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Am I annoying?
Following on from my last post where I discussed my hate for cyclists, well the ones out having fun on sunny days when I can't! I remembered a conversation I had with friends one evening in the pub, after all isn't that where all the best conversations happen?
During the discussion I joked that I'm one of the most annoying people on the road. During the week I drive at a sensible pace doing things correctly, checking mirrors before changing my road positioning, indicating to tell people what I'm doing before I do it and slowing down into junctions because I might need to stop. Then at the weekend I don the Lycra and get out on the roads to enjoy the fresh air whilst cycling I cycle a metre from the curb to keep me safe, I can the move in to avoid danger (potholes, man hole cover and drains) then occasionally I climb on board a big British canoeing minibus with a large trailer on the back and take up all the road as I move boats and equipment around and travel to races. I did also joke that if I added a caravan to my bike then I truly would be the most annoying person on the roads, it's turns out you can get a caravan for bikes
So am I the most annoying person on the roads?
Well let's look at my day job, we all had to learn once and we all struggled with certain elements of the learning process but we forget this when we are stuck behind a car with L plates. We get annoyed because we are going to be late, now is that the learners fault or ours for leaving late? We moan if they stall at a junction or don't go in what appears to us to be a huge gap. Now let's look at learning a new skill and how terrifying that can be, I want you to imagine being handed a guitar or any musical instrument that you have never played and after just a few hours of practice walk out on to the stage of the O2 in front of thousands of people and perform perfectly. Could you do it?? I'm guessing most of us couldn't and wouldn't but the reality is that is what learners have to do every lesson, they can't hide away practicing in the shed for hours on end until they are perfect they are have to perform on the same stage as people with years of practice and perform to all the critics idea of perfection.https://www.gov.uk/guidance/the-highway-code/road-users-requiring-extra-care-204-to-225
Perfection that's an interesting word, the Oxford dictionary says of the word "the state of being perfect, physical perfection! The fish was cooked to perfection.The novel achieves a perfection of form that is quite new.His performance was perfection (= something perfect). the act of making something perfect by doing the final improvements"
Now think a bit more my idea of perfection maybe very different from what you think is perfect. If we look at driving again, does passing your driving test make you perfect at driving, or do we still have more to learn? If you've been driving for 20 years are you a perfect driver, or could you improve? Do we actually look at ourselves and say is what I'm doing perfect of could I improve?
So when we are behind a learner that is trying to perfect a skill are the annoying or are they someone we as experienced drivers could learn from to develop our skills. Maybe if we are perfect the learner shouldnt be annoying because we have a complete understanding of that they are trying to achieve.
When I'm cycling an I annoying or a I just trying to achieve physical perfection? Am I trying to improve the environment for others but not polluting the atmosphere.
When you are stuck behind my minibus trying to fit through tiny gaps between parked cars am I annoying or am I helping other people reach there idea of perfection and compete for Great Britain.
Could we achieve a more perfect driving world by remembering how it felt when we first drive and the roads looked crowded fast and scary. Could we be less annoying by being more considerate of the cyclist just trying to get on with their day.
Am I the most annoying person on the road or am I just another road user coping with a road system that isn't perfect.