10 Common Questions about Cycling #cycling

I stumbled onto a helpful Q & A from the CTC: 10 Common Questions about Cycling

Whenever somebody mentions safety I normally say “And people don’t die in car collisions or crossing the street?”. It always seems easier to make them feel less safe about their current travel arrangements than to defend the safety of cycling. I also sometimes ask them where they get the idea that cycling is unsafe from, are they quoting confirmed statistics or just because they can’t ride a bike safely? Generally I think this comes from their fear and I agree, I’ve never been on a horse, so in my head I’m going to snap my neck the first time I try and ride one, but it doesn’t mean horse riding is dangerous, err, is it?

The key to discussing cycling is to first know if the person is an idiot, don’t argue with them if they are, you know the saying 🙂

Another approach is that you can always agree with them… “yes, bloody tree hugging cyclists, I know, but this driver this morning, I was stuck behind him for miles as he was doing 29MPH in a 30MPH limit during rush hour, can you believe it, some people shouldn’t be on the road should they?”


8 responses to “10 Common Questions about Cycling #cycling

  1. Everything we do has a risk, we all have to manage that risk as best we can. Cycling, like everything else, has it’s dangers, but I believe if you stay alert and concentrate on what’s going on around you, they are minimised considerably.

  2. While I’m on the subject, I don’t think the cycle commuter racers, you know the ones, all lycra, wouldn’t give you the time of day, just a sneer, speeding and weeving through urban traffic, do us any favours in the eyes of car/taxi/bus/lorry drivers, or themselves, in particular. They are only concentrating on their speed, they couldn’t care less about other road users, and, as a consequence, put them and the rest of us in danger.

    • Given your definition I’m half way to a cycle commute racer, I just don’t go all that fast 🙂
      Though my commute is generally just me and cars, very few other cyclists on the route.

  3. Couldn’t agree more! I was chatting with a friend of mine about this the other day after a near miss with a taxi driver which was only a near miss because of my awareness and defensive riding position.

    Oh, and don’t get me started about commuters who sneer and pull off dangerous moves… you want respect on the roads? Respect the laws of the road! Red lights apply to cyclists too.

    • I do have problems with cyclists endangering others at major junctions by running red lights, there does need to be a bigger penalty for this.

      However I don’t have as much of a problem with a cyclist going early on a red light when the pedestrian crossing is empty or going on the pavement to avoid waiting at the lights. There are notable exceptions where I fully support going on the path, for example for safety reasons where the lazy road people haven’t provisioned for cyclists, no punnishment should be due in this case. But if it is a valid crime that has been commited then they pay the fine, that’s fair and no different from cars. If the punnishment doesn’t fit the crime then increase the punnishment, simple, I really don’t have a problem with this, if the punnishment for cars running a light is higher than that of a cyclist then is there a reason for that? Of course there is a reason!

      Naturally I agree that courteous cycling goes a long way to improve relations with drivers, but when they can’t play nicely together how are we meant to join in and make them play nicely with us? The battleground (a.k.a. the road) will not cease to be just because you cycle considerately, but please do.

      From another view point I think all pedestrians that cross without using the crossing or on a red man should be executed, or am I being extreme now? LOL

  4. Correctomundo!

  5. My fear is being hit by someone pulling out of a junction/roundabout when it’s my right of way (happened once) or being hit from behind (not happened yet thankfully). As these are the two situations you really don’t have control over.

    I must admit I cringe a little when I see someone squeezing up the 20cm gap inside of a bus when the bus is moving. I’d be very interested to see a breakdown of cycling injuries/deaths by this sort of information, but then again you’d probably get alot of skew in the results with people saying “that cyclist I killed was swerving around” rather than “they were indicating for ages, but I was looking at Facebook”.

    • People in cities do crazy stuff, I’m a strong and confident cyclist but agree that I sometimes see stuff that I would definitely not consider even in my craziest dreams.

      I like to claim my road space but always be prepared to give it up and bail out (as Richard Ballantine says in his book City Cycling).

      I thought texting was the normal reason? I must be getting behind the times again.

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