I FEEL compelled to respond to ‘Mr’ or ‘Ms Angry’ (News Post Leader, letters, August 30), who complained about cyclists who use the Eve Black coastal track in Blyth.
This issue is surely one of common sense!?
The correspondent does not seem to understand that the track is a cycle and pedestrian path.
Ergo, both have the right to use it and both should apply a little common sense to its use.
In the correspondent’s case this would actually involve the necessity to look over the shoulder occasionally. Everyone else has to.
Is this person exempt from using common sense and simple precautions?
The track avoids the fatalities on the road such as occurred a few years ago.
I am both a cyclist and a dog walker who uses the track often.
As a cyclist, the greatest nuisance on the track is invariably the day-dreaming/texting walker, head down and mind elsewhere, who seems to think that they do not have to move to let a cyclist pass.
Sometimes even walking three or four abreast thereby blocking the entire track.
Often they will be walking a dog which is free to run, as it should be.
The problem is that when a cyclist approaches and rings their bell, there is a certain arrogant type who will just ignore it and not move.
Others (usually parents or dog walkers) will act responsibly but incorrectly by immediately calling their dog and/or children to them, right into the path of the cyclist. It’s a ‘no win’ situation for the cyclist.
When a cyclist sees a walker or a dog they may responsibly decide that the best approach is just to ride past without a warning, whilst leaving plenty of room in case the walker moves suddenly, which they invariably do if a bell is rung.
It matters not that the walker has not seen the cyclist. Often that is preferable for all concerned.
No doubt the correspondent would be affronted that anybody should dare do such a thing as surely the track belongs to him/her? But this is arrogant nonsense.
Cyclists often go off track to go around walkers, but this can be hazardous to their health as they often have to swerve to avoid dog poo which some irresponsible people allow their dogs to leave.
What gives the correspondent the right to suggest that dogs should be able to run unrestrained yet cyclists cannot?
With regard to the promenade, I would have to agree with the correspondent. It does seem daft to allow cyclists to ride along it, but it is surely more daft for a parent to allow a child to run out of a beach hut toward the edge of the promenade and the sea unattended and without even looking?
In days gone by there were always hazards on a promenade. Donkeys not least.
Yet the correspondent feels it unnecessary for parents to have to consider any of them? Ridiculous nonsense. Once again a little bit of common sense and self responsibility is called for.
So, the next time the correspondent feels the need to shout at a cyclist, may I suggest that they just keep their instincts suppressed and realise that the cyclist has seen them.
They do not need to jump or panic as they pass and they certainly don’t need to shout.
The track is not theirs, it belongs to all of us. Whatever happened to peace, love, respect and common sense?
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