From the cy­clist’s POV

Motorcycle Monthly - - Have Your Say -

I love the mag and the pod­cast. I’m rel­a­tively new to mo­tor­cy­cling hav­ing cy­cled to work in Cen­tral Lon­don for the past four years. I’ve been pleas­antly sur­prised by the amount of friendly nods I get from fel­low bik­ers and es­pe­cially grate­ful to those on bikes (and on four wheels) who point out when I have left my in­di­ca­tors on. As a daily com­muter, I do have a cou­ple of ob­ser­va­tions/com­plaints about some of my adopted com­mu­nity that I’d like to share with you.

I can’t speak for other cities, but there are hun­dreds of bi­cy­cle ‘boxes’ at busy traf­fic light junc­tions across Lon­don. In case any­one read­ing is un­aware of the con­cept, the idea is that a cy­clist gets a split-sec­ond to make a get­away when the lights change be­fore big­ger traf­fic in­evitably speed past them. Quite how an eight feet head-start helps you get ahead of even a 50cc moped is ques­tion­able, but that’s the ar­range­ment we cur­rently have.

I lose count of the num­ber of mopeds and mo­tor­bikes I see in these boxes. Cars too, of course, but these seem more of­ten than not to be caught out by try­ing to creep across a junction as lights have changed to red. With mo­tor­bikes there seems to be a sec­tion of our com­mu­nity that view the boxes as a place to get a head-start on other mo­torised traf­fic. They’re not. Not un­less your bike has ped­als. Look at the pic­ture on the Tar­mac be­neath you. PED­ALS. Does your bike look like that? No? Then what are you do­ing there?

So can I make a plea? Can I please en­cour­age my fel­low bik­ers to tell those on mo­tor­bikes who oc­cupy these cy­clist boxes not to (fun­nily enough cy­clists are of­ten too fright­ened to com­plain to some­one wear­ing full body ar­mour and a hel­met). But I also have one fi­nal gripe I of­ten see. If you do over­take cy­clists on a mo­tor­cy­cle at a junction, could you please re­frain from set­ting off at high speed/revs next to them? You have no idea how fright­en­ing the sound of your en­gine can be or in­tim­i­dat­ing your pres­ence can be along­side a push bike. There are no more vul­ner­a­ble oc­cu­pants of the road than cy­clists and as fel­low bi­cy­clists we should be a lit­tle more con­sid­er­ate of those with­out an en­gine.

Thanks, Matt Keen


Hi Matt, thanks very much for this let­ter and your point of view about cy­clist/mo­tor­cy­clist in­ter­ac­tions at junc­tions. I’m pretty sure that this let­ter will pro­voke quite a bit of re­sponse from the MCM read­er­ship, so hope­fully we can have some lively and var­ied points of view on these very pages soon. TC

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