A fourth week in and the struggle is real.
Cycling and cyclists appear to be split into two camps here in the UK.
You have the group that are getting out and about on their bikes for hours at a time and packing in the sort of mileage that means when racing recommences there will be strong results and personal bests.
I am in the other group. Riding 5 out of 7 rides on the turbo, either in the garden or in the garage for early morning sessions and only riding on the roads for about an hour. I call our group “The Distancers”. When racing comes back we will be a long way behind.
As I am still working in a key industry for helping the country keep operable, I feel a responsibility to stay as close to home as possible and take as fewer health risks as possible to ensure I can still do my job.
You only need to read the internet news sites to see that there is an element of hostility towards people on bikes at the moment. One of the Lincolnshire road deaths last week was an elderly cyclist less than a mile from my home. Somehow that has been spun in the media as stressed drivers struggling to drive and hitting pedestrians and cyclists, as if its not their fault.
I don’t want a war with motorists.
I read some of the more militant cycling websites with real despair that these keyboard warriors represent a group and transport type.
We are all just trying to make our way through this and get out the other end alive.
I even read forums where some cyclists were criticising “new” or “lapsed” riders returning to the road for not riding as they would like them to.
It makes “Cyclists” as a group look hostile, unfriendly and unwilling to compromise and play their part in a joined up transport structure.
A truck driver was interviewed about the local deaths in my county and said that he felt some cyclists were so self involved (paraphrasing) with a few willing to pull over if it was difficult for him to pass.
Of course the comments were all about why cyclists should have to pull over etc. etc.
Whilst I am by no means perfect or the best road companion all of the time I’d like to think that on a narrow road or track (and there are plenty of those in the fens) if a fast moving vehicle is approaching I would look to let it pass when its safe by slowing and pulling to the side or pulling over where possible.
I might get a wave of thanks, I might not. However rather than inconveniencing their journey for minutes and making them angry, I have slowed us both down for seconds before we can carry on our days. It might make their decision at the next roundabout more cyclist friendly should that arise.
Food for thought.