Ghettoisation : Riders Writing Cycle

Riders Writing Cycle Topic 2 

Concerning the ghettoisation of riders:  for our road/commuters: 

Dedicated bike lanes protecting you from cagers or creating cyclists as 2nd class road users?

Nice one Al….now I’ve got to think…..mmmmm

For those who don’t know [i didn’t] Ghettoisation is defined as:

To confine (someone or something) to a particular area or category

This topic does raise an interesting question regarding cycle lanes, that I have been conflicted about for some time.

I use cycle lanes where they are available but they are not available everywhere, in fact the majority of the riding I do is in area away from areas that have cycle lanes. Cycle lanes are great when they are there, because cars usually stay out of them giving you the right amount of room personally  I would like to see more of them.

Cyclist’s should be given equal priority on the roads, cyclists are often blamed for being inconsiderate road users, they run lights, pass too close to cars, hoping on and off the kerb, ducking on to footpaths. 

Because we have learnt that it is better to stay away from the cars, as cars are dangerous, smelly and usually driven by idiots, so we do the kerb hopping, light dodging etc to stay well clear of the 1 ton head crushers and until the cyclist feel safer on the road they will continue to avoid contact in order to save their own skin.

You know them, They are inconsolable with rage that a bloody cyclist happened to fall on their route to work and now they are delayed by 5 seconds.

“The bastard how dare he! Get out of my way! I’m important and in a rush,  Rargh! They don’t pay road tax, health freaks, grumble grumble swear grumble”

Oh look a 2m gap!

Foot down 

Buzz the cyclist

Cyclist has a heart attack and makes a life saving dive for the pavement, as the car [probably a big merc / SUV] skims past their arse.

Car driver waves “oops sorry” and guns it for the next set of lights.

Cyclist gets up dusts them self off and scratches one more off their 9 lives.

This is not made up it happened to me!

The problem isn’t cycle lanes, part of the problem is other vehicle drivers  and the strange rage inducing effect being encased in a vehicle has.

Another part of the problem is that no one user of their own method of transport wants to share the road. We all want our own bit. Cyclists get cycle lanes as they are the most vunerable and getting popular through green policies. 

But we just need to share the limited space we have, so cycle lanes are in some places a life saver, in others a necessary evil and in others the worst thing.


“Solo rides – roll out with your buddies or destroy those miles alone…”

Riders Writing Cycle Submitted for your consideration]

“Solo rides – roll out with your buddies or destroy those miles alone…”

Due to my geographical location I don’t have buddies that I can go riding with very often…..

[all together now: awwww]


Anyway this has meant that 99% of my riding is solo, just me or just me and my friend called “ipod” so basically just me for miles and miles.

Almost all of my riding is done on the commute cranking to and from work and college. This is both hard work and a life saver.  

Hard work: because you try pulling on 3/4 tights over my fat arse at 6:30 in the morning  then not falling off for 6 miles of frozen road.

Life saver: because it meant I quit smoking and I’m as fit as slightly podgy fiddle, even to the point that after a  couple of days off and I’m a proper grumpy gorilla in need to of a good spin…. i digress.

Biking solo, destroying miles for pleasure to me is early morning summer rides, doing 40 miles in a morning before having the life sucked out of me at my desk all day then slowly spinning home.

It is warm weather, I ride fast I hunker down on the skinny tyres, and just fly,

mile after mile of high revs,

music in my ears,

focused on nothing but the road,

always the road in front nothing else matters but the road,

it doesn’t need anything from me, it’s just glad I’m there.

After about 30 – 40 minutes my legs have properly warmed up and I enter a zen like state I believe is called the “Zone” my legs spin fast but with no effort, 

I stream through the air a perfect collaboration of podgy bloke and bicycle,

This higher state of cycling, this haven of bodily movement, clarity of thought and effortless motion is the place where solo cycling comes into it’s own.

Anything else is just commuting! 

As for the team rides, 

If I could get away with it I’d move 40 miles north to get out with the Bad Brains Crew every week.


It’s just more fun laughing at other people falling over.

This post is my response to the cattle prod applied by Fat Lad, the distinguished blogger . The prod was applied to Wheel Dancer i’m jumping on board.