CYCLING: Please look behind you


May I respond to the letter in last week’s Gazette by Phil Jack by saying I totally agree with him, tolerance and respect. As a motorist, I received neither from what now appears to be a cycling club out on a jolly.

I am genuinely pleased that this was not an official race as it appeared at the time. Even more pleased that had it been an official race it would have been on quieter and safer roads.

I also agree that it is frustrating being stuck behind any slow moving traffic, that is why I, as a caravanner, pull over whenever I can to let traffic through, as do all responsible caravanners and farmers I know. In truth I have been a cyclist for some 50 plus years, although these days I tend to hire power assisted.

In truth it was just last month that my wife and I hired bikes in the New Forest for a days sight seeing.

The roads are equally as narrow as ours, so we pulled over when necessary to let the other road users past, ok it slows the journey a bit but as we were out for a pleasure ride and other road users have places to go and jobs to do.

So, as we appear to be in agreement on the basics what can we do to get the attention of the minority of cyclists that lack tolerance and respect, a letter in the Gazette maybe? A start, but I suspect a strong guiding hand by Phil and official cycling organisations maybe needed.

Obviously I would not want to ban cycling, it was the omission of a question mark and an exclamation mark on the heading of my last letter that created that impression, but I tell you what, it’s amazing how many people have come up to me in the street and said ‘Well said.’

In fact I’ve just had feedback from a friend who has just got back to Rothbury from Alnwick (Saturday morning) having been stuck behind ‘pack after pack’ of cyclists none of whom showed any regard for the queue of traffic behind, all they see is a nice quiet country road stretching for miles in front of them. Please guys, look behind you.

Duncan Elson,