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I know there's always going to some people who 'have' to commute in cars for some reason or another but it just seems madness after what I witnessed this morning.

Luckily I don't work in a town so my commute is fairly rural and congestion is perhaps a tractor in the way but I went into York as I had a early appointment at the hospital and it was just utter grid lock.

I was on the motorbike and came off the A64 at the designer outlet to massive queues, down the outside to the front and carried on like that, cutting to the front all the way to the hospital. It was just like a 3 mile queue into town. I'd have never made it on time in a car.

I really can't imagine doing that EVERY day and never get that lightbulb moment. All you'd need would be a moped.

50 comments

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Crippledbiker [67 posts] 3 weeks ago
8 likes

My usecase is a bit different to most people, being a wheelchair user.

I try to avoid driving...anywhere, actually, if I can help it. I've done less than 7000mi on my nearly two year old 17 plate S-Max, which I'm actually pretty happy about.

However, there are some scenarios where it's not really possible to get There from Here via bike safely - For example, it's technically possible to cycle from Surbiton to Guildford, but good luck actually doing it - double so on a handcycle, where you cannot dismount to bypass certain roads or junctions (though in that situation, I will just behave like a pedestrian because who the fuck is gonna stop me?).
Even when it IS technically possible to get There from Here - some routes are just impossible for handcyclists to traverse, due to barriers, impossible corners, steps...the list goes on.
I used to commute by handcycle from Romford to Euston every day, along CS13/CS3 (about 23mi each way, so, what, 900+mi/mo) - and I would frequently be the fastest thing moving along that route, because the road beside me would be completely stopped with traffic. It was also quicker than taking the train, once I got past the initial "oh dear god why did I chose to do this my arms are falling off" weeks. Less stressful, too, since delays, overcrowded trains etc were all avoided.

The few times I've been forced to commute into London via car since moving from there, however, I've tended to park near to a CS, get the handcycle out, and go the rest of the way by cycling.

This isn't viable for a lot of 'chair users - I'm fortunate, in that I've got the ability and the resources to have a clip-on that'll fit into a car and that I can take on the train, and also maintain a proper road handcycle (that's 2.2m long, and only fits into larger cars) which I can use for longer routes.

For a lot of people, though, a 'cycle would serve them far better than a car. It's going to take a long time for a modal switch to fully occur, and the infrastructure isn't there - I couldn't ride my full roadcycle to work if I wanted to, there's nowhere to put the damned thing. Likewise, there simple isn't parking and storage for a huge modal shift to happen in most places currently.

I think a greater uptake on e-bikes, a greater availability of secure and well lit storage, and earlier introduction to utility cycling will all be hugely vital components of a shift. I also think that presumed liability will help, as it will help increase the level of risk for drivers who collide with cyclists - removing the onus from us proving that they're at fault, to them proving that they're not.
There's a big cultural viewpoint to get through, and it's one that I totally sympathise with - having a car does open up a lot of options, and gives you a lot more choice. But for a lot of people, they'd really be better off cycling.

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huntswheelers [143 posts] 3 weeks ago
5 likes

I'm finding more locals are getting their bikes out as the congestion is getting so bad.... I use my Dutch Cortina bike when whizzing around town for supplies and shopping..my other half uses her bike to and from work, 6 mile round trip from our town outskirts home to the hospital where she works..... the posts on local facebook groups about the congestion lights up every day.

One of her colleagues lives on another new housing estate in the town and if she was to walk, would take her 10 mins and it's 250 metres walk from her home......no she drives 2 miles and takes 30 mins.... you can't make it up.... I guess folks are self entitled. Obvs if you are disabled or need to use a vehicle then that is fine, it would be easier for you if many of those who are able to cycle.....actually did so for the good of the locallity, air pollution and the planet

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BehindTheBikesheds [2487 posts] 3 weeks ago
5 likes

Question should be, why is anyone allowed to commute into town city centres by motor unless they are disabled?

Forcing motorists to choose alternates is the only sure fire way of resolving the problem, taking away the space completely from those that kill, maim and pollute is the ultimate solution.

I believe Denmark are at the forefront of seeing this as the way to go.

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srchar [1066 posts] 3 weeks ago
5 likes

I don’t get it either. I ride into London 5 days a week.  If I set off anytime after 7, my 9-mile commute is just one long traffic jam.  The motor traffic just doesn’t move. I want to ask them how and why they do it, day in, day out?  Mind you, I want to ask the same thing of people who stand at bus stops.  Wait for ages in order to board a vehicle that travels more slowly than a bike, usually standing up, in close proximity to other terrible decision-makers.  They’re not even cheap.

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srchar [1066 posts] 3 weeks ago
6 likes
huntswheelers wrote:

if she was to walk, would take her 10 mins and it's 250 metres walk from her home

Is she fitted with leg-irons?

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John Smith [149 posts] 3 weeks ago
1 like

Because motorbikes can be wet, cold and dangerous. They are also impractical if you have to drop children off on the way, wear a suit or have stuff to carry. Cycling has its own issues making it impractical for many (distance primarily). As a cyclist and motorcyclist I can see why both are impractical for many people.

 

The biggest thing keeping people in cars is the terrible state of public transport and the insistence on retaining the green belt, meaning most people have to drive part of the way and using a park and ride or other public transport for the rest of the journey is hugely impractical or costly. A personal example of this, my local train station is a little local line, with a train every 2 hours. If you time it right it’s ok. The car park is a crappy bit of tarmac that holds about 30 cars that has not been touched in 10 years. The train company now wants to charge £2 a day for parking. What will happen? People will start to drive in to Oxford.

 

If we want to encourage people to stop driving councils need to stop treating car parking as an income stream, like they are supposed to, but use it as one through creative accounting, public transport to be reliable and long term, housing located near employment.

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Awavey [450 posts] 3 weeks ago
1 like
John Smith wrote:

Because motorbikes can be wet, cold and dangerous. They are also impractical if you have to drop children off on the way, wear a suit or have stuff to carry. Cycling has its own issues making it impractical for many (distance primarily). As a cyclist and motorcyclist I can see why both are impractical for many people.

 

The biggest thing keeping people in cars is the terrible state of public transport and the insistence on retaining the green belt, meaning most people have to drive part of the way and using a park and ride or other public transport for the rest of the journey is hugely impractical or costly. A personal example of this, my local train station is a little local line, with a train every 2 hours. If you time it right it’s ok. The car park is a crappy bit of tarmac that holds about 30 cars that has not been touched in 10 years. The train company now wants to charge £2 a day for parking. What will happen? People will start to drive in to Oxford.

 

but no-one is suggesting cycling/motorcycling is the solution to everyones transport needs, even if it was only 20%, thats still 20% less cars, they are spending 1.5billion pounds on "upgrading" the A14 and that wont deliver 20% increase in car capacity.

as for the cost of parking, £2 a day is that all, you cant even buy a cup of tea in most places (and certainly not on the train) for £2, my parents local station charges £10 a day and its still more than an hours train journey to London.

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BehindTheBikesheds [2487 posts] 3 weeks ago
0 likes

How many cities have more than 3 miles radius to the city centre, everybody within 3-4 miles should not have any excuse re distance, it's simply nonsense, even 80 year olds can cycle that in 25 minutes. My 5 year old grandson cycled from school Friday before last to mine, it's 2miles, despite the motor traffic holding us up it took about 20minutes.

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vonhelmet [1318 posts] 3 weeks ago
11 likes

Don’t underestimate how staggeringly lazy people are. I mean just unbelievably lazy.

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Yorkshire wallet [2305 posts] 3 weeks ago
2 likes
vonhelmet wrote:

Don’t underestimate how staggeringly lazy people are. I mean just unbelievably lazy.

Take losing weight. You literally have to do less of what is causing the problem in most cases but people are too lazy/lack willpower to stick to anything. 

 

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davel [2658 posts] 3 weeks ago
7 likes
vonhelmet wrote:

Don’t underestimate how staggeringly lazy people are. I mean just unbelievably lazy.

40% of adults don't get 150 minutes moderate exercise per week. That's 20 minutes of brisk walking per day - if you've ever had a fitness tracker or smartwatch, it seems hard for a normal adult to do so little.

A sizeable (arf) chunk of the population just does no exercise. Bombarding them with weekly reports of how they're committing slow suicide isn't working, so guilt-tripping them about the burden on the NHS or air pollution won't, either.

This government is too scared to be seen as nannying to do anything meaningful (anyone see the weird BBC article this week with Clare Perry refusing to back a UN report's call to eat less meat in order to avoid a 1.5C temperature rise?).

When I'm king, there'll be door-knockers with cattle prods shocking the fatties off their couches and confiscating car keys, and annual desecrations of Ernest Marples's skeleton. Until then, central government really needs to invest in proper transport alternatives. But no: electrification in the 'Northern Powerhouse' is put on hold because the magic money fruit has all been used up on freezing fuel duty and HS2.

Shower of cunts.

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EK Spinner [126 posts] 3 weeks ago
4 likes

I think there is also a much bigger issue which is harder to solve, why are people travelling so far to get to work.

Why do we concentrate so many jobs in zoned industrial areas, and then live in massive housing areas miles from our work, the whole system is a mess. 50 /60 years ago (most?) people lived within walking distance of thier work (and schools). If you changed job to somewhere 50 miles away then you would probably have moved house as well. then again in those days we didn't change jobs (either voluntarily or enforced) as often as many folks do now.

I can't imagine that this will ever be reversed but I believe this cultural shift is what has caused many of our problems.

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Simon E [3435 posts] 3 weeks ago
5 likes
John Smith wrote:

The biggest thing keeping people in cars is the terrible state of public transport and the insistence on retaining the green belt, meaning most people have to drive part of the way and using a park and ride or other public transport for the rest of the journey is hugely impractical or costly.

That may be true for you but doesn't apply to everyone.

In Shrewsbury there are 3 large Park & Ride car parks on the outer perimeter of the town but the vast majority of drivers want to burn fuel to drive straight past them and 3 miles - into a town restricted by a river with 2 main crossing points so always busy - and pay to park their car somewhere nearby instead of the greater convenience of the bus (£1.60, kids free) that will drop them off and pick them up in any of several handy spots right outside the biggest shops every 20 minutes all day long. It beggars belief.

What about the school run and the selfish behaviour of so many parents? My colleagues always comment on how the traffic levels are noticeably lower during school holidays. We live 3 miles away from the secondary school and among the furthest away but my kids ride every day. I'm sure most others could do the same. When they were in primary we knew parents who drove even though they lived nearby, some less than half a mile away. Inconsiderate parking was a real issue for a number of residents. That's not about green belt or public transport.

John Smith wrote:

If we want to encourage people to stop driving councils need to stop treating car parking as an income stream

Why should car parking not be an income stream? Those cars spend all day on valuable land which could be better used for houses, parks etc. And that's when they're not causing congestion on the streets, scaring or even injuring pedestrians and cyclists, damaging infrastructure and polluting the air with toxic chemicals. Perhaps you're not aware of the external cost of motoring, in which case you should read this:

https://rdrf.org.uk/2012/12/31/the-true-costs-of-automobility-external-c...

If they take away parking charges not only would there be even more congestion from all the freeloaders in cars but the councils would still need other income streams so will charge (or charge more) for other facilities.

Yes public transport is dire in many places but that's government policy. And policy has been all about promoting ever greater use of cars.  Advertising and the media (all run by rich people who only want to flog you expensive stuff you don't need) have talked it up so much and for so long that many people are convinced that there is no alternative. But if we tell ourselves there's no alternative then everyone has to put up with it. Yet in many cities a large proportion of people don't even own a car.

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BehindTheBikesheds [2487 posts] 3 weeks ago
3 likes

As late as the 1980s Hull/East Yorks/N.lincs had very high levels of cycling to work, it's around 6% if that in Hull and everytime I go back the city is clogged with motor traffic. It's crying out for the LA to actually do something but all they do is ignore the problem and simply think shit strewn shared use paths that exit out directly into industrial estates with tipper lorries, HGVs etc exiting/entering at all times is just fine.

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dottigirl [836 posts] 3 weeks ago
9 likes

What a lot of people don't understand is that cycling is for lazy people.

I cycled my local town in mid Wales to do some shopping the other day. Rolled past all the traffic queues. Parked right outside or took my bike in to every shop, it took practically no time at all, and caught the train home with my bike and full backpack. 

A few months ago, my nephew needed some stencils for a school project. Had a call from my sister and as I was in town, I cycled around five or six shops in minutes looking for them, from the little shops on the high street to the superstores on the outskirts.

Trying to hit that many spread-out shops with a car or walking would be virtually impossible. Either no parking or you'd still be looking at closing time. On my bike, it's super quick.

It really does surprise me that more people don't use a bike. Especially if they are disabled like me.

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davel [2658 posts] 3 weeks ago
7 likes
dottigirl wrote:

What a lot of people don't understand is that cycling is for lazy people.

I cycled my local town in mid Wales to do some shopping the other day. Rolled past all the traffic queues. Parked right outside or took my bike in to every shop, it took practically no time at all, and caught the train home with my bike and full backpack. 

A few months ago, my nephew needed some stencils for a school project. Had a call from my sister and as I was in town, I cycled around five or six shops in minutes looking for them, from the little shops on the high street to the superstores on the outskirts.

Trying to hit that many spread-out shops with a car or walking would be virtually impossible. Either no parking or you'd still be looking at closing time. On my bike, it's super quick.

It really does surprise me that more people don't use a bike. Especially if they are disabled like me.

I get your point, but you're looking at a different kind of laziness. You're talking about convenience. 

Huge numbers of people are just absolutely bone idle when it comes to locomotion: they really want to park their cars in their front room, then in their kid's classroom, then by their desk, then in the shop at the weekend. They kid themselves that they are busy, but they're even too lazy to calculate that they are literally wasting days each year sitting in traffic. 

Their future is the Wall-E one, with pods moving them everywhere. They're not going to alter their fat, lazy courses without being slapped out of it. 

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Crippledbiker [67 posts] 3 weeks ago
6 likes
dottigirl wrote:

It really does surprise me that more people don't use a bike. Especially if they are disabled like me.

I hear you.

A clip on handcycle is so, so much easier than pushing a manual chair directly; for starters, you've got proper brakes for hills, not just your fingers. Gears for ascending, too. Plus, a large front wheel rolls so much easier than castors.

The big problems are cost, and perception; cycles for wheelchair users start at about 1k, and that's for the most basic of basic.

Perception is a twofold problem; there is the perception that cycling isn't "for" less physically able persons, and there is also the concern of people getting the wrong idea -this ties into performative disability, stuff like the fact that although I can stand and walk a few steps (very slowly), I won't do so in public - because of arguments I've had, accusations made towards me etc.

People feel that, if they cycle, they'll be reported as benefit frauds and lose their (potentially sole source) disability income and/or cars.
Yes, this is fucked up.

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HoarseMann [102 posts] 3 weeks ago
5 likes

A big reason is taking the car involves no forethought or planning.

There are a lot of things to consider when taking the bike. Once you are in the routine of commuting by bike it’s ok, but there is a hurdle to overcome that not many can be bothered to tackle.

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vonhelmet [1318 posts] 3 weeks ago
6 likes
HoarseMann wrote:

A big reason is taking the car involves no forethought or planning. There are a lot of things to consider when taking the bike. Once you are in the routine of commuting by bike it’s ok, but there is a hurdle to overcome that not many can be bothered to tackle.

Cars are way more convenient. You can go and sit in a queue and get angry any time you like! You’re not bound by a timetable!

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Yorkshire wallet [2305 posts] 3 weeks ago
3 likes

Well I had that LIKE A BOSS feeling yesterday, cutting through the swathes of congestion, straight to the front of every queue. Nobody even bothers to fck with you on a big motorbike either, from experience, drivers always used to get very annoyed if you went past with L plates on and did their best to get back ahead. I definitely felt like the apex predator rather than a rat avoiding getting whacked like I do on a bike in the rare occasions I'm in city traffic.

This said  a friend of mine doing contract work has commuted into York and Sheffield on his motorbike and said whilst he was able to make progress in York, a lot of lane spacing is so tight in Sheffield it was still difficult to make the same progress there.

 

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John Smith [149 posts] 3 weeks ago
1 like
Awavey<p>as for the cost of parking, £2 a day is that all, you cant even buy a cup of tea in most places (and certainly not on the train) for £2, my parents local station charges £10 a day and its still more than an hours train journey to London.</p>[/quote]

It may not be much in the grand scheme of things, but its another £2 a day which you have no control over and are getting nothing for. It is another disincentive to get out of the car.

[quote=BehindTheBikesheds

wrote:

How many cities have more than 3 miles radius to the city centre, everybody within 3-4 miles should not have any excuse re distance, it's simply nonsense, even 80 year olds can cycle that in 25 minutes. My 5 year old grandson cycled from school Friday before last to mine, it's 2miles, despite the motor traffic holding us up it took about 20minutes.

The average commute outside London is 12.4 miles. That is over an hour for most people.

Simon E wrote:
John Smith wrote:

If we want to encourage people to stop driving councils need to stop treating car parking as an income stream

Why should car parking not be an income stream? Those cars spend all day on valuable land which could be better used for houses, parks etc.

Because it is illegal. Money from parking and related activities is supposed to be ring-fenced for roads and transport, so what councils do is creatively re-label things as parking and take income intended for other bits of transport maintenance, and then shunt that money to something else, so that they can make a surplus from parking and launder the money in to other pots, when they are not supposed to, but this means that they can reduce council tax, to gain votes, and increase charges on people that are not in their constituency.

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Duncann [1425 posts] 3 weeks ago
1 like
John Smith wrote:

The average commute outside London is 12.4 miles. That is over an hour for most people.

Where did you get that figure?

I've got that the average English commute is 9.1 miles. That's a slightly different thing, admittedly - but I don't think London commutes are so short that they drag the average down by 3.3 miles. 

www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/729536...

And London commutes are the longest in terms of duration - no-one else's average is over half an hour (unless they go by public transport - which might help explain why they tend not to!)

www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/662749...

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FluffyKittenofT... [2259 posts] 3 weeks ago
1 like
John Smith wrote:
BehindTheBikesheds wrote:

How many cities have more than 3 miles radius to the city centre, everybody within 3-4 miles should not have any excuse re distance, it's simply nonsense, even 80 year olds can cycle that in 25 minutes. My 5 year old grandson cycled from school Friday before last to mine, it's 2miles, despite the motor traffic holding us up it took about 20minutes.

The average commute outside London is 12.4 miles. That is over an hour for most people.

 

 "Over an hour" is not an unreasonable length of commute.  Particularly as cycle commuting can (traffic permitting) being quite enjoyable (plus, it's not really 'over an hour' - I used to travel to a friend's 16 miles away across London, and got it down to under an hour once I got the ideal route worked out...then he moved...admitttedly the first time it took nearly 3 hours because I got lost)

 

Besides, 'outside London' averages out major cities and remote rural areas (and you don't say if that is a mean or a median - nobody suggests cycling 100 mile train ultra-commutes) so conceals how short many people's commutes are.  Hence the point remains valid.

 

Simon E wrote:
John Smith wrote:

If we want to encourage people to stop driving councils need to stop treating car parking as an income stream

Why should car parking not be an income stream? Those cars spend all day on valuable land which could be better used for houses, parks etc.

 

John Smith wrote:

Because it is illegal. Money from parking and related activities is supposed to be ring-fenced for roads and transport, so what councils do is creatively re-label things as parking and take income intended for other bits of transport maintenance, and then shunt that money to something else, so that they can make a surplus from parking and launder the money in to other pots, when they are not supposed to, but this means that they can reduce council tax, to gain votes, and increase charges on people that are not in their constituency.

 

That doesn't answer the question.  The question remains valid.  That it's "illegal" is not some unalterable fact of nature, that law would then be the very thing that is being questioned!  Besides 'spending on transport' would presumably include cycle infrastructure and public transport and anti-car measures.

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vonhelmet [1318 posts] 3 weeks ago
2 likes

Where are you getting 12.4 miles from? I’m finding lower numbers. Not super low, but below 10.0 anyway.

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kil0ran [1165 posts] 3 weeks ago
2 likes

I'm driving from Hampshire to York today. Need to be in York for a 10am meeting tomorrow, and it's cheaper to drive, claim private mileage, and pay for an AirBnB than it is to get the train. If I lived near the airport I could have actually flown Southampton -> Leeds Bradford and it would have cost less than the train. The car option is the longest and most stressful (plus I can't work whilst driving) but it's the cheapest.

Fundamentally transport pricing is completely broken, and its not just for long journeys like that.

I used to cycle commute between 5 and 15 miles to my former employer in Southampton on most days but I'd still drive from time to time (motivation, laziness, weather, going on elsewhere after work) and it wasn't horrible/expensive enough to stop me from doing it, despite that for the short version of the commute it was quicker by bike. £5 to park all day just isn't expensive enough.

Southampton are running a Clean Air Zone consultation because it's one of the most polluted cities in the country (because port) and they've specifically excluded any restrictions on private vehicles. Says it all really...

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dottigirl [836 posts] 3 weeks ago
4 likes
Crippledbiker wrote:
dottigirl wrote:

It really does surprise me that more people don't use a bike. Especially if they are disabled like me.

I hear you. A clip on handcycle is so, so much easier than pushing a manual chair directly; for starters, you've got proper brakes for hills, not just your fingers. Gears for ascending, too. Plus, a large front wheel rolls so much easier than castors. The big problems are cost, and perception; cycles for wheelchair users start at about 1k, and that's for the most basic of basic. Perception is a twofold problem; there is the perception that cycling isn't "for" less physically able persons, and there is also the concern of people getting the wrong idea -this ties into performative disability, stuff like the fact that although I can stand and walk a few steps (very slowly), I won't do so in public - because of arguments I've had, accusations made towards me etc. People feel that, if they cycle, they'll be reported as benefit frauds and lose their (potentially sole source) disability income and/or cars. Yes, this is fucked up.

I was riding with someone the other day whose husband is disabled due to cancer and associated mobility conditions. He can still cycle short distances but is scared that someone will 'report him' if he is seen on his bike. Therefore, he hardly gets out. 

The sheer state of this country means someone is deprived from doing something which he wants to do, which would be physically and mentally beneficial, because he's afraid he'll get penalised for it. It makes me want to cry. I've been through these hoops and won, but I had to appeal and it was bloody hard.

There was a lot of stuff on Twitter a few weeks ago about ambulatory disabled and the sheer amount of ignorance some people face.

My biggest fear is someone deciding to push me off my bike because I'm having a bad day and having to cycle (slowly!) on pavement for a short distance - I'm not visibly disabled and ride a normal bike. I've already been roughly shouldered by someone twice my size, luckily I had stopped at the time and was balanced enough to not fall.

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Crippledbiker [67 posts] 3 weeks ago
1 like
dottigirl wrote:
Crippledbiker wrote:
dottigirl wrote:

It really does surprise me that more people don't use a bike. Especially if they are disabled like me.

I hear you. A clip on handcycle is so, so much easier than pushing a manual chair directly; for starters, you've got proper brakes for hills, not just your fingers. Gears for ascending, too. Plus, a large front wheel rolls so much easier than castors. The big problems are cost, and perception; cycles for wheelchair users start at about 1k, and that's for the most basic of basic. Perception is a twofold problem; there is the perception that cycling isn't "for" less physically able persons, and there is also the concern of people getting the wrong idea -this ties into performative disability, stuff like the fact that although I can stand and walk a few steps (very slowly), I won't do so in public - because of arguments I've had, accusations made towards me etc. People feel that, if they cycle, they'll be reported as benefit frauds and lose their (potentially sole source) disability income and/or cars. Yes, this is fucked up.

I was riding with someone the other day whose husband is disabled due to cancer and associated mobility conditions. He can still cycle short distances but is scared that someone will 'report him' if he is seen on his bike. Therefore, he hardly gets out. 

The sheer state of this country means someone is deprived from doing something which he wants to do, which would be physically and mentally beneficial, because he's afraid he'll get penalised for it. It makes me want to cry. I've been through these hoops and won, but I had to appeal and it was bloody hard.

There was a lot of stuff on Twitter a few weeks ago about ambulatory disabled and the sheer amount of ignorance some people face.

My biggest fear is someone deciding to push me off my bike because I'm having a bad day and having to cycle (slowly!) on pavement for a short distance - I'm not visibly disabled and ride a normal bike. I've already been roughly shouldered by someone twice my size, luckily I had stopped at the time and was balanced enough to not fall.

I've had a few...encounters with people who believe I shouldn't be where I am with my bike.

Thing is; My bike attaches to my wheelchair. Legally, because it's not mechanically propelled, I'm still a category I invalid carriage, which makes me a pedestrian.
Category II and III explicitly require mechanical propulsion - an ebike (so long as you don't use a throttle...) is mechanically assisted, which is a legally distinct thing. (The askthepolice website is completely wrong, by the way, the legislation specifically states mechnically propelled)

Where I've had people stand in my path to attempt to block me, I've either taken them up on that game of chicken, or squeezed passed them at the first opportunity - I had one old codger intentionally walk up a cycle lane in Woking last weekend to try and stop me, though he didn't really have a comeback when my reply to his demand to dismount was to point out that it's a wheelchair, I don't really have that option, and to enquire when his eyes were last tested.

I'm pretty sure I have been reported, but the fact that I use handcycles exclusively probably weighs in my favour.

If you're concerned about people reacting badly to your use of a bike as a mobility aid, I suggest you have a look at wheels for wellbeing[1] - Isabel Clement uses an almost identical unit to mine, and one of their big campaigns is to try and get people to recognise that normal bikes are often used as mobility aids.
Hell, I had better mobility using a normal bicycle than actually walking towards the middle of my trip down to a wheelchair, though carrying crutches is somewhat of an art...

[1]https://wheelsforwellbeing.org.uk/campaigning/our-campaigns/

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Daveyraveygravey [629 posts] 3 weeks ago
3 likes
davel wrote:

 

 

 

Huge numbers of people are just absolutely bone idle when it comes to locomotion: they really want to park their cars in their front room, then in their kid's classroom, then by their desk, then in the shop at the weekend. They kid themselves that they are busy, but they're even too lazy to calculate that they are literally wasting days each year sitting in traffic. 

Their future is the Wall-E one, with pods moving them everywhere. They're not going to alter their fat, lazy courses without being slapped out of it. 

 

I think this is the nub of the problem.  Although when I drive anywhere, I do find myself trying to "park by my desk"!

Perhaps cars can be fitted with some kind of immobiliser where if it is driven less than 5 miles, it switches off and can't be moved for days?

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kil0ran [1165 posts] 3 weeks ago
1 like
dottigirl wrote:
Crippledbiker wrote:
dottigirl wrote:

It really does surprise me that more people don't use a bike. Especially if they are disabled like me.

I hear you. A clip on handcycle is so, so much easier than pushing a manual chair directly; for starters, you've got proper brakes for hills, not just your fingers. Gears for ascending, too. Plus, a large front wheel rolls so much easier than castors. The big problems are cost, and perception; cycles for wheelchair users start at about 1k, and that's for the most basic of basic. Perception is a twofold problem; there is the perception that cycling isn't "for" less physically able persons, and there is also the concern of people getting the wrong idea -this ties into performative disability, stuff like the fact that although I can stand and walk a few steps (very slowly), I won't do so in public - because of arguments I've had, accusations made towards me etc. People feel that, if they cycle, they'll be reported as benefit frauds and lose their (potentially sole source) disability income and/or cars. Yes, this is fucked up.

I was riding with someone the other day whose husband is disabled due to cancer and associated mobility conditions. He can still cycle short distances but is scared that someone will 'report him' if he is seen on his bike. Therefore, he hardly gets out. 

The sheer state of this country means someone is deprived from doing something which he wants to do, which would be physically and mentally beneficial, because he's afraid he'll get penalised for it. It makes me want to cry. I've been through these hoops and won, but I had to appeal and it was bloody hard.

There was a lot of stuff on Twitter a few weeks ago about ambulatory disabled and the sheer amount of ignorance some people face.

My biggest fear is someone deciding to push me off my bike because I'm having a bad day and having to cycle (slowly!) on pavement for a short distance - I'm not visibly disabled and ride a normal bike. I've already been roughly shouldered by someone twice my size, luckily I had stopped at the time and was balanced enough to not fall.

 

Even if you're able-bodied (apols if that's not the right term) a bike can be easier than walking. My knees aren't great and I'd find it hard to run a mile or walk a couple of miles but I can easily do 60 miles on a bike. Not great at standing for too long these days either. If I couldn't cycle the only exercise I could probably do would be swimming, and that would involve driving to the leisue centre...

 

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vonhelmet [1318 posts] 3 weeks ago
4 likes
Crippledbiker wrote:

For 12mi to take over an hour would require an average speed of below 10mph

Do you even maths bro? For 12 miles to take over an hour would require an average speed of below... wait for it... 12 miles per hour.

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