Matt Greenop: Play together nicely

By Matt Greenop


When the nice folk from the NZ Herald newsroom braved the Driven office's petrol fumes and riveting conversations about the benefits of robotic clutched "manual" gearboxes versus the joy of an H-pattern manual, we knew it must be something pretty serious.

A motorist's thoughts on cyclists was what the newsdesk requested, with a cyclist's thoughts on motorists written by someone in tune with lycra as counterpoint. It sounded like a good, albeit slightly troublesome, idea.

This is potentially dangerous ground - I've written about cyclists on the road a few times and every effort has seen my email box swell like a cyclist's sense of entitlement within hours of publication.

One editorial (http://bit.ly/YYI8Su) drew attention to the fact that schools were allowing kids on bikes to train in groups during rush hour on busy roads such as Auckland's Tamaki Drive.

While I was mainly worried for the kids' safety, there were also obvious concerns for motorists who could end up being blamed for a tragedy caused by being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

This is the worst case scenario and we, just like the cycling groups that are quick to criticise motorists rather than engage in a reasonable conver-sation about how we can play nicely together, don't want to see anyone hurt or killed on our roads.

The key is a simple conver-sation and a bit of common courtesy on the roads - although the deflating of Mamil egos would certainly help.

Mamils are Middle Aged Men in Lycra, who travel in giant groups in fancy gear on expensive bikes who believe that years of using roads and paying their car rego etcetera entitles them to ignore the rules and behave like spoiled kids on the roads.

They get lumped in exactly the same category as people behind the wheel in cars that behave in that manner.

So whether you prefer cars or bikes (or even both) please let us know what you think the answer to the ever-increasing divide between road users actually is.

- Hamilton News

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