You might have seen recently a poster online which was up in a Leicestershire bike shop talking about how to pass horses safely when you’re on your bike. It’s all pretty simple stuff and basically suggests that you should make your voice heard so that the horse knows you’re a person sitting on top of something rather than something more dangerous.
Such as a Findus crispy pancake chef.
The writer, after giving this really quite helpful, cooperative advice also wishes riders to “ENJOY YOUR RIDE!!” which is nice.
Good stuff all round and the way our groups should be working together – helping each other understand our respective concerns and support one another’s activity.
Unfortunately, there’s one phrase that’s making a bit more noise in the online two-wheeled world than the overall positive intent of the poster.
“Bicycles, generally, are SILENT KILLERS”. Er?? What? Eh? Come again.
Now, the knee jerk response is to get all wound up and angry. Silent killers??!! SILENT KILLERS??!!! HOW VERY DARE YOU?!
But I just think there’s a bit of context missing to that line. Let’s add it in.
“To a horse, bicycles, generally, are SILENT KILLERS. The horse simply does not understand what a bike is. Your hub sounds like a warning buzz. By announcing you are there, the horse will recognise you’re a friend and relax.”
Makes sense now doesn’t it? Basic common sense too. I once saw a horse panic and sit on a car bonnet. Seeing the mess it made of that Mondeo, I’d really rather #BeNiceSayHi than go all James Herriott on a ride. Even if something has been worded badly.
Riders, be they on wheels or hooves, have a finite network of paths we can use, but together we’re making it bigger. Let’s keep working together. Share the poster. Share this post. Share the trail.
And to quote the horse above, “ENJOY THE RIDE!!”
KoftheP (Natural Born Silent Killer)