Seriously, Why?

This blog has been running for a few months now and you might have thought I’d have run out of things to say. Astonishingly, no. It seems that every day there is a new piece of jaw dropping lunacy that just makes me keep on trucking.

Yesterday’s was a red light crosser. Nothing new in that but as I crossed the road, observing the crossing signals, I saw a cyclist across the junction approaching the red light which should have stopped him from crossing. Traffic was heavy and there were all kinds of vehicles availing themselves of the green light. Our cyclist – helmetless, incidentally – decided to go for it, weaving his way through the traffic, winding in front of no fewer than four cars and lorries, in one case with just inches to spare. There were some beeps, jaws dropping amongst the pedestrians watching the spectacle unfold and a few shocked faces from within the vehicles whose drivers would, no doubt have got the blame for the accident had they hit this lunatic.

And then just this morning I see this.

wrongside

Yep. He’s riding on the wrong side of the road. Up Regent’s Street and this is after several metres in which a car could have emerged from any side street, it’s driver, remarkably, not expecting a cyclist to be riding up a major route the wrong way. He did get off just after this shot was taken though, to ride on the pavement 😉

So, seriously guys, why do you do it?

Is it that riding in London is so frustrating that you just can’t bear to do it without taking these appalling risks? Is it fun? Is it a challenge? Whatever the motivation, it has to stop as it is selfish, insane and just frightening. I’d suggest if you can’t stay within the rules and have some regard to the safety of other road users you do what is says in the picture. For good.
dismount

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Spot the Cyclist

Rather a paucity of posts recently. Apologies for that, readers, but sometimes work has to come first.

Just occasionally I manage to get a top deck front seat on one of London’s red buses. It’s a great place to watch the world rush around. It’s a particularly good spot to watch everyone bend, twist and break the rules of the road. Everyone does it. Cars, buses, trucks, pedestrians as well as cyclists. It’s a good place to get photos too, if you’re quick enough. You do see some ridiculous manouevres. Taxis do u-turns all over the place, cars make wrong turns, cross lights, pull out in front of buses, pedestrians wander amongst moving traffic. All crazy.

But of course the subject matter here brings the spotlight on cyclists. At almost every junction I will, from this seat, spot cyclists going through red lights but the angle to grab those photos is not great. So today I thought I’d bring you the story of a cyclist with both a personal death wish and a pedestrian targeting plan around the incredibly busy Marble Arch junction at the end of Oxford Street.

Take 1
And this is where spot the cyclist comes in.
IMAG0348

This photo appears at first glance to be just a random shot of a busy junction. But look more closely and you will see a cyclist apparently trying to kill pedestrians. Look more closely still and you can just see the lights on red on the right hand edge of the photo. In fact this cyclist drew up alongside the bus on the left hand side with the lights on red. She proceeded to ride straight across the front of the bus (whose driver would not have seen her had the lights turned green by the way), across the adjacent line of traffic (between which other cyclists could well have ploughed straight through her) and on to weave through the pedestrians on the crossing.

Take 2
IMAG0349

The second photo shows the same cyclist moments later using the pedestrian crossing to ride across the road (pedestrian? ride? what’s wrong here then?). What the photo does not show is that to get that far she has already travelled a few yards on the wrong side of the road against the traffic on possibly the busiest intersection in West London. At least she has a helmet on so it must be ok I guess!

Now look a bit deeper into the photo. In the distance you will see a second cyclist travelling at right angles across the road. Note that this is the middle of the gyratory and there is every expectation that vehicles will be approaching at speed!