Hu­man ma­chin­ery in mo­tion

Canal Boat - - Letters -

STEVE ( HAY­WOOD), I LOVE your ar­ti­cles but I am ap­palled at your rant over the cyclists ( Jan).

When boat­ing in Birm­ing­ham it was a joy to see thou­sands of cyclists us­ing the tow­path for their jour­ney to work in the morn­ing and on their re­turn in the evening. Also lots of stu­dents on their way to univer­sity.

Con­cern­ing safety, yes there are a few who travel too fast but most cyclists are cour­te­ous and

un­der­stand­ing in their be­hav­iour. I think what is needed is a bit more ed­u­ca­tion for the cyclists and a bit more ac­cep­tance from us boaters.

And what about the safety of the cyclists? So many get in­jured and even killed on the roads, so it is re­fresh­ing to see lines of hu­man ma­chin­ery trav­el­ling in ab­so­lute safety. I fre­quently cy­cle from Bed­worth to Coven­try Canal basin (not Ly­cra style) and it is ex­hil­a­rat­ing.

Con­cern­ing the tow­path sur­face; gravel, peb­ble and grass can be ex­tremely slip­pery for cyclists and

could be the cause of some near misses you men­tion. In my ex­pe­ri­ence it is not the cyclists but the walk­ers who seem to ig­nore pro­to­col, some­times walk­ing four in a row and how­ever many times you ring the bell, they seem obliv­i­ous to the slow-mov­ing cyclists be­hind them. Per­haps some cyclists shout be­cause of ear phones and hear­ing aids in walk­ers.

Per­haps we ought to bring back horses and tow ropes, I sup­pose we would be over­loaded with ma­nure then!

IAN RAN­DLE, via email

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