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Friday, 31 August 2012

Simon rammed twice. Unlucky?

Top paraplegic cyclist Simon Richardson, (Pictured)  a victim of being rammed by a driver in 2001, received further crippling injuries when he was rammed again by another driver who had been drinking and made off without stopping. The driver has just been handed down an 18 month jail sentence. 

Unlucky? Yes of course in terms of bad luck but not that unlucky if only in the context the numbers and likelyhood game.  It really is a no brainer. If you look at the long list of high rollers and public figures who's lives have been ended prematurely in one sort of crash or another, it is actually do do with the more they do something, like use light aircraft or helicopters and fast cars, the more chance they have, compared to ordinary folk, to die that way. Keep climbing mountains and there is more chance of falling off one.

So Simon has tended to be evidence that the more one cycles amongst all sorts of diverse characters operating fast, heavy essential machines, trusting them all and a peculiar belief that one's right not to be rammed and crippled will ensure that one wont be, is, to say the least, foolish and living in a Cloud Cuckoo Land.  What on Earth made Simon think that, having happened to him once, it wouldn't happen again?

What we must all take from this is obvious. No it wasn't just a terrible coincidence and bad luck at all.  We all chance our arm when we cycle on busy roads. The more we do it so the chance of being in a bad accident goes up and so will cycling casualties too.

Can Simon, after all he's been through, say 'cycling on the road is safe' for anyone? He is, thankfully, living proof that it is far from it.


  1. This is a very poor account of a very unfortunate series of events, and as i understand it the driver was also over the limit at the time which you have omitted from the story - so by your logic if I have had multiple car accidents as many people will have done we should no longer be driving??? I do hope that I never have the misfortune of Simon but I admire his bravery and spirit to carry on doing what he loves and ultimately that he gets to represent our great country again once recovered from his injuries.
    To blame him for the actions of others is foolish, childish and malicious and as a driver, motorcyclist and a cyclist I have experienced bad driving in all three and is not just Cyclists that bear the brunt of poor judgement.

  2. Sorry? When the Red Mist has cleared from your eyes please read this again.

    Yes we do mention the drink drive aspect and the conviction too. And at no point do we blame Simon, even though he fosters ill will toward drivers we did not mention it. But it is right to point out that the more you do something dangerous the more chance you have of finishing up like Simon. Cyclists must learn from this. You are playing the blame game as Simon does.

    Fact is mixing. mingling, competing with large pieces of heavy fast moving essential machinery is a choice. Simon proves that for him it was a very bad choice. He should confess that if he cares for others, especially kids, as we do. Can he seriously tell kids to do what he did? Can you?

  3. Apologies I missed the bit at the start of the piece, but rest assured there is no red mist.

    Have you spoken to Simon personally to garner his views on this subject? I know I haven't so would not presume his feelings about a subject but if you had been as severely injured by another party through no fault of your own (i am sure you will jump on this point) would you not feel some ill will towards them? Though I would question whether he is anti drivers or just those involved in his injuries

    I am playing no blame game merely asking the question based on your logic that states through being involved in the same type of accident you should no longer take part in the activity. In fact you support this view so are you calling for banning fast cars, light aircraft and climbing mountains? Therefore given the high number of vehicle RTA's that happen everyday on the road should you not be focusing your efforts more on reducing the true root causes rather than picking out a sub group? As I driver I also do not wish to have cars banned just for people to make appropriate choices on travel where they apply.

    Do you not also agree that driving a car is also a choice?

    It is clear your views on cycling from your website and your various tweet incarnations so I do not intend to try and change your views as I believe this would be a pointless exercise, but i would hope you are open to a debate.

    To answer your final point my daughter who is too young at the moment to cycle will if she chooses be allowed to cycle, and given both her parents do so is likely. What she will be taught is how to be prepared and careful of others out there in the same way when she learns to drive, ride a motorbike, ride a horse etc. I do however hope that given the increased awareness and funding that although small will allow the UK to achieve the levels of cycling of the Netherlands so my Daughter will be able to cycle freely. It has been achieved on much of the continent and even in crowded cities such as Paris so why not the UK?

    1. Oh re the Netherlands, Belgium, France etc. We think of nice sit up and beg sedate riding for a start; not the Spandex clad aggressive racing variety. I think we need to differentiate. France has far less cars per capita.

      I am all for seprated dedicated cycleways. Simply not at the cost or to the disadvantage of major infrastructure. That's fair.

  4. So you don't read but respond anyway? And no there is no blame on Simon but legitimately using him as an example, as with Bradley Wiggins & Shane Sutton as well as two kiddies seperately killed from the same school and others, that cycling on roads is risky. The more you do it the greater the risk; especially race type cycling on roads.

    No your analogy isn't correct. Drivers are surrounded by metal & cyclists aren't. Drivers are essential to all of us & cyclists aren't. My views are never more than that. That cycling is risky & driving is essential. If you wish to translate that to something far worse I can't alter it. Luckily the majority of people reeading what I say are sensible and truthful and will find it very difficult to reconcile your points with anything I have written.

    The answer is simple. If carriages in carriegways are too dangerous to mingle with, why keep doing it? It really isn't necessary.

  5. And when it is pointed out I made a mistake I gracefully respect and thank you for pointing it out.

    In that vein.

    Please update one of your other posts to "SIR CHRIS HOY" not Steve hoy as it is incorrect at present.

    So driving is essential to all but cycling is not - tell that to the cyclists that work in the military/police/ambulance service are they not essential. I am not defined by my mode of transport and as a human being would expect to be treated with respect. That is all I am asking for.

    I don't disagree that cycling / driving / walking / taking a bath / bungee jumping or any example you care to name has its inherent risks - as does smoking, drinking (of which I do neither) also have their risks. ALL of them are choices. Your point is not valid about driving being essential and therefore I ask you to consider this WE ALL SHOULD TREAT OTHERS WITH RESPECT AS OTHER HUMAN BEINGS.

    Driving by you is considered essential where it is not in all cases, but I will concede in some it is. Make the appropriate choice (there is that word again) for the journey you are about to undertake.

    Surely that is not too much to ask? I will admit I dislike your point of view, and will disagree with it, as you will disagree with mine...

    The answer is simple. If carriageways (apologies I will point out your spelling mistake here also) are too dangerous why not improve the total system for all users of that system?

  6. Look you assume disrespect yet I see drivers carefully steering round cyclists without complaint and patiently daily. Altercations will occur however but don't exaggerate the negatives. Your use of upper case letters to shout your point says a great deal about you. Driving is essential in all cases from an idividual point of view; no-one goes out in cars for no reason and there's no evidence of it. However driving is essential to your survival whereas cycling isn't. You can disagree with fact if you wish. That is not disagreeing with me at all; I do not create fact.

    All of the activities you cite, are not competing with the major infrastructure of driving or demanding that it is curtailed and prosecuted as cyclists are. I just say, that being the case, let's do get cycling and driving in perspective to be fair then.

    So first it is not necessary for the economy or the survival of the community whereas driving is. Do you accept electricity is also essential for our survival too or do you think cycling is more essential than electricity? No electricity we die. No cycling we don't. Does that statement offend you too?

    And the other point is that it is a very risky thing to be cycling, mixing, mingling, competing with, especially in a racing style, heavy, fast moving essential machines operated by complete strangers of varying ability. Would we normally expect sane people to do that? I cycle but I accept it's crazy. That the cycling lobby, totally selfishly and irresponsibly, refuse to do so is for their concience but I reserve my right to state fact no matter how cyclists would wish to bury them.

    Ok. My time is limited and I will not post any further responses on this but thanks for the input.


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