Following my first posting of this story on Wednesday, more information on the case has started to appear. It seems that Jason Howard may not have been riding illegally at all. A police spokesperson said after the trial that Rhiannon “was probably a few inches, or a foot, into the road and then she moved towards the pavement”. As Richard Morrison from The Times points out, she may have been standing precisely where ‘responsible’ cyclists are encouraged to ride: close to the kerb, so that cars can give them a wide berth as they overtake’.
Now I am not recanting on my view points about Howard at all. The fact that he shouted and what he shouted at the girls still display’s his lack of better judgement and makes him an idiot for it.
That said, there has also been huge amounts of coverage dedicated to this incident. Some good, some bad. Even one of Rhiannon’s cousins has posted a comment on my first posting about this. Unfortunately though cyclists suddenly find themselves cast as the ‘callous thugs of the highway’, according to Morrison.
But tiny details – such as potholes in the wrong place, the door of a parked car flung open, a driver misjudging his left turn, etc – can mean life or death to a cyclist. Last year 136 cyclist were killed on Britain’s roads and 2,428 seriously injured. The number of motorists and pedestrians killed by cyclists in the same period – one.
Could this possibly explain why cyclists feel so defensive about that vital metre between the kerb and the passing car, bus or truck? Unfortunately, only a few motorists seem to understand.
I’m not going trying to prove who was right or wrong. However, in time I will address this issue of cyclists and cars – and the lack of respect for one another. For now, as Morrison points out, “Cyclists are to deserve a better deal. But in return, they also need to grow up.”
So, guys and gals, let’s go out there and show more common sense while we are out on our bikes.