The Myth of Car Superiority

It all looked a wee bit misty and bleak today, meaning today took a bit of motivation to get up off the sofa and go out for a ride. My main problem was that the weather closed in around me, testing my choice of lights. I should also add that I really enjoy riding the Marin Nicasio SS and that certainly helped with the required motivation to unhitch myself from the sofa.

Marin Nicasio SS bike out in the Scottish countryside on a ride.
Getting a bit misty here
Marin Nicaso SS bike out in misty conditions cycling
The wildlife is out there. The sight seeing bench in the lower left corner is redundant.

Although the conditions were getting worse, there was still around 500 meters of visibilty and with my backside glowing like the Blackpool illuminations I still felt entirely safe out riding. There was someone who disagreed though, someone driving a silver 4×4 with no lights on  stopped to ask me why I felt the need to endanger myself out riding and how would a driver of a vehicle feel if they killed me. I pointed out that unlike them I had lights on and therefore it should be no more dangerous than riding along during summer, car drivers will drive according to the conditions and drive at a speed that is both sensible and safe due to the prevailing weather and road conditions. I was then told in no uncertain terms that I am an idiot.

This is a problem, if people do not want to drive according to weather and road conditions and it is other peoples responsibility to stay out of there way, so as to allow them to drive dangerously, then maybe we have to rethink how we teach driving. When I was learning to drive (both car and PCV)the teacher spent longer teaching myself to drive at the speed limit that I can see why it naturally becomes the way people drive. Instead, we should be  teaching people to drive according to the conditions, people must not be penalized for being hesitant but must be encouraged to be a safe and courteous driver.

Perhaps we should a year long learning to drive process, allowing us to then drive in all conditions accompanied by an expert. As learning to drive in late spring and summer does not equip you with the requisite skills for drivi ng during foggy, bleak winter conditions. There are times when driving at 20mph through a 30 limit is dangerous and equally, there are times on a motorway where exceeding 70mph will not be dangerous. Arbitrary speed limits will not save lives, despite what politicians will say.

Car-Sick Glasgow on their blog recently discussed something similar to this in reference to the Scottish Green Party, a party you would think were in favor of having more people cycling but even they seem to be stuck on the myth of car superiority. It is worth a read and engages well with why a speed limit is not the be all and end all in bicycle/car safety.

I also came home and again I looked at my Strava and discovered I had a 6th place and a 9th place in two segments. Now, before I become a Strava KOM chaser or some sort of pretentious roadie, I should also point out I came 1400th in another segment, possibly because the other segments had me wishing I was dead and breathing out my arse so to speak. I am however going to be slightly proud of these positions as I got them whilst riding a steel single speed with disc brakes and uber wide tires, all whilst being nearly 15kilos overweight.

Strava Cycling proof

With this I will now be off to shave my legs, get the lastest Rapha and a £5k bike or I could stop falling for the cycle industries marketing and just go out and ride. I have however been thinking about the hill climb season at the end of the year, mainly as I found an old article and wondered why people were spending so much money on impractable bikes, I feel this can all be done for under a £!000 if you think carefully. Bikeradar have released a video based on an idea similar to mine but I think the cost here may also be far too much. I would, however,  listen to what they say about bottom brackets.



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