/ More lazy journalism

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Toby S - on 14 Nov 2012
http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/357489/Lycraman-must-stop-saddling-us-with-blame

A few choice quotes:

"Surely only someone with a wicker basket for a brain would take to our congested capital on two wheels with only fresh air between their skull and the tarmac?"

"When it comes to road safety, it is not drivers who must change gear but cyclists."

She's been getting a fair bit of flack via twitter and in fairness to the lady she seems to have listened to their views and will be going out for a bike ride in London at some point this week. Good luck to her!

https://twitter.com/CamillaTominey
John Rushby - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to Toby S:

This is a brilliant reply - he makes the same point I did in another thread, which someone took objection to, that day glo is crap under street lights, and the contrast (as we have learned in yachting) is what works.

OH DEAR

14.11.12, 10:46am

It's another ill-informed diatribe by someone posting only to gain advertising revenue for her employer.

1. Lycra isn't ludicrous, it's comfortable. Try riding 60 miles in a pair of jeans and see how you feel.
2. A minority of cyclists run red lights and cycle on the pavement. But then again, a minority of motorists also run red lights, and most motorists will happily drive on the pavement. Don't believe me? Look at just about any side street you can find, cars parked on the pavement.
3. Bradley Wiggins was on the road and therefore had priority. The van driver did not. Seems pretty clear cut to me.
4. Generally, it isn't the cyclist's fault, because most accidents are the fault of the motorist.
5. Helmets are for low-speed impacts only, they're largely useless. A helmet won't save you from a bus.
6. Of course Boris bikes don't come with helmets, you don't need a helmet to ride safely. Do you wear a helmet as a pedestrian? What about a crash helmet when you're in a car?
7. London could easily be more like its neighbour, unless, that is, you'd prefer London to be full of stinking diesel vehicles rather than harmless bicycles? Noise and filth versus silence and cleanliness?
8. Fluorescent yellow clothing is useless under sodium lights. And I see cars driving around with faulty lights all the time.
9. I wear black. Black coated with retroreflective strips. So actually, at night, I'm brighter than just about anything on the road. In black.
10. Sitting on a machine in a gym is not cycling.
11. Paying to use a stationary bicycle in a gym is about the most stupid use of time, ever.
12. Riding in the middle of the lane is perfectly legal and recommended practice for many situations.
13. Beeping your horn at cyclists - please see HC rule 92 - never sound your horn aggressively. There's no need to use your horn to alert cyclists to your presence, believe me, having wonderful things called ears, they know full well you're there.
14. Cyclists have a common-law right to use the roads. Motorists do not. Motorists have an entitlement, granted by a licence. Behave like an idiot and that licence may be revoked. Cyclists cannot be banned from the roads, much like pedestrians, so deal with it.
15. Cyclists already assume equal responsibility for their safety - if you make a mistake while cycling, you're going to be seriously injured or killed. Make the same mistake in a car and it's a minor scuff or dented panel. Equal, eh?
16. Cyclists don't require a test because their impact on road transport doesn't warrant it. Unlike motorists, they don't kill people. They don't need helmets or reflective clothing because the former is useless and the latter is common sense. They don't need an MOT because a non-roadworthy car can kill one or more people, a non-roadworthy bike will injure or kill only the person riding it. And that happens so rarely it's a waste of time.

17. Please read the 2009 TRL report, "Collisions involving pedal cyclists on Britain's roads: establishing the causes" - the motorist is usually at fault. Therefore your claim that cyclists need to "change gear" is patent nonsense, as is also true for the rest of your sorry piece of "journalism". I'd stick to sitting on the Daybreak sofa if I were you.

Posted by: tomjeffs Report Comment
Mikkel - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to John Rushby:

Did she reply to that?
Escher - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to Mikkel: She's replied to a couple of my tweets, she seems to be replying to everyone, so have your say over on Twitter if you like
Toby S - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to Mikkel:

She's not really replied to any of it. This is the kind of bright idea she's coming up with on twitter:

"Compulsory cycling prof for kids, at two ages- would confine them to pavements until 16+ " along with lots of victim blaming.

And errm....

"Winding up cyclists is almost as much fun as winding up Scots. Any Scottish cyclists out there, do get in touch... "
John Rushby - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to Toby S:

She's the Royal Correspondent, so not exactly Bob Woodward then.
Chris the Tall - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to Toby S:
It's been discussed at length on SingletrackWorld, and someone there has described it as "clickbait"

We all know these Express and the Mail diatribes are going to be awful, so just don't click on them and give them the advertising revenue
Toby S - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to Chris the Tall:

Very true. Unfortunately lots of other people read that tosh and accept it as gospel. Clickbait or not this kind of thing does need to be challenged. Fortunately the majority view appears to be along the lines of 'you're taking rot'!
Alun - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to John Rushby:
The problem with carefully thought out and worded replies like these (especially when posted the Mail and Express forums) is that the a few dodgy sentences are going to be picked up, and all the other good points ignored e.g

> They don't need helmets or reflective clothing because the former is useless and the latter is common sense.

Now I am absolutely against mandatory helmet use, but absolutely pro helmet encouragement. Helmets won't save you from a bus, but I fallen onto my head enough times to know that they're not useless. And you can argue for common sense as much as you want, but the facts are that there are plenty of idiots who DO ride in the dark, without lights, in dark clothes.

> 11. Paying to use a stationary bicycle in a gym is about the most stupid use of time, ever.

Although I agree wholeheartedly, many people don't, and insulting them is not going to help the cause.

> 2. A minority of cyclists run red lights and cycle on the pavement. But then again, a minority of motorists also run red lights, and most motorists will happily drive on the pavement.

I'd be happy to wager that the proportion of cyclists running red-lights is higher than that of motorists. Deep down, we all know this - denying it merely adds fuel to the anti-cycling lobby.


I worry that many in the pro-cycling lobby are a bit like Richard Dawkins - i.e. talks a lot of sense but has a militant sensibility that seems to damage the underlying cause.
Phil79 - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to Toby S:

Wow, what a contemptable woman - some serious personal issues bubbling away there!

As someone on the comments section points out, the article could have come straight from this:

http://aseasyasridingabike.wordpress.com/2012/09/25/the-terrible-journalists-guide-to-writing-an-art...

It would be funny is it wasn't so damaging.
jonnie3430 - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to Off duty:

I find this grossly offensive and she must know it's false. How do I get her arrested under Section 127(1)(a) or 127 (2)(a) of the Communications Act 2003?
silhouette - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to jonnie3430:
> How do I get her arrested under Section 127(1)(a) or 127 (2)(a) of the Communications Act 2003?

That's a serious point you raise there; if there is a co-ordinated attempt to get the Police involved, even if it does not ultimately succeed, I would like to be involved.
MG - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to John Rushby:
that day glo is crap under street lights, and the contrast (as we have learned in yachting) is what works.
>

Interesting. By day-glo, do you mean yellow jackets, or the reflective strips?
John Rushby - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to MG:

Yellow stuff - it gets lost vertain street lamps, the 3m works nicely, even better with contrast.

I've seen it work when doing man over board drills
MG - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to John Rushby:
> (In reply to MG)
>
> Yellow stuff - it gets lost vertain street lamps, the 3m works nicely, even better with contrast.
>
> I've seen it work when doing man over board drills

Thanks. I will update my cycling attire a bit. Yellow does stand out well in daylight/dusk I find when driving.
Byronius Maximus - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to John Rushby: Surely day-glo with reflectives would give the best of both worlds though. Unfortunately there are a lot of cyclists who cycle around during the day wearing full black clothing, which is a really bad idea.

Also, many newly installed street lights these days use a much whiter light, so I wonder if day glo would show up better in them.

The reply you have quoted there is very good but I can't help but feel that cyclists can be far too militant in their views and defence of their situation, and we need spokespeople who are much more balanced and accommodating. Boardman is a good example of this.
Talius Brute - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to Phil79:
> (In reply to Toby S)
>
> Wow, what a contemptable woman - some serious personal issues bubbling away there!
>
> As someone on the comments section points out, the article could have come straight from this:
>
> http://aseasyasridingabike.wordpress.com/2012/09/25/the-terrible-journalists-guide-to-writing-an-art...
>
> It would be funny is it wasn't so damaging.



It's actually too close to this to be true - mother having affair with cyclist, bombing down A5209, all the other stock quotes etc. Either she is taking the piss completely and has just copied the blog for a laugh (which would be amusing, albeit annoyingly dangerous since these things are read by morons and it just reinforces their stereotypes), or someone has amended the blog so it is now based more on her article.
ads.ukclimbing.com
John Rushby - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to Byronius Maximus:

Fair point - the low pressure sodium and mercury vapour stuff is bad at making day glo merge into it's spectrum, the more modern high pressure and halo and led s better (guess what my dissertation was on :) )

I am referring to some ideas that dark kit with brght strips (sm or otherwise) on it flahses up, whereas all over day glo merges in. Clearly in daytime this is not as applicable, so a combination of both is prolly best.

I appreciate what you mean about cyclists comng across as militant, but i was arguing with some lads in the club this week, that to cycle over Ilkley Moor at peak time, in the rain in the dark is daft and not fair on drivers. They were outraged - but it is being pragmatic - it's a narrow road, the vis is crap, it's 60 / 50mph and bikes make it hard for all concerned.

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