Sunday, June 05, 2016

Near Misses while Cycling in Dublin #210

Well - I made it to the end of this week despite several efforts by South Dublin drivers to see how close they could come to killing me without actually doing it. On Monday while riding along the cycle lane outside the Convention Centre a woman swerved out of oncoming traffic to drive into the Centre's car park. I jammed on my brakes and swerved to avoid her - despite my bright yellow cycling top I'm certain she did not see. Later in the week I had to test my brakes again - this time the same thing happened as another driver forced me to stop suddenly while she drove into the petrol station on Newtownpark Avenue. I looked around and there was no traffic on my side of the road. Either the driver misjudged my speed or did not see me. The most serious incident for me this week was on the Blackrock Bypass where a motorist turned left onto Carysfort Avenue right across me as I riding along the cycle lane - just in time my sixth sense told me he was not going to stop to let me continue and again I tested my brakes. Again - I'm convinced that the driver did not see me.

Image source: My Parking Sign.
Every morning and evening when I cycle to and from work I feel that I am going into battle - not just with motorists, but with other cyclists as well. Many cyclists (mostly male) are very aggressive, and of course there is appalling behaviour on the road. I am no angel, but I do stop for red lights and observe the rules of the road (I have to admit to keeping going at pedestrian lights when there are no pedestrians, and occasionally cycling on the path on the Strand Road). There are some brilliant cycle paths and dedicated traffic lights for bicycles in Dublin - unfortunately they are regularly abused. I feel like hissing every time I see a cyclist go through a light, but what purpose would that serve? I get particularly annoyed when I see cyclists wearing "Be Safe, Be Seen" vests running a red light. Clearly this message is for other people, not them.

Wouldn't it be great if everybody was just nice on the road? Wouldn't it be great if everybody obeyed the rules of the road all the time? Nobody owns the road in front of us, yet we all behave as if it is our personal property and how dare anyone take advantage of us. I have many more mornings and evenings of cycling to and from work - lets hope I make it to retirement!

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