October 25, 2004

Breaking the Law?

Just the other day, I happened to be passing through the world famous Greenwich Foot Tunnel
It was about rush hour sort of time, and there were a fair few people passing in both directions, as well as a number of cyclists.

Now, the tunnel is quite narrow, and there are LOTS of signs that say 'NO CYCLING'. I am a cyclist myself, and I find it slightly tedious to wheel my bike through the tunnel, but it's not that far, and presumably the rule is there to stop cyclists caning through at 20mph and hitting small children. Really, there should be bike lanes and pedestrian lanes, but they built the thing in 1902 and so I'm not going to blame anybody - although I would be interested to know if it has always been 'NO CYCLING' or not.

The thing is though, that many cyclists seem to have their own unique interpretation of 'NO CYCLING', which means that if you stand on one pedal, and are not actually sitting on the bike, you can hurtle through the tunnel as fast as you like. I've even seen people using the bike like a scooter, by standing on one pedal, and using the other foot to push against the ground and propel themselves along.

These people may think that they are being very clever, by exploiting what they think is a loophole in the law, so they can say 'No, no, I wasn't CYCLING, so it's OK' - but I say that it is obviously not in the spirit of the law, and that anyone responsible for prosecuting anyone (whoever that is?) should not have to listen to someone trying to claim that they 'weren't pedalling', so therefore they 'weren't cycling.' If I go to the top of a hill in my car, and then I turn off the engine and roll down the hill at 50mph, can I say I was 'not driving'. I don't think so.

If you are going to go through the foot tunnel on your bike, instead of pushing it thorough like you are supposed to - then you should at least have the balls to sit on the seat, and peddle it...

Posted by paul at October 25, 2004 09:49 PM