Sunday, 17 April 2011

"How Dare You Give Us Free Stuff?!"

No, this isn't turning into an anti-cyclists blog (how could I ever read Blognor Regis or Very British Dude again without a hot feeling of shame if it did?), but really, this is getting ridiculous:
An AA scheme giving away 5,000 high-visibility bicycle helmets and jackets has enraged some cyclists.
Wha..?
The motoring organisation was handing out the items at Waterloo Place, off Pall Mall, this morning and Lincoln's Inn Fields in Holborn this afternoon after it found in a survey that less than five per cent of Boris bikers used a helmet. The Raleigh Missile helmets sell for up to £27.
Who could possibly object to being handed, free, no cost, gratis, some safety equipment? Well, it seems there does indeed exist such a group of people:
But cyclists said the AA should direct its energy at improving motorists' behaviour rather than creating the impression that cycling is unsafe.
Cycling isn't unsafe, of course. Like anything else, if done properly and responsibly, it's as safe as any other activity.

But the behaviour of some cyclists risks making it so. And it's likely to be the same sort of cyclists that - rather than embrace this as a cracking idea - whinge about it instead.
Jim Gleeson said: "Maybe cyclists could reciprocate by giving out free eye-glasses and copies of the Highway Code to drivers."
From what I've seen, a lot of cyclists could benefit from reading that themselves...

17 comments:

Quiet_Man said...

Maybe cyclists could pay for the privilege of using the road too?
Take a long expensive learning period. Carry insurance etc

Captain Haddock said...

I shouldn't think that Members of the AA, whose Membership subscriptions are funding this stunt will be any too impressed either ..

The Automobile Association is a Motoring organisation .. for Motorists (the clue is in the name)..

Thank god I'm with Green Flag .. :)

Woodsy42 said...

More to the point, how dare they use their members' breakdown insurance premiums to give away free stuff to non-members.

Captain Haddock said...

Spot on Woodsy ..

I can foresee this coming back to bite them on the arse ..

Lynne said...

I live in a village and often encounter, on fine weather weekends, members of cycling clubs either riding in competition or simply enjoying the day. I don't have a problem with that. I do have a problem with the odd group riding three and four abreast along winding country lanes, chatting to each other and not giving a shit about the line of traffic building up behind them.

For some reason, as I overtake these ignorant bastards, I get an uncontrollable urge to wash my windscreen...

Gimme gimme said...

The socialist-liberal-wronged-and-offended mantra: You give me something free, but it isn't enough! I demand more!

What do we want? Free things! When do we want it? Now!

What do we give in return? (...sound of silence)

WV = coldolog = unlit fire

phiangle said...

As an avid cyclist I would love to find somebody handing out free gear, its bleeding expensive!

I tend to cycle alone as I dont get the whole cycle tribe deal.

As for protection, I fell off my bike last year, with all my cycling gear on and tore off large areas of skin leaving myself bleeding and confused at the roadside. Judging by the dent in my cycling helmet I got off lightly.

Anonymous said...

I see their game. If drivers can easily see and avoid them ...and an accident doesn't end in serious injuries they can claim for...well who on earth can they blame they still manage to get splattered all over the road.
...
No this won't do at all. The spotlight must never be turned on their own dangerous actions. They might have to take some Personal responsibility for their own safety then.
...
You can't help those that won't help themselves :/

Chuckles said...

Perhaps they were upset about the logo on the back?

http://rubber-stamp-shack.com/sweet_grass_stamps/plate_14_men/scope_sight_large.JPG

Longrider said...

From what I've seen, a lot of cyclists could benefit from reading that themselves...

Damn! You beat me to it ;)

Richard said...

The AA have been pushing a green agenda for a long time now. I originally thought it was an attempt to head the anti-car people off at the pass, but now I think they mean it. If I were an AA member, I would be furious about this.

Angry Exile said...

And of course quite a lot of the Highway Code applies to cyclists, some of it only to cyclists in fact. I wonder how many know?

I do sympathise with the cyclists if they're resisting any nannying business with the helmets but I don't think they're going the right way about it. You get rid of the nanny by everyone joining together and telling it to rack off, not by pointing at the bloke next to you and yelling that he needs the nanny more than you do.

Lobachevsky said...

According to the DfT, in 2009 there were 3,103 one-vehicle accidents involving a collision with a tree. 175 of them were fatal. There were also 1,565 collisions with lamp posts, 2,036 collisions with crash barriers, and 1,713 entries into a ditch.

It would seem that many drivers out there are not fully in control of their cars. But by all means let the AA hand out free helmets if it makes them feel better. Can I have an extra-large one for my tree?

Jiks said...

Having read the so called article I can't see any quote from anyone involved. Basically it seems to be "someone said someone else said they were angry," ie the usual MSM standard bollocks bashing one group or other, in this case cyclists.

JuliaM said...

"I shouldn't think that Members of the AA, whose Membership subscriptions are funding this stunt will be any too impressed either .."

Good point! I'm one of them.

"For some reason, as I overtake these ignorant bastards, I get an uncontrollable urge to wash my windscreen..."

:D

"Judging by the dent in my cycling helmet I got off lightly."

Yikes! I think you did...

"Perhaps they were upset about the logo on the back?"

:D

" I originally thought it was an attempt to head the anti-car people off at the pass..."

They should learn from the pub companies and brewers over the smoking ban - throwing someone else to the wolves or otherwise trying to compromise doesn't work.

"Having read the so called article I can't see any quote from anyone involved. Basically it seems to be "someone said someone else said they were angry,""

There is one named cyclist; I Googled to see if he was a pressure group plant, but nothing came up.

Jiks said...

My apologies, Julia, you are of course correct.

I think because his statement was so retarded I subconcsiously edited it out. I tried to track him down myself but without success but did find this:

UPDATE Mon April 18: AA president Edmund King told me on Friday evening: "The day was a roaring success. The helmets and vests went like hot-cakes to a very grateful London cycling public. When we got to Lincoln’s Inn fields for 1pm there were queues around the block and thousands of helmets went in 25 minutes…These very very happy bikers – no anger at all. I accept there are a vocal minority who don’t like helmets and seem threatened by the AA 'stealing their ground'."

Dunno how this helps AA members TBH but there you go...

Jackart said...

OK... for the hard of thinking. Helmets prevent head injuries when no other vehicle is involved BUT have little effect on the chance of being killed by a motor vehicle.

What they DO influence is the unconcious behaviour of motorists. Helmets make the cyclist appear protected, and driver takes more risk by driving closer. THis is subconsious.

So. Helmets make collisions MORE likely, and death more likely, whilst making any given accident slightly less dangerous.

Net net cyclists are better off in town with out helmets.

High viz helps IF the motorist in question isn't a cunt. However a sizable minority of london drivers are. Again. It's not clear if high viz during the day (you'd be suicidal to venture onto roads without it at night) makes you safer.

Plus helmets increase the perception of danger of cycling amongst non-cyclists preventing uptake. The best way to improve safety is to have MORE cyclists (basically so motorists get used to bikes).

Helmets prevent uptake of cycling and therefore make cycling more dangerous.

This is controversial, and the methodology is disputed. This is why the BMAs call for a helmet law is so strongly resisted.

As for red lights. Have a look at most recent cyclist deaths, and check what the cyclist was doing before they were killed. Chances are they were waiting to turn left at some lights. THAT's WHY CYCLISTS RUN RED LIGHTS. IT'S SAFER TO DO SO. Anyone who disagrees with letting cyclists turn left on red, is a complete dick. Evidence points to allowing cyclists to treat red lights as advisory, as they do in Holland.

In truth, I think motorists see someone free, cycling through an empty junction and you're sitting in your little box of angst waiting. waiting. Waiting. and the "THEY RUN RED LIGHTS! WAAAAAAAAAA!" is just petty jealousy. Pure and simple. Fot that you should join the Labour party.

Ta For the link!