Injured while cycling? Still got the scars? London publisher wants you for photo book

Grayshon Editions hopes portraits of wounded cyclists will jolt decision-makers into action

by Simon_MacMichael   February 26, 2014  

Cycling Shouldn't Hurt © 2014 by Fiona Garden:Grayshon Editions

A London publisher is calling on cyclists who have been injured on the city’s streets to have their portraits taken - including their wounds – for a book that will be used to campaign for better road conditions for the capital’s bike riders.

The book, called Cycling Shouldn’t Hurt, is due to be published in the summer and is the first from a new London-based publishing company, Grayshon Editions.

The publisher says that the book, featuring photographs by Fiona Garden, “reminds us that cycling can be a joy and a liberating freedom from the claustrophobia of urban life, tube tunnels and traffic jams but asks ‘at what cost?’.

“The images in this book comprise a shocking call to arms for rapid infrastructure change in our city – to create an environment where the virtues of cycling – for health, the environment, speed or pleasure - can be enjoyed by all without fear of injury or death.

“The volume will conclude with an afterword and series of statistics estimating the social and economic cost of these injuries considering lost days work, the emergency response and ongoing healthcare.“

As for the raison d’être behind the project, Grayshon Editions says: “There’s little more powerful than an image of an injured person, a close up of a wound or the detail in a scar.

“Reporting on cycling accidents tends to shy away from the particulars but it is this graphic potency Cycling Shouldn’t Hurt aims to channel in its call to arms for wide-reaching change to cycle infrastructure in the city.”

You can book a portrait session, which should take no more than half an hour, on the Grayshon website; currently, there are only slots available for this afternoon between 3.00pm and 6pm, but others will be added a week in advance.

There will also be an opportunity to be meet Fiona Garden and publisher Neil Grayshon at Spin LDN at the Old Truman Brewery and to have your photograph taken for the book from 28-30 March.

The print run will be limited to 700 copies, some of which will be delivered to Transport for London, the Department for Transport and members of the Greater London Assembly.

Portrait-sitters will receive a free copy as well as a print from their photo session.

The publishers also say that they "are looking for publication sponsorship at a variety of levels. Please contact neil@grayshon.co to discuss opportunities."

30 user comments

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They could have some of my lovely photos from last June... gooey knees and elbows, bits of metal sticking out of my wrist... but I think they only want 'fresh meat'?

Boardman CX Team '14 | Cannondale CAAD8 '12 (written off, SMIDSY) | Scott Sportster '08

Gizmo_'s picture

posted by Gizmo_ [956 posts]
26th February 2014 - 13:41

6 Likes

what a stupid idea. Here we are saying that statistically cycling is a safe means of transport. More people should do it. That there is no need for special safety equipment. Then some publisher wants to drive a coach and horses through that by making a meal out of the odd cuts and bruises people occasionally get.

My colleague at work currently has a broken ankle. She didn't see a step down from a high pavement edge. Stupid accident. It happens a lot everyday in the UK. But we could make walking down the street look like dangerous thing if we collected up all the broken wrists, scuffed knees, cracked elbows, and broken ankles that occasionally happen and publish them all in one book.

Why not publish one that says cycling is pretty safe with pictures showing smiling cyclists enjoying themselves?

Cycling is like a church - many attend, but few understand.

posted by oozaveared [745 posts]
26th February 2014 - 14:34

15 Likes

I don't want decision makers "jolted" into action.

posted by Ush [434 posts]
26th February 2014 - 15:43

6 Likes

I've got a fat lip from hitting a pedestrian in the face with my face yesterday...will that count?

(and for the record I swerved to avoid the pedestrian who crossed without looking, only to hit the pedestrian crossing from the other side without looking)

http://matmitchellcycling.wordpress.com
The usual new 4th Cat blog with some stuff about Pros too.

mtm_01's picture

posted by mtm_01 [90 posts]
26th February 2014 - 16:45

9 Likes

Rather than a book about 'injured while cycling', maybe one showing those (not just cyclists) 'injured by other people driving' would be more to the point?

After all, the former could include the unfortunate results of daredevil high-speed off-roading, which I don't think has any political significance.

posted by FluffyKittenofT... [747 posts]
26th February 2014 - 16:48

9 Likes

The Road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

Regardless of the intentions of the publisher, whether they are good or ill, the result will be a plethora of photographs and testimonials showing that cycling is the most dangerous activity on the planet. If your not killed your going to be scarred for life. All this is going to do is give the anti-cycling cretins more ammunition. Can you imagine what this is going to look like once it has been filtered through their twisted logic.

We know that cycling carries risks. We also know that life carries risks. You can be killed by the incompetent donning of a pair of underpants!

I urge everyone to ignore this request for information.

posted by levermonkey [395 posts]
26th February 2014 - 17:04

8 Likes

oozaveared wrote:
what a stupid idea. Here we are saying that statistically cycling is a safe means of transport. More people should do it. That there is no need for special safety equipment. Then some publisher wants to drive a coach and horses through that by making a meal out of the odd cuts and bruises people occasionally get.

My colleague at work currently has a broken ankle. She didn't see a step down from a high pavement edge. Stupid accident. It happens a lot everyday in the UK. But we could make walking down the street look like dangerous thing if we collected up all the broken wrists, scuffed knees, cracked elbows, and broken ankles that occasionally happen and publish them all in one book.

Why not publish one that says cycling is pretty safe with pictures showing smiling cyclists enjoying themselves?

You're missing the point. It's targeted at those in charge of our roads - TfL and councils. To send them pictures of people cycling and enjoying themselves will be taken by those in charge as evidence that nothing is wrong and nothing needs to change to encourage cycling or make it safer.

posted by teaboy [187 posts]
26th February 2014 - 17:17

12 Likes

Yet more negative PR. Those in charge are fully clued up on problem spots but change comes down to money and political will.
War wounds will not push the bike back into the mainstream. I'd rather look at pictures of what sloth and indolence do to the human body quite frankly.

posted by arfa [542 posts]
26th February 2014 - 20:52

6 Likes

teaboy wrote:
oozaveared wrote:
what a stupid idea. Here we are saying that statistically cycling is a safe means of transport. More people should do it. That there is no need for special safety equipment. Then some publisher wants to drive a coach and horses through that by making a meal out of the odd cuts and bruises people occasionally get.

My colleague at work currently has a broken ankle. She didn't see a step down from a high pavement edge. Stupid accident. It happens a lot everyday in the UK. But we could make walking down the street look like dangerous thing if we collected up all the broken wrists, scuffed knees, cracked elbows, and broken ankles that occasionally happen and publish them all in one book.

Why not publish one that says cycling is pretty safe with pictures showing smiling cyclists enjoying themselves?

You're missing the point. It's targeted at those in charge of our roads - TfL and councils. To send them pictures of people cycling and enjoying themselves will be taken by those in charge as evidence that nothing is wrong and nothing needs to change to encourage cycling or make it safer.

On the contrary. I understand the point completely. It's just not joined up thinking. Trying to "jolt" highways decision makers about the dangers of cycling may be intended to get them to improve provision but on the other hand it may inspire them to discourage people from cycling because of all the injuries.

This book is not joined up thinking. I'll take you through it slowly so you understand my point.

1 Cycling gets safer the more cyclists use the roads. Drivers get more used to cyclists and more aware and the weight of numbers reduces the rbehaviours associated with just getting past the odd obstruction.

2 The more people that cycle the more of a constituency we become. The more political clout we have. We all have votes.

1 + 2 together. It would be desirable if more people cycled.

3 To expand the number of people cycling we need to encourage people to take the plunge and ride their bike. Once they do it they'll like it. But one of the key stumbling blocks to participation is the idea that it is dangerous.

4 The idea that cycling is dangerous is underpinned by emphasis on the perceived need for special safety equipment.

5 Cycling isn't dangerous (whatever the perception).

3 + 4 + 5 Taken together. We need to emphasise the fact that cycling is a benign and safe form of transport that is good for you and extremely cheap. Something that anyone can do with very little effort.

Understanding 3 + 4 + 5 allows us to work towards 1 + 2.

Publishing a book full of pictures of lurid injuries suffered by cyclists is likely to give the impression that cycling is a somewhat dangerous activity. And cripes look at those experienced cyclists in their professional looking gear with those nasty injuries. God knows what would happen to a novice like me.

You see when you really think it through you will realise that the book is counter productive is two ways.

1 Decision makers that may believe that cycling is safe and to be encouraged may start to revisit that notion. They may start to think that if so many people are getting injured that maybe they don't want to be the ones with their fingerprints on any scheme that encourages people to cycle and get hurt.

2 Novice cyclists will just think it's not for them. Thereby reducing the potential cycling constituency, reducing the claim on funding and not gaining the critical mass that makes cycling even safer in its own right.

So yeah I did understand the point and yes some of us do think about this stuff.

Cycling is like a church - many attend, but few understand.

posted by oozaveared [745 posts]
27th February 2014 - 9:44

11 Likes

Is this book being handed out to novice riders to inspire them to ride?

Or is it being taken to those supposedly in charge of making the roads safer?

Should we airbrush out all the injuries and allow everyone to crack on as they are, cycling round maypoles and singing in the glorious 365 days a year sunshine of cycling?

Or should we hold up what is happening in front of the eyes of those in charge and force them to look in to it like a grim mirror and tell them 'This is happening, right now, you can change this, you can do something so do it now, get it changed'.

posted by farrell [1580 posts]
27th February 2014 - 10:11

7 Likes

My cycling injuries are from racing. The torn ligaments in my shoulder won't show up in a photo anyway and neither will the now healed wrist I broke after a spill two seasons ago.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2308 posts]
27th February 2014 - 10:23

4 Likes

farrell wrote:
Is this book being handed out to novice riders to inspire them to ride?

Should we airbrush out all the injuries and allow everyone to crack on as they are, cycling round maypoles and singing in the glorious 365 days a year sunshine of cycling?

Or should we hold up what is happening in front of the eyes of those in charge and force them to look in to it like a grim mirror and tell them 'This is happening, right now, you can change this, you can do something so do it now, get it changed'.

"Is this book being handed out to novice riders to inspire them to ride?"

Well novice cyclists will see it. It will be referred to. People wanting to make a point about cycling be dangerous will use it.

"Should we airbrush out all the injuries and allow everyone to crack on as they are, cycling round maypoles and singing in the glorious 365 days a year sunshine of cycling?"

You don't have to airbrush anything out or hide anything. On the other hand you don't have to publish or contribute to a book with by virtue of being a compndium of cycling injury pictures paints a "grim" (your word) picture.

Look this rather depends on whether how you want to get to your goal. I assume that like me you want cycling to be popular and safe and get more and better infrastructure.

So here are two approaches.

You can make cycling appear to be dangerous, point out and emphasise the the grim reality of cycling accidents with a graphic compendium of cycling injuries and hope that politicians and highways engineers see how "dangerous" cycling can be, feel our pain and provide much better infrastructure for our needs.

Of course that runs the risk that they decide cycling is quite dangerous and not at all to be encouraged. I mean the fewer cyclist the fewer nasty injuries right? If those cyclist were inside cars then all the minor bumps would be insurance claims for metal and plastic.

Alternatively you can emphasise that cycling is pretty safe. Occasionally people fall off or collide with things but not that often. Where falls and collisions do occurr in the vast majority of cases the injuries are cuts and grazes that look horrid but are quite superficial and the sort that a pedestrian might get if they fell over. Some might even be the sort you might get if you played a field sport; football or hockey. Very occasionally there is a more serious injury or a fatality but it's very rare and no different to the incidence amongst pedestrians.

You could tell them that cycling is safe, economical, environmentally friendly, that it reduces congestion, reduces attrition on the roads. Increases public health, makes their towns and cities more pleasant places to live and work. That it is something beneficial that should be invested in and encouraged.

It's up to you. You can go with
"Woe is me the cyclist. Look at the injuries we get, it's your fauilt spend some more money on cycling provision."

or

"Cycling is good for people, good for towns and cities, saves the council money, it's becoming increasingly popular as more and more of your ratepayers are taking it up, there's very little not to like, it's safe, environmentally friendly, and is basically an all round good investment".

Cycling is like a church - many attend, but few understand.

posted by oozaveared [745 posts]
27th February 2014 - 11:28

8 Likes

oozaveared wrote:
It's up to you. You can go with
"Woe is me the cyclist. Look at the injuries we get, it's your fauilt spend some more money on cycling provision."

or

"Cycling is good for people, good for towns and cities, saves the council money, it's becoming increasingly popular as more and more of your ratepayers are taking it up, there's very little not to like, it's safe, environmentally friendly, and is basically an all round good investment".

Or I could bang my head off a brick wall which, I feel, the end result for me would be as productive as having this conversation with you.

Sometimes people do need to be shocked in to doing something, visual medium is usually best for that.

posted by farrell [1580 posts]
27th February 2014 - 11:55

5 Likes

I don't want anyone "shocked" about cycling. There is nothing shocking about it. There is no shocking great problem with cycling injuries that needs fixing. It's a normal everyday means of transport. It's safe, efficient and pleasurable. We (cyclists) are not whining victims of some motorists and the powers that be. When I am cycling I am just as legitimate a road user as when I drive one of my cars. I am not in significantly more danger.

I have been riding on the road (properly) since around 1973 when I joined a cycling club. I have raced on the roads, track, cyclocross and for a few years now have a mountanbike as well. I commute to work on a bike most days 15 miles each way. If you ride a bike there is a chance that occasionally you will fall off. It's a small risk. If you think that risk is high and the results shocking then maybe cycling isn't for you. But please don't try to shock people into discouraging cycling or into not taking it up because they think it's dangerous. It's not.

Cycling is like a church - many attend, but few understand.

posted by oozaveared [745 posts]
27th February 2014 - 12:19

7 Likes

farrell wrote:
oozaveared wrote:
It's up to you. You can go with
"Woe is me the cyclist. Look at the injuries we get, it's your fauilt spend some more money on cycling provision."

or

"Cycling is good for people, good for towns and cities, saves the council money, it's becoming increasingly popular as more and more of your ratepayers are taking it up, there's very little not to like, it's safe, environmentally friendly, and is basically an all round good investment".

Or I could bang my head off a brick wall which, I feel, the end result for me would be as productive as having this conversation with you.

Sometimes people do need to be shocked in to doing something, visual medium is usually best for that.

I more-or-less agree with oozaveared. At the risk of repeating myself - what needs to be emphasised is not that 'cycling is dangerous' (it isn't) but that 'driving is dangerous'. That motoring is dangerous in the sense of posing a danger to _other people_ seems, weirdly, to mean people don't think of it as such.
In my opinion doing it this way is getting the emphasis wrong and risks being misinterpreted.

posted by FluffyKittenofT... [747 posts]
27th February 2014 - 12:28

7 Likes

oozaveared wrote:
I don't want anyone "shocked" about cycling. There is nothing shocking about it. There is no shocking great problem with cycling injuries that needs fixing. It's a normal everyday means of transport. It's safe, efficient and pleasurable. We (cyclists) are not whining victims of some motorists and the powers that be. When I am cycling I am just as legitimate a road user as when I drive one of my cars. I am not in significantly more danger.

I have been riding on the road (properly) since around 1973 when I joined a cycling club. I have raced on the roads, track, cyclocross and for a few years now have a mountanbike as well. I commute to work on a bike most days 15 miles each way. If you ride a bike there is a chance that occasionally you will fall off. It's a small risk. If you think that risk is high and the results shocking then maybe cycling isn't for you. But please don't try to shock people into discouraging cycling or into not taking it up because they think it's dangerous. It's not.

You know thew square root of fuck all about me but you've decided that 'maybe cycling isn't for me'? Lovely bit of condescension there.

I assume you will be lobbying Boris Johnson to say "Hey, that £300 million you're promising to sort out those 33 roundabouts to make them safer for cyclists? Yeah, don't bother with that pal, I'm already a 'legitimate road user' not a 'whining victim', there is no 'great shocking problem' with people being injured or hit because I've been riding since back in black and white and I'm alright Jack".

Because if everything is as hunky dory as you are making out in your Comical Ali little world then there is zero need for cycling infrastructure is there? Nobody is getting hurt, or getting killed, or injured so why waste this money? Why spend any money or even any energy at all on improving cycling facilities?

posted by farrell [1580 posts]
27th February 2014 - 12:49

7 Likes

FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:

I more-or-less agree with oozaveared. At the risk of repeating myself - what needs to be emphasised is not that 'cycling is dangerous' (it isn't) but that 'driving is dangerous'. That motoring is dangerous in the sense of posing a danger to _other people_ seems, weirdly, to mean people don't think of it as such.
In my opinion doing it this way is getting the emphasis wrong and risks being misinterpreted.

And how do you plan on explaining to people that motoring is dangerous given that driving is a normal, everyday method of transport and millions of people drive everywhere every single day without being injured or hurt.

*nb - You must not refer to any injury caused by a motorist suffered by a pedestrian or cyclist at any point in your working out.

posted by farrell [1580 posts]
27th February 2014 - 12:54

4 Likes

Apart from the problems outlined above there is one other- "shocking" photos do NOT work as a means of bringing about behavioural or attitudinal change- in fact they can be counterproductive. I come across this all the time in my work- I manage a community drugs service. Time and time again when we are engaged in prevention and education work we are told by well-meaning individuals we should shock people and tell them scare stories but all the evidence is that this does not work. In fact it can often lead to a "boomerang effect" where the uptake in risk taking behaviours increases rather than decreases. It is the same with most public safety messages and why the constant calls for simply "educating" drivers are not enough- we have to incorporate the human element that uses "it will never happen to me" or "no one is telling me what to do" as a justification for ignoring safety messages. So yeah shocking pics-whether they are of a body with a needle in its arm or of injuries incurred after a SMIDSY- might make good media fodder but they have close to zero impact on changing attitudes or behaviour.

Otis Bragg's picture

posted by Otis Bragg [130 posts]
27th February 2014 - 13:06

5 Likes

farrell wrote:
FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:

I more-or-less agree with oozaveared. At the risk of repeating myself - what needs to be emphasised is not that 'cycling is dangerous' (it isn't) but that 'driving is dangerous'. That motoring is dangerous in the sense of posing a danger to _other people_ seems, weirdly, to mean people don't think of it as such.
In my opinion doing it this way is getting the emphasis wrong and risks being misinterpreted.

And how do you plan on explaining to people that motoring is dangerous given that driving is a normal, everyday method of transport and millions of people drive everywhere every single day without being injured or hurt.

*nb - You must not refer to any injury caused by a motorist suffered by a pedestrian or cyclist at any point in your working out.

You provide a _perfect_ example of the confusion over the meaning of the word 'dangerous'.

The whole point would be the injuries suffered by pedestrians and cyclists at the hands of motorists! I'm saying that this book (because of its title and description and exclusion of injured pedestrians) concentrates on the mode of transport of the victims rather than that of those who cause the injuries.

I really don't know that such a book would achieve much in any case, but it would certainly be an improvement if it were of 'injuries caused by cars' than 'injuries suffered by cyclists'.

(Its an issue of emphasis/description - some of the content would no doubt overlap).

posted by FluffyKittenofT... [747 posts]
27th February 2014 - 13:14

3 Likes

Otis Bragg wrote:
Apart from the problems outlined above there is one other- "shocking" photos do NOT work as a means of bringing about behavioural or attitudinal change- in fact they can be counterproductive...

This seems all-too-plausible but not conclusive. It surely needs serious studies to decide for sure, though? It doesn't stop such tactics being used for, say, anti-smoking campaigns, and smoking has, for whatever reason, gradually declined over the years.

posted by FluffyKittenofT... [747 posts]
27th February 2014 - 13:17

2 Likes

FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:
Otis Bragg wrote:
Apart from the problems outlined above there is one other- "shocking" photos do NOT work as a means of bringing about behavioural or attitudinal change- in fact they can be counterproductive...

This seems all-too-plausible but not conclusive. It surely needs serious studies to decide for sure, though? It doesn't stop such tactics being used for, say, anti-smoking campaigns, and smoking has, for whatever reason, gradually declined over the years.

There are loads of studies-I know because I have to wade through them! The major work in this regard here in NI has been carried out by a Swiss researcher based on stuff like the Cochrane review and work by the likes of Foxcrofte and others. The result has been that even the statutory health bodies over here are rethinking their public health strategy and how they "get messages across" and this thinking should also filter down to dangerous driving stuff. The simple fact is that shocking images are used in campaigns to keep the public happy because that is what they expect and it is easier and cheaper to do that than to engage in serious effective work. There are a few projects who do similar work to us except they are better known for providing posters and ad campaigns that while looking impressive, have no evidence to back up effectiveness- they are going for the emotional arousal among the general public and never seem to have the money to actually evaluate the impact (despite being able to spend loads on pretty leaflets). The reduction in smoking wasn't done simply off the back of a few pics-it played a small role but even that is being questioned because I came across some research a few years ago that seemed to suggest that a No Smoking sign can actually increase the desire among smokers to light up!

Otis Bragg's picture

posted by Otis Bragg [130 posts]
27th February 2014 - 13:48

4 Likes

To all the naysayers: you're completely right.

When non-cyclists at work tell me they feel far too unsafe to commute by bike, it's because of this book.

When parents round my way herd their little darlings into vehicles and drive them less than a mile to school, it's because of this book.

When my mate got doored by a taxi, it was because he wanted to get into this book.

Worse yet, they're planning to print 700 copies! That's 700 people who will never ride a bike again.

Keep fighting the good fight.

Applause

posted by Mr Agreeable [151 posts]
27th February 2014 - 13:49

3 Likes

Mr Agreeable wrote:
When my mate got doored by a taxi, it was because he wanted to get into this book.

You should have told him to go down the headbutting of a wall route, I'm reckoning on injuries good enough to get me a centrefold spread.

posted by farrell [1580 posts]
27th February 2014 - 14:05

2 Likes

@ Otis Bragg

I tend to think what you say is probably true. As I say though, the one thing that gives me pause is the decline in smoking. Its something, along with the decline in drink-driving, that flies in the face of my general pessimism about behavioural change! Though I guess there have been many mandatory, legal, restrictions on smoking that go well beyond just 'education' and the use of shock tactics. I find it hard to get a grip on exactly what has driven this particular change. Maybe people just have a far greater variety of other sources of pleasure and distraction available than cigarettes these days?

posted by FluffyKittenofT... [747 posts]
27th February 2014 - 14:09

3 Likes

Mr Agreeable wrote:
To all the naysayers: you're completely right.

When non-cyclists at work tell me they feel far too unsafe to commute by bike, it's because of this book.

When parents round my way herd their little darlings into vehicles and drive them less than a mile to school, it's because of this book.

When my mate got doored by a taxi, it was because he wanted to get into this book.

Worse yet, they're planning to print 700 copies! That's 700 people who will never ride a bike again.

Keep fighting the good fight.

Applause

I agree, and long have done, that 'cycle campaigners' alleged contribution to 'dangerisation' is utterly negligible compared to what people can see of the roads right in front of them. Nobody I know who is scared to cycle is so because of things like this book, its because they can see the roads for themselves. Its those roads that need to change.

Nevertheless, while I doubt it will have any big effect either way, I personally think this book has the wrong emphasis.

posted by FluffyKittenofT... [747 posts]
27th February 2014 - 14:14

3 Likes

farrell wrote:
oozaveared wrote:
I don't want anyone "shocked" about cycling. There is nothing shocking about it. There is no shocking great problem with cycling injuries that needs fixing. It's a normal everyday means of transport. It's safe, efficient and pleasurable. We (cyclists) are not whining victims of some motorists and the powers that be. When I am cycling I am just as legitimate a road user as when I drive one of my cars. I am not in significantly more danger.

I have been riding on the road (properly) since around 1973 when I joined a cycling club. I have raced on the roads, track, cyclocross and for a few years now have a mountanbike as well. I commute to work on a bike most days 15 miles each way. If you ride a bike there is a chance that occasionally you will fall off. It's a small risk. If you think that risk is high and the results shocking then maybe cycling isn't for you. But please don't try to shock people into discouraging cycling or into not taking it up because they think it's dangerous. It's not.

You know thew square root of fuck all about me but you've decided that 'maybe cycling isn't for me'? Lovely bit of condescension there.

I assume you will be lobbying Boris Johnson to say "Hey, that £300 million you're promising to sort out those 33 roundabouts to make them safer for cyclists? Yeah, don't bother with that pal, I'm already a 'legitimate road user' not a 'whining victim', there is no 'great shocking problem' with people being injured or hit because I've been riding since back in black and white and I'm alright Jack".

Because if everything is as hunky dory as you are making out in your Comical Ali little world then there is zero need for cycling infrastructure is there? Nobody is getting hurt, or getting killed, or injured so why waste this money? Why spend any money or even any energy at all on improving cycling facilities?

To be reasonable to you you have had several pops at trying to convince me et al that we need to shock people with pictures of cycling injuries. My whole point is that cycling ain't dangerous. If you are trying to shock people about the dangers of cycling then you must think it is dangerous. Since statistically cycling is very safe your approach indicates to me that you have a heightened and unrealistic sense of the dangers and risks of cycling. Hence it may not be for you. Fair play to you if it scares the beejezus out of you and you do it anyway.

Either that or you you are trying to convince people its dangerous when you know it isn't as some kind of clever ruse.

Some other thoughts for you:
Better cycling infrastructure may not reduce cycling injuries. It may actually increase them via the effects of "risk homeostasis" and more cyclists using the infrastructure. That's not a problem for my argument because its still going to be very safe. But if you are out there convincing decision makers to spend money on cycling infrastructure to cut down on injuries to cyclists, then it might come back to bite you.

Think of the headline. Council spends huge budget to reduce cycling injuries and cycling injuries increase. (the detail on usage below the headline may well be lost).

Yes we could do with some better cycling infrastructure. Just because cycling is very safe it doesn't mean its perfect. To convince politicians to spend money on cycling stuff you need to convince them that they aren't investing in a dangerous form of transport that only a few hard case nutters use. Surely you want to convince them of the facts. It's safe. More people would use it if the infrastructure were better.

I know I know it's just a simple message that lacks the pizzazz of your hyperbole. It doesn't have the shock and awe factor. But it has several merits. It sticks to the facts. Provides positive reasons to invest in cycling infrastructure, doesn't set up politicians for a fall (vis reducing cycling accidents) and it means they don't have keep justifying why they are spending more and more of the ratepayers money on a dangerous form of transport.

Cycling is like a church - many attend, but few understand.

posted by oozaveared [745 posts]
27th February 2014 - 14:56

6 Likes

Why are you fixated on insinuating that I'm scared of cycling? Does it in someway get you off or further some point you are making when you try to make out that I am some sort of shithouse?

For clarity, I live on a dual carriageway, a busy dual carriageway. Every morning I roll out of my driveway and mix it with two lanes fast moving traffic, so I'm not exactly shy, having several hundred tonnes of trucks and buses whizzing past inches away from my elbow certainly wakes me up in the morning but I would prefer a quieter option. I also see other people's reticence at wanting to do what I do and I understand it. A glossy art book of cuts and bruises isn't putting people off, it's the large roads with thousands of motorised vehicles flying down it forcing wind to whistle down their ears that is putting them off.

Cycling is relatively safe, but shit does happen, people do get hurt. Why try and deny that? If these incidents are so rare and statistically unlikely how the hell is this book going to get made? From the way you are making it out they'd be lucky to create a small pamphlet, let alone a proper book.

If some town planner is looking at sheets and sheets of numbers then the statistics and numbers of people getting hit and injured are just going to blend into everything else and become - at best - something that gets referred to in a checklist. You show them pictures of someones wounds or bruises and tell them 'this happened, on the street you are working on, this is what happens when things go wrong, this is something you can fix'. That's what this book is for, not to be casually left on a coffee table for people to leaf through whilst they wait to do their cycling proficiency.

posted by farrell [1580 posts]
27th February 2014 - 16:07

5 Likes

@oozaveared

We don't really need to theorise along the lines of your 'risk homeostasis' hypothesis because of course, while its a legitimate hypothesis to float, its already been disproved by the Dutch experience.

Secondly your insistence that 'cycling is statistically safe' is not exactly wrong but it is rather problematic. Statistics have to take into account sampling bias.

You can't say whether its 'safe' or not because hardly anyone does it! We don't have a big enough population of regular road cyclists to be able to find out whether its truly safe. In particular the sample we do have is entirely self-selected and demographically unrepresentative. Alarmingly as the demographic has widened and sample size increased in London recently the casualty figures have also increased.

The mere fact that the vast majority find it too scary to contemplate suggests it probably isn't, in fact, all that safe.

You can insist till you are blue in the face that the non-cyclist's feeling that they would not be safe cycling on the roads is somehow mistaken (and how one earth can you know that? You are you, not them) but they don't agree.

I do all-the-same, tend to agree that this particular book isn't likely to be helpful.

Edit - the flaw in your risk homeostasis argument is that it presumes the population remains static. That is, that the cyclists who will be using better infrastructure are the same people who currently cycle.

And that those risk-embracing individuals will push the limits to achieve the same level of risk in the new environment as they accepted in the previous one. It ignores all those whose risk-tolerance is such that they currently don't cycle at all, who if they start cycling will have no desire to so increase the risk level.

posted by FluffyKittenofT... [747 posts]
27th February 2014 - 16:14

4 Likes

FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:
@oozaveared

We don't really need to theorise along the lines of your 'risk homeostasis' hypothesis because of course, while its a legitimate hypothesis to float, its already been disproved by the Dutch experience.

Secondly your insistence that 'cycling is statistically safe' is not exactly wrong but it is rather problematic. Statistics have to take into account sampling bias.

You can't say whether its 'safe' or not because hardly anyone does it! We don't have a big enough population of regular road cyclists to be able to find out whether its truly safe. In particular the sample we do have is entirely self-selected and demographically unrepresentative. Alarmingly as the demographic has widened and sample size increased in London recently the casualty figures have also increased.

The mere fact that the vast majority find it too scary to contemplate suggests it probably isn't, in fact, all that safe.

You can insist till you are blue in the face that the non-cyclist's feeling that they would not be safe cycling on the roads is somehow mistaken (and how one earth can you know that? You are you, not them) but they don't agree.

I do all-the-same, tend to agree that this particular book isn't likely to be helpful.

Thanks Fluffy. Some excellent points worth considering. DofT stats have us at 1 KSI per 932,000 miles cycled. ie 1074 ksi per billion miles. That sounds awful compared to car occupants at over 12 million miles per ksi (motorcyclists btw its every 530,000 miles). But if you figure that out over the time it takes a cyclist to cover that distance then it looks pretty reasonable. 932,000 miles over my so far 40 year cycling career is still 23,300 miles per year. ie pro style mileage for four decades. I started cycling properly in 1973. I doubt I've got anywhere near a third of that total.

Blimey I commute round about 4 days a week almost all year round and do 15m each way plus stuff on the weekend and summer evenings. I reckon thats around 7k a year give or take. That's 133 years at that rate. So another 93 to go yet.

So I take your point but cycling is actually pretty safe.

Cycling is like a church - many attend, but few understand.

posted by oozaveared [745 posts]
27th February 2014 - 17:35

2 Likes

farrell wrote:
Why are you fixated on insinuating that I'm scared of cycling? Does it in someway get you off or further some point you are making when you try to make out that I am some sort of shithouse?

For clarity, I live on a dual carriageway, a busy dual carriageway. Every morning I roll out of my driveway and mix it with two lanes fast moving traffic, so I'm not exactly shy, having several hundred tonnes of trucks and buses whizzing past inches away from my elbow certainly wakes me up in the morning but I would prefer a quieter option. I also see other people's reticence at wanting to do what I do and I understand it. A glossy art book of cuts and bruises isn't putting people off, it's the large roads with thousands of motorised vehicles flying down it forcing wind to whistle down their ears that is putting them off.

Cycling is relatively safe, but shit does happen, people do get hurt. Why try and deny that? If these incidents are so rare and statistically unlikely how the hell is this book going to get made? From the way you are making it out they'd be lucky to create a small pamphlet, let alone a proper book.

If some town planner is looking at sheets and sheets of numbers then the statistics and numbers of people getting hit and injured are just going to blend into everything else and become - at best - something that gets referred to in a checklist. You show them pictures of someones wounds or bruises and tell them 'this happened, on the street you are working on, this is what happens when things go wrong, this is something you can fix'. That's what this book is for, not to be casually left on a coffee table for people to leaf through whilst they wait to do their cycling proficiency.

"Why are you fixated on insinuating that I'm scared of cycling?"

Cos you keep wanting to prove to decision makers and jolt them into action with pictures of injured cyclists.

Yes shit happens but not very often. That's the point. There is no need to deny that injuries can happen but there is no need to emphasise that they do either. It is OK to just be realistic about the risks. There are some, but the benefits outweigh them.

Most people don't live on a dual carriageway. I live on a main road btw.

I don't think we are getting anywhere here. I want to promote cycling as a safe enjoyable healthy form of transport. Stuff that makes it look like its only for daredevils and bravehearts doesn't help.

disagree if you want but I think I'm going to have to thank you for engaging and wish you well my friend.

Cycling is like a church - many attend, but few understand.

posted by oozaveared [745 posts]
27th February 2014 - 17:54

2 Likes