I CAN'T really imagine what would compel me to yell at a stranger in the street.

Certainly not to tell them they're doing whatever they're doing wrong when what they're doing has nothing to do with me whatsoever.

Unfortunately not everyone lacks my imagination.

My friend doesn't know the South Side very well so we thought it would be nice to take a cycle tour round some of the finer sights and have a leisurely dander around Pollok and Queen's parks.

I'd been full of praise for the South City Way cycle route, which runs from the Merchant City up to Queen's Park gates, and along which we were going to be travelling.

The city has some really ambitious visions for Glasgow's cycle network - though not all of it works and stretches of it need a lot of work - and the South City Way forms part of that.

Like all construction work, the building of the cycle route stopped when the coronavirus pandemic hit so now the cycle way is a bit of an obstacle course.

The section at the junction of Victoria Road and Calder Street is entirely dug up - it's a lot of rubble surrounded by red plastic barriers.

On the other side of the road sections are incomplete and "Cycle Path Closed" has been spray painted on the ground at junctions to deter folk from using it, although the paint is well faded now so it's really not clear whether cyclists should use it or not.

Anyway, heading south to the park from around Coplaw Street, you really have to cycle on the road because the route is punctuated with construction works and it's shut at points.

Glasgow Times:

Also, for me, I was making a right turn at Queen's Park Station, which you can't do from the cycle lane.

Basically, I know this stretch like the back of my hand and I know what I'm doing.

So there we are, Saturday afternoon, on Victoria Road and stationary while we wait for a bus to take on passengers and move off.

We're exactly where we're entitled to be and doing no harm.

A young guy shouts over from inside the bus shelter. "There's a cycle lane right there," and he points, helpfully, at the cycle lane.

I just give him a nod and a smile back so he shouts it again. "It's closed," I say, for brevity because it feels daft to shout back a lengthy and detailed explanation of why we're not on the cycle path and besides, it's none of his business.

"It's not closed," he shouts back, "Look."

Now, if he'd turned his head to the left and peered up the street a wee bit he would have seen nothing but cones and plastic barriers mere feet away.

I would have liked his advice on what to do about that. Go on the pavement? Or bunny hop over the pavement on to the cycle lane only to have to head back on the road about 10 seconds later.

By this point another double decker has pulled up and we are sandwiched between the two.

Surely anyone with a bit of common sense can see that it would be far preferable to be on a newly built cycle lane than to be in the horribly vulnerable position of being on a pedal cycle and surrounded by double deckers?

"It's under construction just there - see," I say back but he doesn't turn his head.

Maybe he genuinely thinks we haven't noticed the cycle lane immediately to our left. Maybe he's genuinely trying to do us a solid.

He shouts twice more about the cycle route and I say "Look, trust me, I know about the cycle route" and, smiling, he tells me again that I'm wrong before heading to the bus at our back.

At least he was polite. Towards the start of lockdown a chap in a BMW tailed me along Victoria Road before stopping, rolling his window down and insisting on telling me that I was cycling wrongly and should be on the cycle path.

You can sort of understand why a driver might want to get his tuppence worth in - we are both sharing the road and so are each affected by one another's actions.

Glasgow Times:

Although, I'm certainly going to be far more affected by his actions than he by mine, should something go wrong.

But a guy at a bus stop? Absolutely no concern of his if we're riding on unicycles and juggling flaming sticks at the same time.

It makes me think about when, where and how we choose to have discussions about issues that affect us.

In yesterday's paper we ran a story about a cyclist and a business owner who started off in a civil discussion about a bike lane but found themselves in a heated exchange.

Is it possible to point out the error of other people's ways and have it end well? I'd like to think it's possible to hold decent discussions but that's only possible when people are willing to admit they might have got the wrong end of the stick and not bullishly persist even when the evidence they're wrong is right in front of them.

Thomas, the man in yesterday's story, mentioned trying to hold a "citizen to citizen conversation". I like the idea of that and wonder if we could ever get to a point where that's possible.

Not policing each other, just talking about how we're affected by others' behaviour and seeing if that could make a difference.

It's got to be preferable to shouting in the street or issuing threats. A better way of doing things is always possible and sometimes we do need others to point out the error of our ways.