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SCR Article in the London Paper

LittigatorLittigator Posts: 1,262
edited March 2009 in Commuting chat
Afternoon All

I've just spoken to Kevin Braddock who is writing an article for the London Paper to be out Thursday on Silly Commuter Racing.

He mentioned a few times about the safety aspect and I am conscious that the London Paper generally has a negative viewpoint of cyclists. I repeatedly emphasised the point that we are not seen to be racing nor are we trying too hard. We do NOT speed and we never behave in a matter that would endanger either ourselves or others and it is clear from posts on this forum that we are very negative on RLJers, non use of lights, pavement riding etc etc and so are very safety focused.

Anyone else that has volunteered to speak to him, please also be careful in your answers and try and emphasise these points as well.

I hope we get a good write up and I volunteered to speak to him to have the opportunity to highlight all of the above. I just hope it gets written up well as well.

Fingers crossed
Roadie FCN: 3

Fixed FCN: 6
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Posts

  • Greg TGreg T Posts: 3,266
    The Rules
    1/ No Dangerous Manoeuvres (Don’t be a danger to any other road users or yourself) Falling off causes pain to you and others around you, don’t do it! (oh and you loose yer points)
    2/ Don’t ride like a c0ck, we’re all just trying to get somewhere!
    3/ No passing at Lights/Junction/Crossings, if you do, it doesn’t count
    4/ All passing on open road ONLY. Filtering in traffic is null and void (you know whether you’ve dropped someone fairly, and haven’t turned off straight afterwards)
    5/ Pavement passes, either you or the target is void
    6/ Show no pain, unless, like me your face is just like that

    The first five rules are purely safety nanny in nature and the fifth artistic........

    I must have missed my "invitation to contribute".....

    I'm giving Max Clifford a call and have booked myself in for some "Glamour shots" for when the

    Crazy Cyclists in Carriageway Carnage Competition

    Story breaks.......

    I suppose it makes better copy than

    Fat Middle Aged Balding Man overtakes old lady on Shopping Bike
    Fixed gear for wet weather / hairy roadie for posing in the sun.

    What would Thora Hurd do?
  • LittigatorLittigator Posts: 1,262
    Can it GT you couldn't pass a granny shopper even if someone was pushing you ;)
    Roadie FCN: 3

    Fixed FCN: 6
  • Greg TGreg T Posts: 3,266
    Littigator wrote:
    Can it GT you couldn't pass a granny shopper even if someone was pushing you ;)

    I dropped an old bird on an even older Blue Bike just the other day......
    Fixed gear for wet weather / hairy roadie for posing in the sun.

    What would Thora Hurd do?
  • Thanks for the mention Littigator, when I spoke with him last week I also emphasized the safe riding point. He did mention that he rides into town occasionally and when he does he's on a fixed gear :-) He said that he wanted to write an article that is cast in a positive light from someone who actually cycles, rather then the sensationalist articles of late about messengers and the SS craze which made them out to be dangerous bikes ridden by madmen hell bent on running you down!

    As you have said the SCR thread is probably proof enough of the dim view we take on dangerous and illegal antics and I guess all we can hope is that the publicity might shame some other cyclist's into riding properly! I think the only irony is tho that The London Paper is usually handed out to those who get to work on public transport, guess I'll have to get some mates to grab a bundle of copies!
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  • _Brun__Brun_ Posts: 1,740
    Oh dear. Sounds like the author has a disproportionately low FCN and being unable to compete in the game, has decided to shut it down. The resulting angry mob will demand a 10mph speed limit for cyclists along the embankment during rush hour, and you'll all be forced to find weird night jobs in order to carry on racing.

    On the plus side, SCR: Underground does sound quite cool.
  • spen666spen666 Posts: 17,709
    _Brun_ wrote:
    .....

    On the plus side, SCR: Underground does sound quite cool.


    it will be a bit bl**dy dangerous trying to avoid those tube trains though
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  • spen666 wrote:
    _Brun_ wrote:
    .....

    On the plus side, SCR: Underground does sound quite cool.


    it will be a bit bl**dy dangerous trying to avoid those tube trains though

    Well, only if you're dumb enough to ride towards the oncoming ones. I mean, deeeeeeerrrr! :wink:
    Swim. Bike. Run. Yeah. That's what I used to do.

    Bike 1
    Bike 2-A
  • snookssnooks Posts: 1,521
    Do you rekon it would be possible to ride around the tube bit that peeps walk down and do a loop the loop?? as in ride yer bike upside down??
    FCN:5, 8 & 9
    If I'm not riding I'm shooting http://grahamsnook.com
    THE Game
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  • _Brun__Brun_ Posts: 1,740
    This tube business has got me wondering, are the people that step off kerbs in front of your bike making a very half-hearted suicide attempt?
  • patchypatchy Posts: 779
    He did mention that he rides into town occasionally and when he does he's on a fixed gear :-) He said that he wanted to write an article that is cast in a positive light from someone who actually cycles, rather then the sensationalist articles of late about messengers and the SS craze which made them out to be dangerous bikes ridden by madmen hell bent on running you down!

    Y'see, you've made two basic errors there...

    mistake 1: believing what a journalist says in order to obtain quotes
    mistake 2: even if he is genuine, the subs will soon twist the story round so that it's negative.

    This ain't gonna be pretty.
    point your handlebars towards the heavens and sweat like you're in hell
  • Now now, let's not be all doom and gloom... sure there will be some muppets and daily mail vigilantes about but ths might well be fine.

    You're all just worried about being scalped and it actually being posted on the SCR thread... ;)
  • prj45prj45 Posts: 2,208
    _Brun_ wrote:
    This tube business has got me wondering, are the people that step off kerbs in front of your bike making a very half-hearted suicide attempt?

    Great point, must make that my next comeback when a pesky ped decides to play chicken with me "Do you do that in front of trains as well?!".
  • spen666 wrote:
    _Brun_ wrote:
    .....

    On the plus side, SCR: Underground does sound quite cool.


    it will be a bit bl**dy dangerous trying to avoid those tube trains though
    Watch that electrified third rail, too. Or use it instead of a dynamo... ;)
  • LittigatorLittigator Posts: 1,262
    I fear Patchy may be right, but hopefully even if he is it'll blow over quick enough leaving us in peace to swap of stories of dare do and scalps a plenty

    (errrrr fingers crossed)
    Roadie FCN: 3

    Fixed FCN: 6
  • snookssnooks Posts: 1,521
    Littigator wrote:
    I fear Patchy may be right, but hopefully even if he is it'll blow over quick enough leaving us in peace to swap of stories of dare do and scalps a plenty

    (errrrr fingers crossed)

    Well I'm blaming you if it goes tits up!!! :D

    hehehe
    FCN:5, 8 & 9
    If I'm not riding I'm shooting http://grahamsnook.com
    THE Game
    Watch out for HGVs
  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    Littigator wrote:
    He mentioned a few times about the safety aspect and I am conscious that the London Paper generally has a negative viewpoint of cyclists.

    Call me cynical, but no chance of a good write up. A paper that is handed out to tube/train/bus commuter has no interest in promoting a form of commuting which would reduce its circulation/readership levels.
    FCN 2-4.

    "What happens when the hammer goes down, kids?"
    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • LittigatorLittigator Posts: 1,262
    Thanks people you're really helping me feel better about this. As if I didn't loose enough sleep already last night :(

    I hoped that at least I could give a positive viewpoint, as I assume they would have written the article anyway, and emphasise what this forum is about, promoting safe cycling and safety issues a lot of the time, but it looks less than likely really doesn't it.
    Roadie FCN: 3

    Fixed FCN: 6
  • daniel_bdaniel_b Posts: 10,720
    At the end of the day, surely it's better that they had actual input from proper cyclists, who know what it is all about.

    The other options would have been to get opinions from pavement cyclists, or just to skim read the forum, and take the not so good bits out, and make them into an article.

    My suspicion is, whatever happened it would have been written, so this is probably the best outcome of the available ones.

    When is it out, and will there be an online version?

    Dan
    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
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  • LittigatorLittigator Posts: 1,262
    Thanks Dan, that's kind of the position I was coming from in agreeing to do the interview but I am now getting absurdly paranoid about it.

    The journo's been told the paper will run the article on Thursday. I will check if there is an online version, but if not I will try and post a scanned copy up on here.
    Roadie FCN: 3

    Fixed FCN: 6
  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    Littigator wrote:
    Thanks people you're really helping me feel better about this. As if I didn't loose enough sleep already last night :(

    I hoped that at least I could give a positive viewpoint, as I assume they would have written the article anyway, and emphasise what this forum is about, promoting safe cycling and safety issues a lot of the time, but it looks less than likely really doesn't it.

    Litts - I wasn't planning to make you feel bad - apologies if I have. I'm just being cynical (my sister's a journalist). At least they spoke to a good cyclist.
    FCN 2-4.

    "What happens when the hammer goes down, kids?"
    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • Littigator wrote:
    Thanks Dan, that's kind of the position I was coming from in agreeing to do the interview but I am now getting absurdly paranoid about it.

    The journo's been told the paper will run the article on Thursday. I will check if there is an online version, but if not I will try and post a scanned copy up on here.

    There is an online version of the london paper - www.thelondonpaper.com.

    Litts I wouldn't worry - like Daniel B says if you hadn't spoken to him he would probably just have read the thread anyway.
  • LittigatorLittigator Posts: 1,262
    Awwww CJCP flattery will get you everywhere :oops:

    Actually, I've just spoken to the writer again, he read me the quote he was using from me which I was fairly happy with and some of the rest of the article. He's also spoken to British Cycling about organised road races, and a well known cycle courier company. The slant is as we thought, it's illegal to race without proper arrangements, dangerous use of a bike is an offence etc.

    But overall he is still trying to emphasise the 'it's just a bit of a laugh in your daily commute' aspect, so we'll see how it comes out once the sub-editors have had a go at it.
    Roadie FCN: 3

    Fixed FCN: 6
  • Hmmmmm, that's quite a slant.

    However, like you say, it is nothing more than a bit of a laugh in the commute. It will be interesting to see how it comes out.
  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    Littigator wrote:
    Awwww CJCP flattery will get you everywhere :oops:

    Actually, I've just spoken to the writer again, he read me the quote he was using from me which I was fairly happy with and some of the rest of the article. He's also spoken to British Cycling about organised road races, and a well known cycle courier company. The slant is as we thought, it's illegal to race without proper arrangements, dangerous use of a bike is an offence etc.

    But overall he is still trying to emphasise the 'it's just a bit of a laugh in your daily commute' aspect, so we'll see how it comes out once the sub-editors have had a go at it.

    :wink:

    Don't tube-users and train-using folk race along platforms or for seats? I don't think these little competitions are marshalled in any way.
    FCN 2-4.

    "What happens when the hammer goes down, kids?"
    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • Littigator wrote:
    Awwww CJCP flattery will get you everywhere :oops:

    Actually, I've just spoken to the writer again, he read me the quote he was using from me which I was fairly happy with and some of the rest of the article. He's also spoken to British Cycling about organised road races, and a well known cycle courier company. The slant is as we thought, it's illegal to race without proper arrangements, dangerous use of a bike is an offence etc.

    But overall he is still trying to emphasise the 'it's just a bit of a laugh in your daily commute' aspect, so we'll see how it comes out once the sub-editors have had a go at it.

    Well it looks like he's certainly doing his research! If the article does come out Thursday I guess we'll also need to try and get a copy of Friday's as well so we can check if there is any backlash in the letters page!

    IMHO SCR is much less dangerous then those tw4ts that race around in their car's town, who seem to think getting a cars length ahead is worth endangering other road users and generally driving like an inconsiderate to55pot!

    Sorry if that's a bit ranty but I haven't been over to the "Your rants" forum yet to vent about the idiot bus driver I encountered this morning!
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  • snookssnooks Posts: 1,521
    The last couple of times I read the London Paper they seem to be pro cycling, they ran the bit about VP supporting the met with the HGV awareness thing, and there was something positive in there yesterday, but I read in on the train on the way back from the pub, but it seemed positive IIRC :wink:

    They also had a good quote from Boris last week " the biggest danger the London cyclist faces is the catatonic pedestrian"

    Anyway litts, there's a saying "Today's front page, is tomorrow kitty litter" so whatever happens will be forgotten about. I would have talked to him if I thought I could do, but don't want to be put in a position at work. There will always be a none celeb crying that will take over from any fuss, not that there will be any, just a sudden influx of cyclist hunting each other and shouting Chapeaux! But we'll know we started it :wink:
    FCN:5, 8 & 9
    If I'm not riding I'm shooting http://grahamsnook.com
    THE Game
    Watch out for HGVs
  • LittigatorLittigator Posts: 1,262
    Thanks everyone, I think I was just getting a bit overworried about the whole thing. When I rang him back today he was actually a really nice guy and without me prompting him wanted to emphasise the he ws trying to be pro-cycling.

    I think in future I'll steer clear of the limelight :)
    Roadie FCN: 3

    Fixed FCN: 6
  • DonDaddyDDonDaddyD Posts: 12,689
    Isn't the London Paper a promo-tool for whoever is mayor of London? If it was any other local paper I'd be sceptical about the article. That said, I am still kinda sceptical, I mean our little game that we don't play is called Silly Commuter Racing gonna take a lot of spin to make that sound sensible to the ardent non-cyclist commuter.

    But given that Boris is a cyclist, the success of the British cycling team, cycling is vogue at the moment and fears about the once soaring/now falling oil prices (even though most of us won't have money to buy the now cheaper oil anyway) it will take a big balled journalist to cast anything cycling in a negative light.

    If it is any consolation, SCR has helped me become a competent cyclist and far fitter than if I merely commuted to work. Before I went roadie I was all but ready to stop cycling over the winter, SCR installed a desire to ride throughout the year. Also, many things attributed to racing, that don’t involve speed, have made me a safer cyclist. From the notion that you are safest travelling at ambient traffic speeds keep in mind traffic in London very rarely travels above 20mph at best (which is usually fast enough to scalp), to simply knowing not to ride in the gutter or RLJ, getting involved in SCR has helped saved my life on many, many occasions. – I think the benefits and knowledge shared involving cycling (along with meeting some really cool people) shouldn’t be overlooked, whatever the tone of the article.
    Food Chain number = 4

    A true scalp is not only overtaking someone but leaving them stopped at a set of lights. As you, who have clearly beaten the lights, pummels nothing but the open air ahead. ~ 'DondaddyD'. Player of the Unspoken Game
  • Littigator wrote:
    Thanks everyone, I think I was just getting a bit overworried about the whole thing. When I rang him back today he was actually a really nice guy and without me prompting him wanted to emphasise the he ws trying to be pro-cycling.

    I think in future I'll steer clear of the limelight :)

    Don't worry Litts! It'll be fine.

    Whoever said that TLP is usually very pro cycling is right. Apart from their blogging idiots and the daily mail brigade who write in. And really who listens to them anyway?
  • symosymo Posts: 1,743
    I thought the first rule of the game was you don't talk about the game
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