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London Cycling Blogger Ambushed on Radio

notsobluenotsoblue Posts: 5,838
edited January 2011 in Commuting chat
Jesus, just listening to the preamble from the presenter depresses the hell out of me.

http://www.londoncyclist.co.uk/secure/h ... -cyclists/
Recently LBC radio invited me to talk about an exciting topic: “How safe is London for cycling?”. I was glad that finally main stream media were asking the right questions. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be. The topic that was pitched to me was very much a trick and in fact the interview turned into a cyclist bashing session. You’ll be able to hear the frustration in my voice as I realised we were once again going to be covering old ground.

He could have done that better, but the presenter really had it in from him from the start...

Posts

  • TheStoneTheStone Posts: 2,291
    He did ok given the setup.

    Could have mentioned peds not being identifiable and stepping out in the road listening to music.

    We're hated. We just have to accept it and get on with it.

    Are there stats on deaths/injuries caused by cyclists vs cars vs peds?
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  • PufftmwPufftmw Posts: 1,941
    I've not listened to the clip above but a couple of days ago Nick Ferrari was having a pop at Boris for dishing out money to far flung boroughs to promote commuting by cycle. He chose Kingston, put it at 23 miles (its 14.5 from the bridge to Liverpool St) and estimated travel time @ 90 minutes. He was completely negative about the initiative.

    I know he's there to promote reaction/debate but a lot of people will agree with him just because he's a presenter and if he doesn't allow good/reasoned counter debate then it will go to further alienate people from wanting to commute.
  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    Pufftmw wrote:
    I've not listened to the clip above but a couple of days ago Nick Ferrari was having a pop at Boris for dishing out money to far flung boroughs to promote commuting by cycle. He chose Kingston, put it at 23 miles (its 14.5 from the bridge to Liverpool St)

    About right. 15miles for my route.
    and estimated travel time @ 90 minutes.

    That's walking, right? :twisted:
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  • Massively wasted opportunity there. The cyclist chap failed big time. The interviewer was only doing her job in challenging him and I'm afraid he gave very poor, unconvincing responses.

    And let's face it, 90% of those who ring into LBC are cabbies, so the 'anecdotal evidence' she talks of will be massively skewed.

    Listened to a couple of good phone ins regarding cycling in London on BBC London recently. Robert Elms is a mad keen cyclist himself and has talked about having a semi-regular slot on his Saturday show devoted to London cycling. The media aren't all against us.
  • Pufftmw wrote:
    but a couple of days ago Nick Ferrari was having a pop at Boris for dishing out money

    I heard this as well. I had to laugh when Ferrari said to a caller that turning up at work coverered in sweat is not good and the caller replied "well it would be the same if I used the tube, at least the sweat is my own and not someone elses".

    Top answer!
  • The interviewer is Petri Hoskins, I think under the circumstances he did as best he could as she has an agenda to pander to her listeners which mainly consist of Cab drivers and stay at home mums. She made herself sound like a bit of a censored as you can hear her getting herself worked up and ready to attack but the interviewee did not give her the fuel. LBC is radio for Daily Mail readers hence they will be anti-cyclist or anti anything which is slightly different from the norm. Nick Ferrari is just a fat oaf.
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  • HeadhuunterHeadhuunter Posts: 6,494
    Hmm the stupid presenter does seem to have a ridiculously skewed view of cycling! However I agree with JT, the opportunity was completely wasted to put forward cyclists' point of view in the face of the usual hackneyed arguments, although reading the article on his blog, it doesn't sound like he was warned of the specifics of the interview subject... He probably should have asked....
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  • SketchleySketchley Posts: 4,235
    Maybe the interviewee should get hold of robert elms on and ask him to interview him on his show to address the balance.....
    --
    Chris

    Genesis Equilibrium - FCN 3/4/5
  • The interviewer is Petri Hoskins, I think under the circumstances he did as best he could as she has an agenda to pander to her listeners which mainly consist of Cab drivers and stay at home mums. She made herself sound like a bit of a censored as you can hear her getting herself worked up and ready to attack but the interviewee did not give her the fuel. LBC is radio for Daily Mail readers hence they will be anti-cyclist or anti anything which is slightly different from the norm. Nick Ferrari is just a fat oaf.

    Yes she came across as a narrow-minded fool, but then so do most people who have decided that all cyclist's are the same.

    He had an excellent opportunity to make a point that the vast majority of cyclists believe in riding responsibly and respectfully on London roads, but again, he perpetuated the 'us against them' mentality (though very politely).

    He should have immediately taken the wind out of her sails by agreeing with her on a few points. He should have said that the guy in the example she gives at the beginning was an idiot and deserves to be fined. He could have agreed with her when she said it might be an idea to issue more on the spot fines to RLJers. He might have said that most cyclists would encourage their fellow riders to only RLJ in extreme situations when they felt they might be in serious danger if they did not - an HGV drawing alongside to the right at a junction being a prime example. He could have mentioned  motorists' disregard for ASLs, thus putting cyclists in dangerous positions. When she talked of cyclists riding while wearing headphones he could have agreed that it is a really stupid thing to do and likened it to drivers talking on mobile phones. When she was idiotic enough to say most cyclists she sees do this he should have respectfully disagreed. When she suggested a cyclist registration scheme he could have said, sure, but that will cost a lot of public money to implement and a member of the public contacting the police to complain about poor riding with a bike registration number would be as ineffectual as a cyclist doing the same with regard to dangerous driving. He should have agreed that there are many poor cyclist on the road these days - just as there are motorists - but cycling is only going to get more and more common a mode of transport, which is why cycling infrastructure needs to be considered more thoroughly, for the safety of all road users.

    The cyclists cause fewer fatalities than motorists argument has a danger of coming across as: oh, so a rider clipped you, big deal, at least it wasn't a bus.

    I'm afraid all he succeeded in doing was sounding like he was suggesting the more cyclists on the road the better, no matter how dangerously they ride.

    Sure it's easy for me to type all this when I'm not under the spotlight, but if you are going to engage with a potentially hostile media, you must have the skills to take them on. Sadly, that chap did not.
  • W1W1 Posts: 2,636
    The interviewer is Petri Hoskins, I think under the circumstances he did as best he could as she has an agenda to pander to her listeners which mainly consist of Cab drivers and stay at home mums. She made herself sound like a bit of a censored as you can hear her getting herself worked up and ready to attack but the interviewee did not give her the fuel. LBC is radio for Daily Mail readers hence they will be anti-cyclist or anti anything which is slightly different from the norm. Nick Ferrari is just a fat oaf.

    Yes she came across as a narrow-minded fool, but then so do most people who have decided that all cyclist's are the same.

    He had an excellent opportunity to make a point that the vast majority of cyclists believe in riding responsibly and respectfully on London roads, but again, he perpetuated the 'us against them' mentality (though very politely).

    He should have immediately taken the wind out of her sails by agreeing with her on a few points. He should have said that the guy in the example she gives at the beginning was an idiot and deserves to be fined. He could have agreed with her when she said it might be an idea to issue more on the spot fines to RLJers. He might have said that most cyclists would encourage their fellow riders to only RLJ in extreme situations when they felt they might be in serious danger if they did not - an HGV drawing alongside to the right at a junction being a prime example. He could have mentioned  motorists' disregard for ASLs, thus putting cyclists in dangerous positions. When she talked of cyclists riding while wearing headphones he could have agreed that it is a really stupid thing to do and likened it to drivers talking on mobile phones. When she was idiotic enough to say most cyclists she sees do this he should have respectfully disagreed. When she suggested a cyclist registration scheme he could have said, sure, but that will cost a lot of public money to implement and a member of the public contacting the police to complain about poor riding with a bike registration number would be as ineffectual as a cyclist doing the same with regard to dangerous driving. He should have agreed that there are many poor cyclist on the road these days - just as there are motorists - but cycling is only going to get more and more common a mode of transport, which is why cycling infrastructure needs to be considered more thoroughly, for the safety of all road users.

    The cyclists cause fewer fatalities than motorists argument has a danger of coming across as: oh, so a rider clipped you, big deal, at least it wasn't a bus.

    I'm afraid all he succeeded in doing was sounding like he was suggesting the more cyclists on the road the better, no matter how dangerously they ride.

    Sure it's easy for me to type all this when I'm not under the spotlight, but if you are going to engage with a potentially hostile media, you must have the skills to take them on. Sadly, that chap did not.
    +1. The CTC or LCC should have responded to this, not an amateur.

    It's pointless to deny that there are poor cyclists about. It's equally pointless to say that car drivers are worse. "Them and us" is a stpid mentality because we all need to share the roads. Inherently more cyclist friendly (and safer) infrastructure is what will assist, not slanging matches with bigots. But to achieve that takes careful negotiation and diplomacy, which is better done by a representative body with a bigger voice.
  • Well said Jonny T.
    Nobody told me we had a communication problem
  • SketchleySketchley Posts: 4,235
    +1. The CTC or LCC should have responded to this, not an amateur.

    They may of been asked and refused knowning what would happen on that show with that presenter.....
    --
    Chris

    Genesis Equilibrium - FCN 3/4/5
  • SketchleySketchley Posts: 4,235
    Well said Jonny T.

    +1
    --
    Chris

    Genesis Equilibrium - FCN 3/4/5
  • When she talked of cyclists riding while wearing headphones he could have agreed that it is a really stupid thing to do and likened it to drivers talking on mobile phones.
    ...
    or likened it to drivers listening to music while driving, you know, something actually moderately comparable! :?
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  • W1W1 Posts: 2,636
    Sketchley wrote:
    +1. The CTC or LCC should have responded to this, not an amateur.

    They may of been asked and refused knowning what would happen on that show with that presenter.....

    That's a good point. If they have, then I'm afraid they've shirked their responsibility to campaign for cyclists. It's not hard to argue successfully against a bigot with no clue.
  • notsobluenotsoblue Posts: 5,838
    W1 wrote:
    Sketchley wrote:
    +1. The CTC or LCC should have responded to this, not an amateur.

    They may of been asked and refused knowning what would happen on that show with that presenter.....

    That's a good point. If they have, then I'm afraid they've shirked their responsibility to campaign for cyclists. It's not hard to argue successfully against a bigot with no clue.

    Indeed. All they would have had to do is question her statistics and it would have been exposed for the biased anecdotal clap trap it was.
  • When she talked of cyclists riding while wearing headphones he could have agreed that it is a really stupid thing to do and likened it to drivers talking on mobile phones.
    ...
    or likened it to drivers listening to music while driving, you know, something actually moderately comparable! :?

    Can't agree with that one. The comparison is about distraction, not what you are listening to. If you had a radio on your handlebars then sure, go ahead and listen to music, but wearing headphones (no matter whether you are cycling or driving) can't be a good idea.
  • Ok, it was a bit of an ambush but there were no casualties. He returned to his blog and started rearming and having a closer look at his tactics. He'll be better prepared for the next skirmish now he's experienced first-hand how the anti-cyclist ranters operate in parts of the media.

    He's not yet a general but, in all fairness, he's a brave soldier.
  • Mr PlumMr Plum Posts: 1,097
    He should have been able to shoot her down given the weak argument and angle she was taking, however, I think he done OK for being put completely on the spot and stitched up with the agenda she was pushing.
    FCN 2 to 8
  • In truth, he shouldn't be offering to step up and speak for cyclists in general without some media training, and a clear idea of what he is going to try to say.

    He could have agreed with a lot of the matters put to him, whilst at the same time deflecting attention more effectively towards law abiding cyclists, and law breaking/negligent other road (and pavement) users.
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