old biddies on bikes….beware!

I AM all for the environment. Reducing our carbon footprint, re using, recycling and reclaiming are top of my agenda, along with finding greener ways to get around.
As Oxford is the international epicentre of cycling culture (well apart from Beijing which apparently has nine million bicycles…) it is only to be expected that on my daily journeys I will encounter dozens of cyclists ridden by people of all ages, sexual persuasion, profession and income bracket.
But there needs to be an upper age limit to reduce the number of old biddies on bikes.
I am not suggesting that older people shouldn’t be allowed to ride bicycles or lead independent lives, but they do need taking in hand when it comes to taking to the road on two wheels.
For a start, the flappy skirts, crocheted shawls and ridiculous large hats have to go. They are not quaint, eccentric and terribly ‘gown’ (as opposed to ‘town’). The reality is that they make simple actions such as being aware of other road users almost impossible.
Then we need to issue a reminder that not only is there quite a lot of traffic on our roads these days but cyclists should not ride in the middle of a carriageway or weave around in a creative fashion just to make our journey to work even more of a challenge. We don’t live in an episode of Larkrise to Candleford or The Darling Buds of May (sadly).
Older people on bicycles seem to think that because they are terribly old and worldly wise, have survived war, strikes and Margaret Thatcher they have become invincible. They cycle around as if they have a big protective bubble around them that no moving vehicle could possibly penetrate.
They are totally oblivious to all other road users apart from friends they encounter walking their small, arran jumper wearing dogs, and those fellow ‘oldie’ cyclists with baskets on their penny farthings. When this happens, motorists are forced to either swerve suddenly to avoid death or execute an emergency stop. No amount of horn blaring will have any kind of impact on the oldies as they stop for their morning social.
Sorry…I may sound harsh and I know I will be a fingerless glove wearing, cat owning mad old biddy one day who starts on the sherry at 9.40am, and don’t get me wrong I love an old person as much as the next girl, but really don’t want to be responsible for squashing one with my Ford Focus because they are convinced that our roads are still dirt tracks down leafy lanes and it is actually 1923…

Published by Sarah Adams

I am the author of The Life Edit, an eight step personal development coaching programme that harnesses the power of journalling and writing to help people make transformational changes to their lives. I am also journalist and writer who has worked for newspapers, magazines, TV and online for the last 35 years, and an accredited personal development practitioner. I have written books, appeared on TV and radio and have worked in the world of corporate communications as a senior manager. I launched and ran The Community Media Group for ten years-this is a social enterprise that exists to produce professional, community newspapers in socially challenging areas as well as providing free training.

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