As a walker in London ...

So, cyclists in London. Don’t get me started. Last week, there was finally someone publicly saying that a fair amount of the city’s cycling brigade is inclined to irresponsible and aggressive behaviour. As a London walker - average per week: about 45 - 50 miles - I feel inclined to say, thank you, Laura Trott. The Olympic winner was quoted in the Evening Standard as follows: “Cyclists wonder why they get a bad name. I see cyclists jumping in and out of the buses and people wonder why they get hit. It’s not always the car’s fault. Cyclists need to help themselves and should not jump red lights.” Needless to say, the comments section was full of outraged cyclists.

Well, nevertheless, she had a point. They should not jump red lights (no one should). And they should also not use one-way streets the wrong way round, criss-cross between pedestrians on pavements as if it was the most normal thing to do and ignore every zebra crossing in sight. My favourite situation is when a car stops for me at a zebra crossing, and I then proceed on my way only for a bike to shoot out behind a car not even considering for a moment that there might be a reason for the car having stopped. Or when a cyclist gives me a look of contempt when I’m crossing the street on a green light and he/she has to stop for me. Outrageous. How dare this stupid person on two legs! I'm neither making anything up here nor am I exaggerating. The miles I clock per week mean a lot of stories that I could tell. The thing is, London - still - is a dangerous city to be on a bike. I support and commend every measure to make it safer and more cycling-friendly. At the same time, I also consider it to be common sense for everyone who’s taking part in its daily traffic to behave responsibly (and not engage in a war), no matter if driving, cycling or walking. So, yes, if you decide to cycle in London, assess the situation and make sure to watch out for yourself – and for others.

Me, I’m not cycling in London. Way to stressful for a German small-town girl who’s used to a more leisurely way of getting about on a bike. I guess being from Germany where cycling is the most normal thing in the world and not worth any particular mention is also the reason why I don't get the glorification of cyclists that I sense taking place in London sometimes. I mean, it's just cycling. No big deal. Nothing special, nothing particularly praiseworthy. In any case, do as you like. I’ll keep on walking, and if cyclists don’t treat me like prey or an enemy on two legs, because that’s what it feels like sometimes, it’s always much appreciated. So. Cyclists in London. Just saying, from a walker’s point of view.