Good intent means we all get home safely: OPINION

FUN AND FITNESS: Cycling to work is fun but you must respect all other road users too.
FUN AND FITNESS: Cycling to work is fun but you must respect all other road users too. Supplied

LET'S all assume good intent.

By whom? By everyone.

Because let's face it, people can be marvellous.

They are kind, helpful and courteous, but sometimes we don't give them a chance to show these traits.

Perhaps we have grown too defensive, too worried, too scared. We feel we've been hurt by someone or ripped off, so we look for the negative when we should take a breath and relax.

Just because I always ride with my lights on and a fully-reflective vest, I never assume drivers see me.

Cars are bigger than bikes, so I always thank anyone with a smile or a wave when they acknowledges my presence.

As a more senior rider, I'm obviously not as speedy-Gonzales as the usual lycra-clad cyclist, but I know with my lights and reflective gear, I'm bright enough to be on the radar day or night.

This morning when puffing up Ballina Rd to work, I waved to a few people whom I only know through their regular overtaking and being jolly nice with it.

One is an older chap who drives a ute with a dog in the back grinning like it's eaten a horizontal banana.

He's always good for a cheerio. The driver too.

Another is behind the wheel of bus who always very nicely makes sure he gives me extra room in the bike lane when he thunders past.

One lady with a gaggle of kids in the back always takes time to smile, while the silver-haired couple in the retro sports car always say "gidday luv", no matter the weather.

So I don't believe for one instant that all cyclists have white hats and motorists are the enemy.

We all share the road and we all need to look after each other.

So then.

Let's assume the driver in front hasn't seen you.

Assume they are a good person.

Imagine how you'd feel if it was your dad or sister behind the wheel.

Smile, wave, say hello at the lights.

Give way to a pedestrian - now there's a whole other story of forgiveness and assumption. Wave someone through. Maybe they'll ignore you. But maybe they also cycle or their partner, son, sister, wife or aunt is a mad-keen rider.

Maybe your smile will mean they'll drive on feeling a little better about their day.

Because we never really know how everyone around us is feeling or what's going on in their lives.

Maybe they hurtle a mountain bike down trails at Little Italy on the weekends. Or maybe golf or tennis is their thing.

Whatever it is, let's assume everyone on the roads has good intent to drive safely.

And let's do it ourselves.

Because everyone deserves to get home to ones they love.

No matter how many wheels we have.

Topics:  cycling northern rivers roads opinion

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