I HAVE read last week’s D&S Times headlines which trumpeted the benefits of the Tour de Yorkshire - but I also think there is a downside.

I feel that these races encourage riders to speed along without regard to other users or consideration to people in villages in order to achieve maximum speed.

On Saturday I was approaching Swainby having come out of Scugdale road when I saw a group of cyclists approaching the rear of my car at great speed and closing to an inappropriate distance.

I was forced to brake sharply nearing the village in order to give way to a horse and rider which were difficult to see because of parked cars on my side of the road.

This forced one cyclist to swerve in order not to hit my car and resulted in a torrent of abuse from the others - presumably because I caused them to slow down. They blamed me for braking, attaching no blame to themselves for speeding and riding too close. After further abuse to my wife and I they overtook me on both sides and sped off, squeezing between the parked cars and the horse rider.

How long will it be before there is a serious accident in our village?

As an occasional cyclist myself I do it for enjoyment of fresh air and the scenery and show consideration to others, not to cycle around to see how fast my route takes and rage at people who slow me down.

Don Smith, Swainby

Smooth running

IT was a superb turnout of both cyclists and spectators at the Tour de Yorkshire and we managed to see the cyclists whizz by in Northallerton.

Our son, who lives in Australia, sent us the whole race on YouTube which was good to watch.

However, we noticed that, on all the roads covered by the race, there was not one pothole.

Where have the ordinary road-users gone wrong?

Dorothy Young, Northallerton

Cycle space

JAN Hobson emphasises, quite rightly, the advice to leave a clearance of 1.5 metres when overtaking a bicycle (D&S Times, May 11). This is something that I always try to achieve when driving a car or a tractor.

However, there is a corollary to this suggestion which is that a cyclist should not enter a space where he or she is not or may not be at least 1.5 metres from a vehicle.

On narrow roads therefore, cyclists should themselves be aware of these rules and use similar protocols that motor vehicles use by using passing places or the verge to allow overtaking or the passage of oncoming vehicles.

Likewise, on narrow two-lane roads, cyclists should not drive within 1.5 metres of the centre line to allow traffic in both directions to pass them with the requisite clearance.

Robert Campbell, Stokesley

Missing bells

JAN Hobson points out that it is recommended that a bicycle is fitted with a bell (D&S Times, May 11).

So why don’t any of the cyclists I’ve seen follow this recommendation?

Mark Rontree, Northallerton