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have you ever been a victim of bikeism - EPILOGUE

teticioteticio Posts: 107
edited December 2009 in Commuting chat
i just thought i would give you the end of the story. the original thread is here

apart from a couple of weeks of for sustaining a grade 3 AC separation as a result of thinking i was evel knievel, i have started commuting again to work. the nice guys in the work gym let me hang up a weeks' worth of suits, shirts and "casual" clothes in the staff locker. and i make an extra special effort to look particularly sharp (freshly dry cleaned suits and polished shoes) so that there can be no "objectively subjective" critiscism. lastly, i always change in the gym so noone gets to see me walking around in lycra in the office. it seems like this has done the trick. i see my boss' boss' boss every morning in the gym - his chaufeur is always sitting in his lexus with the engine running just next to where i park my bike - and he seems OK with it.

having said all this, my lastest crusade is against all the fences there are everywhere in madrid. the spanish are not exactly famous for consistency when it comes to town planning and it seems that being good friends with someone in power is a good way to get a piece of land. the upshot is that people build wherever they like, even if it cuts off perfectly good country lanes. i think of england and the furore that the rambler's association manage to rustle up every time a famous popstar buys a country manor and tries to stop people rambling through his or her garden. now it is winter, they have started to lock key gates on my way home - often up to half an hour before the advertised time - and i have had to hoist the bike over a 9ft fence. finally i think i have found a foolproof route home, although it does rely on a trodden down bit of fence.

but, talking of "bikeism" i was astounded to find that someone had stuck a sticker on the entrance to a public wood with paths only traversable on a mountain bike. the sticker was a picture of a head with a cycle helmet and a big red cross through it. now, assuming that they didn't mean that you should NOT wear a bicylcle helmet, i understood by this that the local residents of the urbanization were suggesting that bikes should not be allowed on these paths. i was surprised that these stickers even existed!!! i am thinking of making a sticker that says "¡PIJOS NO!".

last of all, some statistics. i read that the % of urban transport by bike in london has gone from 5% to 10% since 2005, that in copenhagen it is 35% but they want to get to 50% and in madrid - are you ready for this? - it is a whopping 0.15%!! perhaps, as a result of this*, i actually feel a lot safer on my bike on roads than i do either in a car or than i did on a bike in london. people are surprisingly careful and respectful around cyclists. its just the damn fences!

* someone recently suggested that there could be a factor of "familiarity breeds contempt" in london


  • gabriel959gabriel959 Posts: 4,227

    Glad to hear that things are a bit better at work!

    If its a public wood (and not a private one) it should be open.

    See here

    And to check if its legally blocked - instructions in Spanish below!

    1º - Entrais en la página y seleccionais localización.
    2º - Seleccionais la provincia y debajo poneis el nombre del municipio o pueblo.
    3º - Una vez puesto la provincia y el municipio (el nombre exacto del pueblo), bajais y pinchais en cartografía.
    4º - Ya solo teneis que aumentar con la lupa o selecionar con la lupa de selección. También podeis mover con el boton de la mano.
    5º - Cuando tengais buscado el camino, aumentarlo hasta que podais pinchar dentro de el, pero antes, teneis que dar al cuadradito donde hay una flecha negra y una i. Despues ya podeis pinchar dos veces en el camino que querais consultar.
    6º - Cuando pincheis saldra una ventana nueva, dais a mostrar datos, y vendrán todos los detalles del camino, uno de ellos es si es de dominio público o no. Todos los que empiezan por 9, donde pone parcela, son públicos, ademas, lo pone al final.

    Si quereis podeis seleccionar verlo con el SIGPAC, es como si lo vieras en fotos reales. Donde pone "Solo cartografía catastral" teneis una lengueta, darla y seleccionar "ortofotos del sigpac".

    Animo a la gente que tiene problemas con el cierre ilegal de caminos que denuncie estas situaciones. Cuando tenga un modelo de denuncia administrativa la pondré, para facilitar si alguien quiere abrir caminos. Yo me estoy viendo obligado moverme y denunciar porque ya apenas tengo caminos para entrenar, y no me gusta tener que salir a la carretera por culpa de los dueños de las fincas.

    Un saludo y espero que sirva.
    Commuting / Winter rides - Jamis Renegade Expert
    Pootling / Offroad - All-City Macho Man Disc
    Fast rides Cannondale SuperSix Ultegra
  • HeadhuunterHeadhuunter Posts: 6,494
    Not sure about familarity breeding contempt necessarily, I think most people find that the more cyclists there are onthe roads, the safer it generally is. Safety in numbers etc. Certainly I find that drivers and peds are better at checking for cyclists in London than they used to be.
    Do not write below this line. Office use only.
  • teticioteticio Posts: 107
    @ headhunter

    i think the "familiarity breeds contempt" argument is probably not the reason as "safety in numbers" should outweigh it. its probably more down to cultural differences and whether the drivers consider that the cyclists "should" be on the road or not. also perhaps it is due to the number of well behaved cyclists versus badly behaved.

    @ gabriel

    thanks for the links!! i will check them out. the thing is, it is a public wood, but there are always two sides to a gate, and one of them goes into an urbanización and they are worried about robberies etc. they have security guards who patrol the area randomly locking gates and so forth. also, if you go in by car on the road, you have to pass a security check point. its certainly difficult to do a cross country mountain bike fueled robbery these days, but i'm not sure this would be the most effective way of going about it in the first place.
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