Drivers should give cyclists the same courtesy as horse riders

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Emma Judd

That’s right, I’m filing my copy from the back of a minibus driving between 10 and 12mph along the back roads of Northampton and down into Hampshire.

These brilliant people have given up their time to cycle all that way for eight charities, hoping to raise £32,000 in the process.

Right now the York to Pompey ride total is at £28,500 (give or take) with high hopes of reaching our target before too long.

I have to say, though, the main plaudits should be given to the drivers of the support vehicles.

All the cyclists have to do is ride a bike, uphill in the main, eat chocolate whenever it is presented and whinge about their sore parts. And always rather them than me on that score!

Seriously, we’ve been called all the names under the sun because drivers needed – absolutely had to – get home for their post-work cuppa

What the drivers have had to do is spend eight hours a day trying to ensure people behind the wheels of a succession of utility vehicles, small cars and 4x4s don’t kill our riders through ignorance, impatience, or just plain stupidity.

It requires almost superhuman concentration to stop these dinlos overtaking on narrow country lanes, thinking they can get past a minibus while not realising if a car is coming the other way the only place to pull in will be where our cyclists are trying to ride.

Seriously, we’ve been called all the names under the sun because drivers needed – absolutely had to – get home for their post-work cuppa and a quick half-hour with the kids before a game of squash.

People, you really need to have a word with yourselves.

Do me a favour, the next time you see a cyclist on the road – with the weather getting warmer, there are only going to be more of them – give them the same courtesy you’d give a horse rider on the road.

I know where you’ve got to go is important, but it’s probably not more important than someone’s life, is it?

Anyway, what do I know? I’m too scared to ride a bike on Portsmouth’s roads, let alone those in the rest of the country.