Cyclists of the world, unite in your hatred of cyclists

Posts tagged ‘wankers’

Let’s face it, cyclists are bigger bastards than ever

See, cyclists are such bastards they randomly punch doctors on the street.

I fucking hate cyclists. It was my default position before I started cycling and it hasn’t changed in the least since I became one myself. Self righteous, nauseatingly arrogant and completely selfish wankers to a man. I feel the same about the anti-smoking Nazis. I’ve been given up for almost 6 months now but I refuse to jump on the ‘persecute smokers’ bandwagon merely because I’m now on the other side of the fence. If you are smoking outside, or alone in your own home, that is your business and I genuinely do not give a good goddamn. Holy good God smoking a rollie in Heaven, I want one now.

Some days everyone looks like this to me

However, I digress. The point is that all cyclists seem to have their own individual, entirely biased system of road rules, which they will then arrogantly expect to apply to every other road user. This is true of all road users to a lesser extent, we are always the main player in our own story after all. The difference is that, while drivers have an extensive program of training on both the practical side of driving and the details of The Highway Code, followed by compulsory testing, cyclists need only buy a bike. Any other cycle training or even a brief skim reading of the cyclist relevant parts of The Highway Code (by the way, that is pretty much every section of The Highway Code except the motorway stuff, not just the bits with pictures of bikes) is purely optional on the part of the cyclist. To me this is like being told you need a license to fly a plane but all you need to do to fly a helicopter is buy one.

Cycle training and testing should be compulsory and that is that. You can argue that it would be too difficult to implement or that it would put people off cycling if you like, but the fact remains that if we want to improve road education (something which the anti-helmet crowd I mentioned yesterday are very keen on, though they never seem to make any suggestions for how to go about it) then the only way to achieve that is by educating road users. We don’t get better road users by saying, “We need better road users”. We might get them if we say “Oi, you on the fixie with the stupid haircut. Yes you. Take out the headphones please sir. Thank you. Now, can I see your cycling licence please sir? You don’t have one? I’m arresting you for operating a vehicle without the proper license sir. You have the right to remain silent.” Actually, thinking about it, we should probably get a policeman to say this instead, it will be more effective. Admittedly, there are millions of bad drivers out there who have passed through all the necessary training and testing and are still bad drivers. The faults and inadequacies of Driver testing are perhaps a conversation for another time however. At least motorists have that common point, that consistent element to their training that always draws them back to the rules of the road, even if they choose to ignore them and become black-cab drivers.

At the moment, most cyclists I encounter seem to operate on a combination of intuition, observations of roadcraft gleaned from late night pirate taxi-journeys and London’s infamous bad attitude. An average London cyclist’s philosophy appears to be:

  1. The notion that no matter what you do, you cannot be wrong.
  2. The best method is to ride as if there is not a single other vehicle on the road and London is your own personal velodrome.
  3. If anyone challenges you or gets in your way shout a mouthful of insults and ride away before they can respond.

I should point out that I do not imagine myself to always be entirely above making mistakes or the occasional case of bad road judgement, but I can honestly say that I try to maintain adherence to the rules of the road while also trying to be courteous to other road users. I never knowingly cut people off or obstruct them if I can help it, unless your name is Boris – Two Wheeled Scarecrow – Johnson. A forgivable exception I think you will agree.

In case you are wondering what prompted this tirade, I did have an incident this morning on my way to work. Fortunately it happened quite near work, as I was seething with anger afterward and don’t like to ride angry. Turning right off Waterloo Bridge on the North side when the lights go green is an awkward and difficult manoeuvre at the best of times, with closely packed lorries, buses, motorcycle couriers and black taxis bottle-necking there at most hours of the day and night. Add to that a large group of London rush hour cyclists and you will accept that it is a situation which a wise rider will handle carefully. I got into a position near the front of the group, ahead of a few Boris bikes and traditionals, but trying not to get in the way of any of the serious, super lightweight road bike riders, in the usual sponsorship plastered cycle clothing that they hope makes them look like they got lost while competing in Le Tour. Sure enough, the serious riders took off a little bit quicker than me and I got quickly clear of the slower bikes without getting in anyone’s way. As I turned right toward Aldwych a large refrigerator lorry came past me on my offside, so I slowed slightly to let him go ahead of me. Then, as we got onto Aldwych he slowed right down again. Now here I made a slight error of judgement, which I hold my hands up to. I couldn’t really pull out and overtake him as the traffic on his offside was too busy, but there was plenty of space on his near-side and he was now almost at a complete stop. In my experience, when someone (especially in something as lethal and blind-spot ridden as a large lorry) is quibbling about directions, or driving in any way unusually, your best bet is to hang back and let them do whatever they are going to do. It usually indicates that the driver’s full attention is not on other road users and their actions may be unpredictable. So I should have hung back, but I didn’t. Under the mistaken impression that he had seen me in his mirror I kicked down and made for the large space between the front of the lorry and the parked van just ahead. Of course, as I should have anticipated he chose that moment to make up his mind and take off, though it wasn’t too much of problem because I saw what was going to happen in time and was able to brake, albeit a little suddenly. I’ve no sooner done this than I have another cyclist alongside me shouting some unintelligible criticism at me, before cycling off in self-righteous anger. I shouted after him that he should come back and tell me what it was that bothered him (fuel to the fire I admit) and to my surprise and his credit he did slow down to let me catch up, stating, “I said ‘Jesus Christ!’ because you stopped so suddenly. Why don’t you look behind you?”

I responded, without undue anger I feel, that I hadn’t had any choice as my path was cut off by the lorry, at which point he rode away again shouting, “Just fucking look behind you!”. I admit I may have shouted something similarly childish and ten times more abusive before he was out of earshot, but he didn’t return and I soon turned into Drury Lane.

The flaw in his logic is that, if I brake suddenly and it causes him a problem behind me, that can only mean that he must have been far too close to my back wheel in the first place. Not only that, but the mistake that I had made in dangerously trying to undertake the lorry, he must by extension have made too. I had a choice between brake or be run down, so looking behind me was neither a possibility nor a necessity. By the time I had looked behind me I would have been injured or dead. Apparently this is the course of action that I should have followed however, rather than slightly inconveniencing a Lance Armstrong wannabe by forcing him to try to remember where his brakes are.

If you are in a car and you do not keep a safe distance from the vehicle ahead, you cannot blame the car in front for braking in reaction to something that has taken place ahead of them, such as a child running out or a cyclist attempting a silly manoeuvre intended to cut off Boris Johnson’s progress. Well, you can but no one will take you seriously and it will be you, not them who gets penalised if driving too close to the car in front results in an accident. The point being, there is a certain amount of common ground between drivers, at least in theory. I’ve never known anyone who, having been through the process of learning to drive, could claim complete ignorance on the subject of stopping distances, even if they don’t really know them by heart or observe them in practice. I don’t think such a notion even occurs to the majority of cyclists. I think the police need to crack down on cycling law breakers, both cyclists and those who put cyclists in danger, and if not compulsory testing then we need to bring in compulsory cycle training at the very least. It will be difficult to find a workable way of doing it (and debating that may need to be a topic for a later blog) and I realise that it may put people off cycling, but cyclists put themselves and others in danger every day due to ignorance and ambivalence toward the rules of the road. I want to see the idiots penalised as surely as they would be behind the wheel of a car or on a motorcycle. I’m dreaming, but hey, I’m not the only one.

I fucking hate cyclists.

p.s. If you are interested in cycle training, there are free and subsidised courses offered all over London. TFL’s website has details of how to find your nearest course which you can find here

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Wednesday 14/09/11

MORNING

He was worried about pollution, then he got hit by a bus

Seemed like there was a lot of bare heads out there this morning, which reminded me about something I’ve wanted to talk about for a while: Helmets.

To me there seems to be a lot of stupidity about this entire issue. I don’t expect hipsters to wear them, (they are brain damaged already or they wouldn’t be wearing their hair like that) but I’m surprised just how many average looking cyclists, and in particular retro and foldy riders don’t wear their helmets.

There are two arguments against wearing helmets that I have heard bandied about quite often and they go something like this:

  • There is no evidence whatsoever that helmets protect you when you are riding a bike. Well, this is only half true at best, but as you might expect it is a very difficult thing to gauge. The statistics for cycle accidents, head injuries and helmet usage rates over time (known as time trend analyses) show no significant decrease in head injury rates as helmet usage increases. Unfortunately, these kind of studies can never take into account every factor and there is no general consensus among study authors as to which data sets are most significant. The other major type of study, which compares head injury rates between those involved in accidents wearing a helmet and those not, known ‘Case Control Studies’ often indicate that helmets drastically reduce the seriousness of injuries sustained during a collision, one famously stating that they may:

Source – ” …reduce the risk of head injury in a collision by 63-88% and injury to the upper and mid face by 65%” Thompson, Diane C; Rivara, Fred; Thompson, Robert (1999). “Helmets for preventing head and facial injuries in bicyclists”

However, amongst other criticisms of this particular study it has been suggested that this is an incorrect figure due to a misunderstanding of the mathematical principles applied to the ratio of helmet wearers to non-helmet wearers. So even if you believe it, I wouldn’t go quoting this figure in the pub if I were you. Particularly if you go to the pub with a lot of mathematicians. On the other hand, there is no tangible evidence that wearing a helmet puts you in increased danger (despite what some people would have you think, of which more in the next point) so if there is even a slight chance that it will protect you, why would you not wear one? The only reason I can think of is vanity, and that is no reason to get your head smashed in by a black cab. Though it may be a reason to get your head smashed in by me if you are the hipster on the fixie that skidded in front of me with his earphones in before almost taking out a pedestrian crossing at the lights this morning.

  • Studies show that wearing a cycle helmet actually increases your chance of serious injury. Okay, now I will quote some facts with regard to why people think this, but first let me just say this; At least in relation to cycling in London, this is the one of the most ludicrous fucking arguments I have ever heard about anything. Here is how it breaks down. Studies have shown a marked increase in the danger of rotational injuries. That is, injuries caused by torsional forces acting on the wider circumference of the rim of the helmet than that of the wearer’s head. This can cause two problems, the first being that your head may be subjected to torsional forces it may otherwise have avoided and the second being that the wider circumference will increase those forces in the same way that a longer lever will have greater force than a short one. Don’t misunderstand me, this is a very real danger with some helmets and can lead to fatal injury and serious brain damage. However, most helmets now have a design with allows the main shell of the helmet to disengage under high torsional forces and more are being designed with slip plains now, another innovation that reduces this risk severely. So we could pretty much discard this as an argument about most helmets and could discard it altogether if regulations on helmet design forced manufacturers to include these elements in every helmet. Now, here is where it gets really silly. Many people claim that cyclists ride more dangerously when wearing a helmet than when they are not and that motorists give helmet wearing cyclists less room than their bare-headed counterparts. While this may be true, this is surely only an issue that exists when you have both variations. If the only type of cyclist on the road is the type that wears a helmet, then everyone will acclimatise to that reality and if they don’t then they require educating in correct road usage. This isn’t an argument against wearing helmets in my view, this is an argument for mandatory cycle training before road use is permitted and for increased education during driver training as to what is a safe distance from cyclists. How is this an argument against wearing a helmet? Surely this is an argument for stopping idiots who don’t know how to ride a bike or drive a car, from riding a bike or driving a car.

In addition to the points above, many opponents of cycle helmets quote the rejection of compulsory helmet legislation by various organisations (such as the European Cyclists’ Federation) as a reason not to wear a helmet. What they fail to understand is that in almost all such cases the legislation has been rejected, not because they believe helmets fail to prevent injury but rather because studies have shown that overall numbers of cyclists on the road dip dramatically upon the introduction of mandatory helmet laws. So they make their decision by comparing the number of fatalities under non mandatory helmet laws (often while accepting that it is slightly higher) with the overall, long-term health benefits to the population in question as a whole and come to the conclusion that it is better to have a generally healthy populace with a few bike related fatalities than an unhealthy populace, populacing their clogs from heart disease every five minutes. This no doubt makes good statistical sense and I won’t argue with it, but it should not influence in any way your personal choice of whether or not to wear a helmet. It especially shouldn’t influence you if you are riding in a busy city environment like London, or the central area of any other major UK city.

I have personally been involved in two accidents on my bike, one in London that wasn’t my fault, one in Cumbria that possibly was. I won’t go into the details (though perhaps I might some other time) but suffice to say that they both could have been a great deal worse than they were and I was lucky both times. In neither incident did I sustain even the slightest head or facial injury, though I can’t be certain if that is due to my helmet protecting me or simply that my head and face weren’t in danger. After one of the accidents there was light scoring on the helmet, which, erring on the side of caution I replaced the next day. This would indicate that it did provide some protection.

So, in the final calculation, balancing all the arguments against one another I have to say that none of them are conclusive in terms of statistics, so the only approach which makes any sense is to discard them (at least until some sort of consensus is reached) and follow whichever course of action seems most sensible to you. Personally I feel that the most compelling arguments come from the pro helmet camp, and can only see the arguments against helmets as based on misguided and often unrelated statistics, or superficial concerns for the state of the riders hair-do. The fact that I still have my faculties (some may debate this point) after two accidents is bound to bias me though, so don’t say I didn’t take this into account too. My one piece of advice would be to ask yourself these two questions, in this order: Do you feel safer with or without a helmet? Can you honestly and truthfully be certain that your decision is not based on concern for how you or your hair looks? Trust me, it will look a lot worse spread in matted clumps across the tarmac.

Tuesday 13/09/11

13/09/11

MORNING

This morning’s ride was refreshingly free of idiots of the two-wheeled variety. I mean, there were plenty of them about but I managed to stay out of their way and they stayed out of mine. I still had the usual one or two fuckers on foldies who decide to pull in front of you at the lights. Granted, some of these bikes can be pretty nippy from a standing start, but the fact remains I am clearly going to go faster at top speed, so why pull in front of me and hold me up?

Perfect, now it will take up less space in the skip

This reminds me of a couple of guys on Bromptons that did this to me last week on New Oxford St at the lights just before Centre Point. A more atypical pair of foldy riders you could not hope to find. Late forties, dressed in suits, with their right trouser legs folded neatly into their thigh length socks. I don’t know what their hurry was precisely, they were only ever going to get as far as the next set of lights turning into Tottenham Court Road. Which is precisely where I repaid them in kind, sitting directly in front of them while I waited for the green light. Okay, I realise that sounds a tad childish, but the truth is, they had unnecessarily displaced me and I’m buggered if I’m going to be stuck behind these dicks for the next 500 metres while buses and lorries overtake on my offside. Of course, when I sit in front of them I can hear them sniping about me behind my back, perhaps under the mistaken impression that I can’t hear them. Now, believe it or not, I carefully cultivate a calm and considered attitude while cycling as I believe riding angry is very dangerous. So instead of turning and giving these two a piece of my mind, I instead turned around and commented on what a lovely morning for cycling it was. The main moaner responded with a strangled looking smile. So many Londoners think you won’t respond at all, but respond with politeness and congeniality and you really confuse them. Then the lights changed and off we went. Now, at that particular set of lights, though you will nearly always have traffic (as I say, often consisting of lorries and buses) following behind you, but you have about a ten metre head start due to how far forward bikes can stop. Often you will find that idiots on bikes of all descriptions will try to overtake you in the very small window between the lights changing and the traffic catching up. So it was on that day, except this foldy fool was doing it because he felt he had a point to prove. One of my mantras when I ride is this – it’s not a race, know your pace and stick to it. What this means is, I left those lights at the pace I would normally, regardless of the middle-aged fool trying to race me on his old lady bike. If he wants to put himself at risk that is his own stupid lookout. As we took off I changed rapidly up the gears and kicked down to quickly get myself in the safer part of the road past the construction site and noticed the daft bugger coming out wide, pedalling like a maniac to overtake, his stupid sweaty face bulging out bright red below his helmet. He was never going to make it. I’m younger (not by much admittedly, but still), fitter, on a faster bike and I had the advantage of about a metre and a half to start with, so inevitably he was forced to pull in behind me. Otherwise the last thing that would have gone through his mind would have been the front tyre of the 134 to North Finchley. I did risk a quick glance behind me and it was all I could do to suppress a smile, or resist blowing him a sarcastic kiss. Suffice to say he combined two of my pet hates among cycling sins, the middle-aged man who wants to prove he can out-cycle younger men and of course, foldy riders, who should either get proper bikes or use public transport, instead of this having their cake and eating it nonsense that results in some of the worst and most dangerously clueless riders on London’s roads, with the possible exception of people on Boris bikes.

Yes, they actually let this man operate a bike. And a city.

Speaking of which, I saw Boris again today on New Oxford St. Where is he going? His building is on the river, in the direction I have just come from. Unless he lives somewhere nearby and heads through Soho. Or perhaps he makes daily attempts at escape before The Met are despatched to bring him back, like a toddler running to the garden and jumping in a pedal car to escape giving the great-aunt a kiss. I cut him up as usual, veering across his path at the last second and leaving him stuck behind the departing bus, barely suppressing the urge to shout “HA! TAKE THAT TORY SCUM!”, which would risk making me look like a fanatic. I’m waiting for the day that he snaps and bellows something about the lower classes in my direction. My smartphone’s video setting awaits you Boris.

EVENING

I’d like to know what precisely I have done to earn the contempt of every single Clarkes Coaches driver in the city. Perhaps it isn’t just me, as I have seen them almost kill one or two other cyclists too. Whatever the reason, it seems that I always encounter one of the bastards somewhere between the river and Brixton and if I don’t give them an exceptionally wide berth they will generally end up trying to scrape my leg with their front wheel arch.

Tonight was no exception. No other coach company seems so singularly intent upon reducing London’s cycling population, though they aren’t always the most considerate drivers on the road as a group. A bit like bus drivers, some are good, more are bad, but I wouldn’t want to tar them all with the same brush, (unlike black cabs who I have decided are all homicidal maniacs). So why have I yet to encounter a Clarkes driver that isn’t bent upon my destruction? Whenever I travel through that part of London I feel like a wild, grazing animal on the open plain, never quite sure where or when the large, dangerous predator is going to strike. Stay with the herd, if you lose them he’ll pick you off!

Cyclists are C**ts

Arrest him officer, he should be wearing a helmet

I make no apologies for the title of this blog entry. We all know it’s true.

Perhaps there is a bit of chicken/egg situation here. On the one hand cyclists are a bunch of self-righteous, pompous, arrogant twats who are completely inconsiderate of everything else on the road and spend all their time harping on about being treated like second class citizens by other vehicles, all of which could be said to be behind the attitude of the average driver. On the other, the majority of drivers do drive too close to cyclists, cut them up unnecessarily and generally put anyone on two wheels in mortal danger, which could be said to be behind the attitude of the average cyclist.

Except there are considerate drivers who realise that having to remove a bicycle and its owner from the undercarriage of their van/car/bus/milk float might be a lot more trouble than it is worth in the long run, just as there are cyclists out there who do look behind them before veering out into the middle of the road, who do stop for pedestrians at crossings and who don’t develop a highly specific form of colour-blindness whenever they arrive at a junction with traffic lights. Of course, by writing this blog I am numbering myself among them, so if you are the woman who screamed obscenities at me for accidentally brushing her wing mirror yesterday then feel free to disagree.

There are several cyclist habits that really wind me up. Some are done by all types of cyclist, others are the sole domain of specific types of cyclist. The latter are useful to acknowledge and understand because it means that sometimes you can shamelessly pre judge someone and second guess the stupid fucking things they are going to do. The former are the kind of things that just come from being inconsiderate bastards and as I do the majority of my cycling in London, there is no shortage of those.

Running red lights

Go on, someone clothes line the bastard

It isn’t just for vehicles with engines. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve seen cars  slam on their brakes or pedestrians pull up short to let a bike through when everyone else is waiting at the lights like they are supposed to. You are using the road so read your highway code. Just because you ring your bell repeatedly doesn’t give you right of way. Next time I’m on foot and someone does this to me I’m clotheslining the bugger. Believe it or not, normal rules of the road do apply to you, twat. One of my favourite moments as a cyclist was seeing someone do this to an infirm looking old lady at a busy junction in Central London, whereupon she turned suddenly and bellowed “YOU GONNA LET ME CROSS THE FACKIN’ ROAD OR WHAT YOU CUNT?!” so loud that he fell over in shock before he could disentangle his cleats. Everybody waiting at that junction, be they pedestrians, taxi drivers, white vans or cyclists were momentarily joined together in amusement at the spectacle. It was a beautiful thing.

Pulling in front of me at lights

Let's face it, he probably is quicker than them

Okay, so some cyclists do stop at red lights, at least when there is fast moving traffic that they can’t weave their way through at the expense of everyone else. What is annoying is when you are the first bike to arrive at the lights, you pull up to the line and a moment later some dick on a Barclays hire bike, an oversized traditional or a Brompton comes and pulls in right in front of you. So unless, like an inconsiderate arsehole you want to hold up all the traffic behind you by attempting an overtake straight from the off, you are now going to be stuck behind this fool travelling at 5 mph for the next mile. As cyclists it is right that we get ahead of the traffic so that we can move off safely but that doesn’t mean stitching up other cyclists who are there before you. Why do it? If you were in a Mini Metro you wouldn’t bypass an entire queue of traffic and pull up in front of a Golf GTI. I can pretty much give you a pass if you are on a very light, nippy road bike. I have a pretty quick Fuji hybrid, but a more serious cyclist on a road racer is probably is going to take off a bit quicker than me and I have nothing to prove so knock yourself out.

You're not in a country village so get out of my way!

One of these however, is not going to be travelling faster than me even if I’m cruising, so get the hell out of my way! On the other hand, if you are on a slower, heavier bike than me and you got your position first, then I will wait behind you and let you go first, then pass you further along the road if it is safe to do so because that is what it is polite and correct to do. Even if you are riding what is basically a two-wheeled Morris Minor. They look very comfortable so all power to your elbow.

Trendys

Fixie twat

These little toss rockets are handy for our purposes as they incorporate pretty much all the worst cycling traits I can think of, along with a few that are all their own. This is one group that I happily generalise about because I have yet to see one that proves me wrong. Here is what to look out for:

  1. They don’t wear helmets They aren’t the only ones that are guilty of this but it is just one of the indicators of what is commonly known in London as a “Shoreditch Twat”. More on the helmet haters later.
  2. They do wear skinny jeans Along with a tight t-shirt, hemp pumps with no socks (or, worse still flip flops), a stupid haircut that Flock of Seagulls would be ashamed of and a snooty expression of contempt for a world that just isn’t cool enough to contain them.
  3. If they have a bag it will be the courier type You’re too old to be doing a paper round fool! Hopefully this will result in some unpleasant back problems for them in later life.
  4. They usually have their iPod headphones in So that they can listen to Michael Jackson or some shit, but only in an ironic way. Anyone caught riding with headphones on should be immediately arrested and hung upside down in a cell for 24 hours. I would argue the same treatment should be applied to anyone caught listening to Michael Jackson but I might be on my own there.
  5. They ride a ‘fixie’, a traditional or a retro bike like a Chopper. For those of you who aren’t already familiar the term ‘fixie’, it is shorthand for ‘fixed gear’. This is basically a quick bike designed predominantly for city riding. It is lighter because it dispenses with the gear system and brake set up of most modern bikes in favour of a fixed chain which can be used to slow the bike down. I have no problem with these bikes in principle, a few serious cyclists I know have even built their own and I certainly don’t include them in the above. But when you see a trendy on one you know it wasn’t a love of cycling that led them to that purchase, it was their love of being a twat. Suddenly it seems that it is also trendy to get a pretty, traditional bike such as the one mentioned earlier. Again, no problem with these in principle, they look very comfy, but you can easily tell the difference between a genuine lover of these types of bikes and someone who bought one because it was recommended by Peaches Geldoff in Superficial Wankers magazine.

Here is a nice song about these sort of people

Fold up bikes

I wrote this off as an expense you know. Right, what 3rd world country are we raping today?

Another one that I feel slightly guilty for generalising about, as a few of these are considerate in my experience. Chances are though, if you see someone on one of these wearing formal office clothes, they will get in everyone’s way, cause everyone unnecessary stress, be completely selfish and will react to any kind of reproach with jaw dropping arrogance. In other words; they are probably management. Worse still, if you are riding anywhere between Westminster and  London Bridge as I do, they could be a government civil servant or worse still, an MP, many of whose unjustified self-regard has been known to regularly block all the traffic on Waterloo bridge for hours at a time. For some reason I  regularly see Boris himself, huffing and puffing his way about town (though not on a foldy admittedly, I’ll give him that) and never miss an opportunity to cut off his progress using all the worst manoeuvres that I set up this blog to complain about. I never thought I would find myself saying this, particularly on a public blog, but he’s probably seen me disappearing into the distance ahead of him so often that Boris could easily identify my arse from the briefest glances, a boast that few men who didn’t attend the same school as him could ever make.

I can’t speak for other cities or towns, but I would conjecture that London is possibly the worst place in the UK to be a cyclist, a theory borne out by the cyclist fatality statistics. Partly this is just because it is the most densely populated place in the country but I also think it is because there is a ‘me first’ attitude that pervades this city from lorry drivers down to pedestrians. I love living in London, it never ceases to throw up new surprises. A walk or ride or drive around London is an adventure and a history lesson rolled into one. It is only the people who let it down occasionally and I don’t understand why. Almost all my best friends live here so I realise that Londoners aren’t really like this most of the time, but once they get outside their front door everyone clothes themselves in a protective “fuck everyone else” attitude. Take that attitude onto two wheels and you have a road users nightmare. So over the coming blogs I’m going to start relaying my experiences on the road and hopefully suggesting ways that we can all make our daily commutes a bit less stressful.