Last night I was reading my 5 year old daughter her bedtime story . It was an Enid Blyton story called ‘Somebody saw’ all about a boy who wasn’t very good at sports but got a special award for being a considerate road user on a bike . The story was aimed at young kids , but maybe a lot of us adults could do with reading it too .
How often do individual cyclists roll up to a red light , or a t-junction with traffic approaching from their right and just roll on through . How often do groups of cyclists roll up to a roundabout with cars approaching from their right and continue on through forcing the car to stop on the roundabout . There’s no point in denying it , it happens and we have all probably done it from time to time . Usually it is no big deal but all it takes is for the cyclist to come up against an irate ill tempered motorist and things can turn nasty pretty quickly . Only last year a motorist , feeling slighted at a roundabout drove straight at and ploughed into a group of cyclists outside Dublin .
And do not be fooled into thinking that this was a one off . The number of stressed out or just zoned out motorists is rising rapidly . If people are not rushing to be somewhere , they are chatting or texting on the mobile , fiddling with the ipod , eating their breakfast , putting on their makeup or brushing their hair .
If a car and a bike come into contact their will only be one immediate loser . Chances are , the cyclist will be injured and the motorist will be left feeling guilty and possibly facing a court appearance .
This is where the good manners and a bit of common sense come in . If a car is coming towards a roundabout or a junction from your right , yield right of way . The same applies if you’re in a car and a cyclist is approaching from your right . If a car cuts you up , instead of racing to do the same to them at the next set of lights and to give them a piece of your mind , ease back and leave them off . Bask in the relaxed knowledge that you will get to your destination in a much healthier and calm state than a motorist who is stressed out ever will . If a woman with 14 kids dragging out of her is 12 inches from pedestrian crossing as you approach it , stop and watch how often she will give you a great big smile of thanks . If you see someone lost and looking for directions , instead of pretending not to notice them stop and guide them on their way . Who knows when that might be you in a strange town or city.
As someone once said ‘ if you have the choice to be right or to be kind , always choose kind ‘ . Try it out and see just how much stress that one thing can eliminate from your daily commute .