Bicycle friendliness Scotland
Sitting in the car I asked Miguel what he thought of the cyclist friendliness of Scotland. It was basically non existent: nearly no bike paths and a week earlier a cyclist had died. The cyclist drove her wheel into the tram rails, fell, and got run over by car. Although this specific incident could have happened in Rotterdam in the Netherlands as well, it was clear Scotland had a lot to do to accommodate cyclists.
The next thing Miguel said was, ‘you know those fucking cyclists think they own the road, they delay all the other traffic because they are so slow and stay in the middle of the road, it makes my blood boil!’. Wow, this took me by surprise. It seemed like his blood already got to boiling temperature by simply talking about it. He continued in slight aggressive tone ‘that they wanna act so healthy by cycling happily, does not mean they have to obstruct all the other traffic!’. I didn’t know the otherwise so kind and generous Miguel like this. What kind of personal transformation did he undergo once he got into his car? Why so much hate towards cyclists? Apparently he couldn’t appreciate people getting on bikes to commute, thereby reducing cars in traffic and emissions, and indeed be more healthy. At least not as long as there is no proper cycling infrastructure for them to get off the road, because the road is for cars! Isn’t it?
What to do if bike paths are lacking in your country
Well in my opinion, the road should be shared as long as there is no alternative. And especially wealthy countries should invest much more in proper bike paths. It is the best solution to highly congested cities. Why did so many people allow cars to take over our roads?
Here is an informative video on how the Dutch got their excellent bicycle infrastructure:
Small spoiler: it did not come easily. People had to fight for it! And I am very grateful to them. Now we have the best bike infrastucture in the world and a culture of respect for cyclists.