Errant cyclists

First published in Letters by

YOUR correspondent of November 1 who asserts that he/she rides on the road or cycle lane as directed, is in my experience, in a minority so far as cyclists in York are concerned. But I thank them for that.

Sadly, my experience with cyclists in York is very different. Specifically the portion of the A59 Poppleton Road between Howe Hill Road and Acomb Road, where there is a very generous cycle path on the north east side. So where do the majority of cyclists ride? Anywhere but on the cycle path.

They ride in the carriageway, in both directions, they ride on the footpath on the south west side of the road, they even ride on the separate footway that runs parallel to the cycleway on the north-east side, but is nicely separated by a pleasant tree-lined strip. And then have the audacity to ring their bells at pedestrians. Even if they are on the cycleway they ignore give-way markings. I have had to jump clear of a juggernaut cyclist on more than one occasion.

Respect is mutual. As a pedestrian and bus-user I frequently see bad behaviour by motorists and cyclists alike. Let us not forget that we are all pedestrians at some time or another.

Name and address supplied.

Comments (16)

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1:28pm Sat 10 Nov 12

Buzz Light-year says...

As a pedestrian and bus-user I frequently see bad behaviour by motorists and cyclists alike

...but I wrote a letter describing errant cyclists not the far more dangerous errant drivers.
Hmmm.

Oh yeah and...

a juggernaut cyclist

Juggernaut? Really?
The worst kind of hyperbole.
[quote]As a pedestrian and bus-user I frequently see bad behaviour by motorists and cyclists alike[/quote] ...but I wrote a letter describing errant cyclists not the far more dangerous errant drivers. Hmmm. Oh yeah and... [quote]a juggernaut cyclist[/quote] Juggernaut? Really? The worst kind of hyperbole. Buzz Light-year
  • Score: 0

2:02pm Sat 10 Nov 12

ReflectiveVest says...

Yes, Buzz, this letter was about errant cyclists. How annoying for you that the person wrote about the subject that concerned them, instead of whatever would suit your prejudices better. As for hyperbole, I prefer that to your dismissive remarks. This correspondent is absolutely right, cyclists who think the rules of the road don't apply to them ARE a danger. The fact that other road users can also be dangerous doesn't make their behaviour acceptable.
Yes, Buzz, this letter was about errant cyclists. How annoying for you that the person wrote about the subject that concerned them, instead of whatever would suit your prejudices better. As for hyperbole, I prefer that to your dismissive remarks. This correspondent is absolutely right, cyclists who think the rules of the road don't apply to them ARE a danger. The fact that other road users can also be dangerous doesn't make their behaviour acceptable. ReflectiveVest
  • Score: 0

2:30pm Sat 10 Nov 12

Buzz Light-year says...

ReflectiveVest wrote:
Yes, Buzz, this letter was about errant cyclists. How annoying for you that the person wrote about the subject that concerned them, instead of whatever would suit your prejudices better. As for hyperbole, I prefer that to your dismissive remarks. This correspondent is absolutely right, cyclists who think the rules of the road don't apply to them ARE a danger. The fact that other road users can also be dangerous doesn't make their behaviour acceptable.
Not annoying for me at all.
You misunderstand.
I'm not exercising prejudice, I'm pointing out the prejudice of the writer of this letter and its lack of balance.

This was my point:

As a pedestrian and bus-user I frequently see bad behaviour by motorists and cyclists alike


The author sees bad behaviour by cyclists *and* motorists.
The author takes the trouble to write in detailing cyclists' behaviour *not* that of motorists.

That looks like prejudice to me.
Yes, errant cyclists are an annoying nuisance but they aren't routinely killers.

No cyclist is ever a juggernaut (def: a merciless and unstoppable moving force)
Calling a cyclist a juggernaut is trying to make them seem bigger harder and faster than they can possibly be in order to paint the damage they are capable of doing as way more than it really is. In fact the opposite is true.

If a cyclist hits a pedestrian they are very likely to come off their bike. That's going to hurt. If a cyclist hits me on the footpath, I guarantee it will hurt them.

Prejudice and a false sense of injustice leads some people to lose perspective and misunderstand the basic physics of accidents and collisions.
[quote][p][bold]ReflectiveVest[/bold] wrote: Yes, Buzz, this letter was about errant cyclists. How annoying for you that the person wrote about the subject that concerned them, instead of whatever would suit your prejudices better. As for hyperbole, I prefer that to your dismissive remarks. This correspondent is absolutely right, cyclists who think the rules of the road don't apply to them ARE a danger. The fact that other road users can also be dangerous doesn't make their behaviour acceptable.[/p][/quote]Not annoying for me at all. You misunderstand. I'm not exercising prejudice, I'm pointing out the prejudice of the writer of this letter and its lack of balance. This was my point: [quote]As a pedestrian and bus-user I frequently see bad behaviour by motorists and cyclists alike[/quote] The author sees bad behaviour by cyclists *and* motorists. The author takes the trouble to write in detailing cyclists' behaviour *not* that of motorists. That looks like prejudice to me. Yes, errant cyclists are an annoying nuisance but they aren't routinely killers. No cyclist is ever a juggernaut (def: a merciless and unstoppable moving force) Calling a cyclist a juggernaut is trying to make them seem bigger harder and faster than they can possibly be in order to paint the damage they are capable of doing as way more than it really is. In fact the opposite is true. If a cyclist hits a pedestrian they are very likely to come off their bike. That's going to hurt. If a cyclist hits me on the footpath, I guarantee it will hurt them. Prejudice and a false sense of injustice leads some people to lose perspective and misunderstand the basic physics of accidents and collisions. Buzz Light-year
  • Score: 0

5:29pm Sat 10 Nov 12

Paul Hepworth says...

As much as I would like to access the inbound cycle path when I access Poppleton Road from Windmill Rise, I cannot. Because there is kerb segregation which prevents me from doing so. In the future this length of the inbound A59 will have a bus lane and priority "gate". Although I welcome this from a Transport Planning perspective, your correspondent will have to accept my continued inability to acces this cycle lane. Instead I'll continue to pedal past other road users on the main carriageway.
As much as I would like to access the inbound cycle path when I access Poppleton Road from Windmill Rise, I cannot. Because there is kerb segregation which prevents me from doing so. In the future this length of the inbound A59 will have a bus lane and priority "gate". Although I welcome this from a Transport Planning perspective, your correspondent will have to accept my continued inability to acces this cycle lane. Instead I'll continue to pedal past other road users on the main carriageway. Paul Hepworth
  • Score: 0

6:04pm Sat 10 Nov 12

PinzaC55 says...

There are 2 types of cyclists in York; those who write in to the Press - they obey the rules to the letter.Then there are the other kind, who you see out in the real world.
There are 2 types of cyclists in York; those who write in to the Press - they obey the rules to the letter.Then there are the other kind, who you see out in the real world. PinzaC55
  • Score: 0

9:00pm Sat 10 Nov 12

pedalling paul says...

Rather like the whiter than white motor vehicle drivers who also regularly submit their thoughts.........
Rather like the whiter than white motor vehicle drivers who also regularly submit their thoughts......... pedalling paul
  • Score: 0

9:57pm Sat 10 Nov 12

PinzaC55 says...

pedalling paul wrote:
Rather like the whiter than white motor vehicle drivers who also regularly submit their thoughts.........
Yes, change the subject.
[quote][p][bold]pedalling paul [/bold] wrote: Rather like the whiter than white motor vehicle drivers who also regularly submit their thoughts.........[/p][/quote]Yes, change the subject. PinzaC55
  • Score: 0

10:06pm Sat 10 Nov 12

Even AndyD says...

pedalling paul wrote:
Rather like the whiter than white motor vehicle drivers who also regularly submit their thoughts.........
Ouch - prejudice showing. Cycles and cars are both driven by humans. Some are good, some less so. Lets not go down that line which defines people by abstracts such as race, gender or mode of transport. Shame on you, Paul!
[quote][p][bold]pedalling paul [/bold] wrote: Rather like the whiter than white motor vehicle drivers who also regularly submit their thoughts.........[/p][/quote]Ouch - prejudice showing. Cycles and cars are both driven by humans. Some are good, some less so. Lets not go down that line which defines people by abstracts such as race, gender or mode of transport. Shame on you, Paul! Even AndyD
  • Score: 0

4:54pm Sun 11 Nov 12

yorkshirelad says...

As far as I know, for good reason, cycle lanes and tracks are not compulsory. Cyclists may choose to use them but they are legally entitled not to do so.

I suspect this isn't always realised by some people and pehaps not by this letter writer judging by the tone.

By the way, the letter clearly displays prejudice. The danger to others (inclusing pedestrians) posed by cyclists is miniscule compared to that posed by vehicle drivers as casualty figures clearly demonstrate.

Writing a letter about the dangers posed to pedestrians but targetting one particular section of society who in reality pose very little danger compared to others is clear prejudice.

A balanced letter would comment on the vastly greater danger posed by vehicles.
As far as I know, for good reason, cycle lanes and tracks are not compulsory. Cyclists may choose to use them but they are legally entitled not to do so. I suspect this isn't always realised by some people and pehaps not by this letter writer judging by the tone. By the way, the letter clearly displays prejudice. The danger to others (inclusing pedestrians) posed by cyclists is miniscule compared to that posed by vehicle drivers as casualty figures clearly demonstrate. Writing a letter about the dangers posed to pedestrians but targetting one particular section of society who in reality pose very little danger compared to others is clear prejudice. A balanced letter would comment on the vastly greater danger posed by vehicles. yorkshirelad
  • Score: 0

11:50pm Sun 11 Nov 12

PinzaC55 says...

"The danger to others (inclusing pedestrians) posed by cyclists is miniscule compared to that posed by vehicle drivers as casualty figures clearly demonstrate. "

If I cross a road I expect that I may find cars, motorcycles and bicycles coming towards me. If I am walking down a footpath I don't expect to find cars coming towards me under any circumstances but unfortunately I may find a cyclist coming towards me.
Try standing in front of a cyclist then get back to us.
"The danger to others (inclusing pedestrians) posed by cyclists is miniscule compared to that posed by vehicle drivers as casualty figures clearly demonstrate. " If I cross a road I expect that I may find cars, motorcycles and bicycles coming towards me. If I am walking down a footpath I don't expect to find cars coming towards me under any circumstances but unfortunately I may find a cyclist coming towards me. Try standing in front of a cyclist then get back to us. PinzaC55
  • Score: 0

12:49pm Mon 12 Nov 12

yorkshirelad says...

These are the UK national figures for pedestrians killed by bicycles and cars/vans.

| 2006 | 3 | 233 |
| 2007 | 6 | 267 |
| 2008 | 3 | 247 |
| 2009 | 0 | 141 |
| 2010 | 2 | 123 |

Every death is a tragedy and the above figures very clearly show where the most danger comes from.

People who don't acknowledge this when talking about pedestrian casualties are simply showing prejudice.

It looks like about 50 times as many pedestrians are killed by cars/vans than by bicycles.

Guess which group is targetted by most letters in local newspapers?

Simple prejudice.
These are the UK national figures for pedestrians killed by bicycles and cars/vans. | 2006 | 3 | 233 | | 2007 | 6 | 267 | | 2008 | 3 | 247 | | 2009 | 0 | 141 | | 2010 | 2 | 123 | Every death is a tragedy and the above figures very clearly show where the most danger comes from. People who don't acknowledge this when talking about pedestrian casualties are simply showing prejudice. It looks like about 50 times as many pedestrians are killed by cars/vans than by bicycles. Guess which group is targetted by most letters in local newspapers? Simple prejudice. yorkshirelad
  • Score: 0

1:40pm Mon 12 Nov 12

Ichabod76 says...

yorkshirelad wrote:
These are the UK national figures for pedestrians killed by bicycles and cars/vans.

| 2006 | 3 | 233 |
| 2007 | 6 | 267 |
| 2008 | 3 | 247 |
| 2009 | 0 | 141 |
| 2010 | 2 | 123 |

Every death is a tragedy and the above figures very clearly show where the most danger comes from.

People who don't acknowledge this when talking about pedestrian casualties are simply showing prejudice.

It looks like about 50 times as many pedestrians are killed by cars/vans than by bicycles.

Guess which group is targetted by most letters in local newspapers?

Simple prejudice.
your statistic means nothing
how many pedestrians were killed per 1000 motor cars, Bicycles ?
[quote][p][bold]yorkshirelad[/bold] wrote: These are the UK national figures for pedestrians killed by bicycles and cars/vans. | 2006 | 3 | 233 | | 2007 | 6 | 267 | | 2008 | 3 | 247 | | 2009 | 0 | 141 | | 2010 | 2 | 123 | Every death is a tragedy and the above figures very clearly show where the most danger comes from. People who don't acknowledge this when talking about pedestrian casualties are simply showing prejudice. It looks like about 50 times as many pedestrians are killed by cars/vans than by bicycles. Guess which group is targetted by most letters in local newspapers? Simple prejudice.[/p][/quote]your statistic means nothing how many pedestrians were killed per 1000 motor cars, Bicycles ? Ichabod76
  • Score: 0

2:17pm Mon 12 Nov 12

greenmonkey says...

The most useful point here is the call for respect. Sadly too many have grown up without this and when taking to a bike or car display their selfish attitudes in their conduct. Riding a bike this can be dangerous (ringing a bell is at least a step in the right direction in recognising a potential hazard). Driving a car, the bigger potential to kill and maim others means greater responsibility, hence legal requirement for test, insurance etc. The more we can do to make it safe and convenient for cycling the more efficient use we can make of limited road space (not to mention cutting pollution, fossil fuel use etc)
The most useful point here is the call for respect. Sadly too many have grown up without this and when taking to a bike or car display their selfish attitudes in their conduct. Riding a bike this can be dangerous (ringing a bell is at least a step in the right direction in recognising a potential hazard). Driving a car, the bigger potential to kill and maim others means greater responsibility, hence legal requirement for test, insurance etc. The more we can do to make it safe and convenient for cycling the more efficient use we can make of limited road space (not to mention cutting pollution, fossil fuel use etc) greenmonkey
  • Score: 0

7:44pm Mon 12 Nov 12

Buzz Light-year says...

Ichabod76 wrote:
yorkshirelad wrote: These are the UK national figures for pedestrians killed by bicycles and cars/vans. | 2006 | 3 | 233 | | 2007 | 6 | 267 | | 2008 | 3 | 247 | | 2009 | 0 | 141 | | 2010 | 2 | 123 | Every death is a tragedy and the above figures very clearly show where the most danger comes from. People who don't acknowledge this when talking about pedestrian casualties are simply showing prejudice. It looks like about 50 times as many pedestrians are killed by cars/vans than by bicycles. Guess which group is targetted by most letters in local newspapers? Simple prejudice.
your statistic means nothing how many pedestrians were killed per 1000 motor cars, Bicycles ?
Statistics mean nothing because they can be manipulated to mean anything.
That per 1000 ratio is irrelevant.
It almost infers that because of the sheer weight of numbers of motor vehicles these deaths are to be expected or are justified. Collateral damage?

If anything, that ratio asks the question if such a high percentage can routinely cycle on the path with so few deaths and injuries to pedestrians, as opposed to such a low percentage of motor vehicles causing so many deaths, shouldn't cyclists avoid the road and stick to the path? Especially when weighed against the number of cyclists killed on the road by vehicles?
Maybe 2 or 3 pedestrians a year is worth it to keep cyclist deaths down?
Collateral damage again.

The single most important issue is the *actual danger presented*
Not the perceived danger. Not the danger one can invent to relieve that sense of injustice and frustration at the spiralling cost of motoring and ever increasing congestion or the annoying anti-social behaviour of a minority.
The actual danger presented. That's what counts.

Just like the whinge "Oh there aren't enough cyclists in York to justify the investment" followed by the "These menaces are everywhere terrorising law abiding folk" it's the old 'get your story straight syndrome' again. Which is it?

We constantly hear of the majority of cyclists on the footpath and how they are a menace and the unimaginable danger they present.
So... why aren't people dying or being injured in their thousands from bicycle related pavement injuries? Why aren't the hospitals stuffed to the ginnels with the victims of these errant cyclists?
[quote][p][bold]Ichabod76[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]yorkshirelad[/bold] wrote: These are the UK national figures for pedestrians killed by bicycles and cars/vans. | 2006 | 3 | 233 | | 2007 | 6 | 267 | | 2008 | 3 | 247 | | 2009 | 0 | 141 | | 2010 | 2 | 123 | Every death is a tragedy and the above figures very clearly show where the most danger comes from. People who don't acknowledge this when talking about pedestrian casualties are simply showing prejudice. It looks like about 50 times as many pedestrians are killed by cars/vans than by bicycles. Guess which group is targetted by most letters in local newspapers? Simple prejudice.[/p][/quote]your statistic means nothing how many pedestrians were killed per 1000 motor cars, Bicycles ?[/p][/quote]Statistics mean nothing because they can be manipulated to mean anything. That per 1000 ratio is irrelevant. It almost infers that because of the sheer weight of numbers of motor vehicles these deaths are to be expected or are justified. Collateral damage? If anything, that ratio asks the question if such a high percentage can routinely cycle on the path with so few deaths and injuries to pedestrians, as opposed to such a low percentage of motor vehicles causing so many deaths, shouldn't cyclists avoid the road and stick to the path? Especially when weighed against the number of cyclists killed on the road by vehicles? Maybe 2 or 3 pedestrians a year is worth it to keep cyclist deaths down? Collateral damage again. The single most important issue is the *actual danger presented* Not the perceived danger. Not the danger one can invent to relieve that sense of injustice and frustration at the spiralling cost of motoring and ever increasing congestion or the annoying anti-social behaviour of a minority. The actual danger presented. That's what counts. Just like the whinge "Oh there aren't enough cyclists in York to justify the investment" followed by the "These menaces are everywhere terrorising law abiding folk" it's the old 'get your story straight syndrome' again. Which is it? We constantly hear of the majority of cyclists on the footpath and how they are a menace and the unimaginable danger they present. So... why aren't people dying or being injured in their thousands from bicycle related pavement injuries? Why aren't the hospitals stuffed to the ginnels with the victims of these errant cyclists? Buzz Light-year
  • Score: 0

10:21pm Mon 12 Nov 12

PinzaC55 says...

"So... why aren't people dying or being injured in their thousands from bicycle related pavement injuries? Why aren't the hospitals stuffed to the ginnels with the victims of these errant cyclists?"

Because pedestrians can generally manage to dodge cyclists or vice versa. It doesn't detract from the fact that cyclists are breaking the law by riding on the pavement.
"So... why aren't people dying or being injured in their thousands from bicycle related pavement injuries? Why aren't the hospitals stuffed to the ginnels with the victims of these errant cyclists?" Because pedestrians can generally manage to dodge cyclists or vice versa. It doesn't detract from the fact that cyclists are breaking the law by riding on the pavement. PinzaC55
  • Score: 0

12:20am Tue 13 Nov 12

Buzz Light-year says...

Because pedestrians can generally manage to dodge cyclists or vice versa.

We can dodge each other??
You mean nobody is a juggernaut??
What you're saying is realistically the danger is low?
Like omfg.

Is it really just a small anti-social behaviour issue like people dropping litter or groups of kids outside the shop spitting and swearing or street drinkers making the place look messy?
Not a matter of life and death?

Bing!
[quote]Because pedestrians can generally manage to dodge cyclists or vice versa.[/quote] We can dodge each other?? You mean nobody is a juggernaut?? What you're saying is realistically the danger is low? Like omfg. Is it really just a small anti-social behaviour issue like people dropping litter or groups of kids outside the shop spitting and swearing or street drinkers making the place look messy? Not a matter of life and death? Bing! Buzz Light-year
  • Score: 0

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