Car vs bike arguments

Discussion in 'Commuting' started by gambatte, 8 Sep 2007.

  1. gambatte

    gambatte Middle of the pack...

    S Yorks
    This might have been brought up before, but just a thought.

    We have all these arguments about who has 'rights' on the road. Some of us get into arguments on other non cycle specific forums, with the usual 'get cycles off the roads' type threads and posts. It usually revolves round VED/tax/insurance etc and everyone getting tarred with the amount of RLJ type activity.

    What came to mind last night was the usual response when you tell people you commute by bike. 'I couldn't do that, too dangerous'.

    Why too dangerous? Do they think their actions would endanger them? Problems with other cyclists?

    I reckon most people are too scared to ride on the road because of the attitude/skill level of a proportion of car/van drivers. This could also explain why we get a proportion of new, occasional, short distance cyclists who always ride the pavement as opposed to the road
  2. PBancroft

    PBancroft Senior Member

    On the whole, I really don't think that cycling is *that* dangerous, but it depends where you are, and how you cycle etc.

    People do make certain presumptions. I was late to work the other day because of a dental appointment (my boss knew about it, but forgot). They all assumed I had had an accident and were on the verge of calling the Police - the irony is that I drove in that day. If they thought I was driving, they probably wouldn't have been too worried, because it's not as if drivers ever die in accidents, is it?

    Driving is also more convenient if you cycle infrequently, or are unable to plan any long distances due to work requirements. I couldn't be a sales rep on a bike covering East Anglia for example.

    It's also that the people promoting car companies have done their job well
    - cars are comfier, safer, more peaceful and relaxing spaces than they have ever been today. It's like sitting on your very own throne...
  3. alecstilleyedye

    alecstilleyedye nothing in moderation Moderator

    well i feel not half as good when i (rarely) drive into work compared to how i feel after i've ridden in (and showered). it's only 5ish miles, but i can do it at a brisk pace to makek it a good workout.

    cycle like you would drive and you will feel more confident.

    kaipath: perhaps your boss ought to be informed that people who cycle into work have fewer days off sick that people who travel the same distance by car. never had one since i started in my current job (april 06), which was when i started commuting by bike.
  4. palinurus

    palinurus Legendary Member

    As for the risks, I found this useful. Not for me, I've been cycle commuting quite a while- but I sometimes need stuff like this to help answer colleagues questions etc.

    Risks faced by cyclists
  5. palinurus

    palinurus Legendary Member

    Other useful resources are the CTC- stuff on their website etc.
  6. dondare

    dondare Über Member

    Tell 'em that a non-cyclist is about 1000 times more likely to die from heart disease than a cyclist is to be killed in a road accident. Insurance companies, who deal in real figures rather than imaginary fears, give cyclists lower premiums on life insurance than non-cyclists for just this reason.
  7. Keith Oates

    Keith Oates Janner

    Penarth, Wales
    Now that is something I didn't know, dondare!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  8. ufkacbln

    ufkacbln Guest

  9. John Ponting

    John Ponting Über Member

    You get the same response from the "don't have any personal experience" crowd if you ride a motorbike. Apparently THEY are all dangerous and you wouldn't catch them going near one.

    Take care as it's catching ... Sustrans and CTC (and others) are now putting pressure on the Government to have "big" motorbikes banned "because they are dangerous", in our names.

    Wonder if I could ask the BCF to campaign for carbon bikes to be banned on the grounds of being non-green and having an unacceptably high carbon mileage?

    No valid reason - just feel like it.

    btw I'm not denying that motorcycing has a higher injury per mile count than London buses etc. But I've been riding 'bikes since 1961 and only fallen off once - New Years Day, much needed fresh air, sudden heavy snow white out. Actually, twice if you count lobbing a Manx down the road exiting Clearways many years ago.

    Another Sunday evening with, maybe, 2 glasses of red more than I should.
  10. BentMikey

    BentMikey Rider of Seolferwulf

    South London
    I don't believe this is correct, and is instead a case of chinese whispers. Please check your facts before repeating this one?
  11. John Ponting

    John Ponting Über Member

    Publicly published chinese wispers?

    "A letter, dated August 1, says the Government should look at placing restrictions on the poewr, weight and speed of motorcycles. It makes no mention of cars.

    The letter is signed by holders of senior posts at Transport 2000, Living Streets, Road-Peace, Sustrans, The Road Danger Reduction Forum, The Slower Speeds Initiative, CTC and the London Cycling Campaign.

    The letter is addressed to the Transport Select Committee."

    Could be a completely fictitious piece of reporting but unlikely.

    Could be a total misunderstanding but, again, unlikely.

    Are you in a position to state that a letter was not sent? Or that none of those signatories were party to such a letter?

    Prove it's incorrect and I'll retract my quote.
  12. BentMikey

    BentMikey Rider of Seolferwulf

    South London
    You could well be right, but I do recall some recent misreporting of the CTC and motorcycles that had all the ptw chaps in a twist. What you quote this time doesn't seem nearly so unreasonable.
  13. John Ponting

    John Ponting Über Member

    I have to accept that I quoted from a (potentialy) biased PTW source. Not always correct in the past but more than 50%.

    I hope it's untrue as I am a car driver, a motorcyclist, a cyclist and a pedestrian and try to see each point of view. Sometimes I fail.
  14. BentMikey

    BentMikey Rider of Seolferwulf

    South London
    Yes, it looks like I was thinking about the motorcycles and bus lanes fiasco, and not what you were talking about. Sorry John!!
  15. zimzum42

    zimzum42 Legendary Member

    It is dangerous to ride a bike if you don't know how to do it. There is actually quite a lot to learn to ride safely and effectively in an urban environment......

    You need to develop a kind of sixth sense sometimes, and you can't do that by reading cyclecraft, you have to get the hours in out on the road.........
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