Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Goliath versus David

Sunny 21ºC

I LOVE BIKES ... when you're young, they can bring a child their first taste of freedom, that first ride around the block all by themselves must be the most scariest yet also the most exhilarating and liberating feeling ever ... when you're older, for some it can be a form of healthy activity, where they can be with their own thoughts, providing exercise to the body and to the mind.  And for some it could be a mode of transport, taking them from point A to point B and beyond ... but it is the latter that has me putting myself on the line here because I know there are a whole lot of people that do use this as a form of transport on the roads and they may not like my opinion.

A few days ago I approached the T intersection where my house is situated, stopped, looked to check for any cars on the left and the coast was clear, or so I thought, I made that right hand turn and pulled up in front of my garage ... a few seconds after I stopped my car I heard a hail of abuse come flying past me in the form of a bike rider going a hundred miles an hour (well ok the speed may have been a little exaggerated but let's just say it wasn't slow).  I'm just wondering, should something that weighs 10-20kg with the rider with no real means of protection, except maybe some lycra and a helmet, really be sharing the same space with something that weighs a hundred times or more and can travel many times the speed of a bike?  I'm not so sure.  I think roads are meant for cars, pathways for pedestrians and bike tracks for bikes.

In truth, after that day, it dawned on me I don't ever want to be in a situation where I could be responsible for another human being's wellbeing or even possibly life.  Operating a car is responsibility enough, looking out for other stressed out drivers, trying very hard to keep in my own lane, mind my own business and most important of all keep out of the way of 2 tonne trucks, without having to also watch out for riders on their bikes who at times have the visibility of a foot wide at the most from head on or behind, whilst also having to put into consideration the attitude of some (the key word here is "some", because I know not all riders have that atttiude) riders, I'm sure most drivers will know what I'm talking about so I won't go there.  I have nothing against riders, they must be lovely people too, but I just hope that they keep in mind when a situation like the one I experienced a few days ago happens to them next time with a car, the driver really didn't intend to put their massively overweighted car in their paths to try to knock them over and that the drivers also get a terrible fright, that a split second left or right, the outcome would've have been far worse than just some flying abuse.  If you as a rider demand respect from drivers then I think you need to also respect the drivers, their cars and most importantly the road first, in order to receive.

The universal thought is that the bike rider is the David in this road war, no matter what happens, the driver (Goliath in this case) is always the one in the wrong, but we all know as drivers that that may not necessarily always be the case.  

Is there a solution to this dilemma? 

I think not, but there is always a good debate in it, the line marking the for and against team will always remain clear and bold.  Just a few words (or should I say a few paragraphs) from a shaken yet at times quite frustrated road sharing driver.  

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