The debate regarding cyclists’ rights and responsibilities continues. On the one hand the ‘vehicularists’ believe cyclists should behave (and be treated) like cars – on the other hand – (the inexplicably named) ‘facilitators’ believe cyclists should take advantage of their unique attributes and since ultimately it is their own safety at stake, they should feel free to bend the rules at their discretion. You can read more about these various views here.
Today this debate will take a new direction, by considering the input of another road user. In order to protect his identity, we will call him Gerald.
TTTE: Good morning Gerald, can you tell us what happened today?
Gerald: Thanks for having me Thomas, and for giving me the opportunity to speak out on this important issue. Today I was travelling along a quiet road in the hills behind Berkeley and Oakland in California, considerably below the speed limit I might add, and a cyclist on a mountain bike appeared from a grove of trees, as if from nowhere, and began riding across the pedestrian crossing in front of me. He was almost halfway across the road before he looked in either direction for traffic.
TTTE: That sounds quite dangerous. Were you able to avoid a collision?
Gerald: Luckily I was able to swerve out of the way at the last second.
TTTE: Do you think this cyclist expected you to stop at the crossing for him?
Gerald: I am not sure whether he expected me to stop. But like I said, I was able to avoid a collision. Maybe he was one of those ‘facilitators’ I hear about, He “exercised his judgement”* and concluded that he could not spare a second to look each way for traffic. He probably also jumps on and off the curb, goes through red lights and rides on the wrong side of the road.
TTTE: Finally Gerald would you call yourself a hater of cyclists?
Gerald: Only a hater of dickheads Thomas. Unfortunately dickheads can pop up anywhere. There are dickhead cyclists as well as car drivers. These ‘facilitators’ that I have heard you talk about are just dickheads, people that think they are too clever for the rules to apply for them. Well they are just making the roads less safe for the rest of us.
When it’s all said and done, I almost crashed into a dickhead today, the fact that he was on a bike is irrelevant.
TTTE: Thanks Gerald.
* Facilitator lingo for disregarding road rules and common sense.