Perhaps the issue* is not [H/T Chuckles] man versus machine but bikes versus cars.
I’m a bike rider. Julia M detests bike riders in lycra [I studiously avoid lycra for that reason]. There are two issues here, it seems. One is the behaviour of bike riders and one is the proliferation of bikes, especially in this impecunious age, of the bike as a means of transport.
If you’re young and fit – well fit anyway – then the bike is a genuine alternative except, I’d suggested, in a fume-laden city. Combined with the train, it’s quite a cost-effective way of getting about.
The bike rider
Sorry to have to say but of those I meet on the road, the bike rider is the more strikable, the more brickable. I don’t know what it is with this type – they seem to think the road is theirs and that cars MUST get out of the way. They play on the car drivers’ fear of consequences, should litigation eventuate.
As always, it is these brain-dead lycra-ites who ruin it for the rest of us. On the road I have relationships with car and van drivers. Eye contact is made, I’ll get out of their way as far as is humanly possible. I wave to let them through and they do the same for me. One smiles and waves back. All is sweetness and light. When a mongrel driver does come along, the bike goes up on the [pedestrianless] path temporarily.
If a car is coming into a gap and I also am, often the car pauses and lets me through, to which I gun it so as not to hold him/her up. The sight of someone my age gunning it usually amuses them. If it’s going to be a problem, I’ll go up on the footpath and round the back of the whole situation, then back on the road again.
I don’t like the arrogant way other bike riders – not all, to be fair – operate. In my case, I’m one of maybe a dozen bikes in the area on the main drag. There are tens of thousands of cars. In London, it’s a different issue.
The proliferation of bikes
Do you know the solution? I sure don’t. Much as I’d love to see a proliferation, there needs to be:
1. education of riders and I’d happily go along to a course, provided it did not cost the earth;
2. the transport infrastructure needs to accommodate the bike rider. Simply that.
* Just another excuse to post pics of wimmin on bikes