The Driver's Site for the East Midlands

Welcome to Drivers' Union East Midlands.
Our Mission: Better road safety at lower cost. No unnecessary delay or slowing of road transport. No unnecessary or unjust prosecution of safe drivers.

Motorists & Drivers' Union is at

For specific topics click the appropriate label (above).

Search This Blog

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Cyclists must take some responsibility for their own safety too.

Two incidents on this Europe trip where cyclists could've been on the wrong end of a shunt with a motor vehicle caused me to ponder what was a major contributing factor to two close shaves.

Firstly a major contributor has to be the sheer vulnerability of road cycling. To even mention this reality, sends cycling fanatics into apoplexy with shouts of 'victim blaming' from them because, one thing I do know about, is their determination that everything they do is so sensible that, when it goes wrong, the other guy, usually a driver, is to blame. 

The first incident involved me as the driver. I was trying to find a residential street in a small French Hamlet and had previously passed a couple of racing style a la Wiggo Lycra clads prior to turning off the main road and into a side turning. Driving very slowly looking for a street suddenly seeing it to my left, having almost passed it, a quick check in my mirrors and as expected, nothing following, I braked and turned at the same time. As I did so the two cyclists shot past on my right gesticulating and mouthing obscenities. The question is: 'Who is to blame?'.  Like most commercial vehicles, the rear view in mine is restricted to door mirrors and there were no cyclists alongside my vehicle when I made the manoeuvre. So they must have caught up with me and were immediately behind me and out of view. Had these been normal cyclists, instead of the racing kind with about 49 different gears, they would not have caught up with me for starters. But then didn't they notice two sets of GB plates as well as a funny registration plate? Wasn't it obvious to them that this was Johnny Foreigner a bit lost and looking for somewhere? In any case, if my actions didn't actually cause an accident and they were given time to evade one too, why the gesticulation and rudeness? What is it about these Lycra Clads? They had voluntarily placed themselves behind me and indeed their speed was a contributing factor to the scenario was it not?

The second incident was a classic of a Swiss woman driver just not seeing a Lycra Racing style cyclist and pulling out in front of him. He was riding on a cycleway to my right. Bearing in mind we were driving on the right side of the road, she was clearly intending to emerge from a shopping precinct across the cycleway. The cyclist saw her and indeed raised his arm and hand as if in anticipation and acknowledgement that she was about to stop except that she didn't. She did stop in shock but not until half of her vehicle was already over the cycleway and the cyclist had managed to swerve around the back of her. How he didn't collide with the car I have no idea. But again, having seen the danger, why keep up the pace? It's as if these cyclists are totally oblivious to their fragile frame compared with machinery.

What is common to both incidents is the speed of the cyclists and the belief that, because right is on their side, self protection isn't their major consideration. Surely it is and should be? Their adversary isn't drivers, other mere mortals, but large pieces of heavy metal. It isn't drivers cyclists collide with but big machines not matter who's to blame. So it is in the interests of cyclists to take responsibility for their speed and their safety instead of assuming the infallibility of complete strangers and then being angry and noisy about it all.


  1. How come your DRIVING site on your DRIVING holiday only contains two anti-cycling rants? Are you jealous or just a wind up merchant and why can't you just write about DRIVING and leave cycling articles to people who know what they are talking about? You obviously don't, as you fail to understand how FAST cyclists can travel as you were caught out by their velocity and then had the cheek to blame their ability to move quickly, rather than your error at being suddenly caught unawares.

    You just come across as a typically bitter, tubby, cranky old fart Little Engulander foaming at the mouth at people saving money, being fit and happy and enjoying themselves. Because at the end of the day, the people you are ranting at DON'T CARE what you write. (They won't read it - sorry to have to break it to you).

    TIP: At least on your holiday, forget about your enemy, or aren't they as invisible as you say after all?

    1. Err please do read all of this blog and the Drivers Union Website at and you will find it mostly isn't about cyclists. I also write for books and newspapers on road safety and driving too. Cycling is very much a road safety issue. The UK Lycra Brigade are after more regulation, prosecution, jail and road space at drivers' expense. So according to you there should be no opposition or right of opposition. Listen to yourself. Typical Lycra personal nastiness. I at least have no need to be personal, just truthful.

      By the way, I do only reply to comments about this blog which are on the blog. Your use of G mail is a waste of your time. I delete it. In view of your comments, nothing further of yours will be published.

  2. You have just shown your true colours and the fact that you have to erase comments that you do not agree with, speaks volumes about your closed mind and ignorant standpoint. I shall no longer read your, in your words, drivel. Please delete Gmail as well, all you are doing is what the USSR did in the 1970s when it didn't like people to hear the truth. Shame on you!

    1. So you write personal abuse, and continue to do so and I need more reasons to dispense with you? Does my face look worried? You have had a good airing and sensible people can make their own judgements.