Times cycling survey, utter dismay

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LollyKat
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Re: Times cycling survey, utter dismay

Postby LollyKat » 6 Nov 2012, 10:00am

horizon wrote: In fact, as we all know, the reasons why most people don't cycle are hotly disputed. The three key reasons are: effort/inconvenience, sweating and fear of punctures.

I think it depends who you ask and where you are. A middle-aged female, I've been a regular cyclist all my life, but when I encourage my friends and acquaintances to cycle, the three main reasons are: fear of traffic, hills and rain (this is Glasgow). Women are even more likely to be put off than men.

I do think a lot of people are put off by hills as they appear to require a lot of effort and make you sweaty. Places with high cycling numbers such as Denmark, the Netherlands, Berlin, etc. are all flat.

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Re: Times cycling survey, utter dismay

Postby SJSBrompton » 6 Nov 2012, 10:10am

aprildavy wrote:I think the driver's view is perfectly reasonable and understandable.

If all cyclists wore hi-viz and brilliant lights then the drivers could be guaranteed to see them in all conditions. This allows the aforementioned drivers to drive a lot faster.

As it is, the drivers have to slow down on bends and junctions to look for hte cyclists - if only they would help the drivers by being seen under all conditions then the drivers could safely speed up a lot more.

However as a cyclist, I do wonder why an awful lot of cyclists can't be ar**d to get proper lights when it is dark or poor viz!


Ill take this at an attempt at humour, given that you can be lit up like a Christmas tree and dressed like an nuclear glowing banana, but drivers will still say they can't see you. That is usually because they are not looking properly, or driving in line with the road conditions.

If I had to take the survey and had the option, I would ask for better enforcement of the existing road laws, including parking in cycle lanes and ASLs, as they can be useful for the less confident. I am happy for more enforcement on red light jumping for cyclists, as I don't, but it is extremely common in London at least.

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horizon
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Re: Times cycling survey, utter dismay

Postby horizon » 6 Nov 2012, 10:22am

LollyKat wrote:
horizon wrote: In fact, as we all know, the reasons why most people don't cycle are hotly disputed. The three key reasons are: effort/inconvenience, sweating and fear of punctures.

I think it depends who you ask and where you are. A middle-aged female, I've been a regular cyclist all my life, but when I encourage my friends and acquaintances to cycle, the three main reasons are: fear of traffic, hills and rain (this is Glasgow). Women are even more likely to be put off than men.

I do think a lot of people are put off by hills as they appear to require a lot of effort and make you sweaty. Places with high cycling numbers such as Denmark, the Netherlands, Berlin, etc. are all flat.


You're right, I had forgotten rain! For me personally the thing that puts me off cycling the most is the nuisance factor: people find me a nuisance. Airlines, relatives, clients, colleagues, shop staff, train managers, museums, hotels, buses, employers, youth hostels, even friends and family. Being on the road is OK: it's what happens when you get there that I find challenging.
The experience of travel is something that you have to pay for but can never buy. Ho Ri Zon Chinese philosopher

LollyKat
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Re: Times cycling survey, utter dismay

Postby LollyKat » 6 Nov 2012, 11:32am

Why do they find you a nuisance? Airlines, trains and buses perhaps, Youth Hostels don't seek to like any independent travellers, but I'm honestly surprised at the rest of your list. But my utility riding is done in ordinary clothes on a hack bike I'm happy to leave locked to a post.

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CJ
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Re: Times cycling survey, utter dismay

Postby CJ » 6 Nov 2012, 12:44pm

thirdcrank wrote:What's the purpose of the survey? :? Pandering to Parris, perhaps?

I dealt with that one under the question: Which is the greatest danger to cyclists? In the 'Other' box I wrote: Newpaper columnists patronising and villifying people on bicycles, as if they were an alien species, which makes it that much more socially acceptable to hazard the safety of a cyclist in order to save a moment of one's time.

The drip-feeding of bike-hate articles to the British public throughout the last decade could well be at the root of recent increases in cycling casualties. Just a teeny bit more carelessness is all it takes.

I reckon it's worth completing this survey if only to put some such words in that 'Other' box. (Please don't copy mine exactly, it'll look like a setup.) Leave any bits blank where you disagree with the options.
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Ayesha
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Re: Times cycling survey, utter dismay

Postby Ayesha » 6 Nov 2012, 1:09pm

CJ wrote:
thirdcrank wrote:What's the purpose of the survey? :? Pandering to Parris, perhaps?

I dealt with that one under the question: Which is the greatest danger to cyclists? In the 'Other' box I wrote: Newpaper columnists patronising and villifying people on bicycles, as if they were an alien species, which makes it that much more socially acceptable to hazard the safety of a cyclist in order to save a moment of one's time.

The drip-feeding of bike-hate articles to the British public throughout the last decade could well be at the root of recent increases in cycling casualties. Just a teeny bit more carelessness is all it takes.

I reckon it's worth completing this survey if only to put some such words in that 'Other' box. (Please don't copy mine exactly, it'll look like a setup.) Leave any bits blank where you disagree with the options.


That implies the British road using public are weak-minded enough to make a judgement about another road user's life on the basis of a newspaper article.

Surely not ?????? :?

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al_yrpal
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Re: Times cycling survey, utter dismay

Postby al_yrpal » 6 Nov 2012, 1:50pm

Is like to see some of these articles. The only ones I have seen was Parris's patently nutty outburst and stupid stuff by Clakson who has his tongue firmly in his cheek. I have seen what I would count as fair criticism on the antics of a minority of errant cyclists. The lycra thing is just a joke I think. Personally , I don't wear it, it shows off too many undesirable curves.

Al
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CJ
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Re: Times cycling survey, utter dismay

Postby CJ » 7 Nov 2012, 10:40am

al_yrpal wrote:I'd like to see some of these articles. The only ones I have seen was Parris's patently nutty outburst...

You wouldn't, they're quite horrible. Working at CTC office we hear of them all and it's not just the nationals. Some of the worst are editors or regular contributors to local papers and magazines. And whilst it's true that some of these lazy journalists do little more than condemn the misdemeanors we all know some cyclists commit, they condemn us all for it, as a group. It's not "a cyclist" did this or even "some cyclists" do that, but "cyclists", followed by a rant about paying no tax, lycra, whatever - you know the score, really you do.

This is dangerously hateful because though we are not a group, we do appear so. We are an easily identified minority, we do get in the way, and all it takes is a small subconscious increase in the climate of impatience that infects British roads, to accidentally wipe a few more of us out. These articles plant anti-cyclist attitudes in driver's minds, whilst confirming and hardening those which already exist. They excuse the impatience and permit a more callous disregard. The driver that missed by foot yesterday passes within six inches today. Tomorrow...
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horizon
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Re: Times cycling survey, utter dismay

Postby horizon » 7 Nov 2012, 11:27am

LollyKat wrote:Why do they find you a nuisance? Airlines, trains and buses perhaps, Youth Hostels don't seek to like any independent travellers, but I'm honestly surprised at the rest of your list. But my utility riding is done in ordinary clothes on a hack bike I'm happy to leave locked to a post.


Putting your bike somewhere is often an issue if it isn't left on the street. Often however you are not in a postion to make an independent choice - if one person wants to go by car as a family that means you all go by car. There's often a general abrasion - you upset people's expectations: the B and B owner isn't expecting to have to open up his garage. And so on.
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Mike Sales
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Re: Times cycling survey, utter dismay

Postby Mike Sales » 7 Nov 2012, 11:44am

CJ wrote:
al_yrpal wrote:I'd like to see some of these articles. The only ones I have seen was Parris's patently nutty outburst...

You wouldn't, they're quite horrible. Working at CTC office we hear of them all and it's not just the nationals. Some of the worst are editors or regular contributors to local papers and magazines. And whilst it's true that some of these lazy journalists do little more than condemn the misdemeanors we all know some cyclists commit, they condemn us all for it, as a group. It's not "a cyclist" did this or even "some cyclists" do that, but "cyclists", followed by a rant about paying no tax, lycra, whatever - you know the score, really you do.

This is dangerously hateful because though we are not a group, we do appear so. We are an easily identified minority, we do get in the way, and all it takes is a small subconscious increase in the climate of impatience that infects British roads, to accidentally wipe a few more of us out. These articles plant anti-cyclist attitudes in driver's minds, whilst confirming and hardening those which already exist. They excuse the impatience and permit a more callous disregard. The driver that missed by foot yesterday passes within six inches today. Tomorrow...


I don't like to post +1 to another post, without adding anything, but I agree so strongly with this and it puts the case so well that I feel I don't need to add to it.

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horizon
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Re: Times cycling survey, utter dismay

Postby horizon » 7 Nov 2012, 12:30pm

I will say that I am more optimistic. People working at the CTC are properly aware of media trends and will note this anti-cyclist sentiment. But I think there is a fairly small triad of concerned cyclists, cycnical journalists and narrow-minded readers/commenters who bounce off each other. I'm not suggesting that it doesn't matter or that it is trivial but that it exists in a much wider pool of general acceptance of and goodwill towards cycling. It may give voice to prejudice but it isn't widely shared IMV. I hope I'm right.
The experience of travel is something that you have to pay for but can never buy. Ho Ri Zon Chinese philosopher

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al_yrpal
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Re: Times cycling survey, utter dismay

Postby al_yrpal » 7 Nov 2012, 2:24pm

I have seen a couple of stupid anti cyclist letters in our local paper, they always draw sharp intelligent responses from cyclists. I recently had to put someone straight on road tax and insurance in a response letter myself. As I regular Times reader I have followed their campaign over the last 12 months with interest. They have a small weekly cycling article in the Sunday Times motoring supplement too. Balance that with one stupid article by Parris
I too am optimistic about the progress of cycling. Working in a cycling organisation where your attention is drawn to almost every anti cycling article published in the uk, perhaps its all too easy to get a distorted view of the real situation. Yes, criticism is widespread, but it stems principally from the antics of miscreants on bikes wrongly being extended to us all. I don't think its based on unreasoned predjudice, because every time I go into a town I see cyclists doing really stupid things, but I don't think that the vast majority are daft enough to tar us all with the same brush either. As a normal cyclist what you see only in your own non cycling orbit should help you gauge better what the general attitude to cycling and cyclists is because that's what everyone else sees.

Al
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thirdcrank
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Re: Times cycling survey, utter dismay

Postby thirdcrank » 7 Nov 2012, 2:41pm

al_yrpal wrote: .... Working in a cycling organisation where your attention is drawn to almost every anti cycling article published in the uk, perhaps its all too easy to get a distorted view of the real situation. ...


From where I'm standing, I don't think CJ is the one with the distorted view. :mrgreen:

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Re: Times cycling survey, utter dismay

Postby Vorpal » 7 Nov 2012, 3:04pm

CJ wrote:You wouldn't, they're quite horrible.
<snip>
These articles plant anti-cyclist attitudes in driver's minds, whilst confirming and hardening those which already exist. They excuse the impatience and permit a more callous disregard. The driver that missed by foot yesterday passes within six inches today. Tomorrow...


Actually, I think the worst of it is that they give a patina of social acceptability to what would otherwise be considered bigotry and hatred. Once bigotry and hatred are socially acceptable, persecution becomes justice rather than tragedy.

I believe that only a very small minority of people actually hate cyclists, or even believe the negative propaganda, but allowing the publication of such hatred and bigotry legitimises it in a way that nothing else can.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
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thirdcrank
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Re: Times cycling survey, utter dismay

Postby thirdcrank » 7 Nov 2012, 3:19pm

Yes..
Put this "survey" in context. As I understand it, it's part of a campaign about the safety of cyclists. In which case, what's the point of a question such as the one that started the thread?

Which habits do you find annoying in cyclists?


Even if the only answers available were things like riding without lights, what has annoyance to do with it? The implication, to me at least, is that cyclists are largely the authors of their own misfortune AKA victim blaming.

Suppose the newspaper campaign had been about some more generally recognised form of personal violence such as racist attacks; I cannot imagine it including a question on the lines "Which habits do you find annoying in black people?"