I had two moments on my ride this morning when I was told by a sign to dismount. The first was on the Regent's Canal, just West of the Zoo, where there's some work going on and you have to go on to a jetty thing to get round it. I made a judgement: the dismount sign was probably for my own safety - in case it was slippery on the jetty - or because if there are lots of people it could be a hazard. I looked carefully - there was no-one in sight - so I biked carefully over the jetty. No harm done.
Then I went through a residential area just above the canal. I would normally dismount as there's a bit of a blind corner. But this time I decided I wouldn't, as every time I had dismounted before, I'd literally never seen a single pedestrian coming my way. But this time, of course, there was a pedestrian and although I was creeping along slowly, she was clearly angry (I got the impression this was quite a regular local issue) and told me off, said there could be elderly people coming through, etc etc. I tried to explain that this was the first time I hadn't dismounted but she was clearly angry and didn't want to enter into a conversation.
I left feeling guilty and angry. I got to thinking about the hundred times I had dismounted, but no-one had noticed my good work (!), and how you can ruin cyclists' reputation by one moment like that.
I sort of think I should write a little note and leave it by the bike sign explaining my point of view and apologising if she was shocked when I appeared, and that perhaps I should shout loudly whenever next go through and do dismount, alerting everyone to the fact that cyclists do dismount ... but there's another part of me which says - just forget it, and next time you go through, dismount.
Anyone out there got on any views on whether we should always dismount when we see the sign?