Cyclists, please! We don't need to see your bottom – Susan Morrison

If it takes nerves of steel to drive around this city, given the endless roadworks, diversions and temporary traffic lights, it must take nerves of titanium to cycle. My hat goes off to almost anyone who takes on Edinburgh's roads on two wheels.
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Hopefully the new cycleways will ease their journeys. Although, ironically, quite a lot of our current driving hell is being caused by the construction of those very cycleways. Drivers get tetchy. Accidents happen. But at least they’re in cars. Cyclists are so much more exposed. Ironically, again, it's a form of exposure that I feel we should address today.

Cyclists! There has been entirely too much bahookie-crack flashing going on lately. I cannot be the only driver trapped behind a big bloke on a bike who did not check that his hi-vis vest was long enough to cover the essentials when pedalling with effort, and yes, it is always blokes.

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This issue was forcibly pushed into my consciousness during an emergency dash to the Range at Porty. Seafield Road at its usual slow pace. We were overtaken by two young women pushing buggies. The weather was pleasant. My window was down. I heard the whole conversation. The blue-buggy lass is right. His mother was bang out of line for criticising the wedding venue choice. Loads of people get married in the Caribbean. And so what if his mother can’t make it? Future Christmases are going to be very frosty in that family.

In the rear-view mirror, I see A Big Bloke on a Bike. I suspect he had not long been the owner of the cycle. More experienced cyclists refer to newbies in the bike world as ‘Noddies’, because the exertion makes them nod their heads when they cycle. He was seriously nodding.

You’ll recall this happening from your Cycling Proficiency test days, and you’ll also remember that when cycling up an incline, people tend to rise on the pedals. The head goes forward, the bahookie goes back.

He passed the buggy gals. They stopped talking and looked horrified. It was a warning. We were crawling in our cars. He was going a little faster on his bike. He gradually edged past me.

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From the entrance to Seafield Crematorium, past McDonalds, up the curve towards the Dog and Cat Home, my view was dominated by what our poetic Irish friends would refer to as a “big owld hairy erse”. Now, I apologise for the language. This is a newspaper of taste and discretion but there is no more accurate description.

Cycling is good for the planet but proper attire should be worn at all times! (Picture: Scott Barbour/Getty Images)Cycling is good for the planet but proper attire should be worn at all times! (Picture: Scott Barbour/Getty Images)
Cycling is good for the planet but proper attire should be worn at all times! (Picture: Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

My windscreen was filled by a wobbling hirsute Crack of Doom until we reached the path down to the prom at Porty and our Taj Mahal of Tushies turned towards the sea. Never has an eyeful of the Forth been such a cleansing balm.

Men of Edinburgh! I applaud your efforts to save the planet, cut your car usage and become fitter, but think of what’s behind you, and I don’t mean your emissions, but yes, that could also be an issue. Check your attire before mounting! Reach down and touch your toes. Is there a chill breeze in the nether regions? Ask a good friend to have a quick glance. For the love of god, use a mirror.

Don’t let your rear view ruin someone's day.

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