As I waited at some traffic lights on my bike tonight (yes, we do stop at red lights) and they turned to green, another rider passed me with a cheery hello. Half a mile up the road, as it turned into a grind uphill, I passed him and returned the greeting. I was riding quickly up the hill but was conscious of him sitting on my wheel and staying with me. Another mile or so and the lights turned red and we both stopped (yes, we do stop at red lights.)
“Great workout that mate,” he said to me, grinning. I apologised, explaining that as it was Friday I just wanted to get home. The lights turned green and off we set again, in single file, but still chatting. As I came to my turnoff we wished each other safe rides and I continued home.
Now, during that ride home there is a section where the road goes from two lanes into one. Some cars in the left lane were queueing as some cars carried on in the right lane and then tried to “filter” (or force) their way into the left lane. Some cars in the left lane, clearly frustrated at waiting, pulled out into the right lane, accelerated 20 yards past two cars, and then tried to pull back into the left lane, 2 cars further up. Now this infuriated the drivers in the left hand lane. I could tell by looking at their contorted, angry faces, the rude gestures, lip reading the obvious swear-words and the fact that they closed any gaps to within an inch of the bumper of the car in front. There then followed a kind of joust, or stand-off as the cars edged forward into one lane, neither giving quarter until a driver’s nerve gave way and they relented, to their immense frustration.
This happens multiple times. Every. Single. Day.
Remind me again then. Why are cyclists considered the problem?