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Sir Dave on R4

meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,550
edited December 2012 in Commuting chat
Was slightly disappointed by Sir Dave B on Today this morning. When asked about safety in cycling, I thought his answer was very "flat" saying more cyclists would lead to more accidents and cycling infrastructure takes a long time to implement. Wasn't quite the positive response I was hoping for given the platform he has now.
ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH

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  • I don't think that's his job. And it was typical of the Beeb to ask him something not related to his job, just because it's marginally-bike-related.
  • In other news Rebecca Adlington comments on the use of rubber rings when learning to swim and David Beckham shares his insight on keepie-upies in the vicinity of greenhouses. I'm awaiting Lewis Hamilton's views on middle lane hoggers. Irrelevant.
    Nobody told me we had a communication problem
  • I wholeheartedly disagree with both your comments. Here's why:

    - Part of the purpose of national sports teams (and, in particular, the Olympics - "Inspire a Generation" remember?!!) is to encourage grass roots participation.
    - What do we know all-too-well is the greatest barrier to people taking up cycling? Safety
    - It doesn't take a huge leap to make the connection between the two.

    Even if he had a reply he's learned by wrote (a la Chris Boardman). Given that his star cyclist and a key coach were both involved in accidents, it's not surprising that the BBC asked him the question given everything above. Even David Beckham does coaching for kids and I bet people like Rebecca Adlington get involved swim safety campaigns. Lewis Hamilton certainly gets involved in safe driving campaigns. It's call "influence"....
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • HoopdriverHoopdriver Posts: 2,023
    I wholeheartedly disagree with both your comments. Here's why:

    - Part of the purpose of national sports teams (and, in particular, the Olympics - "Inspire a Generation" remember?!!) is to encourage grass roots participation.
    - What do we know all-too-well is the greatest barrier to people taking up cycling? Safety
    - It doesn't take a huge leap to make the connection between the two.

    Even if he had a reply he's learned by wrote (a la Chris Boardman). Given that his star cyclist and a key coach were both involved in accidents, it's not surprising that the BBC asked him the question given everything above. Even David Beckham does coaching for kids and I bet people like Rebecca Adlington get involved swim safety campaigns. Lewis Hamilton certainly gets involved in safe driving campaigns. It's call "influence"....
    Absolutely. Spot on.
  • As I understand it Dave Brailsford's jobs are performance director of British Cycling and general manager of Team Sky. Both of these roles revolve around getting the very best out of top class cyclists and are nothing to do with commuting by bike. I think we can agree that as an organisation British Cycling should be promoting all aspects of cycling, and I'm sure we would all have liked him to have given a different response.
    I agree that high profile sports stars can be used as role models and their views may be newsworthy.
    In reality these 'stars' operate in a completely different world to the majority of participants and hence their views are generally of no more value than anyone else's, and arguably are of less value than those of us that face the challenge on a daily basis.
    If you really wanted to know about cycling safety and obstacles to take up, you are more likely to get a useful response from someone like EKE who rides on regular roads and trains others to do the same, than from Sir Dave who probably spends most of his time in an office, track or closed road.
    Nobody told me we had a communication problem
  • Well Sir Dave's first point was that British Cycling has seen a 3-fold increase in membership. If he has even the slightest interest in the long-term health of British cycling (not just his current job title), he will know that getting youngsters onto bikes is the most important thing they can do.
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • Sorry, I didn't hear the broadcast, and my earlier response was a little facetious.

    I am not surprised the question was asked and I'm not surprised by the response given.

    I'm more cross that this appears to be another case of a journalist looking for headline rather than a genuine attempt to understand the problem and identify a solution.
    Nobody told me we had a communication problem
  • EKE_38BPMEKE_38BPM Posts: 5,980
    ...If you really wanted to know about cycling safety and obstacles to take up, you are more likely to get a useful response from someone like EKE who rides on regular roads and trains others to do the same, than from Sir Dave who probably spends most of his time in an office, track or closed road.
    On all matters of safety, I refer you all to my posts in the Commuting questions from CP thread.

    Thanks for the props I've received on various threads from various posters, but I'm a real newbie at this training lark and there are many who have much more experience and know much more about it than me. Off the top of my head, Traffic Droid and Cycling Gaz spring to mind.
    FCN 3: Raleigh Record Ace fixie-to be resurrected sometime in the future
    FCN 4: Planet X Schmaffenschmack 2- workhorse
    FCN 9: B Twin Vitamin - winter commuter/loan bike for trainees

    I'm hungry. I'm always hungry!
  • You're too modest EKE. Even as a 'newbie' cycling trainer, I'd wager you have a better grasp of what it's like to ride on British roads, and how we might make them safer than a performance coach or administrator.

    My point is; if you want to learn how to lift wallets ask a pick-pocket not a Great Train Robber, if you want to know how to build a world class cycling team ask Sir Dave, but if you want to improve cycle safety ask someone who rides on roads regularly or has studied this specific issue.

    Of course the journalist in question isn't really interested in how safe cycling is or how we might make it safer, he just wants a story. There is a difference between expert advice and uninformed opinion even if it is the opinion of a notable individual. A discerning consumer of news should consider the relevance of the commentator not just accept the view expressed as gospel.

    Back to MRS's original point, it is disappointing that Sir Dave is not better informed, or that he didn't confess his limited knowledge in this area, but he is entitled to his opinion. A listeners job is to accept or reject that opinion according to it's relevance.
    Nobody told me we had a communication problem
  • Yup - I wasn't expecting an in-depth discussion on the subtleties of ASL design or HGV driver training. What I was hoping for was something slightly more positive than (I paraphrase) "with more people cycling there's going to be more accidents". (at the beginning of that sentence, I was actually expecting him to say "with more people cycling, there will be more awareness of cyclists")

    And to be fair to the interviewer, I'm not sure he was looking for a story. Sir D said there was a 3-fold increase in membership of BC. The interviewer, who may be very well informed on the greatest barrier to cycling being the perceived risk (not helped by two recent high-profile accidents involving Sir D's immediate team), asked him about cycling safety. There was a golden opportunity to downplay the risks - one I felt he missed.

    That's all.
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • airbagairbag Posts: 201
    - What do we know all-too-well is the greatest barrier to people taking up cycling? Safety.

    Is that particularly true of cycling as a sport, as opposed to a means of getting around? I suppose there is overlap at young ages, where parents are put off letting their kids cycle and develop a passion. But for adults, the vast majority of both cyclists and non-cyclists have little interest in racing I expect.

    My point is; if you want to learn how to lift wallets ask a pick-pocket not a Great Train Robber, if you want to know how to build a world class cycling team ask Sir Dave, but if you want to improve cycle safety ask someone who rides on roads regularly or has studied this specific issue.

    Well said.
  • airbag wrote:
    - What do we know all-too-well is the greatest barrier to people taking up cycling? Safety.

    Is that particularly true of cycling as a sport, as opposed to a means of getting around? I suppose there is overlap at young ages, where parents are put off letting their kids cycle and develop a passion. But for adults, the vast majority of both cyclists and non-cyclists have little interest in racing I expect.

    My point is; if you want to learn how to lift wallets ask a pick-pocket not a Great Train Robber, if you want to know how to build a world class cycling team ask Sir Dave, but if you want to improve cycle safety ask someone who rides on roads regularly or has studied this specific issue.

    Well said.

    I guess you heard the interview, airbag?

    Of course it's true - probably more so with youngsters - after all, you're hardly likely to let your kid do something you don't do yourself because it's dangerous. Besides that, the keenest cycling kids I know are the ones with cycling parents.

    And I doubt even the "Great Train Robbers" (a misnomer if ever I heard one) started by robbing trains - more likely a bit of shoplifting or nicking some poor kid's dinner money. They'd probably have a view on the causes of crime. They weren't, after all, asking Sir D the best way to learn to ride a bike...
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • EKE_38BPMEKE_38BPM Posts: 5,980
    ..They weren't, after all, asking Sir D the best way to learn to ride a bike...

    That would be on a balance bike (with brakes) on a slight slope.
    FCN 3: Raleigh Record Ace fixie-to be resurrected sometime in the future
    FCN 4: Planet X Schmaffenschmack 2- workhorse
    FCN 9: B Twin Vitamin - winter commuter/loan bike for trainees

    I'm hungry. I'm always hungry!
  • EKE_38BPM wrote:
    ..They weren't, after all, asking Sir D the best way to learn to ride a bike...

    That would be on a balance bike (with brakes) on a slight slope.

    Any instructional videos anywhere? (Serious question btw)
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • HoopdriverHoopdriver Posts: 2,023
    EKE_38BPM wrote:
    ..They weren't, after all, asking Sir D the best way to learn to ride a bike...

    That would be on a balance bike (with brakes) on a slight slope.
    You would know! How's the job going?
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