11 January 2011

Law Enforcement

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amoeba said...

Of course in the UK and probably the US too, motorists who kill cyclists are often it seems treated with more sympathy than their mangled victims. Because motorists who kill aren't real criminals – they're really 'good', 'normal' people who were rather unlucky, while the mangled victim is conveniently forgotten. And cyclists? Everyone knows they're all law-breaking Lycra-wearing anarchists anyway - aren't they?

After-all, deaths of cyclists and pedestrians seems all too often to be treated as an unavoidable consequence of modern life - as if everything that could possibly be done has been and nothing more is possible. Except as Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany and elsewhere have shown all increasingly emphatically, this 'nothing can be done' mindset, is utterly and totally wrong.
One day, people in the UK and possibly the US will realise that people who ride bicycles are people too! But only if most of us stop wearing Lycra and start wearing 'normal' clothes and ride sensible roadster bicycles to work, to shop, run errands and to go places.

Keep up the good work Mikael.

Canberracanuck said...

Does anybody else have trouble seeing this post? Ican see the comments and the title but not the content :(

Andrew said...

Empty post for me too, when viewing on my Orange SF (android 2.1) phone.

amoeba said...

I see the Title, the video
If there's any commentary by Mikael, I don't see it. But the video seems self-explanatory.
Below the video I see:'Bookmarks
Put here by Mikael at 14:58
tags: car culture, film, like haha funny, satire'
and the comments.

PC running Linux.

Hope this helps.

Green Idea Factory said...


Not A Lycra Wearer said...

amoeba: But only if most of us stop wearing Lycra and start wearing 'normal' clothes and ride sensible roadster bicycles to work, to shop, run errands and to go places.

That's the only way? Are you sniffing glue or something?
What a daft and limiting statement.

amoeba said...

Not A Lycra Wearer said...

amoeba: "But only if most of us stop wearing Lycra and start wearing 'normal' clothes..."

"That's the only way? Are you sniffing glue or something?
What a daft and limiting statement."

Ask members of the public what they think of cyclists. Their response will depend upon their perception of cyclists they see every day.

Unless I'm very much mistaken, In countries like the UK and the US, the chances are overwhelmingly that anyone approached will not be a cyclist, and they are relatively unlikely to know any cyclists in their close circle of friends. They will probably drive and they may never have ridden a bike, except as a child. Even if they are a cyclist, the chances are that their bike is used almost entirely recreationally and not used on a daily basis for utility transport.

Non-cyclists asked to give their opinions of cyclists will then most probably talk in terms of ill-informed stereotypes, and they will probably mention Lycra-louts and lawless behaviour. Cycling is viewed as the activity of a mostly lawless subgroup in such cultures.

Now, should the same exercise be tried in in countries like Denmark, the Netherlands, or anywhere else with a high cycling rate, the difference is most likely to be stark. There's a reasonable probability that the respondent will be a person who rides a bicycle and will know many other people who also ride bicycles. They are far more likely to use a bicycle regularly for all manner of uses: commuting, shopping, the school-run, visiting friends, etc. They are likely to do so wearing normal clothes on a highly practical and robust, low-maintenance roadster bike (or a cargo variant of the roadster), with mudguards, a full chain case and lights that are often dynamo-powered. Of course, the bike can be just about any bike, a roadster isn't essential, it's just that people generally find them more practical for everyday use, that's why the design has changed so little in a century. Riding bicycles for every day tasks is viewed as a normal daily activity in such cultures.

Lycra may be suitable for leisure-wear, but it is the product of a highly destructive industry that is extremely damaging to the environment. It is something best to be avoided, if only to avoid stereotyping and environmental damage.

For cycling to become 'main-stream' and 'normal' in countries like the UK and US, cycling has to shed its lawless image and the Lycra. The tried and tested path to riding bicycles becoming a common activity among the wider population is undoubtedly the Danish / Netherlands model. There may well be other ways, but IIRC such ways haven't been found. Lycra demonstrably does not play any significant part in this, except as a serious hindrance to cycling becoming recognized as a normal activity and cyclists as normal people who just happen to ride bicycles.

If anyone has been 'sniffing glue', it's not me. Perhaps you should get out on your bicycle more and avoid sniffing the chain-lube. If you rode a roadster, you'd only need a few drops of oil on the chain, every now and then, because the chain-case keeps the chain clear of grit and the oil off your clothes.

Look at David Hembrow's blog for more information. Or talk to Mikael, you do realise what 'Copenhagenize' is about, don't you?