Confessions

I was riding home today, and I actually came to a realisation that is kind of scary.  Riding in traffic actually scares me.

Now I wouldn’t call myself a novice rider, but sometimes riding in Sydney can sometimes feel like an extreme sport.  Between watching right for drivers trying to squeeze up the right side, watching left for cars pulling out, doors opening, pedestrians running out in front of you and monster pot holes, is there any wonder that a short ride through traffic can sometimes leave you strung out and feeling as if you’ve just been in battle?

Some days, every car you pass seems like a win, and every intersection you successfully get past seems like a battle won. Oh, and any roundabout, where a car on your left actually gives way to you – wow – that’s like winning the lottery.

I mean, really, are drivers really trying to kill us?

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7 thoughts on “Confessions

    • I do wonder why it only happens in some cities. I rode around London, and Boston quite happily, and never once felt threatened – so it’s not just a ‘big city’ issue. I think it’s the whole critical mass thing. If you have enough people who ride, they become a legitimate road user. I feel like I need a bike jersey saying something like ‘are you really trying to kill me?’

      • Not sure what exactly the issue is. I have been threatened by vehicles on lightly travelled suburban and rural roads, too. My guess: reasons range from road rage, to a bullying mentality, to aggro caused by cyclists who are unpredictable or inconsiderate (sorry but yes it happens) to just not understanding how to safely share the road. DC now has lots of cyclists. Some days are sheer joy to ride in the city and others are quite harrowing.

  1. Here in Australia, the Amy Gillett Foundation (Amy Gillett was an elite Australian rider killed when a learner driver plowed into the group on a training ride in Germany) run a campaign called “a metre matters”. They have it on billboards, on jerseys and all over the place.
    Whilst I think the campaign has a fantastic message and I support it fully, I can’t bring myself to buy a jersey, as even when I know what it says, the jersey is so crowded, that it’s hard to see.

    Maybe I could distill the message down to ‘don’t kill me – that would fit quite well on a jersey I’d imagine’! 🙂

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