Collisions between cars & cyclists have been at the forefront of my mind this past month, so I feel it’s my turn to write my thoughts down, not in a ‘I hate all cars, get them off the road’ way, but as a person, who rides a bike & has been affected by such events recently.
It all started when I heard the tragic news of the incident in Hanham where a driver hit a young couple on a tandem & killed them both, this came as a huge shock to me & I still can’t believe this happened at all, especially so locally to us. The moment I heard the news I feared that it could have involved a friend or riding buddy of mine. To my great relief, it didn’t, but it did involve 2 defenceless humans out enjoying married life together. The thoughts of Hamilton Wheelers are with the family & friends of Ross & Clare Simons. I don’t recall hearing another story like it in recent years, and especially so local to me, on a road I have ridden down regularly.
Since this incident, 3 of my colleagues have been hit off their bikes by drivers, I only work with 10 people so this number is ridiculous. All 3 of the aforementioned are avid cyclists & all 3 were just trying to get to work on 2 wheels as they do every day. But unfortunately they all happened to be riding nearby to a driver who was not fully aware of their immediate surroundings & those who occupied it. When you are driving a ton of metal with a powerful engine inside, you have to be aware that there are others sharing the road with you who aren’t as well equipped in a high, or low speed collision. You need to keep your wits about you & use the gift of sight that you have been given, look around you, use your mirrors, slow down, and remember, cyclists have equal share of the road. They are just kind enough to allow you to overtake them & speed past them at 30mph through built up areas. This doesn’t mean you have the right to pull across junctions without taking note to see if a cyclist is approaching, and if it’s their right of way, it’s their right of way.
We live in a world where people rely on bikes to get around equally as much as others use cars, yet some drivers just can’t see this?
To all of my cycling friends – please take care out there, some people don’t understand that an impact from a big metal box at 20mph can ruin a life. Please look after yourself & invest in some good lights & some bright clothing, it helps, honestly.
To all of my driving friends – please remember that you are sharing the road, you don’t own it, and hopefully you never will. Bikes are great, for so many things, but the more incidents like this, the less likely people will ride their bikes. If this happens the roads will fill up with more cars & you’ll be even later for your meeting with an Egg McCoffee.
Life is short, so look after each other out there.
Bike are replaceable, lives aren’t.