This morning when I drove to work I passed 33 cyclists on my 10km journey to Manchester city centre. Firstly, I should say that I think it's brilliant that people can, and do cycle to work and I take my hat off to them. However, I am about to have a small and pointed rant which I acknowledge is being made from someone sat in their petrol consuming VW Polo. And for those of you already forming an opinion of me, due to child collection commitments I am unable to cycle to work; and if I am completely honest I would be a national hazard, as remaining on a bike for more than 500 metres has never been my strong point.
So, my rant - it's a bug bear of mine and has been for years. Of the 33 cyclists I passed 22 were in cycle helmets - 11 were not. WHY???? Why do people cycle on busy roads and not wear cycle helmets. If you use the roads, whether to walk, cycle, drive....whatever your reason - you are choosing to participate in an activity which effects the safety and lives of your fellow road users. We should all do our utmost to keep ourselves and each other safe. By wearing a seat belt I am making sure that I am giving myself the best possible chance of avoiding injury in the case of an accident thus protecting myself and the person who unintentionally may have driven into me. Why do some cyclists not offer their fellow road users the same level of respect? I know, I know, that some drivers are flippin inconsiderate of cyclists but the majority of us are very considerate and we deserve the same level of consideration in return. All it takes is someone clipping a cyclist with their wing mirror, and if they fell or swerved in the wrong way without a helmet then potentially two families lives are ruined. Awful.
Why is it not illegal? I have had this debate with various cyclists and most seem to agree with me but those that don't have a variety of counter arguments - " it means my hair is a mess" - Seriously? " A helmet doesn't mean I'm definitely safe" - Well that's like saying "I'll drink drive - it doesn't necessarily mean I'll crash". (Yes I'm being dramatic but I feel strongly about this) . We should all look after each others safety as best we can. I know there is a big campaign to lobby parliament to make not wearing a cycle hat, like a seatbelt, illegal, but as yet it is not.
I would be interested to hear your thoughts on this?
I could now move on to my more recent issue which is why cyclists don't use the cycle lane but I think that's another blog. I also have issues with those who don't indicate; people who throw rubbish from cars; the lady that drove past me yesterday smoking with her tiny baby in the car and also middle lane hoggers. So you see I don't just have issues with cyclists it's more a general road user thing. Though the decison to not wear a cycling helmet just seems like such a potential waste - if you bear in mind that over 17,000 cyclists were injured or killed last year in reported accidents.A figure not to be ignored.