Bike man in a rude mood . . .
HAVE some cyclists become the new white van men? Some of them seem so angry and self-righteous.
I stress SOME cyclists, the majority are fine and show respect to other people in the countryside.
However, a small minority seem to think that they can travel, at speed, scattering wildlife, dogs and small children in their path.
I had an unfortunate encounter with such a ‘trail hog’ this week. Myself and my other half were walking the dog along a path that has ‘no cycling’ signs at either end. The reason this path is restricted is because there are sharp corners and bushes restricting your view of oncoming walkers and dogs.
It is a pleasant walk along a lake side and there is a road pretty much parallel for cyclists to jump onto before they can again join the river path further on.
Unfortunately, this wasn’t enough for Mr Cycle Shorts and Helmet. Looking like a second-rate Robo Cop, he came thundering along the path, around the bushes and was close to hitting our Alfie, who was having a nice sniff of a plant. Julie mentioned that he should not be cycling on the path but his venom was targeted at me when I suggested he might get a bell.
He growled: “I can go where I like. Who is making up the rules? If I speak to a warden, I can still come back in 18 hours. This bike cost me £3,000 why do I need a bell? Do you want me to get off?”
During this rather odd tirade, I did suggest he had been robbed paying £3,000 for a bike and they had forgotten to put on a bell. I supposed real men don’t need bells on their bike.
I wasn’t sure whether the ‘Do you want me to get off?’ was a threat or just an offer to walk the short boardwalk to the cycle route, but it was funny.
However, whatever the rules, I pointed out that by bombing along the path Robo Flop was showing little courtesy or respect to other people and to the safety of walkers.
Certainly on hilly paths, cyclists can reach some pretty high speeds and bikes – even £3,000 ones – are heavy and could do damage if they hit someone. Most bikers are not irresponsible or just plain stroppy. They cycle to get fit and to enjoy fresh air. Sticking to designated cycle paths the majority of them, in my experience, show courtesy and do sound their bells then they approach walkers and dogs.
It is important that we all respect each other when we enjoy the countryside. We have all seen the damage selfish people can do, after the summer fires on the moors.
Our countryside belongs to us all and we should all be able to enjoy it without coming into conflict with others. Happy cycling.
The Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside is dedicated to the protection and promotion of wildlife. It manages around 40 nature reserves and 20 Local Nature Reserves covering acres of woodland, wetland, upland and meadow. The Trust has 29,000 members, and over 1,200 volunteers. To become a member of the Trust go to www.lancswt.org.uk or call 01772 324129. For more information about Cheshire Wildlife Trust call 01948 820728 or go to cheshirewildlifetrust.org.
Cyclists do stick to the rules of the countryside