About Me

I have a great passion for the outdoors and I am using this to document what I see and do hoping it will inspire someone else to enjoy the same things.

Friday, 26 October 2012

The genralisation of cyclists

Well it seems that Cyclists are in the news more and more  for different reasons.

Cyclist cought doping
Cyclist jumps red lights
Cyclist knocked over my mother by Petronella Wyatt in Fenruary 2010


and also again in September 2012


and the great article by Tariq Tahir on the 20th November 2011

And the most thoughtfully rehash of old news by @pendlenews and an ill conceived opinion by Sue Blunket

what is wierd is the generalisation of the cyclist and that wether you jump a red light , call a policeman a pleb , make your blood cells richer we are all the same .

Now from my past experiance I rode a bmx when i was a kid , i was a kid on a bmx , then got a scrambler  motorbike progressed to a car ,, took my motorbike direct acess licence and now choose to leave my car at home and use a road cycle for getting to work on as the journey is only 5 miles and to be honest is a damn sight quicker than parking up outside of town and walking the 20 minutes to work. therefore i feel i have the credentials as a road user and with plenty of ability to use most forms of transport available.  I even know how to get on a bus and train.   Not sure about horses or tractors though.

I stop at red lights and on a number of occasions i see many people run red lights regardless of the vehicle they are using at the time.  Some people in cars like to speed up when the orange light goes on to ensure they get through that set of lights so they can wait at the set further in front.  Some people on bikes like to ride around the lights over the path so they do not go directly through the light but around it.
Some people in cars do the same and also like to cut through town centres across pedestrianised zones and bully people on foot to move out the way.

So why do we blame the vehicle not the person when something untoward happens.
Take the following type of people
people who use a bike  by choice
people who use a bike because they have too
people who drive because they are lazy
people who drive because they need to

When a person uses a specific vehicle the behaviour of that person does not change , if they are a cock in life they will be a cock in a car , a cock on a bike , a cock on a horse and even a cock walking with the phone and not bothering to see where they are going. There can even be said to be a cock in a white van.

It seems that lazy journolism and lazy headlines seem to be the main producer of this label , when at the end of the day it is soley the person in charge of the vehicle in question that is the problem not the actual vehicle.
The one word fits all situation is akin to racism and the general sweeping statement.

We need to be in a place where the onus is on the individual regardless of what vehicle you utilise on a specific day.  Maybe one day we might see a headline 
Person runs red light whilst using a bike instead of cyclists jump red lights
Person runs red light whilst using a car/truck/bus ect

Let us get to the issues that some lazy jouro seem to keep rehashing over and over again.
Road tax, Number plates, Licensing.

These seem to be a right big moan about who pays for roads when a little bit of research can go a long way. Just by reading the information on the direct gov website and type in road tax you get the site that says car tax. A tax for a car that is based on emissions and without displaying the disc you are not allowed to use the road. So going by the road tax argument and ability to use the road if you display the disc regardless of cost this is your pass key to road use. 

So how do you get a disc in the first place.



So lets say that bicycle's get a disc based on emmisions this will also be a nil charge , like the following vehicles

Audi     A1       1.6 TDI SE, Sport, Contrast Edition, S Line      Diesel   99
Audi     New A3           1.6 TDI 105PS SE, Sport, S Line Start/Stop    Diesel   99
BMW New 1 Series   116D Efficient Dynamics           Diesel   99
Fiat      New Panda      0.9T Twin Air Pop, Easy, Lounge Start/Stop    Petrol   95
Ford     Fiesta   1.6 TDCi ECOnetic      Diesel   98
Toyota             Yaris    1.5 VVT-i        Petrol Hybrid    84
Vauxhall           Corsa   1.3 CDTi 95PS ecoFLEX S, Exclusiv Start/Stop          Diesel   94
Vauxhall           Astra    1.7 CDTi 110PS ecoFLEX Exclusiv Start/Stop            Diesel   99
Volkswagen     Up!      1.0i 60PS Move Up! Bluemotion          Petrol   97
Volkswagen     New Golf         1.6 TDI 104PS Bluemotion Start/Stop Diesel   85
Panda     0.9T Twin Air Easy, Lounge Start/Stop             Petrol   99
Fiat      Punto Evo        0.9T Twin Air T85       Petrol   98
Fiat      Punto Evo        1.3 Multijet Easy, GBT, Lounge Start/Stop       Diesel   90
Fiat      500      0.9T Twin Air Base, Plus, Pop, Sport, Lounge, By Gucci S/S   Petrol   95
Fiat      500C   0.9T Twin Air Base, Lounge Start/Stop            Petrol   95
Ford     Fiesta   1.6 TDCi ECOnetic      Diesel   87
Hyundai            New i10           1.0i Blue           Petrol   99
Hyundai            New i20           1.1 CRDi 75PS Blue Drive       Diesel   84
Hyundai            New i20           1.1 CRDi 75PS Classic            Diesel   99
Hyundai            New i20           1.4 CRDi 89PS Blue Drive       Diesel   96
Hyundai            New i30           1.6 CRDi 110PS Blue Drive, Classic, Active    Diesel   97
Hyundai            new i30            1.6 CRDi 110PS Blue Drive Style, Style Nav   Diesel   100
Hyundai            New i30           1.6 CRDI 128PS Blue Drive Style, Style Nav   Diesel   100
Kia       New Picanto    1.0i 1, 1 Air, 2 Petrol   99
Kia       New Picanto    1.25i ISG 2, Halo         Petrol   100
Kia       New Rio          1.1 CRDi ISG 1           Diesel   85
Kia       New Rio          1.1CRDi ISG 1 Air      Diesel   94
Kia       New Rio          1.1CRDi ISG 2            Diesel   99
Kia       New Cee'd       1.6 CRDi 128PS 1       Diesel   97
Kia       New Cee'd       1.6 CRDi 128PS 2,3    Diesel   100
Lexus   CT200h           1.8 SE-I, SE-L, SE-L Premier, F-Sport           Petrol Hybrid    94
Mini     One      1.6D Base, Pepper/Media/Sport Pack Diesel   99
Mini     Cooper            1.6D Base, Pepper Pack, Media Pack, Chilli Pack, Sport Pack            Diesel   99
Mitsubishi         i           Elec 49kw 65PS MiEV            Electric             -
Nissan Leaf     Elec 80kw 106PS        Electric             -
Nissan New Micra       1.2 DIG-S Visia           Petrol   95
Nissan New Micra       1.2 DIG-S Acenta, Kuro, Shiro, Tekna            Petrol   99
Peugeot            107      1.0i Access, Active, Allure        Petrol   99
Peugeot            207      1.6 92PS HDi Oxygo, Oxygo+             Diesel   98
Peugeot            New 208          1.0 VTi 67PS Access, Access+, Active Start/Stop       Petrol   99
Peugeot            New 208          1.4 HDi 67PS Access+, Active, Allure             Diesel   98
Peugeot            New 208          1.4 e-HDi 67PS Access, Access+, Allure EGC S/S      Diesel   87
Peugeot            New 208          1.6 e-HDi 92PS Active, Allure, Feline EGC Start/Stop             Diesel   98
Peugeot            New 208          1.6 e-HDi 115PS Feline           Diesel   99
Peugeot            New 308          1.6 e-HDi 122PS Oxygo, SR EGC Start/Stop Diesel   98
Peugeot            iOn       Elec 49kw 65PS          Electric             -
Peugeot            3008    2.0 HDi FAP HYbrid 4 4WD   Diesel Hybrid   99
Renault             Twizy   Elec 13kw 18PS Urban, Colour, Technic          Electric             -
Renault             New Clio         1.0 VVT 67PS             Petrol   99
Renault             New Clio         1.5 dCi 88PS   Diesel   83
Renault             Clio      1.5 dCi 88PS Expression Eco   Diesel   94
Renault             Zoe      Elec 65kw 88PS          Electric             -
Renault             Fluence            Elec 70kw 93PS Expression+, Dynamique        Electric             -
Renault             Megane            1.5 dCi 110PS Expression+, Dynamique, GT Line Start/Stop   Diesel   90
Renault             Megane S.To   1.5 dCi 110PS Expression+, Dynamique, GT Line Start/Stop   Diesel   90
Renault             Megane Coupe             1.5 dCi 110PS Expression+, Dynamique, GT Line Start/Stop   Diesel   90
Seat     New Mii           1.0i 60PS Ecomotive Start/Stop           Petrol   96
Seat     Ibiza     1.2 TDI 75PS S, SE Ecomotive            Diesel   92
Seat     Ibiza Estate       1.2 TDI 1.2 TDI 75PS S, SE Copa Ecomotive             Diesel   94
Seat     Leon    1.6 TDI 105PS SE Copa Ecomotive    Diesel   99
Skoda New Citigo       1.0i 60PS Greentech SE, Elegance Start/Stop   Petrol   96
Skoda New Citigo       1.0i 75PS Greentech Elegance Start/Stop         Petrol   98
Skoda Fabia    1.2 TDI CR 75PS Greenline II             Diesel   89
Skoda Fabia Estate     1.2 TDI CR 75PS Greenline II             Diesel   89
Skoda Octavia            1.6 TDI CR Greenline II           Diesel   99
Smart   fortwo coupé    Elec 55kw 73PS Electric Drive             Electric             -
Smart   fortwo coupé    0.8 cdi Pulse, Passion   Diesel   89
Smart   fortwo coupé    1.0 mhd Pulse, Passion             Petrol   97
Smart   fortwo cabrio    0.8 cdi Passion             Diesel   89
Smart   fortwo cabrio    1.0 mhd Pulse, Passion             Petrol   97
Suzuki Alto      1.0 VVT-i SZ, SZ3, SZ4          Petrol   99
Toyota             New Yaris        1.5 VVT-i Hybrid T3, T4         Petrol Hybrid    79
Toyota             New Yaris        1.5 VVT-i Hybrid T Spirit        Petrol Hybrid    85
Toyota             Auris    1.8 VVT-i HSD 89g/km T4      Petrol Hybrid    89
Toyota             Auris    1.8 VVT-i HSD 93g/km T4, T-Spirit    Petrol Hybrid    92
Toyota             iQ        1.0i VVT-i Base, 2       Petrol   99
Toyota             Aygo    1.0 VVT-i Base, +, Ice, Fire     Petrol   99
Toyota             Prius     1.8 VVT-i T3   Petrol Hybrid    89
Toyota             Prius     1.8 VVT-i T4, T-Spirit             Petrol Hybrid    93
Toyota             Prius Plug-In     1.8 VVT-i        Petrol Hybrid    49
Toyota             New Prius+      1.8 VVT-i T4   Petrol Hybrid    96
Vauxhall           Corsa   1.3 CDTi 95PS ecoFLEX S, Exclusiv Start/Stop          Diesel   94
Vauxhall           Corsa   1.3 CDTi 95PS ecoFLEX S(AC), Exclusiv (AC) Start/Stop     Diesel   95
Vauxhall           Astra    1.7 CDTi 110PS ecoFLEX Exclusiv Start/Stop            Diesel   99
Vauxhall           Astra    1.7 CDTi 130PS ecoFLEX Exclusiv, Tech Line Start/Stop       Diesel   99
Vauxhall           Ampera            Elec/1.4 149PS            Electric             0/40
Volkswagen     Up!      1.0i 60PS Bluemotin Move Up!            Petrol   95
Volkswagen     New Golf         1.6 TDI 104PS Bluemotion Start/Stop Diesel   85
Volkswagen     Polo     1.2 TDI 75PS Bluemotion        Diesel   91
Volvo   C30     1.6D DRIVe ES, SE, SE Lux Start/Stop           Diesel   99
Volvo   V40     1.6 D2 ES, SE, SE Lux            Diesel   94
Volvo   S40      1.6D DRIVe ES, SE, SE Lux Start/Stop           Diesel   99
Volvo   V50     1.6D DRIVe ES, SE, SE Lux Start/Stop           Diesel   99

Well that is over 80 different model of car who use the road for FREE, then we have
  • Vehicles registered to disabled people, although it should be noted that the person is exempt and not the vehicle - estimated 1.12 million vehicles in 2010
  • Emergency vehicles (includes police cars, fire-engines, and ambulances and other health-service vehicles)
  • Vehicles registered to ex-soldiers who receive a war pensioners' mobility supplement
  • Ministerial cars
  • Vehicles operated by the Government Car and Despatch Agency and cars imported by members of foreign armed forces
  • Road construction vehicle
  • 'Crown vehicles' for the use of the royal family

Well this brings us on to the MOT , INSURANCE argument that gets spouted

OK MOT - what is covered

by referring to the document Your Car and the MOT by the department of transport   http://www.dft.gov.uk/vosa/repository/CONT071791.pdf

you can see that the following checks are required
Body Structure and Engine mountings.  - bicycles dont have an engine - pass
Fuel System, check for leaks and security - bicycles dont need external fuel supply -pass
Emmisions - Bicycles dont have emmisions - pass
Exhaust system - Bicycles dont have exhaust systems - pass
Seat Belts - Bicycles dont have seatbelts - pass
Seat - Seat . well this can be checked - is there a seat on the bicyle and is it secure
Doors - no doors on a bicyle - pass
Mirrors - mirrors not standard on a bicylce -pass
Brakes Efficiency Test of ABS - check brakes on bicycle
Tyres and wheels - - check tryes and pressure on bicycle
Registration Plates - bicycles dont have them - pass
Lights - check lights are working , not a legal requirement on a bycicle- pass
Bonnet - bicycles dont have bonnets - pass
Windscreen Wipers - dont have windscreen wipers -pass
Horn - not standard on a bicycle - pass
Suspension and Steering some bicycles dont have suspension it is the elbows and knees but it is impossible to ride a bike with loose steering  - pass
VIN - no - pass
Electrical Wiring - no - pass
Well you get the drift -   but have you ever tried to handle a bicycle with low pressure in the tyres and a wobbly seat , you know and you fix it , and it can be done at home in the safety of your kitchen , low pressure in the tyres of a car at 40 miles an hour can be dangerous by overheating and blowout. So how does having an MOT on something that is powered by a human make a relevant argument.

You need to have insurance and an mot to get a ved (road tax) ( car tax) disc to display in your vehicle.Yes that is write it is YOU the person that is insured to drive a specific named vehicle not the other way round.  You insure YOU to DRIVE CAR.  you dont insure CAR to have YOU inside it. 
You can get 3rd party cover and public liability cover from CTC and British Cycling , and as we all know insurance only gets checked if there is an incident or the number plates get flagged by the ANPR cars and cameras and linked to regestration plates. Or you commit an offence on a public highway and get stopped by the police.

There are plenty of people that get vehicle insurance to get the disc then cancel the insurance afterwards to save money on the hope that the vehicle is never stolen or crashed, or pulled.

Insurance is a moral argument and again and to be honest it starts at £16 per annum and for people that care this would be purchased  as i said before you can be a cock on a bicycle as well as a car.

And  finally , testing that you can ride a bike , 
OK - to drive a car takes some kind of skill and you have to learn to drive because this vehicle can kill someone else , like a gun but only bigger. 
In order to get insurance on a vehicle you need to be signed off to handle that vehicle with some degeree of profficiency so the insurance company can underwrite the policy.   

You only take this test and have to pass it once,  then you  are free to drive on any road you like regardless of experiance, remember the first time on the motorway .. scary wasnt it , well did you learn the rules of the motorway without an additional test NO  just used your initiative , did you learn how to overtake a tractor on a country road ,well that is the same as getting on a bike , learning to ride and then starting to commute and picking up roadcraft as you go , self preservation comes into force here.

So Sue Plunkett  and people of your ilk, i have seen plenty of new people driving cars with limited road sence , and being protected just adds to the danger to others rather than self preservation.

So as William Blake once said 
To Generalise is to be an idiot , 

Your opinion is a tale told by an idiot , full  of sound and fury signifying nothing  - william shakespere