combating the anti-cyclist drivel in the media

wafflycat

combating the anti-cyclist drivel in the media

Postby wafflycat » 10 Jan 2006, 10:56pm

Is it possible for the CTC to take a really serious, highly visible and long-term publicity campaign to counter the ill-informed rantings that appear in the media about cycling? Especially following the terrible Abergele crash, the clamour is extremely loud about getting cyclists off roads and it seems to be getting louder all the time.

Yet more anti-cycling, ill-informed rantings on the Times at

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0, ... 74,00.html


P I Kirk obviously knows nothing about time trials as riding three abreast is verboten - it'll get you disqualified!

D Eyley does the bit about bicycles being toys... plus the usual lies on tax & drivel on licensing.

And some fool QC saying the roads are too dangerous... with a 'think of the children' type posting.

I've had two pro-cycling letters published this month so I think I'm probably at my limit as far as the Times editors go.

Can someone get something published to counter the ignorant, please!

Nice one from a Mr Rossall though.

Regards, Helen Simmons

gar

Re:combating the anti-cyclist drivel in the media

Postby gar » 11 Jan 2006, 8:28am

Getting cyclists off ~A roads is thoroughly well informed, but how to do that without infringing their rights generally?

If you can't get from one B road to another without going on an A road for a short distance.... where are you?

It is self discipline that is needed not public legislation.

Somebody says A roads are no more dangerous than B roads! If you count the number of cars going past at a speed capable of killing you if it got 12"/20cm nearer then you know .

TATANAB

Re:combating the anti-cyclist drivel in the media

Postby TATANAB » 11 Jan 2006, 8:43am

"Getting cyclists off ~A roads is thoroughly well informed, "

I disagree. There is a vast difference between riding the A3 and the A4112. So a generalisation about A roads does not work.

The thing about bikes being seen as toys comes about because cycling has moved to more of a sporting/leisure activity rather than transport. Let's see, doesn't the same apply to motor cycles? Indeed to "sports" cars as well.

I agree that a well worded publicity pack published in the newspapers would be very nice, but I fear that only the few people who are interested would be bothered to read it. Hence it will not be published.

We cyclists are our best ambassadors. So please make sure you behave correctly even if others do not seem to.

wafflycat

Re:combating the anti-cyclist drivel in the media

Postby wafflycat » 11 Jan 2006, 9:03am

Sorry gar, but a getting cyclists off roads is wrong and it's victim-blaming of the worst kind. It isn't cyclists responsible for 3500 deaths each year on the roads, it's us when we are in motorist mode. And as for danger, the vast majority of the deaths are motorists killing other motorists. Cycling is still a safe and certainly healthy thing to do despite what the media would have us believe.

As for behaving correctly, TATANAB, I most certainly do. I cycle safely, assertively and with respect to the law. I do not jump red lights, nor cycle on footpaths etc., etc.

Alas it seems that this is not enough as the media and the general public has us all painted as 'Lycra louts' ignoring the law, not paying our road tax and all the other drivel that gets spouted.

As for not getting in print - I've managed it many times, but my individual voice is not enough, not are the few other individual voices that get on letters' pages. What is needed is some full-on marketing, long term, high-level media exposure about the truth about cycling, the benefits of it and how it is fun and safe.

Get the bad motorists off the roads, not cyclists. Remove the danger, not the victims of that danger.

Cheers, helen s

Elucasr

Re:combating the anti-cyclist drivel in the media

Postby Elucasr » 11 Jan 2006, 1:28pm

Put the view that if drivers want to get cyclists of the A road then all A roads must have cyclepaths and priority or light crossings.

About the light crossings, there is no logical reason for there being a 2 minute delay on them changing. We have had this problem for too long. Kids on bikes press the button and because there is a two minute delay, cross the road when it is clear. Then the lights change and no one is crossing.

In Cambridge we have one crossing which someone set the timing at 30 seconds, it's worked beautifully for a year or two now. The drivers don't seem to mind.

TJ

Re:combating the anti-cyclist drivel in the media

Postby TJ » 11 Jan 2006, 5:33pm

Now that sexist and racist comments are a big no-no (thankfully), cyclists are the obvious target for bigots to vent their spleen.
We are blamed for all manner of "crimes against the motorist", such as "getting in their way", and as such we will never be regarded as equal when it comes to the perception of other road users.
We are a nuisance at best, and vermin to be exterminated at worst.
There ARE laws there to protect us, but they are largely ignored, and until there is a campaign to enforce the laws designed to protect us, I forsee little change.

Andy Tallis

Re:combating the anti-cyclist drivel in the media

Postby Andy Tallis » 11 Jan 2006, 8:05pm

"Clear secure cycle lanes should be introduced. But if such an investment is to be made, then the legislation around cycling must be rigorous; helmets must be mandatory, cycling proficiency must be reintroduced in schools and all cycle frames should come with reflective paint and lights permanently attached. "

These ideas are rubbish with the possible exception of the cycle lanes (if they are really good) and cycle training should be available. As for the letter about a cyclist being crushed while riding up the inside of a lory being a reason not to let kids out just teach them not to ride up the inside of lorries!

The problem is many of these anti cyclists are mugs who have no clue about cycling and just make rediculous blanket assumptions.

I don't really know how we can argue with the sort of people who make some of the anti cycling comments.

bikepacker

Re:combating the anti-cyclist drivel in the media

Postby bikepacker » 11 Jan 2006, 10:24pm

"I don't really know how we can argue with the sort of people who make some of the anti cycling comments."

Don't stay on the defensive which is what is happening at the moment.

There should be a concerted effort to put forward exactly what is wanted to make safer cycling on our roads. The message should then be constantly enforced. Let the anti lobby go on the defensive for a change.

Unfortunately the CTC are trying to be all things to all people and are ending up constantly defending a position. It should openly ditch support for Sustrans. their way is only going to lead to more alienation of cyclists on roads. Also come off the fence regarding helmets and state which everyone knows that; helmets do not lead to safer cycling. The only positive advantage they have is to make more profit for the manufacturers and sellers.

Keep fighting your corner, Helen.

Stuart

Re:combating the anti-cyclist drivel in the media

Postby Stuart » 11 Jan 2006, 10:31pm

'bikepacker' has summed up the argument perfectly; its time we went on the offensive.

gar

Re:combating the anti-cyclist drivel in the media

Postby gar » 12 Jan 2006, 8:18am

www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mbfivelive/F2148575

Write some posts here for a start. Media has a cycling message board, so you have got the locatum for the offensive,

Radio five live cycling message board.

Andy Tallis

Re:combating the anti-cyclist drivel in the media

Postby Andy Tallis » 12 Jan 2006, 9:29am

"There should be a concerted effort to put forward exactly what is wanted to make safer cycling on our roads. The message should then be constantly enforced. Let the anti lobby go on the defensive for a change.

Unfortunately the CTC are trying to be all things to all people and are ending up constantly defending a position. It should openly ditch support for Sustrans. their way is only going to lead to more alienation of cyclists on roads. Also come off the fence regarding helmets and state which everyone knows that; helmets do not lead to safer cycling. The only positive advantage they have is to make more profit for the manufacturers and sellers.

Keep fighting your corner, Helen. "

I think that's a very good summary! I lost support for sustrans the very first time I used one of their traffic free tracks and found even a mountain bike with small panniers difficult to get through the gates. It was also poorly signposted. I do not want cycle tracks and lanes - merely respect from drivers as most give. I have been tremendously upset by Sustrans and a local cycling group in Salisbury (my family's home) complaining about the lack of "safe cycle routes" into and out of the city. The roads in question I rode regularly and by far the biggest problem was when I had to use one of the dismal and dangerous tracks or risk the wrath of motorists for not doing so!

As for helmets we need the message to be heard, but when I try evangelising the point I get the unreasoned drivel. "They save lives" "No they don't and besides, smoking costs lives but that's legal" "but that's different - I like it." etc etc

pwward

Re:combating the anti-cyclist drivel in the media

Postby pwward » 12 Jan 2006, 2:18pm

I am trying to do something.

I have been interested in the helmet debate over the last 10 years and think the whole idea of promoting them is a huge problem for cycling in general. Making helmets compulsory for all cyclists seems like a matter of when not if. There is no sort of organised opposition against it and practically all medical and nursing groups support compulsion.

I am trying to get together a group of Drs who can get the message across that there is an evidence based arguement against helmet compulsion. The plan is we respond promptly to pro helmet and anti cycling peices in the local and national media. If you are a dr and are interested email me off list. pwward@blueyonder.co.uk

Andy Tallis

Re:combating the anti-cyclist drivel in the media

Postby Andy Tallis » 12 Jan 2006, 5:40pm

"Making helmets compulsory for all cyclists seems like a matter of when not if. "

AAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

I don't want to go back to that thing choking my brains out! Can we try to pursuade these doctors to attempt riding 100 miles in a day (preferably 9 hours max) wearing a helmet with sweat soaked pads stinging them and encounterin the following conditions:
-minus 5 degrees C
-Heavy snow
-Bright sun
-Constant, heavy and prolonged rain
-Intense heat
-Punishing climbs in winter, necessitating rempving a hat from under it on the way up only to have to stop and replace it on the way down. (Far easier with just a normal wooly hat.)

Once they have completed this challenge and can confirm they felt no undue discomfort they can work on proving helmets actually work.

hippo

Re:combating the anti-cyclist drivel in the media

Postby hippo » 12 Jan 2006, 5:42pm

Totally agree with Helen and Bikepacker. Time for CTC to get its finger out and stop pussyfooting around. {FFE - family-friendly edit } why so afraid of upsetting Sustrans when so many other groups are already annoyed with them? They are losing supporters and three of their directors have just quit. astonishing do Sustrans get such an easy ride in the media, is there some anti cyclist conspiracy?

A good place for a thread about media attacking cyclists is medialens. org and they can send out media alerts.

Gar said on another thread here that it is Sustrans policy that cyclists should be off A roads. Gar, can you give us the evidence? Please?

wafflycat

Re:combating the anti-cyclist drivel in the media

Postby wafflycat » 12 Jan 2006, 5:46pm

pwward...

www.cyclehelmets.org (Bicycle Helmet Research Foundation) has doctors as patrons & on the board

Hope this helps

helen s