23rd September 2018
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Doesn’t hurt to be courteous (Carlos Riise)

Today (Saturday) I cycled to work. It was a fine morning, not too much traffic or wind, and even a little sunshine. All in all a pleasant journey which saw me arrive invigorated and ready for the challenges ahead.

The ride tomorrow might be a different story; with a strong headwind it’ll be a struggle to reach even 10mph! The weather in Shetland can be a problem, especially for cyclists when it’s gusting from the side. Luckily most drivers, like Mr Wilson from Brae, are considerate and will wait till it’s safe to pass.

There’s no denying on weekdays there’s a lot more traffic on the road, with numerous convoys heading both north and south. I try to be as visible as possible, yellow jacket, flashy lights, but there will always be one impatient driver who chances their luck, squeezing through or crossing into the face of an oncoming car.

An accident waiting to happen, and for what? Will it be the cyclist’s fault, just for being there, or van man for not wanting to slow down? It might cost a minute to pass safely, but once back up to speed it won’t take long to catch the car in front.

I know how stressful it can be when you’re driving and you’re stuck behind a van or a truck which is only doing 40mph, but we are all road users and we all have equal rights to be there, regardless of our maximum speed.

It doesn’t hurt to be courteous to others or to slow down when necessary; it might even make the journey more enjoyable for all.

Carlos Riise
Haldane Burgess Crescent,
Lerwick.

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