Why I think bicycles are more annoying than horses.

When I first moved to my village more than two decades ago you could not swing a short cat without hitting a horse.

Not just any old horse either generally but skittish, eye-rollingly nervous, enormous muscular racehorses who were as predictable as a menopausal women who has forgotten to take her HRT.

I have actually seen one of these beasts trample OVER  a car bonnet which was a good payback for the fool who'd tried to speed past the long line of jockeys who used to live and train here.

If you didn't time your car trip correctly you would end up crawling behind their hunched bodies, generally breathing in the heady blend of horse poo and fag smoke as they ambled along towards the point in the field alongside the road where they would perk up and race the thoroughbreds at full pelt round the track then emerge on the road once more, slowing to snails pace to piss another load of motorists off.

However, annoying as this was I would trade it in a heartbeat for the new peril blocking our narrow lanes.

The racing stables were sadly sold off you see and so the horses disappeared from the lanes and the jockeys disappeared from the pubs (they're a lively bunch are jockeys - short and skinny but quite able to put away a brewery-worth of alcohol faster than you can say Grand National)

Someone, somewhere must have twigged that with the nags gone our lanes made a great place to ride bikes so now we are inundated with (mainly) middle aged men wearing VERY tight lycra.

Unlike the horses which at least stuck to a kind of schedule, we are plagued with the sight of a range of human arses 7 days a week and almost 24 hours a day. I wouldn't mind so much but with very few exceptions they are inconsiderate of road users and often pedal slowly, many abreast, chatting and seemingly oblivious to the trail of cars behind them.

We used to roll our eyes about the jockeys who from their vantage points atop a giant horse would casually wave you on, occasionally right into oncoming traffic, but at least they acknowledged they were a pain. The cyclists flit between speeding (and I do mean speeding!) almost silently down the hill causing unsuspecting pedestrians to leap out of the way, to crawling in the middle of the roads as the pass through.

OK so I'm maybe being a little unfair. Not all our visiting cyclists are ignorant w*nkers but a hell of a lot of them are.

Yes, our village is pretty and sits in a lovely region which I am sure is lovely to include in a 100k bike ride. Yes they sometimes stop and support our local businesses but as one who occasionally cycles and is careful to protect my own safety whilst showing consideration for other road users their selfish attitude (more often than not) makes me see red. I am not alone in this.

It's so tempting to rev my engine, shake my fist as I drive slowly past or even swerve accidentally into the shaven legs of some especially smug cyclists who have ignored my presence for a few miles.

But because I am English I grit my teeth and mutter expletives quietly to myself and pray for a lycra-splitting incident to mar their day in cosmic revenge.

Bring back the horses I say - at least you can pile their shit on the roses.


  1. You fantasise about deliberately driving two tons of metal into a human being?

    Riding bunched is how my club rides, it makes it easier to overtake. Think about it, if the riders were strung out in single file it would take longer to overtake, it would be more dangerous. So, some cyclists tried to make things easier for you and you indulge in really quite sick fantasies about crushing them with your car. You sound almost deranged, I'm very glad I don't cycle on the same roads as you.

    1. I think you have missed the lighthearted tone of my opinion piece - for that is what it is. I am neither deranged nor do I actually fantasise about killing cyclists and if you thought that I was serious well that says more about you than me. However, If you lived where I do you would see that some of the cyclists, club members included, are incredibly inconsiderate of the people living here - you will see another local resident Deanne agreeing with me. I also write that not all cyclists are like this. I appreciate your comment about why cyclists ride like they do so thank you for that.

  2. Spot on A. I have no issue with sharing the roads with varying vulnerable road users, especially as a horse rider myself.
    I get irrationally irritated at large groups of cyclists for a number of reasons.
    1-I get screamed at if I am riding two abreast on horseback and all I can do is apologise and thank the driver for alerting me to my stupidity (how very British of me)
    2-They don't 'indicate' when turning! I'm not a bloody mind reader, I'm sure in my cycling proficiency test I did when I was 11, I had to signal my intention to turn with an outstretched arm.
    3-Why is it OK for them to stop and pee at the side of the road, in full view and without any shame?!
    4-Hi-Vis. Why aren't they wearing Hi-vis? A team in black on a crappy day weather wise is virtually invisible, they should be lit up like beacons!!

    We all pay taxes, we all have equal rights to share the roads, I just wish that everyone was considerate of every other road user. As a horse rider, it can be bloody terrifying at times. Drivers just seem to forget that I'm in control of a living breathing mind of its own animal, and the lack of space/respect/care I'm given is terrifying at times.

  3. I cycle to work every day so I was getting all ready to be offended by this but actually I agree with you. Cycling clubs are a menace- I was stuck behind one did well over half an hour last week- I don't know why they can't pull in like lorry driver and caravans do to let the 30 car tail back past.

    Also does there need to be quite so much Lycra?

    1. Thanks for reading objectively, even as a cyclist. much appreciated.

  4. Which road was that Morna? Were you able to read the club colours? We wear lycra cos it's comfortable, sorry if what we wear upsets you.


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