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Spandex is a privilege, not a right

Despite my colourful language, I have no issue sharing the road with other users. I’ve even had to go online and find some new ones, and I can now call someone an idiot in nine different lingoes.

I will generally cuss off people who pull out in front of me, drive on the other side of the road as they are heading towards me, drivers on mobile phones, and idiots on a bike that overtake on corners with complete disregard for life and limb. All these belong in a different category of their own.

The ones that get me are the pedal-bike riders. Such riders seem to think that the rules don’t apply to them because they don’t need a licence to use one on the road. Those who believe they can ride three-across while ideally talking to each other can block the street, not allowing anyone to overtake safely.

There is nothing more annoying than trying to get into town early and getting stuck behind a packed of Tour de France wannabes.

I had to be in town extra early the other morning and, surprise, in front of me were six cyclists in two rows chatting about the Masters golf tournament. It was impossible to overtake safely and I was stuck behind them.

As they approached a red light on Front Street, there was no hesitation; they just went straight through and crossed to the other side of the road on to the sidewalk and proceeded to a coffee shop where they often meet other cyclists.

Now I’m not saying that all riders are the same; some are considerate to other road users, riding single-file, waving you on when the road in front is clear to overtake — rules that when I was a kid, I was taught on how to ride a bike on a public road. It’s called “courtesy to others”.

I see no reason why I, someone who has gone to TCD and paid my licence fee to use the road, should be made late for an appointment because half a dozen guys in colourful Spandex outfits with companies’ names emblazoned all over their jerseys — from a Spanish telephone company, an Italian tyre company or a German prophylactic manufacturer called Das Ruber — decide to ride and get an early cup of coffee.

The other thing, guys: I don’t want to have to see how cold it was on those bikes that early in the morning. As they say, Spandex is a privilege, not a right

I get it, honestly. I get that they feel they need to get their exercise for a healthy lifestyle, and I say good for you. But what I don’t get is why every other road user should have to deal with your entitlement attitudes. It may be appropriate for your health, but it’s not helping my blood pressure.

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Published April 19, 2023 at 7:59 am (Updated April 18, 2023 at 5:09 pm)

Spandex is a privilege, not a right

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