This was originally posted to my old blog on 15 November 2013.
A few weeks ago, it was raining and I decided to take the bus to school. It was very full, so I stood right at the front beside the driver. At a stage, he remarked that there were a lot more people than usual taking the bus. I speculated it might be the rain. “For instance, I wouldn’t usually be on the bus, I’d be on my bicycle.”
“That’s one good thing the rain did today then,” he guffawed, “getting one of you off the road.”
This demonstrates a problem which I think is rampant: drivers view cyclists as nuisances to barely tolerate, rather than extremely vulnerable fellow road users who should be afforded a lot of patience, consideration and the benefit of the doubt where perhaps their actions annoyed you. After all, you’re sitting in a metal shell, not even able to see the road right in front of you. Surely it makes sense to give the benefit of the doubt to someone who is much closer to the road, much more exposed and receiving much more stimulus to work with. Even if you were to disagree with a cyclist’s actions, the fact that they’re so many magnitudes more vulnerable than you are in your car or truck should surely buy them some patience and consideration.
Instead the attitude to cyclists sucks unbelievably, with the bus driver’s sentiment echoed to an alarming degree. In light of the fact that attitudes are already hostile to cyclists, it is disheartening to read of Boris Johnson’s… let’s just call it what it is – his STUPID remarks in response to the spate of cyclist deaths in London recently. It’s frustrating to see someone like him being that irresponsible.