I often ride on my own, but, I also ride with a variety of people. I’ve noticed that when I ride with some people there is always some incident with cars and they start shouting or get shouted at. It is almost as if, they can’t help but get into an argument or create a situation with other road users. One friend in US, was so bad, I vowed never to go out with him again. I’m just surprised he is still alive. It is true that car drivers in the US are pretty unsympathetic to cyclists and there are many incidents of bad driving. But, he had a strong propensity to shout and swear at any infraction. I really don’t know how he can enjoy cycling when he spends all his time getting angry at drivers.
The funny thing is when he wasn’t lecturing car drivers, he was lecturing me on the vital importance of wearing a helmet. True wearing a helmet can be of some assistance in reducing impact of some crashes. But, I thought it would have been much more important to avoid antagonising other road users and being involved in a crash in the first place.
One problem with cycling is that many things are out of our control. We can’t do anything about motorists who pass too close, drive on wrong side of road e.t.c. But, we can always control our reaction to these incidents. It is our reaction which determines whether we will spend two hours inwardly fuming against the driver who cuts us up, or whether we try hard to avoid unnecessary incidents so we can enjoy our ride.
This is not to say I always remain silent. Sometimes you have to point things out, otherwise they may never learn, but, I try to let it go as soon as it has happened – often easier said than done
- How to deal with anger – an article I wrote for another blog