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Guardian blog provokes more anti-cycling drivel
7.04.09 by Buffalo Bill

Quoting Matthew Parris’ now infamous column in which he called for cyclists to be beheaded for littering (for which he later had to apologise – see here), and a handful of other cases, including one in which a driver in the American mid-west bit off part of a cyclist’s ear, and also the skater attacks reported here last month, the Guardian writer who appears to have replaced Matt Seaton, Helen Pidd, asks are cyclists are now road users’ public enemy No1?

I can’t imagine what possessed her to do such a thing, as she must have known that certain sections of the public like nothing better than to have an ill-founded, illiterate and intemperate rant about cyclists. The item (judging from my logs) has only been up for the last couple of hours, but it already has 28 comments, and is the most viewed, and 2nd most commented article, on the Guardian site today.

Do some people hate cyclists enough to wish death upon them? We already know they do, as I noted when commenting on the news that a dead cyclist’s wife has been awarded compensation for his death. Why would someone who writes about cycling issues want to provoke such comments? Is the Guardian so worried about its hits that it has to resort to such a cheap tactic? Informed debate about road danger is very difficult to find; this article is not trying to promote informed debate, it is throwing a stone into a cess-pool to see if anything will bubble up which, in my view, is irresponsible.

Oh, and the article is illustrated with a picture of Boris Johnson on his bike, using his phone. Two things: when did BJ become the poster boy for cyclists? And using a mobile whilst cycling is not illegal; using a mobile whilst in control of a motor vehicle is, something which 21% of motorists admitted doing.1

1 According to the Transport Secretary, Douglas Alexander, quoted by the BBC.

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  1. She also managed to do the cyclodelic doing accessories in a concession at topshop a full week after everyone else had managed to do the story.

    Alex    7 April 2009, 21:28    #
  2. That story was covered in Moving Target two weeks ago. www.movingtargetzine…

    — Bill    8 April 2009, 07:21    #
  3. What,using a phone whilst cycling isn’t illegal?I did not know this.
    I got some ped giving me shit for doing just that recently.Shame it aint illegal to use the blower when crossing the f%cking road.

    — overdrive    8 April 2009, 08:22    #
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