I DIDN’T realise that last week was National Kick a Cyclist Week, in reply to (Two wheels) Mr K Jones and (Just potty) Mr M Stokes (Letters).
As an ageing cyclist, there is nothing worse than pedestrians, cyclists and motorists who flout the laws of the road.
All of the clothing that you so ‘passionately’ describe is designed for safety, to protect the cyclist from the motorist, should he or she be involved in an accident.
Personally I don’t go in for lycra as it makes me itch.
You must understand that if we run into you then you are safe, but if you run into us then we are dead. Unfortunately this paper had to report such a case quite recently.
When I’m not on my bike I drive a car, I suppose I could call myself a professional driver (HGV, Fireman retired) I have to pay my road tax, insurance etc so I feel quite obliged to ride my bike without further costs.
I would draw your attention to last week’s ‘Before the Bench’, out of 11 cases highlighted ooooops!!! eight were motoring offences I couldn’t see that any cyclists had been prosecuted.
Ken Bates via e-mail
Give it a try
Although I cannot speak for every cyclist in the area, I can speak for most by saying that what was written by Mr Jones and Mr Stokes, was mostly incorrect (Letters).
Firstly, it most certainly is legal to ride two-abreast on a bike, see rule 66 of the Highway Code. Secondly, when riding at the weekend most cyclists ride during the day, when lights are not necessary. If riding at night then most will use lights, as it is in their own interest to be seen and stay safe.
Thirdly, most cyclists are not middle aged. I do not see it as an insult to cycling that middle aged men are taking up the sport; it is a great way to lose weight quickly and gain greater physical stamina. Surely this is better than spending money on a car or motorbike, which does nothing to maintain or enhance health?
Fourthly, most cyclists do pay road tax because almost all cyclists over 18 drive cars.
On the issue of red lights, crossing a junction when the lights are on red is not acceptable for anyone and most cyclists stick to the rules, as do most drivers.
Cycling is a great way to get fit (my 54 year-old cycling dad has the medically tested body of a 21 year-old), enjoy the great countryside that surrounds us, socialise, make business decisions (just ask Alan Sugar) and free oneself from the stresses of the world. You should try it!
Matt Faulkner, 18, Dorridge
Just chill out
IN my opinion there is definitely an upsurge in the number of people getting on there bikes in Solihull.
Most people who cycle obey the law and ride carefully, but with this increase in numbers there will be more incidents where a a few cyclists cause annoyance and flout the rules.
But just like motorists the majority are safe and considerate. However what concerns me about anti-cycling sentiment is that cyclists are much more vulnerable road users, motorists are safely enclosed in metal so a motorist driving aggresively against a cyclist will result in serious injury or much worse for the cyclist.
The best solution is for everyone is to show consideration and care for fellow road users. As we reach two to three cars per household the pressure on road space will only get worse. So really its best to chill out a bit and realise that letting someone out, or waiting a couple of seconds for a cyclist is not the end of the world.
Kimberley Rd, Solihull
Great idea from two readers as to a local person to switch on the Christmas lights, well I know of someone who worked all his professional life in Shirley Solihull,and that of course is the well known swimming Doc Chris Stockdale.
Being Christmas of course the credentials of the candidate where working for others is concerned is paramount, goodwill to all men and women springs to mind, so swimming and cycling,the last ride round the coast of Britain since 1977 to the present day Chris has raised around £300,000 for various charities.
I know of no one in my long years that has done as much or more for others than this learned doctor,the down side is of course he won’t be available he will be cycling the Great Wall of China!
Geoffrey Wegg, Shirley
ONE of the easiest, and worst decisions taken by Solihull MBC in recent years was to close the public toilets. The perhaps unexpected result appears to be that charity bag collectors and refuse collectors take the convenience of using my neighbour’s front garden hedge for the purpose.
I, as may be others, would be agreeable to spending a penny extra in council tax in order to re-open some or all of the toilets again. It is, after all, the 21st not the 16th century.
Name and address withheld