Another cyclist thread

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Sunday 26 November 2017 10.45am
Luke wrote:
and then there are countries with almost no helmet use, and huge levels of use of bicycles by people as normal transport, as shown here here.

Agreed, Luke. In most countries people on bicycles are just that: 'people on bicycles' - or even 'pedestrians on wheels'.
Sunday 26 November 2017 3.39pm
John C wrote:
In most countries people on bicycles are just that: 'people on bicycles' - or even 'pedestrians on wheels'.

Here are some 'people on bicycles' and 'pedestrians on wheels'.

Monday 27 November 2017 9.24am
I cycle most days and wear a helmet because anything that might make me less susceptible to injury is good in my book.

However, wearing a helmet, much like wearing high viz/reflective clothing only does a small amount. Sensible behaviour and awareness of what's going on around me I'm sure plays a bigger part - ie prevention rather than cure.

What I can't account for, and what none of the above is likely to help me with, is the behaviour of other people. A helmet is unlikely to help me if I'm cycling at 18mph and someone steps out in my path without looking and pushes me in front of a car that's being driven too close up behind me because the driver wants to get to the next red light before I do.

The obsession with putting the responsibility solely on the most vulnerable that drives these sorts of suggestions will not help - all it does is encourage those who can cause the most harm to continue with dangerous behaviour safe in the knowledge that "if he's got a helmet on I can't harm him".
Monday 27 November 2017 10.39am
Possibly not relevant to this thread but one thing I have noticed about hard hats on site.
I am always working underneath, or inbetween pipes and stuff and have bumped my head numerous times. Pre hard hat I would get a cut and a bump, with one, the blow seems to be dissipated all over the head and down my neck, and a cracking headache ensues.
Still, with a falling brick or something I would rather have one on.
Monday 27 November 2017 10.53am
Jules62 wrote:
The way I see it, in London there is a 30 or 20 mph speed limit, this is a velocity that pedal cyclists can easily achieve and even surpass, so it does seem unfair that motorcyclists travelling at this speed must wear a helmet, but cyclists do not.

If a cyclist in London 'easily achieves or even surpasses' 30 mph, he/she's
1: very fit
2: riding a racing bike
3: already wearing a helmet
4: signed up for the next Tour of Britain
5: a fool

According to Wikipedia 'On a racing bicycle, a reasonably fit rider can ride at 40 km/h (25 mph) on flat ground for short periods.'

My guess is that a fast cycling speed in London is 15 mph - and for many of us it's more like 10 mph (which is apparently the average cycling speed in Copenhagen).

Wikipedia also says 'A human being travelling on a bicycle at 1624 km/h (1015 mph), using only the power required to walk, is the most energy-efficient means of human transport generally available.' Faster than that presumably uses more energy than walking - so why should I want to go faster?
Zoe
Monday 27 November 2017 9.12pm
In Australia compulsory helmets led to a massive fall in cycling. Less cyclists make it more dangerous for a couple of reasons 1) higher levels of cyclists mean drivers are more aware of them and drive more carefully around them 2) cycling is basically no more dangerous than being a pedestrian (including the risks of head injuries) but does amazing things for your health. The risks of cycling are very small, the risk of taking no exercise is massive. Anything which discourages cycling will have a major negative impact on health while not making that individual any safer as they face a similar level of risk walking or by car (public transport is safer).

I wear a helmet but I'm under no illusion that it makes much difference to safety. Segregated bike lanes make a major difference to safety and it's a shame that isn't being seen as the answer to safety, not a piece of polystyrene.
Monday 27 November 2017 9.30pm
I'm not going to like this post but, there was a bloke on the radio the other day, he had lost his brother in a cycle accident. He was kept alive for a few months at, the bloke said, massive cost to the NHS, he reckoned it must have come to millions. He was airlifted and then taken all over the place for various treatments. The presenter asked if he felt that his brother would still be here today if he had worn a helmet, he replied "without a doubt", I don't know how he could know that but that's what he said.
Thing is, if he had of survived it probably would've been at quite a cost to the NHS. I don't think we can use expense to the NHS as a reason either side of the debate.

That's not a dig at you Zoe but your post did remind me of that call.
Tuesday 28 November 2017 9.38am
John C wrote:
Jules62 wrote:
The way I see it, in London there is a 30 or 20 mph speed limit, this is a velocity that pedal cyclists can easily achieve and even surpass, so it does seem unfair that motorcyclists travelling at this speed must wear a helmet, but cyclists do not.

If a cyclist in London 'easily achieves or even surpasses' 30 mph, he/she's
1: very fit
2: riding a racing bike
3: already wearing a helmet
4: signed up for the next Tour of Britain
5: a fool

According to Wikipedia 'On a racing bicycle, a reasonably fit rider can ride at 40 km/h (25 mph) on flat ground for short periods.'

My guess is that a fast cycling speed in London is 15 mph - and for many of us it's more like 10 mph (which is apparently the average cycling speed in Copenhagen).

Wikipedia also says 'A human being travelling on a bicycle at 1624 km/h (1015 mph), using only the power required to walk, is the most energy-efficient means of human transport generally available.' Faster than that presumably uses more energy than walking - so why should I want to go faster?

Quite right! I cycle in London as a commuter and also for leisure/exercise outside of London. I'd say I'm experienced and reasonably fit but not a club cyclist or anything. I was averaging about 20mph after the first 40 miles of Ride London - basically on closed roads before any kind of hills slowed me down. The thought of being able to build the kind of momentum in London traffic to average 20mph is unimaginable.

As you say, to hit 30mph on a bike over a sustained distance (unless you're going down a steep, straight hill) is pretty much a pipe dream unless you are a very good amateur or a professional, and again that would be on closed roads or out in the country with little traffic.
Tuesday 28 November 2017 10.05am
I've just remembered, last night in Great Suffolk st there was a van parked and the driver swings the door open right in front of an oncoming cyclist causing him to swerve out into the centre of the road, the van was actually facing the oncoming cyclist! It could have been much worse if there was other traffic travelling either way at the time.
The driver was very apologetic and the cyclist was dumbfounded.
It did give me some idea of what the cyclist has to put up with.
He was wearing a helmet but I don't think the driver was aware enough to have thought -he's got a helmet on so I can take liberties.

Having said that, the cyclist was wearing dark clothing.
Tuesday 28 November 2017 10.30am
Guy's street wrote:
John C wrote:
Jules62 wrote:
The way I see it, in London there is a 30 or 20 mph speed limit, this is a velocity that pedal cyclists can easily achieve and even surpass, so it does seem unfair that motorcyclists travelling at this speed must wear a helmet, but cyclists do not.

If a cyclist in London 'easily achieves or even surpasses' 30 mph, he/she's
1: very fit
2: riding a racing bike
3: already wearing a helmet
4: signed up for the next Tour of Britain
5: a fool

According to Wikipedia 'On a racing bicycle, a reasonably fit rider can ride at 40 km/h (25 mph) on flat ground for short periods.'

My guess is that a fast cycling speed in London is 15 mph - and for many of us it's more like 10 mph (which is apparently the average cycling speed in Copenhagen).

Wikipedia also says 'A human being travelling on a bicycle at 1624 km/h (1015 mph), using only the power required to walk, is the most energy-efficient means of human transport generally available.' Faster than that presumably uses more energy than walking - so why should I want to go faster?

Quite right! I cycle in London as a commuter and also for leisure/exercise outside of London. I'd say I'm experienced and reasonably fit but not a club cyclist or anything. I was averaging about 20mph after the first 40 miles of Ride London - basically on closed roads before any kind of hills slowed me down. The thought of being able to build the kind of momentum in London traffic to average 20mph is unimaginable.

As you say, to hit 30mph on a bike over a sustained distance (unless you're going down a steep, straight hill) is pretty much a pipe dream unless you are a very good amateur or a professional, and again that would be on closed roads or out in the country with little traffic.

I'm pretty sure that a pedal cyclist can hit 40mph coming down Swains Lane, Highgate which reaches a gradient of 20%. Same applies to all other steep roads in the capital.

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