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Friday, 2 May 2014

Graphic videos that show no rules or law can protect innocent cyclists

These two shocking videos demonstrate brilliantly what I have been trying to get through to cyclists. 'Road cycling is highly dangerous'.

It's bound to be. The definition of the concept says it all: To be exposed and unprotected on two flimsy wheels, in the path of, mixing, mingling and often competing with large pieces of essential machinery on the move, operated by complete strangers of varying ability and mental capacity. That is road cycling. It is an idea that would never be accepted or introduced now if a new proposal.

These videos show why. Of the first there are the rash claims of a cycling copper and a cycling writer that it was attempted murder. A shame because this kind of irrationality only diverts from the reality. One could just as easily claim that the second driver deliberately rammed the cyclist too.

Watch the videos and then ask 'Is my bike ride so crucial?' and 'Do I want my kiddies exposed to this?'

See the 1st video here  The 2nd video.

Look drivers are continually bumping into things unintentionally but mostly just resulting in dents and bent metal. Why wouldn't they be bumping into exposed cyclists too?

The religious cycle lobby will be inflamed by the obvious conclusions but they are only a tiny minority of the 60 million that depend on drivers. Sometimes minorities need to be ignored for the general good don't they?  

At the moment the authorities, often for no more than green ideology, and certain media, are encouraging road cycling. While they continue they can have every death and injury on their conscience. 
 Luckily it seems they are failing as the post 2012 'buzz, is falling off  Perhaps costly schemes to change roads to the disadvantage of major infrastructure are premature then and to encourage road cycling is unwise too. After all, if cycling was at all viable for most of us, far more would be doing it anyway.


  1. Hello again Keith.

    I've just spent a few days in Helsinki. This is a lovely city and you should go, but it can still be a little chilly at this time of year -:)

    Anyway, it's never been a city that's held up as an example of cycling infrastructure, but if you went there you'd find that cyclists are well catered for. Many of the major city centre paths tend to be dual use, and the main arterial roads leading into the city have decent cycleways laid next to them, separate from, but going in the same direction as, the main road next to it. As a result, cycling is very safe and everyone can get to where they want to go with minimal fuss, be it by car, on foot or by bike. And cycle they do- bicycles are a common sight in Helsinki.

    It's nowhere near as big as London- perhaps Leeds would be a better comparison- but surely if the Finns can do this, why can't we do that in GB?



  2. Yes we have a few cities that are ideal for nice local upright sedate riding too. Oxford, Cambridge, Norwich, Cheltenham and so on. But most of our 60 million are not interested in cycling and don't see it as viable. Just because Helsinki may have lots of local cyclists, doesn't translate to most people in Finland either. If you drive across Europe you will pass very few cyclists and I posted evidence of that on the DU site.

    Certainly only keen cyclists will address hills and slopes anyway.

    So the question is how can we convert old roman road layouts in places like London and Leeds without great cost? So we must see a cost benefit. At the moment 30000 a year are dying in the NHS from lack of care. Only about 2000 a year from all causes on the road. Cycling is a pure risk choice.

    But most of us who do normal local nice upright cycling for a purpose other than for cycling's sake are not demanding all this at all.

    I merely try to bring some perspective and recognition of all that. Of course avid religious cyclists hate it but they're just a very loud tiny minority who hate me pointing that out too.

  3. Hello again.

    Yes I know Helsinki is not Finland- although over a tenth of the population live there. I also visited Turku and also Mariehamn in the Ă…land islands and found that those places also have fairly high levels of cycle usage and good provision of off road cycle paths. As a result there is lots of the relaxed, sitting upright style of riding that you want to be fond of.

    I also travelled to Sweden a couple of months ago, where again provision of cycle infrastructure is good and thus cycling rates are high. This is the plaza outside Uppsala railway station

    You like to assert that society is built on drivers and driving, which seemingly infers that your view is that cycling harms society. Yet Finland and Sweden are both prosperous nations with high standards of living.

    As for provision of budgets for cycling, why would it have to come out of the NHS budget? And if other nations can find money for it, surely the UK- the world's 6th-ish largest economy- can find more money for it too?



  4. Where does advancing the importance of drivers and driving infer anything against cycling? How does pro driver translate to anti cyclist? Most cyclists and cycling is totally compatible with drivers. What isn't is demands for less road space for drivers, more prosecution and jailing of drivers and deliberately imposing their speed on drivers all by a tiny minority of racing style cyclists. Are drivers not entitled to respond to that by pointing out that our society isn't dependent on people cycling?

    Economics is pretty simple. It all comes from one pot. Spend billions on cycling where does it come from? Drivers for one and NHS for another.