A letter to my local paper:
“Whilst I can sympathise with letter writer Michael Swann’s plea for cars (#1a) to consider cyclists when they are coming out of side roads, can I ask him and other cyclists to also take some responsibility when they are on the road?
Several issues spring to mind but my main frustration is the fact that extremely few cyclists have mirrors on their handlebars. Years ago, a cyclist would not think of going on the road without one on either side.
How else can you see when you are contemplating moving out? #2
The responsibility for taking care in is situation appears to rest solely on the shoulders of the car driver.
Another annoyance are those cyclists that ride on a main road when there are clearly marked cycle paths next to the road. This frequently happens on the coastal road travelling toward the Formby Bypass. #3
Can I also ask the many cyclists who go straight through red lights to please follow the Highway Code? It applies to you too! #4
Catherine Marland, Southport
#1a: cars don’t think.
#1/ I am old enough to remember kids proudly riding Raleigh Choppers which actually did come with 2 handlebar mirrors. They were trying to look like motorbikes. Nobody else used mirrors on a bike, there was never a time when mirrors were the norm for cyclists.
Personally, I’d never trust the narrow view from such a tiny porthole that a bike mirror provides. I don’t use a mirror because I value my safety.
#2: For those few who don’t know, mirrors are rarely fitted because there is a far more effective method – look over your shoulder! I can’t tell why Catherine didn’t think of that.
Most of us have a neck with 12 vertebrae which is a biological feature that allows us to turn our heads.
#3 that particular track is very narrow and lumpy there is no passing space for incoming bikes. Imagine driving on a single-track lane but without any passing spaces!
#4 just like car drivers always do?
I never jump red lights but there are many who assume we all do. Those assumptions are wrong.
You specify cyclist who go straight through red lights; presumably you accept those who turn left on a red light (as done legally in the USA).