A clear and present danger?

Until today I have never paid the Financial Times the slightest bit of attention.

Until today I have never paid the Financial Times the slightest bit of attention. Okay I lie. When I did a paper round it was one of the heavy buggers that made cycling to the 'posh houses' to deliver them a royal pain in the arse. Oh and it's the pink one, right? So, other than that it has been, until now, as much interest to me as Danish experimental dance.

Luckily, CPlus reader Mr N Carter is interested in stuff like money and business and cake recipes (like I said, never read it) so he sent me a page from this weekend's FT Magazine. It was a 1000 word or so diatribe against London's bikies entitled Proper rules for cyclists. Tell you what, read it here (requires registration): http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/4788f4e2-8112-11dc-9f14-0000779fd2ac.html?nclick_check=1

Right. Angry enough? God I hate journalists...maybe we should have licenses before we can commit such rubbish to print. Sure, as a recently ex-Londoner I agree with some of Richard Tomkins sentiments because, yes, there are some bloody inconsiderate cyclists out there. I've lost count of the number of times I've waited patiently at a pedestrian crossing only for a numpty on a knackered shopping bike to meander oblivious through the people crossing the road. Then again I've also lost count of the number of times pedestrians have stepped off the curb into my wheels, the number of times a cabbie on his mobile has decided pull a U-turn across me or the number of times an impatient bus driver has cut across my bow in his desperate urge to get to the bus stop before me.

And don't get me started on the patent BS that is the statement that 'cyclists are otherwise freeloaders on road infrastructure that is overwhelmingly paid for by motorists.'

Well, duh Mr Tomkins - we pay our taxes, have a direct debit for council tax and, shock horror, the majority of us own cars. I'm no economist, but I reckon that at least one of those will cover us for use of the road. Anyway, if Tomkins article has got your gander up here's a suggestion - knock up 1000 pro-cycling words on 'what you'd change' and send it to the essay competition that this piece is promoting. That'll learn 'em!

Rob Spedding

Editor-in-Chief, Cycling Plus, Cycling Plus Magazine
Editor-in-chief Rob has been pedalling Cycling Plus since 2007. His first proper road bikes were a Raleigh Sprint in the early 1980s and then a Trek 1000 in 1999. A former competitive runner, Rob has repeatedly threatened to become a competitive cyclist in every discipline from time-trailling to hill climbing to bike polo. We're still waiting.
  • Discipline: Road. Mainly commuting but with the occasional mountainous sportive that he'll complain about/fail to complete. Enjoys cake stops. Will never, ever do another triathlon after a bad experience in open water.
  • Preferred Terrain: Gently undulated roads – he's more of a rouleur. Likes gravel.
  • Current Bikes: BMC Alpenchallenge, Viner Perfecta, BMC Granfondo GF0, anything shiny that Warren Rossiter will allow him to ride
  • Dream Bike: Bianchi Specialissima, Raleigh Banana
  • Beer of Choice: Innis and Gunn Original
  • Location: Bath, UK
Back to top