Friday, November 05, 2010
Just recently I have been cycling around London. After not cycling at all since I was 10, I have had a lesson, bought a bike hire key from Transport for London and subscribed to a year’s access to the nice blue Boris Bikes dotted around London.
And largely I have enjoyed myself cycling to and from work. It has been great fun and I will continue to do it.
There are a few problems with the scheme, of course. If you don’t time it well, you will arrive at one of the docking stations and there will be no useable bikes. Or, alternatively, you can be riding a bike and there will be nowhere to dock it at the other end.
Those are only minor niggles. I can usually find another bike somewhere close by or a spare docking station and, now that the novelty has worn off, bikes and slots are more readily available. I also have a nice little app on my new phone that tells me what’s available.
I think my major problem with cycling has been the other people on the roads.
It’s not what you might expect, however. Buses, taxis and cars have all been, so far, absolutely fine.
The biggest problems have come from pedestrians and other cyclists.
Cyclists, by and large, do not seem to follow the Highway Code. They will jump red lights. They will overtake on the inside. They will overtake on the outside. They will overtake on both sides at once. That has happened to me while on a bike. Scared me silly.
Pedestrians are worse, however. They will look directly at you and continue to walk into the road. One woman looked at me and I moved to avoid her. She moved further out. So did I. I ended up on the other side of the road. What did she expect me to do? Stop? Get off the bike and dust the road for her?
Isn’t going to stop me though.