Crazy drivers…

Cycling in Hull

I’m probably going to jinx myself by writing this, but I’m going to write it anyway.

It’s not about all this waffle of my journey to confidence, it’s the fact that I do feel confident when I’m cycling. And it’s not only because of what I’ve done to make it so. It’s about where I cycle and the people in their cars, buses and vans on the road with me.

I read a lot about how scary it is to cycle on the road with crazy drivers etc. People get put off trying something new, if the overriding impression is negative.

Cycling isn’t about dicing with death every time you set off. Its a pity that more voices like mine are not heard more often.

I’m happy cycling in Hull, it feels safe (as safe as it can be), with drivers being respectful of those i.e on bikes in a more vulnerable position than them.

I thank the drivers of Hull for not shouting abuse at me (not once in 9 months of cycling), beeping their horns or trying to intimidate me by closely overtaking. I thank the driver of a car who stopped and asked if I was ok when I fell off my bike (my own fault) at a roundabout. I read so many stories of people experiencing negative interactions on a daily/weekly basis, I really cannot imagine this happening in Hull.

A lot of people knock this city of mine and say Hull is a horrible place to live or visit. This is not true. The people are nice, welcoming and the car drivers don’t abuse cyclists. I’m sure there are a lot worse cities.

I cycle with a sense of trust that if I obey the rules of the road, so will others. Mostly this works out, sometimes rarely things do happen. I can count on one hand the times a driver has done something a with a lack of judgement. But we all make mistakes and that’s fine. I can accept those.

Cycling in Hull is an accepted form of transport. Bikes are accepted and indeed most importantly expected on the roads here.

This all comes down to the history of the bicycle in Hull. It is not just fashionable to cycle in Hull, it is normal.

The problem Hull has is a generation growing up afraid to cycle on the road, because of all the ‘crazy driver’ reports. So they cycle on the path to be safe.

This attitude, more than anything including schemes of separated cycle paths, needs to be challenged and changed. So it becomes silly and childlike to cycle on a path in the eyes of everyone.

Not every driver hates cyclists and not every cyclist has reason to hate drivers.