Today I saw something shocking.
I saw a young woman cycling on the road with her young son cycling behind her. She had a bike which had her young daughter behind her. However the way she was cycling could have got all three of them killed.
Please read below and I’ll tell you how to cycle safely.
Mankind is facing two terrible challenges.
The first is obesity. For the first time in history, we have a generation where parents are outliving their children. We live in a society that breeds obesity. Believe or not if you live in the West your government wants you to be obese (1) and (2). It is very much in your government’s interest for you to die early.
The second is global warming. As CO2 levels rise then we have a catastrophe on our hands. CO2 absorbs heat. As it does so the world’s temperature will rise leading to the melting of the icecaps and the world’s weather will change. Droughts will occur. We’ve had wars of oil supplies in the past. I don’t care what the politicians say you can’t tell me that there wasn’t an oil component to the Gulf wars. However, in future, there will be wars over water and food supplies.
However, we have a weapon that can combat both. It’s the bicycle.
Let’s look at the differences.
In 1991 one of the big motoring organizations produced a video called Car care . This video showed that the average running of a car was, in those days 35p a mile, taking into account wear and tear, depreciation, road tax, petrol, insurance, finance charging and servicing. The taxman allows 44p per mile to allow for this.
A bike costs a lot less than that. There is no road tax, very little insurance, finance charging and a service is very cheap.
Cars pollute –no matter what you say. They produce all sorts of pollution. Bikes produce zero pollution.
In the space, it takes to park one car you can park around 4 bikes. Car parking is very expensive.
By definition, cars can cause considerable traffic congestion. However, bikes do not cause congestion. I must digress and tell you the story of one incident when I was a student. My housemate used to drive to lectures. Just bear in mind you can walk from our house to Sheffield University in about 15 minutes. She set off at 0745 for a 0900 lecture because of congestion and the time taken to get a parking spot.
I left the house at 0840 and on my way to lectures, I passed her! As I went past her car I knocked on the window. Needless to say, she was not impressed.
Wear and tear of the roads
Cars cause a lot of wear and tear on the road. Bikes cause very little wear and tear. I have often wondered what our road repair and maintenance bill would be like if we all cycled or walked.
Lots of car drivers break the speed limit. Unless you are super fit it’s very hard for a cyclist to break the speed limit!
Cycle no less than a meter from the kerb
However, ensure you cycle safely. The key to that is to cycle no less than one metre from the kerb. There are four reasons for this. If you are flush against the pavement and a car goes past the wind effect can knock you over. There tends to be glass and potholes at the edge of roads. If you go past a T-junction and you go past and a car pulls out you have had it. Lastly, if you go past a parked car and someone opens a door you’ve had it!
This woman had put her children at considerable risk. If you are cycling always cycle no less than one meter from the kerb.
(1) The Budget 2016 : a sweet and sour budget http://app.talkfusion.com/newsletters/vn_view.asp?NTYwMjA0_38088670
(2) The war is coming James Bond https://app.talkfusion.com/newsletters/vn_view.asp?NjEwNDQ4_45405005
3 September 2017