Thursday, 7 January 2010

It’s the London Cycle Network!

Ungritted, icy, and with the signs pointing in exactly the wrong direction. Yes, it’s another award-winning stretch of the London Cycle Network. (First Avenue E17.)

And talking of snow, let me allude to Matt Seaton’s Guardian article on cycling in snow It was illustrated by a photo of a cyclist pushing a bike over a snow-covered bridge, a scene which provoked no comment from those who commented on the site. Expecting routes for cyclists to be cleared is the kind of radical expectation which the average British cycling campaigner would regard as practically Marxist-Leninist. Let’s instead talk about studs, cycle helmets, gloves, saddle adjustment, or just about anything except infrastructure and maintenance.

One commenter airily remarked

a lot of effort has gone into convincing the general public that cycling = "dangerous"; so folk logic then goes on to conclude that cycling in anything other than perfect weather = "double dangerous". Those who hold this belief cannot rationally articulate why they feel this way, its just "true".

Oh, I dunno. Coming crashing off my bike on black ice, with physical injury and subsequent hospital appointments, strikes me as being a fairly rational reason why I no longer cycle anywhere in the kind of weather conditions we are currently experiencing. And I note that I am not alone.

Matt Seaton chimed in enthusiastically:

part of the point of all the above is to resist the idea that cycling is dangerous, which, as you say, is a totally bogus received idea.

All this "it's too dangerous" talk... doesn’t really hold water does it. The cars are all going slower and taking care, so if you do the same on a bike then there's no added danger is there. It's not as if the BMWs can come lashing it past you at high speed in these conditions is it - so maybe it's SAFER on a bike in the snow!?

So I suppose now we can expect the CTC to jump on the bandwagon with a new ‘Safety in Numbers on Ice’ campaign, and when casualty figures rocket we’ll hear that this proves that cycling on ice is getting safer than ever.

Footprints but no cycle tracks.