Wednesday, 9 January 2013

The light of a thousand candles

You just can't go fast in the dark. Too many unseen potholes, not enough peripheral vision, and you never know what may jump out at you from the bushes.

So my commute into work was the slowest ride of the year to date. I struggled to get going this morning, but at least it was dry, even if the roads were still muddy. And this evening my ride was enhanced by a cloudless sky, enabling me to see this from the top of the hill by the airport.

My favourite constellation, Orion.

Also slowing me down today was the car that overtook me on a downhill, when I was doing about 30 mph, and then slammed brakes on before making a slow left turn, while a car approached on the other carriageway. I was just thankful that I had new blocks fitted to my back brake a couple of weeks ago. Combined with the new bearings on the headset, it now makes it possible to steer the bike around corners as well as stop suddenly. Novel.

I recently tweeted my three wishes for 2013, and as I'm in a campaigning mood I thought I'd repeat them again on here. It would be nice if they gained some momentum, and it will stop me endlessly repeating myself if others man the barricades and take up the flags. Or something.

  1. Give cyclists 2 metres of space when you pass them. If you can't for any reason, wait until you can. Fewer accidents, more patience, what is not to like?
  2. Change the liability law so that the presumption is that the larger vehicle is in the wrong unless they can prove otherwise. Works for my good friends the Dutch, and have you ever wondered why drivers pass horses with such care? Because neither horse nor rider is legally liable if the equine ton falls or damages your car.
  3. Everyone obey the Highway code and all other laws of the road. Cyclists stop red-light jumping, drivers do their bit too. Mutual respect all round.
What do you think? A recipe for culture change on our roads? If not, then suggest three of your own?

And while we are standing up for what we believe in, check this old clip out. My grandmother, probably my Mother too, would have loved it. The former reputedly saw the film 40 times, in the days before DVDs, video and Sky plus.

And because I am part French I'm allowed to post this and claim it as my own.

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