Don’t exaggerate bad behaviour

THE anonymous letter regarding cyclists on Poppleton Road was gross exaggeration (Letters, November 10).

Let’s get real about cyclists: they are your parents, your children, your grandchildren, your colleagues and your pub mates just trying to get places safely and sensibly. This would be a mean, unhappy, unhealthy, polluted, gridlocked city without them.

Bad behaviour needs tackling. But I ride that route almost every day, and at different times, and have never, ever, seen the cyclist behaviour your nameless correspondent claims.

I usually use the bike path described, but only the part which is well designed. Generally, York’s bike paths are great, but there are reasons for sometimes not using them: such as broken glass, thorn cuttings or simply too many pedestrians. It is cyclists’ absolute right to ride on the road if they choose to, and it is their obligation, wherever they ride, to do so considerately.

Unless they think there will be major personal repercussions people should have the decency to put their name to what they write. Especially when talking in the kind of reckless terms which put cyclists’ lives in increased danger from hotheads whose world vision is at the Jeremy Clarkson level or below.

Jim McGurn, Chief Executive, Get Cycling CiC, Hospital Fields Road, York.

Comments (17)

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1:30pm Tue 13 Nov 12

J-Dawg says...

"and it is their obligation, wherever they ride, to do so considerately"

...and that is where it all falls down.

2 things...

Firstly, there have been times when a person has taken offence to a letter and visited the writer as the address was published (the letter was not about cycling).

Secondly, and using the above quote can comment on three issues I saw in the last couple of weeks.

1 - Cyclists riding the wrong way up Grosvenor Terrace (it's a one way street).
2 - Cyclists speeding down Museum Street on the wrong side of the road and straight through the red light near Aviva.
3 - Cyclist going straight through a red light at Gillygate and nearly hitting a newborn in a pram. Luckily the pedestrian stopped even though the green man was showing (the red light for the bike had been showing a while).

So the masses of good cyclists there are those who give them a bad name, and instead of arguing with everyone, perhaps better training and getting all engaged with this right way of thinking will benefit the city.
"and it is their obligation, wherever they ride, to do so considerately" ...and that is where it all falls down. 2 things... Firstly, there have been times when a person has taken offence to a letter and visited the writer as the address was published (the letter was not about cycling). Secondly, and using the above quote can comment on three issues I saw in the last couple of weeks. 1 - Cyclists riding the wrong way up Grosvenor Terrace (it's a one way street). 2 - Cyclists speeding down Museum Street on the wrong side of the road and straight through the red light near Aviva. 3 - Cyclist going straight through a red light at Gillygate and nearly hitting a newborn in a pram. Luckily the pedestrian stopped even though the green man was showing (the red light for the bike had been showing a while). So the masses of good cyclists there are those who give them a bad name, and instead of arguing with everyone, perhaps better training and getting all engaged with this right way of thinking will benefit the city. J-Dawg

2:13pm Tue 13 Nov 12

Mr Udigawa says...

J-Dawg wrote:
"and it is their obligation, wherever they ride, to do so considerately" ...and that is where it all falls down. 2 things... Firstly, there have been times when a person has taken offence to a letter and visited the writer as the address was published (the letter was not about cycling). Secondly, and using the above quote can comment on three issues I saw in the last couple of weeks. 1 - Cyclists riding the wrong way up Grosvenor Terrace (it's a one way street). 2 - Cyclists speeding down Museum Street on the wrong side of the road and straight through the red light near Aviva. 3 - Cyclist going straight through a red light at Gillygate and nearly hitting a newborn in a pram. Luckily the pedestrian stopped even though the green man was showing (the red light for the bike had been showing a while). So the masses of good cyclists there are those who give them a bad name, and instead of arguing with everyone, perhaps better training and getting all engaged with this right way of thinking will benefit the city.
Drive or ride home with me from York to Tadcaster any evening and I can guarantee that you will see the majority of motorists breaking the law. Two wrongs don't make a right but seriously lets not blow this bike thing out of proportion.
[quote][p][bold]J-Dawg[/bold] wrote: "and it is their obligation, wherever they ride, to do so considerately" ...and that is where it all falls down. 2 things... Firstly, there have been times when a person has taken offence to a letter and visited the writer as the address was published (the letter was not about cycling). Secondly, and using the above quote can comment on three issues I saw in the last couple of weeks. 1 - Cyclists riding the wrong way up Grosvenor Terrace (it's a one way street). 2 - Cyclists speeding down Museum Street on the wrong side of the road and straight through the red light near Aviva. 3 - Cyclist going straight through a red light at Gillygate and nearly hitting a newborn in a pram. Luckily the pedestrian stopped even though the green man was showing (the red light for the bike had been showing a while). So the masses of good cyclists there are those who give them a bad name, and instead of arguing with everyone, perhaps better training and getting all engaged with this right way of thinking will benefit the city.[/p][/quote]Drive or ride home with me from York to Tadcaster any evening and I can guarantee that you will see the majority of motorists breaking the law. Two wrongs don't make a right but seriously lets not blow this bike thing out of proportion. Mr Udigawa

3:17pm Tue 13 Nov 12

Ichabod76 says...

I can guarantee that you will see the majority of motorists breaking the law.

lets not blow this bike thing out of proportion

are you a comedian ?
I can guarantee that you will see the majority of motorists breaking the law. lets not blow this bike thing out of proportion are you a comedian ? Ichabod76

3:22pm Tue 13 Nov 12

Mr Udigawa says...

Ichabod76 wrote:
I can guarantee that you will see the majority of motorists breaking the law. lets not blow this bike thing out of proportion are you a comedian ?
Your point is?
[quote][p][bold]Ichabod76[/bold] wrote: I can guarantee that you will see the majority of motorists breaking the law. lets not blow this bike thing out of proportion are you a comedian ?[/p][/quote]Your point is? Mr Udigawa

3:35pm Tue 13 Nov 12

Sillybillies says...

Drive or ride home with me from York to Tadcaster any evening and I can guarantee that you will see the majority of motorists breaking the law. Two wrongs don't make a right but seriously lets not blow this bike thing out of proportion.

Rubbish, but it does apply to cyclists at any time and place, for example riding on pavements, ignoring traffic lights and road signs, and after dark it's exception for them to display legal lights.
[quote]Drive or ride home with me from York to Tadcaster any evening and I can guarantee that you will see the majority of motorists breaking the law. Two wrongs don't make a right but seriously lets not blow this bike thing out of proportion.[/quote] Rubbish, but it does apply to cyclists at any time and place, for example riding on pavements, ignoring traffic lights and road signs, and after dark it's exception for them to display legal lights. Sillybillies

3:40pm Tue 13 Nov 12

Mr Udigawa says...

Sillybillies wrote:
Drive or ride home with me from York to Tadcaster any evening and I can guarantee that you will see the majority of motorists breaking the law. Two wrongs don't make a right but seriously lets not blow this bike thing out of proportion.
Rubbish, but it does apply to cyclists at any time and place, for example riding on pavements, ignoring traffic lights and road signs, and after dark it's exception for them to display legal lights.
Now here is a comedian Ichabod.
[quote][p][bold]Sillybillies[/bold] wrote: [quote]Drive or ride home with me from York to Tadcaster any evening and I can guarantee that you will see the majority of motorists breaking the law. Two wrongs don't make a right but seriously lets not blow this bike thing out of proportion.[/quote] Rubbish, but it does apply to cyclists at any time and place, for example riding on pavements, ignoring traffic lights and road signs, and after dark it's exception for them to display legal lights.[/p][/quote]Now here is a comedian Ichabod. Mr Udigawa

3:54pm Tue 13 Nov 12

Buzz Light-year says...

. Especially when talking in the kind of reckless terms which put cyclists’ lives in increased danger from hotheads

This is an important point.
I'm sick to death of being treated like a third class citizen, sick of being presumed guilty when no crime is taking place.
Mostly I'm sick to death of being held accountable for the behaviour of a minority of idiots who are nothing to do with me and who behave nothing like me.

Vigilantism is dangerous.
[quote] . Especially when talking in the kind of reckless terms which put cyclists’ lives in increased danger from hotheads[/quote] This is an important point. I'm sick to death of being treated like a third class citizen, sick of being presumed guilty when no crime is taking place. Mostly I'm sick to death of being held accountable for the behaviour of a minority of idiots who are nothing to do with me and who behave nothing like me. Vigilantism is dangerous. Buzz Light-year

5:05pm Tue 13 Nov 12

PKH says...

Sillybillies wrote:
Drive or ride home with me from York to Tadcaster any evening and I can guarantee that you will see the majority of motorists breaking the law. Two wrongs don't make a right but seriously lets not blow this bike thing out of proportion.

Rubbish, but it does apply to cyclists at any time and place, for example riding on pavements, ignoring traffic lights and road signs, and after dark it's exception for them to display legal lights.
Red lights if all drivers obey them why do Network Rail find it necessary to run campaigns against motorists running red lights, and in foggy conditions many drivers do not us legal lighting, I have also seen on numerous occasions drivers take to the pavement to get around turning vehicles. Sorry but no one section of road user is any better than another at obeying the law.
[quote][p][bold]Sillybillies[/bold] wrote: [quote]Drive or ride home with me from York to Tadcaster any evening and I can guarantee that you will see the majority of motorists breaking the law. Two wrongs don't make a right but seriously lets not blow this bike thing out of proportion.[/quote] Rubbish, but it does apply to cyclists at any time and place, for example riding on pavements, ignoring traffic lights and road signs, and after dark it's exception for them to display legal lights.[/p][/quote]Red lights if all drivers obey them why do Network Rail find it necessary to run campaigns against motorists running red lights, and in foggy conditions many drivers do not us legal lighting, I have also seen on numerous occasions drivers take to the pavement to get around turning vehicles. Sorry but no one section of road user is any better than another at obeying the law. PKH

7:13pm Tue 13 Nov 12

Back and Beyond says...

Talking about anonymity... to the cyclist who knowingly scratched my vehicle last week whilst 'filtering' through traffic.

I take it you rode off because you feared major repercussions to your bank balance?
Talking about anonymity... to the cyclist who knowingly scratched my vehicle last week whilst 'filtering' through traffic. I take it you rode off because you feared major repercussions to your bank balance? Back and Beyond

7:27pm Tue 13 Nov 12

Mr Udigawa says...

PKH wrote:
Sillybillies wrote:
Drive or ride home with me from York to Tadcaster any evening and I can guarantee that you will see the majority of motorists breaking the law. Two wrongs don't make a right but seriously lets not blow this bike thing out of proportion.

Rubbish, but it does apply to cyclists at any time and place, for example riding on pavements, ignoring traffic lights and road signs, and after dark it's exception for them to display legal lights.
Red lights if all drivers obey them why do Network Rail find it necessary to run campaigns against motorists running red lights, and in foggy conditions many drivers do not us legal lighting, I have also seen on numerous occasions drivers take to the pavement to get around turning vehicles. Sorry but no one section of road user is any better than another at obeying the law.
Yep, also try driving down the A64 at 70mph and count how many cars pass you, try driving down Bishopthorpe road at whatever the speed limit is for that section and watch as you are quickly caught up, tailgated or aggresively overtaken, sit in the queue approaching the mount and watch how many cars use the bus lane then cut left to drive up driffield terrace, count how many defective lights you can spot on the passing cars each night, count how many motorists run the red lights at the end of st helens road onto tadcaster road, while the green man is showing, and while there are primary school children waiting to cross.
All the above are a small example of what seems to be socially acceptable, but those morons on pushbikes that go around endangering our lives each and every day, don't get me started......
[quote][p][bold]PKH[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Sillybillies[/bold] wrote: [quote]Drive or ride home with me from York to Tadcaster any evening and I can guarantee that you will see the majority of motorists breaking the law. Two wrongs don't make a right but seriously lets not blow this bike thing out of proportion.[/quote] Rubbish, but it does apply to cyclists at any time and place, for example riding on pavements, ignoring traffic lights and road signs, and after dark it's exception for them to display legal lights.[/p][/quote]Red lights if all drivers obey them why do Network Rail find it necessary to run campaigns against motorists running red lights, and in foggy conditions many drivers do not us legal lighting, I have also seen on numerous occasions drivers take to the pavement to get around turning vehicles. Sorry but no one section of road user is any better than another at obeying the law.[/p][/quote]Yep, also try driving down the A64 at 70mph and count how many cars pass you, try driving down Bishopthorpe road at whatever the speed limit is for that section and watch as you are quickly caught up, tailgated or aggresively overtaken, sit in the queue approaching the mount and watch how many cars use the bus lane then cut left to drive up driffield terrace, count how many defective lights you can spot on the passing cars each night, count how many motorists run the red lights at the end of st helens road onto tadcaster road, while the green man is showing, and while there are primary school children waiting to cross. All the above are a small example of what seems to be socially acceptable, but those morons on pushbikes that go around endangering our lives each and every day, don't get me started...... Mr Udigawa

8:51pm Tue 13 Nov 12

yorkshirelad says...

The attacks on cyclists, when it is blatantly obvious that there are way more motoring offences and these offences are way more dangerous, are ridiculous.

The casualty figures clearly demonstrate which mode of transport causes more danger to others.

I reckon that there are more motoring offences in one day in York than cycling offences in a whole year.

These are mainly speeding, but include pavement parking/driving, mobile using, careless driving, yellow box infringments, foglight misuse...the list goes on and on.

So why are the letters pages of newspapers full of anti-cycling vitriol?

Simple:
a) There are more 'motorists'
b) The letter writers seem irritated that others are keeping fit, getting there faster and seem generally happier with life.
c) Somke people like to bash minorities.
d) Simple prejudice

The last one, in my view, is the root cause of many of these letters.
The attacks on cyclists, when it is blatantly obvious that there are way more motoring offences and these offences are way more dangerous, are ridiculous. The casualty figures clearly demonstrate which mode of transport causes more danger to others. I reckon that there are more motoring offences in one day in York than cycling offences in a whole year. These are mainly speeding, but include pavement parking/driving, mobile using, careless driving, yellow box infringments, foglight misuse...the list goes on and on. So why are the letters pages of newspapers full of anti-cycling vitriol? Simple: a) There are more 'motorists' b) The letter writers seem irritated that others are keeping fit, getting there faster and seem generally happier with life. c) Somke people like to bash minorities. d) Simple prejudice The last one, in my view, is the root cause of many of these letters. yorkshirelad

9:32pm Tue 13 Nov 12

sheps lad says...

The main reason there is so much anti-cyclist vitriol espoused in these forums can be laid firmly at the door of the Pedalling one!
The main reason there is so much anti-cyclist vitriol espoused in these forums can be laid firmly at the door of the Pedalling one! sheps lad

9:27am Wed 14 Nov 12

Mr Trellis says...

Everyday twice a day I have the misfortune to need to drive from Monkgate into the centre then leave via Colliergate and Fossgate all one way streets .
I have never completed the route without meeting a cyclist head on, often in the dark, in black, without lights.
There is no need to exaggerate
Everyday twice a day I have the misfortune to need to drive from Monkgate into the centre then leave via Colliergate and Fossgate all one way streets . I have never completed the route without meeting a cyclist head on, often in the dark, in black, without lights. There is no need to exaggerate Mr Trellis

9:59am Wed 14 Nov 12

Mr Udigawa says...

Mr Trellis wrote:
Everyday twice a day I have the misfortune to need to drive from Monkgate into the centre then leave via Colliergate and Fossgate all one way streets . I have never completed the route without meeting a cyclist head on, often in the dark, in black, without lights. There is no need to exaggerate
And what was the outcome of these twice daily meetings Mr Trellis? Carnage involving multiple casualties, all 3 emergency services called out, a lengthy road closure and an expensive police investigation? Handbags at 50 paces? Or did you just mutter under your breath and carry on? Either way it must be a very upsetting experience for you.
[quote][p][bold]Mr Trellis[/bold] wrote: Everyday twice a day I have the misfortune to need to drive from Monkgate into the centre then leave via Colliergate and Fossgate all one way streets . I have never completed the route without meeting a cyclist head on, often in the dark, in black, without lights. There is no need to exaggerate[/p][/quote]And what was the outcome of these twice daily meetings Mr Trellis? Carnage involving multiple casualties, all 3 emergency services called out, a lengthy road closure and an expensive police investigation? Handbags at 50 paces? Or did you just mutter under your breath and carry on? Either way it must be a very upsetting experience for you. Mr Udigawa

10:39am Wed 14 Nov 12

chunkyyorkie says...

So let’s be real; every element of society use the roads in one way or another and no one is perfect.
I’ve biked into York and around the city each day for the last 25 years in all weathers (no I’m not a cycling loon! I’m a cyclist, pedestrian, car driver and motorcyclist). There are those who do the right thing and stop at traffic lights, don’t ride on footpaths and display working bike lights, there are lots like that. But I agree there appears to be just as many who choose not to do the right thing.
So that’s the cyclist, now moving on the pedestrians who merrily walk in the middle of city centre roads outside of hours of pedestrianisation hours, seemingly unaware to the council provided footbaths running along each side and oblivious of any traffic. Or the school kids who like to play ‘chicken’ and step in front of traffic on busy roads.
And now motorists, who every minute of the day there are examples of speeding, going through red traffic lights, ignoring road signs, driving without care etc.
I could put a camera on my bike on any given day and it would catch a myriad of ‘wrong doings’ in any 15 minute period – from pedestrians, cyclist and motorists – guaranteed.
As an interesting side observation I can say that in my years around the city I can count on one hand the times I have seen a police officer actually taking any action against such antics. Even when countless times I have seen stupid antics occur right in front of them. Perhaps if the police were more pro-active towards all of these day-to-day misdemeanours than maybe people would act differently if they thought there was a chance they would get a fine. And let’s be honest a fine or telling off is surely better than risking or causing death or serious injury by doing these things.
So let’s be real; every element of society use the roads in one way or another and no one is perfect. I’ve biked into York and around the city each day for the last 25 years in all weathers (no I’m not a cycling loon! I’m a cyclist, pedestrian, car driver and motorcyclist). There are those who do the right thing and stop at traffic lights, don’t ride on footpaths and display working bike lights, there are lots like that. But I agree there appears to be just as many who choose not to do the right thing. So that’s the cyclist, now moving on the pedestrians who merrily walk in the middle of city centre roads outside of hours of pedestrianisation hours, seemingly unaware to the council provided footbaths running along each side and oblivious of any traffic. Or the school kids who like to play ‘chicken’ and step in front of traffic on busy roads. And now motorists, who every minute of the day there are examples of speeding, going through red traffic lights, ignoring road signs, driving without care etc. I could put a camera on my bike on any given day and it would catch a myriad of ‘wrong doings’ in any 15 minute period – from pedestrians, cyclist and motorists – guaranteed. As an interesting side observation I can say that in my years around the city I can count on one hand the times I have seen a police officer actually taking any action against such antics. Even when countless times I have seen stupid antics occur right in front of them. Perhaps if the police were more pro-active towards all of these day-to-day misdemeanours than maybe people would act differently if they thought there was a chance they would get a fine. And let’s be honest a fine or telling off is surely better than risking or causing death or serious injury by doing these things. chunkyyorkie

4:48am Thu 15 Nov 12

Magicman! says...

yorkshirelad wrote:
The attacks on cyclists, when it is blatantly obvious that there are way more motoring offences and these offences are way more dangerous, are ridiculous.

The casualty figures clearly demonstrate which mode of transport causes more danger to others.

I reckon that there are more motoring offences in one day in York than cycling offences in a whole year.

These are mainly speeding, but include pavement parking/driving, mobile using, careless driving, yellow box infringments, foglight misuse...the list goes on and on.

So why are the letters pages of newspapers full of anti-cycling vitriol?

Simple:
a) There are more 'motorists'
b) The letter writers seem irritated that others are keeping fit, getting there faster and seem generally happier with life.
c) Somke people like to bash minorities.
d) Simple prejudice

The last one, in my view, is the root cause of many of these letters.
Indeed. The simple fact is there are many more times the number of cars than bikes on the roads of York... if you have 10% of cyclists breaking the law within an hour but only 10 cyclists on the road in that time, it equates to 1 cyclist riding illegally; but if in that same hour you have 100 cars on the road, and 10% of them break the law in one way or another you then have 10 cars being driven in an illegal manner.... the percentage is the same but the number is greater for motor vehicles.

For anybody interested, try going round some of the Inner Ring Road, for example from Huntington Road up Monkgate and around to Fishergate via the rail station, and with an open mind spot how many kamikaze pedestrians you encounter, how many pavement cyclists or red light dodgers you spot, how many motorists you spot either speeding or dodging red lights or waiting in a yellow box (etc) and tot up the number of each.... In general you will find the highest number of people breaking the law or being careless falls into the motor vehicle category, and descends proportionally with how more vunerable the class of road user is. (though there is a spike in summer when more tourists descend and decide to look at the pretty buildings rather than the traffic lights)

--

The only occasion I know of where a police officer has stopped somebody doing something on the road was a group of cyclists going through Monk Bar, using the designated cycle lane and going past that first red light to then wait at the second red light.... The PC stopped them as his belief was they had contravened a red light - the truth of the situation is the cycle lane does not have a stop line at the first light and so cycles can legally proceed to the second set of lights - so effectively the PC had stopped the cyclists wrongly, which doesn't really inspre much confidence in the force!! (and before you ask I was not in the group of cyclists)
[quote][p][bold]yorkshirelad[/bold] wrote: The attacks on cyclists, when it is blatantly obvious that there are way more motoring offences and these offences are way more dangerous, are ridiculous. The casualty figures clearly demonstrate which mode of transport causes more danger to others. I reckon that there are more motoring offences in one day in York than cycling offences in a whole year. These are mainly speeding, but include pavement parking/driving, mobile using, careless driving, yellow box infringments, foglight misuse...the list goes on and on. So why are the letters pages of newspapers full of anti-cycling vitriol? Simple: a) There are more 'motorists' b) The letter writers seem irritated that others are keeping fit, getting there faster and seem generally happier with life. c) Somke people like to bash minorities. d) Simple prejudice The last one, in my view, is the root cause of many of these letters.[/p][/quote]Indeed. The simple fact is there are many more times the number of cars than bikes on the roads of York... if you have 10% of cyclists breaking the law within an hour but only 10 cyclists on the road in that time, it equates to 1 cyclist riding illegally; but if in that same hour you have 100 cars on the road, and 10% of them break the law in one way or another you then have 10 cars being driven in an illegal manner.... the percentage is the same but the number is greater for motor vehicles. For anybody interested, try going round some of the Inner Ring Road, for example from Huntington Road up Monkgate and around to Fishergate via the rail station, and with an open mind spot how many kamikaze pedestrians you encounter, how many pavement cyclists or red light dodgers you spot, how many motorists you spot either speeding or dodging red lights or waiting in a yellow box (etc) and tot up the number of each.... In general you will find the highest number of people breaking the law or being careless falls into the motor vehicle category, and descends proportionally with how more vunerable the class of road user is. (though there is a spike in summer when more tourists descend and decide to look at the pretty buildings rather than the traffic lights) -- The only occasion I know of where a police officer has stopped somebody doing something on the road was a group of cyclists going through Monk Bar, using the designated cycle lane and going past that first red light to then wait at the second red light.... The PC stopped them as his belief was they had contravened a red light - the truth of the situation is the cycle lane does not have a stop line at the first light and so cycles can legally proceed to the second set of lights - so effectively the PC had stopped the cyclists wrongly, which doesn't really inspre much confidence in the force!! (and before you ask I was not in the group of cyclists) Magicman!

12:32pm Fri 16 Nov 12

J-Dawg says...

" The attacks on cyclists, when it is blatantly obvious that there are way more motoring offences and these offences are way more dangerous, are ridiculous."

That's like saying, let's not worry about robbery as assualt is more dangerous. You cannot ignore one area just because there are others things happening.

You complain about speeding motorists, yet there are regularly mobile cameras set up to catch these.
" The attacks on cyclists, when it is blatantly obvious that there are way more motoring offences and these offences are way more dangerous, are ridiculous." That's like saying, let's not worry about robbery as assualt is more dangerous. You cannot ignore one area just because there are others things happening. You complain about speeding motorists, yet there are regularly mobile cameras set up to catch these. J-Dawg

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