Stop at Red?
So I’m always reading in the papers that cyclists are a bunch of Holier-than-thou, greenwashed, smug gits, who have no respect for the law. Apparently we’re always riding through red lights, causing traffic mayhem in our wake.
Except that didn’t sound like any cyclists I know. And because I’m an engineer, with ice cold blood running through my veins, always obey the traffic laws and stop at red lights.
And then there was a piece in the Sunday Times by Kate Spicer, saying how she thought that actually it’s OK to go through red lights, as basically it’s keeping you out of harm’s way (the eejit in the car behind you who’s forgotton you’re there, for example) . Hmmmm - despite her confessions about drunken cycling, Kate had always seemed so pleasant and sensible.
So, to the point of this post. I was in That London for the weekend, and noticed a couple of things. Firstly, that very few cyclists were wearing helmets (we’ll come to that in a later post), but more importantly, in the heavy traffic, I saw almost no cyclists stop at red lights. I thought that perhaps this was just a London Thing - like not being polite, or talking to people in shops - and that as a result of the Meejya in the UK being so London-biased, all cyclists throughout the country had been tarred with the same brush.
But then for the first few miles of the Dunwich Dynamo, I noticed something strange happen. Basically there were so many cyclists on the road that we’d easily exceeded the critical mass level. Two wheels, chains and handlebars were the dominant features of the roads. And suddenly, people seemed to be sticking to the rules - we waited at red lights, because it seemed safe to do so. It was also a great excuse to chat, laugh, and take photos - much to the annoyance of certain drivers (PY51RPT - you KNOW who you are), who obviously couldn’t believe that they had to wait behind cyclists at traffic lights, instead of getting annoyed at them riding through on red.
I guess there’s no pleasing some people.
- Type: Strength Training
- Date: 07/23/2008
- Time: 23:05:34
- Total Time: 00:20:00.00