"You are 1,200kg or so of person and fast-moving vehicle. If you run into me then I lose and you win. Simple as that."

Max Bender/UNSPLASH

“You are 1,200kg or so of person and fast-moving vehicle. If you run into me then I lose and you win. Simple as that.”

OPINION: There are many reasons I cycle to work most days. My health, my fitness and part of my contribution to responding to our climate crisis.

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I enjoy the freedom of cycling, the ability to doodle along the road, car-free and carefree with not a worry in the world. As I cycle, there is just one thought that continues to crop up in my mind.

Have you seen me?

I can see you’ve pulled up in your car to a give way ahead of me, on my left. I’m quite visible; I’m wearing bright colours and have my lights on, even during the day. But have you seen me, or will you pull out in front of me?

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Have you seen me?

I can see you parked ahead of me. Your brake lights are on and I can see you sitting in your car. This makes me nervous that you’re about to pull into traffic or get out of your car, opening your door in front of me and giving me the unenviable choice of hitting your door or swerving into traffic to avoid it.

Are you going to check your mirror or look over your shoulder before you pull out or open your door?

Have you seen me?

It seems clear that you’ve not; you’re driving and/or parked and/or waiting to turn in the cycle lane. The cycle lane is pretty obvious. It has a bright white lane marking its boundaries and, sometimes, a bright green surface. Oh, it also has cyclist symbols fairly frequently within its bounds.

I wonder if you randomly drive in lanes designed for other vehicles or if you reserve this arrogant and dangerous behaviour strictly for cycle lanes.

Have you seen me?

The cycle lane disappears in front of me, merging, seemingly at random, with a car lane full of fast-moving vehicles. The disappearance of the cycle lane (I can see it reappear briefly 100 metres or so further down the street before disappearing again) seems arbitrary and foolish to me.

What would I know though? I’m sure that the city council roading engineers know far more about this than I do and have tested the safety of the cycle lane design extensively.

Have you seen me?

I can hear you approaching from behind me. In front of me is a left-turn lane that, should you be turning left, requires you to cross the bike lane I’m occupying. Another marvel of rad safety engineering.

Will you wait for me to safely get ahead of you before you cross the tenuous safety of my cycle lane, or will you charge ahead of me and cut across to save those precious two seconds?

Have you seen me?

I am 100kg or so of person, cycle and laptop bag, doing my best to get to work safely. You are 1,200kg or so of person and fast-moving vehicle. If you run into me then I lose and you win. Simple as that.

“Good morning,” and, “Good luck,” we cyclists say to each other at the traffic lights, hoping that we will all safely arrive at work or school.

On a typical morning commute to work I will have two or three close calls with drivers who haven’t seen me, don’t care or, perhaps, are completely oblivious to the existence of cyclists.

Terror and triumph is how I view my cycle commute to and from work each morning. Terror of the seemingly oblivious drivers all around me, triumph at the completion of a successful commute.

Have you seen me?

My assumption must be that you’ve not, and that your arrogance while safely cocooned in your steel protector overcomes any awareness you may have of me.

I hope so though. Please pay attention to my existence.

Thank you, from an average guy who likes to cycle to work.

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