At BikeRadar, we aim to inspire and inform our readers, not scare them off the roads. We think the dangers of cycling are often exaggerated, and that’s why we don’t feature daily car-vs.-bike stories that only serve to engender a siege mentality that pits road users against one another.
Nevertheless, we felt this video by Phil Gaimon was worth sharing for its grim yet important message.
Gaimon (that’s “guy-mon”) is probably the chillest cyclist on Youtube, a former pro now known for his highly entertaining “Worst Retirement Ever” antics. Here he recounts the story of a terrifying near miss and makes it very clear how he wants news of his eventual death reported.
In the wider media there’s an unfortunate trend of implicitly exonerating drivers or blaming victims with careless use of language. Deaths are described as “accidents” even when aggression is a factor, while headlines run along the lines of “cyclist killed in collision with car” rather than “driver runs fellow human being over”.
The punishments for drivers who kill can seem almost comically lenient in some parts of the world, if indeed the perpetrators are punished at all.
We sincerely hope none of you ever have the misfortune to be involved in an incident of this kind on the road and that Gaimon’s prediction of his own demise isn’t proved to be accurate. His video rather bluntly highlights a real problem with the reporting of cycling deaths; one that we think deserves more attention.
Matthew is an experienced mechanic and an expert on bike tech who appreciates practical, beautifully-engineered things. Originally a roadie, he likes bikes and kit of every stripe, and he's tested a huge variety of both over the years for BikeRadar, Cycling Plus and others. For a long time Matthew's heart belonged to the Scott Addict, but he's currently enjoying Trek's lovely aluminium Emonda ALR and having a torrid affair with a Giant Trance e-MTB. At 174cm tall and 53kg, he looks like he should be better at cycling than he actually is, and he's ok with that.