Cyclist’s view

It was with great interest that I came across the Journal’s letters page last week - AKA “let’s get at cyclists column”.

We were treated to anti-cyclist thoughts, so I thought it was time to give a cyclist’s view on things.

Having been a cyclist for many years, I recently returned to a regular “planet-saving” 150-mile per week commute to Exeter, in addition to recreational cycling at the weekends.

I can only say that the level of arrogance from some pedestrians is such that, at times, I actually prefer to “dice with death” on the roads, than do battle with ignorance, bad manners and gross stupidity on the cycle paths in the area.

We have been blessed with a superb cycle track along the estuary side, a far less than superb cycle track to Budleigh and a disastrous seafront cycle path, which is an accident waiting to happen.

Yet we have to put up with a reader, who has no wish to have their day ruined by being in close proximity to we who wear Lycra.

We are not all rude, arrogant or sweaty. We are ordinary hard-working, council tax paying members of society, who have the wish to enjoy our lives and keep fit.

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Yet it seems fashionable to pick on us because we are a minority. Perhaps people who seem so anti-cyclist should remove their rose-tinted glasses and look at some of the other members of the public who openly flout the laws of our land.

Every day I ride, I am astonished at the lack of manners, the abuse and ignorance I face, in the main from the older end of society, or those who feel they are above us mere mortals.

All our local cycle tracks are “shared”. Sadly, the definition of sharing in many eyes seems to equate to “we will walk five abreast.... tough” or “those keep dogs on a lead signs don’t apply to us” or “we are having a chat, how dare you ring your bell” etc.

What we need, is manners, peaceful co-existence and common sense, from all sides, not more signs, more unenforceable rules and more friction.

Ian Woolger

5 Park View, Wotton Lane, Lympstone.