I was diagnosed with high cholesterol at the end of March, and my Doctor said to change my diet and do more exercise - so the last 4 months has seen me on the bike a lot more. Many of you will know from the book of faces (as OS calls it) that it all built up to me riding in the first Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 on Sunday - 100 miles on closed roads, similar to the Olympic Road Race.
My GPS site tells me that since 1 May I have been in the saddle for 4 days 9 hours and done over 1500 miles, so I think I can say I have some recent experience. I think Ollie hits it on the head with 'people are people'. I have experienced some good and bad drivers and good and bad cyclists. I haven't paid any attention to those scummy pedestrians... (
). No seriously, I have not been on pavements and on very few cycleways, so I can't really complain about pedestrians.
I have actually been pleasantly surprised by the number of drivers who wait patiently behind me on country roads until we've been round a bend and they can see to overtake. And by the thanks they give when you wave them past. Too many whizz past too close and on bends, particularly old biddies, but fewer than I expected.
And I have been disappointed in the number of cyclists who don't know / care about the highway code. But it is more of a London thing. Out in the country, my fellow peddlers seem to stick to single file, stop for signals, etc. But London is different. On the way to RideLondon, many cyclists had to get to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park for 6 in the morning, when there was very little traffic. So many of them just jumped reds. And a few shouted after them that they were giving us a bad name.
But, whilst there are bad cyclists, I think on balance there are more drivers who are anti-cyclist. I've had loads of shouts of 'Get off the road' or similar, when I've been perfectly within my rights. My worst experience was waiting at a traffic light only to have the passenger in the car beside me wind down his window and throw a bottle top at me - hitting my helmet. No damage, but just what motivates someone to do that?
Don't know how to solve this, but somehow we each need to act responsibly and respect others. Doesn't that apply to a lot of things we have problems with today.
PS. By the way, 5 hrs 25 mins 32 secs
PPS. Cholesterol now at normal levels!