Bicycle Network CEO Craig Richards has been noting the good and bad things that have happened while riding to work. Here's what he has seen recently.
I thought I’d do a quick check to see how things were on the roads. Were they better or worse than I thought?
So for 10 spring days, 20 commuting rides, I counted kind acts, careless acts and cruel acts. The good the bad and the ugly.
Now the results are in: 30 kind acts, 31 careless acts and 2 cruel acts. These were acts of other humans so a cruel headwind and 3 degree morning didn’t count.
It was amazing how close the score was and sad that the careless outweighed the kind by the barest of margins.
The kind acts were mainly other riders and drivers letting me in and left turning drivers waiting for me when they didn’t have to.
The careless acts were mainly people parking vehicles in bike lanes and pedestrians stepping out in front of me. The most amazing was a pram (with baby on board) parked in a bike lane.
The two cruel acts are of course the ones you remember most. A driver who made eye contact then turned right in front of me anyway, figuring correctly that I’d stop rather than taking on two tonnes of metal. There was also a pedestrian getting on a tram who let fly with a mouthful of expletives for no reason.
After 2.5 days my commuter count is not so great. I’m upset about a person abusing me at a tram stop this morning pic.twitter.com/zDKTNlJh0i
— Craig Richards (@richobicycle) October 11, 2018
The average of 1.5 kind acts every time I sat in the saddle was great. It reminded me that it’s easy to forget that there's actually a lot of love and respect out there.
On the other hand the 1.5 careless acts that upped my risk were disturbing and worse than I thought it would be.
Fortunately, none of them lead to what I’d call a close shave. But it shows how over time as a bike rider you just accept that people will do careless things and that you need to be on the lookout for them.
So, with one week left in October, the month with more bike crashes than any other, to all riders I say, ‘please be on your toes.’
And to all drivers and pedestrians, the message is simple, ‘keep the kind coming but please cut down on the careless.’
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