Get On Your Bikes And Ride

By londonist_mark Last edited 137 months ago
Get On Your Bikes And Ride
FatBottomedBicycleGirls.JPG

Hands up if you like cyclists. According to the Independent today that'll be quite a few of us. A 50% increase in bike journeys across the capital in just five years and despite all the arguments over funding for cycle lanes, Ken is hoping to double the number of cyclists in London by 2020. Is that what they call 2020 vision then?

Now hands up if you absolutely hate cyclists. Ah, that'll be Nigel Havers then, coming on like an aristocratic cad from the front seat of his Bentley, referring to them all as

Bastards...

Hold your horse power Nige old buddy, ALL of them? That's a little strong surely. So what have our two-wheeled brethren done to incur such wrath?

The rules are that you stop at a red traffic light. I'm at one now and four cyclists just went through. They go up a one-way street the wrong way. And they're aggressive if you get in their way. One just smacked the side of my car with his hand. It's unbelievable behaviour.

Smacked the side of your car with his hand... Absolutely unbelievable behaviour. Just as well you didn't smack the side of his hand with your car. Might have been a very different ending. After all there's nothing like being cut up by a speeding motorised coffin to make you behave reasonably. We'd like to recommend that one day next week, Wednesday perhaps, all cyclists get in cars instead and drive around after Nige, keeping him blocked in fumes of over-heated smog, constantly waiting at traffic lights all the while reminding him as he grows ever later for his next lunch appointment that is is our God given right to congest the streets with traffic.

We agree that there are still large numbers of cyclists who are a danger to themselves, pedestrians and anyone driving a 2CV, and that there needs to be some consensus about which road rules cyclists should be obeying. And we agree that there are far more drivers out there who need kneecapping, dangerous maniacal fuckwits with the pedal to the metal and the roadkill left splashed by the school gates; we'll leave the arguments to the comments page. And whilst our concerns for the amount of pollution our drivers are responsible for grow, along with the increasing costs of operating a car plus a public transport infrastructure that offers slightly worse value for money than X-Men 3, it looks like cyclists are here to stay. So about time we saw a little more tolerance and adult behaviour on both sides, especially as town turns into that wonderful summer human stew.

Perhaps old Nige might find this Saturday's World Naked Bike Ride more appealing. On second thoughts it's a protest against our consumerist car crazed culture so probably not. The London leg kicks off at 3 at Hyde Park's Wellington Arch.

Or if you're completely nuts you could sign up for the Dunwich Dynamo: 120 miles to the Suffolk coast by moonlight. If you're thinking of joining up please let us know and send us some pics. Maybe the Midsummer Madness trip from Greenwich to Primrose Hill to watch the sun rise on Summer Solstice might be more your kind of thing.

There's lots of fun things to do on bikes, most of which will bug the crap out of Nigel Havers, so please, all of you: get on your bikes and ride...

Last Updated 07 June 2006

Angry J

Well.. I reckon that cHavers prolly got his car smacked cos he was driving like a tit, he was at lights whilst being interviewed on his mobile phone. I'm JUST the kind of cyclist that would: A ride through red lights. B slap his car if he cut me up. C Shout "Wanker!" at Michael Winner.
I enjoy my ride to work as it takes 20 minutes not 1hour (bus) or 40 mins(toob) and costs me £0 a month not £120(toob).
Don't even get me started on Porsche Cayennes in the city.......

Steve Harold

I was in Berlin last week and they have cycle ways that seem to be part of the pedestrian walk way as opposed to a narrow strip of road. It was safer for the cyclists (until they met an intersection) but not so for the pedestrians maybe.

ec

Personally, I walk to work every day and I hate some cyclists and some drivers. But its the cyclists that generally piss me off... those that go through red lights and pedestrian crossings - cars (even bentleys) tend to obey those rules. I also particularly hate those that are totaly smug about how they aren't driving a car, and how 'eco-friendly' they are. Rather like that recent episode of south park about hybrids. I would also shout at michael winner.

Nick

Why can I see this thread becoming a replication of the Letters page of the Indy for the last couple of weeks?

funkypancake

i've randomly bumped in to Mr Havers on a couple of occasions in London and he's allowed me to take his photo.

both times he's been walking and both times he was quite pleasant.

although both times have also been accompanied by other strange occurances on the same day.

here's my last sighting:
http://www.funkypancake.com/bl...

I'm also collecting signs related to bikes:
http://www.funkypancake.com/bl...

Angry J

Car drivers are just jealous cos they can't run red lights....
In Finland and most other civilised countries the cyclists are on cycle paths that are on the pavements. This means that cyclists are much safer from cars, and yes, maybe the pedestrians are slightly more in danger but I'd have two arguments for that. If I hit you and I'm on my bike, I'm going to get much more hurt than you are, as I'm going to take the initial impact, then hit the floor at whatever speed I was travelling. Believe me that this is on most cyclists minds, I'm getting sick of having to shout abuse at pedestrians who aren't looking before stepping out in front of me. Secondly, cyclists are much more in danger from cars than than pedestrians are from cyclists. 2,174 cyclists were seriously injured last year with 134 deaths. I don't know what the numbers are for pedestrians killed by cyclists, but I'm betting it's a fraction.

Mark

Perhaps it's time for a bit of pedestrian bashing then. You only have to stand on any street in London to realise that a large percentage of people obviously have huge invincibility complexes; the only way to describe their blind forays into the traffic and slightly dazed expressions as they try to work out why 20 plus tons of bus hasn't mananged to stop in a micro-second for them.