Cycling Misconceptions

‘Cyclists should be insured like car and motorbike users, with a numberplate.’
What that means in practice is banning most cyclists from the road. And it wouldn’t make cycling safer, since motorists would then treat them even more like ‘vehicles’ and even less like the mere people they are. Under this punitive plan, the days of kids on bikes would be over due to the expense, and cycling would be strangled at source. Congratulations.

‘Cyclists cycle through red traffic lights. What’s that all about?’
Self defence. When you’ve got a Formula 1 grid revving up behind you, you want to be clearly visible to as many of them as possible. And the only way to do that on a bike is to get clear distance (braking distance) between you and the pack. Also it allows you to duck into the ‘wake’ of any parked vehicles up the road to avoid the worst of the rush. That’s why cyclists ‘jump’ red lights. Pure safety.
Hopefully, the new ‘Naked Streets’ initiative will work out, and cities will become more about people than speed.

‘They cycle around paying no road tax , holding up traffic , increasing everyone’s fuel costs!’
Try putting them all back in a car each and see how much room that leaves you on the road. I do wish people would think before showing their envy and blind selfishness. The sheer resentment of drivers at the freedom of cyclists is probably enough to cause deaths. Hatred like that can easily delay the foot on the brake pedal for that crucial fraction of a second. And that’s all it takes.
Road tax is a Power Licence, essentially. The right to harness as much power as you can pay for in a year. And as we all know, power corrupts. A car is a psychologically dangerous place to be. Driving makes you sick.

Cyclists Are Vehicles
The assumption by drivers is that a cyclist is a ‘vehicle’, that is their default perception. Not a soft human being who happens to be on wheels, and is therefore just as vulnerable as a toddler in a buggy. The law does indirectly recognise this distinction by not granting right of way for the motorist over the pedestrian. There is no ‘Jaywalking’ offence in Britain. You simply can’t mow people down for being in the wrong place. Cyclists are just pedestrians on wheels. And therefore should have right of way everywhere on the road, like any other other carbon-based life-form. If the relatives of road-kill deer could sue, they would probably win. So why isn’t the law as generous to cyclists as it seems to be to deer?


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  1. Unfortunately you forgot the “If you haven’t got a helmet on you can’t complain if you get knocked off” line. I say ‘unfortunately’ not because you missed it but because it’s out there – even Bradley Wiggins had it attributed to him after his medal in the Olympics.
    Thank god for the Barclays hire bikes in London – making cycling without a helmet official policy!
    Charles @BH

    • Please feel free to add to this list – which was cobbled together with some speed. The more myths and outright lies get exposed the better. Drivers need to know what it feels like to ride a bike among them. And they need to try to feel how the power they control alters their personalities, which it inevitably does, just as cycling has an effect on the cyclist, in a different way.

  2. Sam

     /  March 5, 2018

    There is a lot of truth in what you are saying. The ‘jumping red lights’ bit was nonsense though lets be honest. Nobody should be riding through red lights. Saying it is for safety reasons is just a ridiculous bare faced lie.

    • You’ve never sat in front of a grid of petrolheads revving up for the start.
      Cyclists don’t get injured deliberately jumping red lights. Fact.
      They do get killed in the rush at the next left hand bend because they are not seen far enough ahead.
      There is clearly a case for a 4 stage lights.
      But since that won’t happen, cyclists will have to take their defence into their own hands.
      There is also an overwhelming case for psycho-testing of all drivers.


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