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Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Road's are no places for eccentrics, F1, racing and fundraising

The inspiration for this tweet is the London Evening Standard story about Alex Brooke-Turner of Streatham London who, having been paralyzed in a cycle accident three years ago, has now taken to an even more dangerous form of cycling, the low, horizontal tricycle. See the story here

Now I admire this young man's courage and applaud his fight and am desperately sorry for his injuries and the state he has been left in, and even more impressed that he intends to raise money for charity but who on Earth are his advisers? Is it really necessary to raise charity in the middle of major essential infrastructure? How about a charity five a side in the road or pitch up with a tombola stand in the middle of a busy street?

For a start, these very low, small profile machines are much harder to see than the full trunk of a cyclist. No chance of seeing them through the windscreen of the vehicle you are following and so wondering why its down to a crawl. It's bad enough being reduced from a potential 60 MPH to a 10 MPH at the best of times and when you know why, but not knowing the cause is bound to cause frustration with the driver in front and worse an overtake attempt that's not based on the real hazard. If these machines were anything other than eccentric, wouldn't most cyclists be using them? Let's see the Emperor has no clothes on. These machines are a danger to their users, and a massive liability on infrastructure. Roads are no places for eccentrics and
attention seekers and that's exactly what most of these users are.

But while talking road use, no the majority of UK's drivers, most of whom have no interest in any kind of road race, whether running, cycling, or F1 racing cars either, actually don't want their roads closed for any kind of race at all. We could race bikes on airport runways and raise charity on them. We could include railway lines on cross country sections for runners couldn't we? But we would never dream of causing these parts of our infrastructure such inconvenience would we? So why do politicians think that any part of UK's vital infrastructure is a good place to hold races and charity events? Especially something so hazardous as young Alex's idea of doing it. Sensible answers on a postcard please


  1. Nearly every one of us knows how to cycle and ride a bike, once they learn it even in their childhood, they will never forget it for the rest of their life. All it requires is a bike in good condition, a half an hour here or there when it suits to their schedule, and a bit of confidence.

    London Bike Shop

  2. Yes ok but why do a charity run or race on the highway? is the point. Roads are infrastructure like railway lines and runways.