Friday, 3 April 2009

Debating red lights in the sunshine

It's not been a great week so I hadn't even noticed that for the first time in months it's actually a bit warm and sunny.

And the clocks changing mean that I cycle home in broad daylight instead of the deadly gloom of dusk.

Still suffering the effects of my fall this week and a visit to the dentist after work led me to leave Roger halfway at a station this morning and I feel quite guilty. He'll be aching to ride in the sunshine but instead he'll only get to go halfway and via the A40.

We did, however, get shouted at by a woman on our way to said station though and I wish I'd stopped and debated the point with her.

The argument centred around a red light, that I may have gone through. Now, I already hear the mob gathering pitchforks, but allow me to argue the key points:
  • The lights are there solely for pedestrians and it's not a junction so there was no risk of other cars coming my way.
  • The cycle lane stops a few yards before the crossing and restarts a few yards afterwards meaning there are cars attempting to climb up your bottom whenever you stop there.
  • I had a clear view of the crossing and all pedestrians had stepped off the crossing before I proceeded.
  • A car was already revving right behind my back wheel in a threatening manner.
  • In the year and a bit that I've been using that route I have never hit a pedestrian, not when they step out randomly, nor on a crossing, whereas I've been nudged, bumped and hit with wing-mirrors by impatient cars at junctions around 20 times because I've not got in front of the traffic.
I hate cyclists who whizz through red lights when they haven't got a clear view. I hate cyclists who dash through junctions on red lights causing cars to screetch to a halt and put lives in danger.

But I'm afraid that until you've cycled regularly on main roads in London you're not entitled to swear at me for going through a red. Nor should you stand in the road to berate me as it's a danger to you and other traffic. In fact, you're not even entitled to an opinion on whether you'd do it yourself because it's like the question of eating human flesh, until you're in the situation you just don't know.

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