Letter: On yer bike

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The Independent Culture
Sir: C Saunders asks (letter, 7 May) if any readers have been involved in an accident on a pavement, caused by cyclists. Doubtless some have. There are a lot of careless people out there, and some of them do indeed ride bicycles.

I cycle regularly in London and occasionally find myself on the pavement for reasons having more to do with self-preservation than a selfish disregard for the law. Common sense tells me to walk my bike if there are pedestrians about, but I feel no guilt in pedalling slowly if the pavement is clear and wide enough. A ban on cyclists on the pavement, enforced at all times and regardless of circumstance, might pacify Saunders, but would discourage the timid from making their journey by bike.

Saunders also complains that cyclists aren't insured. In thousands of miles of cycling through dense urban traffic, I've yet to so much as nudge a pedestrian. However, on a handful of occasions unobservant pedestrians have blithely waltzed on to the road and right into me. Should I have asked for their insurance details?


London EC4