Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Why am I hopeful?

I am hopeful because the risk, in absolute terms, of my getting killed or seriously injured on my bicycle is low (705 KSI per billion km or once every 1.4 million km).  At my current mileage I can reasonably expect to get to 85 without serious incident.
I am hopeful because my chances of getting to 85 without stroke, heart attack, diabetes and other ailments connected to inactivity are substantially increased by my riding.
I am hopeful because a Judge recently said when sentencing a man for dangerous driving,  "If he [cyclist] could bang on the side of your van, you were too close".
I am hopeful because the ACPO lead officer for traffic policing rides a bicycle and has bowed to pressure to change police guidelines relating to the enforcement of 20 mph speed limits.
I am hopeful because for the past nearly two years, an influential national newspaper that previously could not have cared much less has been interested in cyclists' safety.
I am hopeful because CTC (of which I am proud to be a member and 'ambassador') together with British Cycling (which I am proud to be a member of and an informal legal adviser to) are working tirelessly on campaigns to improve the safety of cyclists.
I am hopeful because Chris Boardman, Rebecca Romero and Chris Hoy (among other sporting heroes) say such sensible things in support of the safety of cyclists.
I am hopeful because there are many more charities and organisations with a positive view of cycling (I can single out Roadpeace, See Me Save Me, RDRF, CDF)  than there are those with negative views.
I am hopeful because there are Parliamentarians across all major political parties with real enthusiasm for cycling.  I would be very happy to have Julian Huppert, Ian Austin, Sarah Wollaston, Ben Bradshaw or Steve Brine among others as my constituency MP or, even better, in government.  Last month's debate indicated that the proportion of MPs interested in cycling is higher than that of the general population which elects them.
I am hopeful because the Mayor of London has said of cycling infrastructure that it will be done properly or not at all.
I am hopeful because the level of interest in my cycling club has risen steadily in recent years which I take to be a good leading indicator of the growing popularity of cycling.
I am hopeful because many youngsters are taught Cyclecraft at school before they learn how to drive.
I am hopeful that I can continue to do my bit through my profession to assist both individual cyclists and the interests of cyclists collectively.
Above all, I hope to continue to enjoy riding my bicycle for many years to come



14 comments:

  1. " a Judge recently said when sentencing a man for dangerous driving, "If he [cyclist] could bang on the side of your van, you were too close"."

    Do you have a link to that judgement? I'm having trouble getting the Police to even consider an apparently similar event as Careless Driving.

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  2. PS I enjoy your blog and it is good to see you in a cheery mood compared to yesterday. ;)

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  3. Thanks for sharing! I enjoyed this page. It was very informative. Weston lawyer

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  4. Very nice piece m8, I feel you have alighted something which all cyclist feel & hope for :)

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  5. You and me both (again) ;-)

    ..although my (current) profession does not give me the same opportunities as yours does you!

    It is to your great credit that you create and make the most of those opportunities.

    I sat listening to the Get Britain Cycling Debate with Daisy (16) she was hopeful. We owe it to her and her generation to live up to that hope.

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  6. Frankly, the only thing that makes me hopeful is when you say:

    "I am hopeful that I can continue to do my bit through my profession to assist both individual cyclists and the interests of cyclists collectively."

    Ultimately, things are this bad because we let the idiots decide.

    Only when you and us take charge, will conditions improve. It is up to us.

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  7. I would also be interested in having the provenance of the Judge's remark, as the same thought goes through my head every time the subject of banging on the side of a van - supposedly startling the driver into doing something dangerous - comes up.

    It strikes me also that the same observation could be made of the recent Telegraph fuss about sports cycling around the Surrey Hills - if the old lady got spittle on her car as she overtook some cyclists, she must have been too close because I have yet to meet anyone who could spit more than a metre or so.

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  8. Im not hopeful as its clear that killing cyclists is still acceptable and will often go unpunsihed

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BVmp_3KIMAATQaJ.jpg:large

    Its no wonder we have so many KSI cyclists as there is little (or in this case no) penalty for killing if you use a car.


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  9. I do wish people other than committed cyclists could bring themselves to read things like this, what a difference that would make. We are gaining ground but oh, so, slowly.

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  10. Martin,

    Thanks for the hats off to www.rdrf.org.uk - we do try to do our bit.
    I think you get it exactly right - we have a PARADOX here, not a contradiction. (A paradox is an APPARENT contradiction).

    On the one hand you have all the s..t described in the first of these two posts, on the other the reasons to keep on cycling.

    That;s what it is all about.

    Best regards,

    Dr Robert Davis,
    Chair Road Danger Reduction Forum

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  11. Now get a bike, stand outside your house fuelled on a couple of bananas and autumnal sunshine breaking through prior tomorrows rain clouds and ride somewhere, take in the views, wind in your hair, stares of kids trapped in the back seats of cars and confused looks from triathletes you loudly wish good day to and remember the pleasure in just riding a bicycle.

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  12. Its good to hear more from you Martin and I share all of the same anger from your earlier post.

    As it happens, I live in the same county (Gloucestershire) where the ACPO lead on traffic policing is Chief Constable. Its good that 20mph limits may be taken more seriously, but at the same time our CC. is apparently cutting Gloucestershire's traffic police by 50%. The situation seems the same nationally.

    I do wonder if the words will really translate into action.

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  13. Two very heartfelt articles. Many of my sentiments, too, though you usefully add detailed & informative knowledge I lack, so thanks for that.

    Have missed your blogs of late...

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  14. "I am hopeful because my chances of getting to 85 without stroke, heart attack, diabetes and other ailments connected to inactivity are substantially increased by my riding"

    Have ridden more this summer than ever before and on Sunday suffered a heart attack after a bike ride of only 500 yards, happily with help from the NHS survived it and only 66 2/4.

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