The CTC have launched their campaign called 'safety in numbers' to encourage more people to cycle because more cyclists=less deaths and serious injury. Apparently. But, what stops people cycling? Are the roads really that unsafe?
From people that I have spoken to it doesn't seem that fear of safety is a main reason for not cycling. The main reasons seem to be things like: no showers at work, no storage facilities, the weather and HILLS - although that last one is a bit of a location-specific reason....or excuse!
People come up with lots of reasons for not cycling. In London, safety is the probably the first, followed by distance/effort. If they aren't used to it, it probably takes a few weeks to get past the point where it is a chore to when they start enjoying it. If they make it that far, they are probably hooked but think of the money gyms make from all the people who sign up in January and are never seen again.
And yes, I do believe that the more on the roads, the better for us all, even if some of the summer-only riders annoy me at times.
Mrs H won't cycle due to being pre-menopausal. Excessive heat and sweating combined with no showers put her off. She will cycle in with me for a coffee but not for work. No traffic worries as the cycle paths are all segregated for the journey.
A guy I know through work said he was worried about the rain and thought his four mile commute would be too much. I pointed out that it doesn't rain that much and that my then six year old son was happy riding that distance. Then the guy started whingeing about lack of showers. Some people are just too lazy basically and would rather sit in a queue in their car.
It is scary. For me to commute through bristol on a bike terrifies me. Maybe its irrational but people drive like maniacs here, especially taxi drivers.
a while back i was completely off the bike for a couple of months with injury, my first time back on the bike was a gentle ride along the main road into town, something i'd normally do without even thinking
but because i wasn't used to it, and maybe forgotten how bad it could be, it totally scared the crap out of me, cars being driven too fast and too close and pulling out of junctions as if i wasn't there, constantly having to dodge potholes, worrying that car doors would open on me and all the usual terrors
by my second ride all my defense mechanisms and reactions were up to speed but it made me realise why people don't cycle much
i nearly got cleaned up by a white van this morning. there's a road on the way in with a right angle bend to the right and a junction that's effectively a straight on. the van was waiting to pull out across me, so i signalled that i was going round to the right. and he pulled out anyway. i managed to sort of skid to a halt right across his front bumper and he gave me a 'sorry i'm an idiot' wave. he's right: he is an idiot.
Blimey Dave - I am sure "idiot" is not the word I'd have used.
BTW, has anyone heard of anything like a "black box flight recorder" for bikes? I have this idea that a small solid state camera/recorder with a looping recording system (like security cameras)might be useful on commuting bikes. Ideally you want to record the last 5-10 minutes at all times, and have a mechanism to stop recording after an incident. So, you end up on white van bonnet and 10 seconds later recording ends - you have a record of what white van idiot just did!
Any ideas, let me know!
never heard of it but it sounds like a good idea. If serious incidents occur then the police/authorities cant say there is no evidence! You can get tiny hd cameras on ebay for about £40 now so cant be too tough to integrate them into some bars?!
Maybe you want some of these…
Bit pricey mind
you can get one for cars that records all the time into a buffer, and when you press the button (or it detects a crash) it saves the last minute or so to memory. so you get footage of your spill.
When i read that it kind of jogged my memory, I'm sure there was something on the news a few years back about getting them installed in cars to record accidents etc and help with insurance claims. Quite a good idea but they'd probably be pricey.
Damn it. Beaten by Dave.
Dave, can you remember what it is called, as I am serious about making one for bikes. I can see the MTB crowd would love to record their exploits! I wonder if it would make insurance cheaper, as legal costs could reduce significantly!
Sounds something like this http://www.ebay.com.sg/sch/sis.html?_nkw=Peace%20Of%20Mind%20Car%20Accident%20Video%20Recorder%20For%20Car%20User&_itemId=300316259243
The ideal scenario though might be a gps/computer with a small looping video camera recording all your ride telemetry