Prats, pedestrians & dogs…

Yesterday I got my act together and decided to commute to work again on my bike. Wasn’t a bad day and so I decided not put on my lycra skull cap, 5 minutes in and suffering from brain freeze I regretted choosing vanity over practicality. The lesson – it’s better to look like a prat than be a cold and feel like one! Commuting along the Lagan Tow Path is cracking and I love it. I’m a lucky man to be able to use it as I do but there is a down side, pedestrian idiots and unleashed dogs. To be fair the tow path is a publicly shared space and there will always be a certain tension between its user groups but seriously a little self awareness and common sense wouldn’t go a miss for some pedestrians.

My bike doesn’t have a bell but I do make sure I’m heard and yet they still refuse to move for a large brightly coloured blob travelling towards them at 16mph. Talking of bells I did have one on my last bike and when I used it some pedestrians looked at me like “And who do you think you are – do you think you own the path – why should I move for you?” You can’t do right for doing wrong.

Then there are dogs. Firstly I’m a dog lover and have one myself but seriously what’s the point of unleashing them if you can’t control them? They are danger to themselves and will only end up getting hurt or hurting others. I was even chased up the path by a boxer yesterday and after a hundred yards it still didn’t give up. It was with great delight that I watched its owner breaking into a sweat as he started to run after us; there was no way I was stopping for that thing and its jaws or his inconsiderate owner. And then there are those leads that extend at the owners discretion. You know the type that lets your dog walk 10 metres away from you. Well yesterday I came close to being taken of my bike by one as the owner wasn’t watching and the dog ran across my path.

The good news is I bought a bell this morning and boy will I be heard, so if you’re a pedestrian or a dog owner or both engage your brain please and consider other user groups of the public walk/cycle way – here endith the rant! 😉

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