Cyclists Beware!

I just caught a few minutes of a report on Radio 1 about the dangers cyclists face on the roads and it reminded me of an almost-incident last night.

As the sun set last night, I was driving down an urban road when a girl on a bike drifted out into the middle of the road in front of me. I wasn’t driving too fast thankfully but still had to press on the brakes hard. When I was only a few feet from her she calmly looked back at us and that’s when I spotted the white buds stuck in her ears and the wire going down to her waist.

Cycling is dangerous enough on our crowded streets but why the hell would someone tempt fate and risk their own life by limiting their awareness of their surroundings?

If I had a “stupid things people do” category..

6 thoughts on “Cyclists Beware!

  1. Totally agree with you. But try telling it to a cyclist. Cyclists – in most discussions I’ve had with them – are well up on how everything/one else poses a danger to them. But I have had people tell me they don’t see why they should wear a helmet, and a car radio is just as dangerous. It’s as if the rest of the world should conspire to make the world safer for cyclists but god forbid cyclists should have to take any safety measures themselves, such as not running red lights, listening to iPods or whatever.

  2. actually, focussing on the “limiting their awareness of their surroundings” part:
    I tend to walk along engrossed in books. People are always asking me how the hell I manage not to crash into things or get crushed by passing trucks (especially as I wander through a virtual construction yard every day (the Monaghan Bypass)).
    To be honest, I think it’s because I navigate based on /both/ sight and sound.
    You don’t need your full vision to avoid crashing into things, and even then, vision usually only tells you what is in front of you.
    However, sound will tell you what’s also behind you and coming up fast.
    I /never/ wear headphones while walking. I’ve tried it, but felt very uncomfortable with being surprised by cars passing me that I hadn’t already known were there.
    I suppose it’s a lesson not everyone heeds.

  3. I wish I had hit the horn but I was so shocked I didn’t think of it. I’ve cycled to work and college in the past, and listening to the radio is a great way to pass the time, but only ever in one ear.
    Like Kae, I find that even walking with earphones on makes me feel unsafe, cycling is definitely out of the question!

  4. I cycle to work through central London about 3 times a week and do get frustrated at fellow cyclists doing things that are illegal but also foolish. I completely understand why some cyclists run red lights (because it takes a lot of energy and time to stop/start) but I dread the day when I see someone get wiped out. I don’t do this in the hopes that it will educate those who just start cycling.
    I like the idea of music on my commute but could never because I don’t want to see the underside of a truck or an inappropriately large car.

  5. It’s an epidemic in LA. I’ve seen a head-on collision between two pedestrians who were both listening to their ipods and looking at their cell phones.

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