Friday, August 23, 2013

Ghost riders and other problems

One of the problems we have as cyclists are other cyclists who break the traffic laws for their own convenience,  e.g. riding through red lights, on pavements and footpaths, on roads when there are adequate cycleways adjacent to the road and riding the wrong way on cycleways. I was horrified to see two cyclists riding around the Viernheim bypass on Sunday morning. There is an excellent, well marked, fast cycleway adjacent to the road and under German law what these two did was illegal and considering that the speed limit on the bypass is 70kph, dangerous and daft. I always feel that some cyclists feel as they are travelling in a non-polluting manner, they are on the moral high ground and can do what they want. These characters do themselves and the rest of us cyclists no good at all. They provide ammunition for the protagonists of the Lycra Lout ideas. They put themselves at risk and when they cycle on a cycleway on the wrong side of the road they put other cyclists at risk.
Geisterfahrer (Ghost Rider) is the German for someone cycles the wrong way along a cycleway. I was pleased to see that ADFC Lübeck has started a campaign to illustrate the dangers of this practice. There is a film on YouTube about the opening demo ( The film is in German but language is not needed to understand the film. It might be a source of ideas for local groups in other countries. In fact, having cycled round Mannheim on Wednesday afternoon, it would be a good idea in Mannheim too !

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