Cyclists set out in every manner of clothing , some going to their daily work in rush hour traffic , others shopping , others Cycling for exercise and of course those that are training for either Events or as Profi for their regular daily diet of " Marginal Gains "so as to achieve the fitness level that is required by their Sponsored Teams ?
However the Cyclist is clad , and however carefully they ride , the situation remains clear , that colliding with another object , is going to hurt ! Whether dressed in normal clothes or Lycra , falling from the bike or hitting a vehicle , the extent of damage is going to be a wake up call and spoil the day !
" Cities fit for Cycling " campaign starterd by the London " Times " , came about as a result of Ms Sally Bowes , cycling to work , coming into collision with a truck , and continuing in a coma for the best part of 2 years !
" Amy Gillett Foundation " came about because an Australian Womens Cycling Team were in Germany for a race in July 2005 . A new German driver lost control of her car and mowed 6 Ladies down , leaving Amy Dead and several others with life threatening/changing injuries ! Thankfully all the other Ladies survived and some demonstrated remarkable courage in returning to race and win many podium results !
Policing Authorities rarely act to see that Cyclists receive the consideration they are due as "VULNERABLE ROAD USERS ", most Police realise there is a WAR out there ! They are constrained by the Road Regulations in many cases , however , you will find many stating that they ride Mountain Bikes . They will then tell you that they ride these ONLY off road , since they believe the roads are TOO DANGEROUS ! A cop afraid to ride on the roads ? Well , they are not in uniform are they ? So are tthey saying that the motorist will treat them better if they are in a POLICE UNIFORM , or their pedal bike is marked "POLICE"?
Laughable to advise that i have ridden with many " cops " , in a variety of countries that do ride the roads and whilst Lycra clad , do as many other Cyclists , sneak through Stop Signs even ride slowly through Red Lights as if there was a filter signal . They are as human as you and i , certainly they will suffer just as much , when hit or hitting a solid object .
Over the years , i constantly read of the Road Incidents that involve Pro Racers of each discipline of Competition. The roads are where so many turn to for their core training , as do other Sports Athletes , when Cross Training . So it comes as no surprise to read of Rowers , Skiers as well as Cyclists being injured OR Killed in Traffic Situations .
Kelme Team was the source of so many Great Spanish Racers and thus their training on Spanish Roads would be the norm .Not ALL Spanish drivers think well of Cyclists , i reported an incident in Barcelona , in a blog , which took place on the rest day , in 2001 whilst riding with Eric Z. and several other teams . Not often you see a spaniard leep out of a car at traffic lights with a tire iron in hand , threatening a group of Racers ? About that same year the Ochoa Brothers were Cycling in Training when hit by a vehicle , one died on the spot , the other after a long coma , survived , but continued his Cycling Career as a Para Athlete. So far as i know , his Court Case is still in the courts , but whilst achieving Paralympic Successes over the years , i doubt he would not wish that the incident could have been avoided ?
Having won the 2012 Tour de France , Brad Wiggins couldn't even ride his Local roads , without a neighbour ignoring him and sending him to Hospital ! Credited with inspiring the Nation , a neighbour treats him as just some other piece of road furniture to be ignored ? So many things to do when driving a vehicle , concentration being the bottom of the list ? Worth recalling that Lance Armstrong went cycling near his home in Nice , years ago and collided headon with a car , delayed return home that day ?
To avoid boring ALL , by repeating so many incidents i will move to what i should like to happen so as to create the atmosphere for a change of attitude by Vhicle Drivers !
With the death of the World Champion of Cross Cycling on the 3rd October 2013 , i thought i saw the repetition of the " Amy G. event ": This US Racer had come from Skiing to successfully rise to the top of her discipline , thus was well loved by the Sporting community . Like others i felt for the family , but rather than contributing monies , thought that a more positive way forward could be found , due to her international recognition . For years i have been stressing the need for " Cycling Safety Groups " to coordinate , internationally , sharing ideas and creating Events that have the purpose of gaining the necessary Media Attention , to cause Legislative Authorities to ACT in Common , Worldwide , so that Cyclists would expect whereever they were , a better attitude from Vehicles .
Here is what i sent to the " Amy D. link : https://www.facebook.com/messages/674355499242073
"Conversation started 5 October