andy65 wrote:Number 3 - That cycling is less risky than walking, climbing stairs....etc. How do you measure this, time spent doing it, number of journeys?
Preferably as many ways as you can, and publish them all. I think the really important thing here, that is often lost in the i-dotting and t-crossing, is that utility cycling is not unreasonably risky compared to other things we do without thinking, "blimey, that's dangerous, better use some armour!" Cycling is, on average, across the population, slightly less risky in terms of serious injuries per mile travelled than walking. That doesn't mean that on any given trip a random cyclist will be slightly safer than a random walker, but it indicates that typically the cyclist doesn't have an outsize chance of getting in to A&E compared to the pedestrian (terms and conditions apply... depends on the exact route in question, state of repair of the bike, skills and knowledge of the participants, etc. etc.).
But folk in the UK often start off in the mindset of "cycling is dangerous, better do something about it", while for walking they generally don't. That's a difference in perception, rather than actual risk. I think the idea of pointing out stuff like the relative safety given in broad-brush is to try and re-calibrate that perception. It's not that helmets are useless to a cyclist, just that they're not substantially more use to a cyclist (again, T&C apply) than to a pedestrian. Trips and falls are the biggest cause of traumatic brain injury, after all.
andy65 wrote:How do you compare the way in which you do it, running on the stairs is more dangerous than walking using the handrail we are told. How do you separate these risk takers from the statistics? This is comparing apples and pears and therefore utterly meaningless. All we can know is that based on the reported deaths and serious injuries that cycling is in the range of what most people would consider and acceptable risk.
Very good points. The population stats tell us the gross story, which is useful but is a very broad brush. They tell us reasonably well that there isn't currently a sensible case for requiring their use, but the case for individuals to decide is very much up in the air. Fortunately, if you're an individual, you know the things that matter to you and you have a chance to decide.
Often seen riding a bike around Dundee...