How do you ride?
I was chastised by a roadie on Beach Road (Melbourne) this morning because I was running red lights: "You'll give the rest of us a bad name running the reds".
Two things sprang to mind, but I didn't say anything. One is that I'm managing the risk, I've slowed down to not much more than walking pace and I'm nowhere near cars nor peds. Two, (and this is what really irks me) is that it's OK for motorists to have their pet set of road laws that they routinely break, but cyclists are expected to be squeaky clean all the time.
Generally speaking, motorists routinely speed, double-park, park in bus zones (it's OK apparently if one turns the hazard lights on), run red lights, ignore stop signs and drive pissed. The only thing that keeps them legal at all is the fear of being caught. True.
Me, I ride like a motorist drives. Like them, I'm going somewhere and I want to get there reasonably quickly. I don't have too many opportunities for speeding, but I only stop at red lights if I'm either going to have an altercation with a car or a pedestrian or if there is a copper in sight.
Road laws make it clear that if you can stop on the amber light, you are required to do so. It would seem that unless there is a red light camera at the intersection, it's perfectly acceptable to run an early red.
So why are cyclists morally required to follow laws that were developed to stop motorists from killing other people? Double-standard?
And here's another – what this crap about "driving" a car? It takes no effort – all one does is steer the thing, yet while I'm pedalling flat out and burning up calories I'm "riding". I'm doing all the work while a motorist does none. From now on, I'll be driving my bicycle while the carlubbers can ride their cars.
Footnote: Yes, I'm aware of the Hell Ride incident and IMNSHO, the cyclist concerned did not manage the risk at all and got off a bit lightly.