the drivers.

On the way home a had a thought and a tip for new commuters. In heavy traffic bikes are fast, in Worthing, usually faster than any car from A to B, however car drivers for some bizarre reason feel an overwhelming urge to try to pass a cyclist.  They do this even if it means braking right in front you as soon as they have passed. Hold your ground and ride wide. I have resorted to staying in the middle of the lane. I only do this if I know that I’ll be leaving the next junction before the car will (in other words I’m not actually slowing the cars overall pace). It confuses drivers but, so far, seems to have brought them to their senses helping them realise that their average speed is lower than mine and, to date, I have not been tooted.

I have started to think about this again becuase of Paul’s comments. Paul is our new mechanic, he is a Londoner, he is not driver and he lives in Brighton. He has started riding in and has needed calming each morning. He is getting used to Worthing drivers now but at first he was really shocked saying that London was far safer. He really could not beleive the selfish attitude of Worthing drivers nor could he understand the mayhem of our morning mini traffic jams. “In a town small enough to walk through what were all these dorks doing making it so difficult to cycle through.” My answer to him was that he needed to learn how to ride in Worthing. Chose the most appropriate route and claim your space!

Despite no appropriate investment and poor driver attitudes Worthing has the second highest useage of bikes in the county. Chichester, with huge investment, has taken over from Worthing and number one. Encourage your riends to ride so that we can reach the  critical mass that will make cyclists an acceptable part of the road scene.

Click here to read more cycling blogs .

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