Bradley Wiggins v the Flat Earth Society of Cyclists

I am glad that Bradley Wiggins (winner of the 2012 Tour de France and the Olympic Gold Medal for cycling) has called for it to be made compulsory for cyclists to wear helmets.

I am also glad that Bradley has said that cyclists should not wear iPods or use phones whilst cycling.

We just need to go a little further, though.

We also need to establish a three-part national cycling competency test (theory and double-practical), based on the same Theory, Mod 1 and Mod 2 tests that motorcyclists have to pass.

And, of course, we need to have compulsory insurance for cyclists.

But the flat-earth mentality of the national cycling lobbyist organisation CTC, and its spokesman Chris Peck, has sprung in to action.

Mr Peck (and therefore CTC) has said that making helmets for cyclists compulsory ‘would be counter-productive’, and would be likely to have an overall damaging effect.

I’ve written about Chris Peck before. He’s a twat, obv.

I seem to remember exactly the same flat-earth arguments were voiced when the compulsory introduction of car seat belts was first put forward.

‘Compulsory seat belts will cause more deaths and injuries than they will prevent’, said the moaning minnies.

And these days no-one but a mentalist would drive a car without their seat belt fastened.

Except, maybe, Chris Peck of the CTC.

And a similar argument was put forward by some motorcyclists, that the compulsory use of helments for motorcyclists would somehow cause more injuries than they would prevent.

Maybe Chris Peck agrees with that statement too, who knows?

So let’s all just agree that whatever comes out of CTC in particular, and out of Chris Peck’s mouth in particular, is just a big steaming pile of nonsense.

And we should ignore them.

Go, Bradley Wiggins, go.

On the point of compulsory helmets for cyclists – as with your recently victorious time in France – you are on the right track.

Chris Peck and CTC plainly are not.

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6 Responses to Bradley Wiggins v the Flat Earth Society of Cyclists

  1. IanB says:

    An interesting thing about here in Nebraska is that due to the “The Man don’t get to tell me what to do” attitude of some and the relative emptiness of the hundreds miles of very flat countryside with attendant perceived diminished risk of actually seeing someone let alone crash into them a large section of people are not in habit of putting on their seatbelts.

    Motorcycle crash helmets are also not compulsory in some states (next-door Iowa, for example, which, unlike Nebraska has speed cameras yet lacks a helmet law).

    It is tricky, the helmets thing, since it gets to 40C here in the summer and that can be a bit nasty with a full face helmet on – which is why many people wear ‘open face’ helmets or those things that look like WWII storm trooper coal scuttle hats.

    There are a LOT of car crashes. Many of them fatal, more so for the younger drivers. The most common things you hear about the crashes are “the vehicle flipped on its roof” and, invariably, “the occupants were partially ejected”. i.e. they got thrown out through a side window because they were not wearing seat belts. This is in the Spring/Summer/Fall. You could understand it in Winter since we have permanent snow but most of the needless crashes are not in the icy white wonderland that arrives with our every November.

    You can drive at 15 years old here. You can’t drink until you’re 21… It’s complicated.

    This being rural America, of course, there are no cyclists to speak of so I can’t tell you if they wear helmets or not but I think I can take a guess…they don’t.

  2. Sally says:

    What an idiot that Mr Peck is!

  3. Vicola says:

    There was some bell end on the radio this morning arguing that Wiggins was wrong because making helmets compulsory is putting the onus on the cyclist to ensure they aren’t hit by a car. You think? Honestly Wiggins, imagine suggesting that cyclists take responsibility for their own safety and welfare instead of just blaming it on the motorist. How very dare you. Having driven through the centre of London, I am astounded there aren’t more of the buggers killed daily, they’re absolutely mental and they skirt in and out of traffic, merrily ignoring red lights like they don’t exist. A mandatory bike test sounds like a bloody good idea to me, prefereably starting with the theory question “Do the rules of the road still apply to you even though you don’t have an engine?”.

  4. Allister says:

    In New Zealand it is illegal to ride a bicycle on a public road without wearing a helmet. It was a divisive change made in 1994 as the result of a campaign by a mother of a boy who was brain damaged by a spill from his bike. Research into the results of this change has conflicting results but on balance it seems it hasn’t made a significant difference to head injury rates either way.

    However, as the father of a boy who has twice fallen from his bike and received a concussion, I’m not about to let statistics sway my thinking. Indeed he himself wouldn’t normally consider riding without a helmet – perhaps only if ‘mucking about’ in a benign environment.

    They may not prevent head injuries or save lives in a statistical sense, but if you’re going to fall off (or get pushed off) your bicycle, having an extra piece of safety equipment in play can’t be a bad thing.

    Should it be mandated by law? Probably yes, if only to spur those who don’t think about the consequences to put one on anyway.

    Next step – life jackets when on the water.

  5. Dave says:

    I’ve often thought instead of a “Think Bike” campaign for motorists there should be a “Think Bloody Large Heavy Fast Metal Object” campaign aimed at cyclists.

    The A4 in Brentford has a cycle lane off-road so that cyclists don’t need to use the three lanes of thundering lorries and cars. But “proper” cyclists won’t use it because it is cissy to do so, so every now and again a cyclist gets squished in a bike/lorry interface situation.

    I cycle as well as drive and I stick to the rules of the road. And wear a helmet. It’s madness not to. The point of cycling is to get there quicker than walking, not quicker than driving, and also to be hjealthy, a hard thing to achieve when you are under the wheels of a 32 ton artic.

  6. I am torn. Yes I agree that cyclists wearing helmets is a good idea. But then again, I get totally and utterly pissed off with this country governing our behaviour through legislation.

    It’s going to get to a stage where we can’t fart unless it is in a given timeslot.