The Adjusted Normal, 41. Kings of the Road (Not).

Today is a regional holiday, and on my morning walk it was most evident in the lack of cars. It almost seemed like during the lockdown, when people were first allowed to exercise outside. Though, towards the end of the walk, there were cars passing back and forth.

What there were plenty of, were cyclists. First, I will say that there are cyclists that are well aware that the bicycle does not offer the protection of a car, and do not try to emulate one. There are aficionados of the bicycle that are attentive, polite, and eager to move out of the way to allow the fluid flow of traffic.

Then there are the ones that give all the rest a bad name. The ones that act like they are kings of the road, and that absolutely everyone else has to give them the right of way. The first day I went walking, when it was allowed, one cyclist passed me, giving me a wide berth, since no cars were coming. The second one huffed past me, on the very edge of the road, not ceding one centimeter to maintain a secure distance.

Today, as I was walking along a part of the road with only a narrow edge of a hard shoulder outside the white line, two cyclists pedalled by, talking about something to do with a mortgage. I had to step onto the soft, grassy shoulder of the road because otherwise, the closest one would have knocked me down. I was lucky I was walking along a spot where there was a soft shoulder, and not the deep ditch, which was a few meters further ahead. I said a few choice words automatically in English, which they didn't even hear, so intent were they on their conversation. To them, they had passed no one on the road. 

Cyclists are allowed to ride two abreast on roads, except if the roads are too narrow and traffic too intense. If a hard shoulder exists, they should cycle along it, and not the lane; if it doesn't, they have to keep as far right as possible. Cars can pass them at a minimum distance of a meter and a half. But though the cyclists can never travel in a group, sometimes, a car finds the entire lane occupied by two or more cycling together. The cyclists tend to ignore the car behind them, which has to completely invade the oncoming lane to pass them. Sometimes, even then, there isn't a distance of a meter and a half, because the group of cyclists reaches the middle of the road. 

Yes, cyclists are vulnerable, but if so, why do they keep expecting all the cars will let them alone, even if they don't observe the rules of the road or show simple consideration of other vehicles? Or even of pedestrians? 

Cycling can be a great sport, but cyclists should remember they're not the only ones out there on the road.

Life continues. 

Sport, Woman, Cycling, Fitness, Girl


  1. E iso que non falamos de motos. Hoxe vindo da praia adiantáronme ao mesmo tempo pola dereita e pola esquerda.


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