The following is an account of what happened to my friend and I while cycling the section of the prom behind the Golf Range this morning at 8.30am
As many of you will know, the knocknacarra-salthill road is extremely busy in the morning times with commuter and ‘the-dropping-the-kids-to-school’ traffic.
The footpaths are too narrow to allow pedestrians and cyclists, and the road is too narrow to safely cycle alongside the motorists…so as an alternative, we chose to take the quieter coastal section of the prom to avoid this dangerous traffic, and took the road down by the caravan parks and golfing range, that leads to black rock.
As we turned down this road, we noticed four other cyclists ahead of us…who were probably thinking the same thing…avoid the traffic, and take the longer, but safer approach…
Well, to cut a long story short, we were met by two very irate ‘early morning walkers’, about half way along the section.
They proceeded to shout at us, telling us that we had no right to be cycling on the prom, and that there are signs everywhere telling us this.
We were on our way to work, but stopped to see what all of the fuss was about…as we were causing no trouble to them, and could have gone on about our cycle, but instead turned back to hear their side of the argument.
It turned out that one of the walkers was struck by a cyclist on the paved section of the prom on the previous day, and she was obviously venting her anger at the next set of cyclists she met along the prom.
We said that we were sorry that a cyclist had hit her, and told her that it wasn’t our fault, and not to be getting upset with us.
They were both fuming at us, with one of them yelling “you’ve absolutely no right to be here, we’ve been walking here for the passed 5 years!”
I never heard such rubbish. What a silly argument.
We were disgusted at their attitude in that they couldn’t possibly conceive of both pedestrians and cyclists SHARING this space.
They then proceeded to say “…and I bet you’re gonna cycle on the prom when you get there too?”
…to appease them, we said we weren’t…but in hindsight, I wish I’d said “yeah, why shouldn’t we…there’s nobody out walking the prom at this hour!”
So, that was that, and we went on about our day. We cycled the prom, and I plan on cycling the prom every morning (not evenings as it’s too busy).
PS – As cyclists, I can empathise with this walker, as some cyclists are very aggressive when cycling the prom, but taking this out on random cyclists is ridiculous. It has, however, forced me to sign up to this site and post this comment in the hope that a debate on this issue can take place here. I am new to this site, so apologies of a similar debate is already taking place in another thread.
Based on the above, what do you, my fellow Galway cyclists, think of:
A) Our right to cycle the prom (even if only during morning commuter times?)
B) Our ability to lobby the Galway City Council to paint a white line along the prom allowing cyclists, bladers etc all of the time?
All comments welcome.