I’ve taken to the Bike Blog before to disagree with pieces about cycling in other papers, but today we have something of a first: I’m penning a response to a Guardian article arguing that other cyclists are the worst thing about cycling.
There’s two curiosities to this piece, which has been pretty widely-read.
Firstly, it’s written anonymously, the author explaining they’re worried about being “intimidated” with angry responses. I find that an unconvincing argument, but it’s not one for now (though if Anonymous is the editor or someone else with a direct influence on my career path, ignore what's about to follow).
Of course, as the writer points out, you rarely get drivers weaving between traffic to run reds in mid-cycle. But what he/she fails to notice – and it’s a common error – is that other driver infractions are still endemic in many places. They’re just less noticed, even normalised.
To take light jumping, at most London junctions you’ll see cars, vans or lorries nip across or turn right a good few seconds after their light is red. And then there’s speeding. Near my home is a 20mph zone with one of those LED speed indicators. I’d say about 75% of vehicles go at a higher speed.
As for the notion that registration and number plates means drivers are less likely to break laws, well, that doesn’t explain the estimated 1.4m uninsured drivers on the roads, or the calculation that 1.3m car crashes a year happen due to mobile phone use.
[Read Full Article: Other cyclists are the scariest thing when you're on a bike? That's nonsense]