Share the Road

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  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    edited May 13
    I am not a cyclist....just very confused. I may be misunderstanding. Or just thick.

    I can see the erudite arguments made above re helmets. I too have read such research given. But let's say you were riding on a "safe" and separate track... Is it at all likely, possible?, probable?*, that, by some freak of nature or bike component failure that you tumble off? If the path is concrete and you go head first your brain could be in danger. Would not a helmet be a good idea just in case?

    As I said I am not a cyclist. And I am Australian where helmets have been compulsory for a long time (I recall the sheer rage of a policeman who caught teenage me not wearing one ... not at my breaking the law, but the fact I was endangering my brain.) I also recall the audible gasp from a cinema during a French film when a mother popped her child on a bike with no helmet -- you think I jest, but I do not.

    Thanks.


    * do you weigh up odds?


    edit: changed an Australian (?) expression which I realise could be misconstrued...
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    But let's say you were walking on a "safe" and separate footpath... Is it at all likely, possible?, probable? that, by some freak of nature or by tripping over a paving slab that you fall over? If the path is concrete and you go head first your brain could be in danger. Would not a helmet be a good idea just in case?
  • MarsupialMarsupial Shipmate
    I bike faster than I walk. Increased speeds, increased risk.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited May 13
    Marsupial wrote: »
    I bike faster than I walk. Increased speeds, increased risk.

    Yeah, but what says the line you should draw occurs between walking and cycling? Perhaps it's jogging? Increased speed, increased risk?
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    KarlLB wrote: »
    But let's say you were walking on a "safe" and separate footpath... Is it at all likely, possible?, probable? that, by some freak of nature or by tripping over a paving slab that you fall over? If the path is concrete and you go head first your brain could be in danger. Would not a helmet be a good idea just in case?

    I fell headlong last month, onto concrete (puppy careered into me from behind) - I hit my head and passed out, I was taken to a&e and they sent me straight away for a brain scan. My ribs were cracked too.

    All is well, but I’m sure a helmet would have helped!

  • RooKRooK Admin Emeritus
    Marsupial wrote: »
    I bike faster than I walk. Increased speeds, increased risk.

    Generally true, but the main risk of brain trauma is not due to your lateral velocity unless you're hitting a wall or a tree; speed on roads mostly just gives you nasty skin abrasions. Indeed, the unimpeded acceleration from regular standing height of your head on the ground vertically is the largest proportion of brain trauma-worrisome strikes. This generally supports @NOprophet_NØprofit's supposition.

    Most of my biking is done with a full-face helmet, but that's because I'm an idiot. A non-trivial part of my driving is also done with a helmet, also due to idiocy. Hilarious idiocy.
  • MarsupialMarsupial Shipmate
    KarlLB wrote: »
    Marsupial wrote: »
    I bike faster than I walk. Increased speeds, increased risk.

    Yeah, but what says the line you should draw occurs between walking and cycling? Perhaps it's jogging? Increased speed, increased risk?

    Well, lines have to be drawn somewhere. I’m not a jogger, but offhand it seems closer to walking than cycling.

    If the powers that be decide, on the basis of reliable evidence, that the risk analysis is against mandatory helmets, that’s fine with me. I’d probably still wear one, because I’m a klutz on a bike with a propensity for running into stationary objects. (The most damage I’ve ever done to myself on a bike was sprained ankle obtained from biking right into the back bumper of a parked car.)

  • edited May 13
    Climacus wrote: »
    I am not a cyclist....just very confused. I may be misunderstanding. Or just thick.

    I can see the erudite arguments made above re helmets. I too have read such research given. But let's say you were riding on a "safe" and separate track... Is it at all likely, possible?, probable?*, that, by some freak of nature or bike component failure that you tumble off? If the path is concrete and you go head first your brain could be in danger. Would not a helmet be a good idea just in case?

    As I said I am not a cyclist. And I am Australian where helmets have been compulsory for a long time (I recall the sheer rage of a policeman who caught teenage me not wearing one ... not at my breaking the law, but the fact I was endangering my brain.) I also recall the audible gasp from a cinema during a French film when a mother popped her child on a bike with no helmet -- you think I jest, but I do not.

    Thanks.


    * do you weigh up odds?

    I think most regular cyclists weigh the odds. RooK described how he weighs things. I wear a lid in the winter unless completely soft snow trail (wilderness) and also on some routes where I want the extra blinky light I've got on the back of the helmet.

    I've noticed all the helmets and how helmetless me stands out now downhill skiing. I note the downhill skiing because it's also considered something requiring a helmet. Only injury I've had doing that is a knee in 1971. Cycling ribs and vertebra. Injuries and age make me do both activities differently. Which is part of the weighing.

  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    Interesting re skiing and helmets. I "only" went 3 or so times each year for the past 3 years^, and in the Victorian snowfields helmets were definitely a kid thing, sported by only the very occasional adult. I was rather blind in those visits to any comparison with cycling, and stoutly refused one. They were not "pushed" in any sense, even though I self-identified as a beginner.
    RooK wrote: »
    Marsupial wrote: »
    I bike faster than I walk. Increased speeds, increased risk.

    Generally true, but the main risk of brain trauma is not due to your lateral velocity unless you're hitting a wall or a tree; speed on roads mostly just gives you nasty skin abrasions. Indeed, the unimpeded acceleration from regular standing height of your head on the ground vertically is the largest proportion of brain trauma-worrisome strikes. This generally supports @NOprophet_NØprofit's supposition.
    Truly amazing. To dumb me at least. Thank you.


    ^ I lived close by ... 1.5/2 hrs away...
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    Oh, and I did a WTF at your initial response, Karl. Surely cyclists are at more risk. Apologies. I see it does lead to interesting discussions on "lines".
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate
    edited May 14
    ...Yes individual cyclists can be bad. Behaviour change is not encouraged my helmets. Drivers consistently worry about being delayed. Cyclists consistently worry about being killed. Pedestrians and cars don't mix either. Which is why there is separated walking spaces where cars are not supposed to be. Cyclists are stuck between with no safe places to travel. The general message from everyone is that cyclists should buy cars or walk and stop pretending a bicycle is a legit transportion method.

    Oh and re red lights, are those driver red lights, pedestrian red lights or bicycle red lights? A cyclist isn't a driver, a pedestrian nor a canary.
    This was on Broadway, in Manhattan, in New York City, in front of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. There is a bicycle lane, so the cyclists had a "safe place to travel," but these cyclists were consistently (over the course of the week that I was there) riding in the midst of extremely heavy vehicular traffic as well as (sometimes) riding in their dedicated bike lane.

    The red lights there apply equally to everyone, even cyclists. But some cyclists are just special. They rode through their red lights without pausing, screaming at pedestrians who got in their way when the lights changed to "Walk."

    I had a friend who would have died when a van ran over her, had it not been for her helmet. I would have been, at the least, badly scarred without mine. You don't know what you're talking about. I do; I have lived it.

    Your comments are worthless bullshit, reflecting only your own personal prejudices and not anything resembling either real life or common sense. Go to hell. I hope you don't land there prematurely by defying the laws of physics, but that's up to you.



  • You've not seen separate traffic lights for bicyclists. Obviously.

    One experience and one individual's experiences aren't data. And some of us choose to not live nor travel in some places.
  • The RogueThe Rogue Shipmate
    Where there are separate light for cyclists they would still be red if the pedestrians crossing the lane have a green. Unless something is broken.

    I'm another one who's helmet reduced the impact when I came off my bike. Agreed that one datum does not make a trend but I will continue to wear a helmet.

    And the best way to reduce crashes is for all road users to be considerate towards each other. Quite simple, really.
  • sionisaissionisais Shipmate
    You've not seen separate traffic lights for bicyclists. Obviously.

    One experience and one individual's experiences aren't data. And some of us choose to not live nor travel in some places.

    1) There were separate lights. The cyclists rode through them.
    2) Rossweisse was talking about one friend, and never pretended that the incident she saw was a general case. On that basis it is a valid observation.

    God give me strength.
  • Leorning CnihtLeorning Cniht Shipmate
    edited May 14
    Rossweisse wrote: »
    This was on Broadway, in Manhattan, in New York City, in front of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. There is a bicycle lane, so the cyclists had a "safe place to travel," but these cyclists were consistently (over the course of the week that I was there) riding in the midst of extremely heavy vehicular traffic as well as (sometimes) riding in their dedicated bike lane.

    You're conflating two different things. On the one hand, you have arsehole cyclists riding dangerously, running red lights through pedestrian crossings, thus endangering the pedestrians, and then having the temerity to yell at the pedestrians for crossing the street at a pedestrian crossing. Ironically, this is the way that many cyclists are treated by car drivers - yet another example of the fact that people, whatever their chosen mode of transport, are arseholes.

    On the other hand, you have the choice not to wear a cycle helmet. This choice doesn't endanger other people, and doesn't deserve to be mentioned in the same rant. We've just recently had the helmet argument, and it's really not quite so clear-cut. I chose to wear a helmet when I cycled, but if I had had a job that required me to look presentable, I might well have chosen not to. Either way, my choice of headgear doesn't endanger another road user. Blowing through red lights yelling at pedestrians who are legally crossing the road does.

    As regards dedicated cycle lanes, my experience is that they almost never go where I want to go. If the bike lane is on the far right of the road, and I want to turn left at the next junction, the bike lane doesn't help me - I need to make my way over to the left hand lane. In heavy traffic, I will need to start moving over very early, because it will take me a while to safely get there. Which probably means it's not worth my while going in the bike lane in the first place.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate
    You've not seen separate traffic lights for bicyclists. Obviously. ...
    Certainly not at 63rd and Broadway in Manhattan, which is where those particular bicyclists chose to ride. There's one set of lights for all traffic on Broadway, and another for everyone crossing Broadway. Your comment is pointless and absurd. Obviously.
    ...you have the choice not to wear a cycle helmet. This choice doesn't endanger other people, and doesn't deserve to be mentioned in the same rant. ...my choice of headgear doesn't endanger another road user. Blowing through red lights yelling at pedestrians who are legally crossing the road does.
    Good point. I was just annoyed with those particular jerks, and the knowledge that I am among the people who will have to support them should they incur brain damage because of their lifestyle (truly) choice upped the ante on the annoyance.
    As regards dedicated cycle lanes, my experience is that they almost never go where I want to go. If the bike lane is on the far right of the road, and I want to turn left at the next junction, the bike lane doesn't help me - I need to make my way over to the left hand lane. In heavy traffic, I will need to start moving over very early, because it will take me a while to safely get there. Which probably means it's not worth my while going in the bike lane in the first place.
    At this particular intersection, it would make far more sense to stay in the bike lane - which is on the left side of the road - and walk one's bike across the street at the next intersection to make, in this case, a right. I know that's slower, but the traffic is heavy and NYC-crazy. The cars and trucks weave around more than a suicidal cyclist. I've always believed in going for the safer choice.


  • RooKRooK Admin Emeritus
    Back when I lived in Victoria, I rather enjoyed sharing the road on my bicycle with the cars in urban areas. The twisty and inconsistent streets made for slow traffic, which could be reasonable kept up with by a dedicated cyclist (and sometimes even me). Also, the dedicated bike routes separate from cars were a great way to traverse the non-urban segments.

    In stark contrast, I find riding in Portland Oregon nerve-wracking. The bike lanes are embarrassing fringes beside fast-moving cars, and most drivers simply do no see either pedestrians or pedeldestrians. Sharing the road seems unnecessarily complicated and dangerous; I suggest we remove the cars from half the urban streets and make entirely separate bike routes for the inter-urban zones (and car-oriented suburbs).

    Outside of either of these fantasy-like experiences, we are stuck in awkward reality. It's frustrating. Which is why we tend to not be our best selves in traffic, either in cars or on bikes. It's not the individuals, it's the situation foisted by failed planning.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate
    RooK wrote: »
    ...Outside of either of these fantasy-like experiences, we are stuck in awkward reality. It's frustrating. Which is why we tend to not be our best selves in traffic, either in cars or on bikes. It's not the individuals, it's the situation foisted by failed planning.
    It's scariest being a pedestrian who is at the mercy of either group. Now that I'm in a wheelchair, all but the most homicidal of both tend to be a little more careful, but I still had close calls with both teams. I think that what saved me was a fear of getting their vehicles dented on the part of the drivers, and of having to stop by the cyclists.



  • RooKRooK Admin Emeritus
    I hear what you're saying. Besides my own annoyances with neighborhoods with no provisions for pedestrians, I'm continually terrified by my easily-distracted elementary-school-age children perambulating anywhere near cars. Sprinkle on a handful of decades of experiences with a few hair-raising close calls, and my empathy is fully engaged.

    But systemically-speaking, pedestrians have a distinct edge over cyclists (in most of 'Merica, at least). Because the rights and risks of people on foot are well-recognized in law (pedestrians always have right of way by default), and pedestrians usually have some sort of provision for their existence built into most settings (sidewalks, crosswalks, etcetera). Meanwhile cyclists get very few functional rights or provisions, and are generally either expected to risk pedestrians or swim with the rolling death machines.

    This has the result of framing what is currently possible for individuals. Since people are strongly affected by circumstance, they can seem to reflect their experience.

    A person walking who is worried about cars has options to be quite cautious - stay on sidewalks, cross only at designated places and times. There remain risks at those crosswalks, but they are generally acceptable risks as long as one is wary. So to have a wary pedestrian feeling at risk by a bike encroaching in their nominally safe space is justifiably upsetting. Any time someone considers not walking somewhere due to safety reasons, it's usually a shitty-feeling circumstance.

    A person planning on going anywhere by bike is by default shouldering a significant risk burden. Cars don't seem to see you, which is fucking terrifying when you try to co-exist with them. Sidewalks are a tempting refuge from the cars, except for the oblivious slow people unpredictably littering the way. Spending some time being systemically risked by every aspect of the environment, it is easy to imagine urban cyclists ceasing to have much respect for the technicalities of that environment which rarely work in their favour anyway. When you have to assume that every car is trying to kill you and every pedestrian is trying to jump in your way, and you rely on your ability to duck and weave through all the threats... yeah, it's probably easy to hate everyone and everything in your way.

    TL;DR : You're all right. Use some basic empathy, assholes.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate
    Agreed, RooK. I have been a driver, a serious cyclist, and a pedestrian.

    As a driver, I have experienced the terror of having cyclists run lights and stop signs in front of me, or weave around dangerously, and having to jam on the brakes, right-of-way be damned.

    As a cyclist, I have been run off the road (and had cause to be grateful that I'd had the sense to wear a helmet, rather than playing the foolish - okay, stupid - wind-in-my-hair game), despite taking a pragmatic approach and yielding the right-of-way to aggressive drivers, because physics.

    As a pedestrian, I have come close to being run down by both drivers and cyclists, because there are just too many anal orifices at large out there. The law may be on our side, but that doesn't help when someone on wheels is (a) in a hurry, and (b) feels entitled.

    The latest menace is scooters; their riders - untrained, unhelmeted - are a danger to both themselves and the pedestrians they run into on the sidewalks they're not supposed to use.

    In a wheelchair, I feel, if possible, more exposed to danger than as either a pedestrian or a bicyclist, because I cannot run. Our society could use more compassion all around, on general principles.

  • Soror MagnaSoror Magna Shipmate
    OK, so let's compare those experiences:
    Rossweisse wrote: »
    Agreed, RooK. I have been a driver, a serious cyclist, and a pedestrian.

    As a driver, I have experienced the terror of having cyclists run lights and stop signs in front of me, or weave around dangerously, and having to jam on the brakes, right-of-way be damned.

    As a cyclist, I have been run off the road (and had cause to be grateful that I'd had the sense to wear a helmet, rather than playing the foolish - okay, stupid - wind-in-my-hair game), despite taking a pragmatic approach and yielding the right-of-way to aggressive drivers, because physics.

    As a pedestrian, I have come close to being run down by both drivers and cyclists, because there are just too many anal orifices at large out there. The law may be on our side, but that doesn't help when someone on wheels is (a) in a hurry, and (b) feels entitled.

    ....

    In a wheelchair, I feel, if possible, more exposed to danger than as either a pedestrian or a bicyclist, because I cannot run. Our society could use more compassion all around, on general principles.

    So let's review your data: you've experienced terror and annoyance as a driver, close calls as a pedestrian, you feel vulnerable using a wheelchair, but you actually got run off the road and crashed while cycling. All things being equal, experiencing terror and annoyance from within the safety of a vehicle sounds like more fun than close calls and crashes.

    And maybe next time you see a cyclist without a helmet, consider the guaranteed benefits of cycling - better for the individual, better for our communities, better for our planet - and compare those to annoyance, terror, and the much, much smaller risk of head injuries, which are not eliminated by bicycle helmets, only minimized or reduced in low speed impacts. And consider how much safer occupants of vehicles and pedestrians and mobility aid users would be if they wore helmets too. I had a colleague with CP who wore a helmet any time he was walking outside for precisely that reason. Wearing a helmet while using your wheelchair would be safer.

    Yes, humans can be assholes. Humans also truly, deeply, utterly and totally suck at risk assessment. The biggest actual threat to our existence right now is climate change, and cyclists, with or without helmets or head injuries, annoying, terrifying or otherwise, are literally saving other people's lives by not burning fossil fuels.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate
    ...So let's review your data... And maybe next time you see a cyclist without a helmet, consider the guaranteed benefits of cycling...
    Oh, for crying in a bucket. We have been through this many times. No, there are no guarantees with a helmet. There are no guarantees even as a motorist in a large vehicle.

    We all know that Cycling is Good. I was a serious cyclist for years. But to cycle without a helmet is to take unnecessary risks. (Had I been helmetless that time I was run off the road, I would have suffered serious scarring at the very least.) Whether it's because of the minor inconvenience of taking a few seconds to put it on, or the desire to feel the wind in one's hair, or sheer vanity, cyclists who don't wear helmets put themselves in danger for no good reason.

    When they combine that with the common Bad Bicyclist habits of running stop signs and red lights, riding the wrong way on one-way streets, weaving in and out of traffic, and riding on sidewalks, the dangers start to outweigh the benefits.

    Yes, more people should ride bicycles. But it's dangerous enough when the rider is sensible. Failing to take basic precautions just invites more danger, and not just to the cyclist.


  • Soror MagnaSoror Magna Shipmate
    So how does the helmet-less cyclist's - in your view, flawed - risk assessment hurt YOU? It doesn't. It annoys you, it frightens you, you think they're stupid, but the actual physical danger to you and others from that behaviour is infinitesimal, whereas the benefits are measurable and significant. "More danger, and not just to the cyclist" sounds good but it's statistical bullshit. There could be hundreds, even thousands of cyclists riding around with no helmets in your community, but they're not the ones KILLING OTHER PEOPLE every day.























  • RooKRooK Admin Emeritus
    I assume that the white space is meant to represent silent screaming. Very avant-garde.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate
    @Soror Magna, when they blow through stop signs and red lights, when they weave around through heavy traffic, and all the rest of it, they're putting themselves at severe risk. When they do it without a helmet, their odds get even worse. And there are no benefits to riding helmetless, aside from saving a few seconds to strap it on (because your hair is going to be bad whether it's flattened under a helmet or blowing free).

    How does it hurt ME? It hurts me because I care about people putting themselves in harm's way unnecessarily. It hurts me because I will never forget driving past a fatal bicycle accident a few minutes after it occurred, featuring a head wound that was completely unnecessary and avoidable. It hurts me because I worry about the costs to the injured individual, their family, and society.

    As for KILLING OTHER PEOPLE, cyclists do kill and injure pedestrians. It's not as frequent as vehicles killing and injuring cyclists, but it happens. And it's unnecessary, too. We all need to be aware of, and considerate toward, each other, no matter our means of conveyance.

    Why the over-the-top hostility toward someone advocating a basic safety measure? Oh, never mind - don't respond if the question is going to drive you to the use of ALL CAPS.


  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    edited May 21
    @Rossweisse wrote - We all know that Cycling is Good. I was a serious cyclist for years. But to cycle without a helmet is to take unnecessary risks. (Had I been helmetless that time I was run off the road, I would have suffered serious scarring at the very least.) Whether it's because of the minor inconvenience of taking a few seconds to put it on, or the desire to feel the wind in one's hair, or sheer vanity, cyclists who don't wear helmets put themselves in danger for no good reason.

    Yes, we have been through this many times. But, I say it again - have a look at my son’s city (Heidelberg) and it’s rammed with cyclists. Almost none have helmets. They are commuting to work, shopping, visiting etc etc. Only the long distance road bikers and mountain bikers wear helmets, so on the ordinary streets you just don’t see any helmets. And they are safe. It’s not a reckless place lacking regulation, there are many regulations, traffic and otherwise - they even regulate what noise can be made on Sundays! (eg no tipping bottles into recycling bins, no trucks on roads, shops closed etc)
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host
    I think the issue is that at a population level, a legal requirement for helmets appears to reduce the uptake of cycling which, at a population level, has a more negative health impact than the level of head injury in cyclists through not wearing a helmet.

    At an individual level, wearing a helmet does not reduce your chance of an accident, or protect you from injury except to your head. There is some evidence to suggest that motorists may be less careful around you if they see you are protected by a helmet. (Although this would be less of an issue with good cycling infrastructure.)

    On the other hand, wearing a helmet may prevent a low-speed collision or fall from being a life-changing event. An uncontrolled head-to-the-ground fall can be serious or fatal, even from a standing position. A bicycle is inherently less stable than a normal person walking or standing, and likely to be moving at greater speed. Even at quite low speed, an inspection cover, a stopcock cover, a patch of wet leaves or of loose gravel can be enough to have someone off their bike. 64% of all injury-related hospital admissions of cyclists in England in 2016/7 were incidents in which no other road user was involved. To be sure the largest single cause (38%) was collision with car, pick-up or van, but nearly 27% were due to slipping on ice - the second highest cause.

    My personal choice is to wear a bike helmet in view not only of a sense of responsibility to my nearest and dearest, but also because, where I live, an injury to me has a direct financial consequence on the community at large through the medical treatment and care I might then need.

    I can better understand the argument for not making helmets mandatory than I can the individual decision not to wear one.

    (I have never been in a bike or motorbike accident where wearing a helmet did make an actual difference, and the only bike accident I have had which required hospital treatment was for a very low speed fall on an unexpected patch of loose gravel resulting in a fracture to the neck of my femur.)
  • I'm another cyclist who is unconvinced by helmet use. I've had several accidents, which had me off the bike:
    • sliding on ice, spectacular bruises on the leg that landed first;
    • sliding on gravel (in the Forest, avoiding an exuberant dog) - major grazes on hands and knees for that one;
    • being hit by a motorbike - that's the only time I went to hospital as I broke my arm,
    • car door being opened in front of me - that cracked ribs as that's what hit the door together with the front wheel, which bent. The GP saw them, said no point taking to hospital;
    • several times sliding off the back of cars with CD plates who turned left on me when I was going straight ahead - bruised elbow.
    That last is the reason bikes sensibly move lanes, to be able to go straight ahead rather than being flattened by traffic turning left.

    Mostly my arms, hands and knees have taken the brunt of any damage. I do, however, wear a helmet.
  • RooKRooK Admin Emeritus
    Survivorship bias is a fascinating one to explore, but the use of helmets has fuck-all to do with sharing the road. Well, except for the part where drivers tend to act slightly more cautiously around bikers who don't wear a helmet.

    The premise that roads can be shared should have the concept that the duty of care is proportional to the potential for harm one possesses. Everyone should yield to pedestrians with grace, and cars should be additionally mindful of cyclists. But that's not going to happen, because humans suck at that kind of hierarchical consideration in general. Our amygdalas are evolved to serve us being opportunistic survivalists - we mostly optimize for what we can get and worry about what can hurt us. Particularly dreadful in cars, as what we can get is faster, and the only thing that can hurt us is other cars - decidedly not cyclists or pedestrians. And that darn amygdala doesn't report in terms of logic, it encodes feelings. So when a driver perceives something preventing them from going, they tend to feel annoyed instead of happily obliging road-sharer. Worse, since drivers aren't particularly afraid of cyclists or pedestrians, they get readily edited out of a driver's situational awareness.

    Upgrading humans is a fool's task. Roads shouldn't be shared - especially not with cars.
  • RooK wrote: »
    Roads shouldn't be shared - especially not with cars.

    I started advocating segregated infrastructure (as well as vastly improved public transport, FWIW) seventeen pages and fourteen months ago. The cyclists weren't keen, as I recall.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    RooK wrote: »
    Roads shouldn't be shared - especially not with cars.

    I started advocating segregated infrastructure (as well as vastly improved public transport, FWIW) seventeen pages and fourteen months ago. The cyclists weren't keen, as I recall.

    We're not keen on what we usually get. We'd be very keen on the sort of thing they manage in places like the Netherlands. However, our experience in the UK is that it's seldom fit for purpose.

    What we were really not keen on was the prospect of being given substandard infrastructure and then being forced to use it.
  • RooKRooK Admin Emeritus
    I started advocating segregated infrastructure (as well as vastly improved public transport, FWIW) seventeen pages and fourteen months ago.
    Sure, we agree, and you happened to agree first. But I agree better than you.
    KarlLB wrote: »
    We're not keen on what we usually get.
    A comment of insight worthy of the finale of GoT.
  • Have you seen much of the cycling provision in the UK? This review of the National Cycling Network from 2016 found 42% of it was poor and 4% was very poor. And that's the NCN network. The big problems are where what were quiet roads are now very busy, with shared bike and car use. A different issue is where the off road tracks have deteriorated.

    And that's assuming there is cycling provision in that area. I have to cycle 6 - 10 miles to get on to a cycle route, on very busy roads. And that's assuming those cycle tracks are going where I want to go.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited May 21
    I have an interesting situation. Eldest son is doing his Yr10 Work Experience at my place of work, albeit with a different team. It's three miles from the railway station in the centre of the city to the office by the flattest route. I can do it in around 15 minutes on a good day, on road. To do it as much as possible on "cycling infrastructure", the following applies:

    1. Despite it being virtually flat by the direct route from station to office, we must climb 260 feet.
    2. We have to travel half a mile further
    3. We're still sharing some roads frequented by lorries.
    4. If my experience of these routes is anything to go by, we will experience twice the normal likelihood of a puncture.

    I'll go that way for these two weeks, under protest, because I don't want him laminated to Attercliffe Road. But it shouldn't be this way.

  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Have you seen much of the cycling provision in the UK? This review of the National Cycling Network from 2016 found 42% of it was poor and 4% was very poor. And that's the NCN network. The big problems are where what were quiet roads are now very busy, with shared bike and car use. A different issue is where the off road tracks have deteriorated.

    And that's assuming there is cycling provision in that area. I have to cycle 6 - 10 miles to get on to a cycle route, on very busy roads. And that's assuming those cycle tracks are going where I want to go.

    If you're on a road bike, then only a small proportion of it is actually usable at all. It's like providing motorists with roads you can only use if you're driving a 4x4.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate
    BroJames wrote: »
    I think the issue is that at a population level, a legal requirement for helmets appears to reduce the uptake of cycling which, at a population level, has a more negative health impact than the level of head injury in cyclists through not wearing a helmet. ...
    That is what I have gathered.

  • Soror MagnaSoror Magna Shipmate
    Rossweisse wrote: »
    ...
    How does it hurt ME? It hurts me because I care about people putting themselves in harm's way unnecessarily. It hurts me because I will never forget driving past a fatal bicycle accident a few minutes after it occurred, featuring a head wound that was completely unnecessary and avoidable. It hurts me because I worry about the costs to the injured individual, their family, and society.
    ...
    Why the over-the-top hostility toward someone advocating a basic safety measure? Oh, never mind - don't respond if the question is going to drive you to the use of ALL CAPS.

    I see the problem. You are making an argument from decency and thoughtfulness, but the vast majority of drivers making the same argument generally are not. The subtext of the overwhelming majority of "cyclists are crazy and careless" complaints is "If they don't care about their lives, why should I? If they're trying to kill themselves, what can I do?" Those kinds of comments are intended to blame cyclists and absolve drivers. I'm sorry, those are the people that deserve the ALL CAPS, not you.
    I started advocating segregated infrastructure (as well as vastly improved public transport, FWIW) seventeen pages and fourteen months ago. The cyclists weren't keen, as I recall.

    The lack of keen-ness may come from the fact that cyclists in North America have seen a lot of segregated infrastructure for bikes that doesn't actually go anywhere we want to go. It's easy to put bike lanes in parks and residential neighbourhoods, for example, but that's not where the jobs, schools, and shops are.

    One thing that I absolutely love about my local public transport is that all buses have bike racks, so I can load my bike on the bus on my way to work (so I arrive fresh as a daisy) and then ride home at the end of the day (about 15 km). Plus I have the choice of a scenic, meandering waterfront route or the bike lane one block off the major E-W business corridor.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate
    I see the problem. You are making an argument from decency and thoughtfulness, but the vast majority of drivers making the same argument generally are not. ... I'm sorry, those are the people that deserve the ALL CAPS, not you. ...
    Thank you. No, I was a cyclist for far too long to believe that. I would always rather give up the right-of-way, whether as a bicyclist or a driver (it's a lot harder as a pedestrian), than see anyone injured.

    It probably sounds naive, but I truly believe that the world would be a better place if everybody on the road just took precautions, obeyed the laws, used common sense, and exercised charity toward others. There's too much anger floating around, and the road is a particularly bad place to let it loose.
  • Golden KeyGolden Key Shipmate
    Rossweisse--

    I don't know if this would be appropriate for you, and you may already be doing it...

    But some people put a sort of lightweight flagpole on their wheelchairs or bikes. It has a warning flag, and sticks up high enough that it might help you be noticed in traffic. (I had one on a long-ago bike.)

    I was just thinking that might a) make you more safe intersections, and b) help you feel more safe.

    FWIW, YMMV, etc.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate
    Thank you for the suggestion, @Golden Key.
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    Rossweisse wrote: »
    I see the problem. You are making an argument from decency and thoughtfulness, but the vast majority of drivers making the same argument generally are not. ... I'm sorry, those are the people that deserve the ALL CAPS, not you. ...
    Thank you. No, I was a cyclist for far too long to believe that. I would always rather give up the right-of-way, whether as a bicyclist or a driver (it's a lot harder as a pedestrian), than see anyone injured.

    It probably sounds naive, but I truly believe that the world would be a better place if everybody on the road just took precautions, obeyed the laws, used common sense, and exercised charity toward others. There's too much anger floating around, and the road is a particularly bad place to let it loose.

    Amen

  • sionisaissionisais Shipmate
    KarlLB wrote: »
    RooK wrote: »
    Roads shouldn't be shared - especially not with cars.

    I started advocating segregated infrastructure (as well as vastly improved public transport, FWIW) seventeen pages and fourteen months ago. The cyclists weren't keen, as I recall.

    We're not keen on what we usually get. We'd be very keen on the sort of thing they manage in places like the Netherlands. However, our experience in the UK is that it's seldom fit for purpose.

    What we were really not keen on was the prospect of being given substandard infrastructure and then being forced to use it.

    A serious difference is that road users in the Netherlands are, for the most part, Dutch. Dutch motorists, while not necessarily nicer than their British counterparts, are I'm sure, more cycle-aware, as indeed are the Belgians and the French.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    sionisais wrote: »
    KarlLB wrote: »
    RooK wrote: »
    Roads shouldn't be shared - especially not with cars.

    I started advocating segregated infrastructure (as well as vastly improved public transport, FWIW) seventeen pages and fourteen months ago. The cyclists weren't keen, as I recall.

    We're not keen on what we usually get. We'd be very keen on the sort of thing they manage in places like the Netherlands. However, our experience in the UK is that it's seldom fit for purpose.

    What we were really not keen on was the prospect of being given substandard infrastructure and then being forced to use it.

    A serious difference is that road users in the Netherlands are, for the most part, Dutch. Dutch motorists, while not necessarily nicer than their British counterparts, are I'm sure, more cycle-aware, as indeed are the Belgians and the French.

    Presumed Liability makes them so.
  • sionisaissionisais Shipmate
    KarlLB wrote: »
    sionisais wrote: »
    KarlLB wrote: »
    RooK wrote: »
    Roads shouldn't be shared - especially not with cars.

    I started advocating segregated infrastructure (as well as vastly improved public transport, FWIW) seventeen pages and fourteen months ago. The cyclists weren't keen, as I recall.

    We're not keen on what we usually get. We'd be very keen on the sort of thing they manage in places like the Netherlands. However, our experience in the UK is that it's seldom fit for purpose.

    What we were really not keen on was the prospect of being given substandard infrastructure and then being forced to use it.

    A serious difference is that road users in the Netherlands are, for the most part, Dutch. Dutch motorists, while not necessarily nicer than their British counterparts, are I'm sure, more cycle-aware, as indeed are the Belgians and the French.

    Presumed Liability makes them so.

    Very likely, but would that occur without the Dutch being Dutch?
  • AnselminaAnselmina Shipmate
    Another past study on helmets which backs up to a degree both sides of the 'should we wear/not wear' argument.

    Including a couple of photos just to remind us what an un-helmeted cyclist's head might look like, post autopsy. So a helmet may not save your life or prevent bad injury. But then again it might.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate
    ...This study concludes that cyclists should wear helmets, but they should also be aware that it cannot protect them in particular situations. ... This study focused on the potential contribution of a bicycle helmet. We strongly recommend wearing helmets, because 37% of cyclists from our group could have survived if they had been wearing helmets at the time of the crashes. ...
    37% of the lives in the study seem worth saving to me. This is why I really don't understand the hostility to helmets too often seen here.

  • RooKRooK Admin Emeritus
    Rossweisse wrote: »
    37% of the lives in the study seem worth saving to me. This is why I really don't understand the hostility to helmets too often seen here.

    Because it might feel like saying that some percentage of women would avoid needing to go to the emergency room if they wore body armour when their husbands beat them. Technically true, but maybe not the root problem to focus on. The study clearly states that the biggest need is with respect to cyclists getting hit by cars; maybe we could think of a way to not have the cyclists jousting the cars?
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    RooK wrote: »
    Rossweisse wrote: »
    37% of the lives in the study seem worth saving to me. This is why I really don't understand the hostility to helmets too often seen here.

    Because it might feel like saying that some percentage of women would avoid needing to go to the emergency room if they wore body armour when their husbands beat them. Technically true, but maybe not the root problem to focus on. The study clearly states that the biggest need is with respect to cyclists getting hit by cars; maybe we could think of a way to not have the cyclists jousting the cars?

    I wonder how many lives would be saved if pedestrians and car occupants routinely wore helmets?

    It's not that they never work; it's just whether the danger is great enough to be worth getting excited over. As I understand it, the risk is something in the order of 1 in a million miles ridden and isn't that much different with a helmet.
  • sionisaissionisais Shipmate
    RooK wrote: »
    Rossweisse wrote: »
    37% of the lives in the study seem worth saving to me. This is why I really don't understand the hostility to helmets too often seen here.

    Because it might feel like saying that some percentage of women would avoid needing to go to the emergency room if they wore body armour when their husbands beat them. Technically true, but maybe not the root problem to focus on. The study clearly states that the biggest need is with respect to cyclists getting hit by cars; maybe we could think of a way to not have the cyclists jousting the cars?

    Note: references to cricket follow:

    The principle of "compensating risk" might apply here. When I was a lad no cricketers wore helmets until Mike Brearley used one like a baseball batters cap, with cheek protectors. Batsmen either took on the short ball or got out of the way. Some jumped around like startled rabbits, the better ones simply leaned back and watched the ball go by.

    Nowadays, all batters, men and women and at school level I believe if a hard ball is being used, have to wear helmets and far more of them try to hook the short ball. I'm sure this is because they feel that the helmet gives them protection, and I believe it does, although we know from the memory of poor Phil Hughes, who died after being hit on the back of the skull, low down, that the best protection doesn't eliminate risk entirely.
  • AnselminaAnselmina Shipmate
    A little like the argument that suggests that putting padded boxing gloves on boxers actually gave them the ability to hit harder for longer; as opposed to bare-knuckle fighting where several hard punches could disable one's own hands, so fighters were a little more circumspect in their level of violence. (Don't know if that's actually true!)
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