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Cyclist gets in gear to defend fellow riders.

I had to respond to Nick 'Cyclists are the wheel danger' (Letters June 10) as I believe that he is willfully blinding himself to reality.

The simple facts are: The UAE is one of the few cities in the world where cyclists go far out of their way to ensure that they can ride safely. Every organised ride here has 'follow cars' with lights and warning signs to warn motorists of the fact that cyclists are on the road. They are necessary tactics because motorists here rarely have the awareness that cyclists can (and should) be on the road.

Cyclists often do ride side by side on the road.

This is not "blocking the road", but is a safety tactic, called "taking the lane". It is designed to ensure that motorists realise riders are there, and do not attempt to squeeze by them without clearance. When cyclists attempt to ride on the shoulder, or only on the far right of the lane, it gives the appearance to the motorist that there might be enough room to squeeze by, and they will try. This often results in the cyclist being forced off the road by the motorist, who often has no idea that they've even caused a problem!

Cyclists caught acting badly on the road will be called out... BY OTHER CYCLISTS, because it affects the safety of our sport.

Can you really look around at the driving habits in Dubai, and say that cyclists are the big problem here? I suppose you've never seen a car weave through traffic at 150kph, or change lanes with no signals or warning? Never seen an automobile run a red light?

Sure, people do stupid things. But don't judge every cyclist by the actions of the ones you saw, just as I don't judge every motorist by the actions of drivers who change lanes without warning or thought, who run red lights, and who race their cars.

I hope I've made my point.

Josh, UAE

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Publication:7 Days (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Date:Jun 10, 2013
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