The Ministry of Truth speaks

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Guy Chapman, May 21, 2003.

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  1. Guy Chapman

    Guy Chapman Guest

    Sit down, breathe deeply, calm yourself, then check this link:

    http://www.cyclesense.net/fset.htm

    The cretins who produced this website would clearly rather scare the sh*t out of any child thinking
    about riding a bike, than tell them how to ride safely. Or indeed address the crass behaviour of
    drivers which brings most of the danger to the situation in the first place.

    And those cretins are... our old friends the Department for Transport.

    Write to them, people, and let them know that this is misguided and unacceptable propaganda. This
    crap is published using our money, and I for one want it off the web RIGHT NOW!

    Guy
     
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  2. Tim Woodall

    Tim Woodall Guest

    On 21 May 2003 03:58:54 -0700, Guy Chapman <[email protected]> wrote:
    > Sit down, breathe deeply, calm yourself, then check this link:
    >
    > http://www.cyclesense.net/fset.htm
    >
    > The cretins who produced this website would clearly rather scare the sh*t out of any child
    > thinking about riding a bike, than tell them how to ride safely. Or indeed address the crass
    > behaviour of drivers which brings most of the danger to the situation in the first place.
    >
    > And those cretins are... our old friends the Department for Transport.
    >
    > Write to them, people, and let them know that this is misguided and unacceptable propaganda. This
    > crap is published using our money, and I for one want it off the web RIGHT NOW!
    >
    Is the Quick Quiz "When do most cycling accidents occur" even correct? While about cycle paths
    rather than roads in general, http://www.lesberries.co.uk/cycling/infra/research.html gives

    "80% are related to turning against or crossing the path of other vehicles." but then has "the most
    common collision type involves motor vehicle turning right and cyclist going ahead. Often the motor
    vehicle fails to cede right of way, but at traffic lights cyclists in most cases passed at red"

    Which doesn't tally at all with "When cyclists are turning across traffic" Perhaps they meant "When
    traffic is turning across cyclists" which would also include the left hook.

    Regards,

    Tim.

    --
    God said, "div D = rho, div B = 0, curl E = - @B/@t, curl H = J + @D/@t," and there was light.

    http://tjw.hn.org/ http://www.locofungus.btinternet.co.uk/
     
  3. Dave

    Dave Guest

    "Guy Chapman" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Sit down, breathe deeply, calm yourself, then check this link:
    >
    > http://www.cyclesense.net/fset.htm
    >
    > The cretins who produced this website would clearly rather scare the sh*t out of any child
    > thinking about riding a bike, than tell them how to ride safely. Or indeed address the crass
    > behaviour of drivers which brings most of the danger to the situation in the first place.
    >
    > And those cretins are... our old friends the Department for Transport.
    >
    > Write to them, people, and let them know that this is misguided and unacceptable propaganda. This
    > crap is published using our money, and I for one want it off the web RIGHT NOW!
    >
    > Guy

    Guy, Just checked the website out. I don't think it's that bad on the scale of something being
    better than nothing. I've decided to do something positive about helping kids getting into cycling,
    so have signed up with helping out with the local cycle training scheme, run by the local council.
    This goes out to primary schools and invites kids of a certain age to bring their bikes in for 6x1hr
    lessons, culminating in a test. I believe this is what used to be called a cycling proficiency test
    'when I were a lad'. I went along yesterday to see how it's done. It happened to be the final lesson
    and test and boy, was it a revelation. There were 16 children (and bikes). If they were taken as an
    average of 'inner city kids', you have nothing to worry about regarding helmets. Only three were
    wearing them and one of them was wearing a full face helmet that severly limited his view! One young
    lady had a coat with a lovely fur trimmed hood that she kept putting up as it was a little showery.
    Again, very restricted view. The majority of the bikes, although very shiny, were poorly equipped
    entry level bikes, about 50% full suspension (pointless on the road, but great fun on pavements).
    They were also poorly fitted, the majority being too large (well, kids grow so fast these days and
    bikes cost so much. They'll grow into them!). Part of the course was uphill into a right turn
    manoeuvre. None of the kids knew how to use their gears to make the uphill struggle easier. Thus, as
    they were trying to indicate right, they were also trying to peddle in a high gear, causing the
    bikes to wobble and the indicating arm was almost emulating a flasher indicator, reaching for
    handlebars to steady the bike, back up, wobble, reach for handlebars, etcetc.

    The view of the instructors was that they are limited in what they can teach the kids. If there are
    any mechanical issues, the child cannot take part in that day's lesson and are sent away with a
    piece of paper telling them what's wrong, for the parents to rectify. This even includes tyres
    needing a bit of inflation!!...all down to liability, where there's a blame there's a claim, right?
    If they can get any kind of awareness of roadcraft into the kids heads then they feel it's been a
    success, which to an extent it has. But, at the end of the day, it is the parent's responsibility to
    ensure their offspring are ready for 'life on the road'. It needs more input on their part, rather
    than just the purchase of the latest new flashy bike and the warning 'Be careful!'. It isn't the
    Government or schools responsibility. It was obvious from what I witnessed yesterday that out of 16
    kids there were probably about 3 whose parents showed any kind of interest. What I saw scared me
    pants off, to think that these kids will get a little certificate telling them they have the
    necessary knowledge to ride safely on the road. Personally I think they'd be better off on the
    pavements. When back in the playground they proved that they were perfectly capable of handling the
    bikes and doing really good skids....which is what riding a bike is all about at that age, right!!

    Cheers, Dave. Sorry about the length !! :-}
     
  4. <snip>

    Why are you so surprised? It's only as bad as all the rest of the government's transport policy!
     
  5. Daniel Auger

    Daniel Auger Guest

    On Wed, 21 May 2003, Tim Woodall wrote:

    > Is the Quick Quiz "When do most cycling accidents occur" even correct? While about cycle paths
    > rather than roads in general, http://www.lesberries.co.uk/cycling/infra/research.html gives
    >
    > "80% are related to turning against or crossing the path of other vehicles." but then has "the
    > most common collision type involves motor vehicle turning right and cyclist going ahead. Often
    > the motor vehicle fails to cede right of way, but at traffic lights cyclists in most cases
    > passed at red"
    >
    > Which doesn't tally at all with "When cyclists are turning across traffic" Perhaps they meant
    > "When traffic is turning across cyclists" which would also include the left hook.

    Your account fits in with what I've heard.

    I agree that the site seems unnecessarily fear-inducing. On the other hand, the target group are
    likely to be the most vulnerable, and the most likely to be ignorant of the rules of the road and
    road safety.

    Not enough information is given about anything other than helmets.

    It also has nasty pop-windows.

    Is there a good WWW resource out there for young cyclists? If so, perhaps we could suggest it to the
    Ministry? Does RoSPA have anything, for example?

    --
    Daniel Auger - [email protected] (Please remove Granta to get a valid address.)
     
  6. Tony Raven

    Tony Raven Guest

    In news:p[email protected], Daniel Auger
    <[email protected]> typed:
    >
    > I agree that the site seems unnecessarily fear-inducing. On the other hand, the target group are
    > likely to be the most vulnerable, and the most likely to be ignorant of the rules of the road and
    > road safety.
    >

    But that's how it is with kids. All parents have said "Be careful with that stick or you'll have
    someone's eye out" at some point. Yet how many people have had their eyes removed by a child playing
    with a stick?. And do the kids take a blind bit of notice?

    Tony ;-)

    --
    http://www.raven-family.com

    "All truth goes through three steps: First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed.
    Finally, it is accepted as self-evident." Arthur Schopenhauer
     
  7. Sabineuk

    Sabineuk Guest

    [email protected] (Guy Chapman) said:

    >Sit down, breathe deeply, calm yourself, then check this link:
    >
    >http://www.cyclesense.net/fset.htm

    [rant snipped ...]

    I think you're being a little harsh ...

    There is much not to like about the site, notably the obsession with helmets and the concentration
    on 'cycling is dangerous' figures rather than 'cycling is fun and good for you.'

    However, training is set higher than lids in the buttons on the side, and the emphasis on obeying
    the rules of the road must be good.

    I'd have liked to see more details of training (oh dear, that would mean there'd have to be a
    national scheme) and at least something on riding defensively. But overall, I think it's a question
    of a slightly skewed message rather than a deeply flawed one.

    John
     
  8. Danny Colyer

    Danny Colyer Guest

    Guy Chapman wrote:
    > Sit down, breathe deeply, calm yourself, then check this link: http://www.cyclesense.net/fset.htm

    I take great offence at "Realise that you are much harder to see than a vehicle".

    What do they think I'm riding?

    Anyway I got all the quick quiz questions right, even if I didn't necessarily agree with
    the answers.

    --
    Danny Colyer (remove safety to reply) ( http://www.juggler.net/danny ) Recumbent cycle page:
    http://www.speedy5.freeserve.co.uk/recumbents/ "He who dares not offend cannot be honest." -
    Thomas Paine
     
  9. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    On Wed, 21 May 2003 12:44:20 +0100, "Dave" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Just checked the website out. I don't think it's that bad on the scale of something being better
    >than nothing.

    I just showed it to my independent review panel (the wife). Her view was that it sends the
    unequivocal message "cycling is going to kill you."

    I asked her what the next most prominent message was. "I don't get past the skull: it's going to
    kill you."

    Now, rate the following in order of how likely they are to kill you:

    Heart disease Falling down stairs Cycling

    >I've decided to do something positive about helping kids getting into cycling, so have signed up
    >with helping out with the local cycle training scheme, run by the local council.

    This is a Good Thing - I'm doing the same. The good old Cycling Proficiency scheme is still alive
    and well; other schemes are on offer (if it doesn't say cycling proficiency on the tin, then it
    isn't cycling proficiency in the tin - not that it matters)

    >There were 16 children (and bikes). If they were taken as an average of 'inner city kids', you have
    >nothing to worry about regarding helmets. Only three were wearing them and one of them was wearing
    >a full face helmet that severly limited his view!

    Interestingly the head injuries which are counted in the CBA offered in one of the reports cited in
    RR30 as being saved by helmet wearing include lower face and jaw injuries. They obviously used
    full-face helmets for that study too :)

    And for the one most widely quoted, they used full-body helmets, 'cos the helmets there apparently
    caused a 72% reduction in injuries to the lower body :-D

    >One young lady had a coat with a lovely fur trimmed hood that she kept putting up as it was a
    >little showery. Again, very restricted view. The majority of the bikes, although very shiny, were
    >poorly equipped entry level bikes, about 50% full suspension (pointless on the road, but great fun
    >on pavements). They were also poorly fitted

    Yes, normal. Now: whould the DfT be better showing skulls wearing PFDBs or giving information on the
    care and feeding of bicycles?

    >The view of the instructors was that they are limited in what they can teach the kids. If there are
    >any mechanical issues, the child cannot take part in that day's lesson and are sent away with a
    >piece of paper telling them what's wrong, for the parents to rectify. This even includes tyres
    >needing a bit of inflation!!...all down to liability, where there's a blame there's a claim, right?

    I'll be taking Dr. Bike with me :) Way back when, my Dad was a cycling proficiency instructor. We
    regularly used to fix the kids' bikes. Couldn't do that now, as you say.

    >at the end of the day, it is the parent's responsibility to ensure their offspring are ready for
    >'life on the road'.

    And too many of those parents have no experience to offer in that area. So, instead of pissing my
    money away on a bunch of pony-tailed latte-drinking Flash-monkeys, the DfT should be finding adult
    cycle training courses.

    Guy
    ===
    ** WARNING ** This posting may contain traces of irony. http://www.chapmancentral.com (BT ADSL and
    dynamic DNS permitting)
    NOTE: BT Openworld have now blocked port 25 (without notice), so old mail addresses may no longer
    work. Apologies.
     
  10. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    On 21 May 2003 12:40:35 GMT, [email protected] (SabineUK) wrote:

    >>http://www.cyclesense.net/fset.htm

    >[rant snipped ...] I think you're being a little harsh ...

    Ask yourself this: skulls are associated mainly with:

    (a) death
    (b) a healthy activity which will prolong your life

    Answers on a postcard please.

    Guy
    ===
    ** WARNING ** This posting may contain traces of irony. http://www.chapmancentral.com (BT ADSL and
    dynamic DNS permitting)
    NOTE: BT Openworld have now blocked port 25 (without notice), so old mail addresses may no longer
    work. Apologies.
     
  11. Andy Dingley

    Andy Dingley Guest

    On 21 May 2003 12:40:35 GMT, [email protected] (SabineUK) wrote:

    >There is much not to like about the site, notably the obsession with helmets and the concentration
    >on 'cycling is dangerous' figures rather than 'cycling is fun and good for you.'

    I think you have it. We need a whole new approach here.

    Cycling ! It's k00l, it's dangerous !

    Cycling - Don't be a fat munter, or you'll never get a snog.

    Cycling - Less chance of killing you than necking that Big Mac

    Bike Chix Dig Scarz !

    Dope couriers get paid more than paperboys, and you're too young to bother arresting anyway. (I've
    been in Bristol too long)
     
  12. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    On Wed, 21 May 2003 13:17:31 +0100, Daniel Auger <[email protected]> wrote:

    >I agree that the site seems unnecessarily fear-inducing. On the other hand, the target group are
    >likely to be the most vulnerable, and the most likely to be ignorant of the rules of the road and
    >road safety.

    So tell them about the rules and road safety. This sends the clear message that it's fine to ride
    badly as long as you wear a polystyrene foam deflector beanie.

    Guy
    ===
    ** WARNING ** This posting may contain traces of irony. http://www.chapmancentral.com (BT ADSL and
    dynamic DNS permitting)
    NOTE: BT Openworld have now blocked port 25 (without notice), so old mail addresses may no longer
    work. Apologies.
     
  13. Danny Colyer

    Danny Colyer Guest

    Just zis Guy, you know? wrote:
    > Ask yourself this: skulls are associated mainly with:
    >
    > (a) death
    > (b) a healthy activity which will prolong your life

    I have to say it just looked like a friendly X-ray image to me - the death aspect never
    crossed my mind.

    But now you come to mention it, I might well have associated it with death when I was a kid.
    Nowadays I'd associate a skull and crossbones with death, but not an X-ray of a skull.

    --
    Danny Colyer (remove safety to reply) ( http://www.juggler.net/danny ) Recumbent cycle page:
    http://www.speedy5.freeserve.co.uk/recumbents/ "He who dares not offend cannot be honest." -
    Thomas Paine
     
  14. Andy Dingley

    Andy Dingley Guest

    On Wed, 21 May 2003 19:53:21 +0100, "Just zis Guy, you know?" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Ask yourself this: skulls are associated mainly with:
    >
    >(a) death
    >(b) a healthy activity which will prolong your life

    Errr.....

    (c) Techno club fliers

    I've _definitely_ been in Bristol too long.
     
  15. "Andy Dingley" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > Cycling - Don't be a fat munter, or you'll never get a snog.
    >

    I know you said this in jest, but a catchphrase like this might just get the twenty-something
    commuter out of their car for some journeys.
     
  16. Tim Woodall

    Tim Woodall Guest

    On Wed, 21 May 2003 20:12:57 +0100, Danny Colyer <[email protected]> wrote:
    > Just zis Guy, you know? wrote:
    >> Ask yourself this: skulls are associated mainly with:
    >>
    >> (a) death
    >> (b) a healthy activity which will prolong your life
    >
    > I have to say it just looked like a friendly X-ray image to me - the death aspect never crossed
    > my mind.
    >
    > But now you come to mention it, I might well have associated it with death when I was a kid.
    > Nowadays I'd associate a skull and crossbones with death, but not an X-ray of a skull.
    >
    So you've never talked to medical researchers who would like to take X-rays of normal healthy heads
    for research purposes. AIUI you can't do it (legally). An X-ray of a skull is either a fake (as I
    suspect the one on the website is) or is of a person who is ill in some way and actually NEEDS a
    head X-ray.

    NMR (MRI) has eased this problem somewhat.

    Regards,

    Tim.

    --
    God said, "div D = rho, div B = 0, curl E = - @B/@t, curl H = J + @D/@t," and there was light.

    http://tjw.hn.org/ http://www.locofungus.btinternet.co.uk/
     
  17. Dave

    Dave Guest

    "Danny Colyer" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Guy Chapman wrote:
    > > Sit down, breathe deeply, calm yourself, then check this link:
    > > http://www.cyclesense.net/fset.htm
    >
    > I take great offence at "Realise that you are much harder to see than a vehicle".
    >
    > What do they think I'm riding?
    >
    ...er, something that fills much less space than the average car ?!!?....I guess

    > Anyway I got all the quick quiz questions right, even if I didn't necessarily agree with the
    > answers.
    >
    So does that mean you cynically <s?> anticipated their thought processes or....

    > Danny Colyer (remove safety to reply) ( http://www.juggler.net/danny ) Recumbent cycle page:
    > http://www.speedy5.freeserve.co.uk/recumbents/ "He who dares not offend cannot be honest." -
    > Thomas Paine
     
  18. Dave

    Dave Guest

    "Just zis Guy, you know?" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > On Wed, 21 May 2003 12:44:20 +0100, "Dave" <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > >Just checked the website out. I don't think it's that bad on the scale of something being better
    > >than nothing.
    >
    > I just showed it to my independent review panel (the wife). Her view was that it sends the
    > unequivocal message "cycling is going to kill you."
    >
    > I asked her what the next most prominent message was. "I don't get past the skull: it's going to
    > kill you."
    >
    But she's an adult, not a kid...she was bought up in a different era. Kids these days are exposed to
    much more hardcore images. I believe the site, if discovered by the kiddies (and I don't believe
    many will see it) will, if anything, briefly prick their consciousness (but only briefly) and maybe
    make them think about it a bit. This can only be a good thing.

    > Now, rate the following in order of how likely they are to kill you:
    >
    > Heart disease Falling down stairs Cycling
    >
    Cycling don't kill you, it's the side effects ;-)

    <snip>

    > >at the end of the day, it is the parent's responsibility to ensure their offspring are ready for
    > >'life on the road'.
    >
    > And too many of those parents have no experience to offer in that area. So, instead of pissing my
    > money away on a bunch of pony-tailed latte-drinking Flash-monkeys, the DfT should be finding adult
    > cycle training courses.
    >
    Funny you should say that Guy. According to my contact at the local council moves are afoot. I think
    BSM are currently studying the market opportunities. I also believe there is funding about to be
    released from the NHS to encourage folks in poor health to take 'prescriptions' for cycling ;-). For
    those with an interest in cycling, I think there are some 'opportunities' in the immediate future to
    combine hobby with profession... YESSSS!

    > Guy
    > ===
    > ** WARNING ** This posting may contain traces of irony. http://www.chapmancentral.com (BT ADSL and
    > dynamic DNS permitting)
    > NOTE: BT Openworld have now blocked port 25 (without notice), so old mail addresses may no longer
    > work. Apologies.

    Cheers,

    Dave.

    p.s. - I think the Govn. spend much more of our money on much less deserving projects, such as war
    as an immediate topical recent 'project' that springs to mind, that we should rally against.
     
  19. Andy Dingley

    Andy Dingley Guest

    On Wed, 21 May 2003 22:56:23 +0100, "Nathaniel Porter" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >"Andy Dingley" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >news:[email protected]...
    >>
    >> Cycling - Don't be a fat munter, or you'll never get a snog.
    >
    >I know you said this in jest, but a catchphrase like this might just get the twenty-something
    >commuter out of their car for some journeys.

    Jest ? It's working already !

    http://www.livejournal.com/users/liz_lowlife/229126.html

    (Although Liz Swarf is just about the least muntoid person you could imagine)
     
  20. One swallow doesn't make a summer.
     
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