Cyclists, where should they ride?
November 28, 2008 6:37am CST
Over the last couple of weeks in my local newspaper, there have been letters printed from readers about cyclists in my local town. The first ones I saw was about how younger cyclists were riding on pavements, by younger, I mean school aged children. A few people say that it is irresponsible of parents to let their children ride on pathways in a busy town, as these are meant for pedestrians. Parents however, say that especially for young children, it is much safer to ride on the pavement, as motorists aren’t always considerate of cyclists. My personal view on this is sort of in the middle, I personally live in a village, not actually in my local town, there are a lot less people here, and when I go cycling with my son, if there is a lot of traffic, then I will ask him to ride on the pavement, but he knows to come off the pavement if a pedestrian is on it. However, in a town, there are generally a lot more people about walking around, so I understand them not wanting cyclists on the path. The other letters I have seen of people complaining about cyclists, is to do with them riding on the road instead of using cycle lanes (where applicable). Not all of my local town has cycle path provision, they are few and far between, so even when a cyclist uses the cycle lanes, they still have to leave the lanes to either use the path or road. The complaints over this issue is more directed towards adults than it is children though, and they are more about how unsafe motorists believe it is to have cyclists on the roads alongside cars. In some areas of my local town, the cycle lanes are used by motorists as parking areas, and this is what bothers me most about these letters of complaint, as it is mainly motorists that are complaining about the cyclists riding on the road. If motorists have the audacity to park on the cycle lane, surely they have no right to complain about cyclists not using them? Anyway, to my question for you guys, where should cyclists ride in your opinion?
• United States
28 Nov 08
I always find it very strange, and dangerous, to find cyclists riding on the white line that seperates the driving lane from the pull off lane. I do think it is a good place for cyclists to ride but I can't figure out why they would want to be so close to the motor traffic when there is several feet of lane to the right of that line. I also think that cyclists should ride facing the on-coming traffic instead of riding with the direction of traffic. Yes, I know that the law says they must but I think it is stupid and dangerous. In a collision of a cycle and and auto that cyclist comes out a very poor second! At least if they rode against the flow of traffic they could see someone coming at them over the line.
• United Kingdom
28 Nov 08
I studied in the Netherlands for four months and had a bike to ride to college every day. Cycling is excellent there because the ground is so flat and there are lots of cycle paths. Even on the road car drivers are cautious not to knock a cyclist over. A cyclist could be really silly in their behavior and they would stay safe. The worry there is bikes being stolen and I spoke to some people that over the years have had as many as 15 bikes stolen over their lifetime so far. I have seen cars parked in cycle lanes so that should be illegal. It is as bad like parking on a zebra crossing and many drivers think of themselves more that cyclists. I think if there isn't a cycle path adults should ride on the road and children should ride on the pavement. If a person is walking down the pavement the child should stop until they have passed by. I used to cycle to work everyday and my 21 gear bike went along a cycle path and country lanes before going into a village. All cyclists should have high visibility jacket on, wear a cycling helmet and have lights on a night.