Why Dublin City Cyclists annoy me!
I hate cyclists... Okay, before every bike riding person attacks me, I have my reasons! This is a huge generalisation on my part, but because of all the 'rogue riders' on Dublin's roads I now paint them all with the same brush. I do understand that the majority of cyclists probably feel a certain degree of hatred towards us drivers too, but I sit behind a wheel and not on a saddle so this is my point of view.
Breaking The Lights
My first issue is one which I'd imagine many other drivers will agree on, cyclists in Dublin constantly break red lights. They see the light go orange and suddenly speed up and just go for it. What bothers me is if the car with the green light hits that cyclist, the driver is immediately blamed. Thankfully these incidents are usually witnessed, and more often than not the driver does not hit the erring cyclist. However, those moments for a driver are extremely scary, not because they fear for their own life, but because they fear injuring or potentially killing the cyclist. I 100% back the new on the spot €50 fine for any cyclists who breaks a red light. Red means stop!
Where's Your Helmet?
My second issue with cyclists is their lack of lighting and protective gear. I understand some of you cool dudes might not want to wear a helmet, but without one you are putting yourself at severe risk. Don't be an idiot, wear a helmet. Why oh why do a number of cyclists not wear any protective lighting, Am I just supposed to be able to see you clearly behind me on a dark night? Drivers don't actually want to pull out in front of you, we don't actually want to nearly hit you, so please make it a little easier for us to spot you.
What About The Pedestrians?
My third issue with cyclists is their lack of respect for pedestrians, they seem to feel they have the right of way no matter what. I will mention again I am generalising a lot! When they break a red light they are zooming through the pedestrians' allocated time to cross the road. If a person was to step out on to the road, the cyclist could easily mow them down and cause them an injury. I have to admit now that I have a hugely personal hatred of this because of one traumatising incident that occurred while I was a teen. When I was in third year I was innocently strolling down a pedestrian walk way when a cyclist zoomed by... His handle bar got caught in my school bag and he went flying on to the road. Of course we both got a terrible shock but I knew he could be injured and went to help the man up, I was then met with 5 minutes of abuse. He called me every name under the sun even though I was at least 20 years his junior and had been in the right.
My fourth issue is one that a very small number of cyclists actually do - banging heavily on a driver's window. Drivers make mistakes, they make mistakes every day and sometimes these mistake can put a cyclist in danger. I do accept this must be terrifying for the cyclist but the thing is, if it's the other way round and the cyclist makes the mistake you rarely see a driver get out and kick the cyclists spokes. If a driver got out and tried to physically touch any part of a cyclists bike, people would see it as abuse. So if you are an angry cyclist and like to bang on windows, remember you may come across and even angrier person and they may retaliate.
City Centre Cycling Is Not For Kids
My last issue with cyclists is with the parents who bring their children cycling behind them on main roads. We all know how vulnerable cyclists are on roads, so it boggles me why parents would expose their children to such danger. I applaud parents for getting their children to exercise and out in the fresh air, but I firmly believe children should cycle in parks and not on busy roads.
My hope is that the newly introduced fines will calm those 'rogue riders' down and make them as accountable as drivers are, which will ultimately make the roads safer for everyone.