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Cyclists are not a menace you know

060814ay The United Kingdom’s Guardian newspaper Bike Blog recently blogged on a debate hosted by the Spectator on whether cyclists constitute a road ‘menace’ brought together some unlikely political bedfellows.  A little extract from that posting follows:

On the pro-cycling side of the debate, the arguments were less colourful, but ultimately more convincing (although as a cyclist, I suppose I would say that). Cyclists make up around 2% of the traffic in the London rush hour but they cause just 1% of injuries to pedestrians – almost all of them minor. And of the 204 people killed on London roads last year none was killed by a cyclist. In fact a cyclist has not been responsible for a road death in London for the previous eight years either.

That alone demonstrates cyclists are not the road menace they are sometimes painted as, said Gilligan. “To be a real menace you need more hardware.” And he implored the non-cyclists in the crowd: “Instead of hating us, you should join us. You would have nothing to lose but your trains.”

A very good point in my view and something we should all consider carefully. When I am riding a bike, what damage can I do to a driver in their car? None! What damage can that car driver do to me? They can injury me, they leave me with a permanent disability, they can kill me! All because I ride a bicycle! Is that really necessary? Are we held up in a cars that badly? Maybe it is time to leave the car at home and ride or walk and chill out.

My thanks to gusk’s posterous for drawing my attention to this blog posting.

2 Responses to Cyclists are not a menace you know

  1. Greg December 9, 2009 at 2:39 PM #

    I guess it depends on the day and where you ride. I know you have been assaulted and I have been abused a number of times. It is not always like that though. On my last ride to Jarrahdale, I rode from Kewdale to Mt Pleasant and then through Byford to Jarrahdale. There are certainly some hoons up that way and a lot of harley riders. I was expecting to cop some sort of abuse but didn’t. I had to bail because of a shoulder injury and so rode back through Byford and then along South West Highway to Armadale. I missed the train at Armadale so rode to Sherwood Station, caught the train to Welshpool and rode through Carlisle back to Kewdale. Armadale is certainly bogan territory but again I didn’t cop any abuse. In Carlisle I even held up a 4wd going through a roundabout when I missed a gear change (new bike) but the driver waited patiently til I was clear and then drove around me with plenty of room at a sensible speed. I didn’t get tooted, yelled at or buzzed all day.

    So, cyclists and motorists can share the road without any problem at all. It is a pity that more of my rides are not like that.

  2. Greg December 9, 2009 at 10:39 PM #

    I guess it depends on the day and where you ride. I know you have been assaulted and I have been abused a number of times. It is not always like that though. On my last ride to Jarrahdale, I rode from Kewdale to Mt Pleasant and then through Byford to Jarrahdale. There are certainly some hoons up that way and a lot of harley riders. I was expecting to cop some sort of abuse but didn’t. I had to bail because of a shoulder injury and so rode back through Byford and then along South West Highway to Armadale. I missed the train at Armadale so rode to Sherwood Station, caught the train to Welshpool and rode through Carlisle back to Kewdale. Armadale is certainly bogan territory but again I didn’t cop any abuse. In Carlisle I even held up a 4wd going through a roundabout when I missed a gear change (new bike) but the driver waited patiently til I was clear and then drove around me with plenty of room at a sensible speed. I didn’t get tooted, yelled at or buzzed all day.

    So, cyclists and motorists can share the road without any problem at all. It is a pity that more of my rides are not like that.

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