Chris Boardman gives in to paranoia......

The Rookie
The Rookie Posts: 27,812
edited November 2014 in Commuting chat
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-29848778

Discuss!

My personal take is that the more parents who give into this paranoia, the worse it will be in the future, fight it NOW!
Currently riding a Whyte T130C, X0 drivetrain, Magura Trail brakes converted to mixed wheel size (homebuilt wheels) with 140mm Fox 34 Rhythm and RP23 suspension. 12.2Kg.

Comments

  • Apparently the Torygraph are running a story about the number of complaints about his film on cycle safety where he wasn't in a helmet or in fluro kit.

    Then again, none of the drivers were either.
    If I know you, and I like you, you can borrow my bike box for £30 a week. PM for details.
  • CitizenLee
    CitizenLee Posts: 2,227
    I think we both know that the general consensus on here will be! I can almost hear the pitch forks being sharpened! I’ll happily admit that I agree with him though, but then I’m just a guy with a bunch of bikes rather than a “cyclist” :P

    The few cycle lanes that do exist here in Aberdeen City are mostly shared usage lanes with taxis and busses, so 90% of the time I get my kids to cycle on the pavement unless it’s a quiet road or has bike only cycle lanes. Most pavements where we go are wide enough to accommodate both peds and cyclists but the kids are very respectful and know to slow down or dismount if there are any people in the way. We certainly don’t encourage them to be bunnyhopping all over the street or threatening to throw do-gooders in a bush :lol:

    More money certainly needs to be invested up here. Can't speak for elsewhere.
    Current:
    NukeProof Mega FR 2012
    Cube NuRoad 2018
    Previous:
    2015 Genesis CdF 10, 2014 Cube Hyde Race, 2012 NS Traffic, 2007 Specialized SX Trail, 2005 Specialized Demo 8
  • EKE_38BPM
    EKE_38BPM Posts: 5,821
    I watched the article on BBC Breakfast this morning (I assume it was the same one in the OP's link) and I don't care about him not wearing a helmet or hi-viz, but my professional opinion was that his cycling wasn't great* and he could do with a bit of training (Lord Boardman of Cycling, I would be proud to offer you mates rates on cycling lessons, despite you not actually being a mate).

    *Riding in the door zone, shoulder checks need improvement, poor signalling.
    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!
  • The Rookie
    The Rookie Posts: 27,812
    I didn't see the article this morning, the link is to something else by the sounds of it.

    EDIT: Link to CB's guide http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-29853789
    Currently riding a Whyte T130C, X0 drivetrain, Magura Trail brakes converted to mixed wheel size (homebuilt wheels) with 140mm Fox 34 Rhythm and RP23 suspension. 12.2Kg.
  • debeli
    debeli Posts: 583
    It's not paranoia that Boardman is giving in to. His views are perfectly reasonable, although they differ from mine.

    All my children (now 15, 18 and 21) cycled from an early age, as had I. They were zinging along rural A-Roads at seven and doing so unaccompanied at 11 or 12.

    All were regular riders on the rural, single-carriageway A-Roads around our market town in the Marches. But... my wife was very nervous that they rode as they did. None of our friends allowed their children to pedal within cat-swinging range of fast-moving artics on NSL roads, as I did. Even our GP (a good friend) counselled me against allowing it. I encouraged fast descents from the Malverns at stupidly young ages, but we got away with it. It wasn't clever, but it was my way and they enjoyed it. The youngest hit 39mph on a road descent at the age of twelve. I was terrified as I followed him, but he was rock steady and he LOVED it.

    I spent a lot of time shadowing them and riding slightly behind and outside them when they were little. Lots of heart-in-mouth moments and a few comedy ones too.

    All our children lived, all were unscathed and all now ride with verve and aplomb either here or at their place of study. They were lucky... We were lucky. I would do it again, but I quite understand those parents who do not and who would not. Children are precious and road traffic is big, fast, heavy and hard.

    It is not paranoid to keep young children away from traffic. It is not my way, but it is perfectly reasonable.
  • seajays
    seajays Posts: 331
    Debeli wrote:
    It's not paranoia that Boardman is giving in to. His views are perfectly reasonable, although they differ from mine.

    All my children (now 15, 18 and 21) cycled from an early age, as had I. They were zinging along rural A-Roads at seven and doing so unaccompanied at 11 or 12.

    All were regular riders on the rural, single-carriageway A-Roads around our market town in the Marches. But... my wife was very nervous that they rode as they did. None of our friends allowed their children to pedal within cat-swinging range of fast-moving artics on NSL roads, as I did. Even our GP (a good friend) counselled me against allowing it. I encouraged fast descents from the Malverns at stupidly young ages, but we got away with it. It wasn't clever, but it was my way and they enjoyed it. The youngest hit 39mph on a road descent at the age of twelve. I was terrified as I followed him, but he was rock steady and he LOVED it.

    I spent a lot of time shadowing them and riding slightly behind and outside them when they were little. Lots of heart-in-mouth moments and a few comedy ones too.

    All our children lived, all were unscathed and all now ride with verve and aplomb either here or at their place of study. They were lucky... We were lucky. I would do it again, but I quite understand those parents who do not and who would not. Children are precious and road traffic is big, fast, heavy and hard.

    It is not paranoid to keep young children away from traffic. It is not my way, but it is perfectly reasonable.

    This is important isn't it. It's a question of getting the right balance between protecting your children and risk. My 9 year old daughter rides a horse. She fell of a couple of months back while out on a ride and was knocked unconscious. I was waiting in the car park, and when the ambulance turned up to the main office, then picked up someone and went off again I became a little suspicious. When someone eventually came to tell me that it was my daughter and she was on her way to A&E, I was off in the car, and actually got to the hospital before the ambulance did!!

    The usual stuff goes through your head. Am I to blame for letting her do something that has risks associated with it? Is she going to be OK? Will she have brain damage etc etc.! They kept her in overnight as she was throwing up and had concussion, but the next day she was fine, and no ill effects. My mother on the other hand thinks it's crazy that we (both) ride and would rather we stopped.

    Thing is these things happen - she could be doing gymnastics and fall off a balance beam etc. Life has risks. Sometimes bad things happen, but if we removed every element of risk would life be worth living? Would we ever make any progress in anything?

    She's still riding. So am I. We love it.
    Cannondale CAADX Tiagra 2017
    Revolution Courier Race Disc '14
    My Strava
  • The Rookie
    The Rookie Posts: 27,812
    Debeli wrote:
    It's not paranoia that Boardman is giving in to. His views are perfectly reasonable, although they differ from mine.
    I would say he is giving into paranoia as the statistics don't support the perception, as he himself appears to have said, it's probably more dangerous (overall, not per event) cooking in a kitchen, but like may things its the perception of not being in control of their destiny that worries people (like fear of flying).
    Currently riding a Whyte T130C, X0 drivetrain, Magura Trail brakes converted to mixed wheel size (homebuilt wheels) with 140mm Fox 34 Rhythm and RP23 suspension. 12.2Kg.
  • davmaggs
    davmaggs Posts: 1,008
    He is talking about an 8 year old, and I don't think it's unreasonable to say that a primary school aged child cycling on a road is nerve wracking. They are still small in size and still learning, so I don't think he's being unreasonable if the nearby roads are a bit busy.
  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 74,443
    It's not paranoia. Is the wrong word. It's more bring scared.

    It's quite an intimidating environment.

    Bunjee jumping is fairly safe but I still get the fear before I jump. Lots of people won't do it for that reason.
  • Watched the clip and read the piece,

    Agree with EKE that the riding wasn't that good. But the advise was.

    I think it really depends on what roads, as to would a nervous/unsure rider be safe? Some dual carrageways are motorways by another name and others are totally fine.
  • talius
    talius Posts: 282
    He knows how these views will be received coming from him, and as a calculated point, I think it's quite a good step.
    Merckx EMX 5
    Ribble 7005 Audax / Campag Centaur

    RIP - Scott Speedster S10
  • EKE_38BPM
    EKE_38BPM Posts: 5,821
    Debeli wrote:
    It's not paranoia that Boardman is giving in to. His views are perfectly reasonable, although they differ from mine.

    All my children (now 15, 18 and 21) cycled from an early age, as had I. They were zinging along rural A-Roads at seven and doing so unaccompanied at 11 or 12.

    All were regular riders on the rural, single-carriageway A-Roads around our market town in the Marches. But... my wife was very nervous that they rode as they did. None of our friends allowed their children to pedal within cat-swinging range of fast-moving artics on NSL roads, as I did. Even our GP (a good friend) counselled me against allowing it. I encouraged fast descents from the Malverns at stupidly young ages, but we got away with it. It wasn't clever, but it was my way and they enjoyed it. The youngest hit 39mph on a road descent at the age of twelve. I was terrified as I followed him, but he was rock steady and he LOVED it.

    I spent a lot of time shadowing them and riding slightly behind and outside them when they were little. Lots of heart-in-mouth moments and a few comedy ones too.

    All our children lived, all were unscathed and all now ride with verve and aplomb either here or at their place of study. They were lucky... We were lucky. I would do it again, but I quite understand those parents who do not and who would not. Children are precious and road traffic is big, fast, heavy and hard.

    It is not paranoid to keep young children away from traffic. It is not my way, but it is perfectly reasonable.
    I like this guy. Can we keep him?

    Lord Boardman of Cycling is usually spot on in my opinion and I usually agree with him 100% but this time I think he has abandoned his belief in statistics of the way things actually to Joe Public's paranoid perception of the way they think things are.
    I regularly take kids as young as 9 out onto the roads of London, sometimes it can get pretty sporty, but it is about how you deal with the traffic and understanding that your positioning can modify the behaviour of other road users. Maybe Lord Boardman is just too timid and is passing his timidity onto Boardman jnrs. Training can change this.


    Remember Sir Chris, you can't hide from traffic, you are traffic!
    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!
  • It reminds me of 3 versions of a father throwing his child into the air before catching. One is what the father sees where the child only just leaves his hands. The second is what bystanders see where the child has been thrown a couple of get from the father's hands.

    Finally there's what the mother sees... the child being throw 20 feet up in the air.

    I only mention this because IMHO it sums it all up. It's a matter of perception, we all have different perceptions of risk. No-one is right or wrong, it's just the way we see the risks.
  • apreading
    apreading Posts: 4,535
    Debeli wrote:
    I spent a lot of time shadowing them and riding slightly behind and outside them when they were little.

    This ^^ is the key. I still do it with my 14 and 12 yr olds - only difference is that they are going faster and faster all the time!
  • EKE_38BPM
    EKE_38BPM Posts: 5,821
    apreading wrote:
    Debeli wrote:
    I spent a lot of time shadowing them and riding slightly behind and outside them when they were little.

    This ^^ is the key. I still do it with my 14 and 12 yr olds - only difference is that they are going faster and faster all the time!
    It bugs me when I see parents riding in front of their kids. How can you see what they are doing and make sure they're safe if you're in front of them? As the lead, its all too easy to ride at your pace and then turn round to see the person you're supposed to be riding with waaaaay behind. With them in front of you, that won't happen.
    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!
  • vimfuego
    vimfuego Posts: 1,783
    hmmm

    Just how dangerous is his bathroom......?
    CS7
    Surrey Hills
    What's a Zwift?
  • he may have been a very good cyclist but he does not understand probability
  • Too many people missing the point entirely.

    He is one of the most high profile advocates of dutch style infra we have in the cycling community - this is what this is about.

    If he said "yes I'll happily let my 8 year old ride alongside hgv's, busses and white van men" then what will that say? That we already live in a cycling paradise thus zero money needs to be spent on improving things??

    By the way I'll let my 7 year old ride in traffic when hell freezes over. F**k probability.

    People keep forgetting this is all about getting people who currently don't cycle onto the roads - and they WILL NEVER DO IT UNLESS THERE IS DUTCH STYLE INFRASTRUCTURE TO MAKE THEM SAFE!!

    Caps off :)
  • CitizenLee
    CitizenLee Posts: 2,227
    By the way I'll let my 7 year old ride in traffic when hell freezes over. F**k probability.

    Haha, this ^ completely :)

    My kids are more than just statistics on an Excel spreadsheet.
    Current:
    NukeProof Mega FR 2012
    Cube NuRoad 2018
    Previous:
    2015 Genesis CdF 10, 2014 Cube Hyde Race, 2012 NS Traffic, 2007 Specialized SX Trail, 2005 Specialized Demo 8
  • EKE_38BPM
    EKE_38BPM Posts: 5,821
    Recently I've ridden on the Dutch style, two way segregated cycle lane running along Sidmouth Street towards Tottenham Court Road with my wife and SHE LOVED IT!!
    She is not one for mixing with heavy traffic and when we reached Tottenham Court Road the cycle lane ended, chucking us into three lanes of very heavy one way traffic consisting of buses and HGVs as well as cars, cabs etc. Mrs EKE went from smiling and laughing to nearly crying in less than thirty seconds (nothing happened, just scared). The cycle lane we were on is on a single carriageway road (one lane in each direction) but when it reached a three lane one way street (in other words when we needed it the most), it ended.

    If we, as a nation, really want to get more cyclists like Mrs EKE on the road then we need not only more segregated cycle lanes like the one on Sidmouth Street but these lanes need to be properly joined up into a network, not just a bit here and a bit there. Get HGVs off the road at the times when the majority of cyclists are on the road and (and I would say this, wouldn't I) compulsory training for all HGV and PSV drivers as well as offering training to cyclists.

    So, I do kind of agree with Lord Boardman of Cycling , I wouldn't let my hypothetical eight year old ride on Tottenham Court Road (and similar), but that is real "in at the deep end" stuff, the first time you dive into a swimming pool you don't go off the ten metre board.

    Many of the roads featured in that video wouldn't be used on Bikeability Level 2, they looked like Level 3 stuff to me and Level 3 is only offered to ages 14 and up.

    Basically I'm saying:
    Ban HGVs on certain roads at certain times
    Compulsory driver training immediately (a well trained driver will be a well trained driver regardless of the road they are using)
    Cycle training in schools and offered FOC to all adults (a well trained cyclist will be a well trained cyclist regardless of the road they are using)
    Properly designed and well thought out infrastructure and cycle lane network. This will take time, money and a complete change to the current motoristcentric mindset.
    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
    EKE_38BPM Posts: 5,821
    CitizenLee wrote:
    By the way I'll let my 7 year old ride in traffic when hell freezes over. F**k probability.

    Haha, this ^ completely :)

    My kids are more than just statistics on an Excel spreadsheet.

    WON'T SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!??!!
    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!
  • debeli
    debeli Posts: 583
    EKE_38BPM wrote:

    WON'T SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!??!!

    CitizenLee and Cookeeemonster are thinking of the children. They just may not be doing so as you and I do.

    I was an interventionalist-fatalist (I just made that phrase up) with my children when they were little. I did let them ride in traffic and (much scarier) on fast A-Roads, but I also played endless silly games on car parks and basketball courts where they had to ride absurd figures of eight or write words with their tyres or pass me and give me a low-five with one or the other hand....

    It is a fairly intensive process getting littluns onto the highway and it is perfectly reasonable that some parents (most parents) think it a risk too far. I do not, but most do.

    The payback is that by fifteen mine were all heading off alone to ride 25-or-so miles and I knew that they had some feeling for risk and road safety. All have done 70-150 mile rides with me, which is a huge privilege as a parent. But I am lucky. They want to. They love it. One even races, albeit in a modest, 10-mile-TT way.

    I am also lucky in that my wife (their mother) managed to rein in her fears when they were younger. She thought me mad but trusted me nonetheless. Many spouses do not.

    All parents think of the children, but often in different ways. I took risks, but I wasn't necessarily right. I just got away with it.

    But the cost was potentially very high. I would not now be writing so glibly one of them had been hit.
  • CitizenLee
    CitizenLee Posts: 2,227
    EKE_38BPM wrote:
    CitizenLee wrote:
    By the way I'll let my 7 year old ride in traffic when hell freezes over. F**k probability.

    Haha, this ^ completely :)

    My kids are more than just statistics on an Excel spreadsheet.

    WON'T SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!??!!

    Haha :lol:

    I probably did sound like someone from Mumsnet there, but I meant it as a pisstake to those who bang on about stats. Bottom line is I just don't think the majority of main roads are safe enough round here. On the flip side I have no problem with them learning tricks at the skatepark or jumping in the woods, in fact I encourage both.

    Fully agree with your last post btw ;)

    Well said too Debeli :)
    Current:
    NukeProof Mega FR 2012
    Cube NuRoad 2018
    Previous:
    2015 Genesis CdF 10, 2014 Cube Hyde Race, 2012 NS Traffic, 2007 Specialized SX Trail, 2005 Specialized Demo 8
  • dyrlac
    dyrlac Posts: 751
    Rode around Wimbledon with my 8yo at the weekend. We'll keep at it, but (many) drivers are c*cks; who on earth does close, fast overtakes on a 20mph residential road with speed humps? I'm (usually, sometimes) pretty relaxed on the commute, but how I wished for the D-lock.

    I hear you about infrastructure, but rat runners will find a way unless you turn the entire country into cul-de-sacs (or the Dutch solution of filtered permeability of residential streets, which basically amounts to the same thing), massively reducing throughput motor vehicle traffic capacity in a given area. That is, of course the point of going Dutch, but I don't see that (most non-cycling) residents (including, truth be told, my own wife*) actually want it to be more difficult to take the Chelsea tractor to the John Lewis, which is what going Dutch would entail. The solution is deterrence, maybe in the form of a D-lock at the ready (and what EKE said as to training and HGV restrictions). :wink:

    *I don't really mind this view, for me cycling is a fun and efficient way to get around, not a religion. I don't need converts.
  • talius
    talius Posts: 282
    BBC article from today on cycling fatality stats:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-29878233

    Everyone must have been drink driving in the 30s
    Merckx EMX 5
    Ribble 7005 Audax / Campag Centaur

    RIP - Scott Speedster S10
  • The Rookie
    The Rookie Posts: 27,812
    Rural roads carry 30% of cycle traffic but they accounted for 58% of pedal cyclist fatalities in 2013

    That's me and KB done for them, even with his cape of invincibility! Actually more realistically I suspect a major contribution from people with poor lights in there.
    Currently riding a Whyte T130C, X0 drivetrain, Magura Trail brakes converted to mixed wheel size (homebuilt wheels) with 140mm Fox 34 Rhythm and RP23 suspension. 12.2Kg.
  • apreading
    apreading Posts: 4,535
    The Rookie wrote:
    Rural roads carry 30% of cycle traffic but they accounted for 58% of pedal cyclist fatalities in 2013

    That's me and KB done for them, even with his cape of invincibility! Actually more realistically I suspect a major contribution from people with poor lights in there.

    Those stats are probably skewed a bit, because of factors that increase the severity of the outcome, despite the severity of the accident being no greater.

    On my (*ahem*) 'speed awareness course', we were told that motorways were one of the safest places, with much lower risk despite the higher speed, because they were designed for vehicles at that speed. A & B roads were often designed for carts. But more relevant here is that a rural A road was most risky because as well as the increased likelihood of an accident and the increased severity due to lack of safety measures and proximity of obstacles like trees, a major factor was that rural accidents often go some time before someone is found and even more commonly the time for a medical specialist to attend and the time to transfer to hospital is much higher. So an accident that you might survive in a large town with its own hospital and nearby ambulance might be a fatality on a rural road.

    Not saying there isnt something useful in your stats, and ultimately the reasons why arent relevant if someone you know dies, but there are less obvious factors involved if you want to understand the picture more accurately.
  • The Rookie wrote:
    Rural roads carry 30% of cycle traffic but they accounted for 58% of pedal cyclist fatalities in 2013

    That's me and KB done for them, even with his cape of invincibility! Actually more realistically I suspect a major contribution from people with poor lights in there.

    Wait? What? :shock:

    From my own perspective (atop the "bike of brightness +5") I get more room given to me during the Winter months but even when the bike is not running with the landing lights on I very very rarely feel troubled.

    The traffic volume is much lower where I cycle, and I *do* avoid heavy use NSL A roads, not just for my sake but so I do not unduly inconvenience others; so I would say that the accumulated chance of an accident is lower (same percentage, less vehicles) the actual chance of it being a doozy is higher (greater impact speed)
    Chunky Cyclists need your love too! :-)
    2009 Specialized Tricross Sport
    2011 Trek Madone 4.5
    2012 Felt F65X
    Proud CX Pervert and quiet roadie. 12 mile commuter
  • http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablo ... -2011#data

    Do not for a second doubt that you are not more likeley to be killed by the combination of falling off a cliff or a ladder, something fall on you, drown in your own bath tub (not all at the same time!) as to be killed while out on your bike.

    So would Chris Boardman let his daughter loose on a ladder?
    If I know you, and I like you, you can borrow my bike box for £30 a week. PM for details.
  • http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2012/nov/06/deaths-mortality-rates-cause-death-2011#data

    Do not for a second doubt that you are not more likeley to be killed by the combination of falling off a cliff or a ladder, something fall on you, drown in your own bath tub (not all at the same time!) as to be killed while out on your bike.

    So would Chris Boardman let his daughter loose on a ladder?

    That double negative is doing my head in