Friday, 16 March 2012

Evening Post; Why not a cycle free day?

In the Evening Post' singlehanded counterattack to the "cities fit for cycling" campaign coming out of London, another "Trusted Source", Roy, the disgruntled motorist!, who again wants bicycles banned from our streets, at least for a day a week.

Roy starts off with,
All too often Bristol boasts how cycle friendly it is. Is this really a good thing? Myself, and many colleagues and friends disagree strongly.
We often whine about them in the pubs too. Don't forget that drink-driving laws discriminate against us on the way home from those same pubs.
Now before I go any further, I must point out that I am a part-time cyclist, and when cycling I aim to stay out of the way of proper road users by sticking to cycle paths and lanes wherever possible
The classic "I used to cycle" opener is right up there with the "some of my best friends are cyclists" phrase, which the EP is normally most happy with. We don't say either as they are not true, and the phrases come over like the head of the UK catholic church saying "some my best friends are gay" before denouncing the right of two men to hold hands in public. We do say "some of our best customers come from the catholic clergy", but that's another topic.
Everyday I experience horrendous behaviour from cyclists. Considering they are vulnerable, they often risk their lives jumping red lights, undertaking at junctions, hopping on and off of pavements at their convenience and generally getting in the way of the legitimate road user. I realise not all cyclists behave like this, just the vast majority, especially the Lycra ones who think they are as wide as cars!
Red lights, Lycra, pavements, in the way. Check.  We are going to write some Evening Post bingo cards for these letters -or perhaps an automated evening post letter generator.
I also appreciate not all us car drivers are saints as the odd couple let us down.
Don't forget us van drivers here!
I lay part of the blame with Bristol City Council for trying too hard to please cyclists and look trendy. All these advanced starting grids at traffic lights is the dumbest idea yet. Encouraging the roads slowest users to blatantly sit right in the way of the cars before the lights change, then get in the way of our desire to get somewhere quick. That is, when the cyclist obeys the lights!!!
Now we are confused. Either the cyclists sit in your way in the ASL or they run the lights. You can't complain about both at the same time. It's like saying "50% tax rate for me is too high" and "HRMC keep trying to make us pay tax"
Another gripe is the fact that despite all the cycle lanes on pavements, cyclists still use our road.
Pavements. In or out?
Coronation Road is a prime example. A few months back I was following a lorry along there, who was struggling to get past a dad and two young boys cycling along the road. The lorry eventually passed, narrowly missing the boys. I tried to tell the father this fact, but was met with typical cyclist arrogance.
Ah, Coronation Road. We've covered that before, especially how the mature trees do not make this a cycle path. Because of those trees, it's hard to to say "They should cycle on the pavement there", especially when you shout out the window. Just sound your horn a bit instead.
It should be law to stick to a cycle lane where provided, to protect the cyclist, and more importantly, improve the car drivers progress.
Exactly. There are more people on cycles than ever before -and have you noticed congestion gets worse? Congestion costs our country twenty billion pounds a year -and it's all the cyclists fault.
I feel there needs to be more legislation to protect the proper road user from the menace cyclist. To start with, cyclists should have insurance. Can you imagine the damage they could do to a cars paintwork if they were to get in the way?
Don't use the "get in the way" phrase, as it's one of those "I may need to run them over" claims that the police get back to later. We prefer "crash into our parked car". Actually, this gives an idea. Why not advocate strict liability -whenever a cyclist hits a car, it's their fault!
Bodywork repair costs a lot these days. I find it harder by the day to avoid cyclists who flout the highway code. They should also be made to pay a small tax, and have a registration plate of some description. This would help to hold them accountable for the accidents they cause. The tax could pay for cycle wardens to fine them every time they break the law.
Registration, license, tax. Three more bingo items ticked off. And a new one; cycle wardens. Nice idea. But how to stop them ticketing cars for things too?
I would also like to add, cyclists are also a menace on the pavement.
Again, inconsistent arguments. Either they are on the road when you are driving or they are on the pavement when you are walking. You have to pick your point of view and argue with it: speeding on-road criminals, slow moving families, pavement cyclists or lycra louts. Pick one, not criticise them for: stopping at ASLs, running red lights, being on the road, not being on the road, wearing lycra, not wearing hi-viz. Right now the letter just comes over as an ill-informed rant, not an attempt to communicate your issues to people outside your two mates in a pub.
I'm sure many readers would agree. Trying to walk near Temple Meads station is a gamble. If you think I am anti-cyclist you would be right.
An anti-cyclist part-time cyclist. Now this does make our brain explode. This we would like to see. Someone cycling on the pavement shouting "get off the pavement" at himself, going onto the road and then shouting "get on the pavement!". Please send videos of Roy to the usual address.
Years of trying to avoid their antics have made me this way. I am all for saving the environment, but please do it in a lawful, polite manner, and stay off the road where possible. Do not undertake where its dangerous, obey road signs and traffic lights and respect the car driver who funds the cycle lanes you fail to use!!! Do all this and we can all be friends!
Roy, the disgruntled motorist!
We're not actually sure that people cycle to save the environment, though it makes a nice outgroup to explain why they cycle and we, the important people, don't. We prefer to say "we are not against unimportant people, but why do they have to hold us up"

Summary: badly argued, not that entertaining. The Evening Post is losing its edge. Must try harder.


Mike said...

Sorry, didn't it used to go "some of my best friends are black"

Fuck these bastards, this is a form of blatant daemonization that the upper class, London based (look carefully at who actually owns your 'local newspaper') press use to discriminate against anyone who isn't a friend of Clarkson, Cameron and Brooks and doesn't drive a fucking great big 4x4 that can run straight over a pedestrian without discomfort.

SteveL said...

That used to be the case, but society moved on, at least in public in the UK. You are still a allowed to public denounce tax-dodging lycra-louts in the way that the PC-culture won't let us do to any of the traditional british underclasses. They have taken away our right to watch tv shows in which white actors dance badly with black paint on their faces. They have taken away our right to march to protestant churches along roads occupied by catholics (story about that some time). They have taken away our right to denounce people from abroad, by making our passport the same colour as those from France and Germany.

That means today, only cyclists, homosexuals, refugees and benefit cheats are there to be denounced. And what are those liberals in London trying to do? Allow gay couples to marry. That leaves benefit-cheating refugee cyclists as the only people left to denounce.

So yes, we will.

Incidentally, Rick Santorum, Challenger for the Republican Party nomination, did use the Some of my friend are gay defence only last year. This is someone who could actually end up having power in the US, yet he still thinks that it is wrong for people's right to die in wars abroad to depend on your sexual preferences.

Some of our best friends are evening post letter writers.

Shawn said...

Missed out "mown down pedestrians". Pedestrians are always being mown down by lycra louts. Presumably by the rotary blades that come as standard on the modern day bike.