Two-wheeled fascism: the trouble with London's cyclists

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Time Out columnist Michael Hodges goes on the offensive against dangerous London cyclists. Have your say on the issues and read other responses and comments

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    A very aggrieved cyclist turned up on BBC Radio 4 last week. He was upset about London cyclist deaths, in particular the number of cyclists killed by lorries that turn left at junctions and fail to see riders who are often trapped between the vehicles and safety railings against which, with woeful irony, they are crushed.

    This is an extremely dangerous situation that should be stopped but, as well as being outraged by it, the man was clearly dangerous himself. In a tremulous, public-school voice on the edge, it seemed, of tears, he openly admitted that he ignored traffic signals: ‘It doesn't matter if the light is red or not, I’m just bothered about seeing a space in the traffic ahead and slipping in to it.’

    This neatly turned what was his and other cyclists’ problem into our problem. And by ‘our’ I mean the great majority of us who attempt to walk around the city every day and don’t want to be hit by cyclists ignoring red lights. The man could make his outrageous admission so easily because, in his and other cyclists’ world view, plebs who walk don’t matter. We are mere obstacles in the way of the divine right of an athletic, clean-living few to cycle wherever they want.

    In the past, cyclists would at least be shame-faced enough about their aggression to lie: ‘Bikes are allowed on the pavement’; ‘we’re being forced on the path by the roadworks.’ Or they would blame us for being on the pavement in the first place: ‘The pavement doesn’t belong to pedestrians, it’s ours as well’ (well, yes it does, actually, and no it isn’t).

    But now the London cycling community – privileged, white, self-absorbed and arrogant – can’t be bothered to make stuff up any more and is taking to the airwaves to encourage its members to break the law (and just to be clear, it is against the law to deliberately ride through a red light).

    The arrogance of London’s rogue cyclists is as extreme as their appearance. Go to the website of the London Cycling Campaign (www.lcc.org.uk) and on the homepage you’ll find a picture of a grown man in a yellow anorak and tights riding his cycle across the pavement.

    He’s coming up behind a lumpy male pedestrian in a baseball cap who has no way of knowing the cyclist is behind him because cyclists – around the time they started to dress in leotards and Waffen SS helmets – abandoned the traditional, and useful if you’re going to drive through a group of people, bell.

    Lumpy men in baseball caps are ridiculous, laughable even, but not having thunderous thighs and a cagoule doesn’t justify physical assault. Yet. The worship of the (white) male human body, the disdain for the lower orders, the generally humourless attitude (seen any laughing cyclists recently?), we’ve been here before haven’t we? In fact we fought a war to stop it. Did London survive the attentions of the Luftwaffe only to be overrun by a new pack of two-wheeled fascists?

    The original London fascists, Mosley’s blackshirts, survived on handouts from the aristocracy but modern pedestrian-hating cycling groups are allowed to register as a charities (the LCC is Registered Charity number 1115789). Worse, the government actually gives our money to the new fascists; funding for cycling has doubled in the last two years and there is now a Cycle to Work scheme to provide VAT-free bicycles. Why should pedestrians’ taxes pay to put more cyclists on our paths and support organisations committed to making our lives harder?

    LCC has direct links with Sustrans, a group that is dedicated to turning country lanes into cycleways, forcing the ordinary hikers that traditionally use them out of the way. If successful, Sustrans’ s campaign will undo the radical work of the last century when mass trespasses won ordinary people access to the countryside. Quiet lanes and tracks where women, children and pensioners can dawdle along enjoying the flora and fauna would become noisy cycleways plagued by mountain bikes and bellowing male riders in neon body stockings.

    In town and country then, the pedestrian is under assault from cyclists. Given the ferocity of the assault, letting tyres down and bending mudguards whenever the opportunity arises doesn’t seem an adequate response any more. So what are we going to do about the new fascists?

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What you saidHave your say A very aggrieved cyclist turned up on BBC Radio 4 last week. He was upset about London cyclist deaths, in particular the number of cyclists killed by lorries that turn left at junctions and fail to see riders who are often trapped between the vehicles and safety railings against which, with woeful irony, they are crushed.This is an extremely dangerous situation that should be stopped but, as well as being outraged by it, the man was clearly dangerous himself. In a tremulous, public-school voice on the edge, it seemed, of tears, he openly admitted that he ignored traffic signals: ‘It doesn't matter if the light is red or not, I’m just bothered about seeing a space in the traffic ahead and slipping in to it.’

Users say

85 comments
Eleni Maniou
Eleni Maniou

At last, a voice for us ' plebs' pedestrians who are growing an increasing fear for our lives every day we decide to walk to work or the gym or down to our local. Cycling can be great and I have seen respectful cyclists around the world such as the Danish ones. London cyclists are a group of fascists that if god forbid see you stepping for a second in a cycling lane they just treat you with a full middle fingered wave accompanied by verbal abuse and self righteousness to last you for a lifetime. Thank you for saying it out loud and give the rest of us walking loving residents a chance to be heard too

Cylist
Cylist

I think it's disgraceful that you can call cyclists fascist within a position of authority. Time out magazine is a well respected publications and quite frankly it's pathetic that you use this tool of communication to "have a rant" about your journey. Use twitter, facebook or a blog for that and leave your ego at the door next time your commissioned to write an article for Time Out. I also feel it's irresponsible if not a practice of racial segregation to pigeon hole cyclists as being the white male. I would have thought you'd understand by now, (being in the public eye) that racial segregation is unacceptable and politically incorrect. Fascist.

Terry Allen
Terry Allen

I drive in london almost every day and constantly see cycle users who seem to think that a red traffic light does not apply to them, some will even go to middle of a junction and practice their balancing act and wait for a small opportunity to sneek across crossing traffic. I was listening to a radio broadcast recently which did the now protective statement of"MOST CYCLISTS ARE GOOD AND OBSERVANT OF THE LAWS OF THE ROAD AND ITS ONLY A SMALL MINORITY WHO DISOBEY THEM". I having observed the actions of cyclists in london and local areas KNOW that this is not true and would welcome any gov official or similar body to occompany me on a drive through the heart of london to witness this total stupidity of londons mass cyclist communitty. Let me now say that cycling around london and other citys is a great way to get around but i cannot remember the the number of times that i have pulled at a junction "indicating left" and have gone to move off only to be startled by several cyclists on my nearside who seem oblivios to my indicator and seem to feel it is their god given right to kill them selves under my van. Once again i am not anti cyclist but i am anti STUPID cyclist who seem to feel that because they are small they can avoid the big lorries and vans and ignore normal traffic road rules. Many junctions are not perfect for cyclists in major citys but the actions of cyclists at these and 90% of what i see meens that these two wheeled road users more often than not will risk their own lives for the sake of a 15 min less journey. I have no doubt that this will offend those cyclists of you who are responsable road users "BUT I AM SORRY " in my experience the majority in london have no idea of the laws of the road and have very little care for their own safety. AND TO FINISH ARE VERY QUICK TO BLAME OTHER ROAD USERS FOR THEIR OWN COMPLETE DISREGARD FOR THEIR OWN SAFETY. Terry Allen

Tammy
Tammy

Well, today I am home with two enormously swollen knees, unable to move and under a lot of pain killers, because yesterday, a cyclist in London incorporated to an avenue, at full speed, turning her head towards the opposite side (to make sure no vehicles were coming) and never stopped to check if there were people crossing the street ahead. It was fortunate that I did see her or I would probably wouldn´t be writing this today. She stopped, checked I was still conscious, mounted and pedalled off. Believe me, I´m NOT against cyclists. But the problem in London is that most of them just don´t get they have to follow the same road rules as everyone else! They are always hitting pedestrians, or getting killed themselves because they are often reckless and in such a hurry that they don´t stop at red lights, pedestrian crossings, etc. And of course, this makes many pedestrians and drivers truly hate them. They need to be regulated!

Appey
Appey

When the cyclist who drove without looking and at full speed around the corner of my south-west London street, without his light on, without the legally required reflective clothing on, first into my two-year-old son and then into me, he was not liable to prosecution as he would have been had he been driving a car. Had he been in a car he would have had a license plate to track him down. I am a life-long pedestrian, and increasingly for the last fifteen years, if not longer, I have had my pavements, my pedestrian crossings, even my passenger seat impinged upon by self-righteous and quite frankly offensive cyclists. I have no intrinsic love for motorists, but they are at least held accountable. Cyclists in our capital believe they are above the law: in fear of sounding bitter, I truly wish the law would prove them wrong.

Ami
Ami

It is a shame that the majority of cyclists have issues with other lifestyles around them. Befor they even get on their bikes they are ready for a fight and cyclists must realise they are hated for their behaviour. If a pedestrian walked down the pavement bumping into, hurling abuse and punching people, he/she would be thought of as mentally disturbed. Yet cyclists behave this way and feel this behaviour is justified. Mental.

Louis
Louis

This poor little mind Mr Hodges, is a shame to human kind and to TimeOut too who are in turn accomplices for allowing him to vent his stupidity.

Childish TimeOut attack against an obvious thruth
Childish TimeOut attack against an obvious thruth

Cycling on pavement is selfish and not right, Skipping lights is very selfish & not right but those offences are so minor & harmless compared to the danger and damage that the private use of cars & vans cause to the city life and population every second that make the exacerbated complaint against some rogue cyclists insignificant. I believe that for some reason some of the media ( for instance this incendiary disproportionate and senseless article) has an interest to reverse the only sensible increase of popularity of cycling in town. It is an undeniable truth that cycling in town AND ITS PROMOTION AND PROTECTION is only RIGHT. PRIVATE USE OF CARS IN TOWN DO NOT WORK AND WILL NEVER DO, ACCEPT IT.Complaints against to an obvious HUGE society benefit & the rest of attacks against the most sociable efficient and peaceful means of transport, are expressions of the childish desire of continuation of selfish and undeveloped behaviour. Join us start cycling today and experience it you'll understand if still in doubt. Louis

Bill Bates
Bill Bates

Afraid of aggressive, threatening cyclists? Stop moaning - and carry a stick to fend them off! Use your civil right to self-protection!!

Little Richardjohn
Little Richardjohn

"Change the law so that cyclists only have to give way at lights, just like pedestrians, rather than stop like motor vehicles. As long as they do give way, is there any harm done to anyone?" Quite. What the motorist mentality will never understand is that cyclists are pedestrians in everything but speed. They are just as vulnerable, and just as non-polluting. And as there is no 'jaywalking' offence in Britain, meaniing that the pedestrian ALWAYS has right of way, it would be in the spirit of that law to allow cyclists the same rights on the road. People on bikes are not vehicles, they are people.

Little Richardjohn
Little Richardjohn

The reality of the situation is that cycling on pavements mainly represents a glorious piece of co-operation between people, not the nightmare of paranoiacs like the writer of this piece of trash. It is the very fact that this behaviour reveals just how peacably people can co-exist which infuriated the reactionay neurotics. The only thing missing is a sufficient level of expertise by cyclists. This is actively discouraged by the insistence on helmets and the armchair riding style encouraged by the pernicious bloated 4x4 of bicycles, the misnamed, overspecified, overpriced mountain bike.

Rob
Rob

It's wrong to lump all cyclists in with those who ride on the pavement and skip lights - quite simply because most don't. I cycle regularly in London but just because some pedestrians walk out into the road in front of me without looking I don't tar them all with the same brush. Just as pedestrians can feel threatened by careless cyclists, cyclists in turn can feel threatened by those motorists who have scant regard for their safety. I was assaulted in central London this month because I tapped on the window of a car that was being driven very aggressively. It's not the first time I have witnessed aggressive behaviour from motorists. However, despite requiring stitches on my face, I wouldn't ever suggest that motorists are highly-strung maniacs. The bad ones, like bad cyclists, are a minority, albeit a very dangerous one. There's something rather sad about this article, and Michael Hodges for writing it. The comparison with fascism exposes it for the nonsense that it is. If you want a lesson from history is is that we're not going to learn to live together if we demonise people.

Sharon
Sharon

The increase in cycling in London seems to me to almost totally made up of pavement cyclists. Yesterday I walked home from the town centre (Barking) with a friend, a distance of 1mile. In that mile we were passed by 12 pavement cyclists; only one went by slowly and considerately although as this was not a shared path even he had no right to be there. The others went by at speed and within inches of us. If one of has had moved out of a straight line we would have been injured. By the time we arrived home we were exhausted, angry, upset and stressed. This is the reality of increased cyclng in London for many people. Pavement cyclists are bullies; they are brave men (11 of the 12 were men) who enjoy dominating people who are older, slower or weaker than they are and get a kick of swearing at, threatening and abusing women. We have always walked for exercise and because we (used to) enjoy walking under the trees in the pretty street that we live in. Now we are going to have to take the bus because this problem is getting worse week on week. Who is looking after the rights of people like us?

Little RichaRDJOHN
Little RichaRDJOHN

Is this piece of garbage still milking it? Any serious publication would have drawn a line under this thread years ago. Does Time Out still need the traffic this scrap of sneering scribble generates? Pathetic.

Pete
Pete

"Two wheeled Facism"?!? These articles are getting ridiculous. I wish you would look at real problems and dangers on the road such as the endless number of motorists still using mobile phones while driving; speeding cars in residential areas; blaring horns left right and centre; taking red lights in cars (yes I see it every day!); agressive drivers; impatient drivers etc etc etc. Let's compare the problems caused by motorists compared to cyclists shall we?!? Deaths? Injuries? Pollution? Noise? Is there really a 'trouble with London's cyclists' in comparison? How about just writing an article called 'trouble with Time Out's low quality journalism?'

Bill Bates
Bill Bates

Motorcyclists - take a leaf out of the cyclists' book, and use those nice cycle paths! Why not?!

Nik
Nik

It really is a shame that ego man Hodges has to use his undeserved pedestal to exacerbate this already ugly argument and promote further intolerance on all sides. It is a great shame that there seems to be so much hatred towards cyclists in London. It is a great way to get about and I believe you can experience a true sense of freedom when cycling. While there are probably many people who use bikes who are inconsiderate, isn't this the same with drivers, pedestrians, tube and bus users? It would be nice to see more focus on the positive aspects of cycling, together with more education about its benefits and greater investment in proper infrastructure that would move London closer towards other cities where the urban planning has been designed to consider all road users.

Molly Malone
Molly Malone

I feel a lot of hatred towards the writer of this article. How ridiculous. Cycling is terrifying in London, but sometimes lovely. If people stopped driving, which there is no need to do in London, and used public transport/bikes, cyclists would be able to use the roads. I have a bell, I use it, but people still don't get out the way. However, I am patient, often get off and walk when it's busy. As for the white male comments. I am a black female. And have you ever been to South London? Bikes are not used only by white males.

Bill Bates
Bill Bates

Why have the cyclists got the police in their pockets? Has money changed hands? Is there another dripping snout in the trough?

Sharon
Sharon

I live on a busy but pretty tree lined street in East London and I used to like taking a walk most evenings for exercise and enjoyment but now this has been ruined by the number of aggressive, arrogant cyclists who choose to ride on the pavement. They don't give a damn about pedestrians and if tackled about their illegal behaviour they either swear and threaten you or scream like babies about their "rights". I am sick to death of them and even more sick of politicians prattling on about how "vulnerable" they are. How are they more vulnerable than the disabled, blind and elderly people that they intimidate? They don't belong on the pavement and I have lost all respect for the police because they tolerate them and do nothing about it. Where I live the police will even go single file to allow cyclists past on the pavement!

Arthur Hamilton
Arthur Hamilton

Drivel. Please fire the chimp who wrote this rubbish. Glad I don't subscribe to the paper version of TimeOut. "No such thing as a free lunch" springs to mind.

Dan
Dan

All the issues raised in this article seem valid, but I am concerned that Michael feels the need to make this a race issue. With constant references to skin colour. Then going on to call cyclists facists. The guys got some valid points, but frankly Michael.. You're a moron, why bring race and fascism into a transport debate? It makes you sound like a 14-year old, and with your references to the luftwaffe I believe you have broken Godwin's law, and am amazed timeout published this s****

Bill Bates
Bill Bates

Cyclists feel that their machines give them some power over the pedestrians. And we all know what happens to people who get power, don't we? Out comes that little fascist....

bILL bATES
bILL bATES

May I cordially invite all motorcyclists to use cycle paths? Why not - cyclists are keen on sharing everything, like pavements, aren't they? So they won't mind sharing "their" paths!!

jon h
jon h

prosecute arrogant cyclists just like they prosecute drivers who break rules. simple

eddy
eddy

Just keep your eyes on the road, Hodges

Sylvander
Sylvander

Drivers complaining about cyclists bending a rule or two are like the serial killer who complained to the EU Human Rights Commission that the prison warder hat his thumb in the soup when serving supper. Technically he has a small point but still it rings utterly wrong.

Stephen
Stephen

For the first time in 7 years and since buying my new bike I cycled home during the rush hour. From St Pauls to Finsbury Park. The majority of the cyclists I saw should have had their bikes taken away from them. They were rushing, scared and scary. Getting in the way of other road users not signaling or obeying traffic signals and never looking around them before moving off. And what is it with that bunching thing at the traffic lights ? That is the most sheep like behaviour I have every seen second only to horn beeping and about as useful. And you know what happens to sheep? I cycle the way I was taught, namely with the ebb and flow of the traffic not against it. The only time I have every come close to an accident is when I got cocky and broke this rule. One more thing not mentioned much in the replies but spoken of in the article. Rogue cyclists were characterized as ".....privileged, white, self-absorbed and arrogant...." Well the ones I saw were all white, self absorbed and arrogant in their behaviour and their bikes and kit looked pricey, lots of Bromptons and £500 plus racers and MTB's and helmets at £100 a pop. Bloody Guardian readers!

Little Richardjohn
Little Richardjohn

Notorious shock-jock Jon Grunt used to routinely refer to London cyclists as 'lycra-clad cyclo-fascists' - before he was run out of town, that is, then run out of his home town, Coventry, then when he was confronted by the problems his famous children ("give em a hug and a kiss and tell em you love em EVERY day") faced on their bikes, was forced to publicly recant, and admit that he himself had run red lights out of sheer self-preservation. So should all cheap, mindless hacks suffer the same retribution and public humiliation.

Alistair Smith
Alistair Smith

A completely bias opinion of someone who obviously has not looked at the debate from both perspectives, something which I believe they begin to teach at English GCSE level... maybe the Time Out editors should have looked at cycling schemes in other major european cities such as Paris, Copenhagen, Madrid, or compared the amount of bike lanes the UK has to other developed countries. Michael, it seems like your simply rousing the support and anger of the pedestrian majority by feeding them one sided shite... never in my life did I think i'd see someone start talking about fascism in the same article as cyclists. Maybe you should go and write for the Daily Sport. Time Out continues it's mission to reduce itself to the category of 'toilet paper.'

Little Richardjohn
Little Richardjohn

A few mopnths ago, Westminster council annopunced that it would be testing a continental scheme which effectively abolished box junctions and forced all road users to co-operate in their own survival. This meant that pedestrians, motorists and cyclists would all shar the same road space. While it sounds mad, where it has been tested, it apparently slashes the accident rate AND increases traffic flow. Does anyone know what happenned to this scheme?

Christopher
Christopher

Hello all. Michael Hodges, sir, your article is entertaining as a diatribe, but dubious as weighted opinion. I am a cyclist, and obey red lights at all times, and do not get onto the pavement as a general rule, unless, for example, my cycle path (my official cycle path), is part of the pavement or leads me into a park. I agree that cyclists flagrant disregard for the Highway Code (and it is written in the Highway Code what laws apply to cycling, including NOT riding on pavements), red lights, and the safety of pedestrians is unacceptable, and hope to see a crackdown on such behaviour as it gives all London cyclists a bad name. Cycling is excellent exercise, good for the environment, and is probably one of the fastest ways to move around our congested, poorly laid out city. As a cyclist, I have to be on constant guard for taxis, white vans, busses, and, more than anything else, pedestrians who flout THEIR red lights,far more often than I. Cycling is an important part of London's commuting geography, and these issues your articles raise deserve to be addressed-but to ascribe the arrogant, over-testorised behaviour of a few as broad fascism is just, well, it's just silly.

Little Richardjohn
Little Richardjohn

And now we have The Fragrant Matthew Parris The unpaid 'Lyrical Terrorist ' urges the decapitation of the infidel - justifiable outrage and a court conviction.. Overpaid, toffee nosed moron in Kensington High st calls for the decapitation of cyclists - it's just a joke! But not any more, according to the IPPC, who forced Parris into a grovelling 'apology'. With that precedent set, the rest of the tabloid motormouths can look forward to the same treatment. The Clarksons and Gaunts and Littlejohns in the gutters of publishing will have to smarten up their act. And about time too. But let's look at that 'apology' again. In fact, Parris merely tried to blame the outraged for not seeing the joke. "I offended many with my Christmas attack on cyclists. It was meant humorously but so many cyclists have taken it seriously that I plainly misjudged. I am sorry..." Which simply doesn't make sense. The reaction can't have caused him to 'misjudge' as it didn't happen until after he had judged. He is not apologising, just despicably trying to get off the hook. And this confusion of basic Cause and Effect from a man so ostentatiously full of the joys of rigorous, analytical, classical education and such a valiant defender of all forms of elitism. Here is a Mighty Mind Oe'rthrown indeed. In the meantime the likes of Parris and the other tabloid brats can go on promoting speeding and jumping lights and using mobile phones as positive signs of virility and status on megaphones of Lad Culture such as Top Gear. But it seems the game is up. Any columnist seeking an easy target will now have this ruling hanging over him, and a large number of people watching their every move. Expect a class action of some kind if editors don't come to their senses and make their columnists grow up, or at least wean them off their dependency on casual incitement to murder, because whatever the comic pretensions of hacks like Parris, Clarkson and Littlejohn, someone will do as they are told, and there will be no way of proving it. All it takes is a little delay on the brake pedal and another cyclist is dead. And that delay can be caused by the hatred spread by the media. In effect, it is the most efficient form of incitement there is. At least with other forms, the means of execution are explicitly criminal and rarely able to be disguised as an accident. This is not the case when the murder weapon is a car. And is much too easy when the target is suitably demonised by the media - when people on bikes have been dehumanised to a problem on wheels. In the critical second or two before a collision with a cyclist, anyone agreeing wholeheartedly with Parris, which he presumably hopes is as many readers as possible, would not first see a human being in danger but just another obnoxious bloody cyclist - and only finally, when it is too late, see the human being. It is not a conscious decision, just an unnecessary, synthetic emotion getting in the way of the normal human response. This is something which happens all the time - especially to drivers, subject as their personalities are to the distortions of being in control of superhuman power. We call it Road Rage, and it is entirely understandable in a culture which worships power for its own sake, and especially in one in which every individual is seen as competition, as getting in the way, and effectively shortening the commuter's life by delaying the time he can spend away from his work, doing wht he 'likes'. The politics of the cult of the superman are not that different from the politics of Lad culture after all, it seems.

Howard
Howard

The parallel with fascism is apt, but unfortunately it is Mr. Hodges who is, metaphorically speaking, the one 'wearing the jackboots'. The Transport Research Laboratory studied the attitudes of other road users to cyclists (TRL report 549 'Drivers' perceptions of cyclists) and came to the conclusion that cyclist are treated as an 'out group' and as such the target of the sort of irrational prejudice all minority groups who are perceived as posing a challenge to the social 'norm' suffer from. This article is just another example of such prejudice, although unlike the likes of Matthew Parris and Emma Parker-Bowles the writer does not seem to be prepared to 'extend the logic' of his world view to the extend of arguing for a terminal 'final solution' to the supposed 'cyclist problem'. Will Storr, writing in The Observer of 4 June 2006, neatly summarised the TRL's report as follows: "A recent report for the government commissioned by the Transport Research Foundation found that drivers treat cyclists as an 'out-group'. According to social-identity theory, this means that there is a multi-forked bias against us, which takes the form of that pernicious trident of hate - discrimination, stereotyping and prejudice. So, in the head of a typical driver, subconsciously and automatically, things like these happen: the behaviour of the worst cyclist is used to judge them all; any cash the council visibly spends on them seems maddeningly unfair; any accident is the cyclist's fault; when making a decision, the motorist puts the needs of other motorists first; any behaviour at all that is 'different' to the driver's own is wrong. And so on. These are precisely the same primeval mental sparks that lead to football hooliganism, gang warfare and racism. Provocative and hateful newspaper reports about 'two-wheeled terrorists' merely stir up tribalism - basic, brutal and bad. It's the most dangerous and atrocious human impulse there is."

Mike Sutherland
Mike Sutherland

i couldn't agree more here. Theres nothing more frustrating than stopping at traffic lights going amber then a vicious cyclist darts by, almost clipping your car. This issue has to be resolved, some cyclist's (not all) need to start obeying the basic rules of the road, before yet another person else gets seriously injured

Axel
Axel

Hodges, as a cyclist from Berlin (double Nazi!) who visits London on regular terms I should actually have opted to ignore or smile away your crass and offensive provocation. But then it struck me: stern insistence on laws with no tolerance whatsoever, hateful disrespect for complete population groups and a generally humourless attitude - damn it, Hodges, you're the fascist. And a twat.

Ruth
Ruth

and that wasn't sarcastic, i genuinely think that people who are criticising cyclists should have a go and see thinsg from the other side. i HAVE got the bus to work and i HAVE gone to work by car.

Ruth
Ruth

Tim Hubbard, it is really really frustrating when cars give you little/no room and then people are in the gutter wiating to cross over/on our cycle path (of which there are very few!!) I don't think it is good taht the person started shouting at you, but i always stop and tell people that it is dangerous to walk in the cycle lane (and yes some of them are on the pavement.. it is split up for both you and I) or put their feet on the road. The reason we don't get the bus is we are trying to travel cheaply, quickly and be envin. friendly!! As I said before, why on earth aren't people proud of our cycling community?? The VAST majority are nice, friendly people who are just going to work. It beats me why someone would get so angry about us. Why not try cycling tomorrow?? I had the most beautiful, relaxing cycle in this morning from Ealing to Uxbridge and there was no rage. Could you cycle to work too or are you too far out?

Tim Hubbard
Tim Hubbard

I almost got mowed down by an idiot cyclist coming up from behind me today. Scared the hell out of me! He screamed all sorts of insults at me. Next time this happens I'll make sure I'll buckle the cyclists wheels by booting him/her off their bike! They should also stay in the ruddy road as well and not on the pavement. If they say it's too dangerous on the road, take the flippin' bus!! Pavements are for pedestrians, not bikes...

clinton hill
clinton hill

Gary Scott - and all you other cyclists - why can't you read? Hodges may be a tosspot but he is right, he did not say "Frankly those cyclists being crushed by lorries are usually asking for it" or anything like it. Those words are not in his piece, they are in responses to his piece by other people.

Gary Scott
Gary Scott

"If Dr Susan Williams and the other lady who is praying that I get cancer actually read my article they'll see that I DID NOT say 'cyclists deserve to die' or dead cyclists were 'asking for it.' " Oh, but you came pretty close: You actually wrote: "Frankly those cyclists being crushed by lorries are usually asking for it." I repeat what another poster said- would you say this to the dead womens' families, face to face?

Tim
Tim

"Which is slightly different. Do they still want me to get cancer? And which kind? Eye? Lung? Liver?!" Yep. All of those. Being pointlessly offensive is easy isn't it? Does it pay well?

toots
toots

People! People! Everybody gets trapped into defining road users as good and bad by the way they get around-feet, cars, bikes etc. It's really simple-there are responsible and courteous road users and irresponsible and rude road users on all kinds of transport. Lets all slow down and be patient. As a committed cyclist I strongly dissprove of cyclists who go through red lights - as strongly as i dissaprove of people on foot who step into the road without looking.

michael hodges
michael hodges

If Dr Susan Williams and the other lady who is praying that I get cancer actually read my article they'll see that I DID NOT say 'cyclists deserve to die' or dead cyclists were 'asking for it.' I said cyclists being hit at traffic lights was a 'dangerous situation that should be stopped.' Which is slightly different. Do they still want me to get cancer? And which kind? Eye? Lung? Liver?

poxynocks
poxynocks

I got knocked off my bike by a truck last week and it drove off not even knowing what it had done. Sometimes the road layout is to blame. These roads are usually not fit for cyclists. The government promote cycling but are not providing enough to ensure cyclist safety. And Michael Hodges is a tit.

Dr Susan Williams
Dr Susan Williams

"For riders killed nearside by turning, blinded lorries isn't this actually true? " Nope, because the women were killed by lorries overtaking and then turning left. The cyclists did nothing worng, they were killed by inattentive drivers who then try to mitigate their punishment by saying "She undertook". Witnesses proved this was a lie. Someone is killed in a criminal act and Mr Hodges says they deserved to die. This is beneath contempt.

Charlie P
Charlie P

Michael man, your article is great, its so over the top that we have got to laugh, you should be proud to know that it is generating quite some commentary on cycling websites. Can I suggest that you spend a day or two with a London cycle courier. Try to pick a day when its raining and the wind is blowing, smile through the adversity and remember that you are free and that you are alive. Michael a good friend of mine was going down the strand, a pedestrian stepped out without looking properly, swerving he lost control came off his bike and hit a metal bollard...he died in the ambulance. We aren't fascists Michael, we are just trying to earn a living or get to a place utilising perpetual motion where we can earn a living. We love pedestrians, we respect pedestrians, and the same goes for 99% of cars, taxis, you name it. Michael chill man we really aren't that bad

Hugoberon
Hugoberon

"Frankly those cyclists being crushed by lorries are usually asking for it." For riders killed nearside by turning, blinded lorries isn't this actually true? You wouldn't step out in front of one, why would you ride like this? Lack of imagination, lack of training or lack of awareness of how lorries move: how can riders be educated? Probably is Darwinian, isn't it?