London cyclists: We need a voluntary code

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SPRINGFIELD — I don’t like being told what to do. My wife says that anyway.

But when I am on 2 wheels and fighting my way through London streets, I have that Canadian instinct for accommodation. I won’t put myself or anyone else into any peril. So I am constantly surprised when I get told off. And REALLY amazed that it is ALWAYS by another cyclist.

We are a disparate tribe of censorious, shy, egomaniacs. No two cyclists will be seen talking to each other at a light. One guy started talking to me once, when he saw me walking my bike across the pedestrian crossing in Hyde Park:

“I’ve never seen anyone do that,” he laughed.

Here’s the start on my suggested code:

1. I am not a car. I don’t need to cycle down the middle of the street.

2. I will drive predictably. I am a respectable mode of transport. Give me space. If you hit me I will die. So pay attention.

3. I will wear the right kit. Reflectors, lights, helmet.

4. I will avoid busy roads — if possible. (I still smart over the guy who rides down the A40. It’s a highway where two cars can barely fit and go at 70 mph.)

5. I will occasionally talk to other cyclists.

What do you think?


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