Roundabout Way To Get Killed
What is it with British cycle infrastructure? Or are those three words together just an oxymoron?
What bugs the hell out of me is the shoddy, start-stop nature of it. If roads for tax paying motorists were like this, they’d end in random location, forcing drivers to push their cars across fields / other hazards before continuing their journey. Can you imagine the civil unrest that would result?
But for cyclists, it’s almost as if councils put in ‘bike lanes’ where its easy to do so - not where they’re actually needed.
So you can be riding along thinking that the painted line on the road is protecting you, only to find that as you approach a junction that the bike lane’s vanished. It’s almost as if they don’t want you to ride your bike in any of the places where a collision might take place.
Yet in my trip to Amsterdam last October, what I saw was that this needn’t be the case. They even put bike lanes around the outside of roundabouts, giving cyclists priority over motorised traffic, and indicating to drivers that there are lines you just don’t cross.
We could probably do with some of that sort of thing here. Just take a look at this vid from Magnatom (he loses his characteristic Scots stoicism in this film, so turn the sound down / put your fingers in your ears if swearing offends you - he has good reason to cuss):
You could take from this that cycling is just too dangerous (as was the opinion of a couple of guys at the pub last night), but as Magnatom himself says,
Cycling on average extends your life and certainly keeps you fit. Your parents would be mad to discourage you from cycling.
There seems to be a tendency to blame the victim - how many times do you read, "…the cyclist, who was not wearing a helmet , was crushed between the lorry and the railings…"? I know you’re smarter than that, but just in case you were thinking that maybe it was the cyclist’s fault, check out this analysis of the vid by dawnfader2 also on youtube:
Anyone want to take a bet on exactly how strenuously the police pursue the driver of the lorry shown in these videos? My guess is "not at all" - the police have more important things to do with their time than responding to near-misses. After all, no-one was actually hurt here…