THIS week Craig Borland reacts to the report in the Advertiser of a suspected dangerous driving incident involving a car and cyclist in Helensburgh – and shares his own thoughts on the ‘cars v cyclists’ debate...

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SO there we were, sitting on the patch of grass opposite Dino’s cafe on Saturday afternoon, along with many other visitors and locals, taking in the glorious sunshine, when Mrs B and I clearly heard a gasp from several of those around us.

Naturally I followed their gazes, and saw a car stopped half-in, half-out of a West Clyde Street parking space, immediately adjacent to a cyclist, sat in the road looking with some bemusement towards the car and his upturned bike.

Didn’t take much detective work to deduce what had happened. But thankfully it didn’t look serious: a minute or so, and some profuse and clearly audible apologies from the car driver, later, the cyclist was back on his bike heading east, the car had headed off towards Kidston Park, and life was back to normal once more.

Few subjects, in my experience, are more likely to rile the Advertiser audience – or at least the part of it that follows us on social media – than cycling. Every story sparks a flood of comments from cyclists and motorists, each as angry as the other, each camp blaming the other for making our roads more dangerous places than they ought to be.

READ MORE: Police launch 'dangerous driving' probe as cyclist 'nearly hit head on by car'

I may be letting the side down by admitting this, but as more of a motorist than a cyclist – albeit one who is trying to do rather more of the second and less of the first – I can’t say that people on their bikes on the roads annoy me all that much.

Perhaps I’m missing something obvious, but it seems to me that when you’re on the road inside a big four-wheeled box, the greatest risk to your safety is from other drivers and their often sketchy grasp of the Highway Code. (Particularly, if you’ll excuse a momentary rant, those drivers who appear to have spent a lot of money on buying a large, often German, saloon car, but have left the showroom without realising the indicator lights don’t work.)

By contrast, the danger posed to motorists by those on two wheels, who have neither a big engine to help them go faster nor a big cage to protect them, seems pretty minimal. Though I will admit to raising an eyebrow every time I see a cyclist go through a red light – to any cyclist who does this, please do tell me why!

All I’ll say about our report this week of an incident which, according to Helensburgh police, happened at the top of Sinclair Street, is that I hope witnesses come forward so the police can build up as full a picture of what happened as they can.

You don’t have to look too far back in the Advertiser to find a story of a cyclist who was killed in a crash involving a car. Last November, in fact, when Colin McCourt died in an accident on the A814 west of Cardross. I’m off to read through our archives to see if I can find a story of a car driver killed by a cyclist: I’ll get back to you on that one.

READ MORE: Renewed calls for cycle path completion after Cardross crash tragedy