Why do cyclists so often get criticised?
Is it our behaviours, or attitudes?
Is it others’ green guilt or what?
Whatever, it affects our pleasure or otherwise on the road, and often spoils conversations.
Jumping red lights and riding on footways are frequently mentioned as reasons to target bad feelings towards cyclists. These misdemeanours can then ‘justify’ their (motorists’) speeding etc.
Criticism of cyclists for not wearing helmets or bright reflective clothing is also common, but cyclists themselves are likely to be the losers for not doing so.
Holding up motorists for long stretches on roads may not be that different from pedestrians walking on cycle tracks, legal but annoying to the faster mode.
Also, we expect motorists to give us 1.0-1.5m clearance, but how often do we pass closer than this to pedestrians!
Signalling, or lack of it, seems to be an unnecessary extra to many motorists and some cyclists, as well as having correct road positioning to make our signals visible.
As cyclists we sometimes tend to feel superior by helping save the environment but setting ourselves on pedestals often rebounds.
Following the Highway Code, giving consideration to other road users, including waving or saying thanks when appropriate, may help our image.
RBC Campaigner for RCC