Yesterday should have been a day of celebration. My son was going away to university and he, for the first time ever, said that he wanted his bicycle. It was with joy that I rode it into work to give it a good service. I’ll take it up next week.
Many of you with sons and daughters probably ride with your children. I don’t. Maybe I was too much of fanatic when they were young. I don’t know. My son did recently make the discovery that riding into work is not only quicker than the car but quicker than the walk from his car parking spot. His door to door cycle commute is 3 times quicker than the car in Worthing and much, much cheaper. He worked that out and doesn’t even have a degree yet! As you know most towns people haven’t figure it out. So we have gained another cyclist. We should celebrate.
I got to work and had my day shattered when I discovered that a great friend was in hospital severely injured after being involved in a road traffic accident. He was riding home from work when he got hit. One wonders if Worthing residents and the local authority are proud of Worthing’s status as the most dangerous town in West Sussex for pedestrians and cyclist. Despite this, until recently, Worthing had more cyclist than any other town in West Sussex. Through a ten year campaign and huge investment Chichester has knocked us into second place.
Most of us feel that strict laws on the use of knives and guns are a part of creating a safe place to live. But how many of you know some one that uses such things on the streets? However, most Britons feel that any restriction on vehicle usage is an attack on civil liberties, a bit like the National Rifle Association’s attitude to firearms in the USA. We usually laugh at them but though there may be a lot of guns in the States virtually every one obeys the rules of the road.
When I rode home on my boy’s bike I started thinking about my friend lying in hospital and as each car sped past me I got more and more nervous, resorting in the end to riding in the centre of the lane. It seemed the only way that I could get cars to slow before cutting in in front of those “Traffic Calming” central refuges (in theory they are there to make the roads safer!!). Despite my bright rear lights the drivers made no concession to a vunerable road user.
There was one glimmer of hope. For the first time in the history of our shop rides a car actually stopped to let the girl’s ride cross the road as a group. Thank you that driver.
Good luck buddy! You can’t imagine how many people are praying for you and your family.