Thursday 25 March 2010

The motorbike lobby

I was intrigued to see on yesterday’s morning travel news:

Trafalgar Square Westminster » Severe delays due to earlier motorbike demonstration

I’ve no idea what it was about but what a difference to the feebleness of the cycling community, such as it is, which almost never protests about anything. Indeed, it’s obvious from Comments boxes that a lot of cyclists are terrified of holding up traffic. There’s a certain sort of cycling commentator whose obsession is complaining about the behaviour of fellow cyclists and sobbing about the need to win “respect” from drivers. Crap like this, for example:

Until cyclists are seen to obey the rules of the roads, and are punished for failing to do so, you will not gain support from motorists.

As far as I’m aware there has never been a single cycling protest about the massive daily abuse of Advanced Stop Lines by drivers, or the absolute refusal of the Metropolitan Police to enforce the law. Contrast that supine inertia with the motorcycle lobby, who even feel enough sense of solidarity to stage protests like this:

Motorcyclists are planning a protest ride through Hull in opposition to an undercover police operation against speeding bikers. It comes as traffic officers unveiled their latest weapon in the battle to cut motorcyclist deaths – a 186mph superbike.

The Suzuki GSX 1300R Hayabusa is fitted with a video camera and speed detection equipment.

However, members of a motorbike group have said they plan to stage a protest ride through Hull on May 1 to oppose what they believe are unnecessary undercover tactics.

And you can understand why bikers might be upset at undercover enforcement.

In his running commentary, the police biker describes seeing him flip up his number plate as he passes a speed camera to avoid identification.

After a backup officer on a marked police bike pulls over a group of the riders, the unmarked vehicle pursues the last two at speeds of up to 104mph before they pull over.

Three other bikers from the group were convicted at Crawley Magistrates Court of careless driving, dangerous driving and threatening behaviour.

And if you're a fact person, here's a fact about bikers:

Motorcycles (53 per cent), light vans (52 per cent) and four-axle rigid HGVs (52 per cent) were the vehicle types that most frequently exceeded the speed limit on 30 mph roads.