March 29th, 2006

(no subject)

Dear London Cyclists,

I approve heartily of your decision to utilise an environmentally-friendly mode of transport, with its accompanying exercise benefits. I have proved, over many years of driving, that I am willing to accord you the same respect as any other user of the road; in return I ask only that you do the same for me. Let's discuss some points of order.

1) The laws of physics: in particular, the law which states that two solid objects cannot occupy the same physical space at the same time. My car obeys this law, and so does your bike -- unless you have managed to acquire an Alien Hyper-Cycle with fantastic powers, and I don't recall seeing any of those in the shops just lately. This means that trying to have your bike's wheel, frame, or indeed your leg occupy the space in which the wing of my car is currently present will be doomed to failure. I am entirely happy for you to pass through a gap in the traffic when I'm stationary, or moving slowly, but that gap needs to be big enough to fit yourself and your bike through it; a gap which is not sufficiently big, or which is nonexistent, just won't work.

2) Psychic powers. I don't have them, and their possession isn't a requirement to obtain a UK driving licence. If you're planning to weave across several lanes of traffic at a very busy roundabout, it's a really good idea to signal so that the drivers you're cutting in front of know which way you might be (thinking of) going. Using standard signals is also a bonus, rather than something which might have been copied from a mime who wished to signal that not only was he trapped in a box, there were several poisonous cobras and a windmill in there with him. (This all goes double when the car in the lane next to me is an obviously-new learner driver; at least they have a large L-plate on the car so that I _know_ they might do something unusual.)

3) Going back to my earlier comments about physics, have you come across the visible portion of the spectrum? I remember studying this at school, and among the usual colours between red and violet, I'm reasonably sure nobody mentioned a colour called "Red, Unless You're On A Bike In Which Case It's Green". Those lights on the poles with the lines across the road? They do apply to you as well, you know.

Funnily enough not all drivers are attempting to run you down and kill you, but they will be if you don't get some common sense.

No love,