This issue has raised its ugly head again in the Community Comment pages of the Stirling Times (December 4, 2007). It has arisen following the publication of a letter about cyclists by Angela Smith last week.
I posted a reply which was published this week and Councillor Bill Smith [firstname.lastname@example.org] took the opportunity to take up his band wagon again.
I suggest anyone interested should send a letter to the editor on the subject matter and for that matter to Councillor Smith. The email address for the Editor is email@example.com. You need to provide your full name, address and daytime phone number.
We really need to stand up and be the loud majority here.
My email as published is below:
I UNDERSTAND Angela's frustration at some cyclists in her letter (Lunatics in lycra are a danger, Community, November 27).
Just as I am sure she is not labelling all cyclists as lunatics, because not all cyclists are, just as not all pedestrians are.
To ensure balance I am sure Angela forgot to mention two other "rules" that apply to the those same shared paths she referred too. Namely "Keep Left" and "Dogs on a Lead." As both a cyclist (and I sometimes where lycra as it is very comfortable for riding) and a walker and I too find it frustrating when I see cyclists riding inappropriately.
However what scares me more, are pedestrians who don't look before walking onto the paths, who walk like they own the whole path (often in the middle or on the right) so when I do ring my bell, I have no idea which way they are going to go and parents who let their children run and play on paths.
All my near misses on shared paths and thankfully they have been near misses, have been not because of cyclists but because of pedestrians not doing the right thing and sharing the path.
You can also be assured Angela I have no desire to hit a child or a pedestrian as I am sure they have no desire to be hit either!
So I suggest, that both pedestrians AND cyclists need to do the right thing. It is after all, a SHARED path.
As to Angela's comment about riding on the road, I just hope that she does not take her anger out at cyclists when behind the wheel of a car.
Cyclists are people too Angela: they are mums and dads, sons and daughters.
They have a right to live and ride in peace and security too, just like you wish to walk in peace and security.
So please, lets all be considerate of others both on the paths and on the roads.