In an a recent article in the Telegraph, Sir Chris Hoy says that law breaking and badly behaved cyclists let us all down as a group and do nothing to promote cycling in the broader community. Sir Chris thinks nothing of having a word with the red light jumpers to point out the error of their ways. I have a lot of time for Chris, he is a model athlete for a lot of our youngsters and his comments are, on the surface, quite correct (he is also considerably better built than me). We should all go after litter bugs, drunken louts, and other folk perpetrating misdemeanours as the police can’t be everywhere all the time and, to encourage social cohesion, a little social responsibility would go a long way. The police can of course, be relied upon to take the socially responsible angle on the subsequent “tete a tete” after your polite interference has turned ugly. I’m getting a warm feeling here of a social nirvana where the perpetrators of cycling badness will realise the error of their ways and rehabilitate into responsible two wheeled athletes – look out London!
I for one, have already started pointing out the driving errors of a minority of motorists who are either careless, incompetent or ignorant. Obviously, I can’t chase after them when they pass too close, pull out without looking, pass with excessive speed etc. so I have developed a new social responsibility action which normally involves gesticulating a small review of the incident with one hand. I’m hoping that this will soon be incorporated into the Highway Code so that it can be ignored along with all the other rules of the road.