What is 20 Seconds?

I am only on two wheels, I have no metal surrounding me, my protection is my skin.  I have no air bag to fall into should I crash, my protection is my helmet.  I only travel at an average speed of 13 miles per hour.  I have no anti-lock brakes to stop me in an emergency, I do not have 100 horse power plus to pull me away from a stop sign or junction, I have two legs!
I do not go on the roads on my bike to annoy you, I go on the roads on my bike to get to work, to try and improve my fitness and in essence to try and pro-long my life and be there for my husband and also my son to see him grow and get his own family.

I do all I can to keep out of your way as much as possible, I ride in the correct cycle lanes where available, I do not weave in and out of traffic ques, I sit patiently waiting my turn to go!  Where cycle lanes are not available I ride as close to the kerb as possible without causing danger to myself and you due to the hundreds of potholes, splits in the road and generally horrendous road surfaces. 

With all this in mind why do you pull out of junctions in front of me to try and beat me?  Is it to save yourself the 20 seconds it would have taken you to wait?

Why do you drive past me and then cut in front of me to turn left?  Is it to save yourself the 20 seconds it would have taken you to sit behind me and allow me to keep up speed and get through the junction safely.

Why do you try and beat me to the traffic lights that are on red just so you can hit your brakes and stop in front of me?  Is it to save yourself the 20 seconds it would have taken to sit behind me and wait?

Why do you try and pass me on blind bends with oncoming traffic pushing me into the gutter? Is it to save yourself the 20 seconds it takes me to get round the bend for you to then pass safely?

Why do you drive with your passenger wheels in the cycle lane just to intimidate me? I am allowed to be there I am not in your way, I am not delaying you 20 seconds.

Why do you sit behind me at an island revving your engine sat on my back wheel pushing me to pull out when it is not safe to do so? Is it to save yourself 20 seconds?

I ask these questions as I do not understand why I am causing you such a nuisance, and how 20 seconds are going to impact your day so dramatically?  

Should it be that god forbid you made an error in pushing me, driving to close, pulling out on me, passing me in unsafe places or intimidating me because I am a cyclist, your day will be delayed far more than 20 seconds and you run the risk of me never getting to see my son grow up and have a family of his own.

20 seconds will not improve your day, it will not make you noticeably earlier to work or your appointment or home.  But what it will do is give me a fighting chance of getting to work, or home, safely.

Please think before you get agitated with me for being on two wheels, I am only doing the same as you and trying to live my life.

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To Clip In or Not to Clip In ….

… that is the question???

And one I have been battling with for over a year.  Yes a year and yes I am a sissy!!

I bought my pedals last year and probably made the fatal mistake of going for dual pedals, which left me a choice of using my good old faithful trainers or wearing the SPD’S.

I know that this breaks almost every road cyclist code of ethics but hey I never have played by the book.

Reading and watching way too many articles on the dreaded ‘first clip in tumble’ and fearing mine, as you can guarantee it would be in front of that packed bus or worse still the dreaded vehicle with Dash Cam! (Making me an overnight  YouTube sensation) I stuck with my ‘old faithfuls’

Two weeks ago I got given  really expensive pair of SPD’S they are used and a little tired but they were given to me and will more than do the job.

So today was brave it and face it day. 

I can’t say I loved my morning ride as much as usual having to think about un-clipping each time I came to a stop… before I came to the stop…. Thankfully. But ‘I can and I will’ got me there.

Homeward bound was not at all fun the rain was so heavy and what with struggling to see, stressing over the clip ins and dodging impatient drivers I was more than happy to un-clip and put my bike away for the night.

Will I do it again tomorrow?

Yes (so long as it’s not raining!!!)