How to Share the Road with a Cyclist Even Though You'd Much Rather Run Them Over

I assume you are driving while you read this, just as I am driving while I write it. So you might want to close your eyes before I show you this:


Cyclists are literally the worst thing I can imagine, and I once imagined a half-cockroach / half-snake that gives you throat cancer. Here is a list of all the horrible things they do, in alphabetical order:

  • they force us to move into the next lane to pass them
  • they force us to slow down our cars
  • they sometimes ride on the footpath and sometimes on the road
  • they sometimes wear dark clothes at night

And incredibly (!) the law now says you can’t knock them over with your car. Complying with this “law” is hard, but not impossible, if you follow a few simple dos and don’ts.

Do let off steam

If you’re anything like me, you ache to hear the crunch of an obnoxious cyclist as your tyres grind their body and “vehicle” to a meaty chrome paste. Since the law says you can’t do that, the next best thing is to threaten to do it. You can and should threaten to kill the cyclist, their family, and their pet (which will probably be a rat).

Do ignore their pleas to be run over

Cyclists sometimes lean against your vehicle when you’re stopped at traffic lights, which is cyclist-language for “please run me over”. In fact, pretty much everything they do translates to that exact same plea, from turning into your lane at an insanely slow speed to pulling in front of you at an intersection. Don’t take the bait. You’re better than that, which is why you can afford a car and they can’t.

Don’t acquire any knowledge of how GoPros work

You may have seen cyclists with small black boxes fastened to their helmets, that look a bit like a small video camera that could be used to record everything you say and do. Avoid acquiring any knowledge of what these black boxes might do, and continue to drive as though you own the entire road, because you do.

Don’t rely on excuses, no matter how sensible they may be

When you’re fighting the urge to run over cyclists, your resolve will be tested. Years of living in a civilised society have conditioned us to enumerate the reasons why you should run over that tempting cyclist, such as:

  • it would be easy
  • it would be satisfying
  • nobody is looking
  • they knew the risks
  • they can’t feel pain
  • you had a bad day at work

Don’t get me wrong: in the court of public opinion, every single one of these would fly. But in our nanny state, a judge could still technically find you guilty. Self-defence is one valid excuse, but it’s tough to imagine Lewis Hamilton needing to defend himself against Mulga Bill.

Not running over cyclists is one of the biggest challenges we face on our roads. If we can all hit one or two less cyclists each week, my hope is that one day their numbers will get out of control and the government will order a cull.