“If there’s one group of road users virtually immune to being cowed by a lowly act of terrorism involving a motor vehicle, it’s cyclists. We’re reminded every day—through rolled-down car windows, on too-narrow roads, via social media—that we “share” the roads with people who actively hate us and that our interests (including safety) come behind theirs. Every one of us knows what it’s like to stare death in the grille. Daily riders have all had drivers aim their cars at us as if they were about to plow us down, whether because of run-of-the-mill inattention or out-and-out road rage. This reality is priced into our decision to ride.” Eben Weiss alias Bike Snob NYC offers the urban cyclist’s perspective on the latest terrorist threat.
“Back when we were fewer there was a glorious freedom in dancing through the traffic, whose rules and logic we learned so well that it often felt like a benevolent force, sheltering us as much as it threatened us. We were the pilot fish darting in among the sharks, the gazelles sprinting through herds of lumbering bison.” Requiring only two sentences, Emily Chappell manages to capture the essence of cycling in London before Boris Bikes and cycle superhighways.
“I’m an asshole cyclist. I’m that jerk weaving in and out of traffic, going the wrong way down a one-way street, and making a left on red. I’m truly a menace on the road.” Jim Saska is owning up to some pretty bad behaviour when on two wheels, but insists that he is not the reason you hate cyclists.
“Evidence based cycling is not high on the bicycle salesman’s agenda. No one will tell you how much more efficient one bicycle is over another; they just say it is better.” Steel or carbon? Jeremy Groves buys a new bike in the hope of saving up to five minutes on his daily commute…
With thanks to Lutz Meißner
“Clearly, somebody in this room murdered Lord Smythe.”
“Depressingly, all publicity is good publicity when you are the world’s leading budget airline and Ryanair doesn’t give a damn whether you like it or not. But while the airline can be cheap, the customer service truly sucks. So, here are 20 things to remember next time you are led into temptation by those 1p flights.” Laura Whateley has done her research.
“It is a challenge, I guess, at the same time. Because when you’re busy, you’re busy. You work pretty hard. And it goes back to the whole working class thing. A job well done, you can be proud of it.” Chris Jewell talks about his work as a bicycle messenger in downtown Seattle, providing some of the commentary to photographer Mike Kane’s excellent audio slideshow on the same subject.
“It would be unfortunate if the proliferation of ghost bikes frightened off nervous waverers, because there is quite a lot of evidence that the more cyclists there are, the safer cycling becomes. But if white bikes grab the attention of motorists, give them pause and remind them to take care, they will mark the past and help safeguard the future.” Geraldine Bedell reports on the phenomenon of the white bike reaching the UK.
“The only things that will keep you alive in traffic are your skills, your awareness of your environment, and always having a tremendous respect for the danger involved.” Richard Katz outlines his approach to riding in traffic.
“Understand the principles and then apply them to develop a style that suits your needs and personality.” Read Patrick Field’s excellent guide to riding in traffic.
“Cycling in London is an extreme sport, little safer than base jumping. A journey begins with trepidation and ends with me slightly high that I’m still alive.” Janice Turner does not depend on timetables or traffic. On two wheels, she enjoys the pleasure of knowing exactly what time she’ll arrive.
“Many cyclists make the mistake of riding too close to parked cars. This is extremely dangerous. Many cyclists have been seriously injured or even killed because they were riding in the door zone.” On her bike, Riin Gill never gets closer than 1.5 m.
“Cyclists are being told that road positioning is a critical part of riding safely—but are there any rules, or does it require some kind of two-wheeled sixth sense that you can only gain from experience?” Richard Peace answers some of the most commonly asked questions.
“But what I hear all the time from people is that they would ride a bike but don’t because they feel it’s too dangerous. I completely sympathise, but, of course, I disagree.” Matt Seaton compares cycling in traffic to a peculiar kind of ballet on wheels.
Yesterday evening I had a massive accident with my bicycle. A car pulled out in front of me and I crashed into it at about 40 km/h. I went over the car like a torpedo and then hit the ground face first. Any injuries, however, are confined to my right shoulder.