Friday, 5 October 2012

Working from home again

I may have to pop into town using public transport around lunch, so there could well be an update later on delays, but likely to be a dull one.

Elsewhere, an interesting piece in The Guardian in its Bike Blog unsurprisingly complains about the harsh treatment cyclists get from other road users (and human beings in general).  It actually makes some very good points, backed up with solid facts - something I find increasingly unusual in any form of journalism, including (especially) my own.

I've mentioned cyclists before on this blog, rarely in a positive light.  While I can wholeheartedly agree that the vast majority of cyclists do not break the rules of the road, that does not mean a significant number of them still do.  Nor does it mean that the majority of them cannot still be inconsiderate road users without actually breaking the law (not that this is the claim I'm making here today either).

There are a few key points in the Bike Blog's post that need addressing, however: first, that not committing an offence does not necessarily mean an accident was not the cyclist's fault.  I would have thought this was obvious.  Second, the quote from Dr. Ian Walker warrants attention for a couple of reasons:
  1. He goes from 'wondering' if cyclists' status suffered from 'two known psychological factors' to accepting the as verbatim and saying he needed to hypothesise as yet unknown factors to explain general hatred of them in the space of six sentences.
  2. He also talks about the anger cyclists experience.  Now, this is just from my own personal experience, but I cannot recall a single incident in which I have seen a cyclist being harangued on the road by a motorist or pedestrian.  Every single set of angry words I have heard involving a cyclist on the road has consisted of the cyclist screaming - yes, screaming - at the top of his (and yes, always his) voice at a car standing next to them.  We're talking veins bulging and face red in apoplectic rage.
I can understand a cyclist who's just experienced fear for their life at some (real or perceived) threat from a motorist lashing out, really I can.  But it does rather grate to be told that the situation is actually the other way around, when real-life experience - at least in my case - does not bear this out.  Classic case of the perpetrators trying to cast themselves as the victims to justify their own behaviour.

I'm curious what everyone else's experiences are.  Care to leave a comment?

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