I set myself a challenge this morning. How many cycling infractions could I spot on my 7 minute walk from the bus to the office? It’s often said, fairly I think, that most cyclists are law abiding so I was interested to see, on an average morning walk during which I’ll probably encounter around 40 cyclists, how many displayed illegal or dangerous behaviour.
Minute 1 – off the bus and immediately a cycle swerves onto the pavement in front of me. Not especially dangerous – we were both looking where we were going. Possibly nothing to get aerated about but still not legal (and the one I saw the day before where a bike swooped in front of a bus, missing it by inches and mounting the kerb at speed, scattering pedestrians, was much worse).
Minute 2 – a spot more pavement riding from someone down a side street. Again not especially bothersome but why do it? It was quiet on the road and there was no reason I could see to be on the footway.
Minute 3 – uneventful.
Minute 4 – extraordinary. Never seen this before. Someone on a Boris bike riding along the central reseveration before dapping out into traffic at an acute angle and at speed. Also one of the speediest red light jumpers I have ever seen barrels across a junction.
Minute 5 – at a busy junction I see a group of cyclists queueing absolutely correctly behind the line and then moving off when the lights go green. By contrast, two have crossed over the crossing and are in ‘no man’s land’ between the other side of the crossing and the yellow cross hatches. Instead of waiting for the lights they shoot across on red the minute they see a gap. Unfortuantely a cyclist is coming the other way on green and there is a moment where distaster looks iminent when they have to swerve around each other. Luckily there’s no contact.
Minute 6 – uneventful (and I’m distracted by getting coffee).
Minute 7 – a couple of cyclists are a bit lairy on the pedestrian crossing outside the office, bombing over when there are pedestrians already crossing but that’s pretty much par for the course (although it shouldn’t be of course).
So. It’s a fairly significant rate of transgression. Out of an estimated 40 cyclists, I see 8 – or 20% doing things which could potentially be seen as anti-social, two that were obviously reckless and one that caused a very near miss.