Cyclists are evil!

Or so police would have us believe, according to a recent headline in the (admittedly rather crap) local newspaper.
“Police target rogue riders” it headlines. What follows is an exercise in warped logic that makes me quite angry. Bunch of friggin morons.

Maths, anyone?

In one third of (131 incidents in which a cyclist was hurt), the cyclist was at fault, which demonstrates two things” it reads. A bit of not-very-taxing mental calculation will tell you that that actually demonstrates that in two thirds of these incidents, the cyclist was not to blame. So we read on with interest to find out what the police will do to tackle that majority of incidents:

Firstly, cyclists need to exercise more care and be responsible (…)”. What the fuck?!?! Excuse me? Being responsible for only one third of injuries and that is the police’s major concern? Oh please… do me a favour – go and catch some criminals. A bit further there is another example of how all road users are equal, but car drivers are more equal:

Cyclists have a responsibility to do their bit by showing the same consideration to other road users, that they expect from them.” Sounds reasonable and innocuous, right? Until you read it again: the cyclists have to actually show the consideration – while it is merely an expectation of other road users (i.e. car bus taxi and lorry drivers). It does not say “that they get from them” (it’s obvious why – cyclists hardly get any respect from other road users). It also, for the same reason, does not say “other road users should show the same consideration to cyclists that they expect from them”. Equality my ass.

My opinion

Most of my opinion derives from the fact that, on average, I have to save my friggin’ hide once a week from some retard car/bus/lorry driver that does something stupid to nearly (so far) run me over. I have become so accustomed to drivers not checking their left when turning, that I habitually do not cycle on the left of anything anymore when approaching a left side street. Add lorry and bus drivers using up a foot of cycle lane space (at 30 mph), busdrivers pulling out of stops without checking their right (this is becoming predictable) et voilà: my low esteem of other road users’ “consideration” is explained.

The police, and car drivers, do not seem to understand a fatal asymmetry in the relationship between cars and cyclists:

If I make a mistake and cause a major accident, I get seriously injured (or killed). If a car makes a mistake, I get seriously injured (or killed). Spot the difference.

So yes, I take good care of myself on the road. If I don’t, no-one else will. Yes, I skip red lights to keep away from cars. Most traffic lights anyway are set up so stupidly you are waiting for empty nothingness most of the time. Yes, I ride on the pavement – slowly, where even if I do hit a pedestrian (*never hit one in fifteen years of doing so) chances are we both get away with only scratches or less. To me that’s an improvement over being squashed by a car. Meanwhile the police would be much more useful doing something about the retarded drivers who are killing cyclists with their attitude. Or catch criminals.

Finally

I would be interested in two more statistics. First, how many pedestrians get hurt in incidents with cars or cyclists, respectively (and who is to blame) – my bet is that cars are much more dangerous to pedestrians than cyclists. And second, how many cyclists get killed by car drivers (and vice versa – which I strongly suspect is zero).

The results to be printed on toilet paper, wrapped around a large cactus, and shoved up the asses of stupid police officers who think cyclists are the biggest problem. Fuck yeah.

(Original article under the fold)

Original newspaper article

4 thoughts on “Cyclists are evil!

  1. Hey come on, of course it’s typically one-sided – it’s a rant from me, a one-sided cyclist :-).

    Your post starts off by saying “I have nothing against cyclists who ride to work or school or wherever else”. Well, cool, cause that’s what I do. And I don’t like these inconsiderate racers either, so we actually agree :-).

    FYI, a few weeks ago, whilst cycling home, a f**kt**d in a parked car opened his door on me while I cycled past. It was dark – I had my light on. He clearly hadn’t looked properly, if at all.

    The crash (at low speed) bent my front wheel (which I had to have replaced) and it bruised my left arm enough that for a week afterwards everyone I met went “woah, what the hell happened to you, that looks terrible!”. (it looked worse than it felt, fortunately)

    What is the scary bit is that he could have pushed me into traffic with that door-opening lunacy and I might have become instant tartare.

    To add insult to injury, he didn’t ask how I was (he clearly didn’t care either) nor my bike, he didn’t offer to pay repairs, he didn’t apologise for his mistake until I swore at him, and then asked if I could kindly get my (immobile) bike – which I was trying to mend – out of his way (!) because they were trying to jump-start his car. At that point I got properly angry.

    Of course one dipshit doesn’t equal all car drivers, but they do the reputation of their kin no good. However these are what I have to deal with (all too often) and so that’s what I write about.

  2. You wanted stats on the number of cyclist/pedestrian collisions

    http://www.parliament.the-stationery-office.com/pa/cm200708/cmhansrd/cm081118/text/81118w0020.htm gives the stats for the number of cyclists admitted to hospital resulting from different types of collision

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200405/cmhansrd/vo050316/text/50316w01.htm gives the stats for the number of pedestrians injured by both motors (about 3500) and cycles (about 70) each year on footways (so pavements, bridleways etc)

    I hope that helps

  3. Awesome! Thanks! Can’t believe people not only read this but even respond… *is happy now* :-D

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