Thursday, 20 January 2011

Four Wheels Good...?

I had a new experience whilst cycling this week - a driver actually apologised to me for driving thoughtlessly!

After 25 years of cycling regularly on the roads of Britain, as well as half a dozen other countries it was a genuine first.

Here's my usual view of drivers while cycling...

I was on my usual twenty mile ride and the traffic in front was stuck, so I was cycling on the inside.  But a couple of drivers had pulled pretty hard against the curb (despite it being a wide road) so I was gingerly making my way past.

After passing the second car the driver beeped her horn and gesticulated.  I stopped, wheeled back a few feet and prepared for the usual argument - instead the lovely lady apologised and said she hadn't seen me.

All I could do was wave and cycle away, slightly taken aback.  It's certainly better than the usual - being ignored, driven off the road, left no space, sworn at or cut up...!

As I said, I've ridden in France, Germany, Czech Republic, Switzerland, USA, Greece - plus about 10 miles of Austria!

For the record, my favourite country as a cyclist is France (apart from central Paris!).  People are generally thoughtful around cyclists and a beeped horn is usually to say hello, not a sign of aggression.  Germany and Switzerland are also considerate, but I find their obsession with segregating cyclists from drivers on cycle paths a little over-cosseting for my taste.

Anyway, we have a lot to learn in this country about bicycles and cars sharing the roads happily.  But thanks to this driver for offering an olive branch!

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