Friday, 14 November 2008

Road Tax and Impatient Cars

There seems to be an expectation of bikers to annoy other road users by flying past cars and zooming off into the distance. So why is it when you try to take it slow, you still annoy the driver behind you?

Part of the joy of riding comes from not having to hang about in traffic jams, of being able to get places quicker than others. But sometimes, the joy is in taking it slow and enjoying whats around you.

However, it's not often you get the chance to enjoy it for long before an impatient driver appears behind you trying to force you into moving faster. Having a car close to the back of you gets quite unsettling and the choice is to pull over or give it some gas.


You can see them trying to get past you, and you can feel the frustration that you don't move over shooting from their eyes. But why should you? Every biker pays Road Tax, so why not use the whole road?

Being forced to ride on the left of the road so someone can pass leaves the rider in a dangerous position. After all, there's less protection on a bike and riding at the edge means more chance of hitting those potholes.

There is an assumption that because a bike is smaller, they're not entitled to the same amount of road as others. Drivers are willing to take the chance that if a rider comes off, they will more than likely end up hitting their car, all to get a bit further up the road.

Dangerous Manoeuvre

Even if a bike doesn't move over, cars will inevitably use part of your side of the road to squeeze past. Yet when they overtake another car they'll move right into the opposite lane to avoid a collision.

If there's something on the road that needs avoiding; such as roadkill, potholes or water, we're going to swerve towards the car. At best the car gets scratched; at worst we're on your bonnet. And there's no one to blame but the driver.

Drivers should try treating a bike like just another car. Give us space when your behind, give us space if you overtake and please make up your mind; either get annoyed at slow riders or fast riders, not both. You've gotta let us win sometimes.

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