Wednesday 18 August 2010

eye opener for cyclist (and people on bicycles)

Today while riding down Naval Row I’ve noticed a couple of uniformed gentleman on the pavement. Seconds later, I’ve been stopped.  Didn’t really know what was going on until I spotted a DAF dumper truck on the sidewalk with blind spots marked around it.
I was then invited to take a seat behind the wheel (something I always wanted to do – seriously I love lorries, especially semis) and then the constable proceeded to tell me about lorries, casualties among cyclists (mostly women) and blind spots. I asked about the Trixie mirrors, and have been told that they are on trial and that they most definitely will be installed on junctions with high bicycle traffic.
Afterwards I’ve been given an opportunity to register my frame number on the police database and also received a nice set of bike lights. Sweet – I love freebies.
It turns out that Tower Hamlet council, which had accommodated the CS3 is holding an “eye opener for cyclists” events every Wednesday throughout August.  Unfortunately they do not state where the next events will be taking place but I’ll try to find out and post it.
I am lucky enough that my route doesn’t go on major road with high levels of HGV traffic. But even then I try to ride in a safe distance from lorries (and others alike). Getting there two minutes earlier isn’t worth my life. And yes – again it’s off-putting - being told that I can so easily die while riding a bike, just because I have to share the road with lorries, that can’t see objects as small as a person on a bike. While educating people on bicycles about the dangers is of course welcome and useful it’s not a long-term solution. If lorries kill people on bikes they should be separated in the same way you build pavements for pedestrians and don’t try to force them on the roads together with lorries, right? 

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