Riding Beaumont Street

IMG_4987Riding Beaumont Street recently as the rail gates came up, the already busy mix of cars, bikes and pedestrians becomes more intense with the addition of alighting passengers. I cross the tracks, subtly altering my line of riding to make way for a cyclist entering the roadway from the station. He seamlessly enters the traffic to ride behind me. I continue along Beaumont St, enjoying, as always, the busy mix of slow moving cars and bikes, slowing with the traffic as pedestrians cross, then speeding up again to keep pace with the cars, bikes and trucks. This area can be enjoyable to ride with the liveliness of so many people around and mostly passes without incident. A block further along, the rider from the station passes me and says:

“Thanks for looking out for me.”
“No worries” I reply.
I continue riding and watch as he deftly manoeuvres through the traffic, continuing on his journey. I think nothing of my earlier action in letting him into the road way, but appreciate the acknowledgement and like the mutual courtesy. I also appreciate his overtaking on my right hand side rather than on my left, the latter being a manoeuvre which always takes me by surprise and leaves me watching in trepidation as a cyclist rides quickly in the door zone. The interchange that is possible between cyclists is usually a pleasant one and always leaves me glad I’m riding rather than in the car and unable to have such interaction, especially in this area. I find it hard to remember that I used to dread riding this short, busy stretch of road, or that some cyclists tell me they avoid it. For me, it’s often the best part of my ride.

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4 Responses to Riding Beaumont Street

  1. laurent says:

    About safe behavior in the traffic : do you have a mirror on your bike ?
    I ask this question because sometimes I don’t give this kind of advice for beginner.
    Mirror needs a little caution, I strive to see backward at a fast glance.
    The habit of looking around tends to change my behavior when I am walking as a simple pedestrian in my crowded city: I always look around too. I hope it’s a more a funny observant attitude rather paranoid.

    • Vicki says:

      I don’t have a mirror, I look over my shoulder, and in situations like this, where there is lots of traffic, I’m constantly checking. It would be good if more pedestrians were like you, too many are looking at mobile phones and not looking at all! Those people terrify me!

  2. Peter says:

    I too enjoy riding beaumont street, often but not always because it’s associated with a coffee. I feel we have achieved something of a critical mass there and other vehicles tend to accept the pace through the bottle neck.
    The worst offensive behaviour regarding bikes I have seen here is, again a small minority of cyclists, going far too fast on the foot path. A small group giving the rest of us a bad rap.

    • Vicki says:

      Peter, I also like the critical mass effect there. I’ve seen a few dumb behaviours by both cars and bikes but I’ve also had some amazingly polite gestures made to me by car drivers which makes me feel good!

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