Stay positive - just ride the bike
By Andrew Brown, posted 27 September 2017
Contact on twitter @justridethebike
Seven bike riders have dies in London in the first nine months of 2017. We need to be positive, focus on how great riding a bike can be and push for change.
The last few weeks has seen the whole gamut of outcomes, emotions and triumphs as well as some tragedy in the world of cycling. When all you want to do is just ride the bike – no we never tire of that phrase – what’s occurred today (27 September) puts everything in perspective.
Another bike rider died today.
That’s seven cyclists killed in London so far, this year with no "urgent reviews" into why. One pedestrian dies due to a cyclist – which is a sad and needless occurrence just as the death this morning - and there have been vast column inches dedicated to the legal case before during and afterwards. There is pressure for a review into laws affecting cyclists with no proper comparison in to the behaviours of road drivers.
Anyone with any interest in riding a bike might know this already. But if you do not then please visit the Guardian web site, check out the article by Laura Laker where she points out the errors in Jesse Norman’s proclamation.
Then please check the Tweets of people like Mark Treasure @AsEasyAsRiding of the GBCycling Embassy. He is harsh sometimes, but fair. But if you need balance and great informed debate go no further than Chris Boardman @Chris_Boardman or Pete Walker @peterwalker99. They are the voices or reason who spread calm when the world seems to explode in a rage against cycling.
The answer is to stay positive. Focus on reasoned debate and sound argument and, ride according to the rules and not antagonise anyone who has it in for cyclists.
So, let’s celebrate the good stuff going. Last week were the UCI cycling world championships in Bergen, Norway. It was, apart from not allowing the women time trialists to finish in the same place as the men (weird and illogical), a real celebration. The crowds were fantastic. And, let’s be honest, so was Peter Sagan.
Sagan, is a real bike rider. Any bike. In reports of the men’s elite road race it claimed he was messing about and cracking jokes off the back of the peloton. Then he ends up timing his finish to perfection beating the Norwegian home crowd’s favourite to win – think this over – his third consecutive world championship. He is a class act. And fun too. What bike riding should be about.
So, here is a question: is bike riding anything to do with e-bikes? We ask this because as we reported the other day, there were loads of them at the Cycle Show in the NEC. Taking that as a guide for the way the bike industry sees the market you’d have to say that e-bikes do represent the future. We’re going to investigate this more – but what do you think dear reader?
One thing we did pick up on is that e-bikes are misunderstood in Britain. No surprise there. The UK, despite the ride in cycling numbers in recent years and great books like Bike Nation; How to Save the World, doesn’t get the idea of riding any bike (not really) let alone an e-bike.
We are going to try and educate ourselves, the cycling community and add to the debate about riding bikes in Britain. So that no one dies and we can all be safe, have fun, get fit and live longer. Because that is what we are about: just riding the bike.