CYCLING: Let’s all be courteous

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It seems that every week cyclists are moaning about dog owners and vice versa, with the latest trend being about extendable leads.

Next I read about dogs in the cemetery and it seems that they’re not wanted in there either.

Well the thing is, man’s relationship with dogs goes back many thousands of years and bicycles are relatively new on the scene, and it seems that they are getting more and more popular all the time.

So popular in fact that the spaces where we used to exercise our dogs are now being turned into shared cycle paths, which makes me realise why people would want to exercise their dogs in church yards and such as they are probably safer.

When I was growing up in the 1970s and ‘80s, if I was to ride a bike through the local parks, the local park attendant would chase us in his little white van and tell us to dismount as it was a danger to other park users.

I think that was a sensible rule as bikes travel at speed, much faster than those who are walking.

Then lately some bright spark decided to allow cyclists to ride more freely in places where people walk. What were they thinking?

In many towns and cities, cyclists have their own tracks, as do walkers, who can then carry on with their happy little lives without having to worry about personal injuries.

But, of course, this is Northumberland, where the council turns a blind eye to this kind of issue, and, oh yes, it is an issue.

Personally, I cycle and own dogs and use extendable leads to allow my four legged friends to roam more freely whilst still under my control.

Whenever I am on my bike and I see people with or without dogs I slow right down and try to make sure they know that I am there before I pass.

It’s called being courteous, it’s in the dictionary, look it up.

And when I am out with my dogs, most of the time I have to keep one eye looking over my shoulder for the odd cyclist who thinks he or she is the only one with any right to be on the path and doesn’t make any attempt to slow down.

Some cyclists need to realise that we can not watch at both ends of the path all of the time, and some people, especially older people, may be hard of hearing so ringing your bell from 50 yards away won’t be heard.

I have written to the council to complain about these issues and the reply was not helpful because, like I said, this is Northumberland and the council doesn’t care. Just look at Bedlington and you will agree.

So can we all just be more courteous please. It doesn’t cost anything and helps to make other people’s days so much brighter.

Oh yes, and regarding dog muck, most of us do clean it up, it’s just the odd few with no respect for anyone else who don’t.

Which brings me to another topic, where are the dog wardens ? I’ll leave that for another time.

A Duffy

Bedlington