Cyclists. Don’t be d*cks. (and no, I don’t mean ducks)

A couple of weeks ago cyclist Charlie Alliston was charged with “wanton and furious driving” after hitting and killing a pedestrian who stepped out in front of him whilst he was riding a bike with no front break. The whole situation was enormously unfortunate; he should absolutely have had two breaks on his bike (it’s the law!), but to be killed by a bike travelling at 14mph is statistically very unlikely (this article in The Guardian does the maths), so Kim Briggs was extraordinarily unlucky.

Now, the whys and wherefores of this story have been hotly debated in the bear pits of online tabloid comments sections for weeks, so I have no intention of trying to single-handedly put the issue to bed or trivialising what is a thoroughly tragic event. But I do think we should acknowledge that this has done nothing to help the image of cyclists in the eyes of the media, motorists of pedestrians. It’s important that they know, notwithstanding Alliston’s questionable behaviour and words, we are not all terrible people.

So, in an effort to curb the ever growing us-vs-them mindset, these are my rules of thumb, from one cyclist to others, so we don’t come across as total c**ckwombles.

  1. Make sure your breaks work / actually have breaks

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Moving back in with your parents…

So, I’ve just moved back in with my parents for a currently unknown period of time – and it’s something I am TOTALLY fine with!  I get on pretty well with my family and we do a lot together, so I decided to put together a list of the pros and cons, particularly from a training, activity and nutrition point of view. 

So here goes! (PS mum I promise I will do my washing and unstack the dishwasher and not leave trainers in every room of the house…)

-1 no more cycling to work. Can’t really do this any more. No unfolded bikes on London Midland and there is NO WAY I am leaving my bike at Euston overnight (plus that would be a grim cycle right through central London). Therefore less automatic bike fitness, more frustration for me of having to take the tube (because it’s too hot and people WALK TOO FLIPPING SLOWLY) and also $$$$$

+1 much nicer cycling at the weekends without having to battle round the Wandsworth gyratory to get anywhere. Plus a new chain gang (well the old ones are back)

+1 onsite bike mechanic. Thanks Dad. Now when things break I don’t have to guess or try and fix it by Facetime.

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