The £30 fine I received last week for cycling on the pavement was not my finest moment. I almost always stick to the road and other officially sanctioned "carriageways". One, roads are faster and, two, I don't like intimidating pedestrians. I like to think of myself as a considerate cyclist, and am proud of my scrupulous behaviour at zebra crossings.So, it’s a miscarriage of justice, then?
But last week I faced the choice between approximately 100 metres of pavement cycling or an almost one-mile diversion via a pointless and thoroughly outdated one-way system cooked up in the car-crazy mid-20th century.Ah. Right.
No, clearly not – you simply couldn’t be arsed to either dismount, or go the long way round, like everyone else.
And now you’ve got a fine. Boo hoo!
I trust pedestrian activists are reading this and punching the air.By ‘pedestrian activists’, do you mean people who are sick and tired of having to dive out of the way of lycra-clad loons whizzing silently past them? If so, count me in, though I’d much rather be punching something a lot more solid than air…
Of course, she then attempts to justify her actions:
The second, significant reason for pavement cycling is obstructions in the form of irrationally designed road traffic systems that keep us from riding directly toward our destinations.I think that probably inconveniences the car drivers too; would you be happy if they too mounted the pavement in contravention of the law?
Chief among these are archaic one-way systems. Who knows how many of these beasts from the recent past exist on this island. Far too many. They may mildly annoy motorists, who sometimes despair about petrol and time being eaten up as they are forced to travel miles in lieu of yards. For cyclists, these complex gyratories are physically and mentally tiring – eating up calories, consuming far too much of the day's muscular strength, and conjuring up mental images of hamsters and wheels.Well, boo hoo again! Hang on, let me break out a suitable musical instrument for this bit:
World’s tiniest violin
There. That’s better. Now, are you honestly whining that it’s just too tiring to pedal around the one-way system?
Well, you daft old bat, buy a car then!
The powers that be need to prioritise making our towns and cities cycle friendly. Remove these relics of car-centric urban transport planning and you'll find that reluctant and infrequent pavement cyclists like me will get back where we belong.No, actually, I think we’ll just keep fining you in ever-increasing amounts until you finally get the message.