Cycling in Melbourne Australia
29th June 2010
Dear Reasonable Person,
This morning I felt that you drove your car at me in a threatening manner. I inferred that you thought that I had broken some sort of road code; which you seemed to confirm when you opened your door and yelled at me something I couldn’t quite hear. I’d like to take this opportunity to let you know a couple of things.
I ride a bicycle to work because I can. If I drove a car, I would be adding to the already terrible traffic congestion between my home and my work, potentially making your trip less pleasant than it is. I do this in all weather, despite the discomforts of rain, cold, wind and sun. I am also riding to show my three children (girls) that they too can use their own motive power, rather than soon to be scarce resources to get around.
It is illegal to use a motor vehicle in a threatening manner. Normally I record my ride with a video camera, but didn’t this morning because I’m tuning a new bike for a friend. Had I recorded your actions this morning, you’d be talking to the police instead of reading this pleasant letter. If indeed we had collided, both our days would have been wrecked.
If you are going to drive a motor vehicle, it is your responsibility to familiarise yourself with the road laws. There is a very clear sign that provides exceptions for cyclists from the one-way provisions of Moor Street, between Fitzroy Street and Brunswick Street. In any case, threatening anyone with a car, law-abiding or not, is an extremely cowardly and dangerous thing to do.
There are lots of people in my situation who cycle; we mean no harm; on the contrary, most of us reckon everyone should have a crack at riding a bike. It can be lots of fun even in the bleakest traffic or weather.
Feel free to stop and apologise next time our paths cross (and as sure as eggs they will) – we’re almost neighbours in the scheme of things – we might even be friends under different circumstances.
Please take care of others as you would yourself.
PS I appreciate that getting a letter attached to your car from an unknown person is a bit creepy. I’d like to put my name and contact details to this letter, but I just don’t know if you really are a reasonable person or not. My family depend on me to keep safe and well – you may really want to harm me for all I know.
PPS If I’ve made a terrible mistake and just put this note on the wrong car, please accept my sincerest apologies – I didn’t get the rego and have no video today.
Firstly, the letter is probably only going to make you feel better...