This has given cyclists the ultimate victim mentality. They feel unsafe, marginalised, and victimised. It is important that they do so, because these are the buzz words, in our modern Politically Correct world, that attract money. This is why cyclists play the blame game. It’s always someone else’s fault (usually motorists, but increasingly pedestrians) that cyclists get hurt.
But maybe cyclists should shoulder some responsibility for the deadly statistics. Maybe they should examine their own behaviour on the roads because it’s more than possible they contribute to their own untimely deaths.
The seven deadly sins of cycling
Cyclists have a very puffed up sense of their own importance. This is not surprising given a society that panders to their every need. They ask for and receive taxpayers and ratepayers money by the bucketful. They have pride of place at the front of a queue of motor vehicles at city traffic lights. They take great pride in their appearance, their expensive lycra outfits, their costly machines. They pride themselves on their fitness, their healthy commute to work, their lifestyle and, it goes without saying, their pride in doing their bit to ‘save the planet’. In short, their pride leads them to think they are better than others. Especially they believe they are morally superior to motorists.
They know they are superior because they can get away with just about any bad road behaviour. They run red lights, ride more than two abreast on highways, ride in the centre of the road, ride of footpaths, refuse to wear safety equipment, ride without a bell to signal their presence.
Any one of these behaviours can be deadly to themselves and for other road users. Without vehicle registration they think they are bullet-proof. Alas, the statistics say otherwise.
Cyclists are an angry, self-righteous bunch, even by their own reckoning. They are angry with motorists for ‘polluting’ the planet. They are angry with transport planners for providing motorists with roads. They are angry with truck drivers for helping the wheels of capitalist commerce turn round. They are angry with pedestrians for taking up room on footpaths. They are angry with ratepayers and taxpayers for not giving them everything to provide for their ‘special’ needs, NOW.
Anger leads to road rage, and road rage leads to death.
The root of cyclists wrath is envy. Cyclists envy motorists. They envy their weatherproof vehicles able to travel in all weathers while keeping their occupants warm and cosy. They envy their capacity to take themselves and their families where they want, when they want along with all their luggage, shopping, sports equipment and, yes, even cycles. They envy the technological changes that have made cars safer, more environmentally friendly and cheap to run as oil prices tumble. They envy their GPS systems – no more trying to map read while riding a bike, as we regularly see on Waiheke - a deadly disregard for what’s happening around them.
Cyclists have an insatiable appetite for more cycle lanes. There’s just never enough of other people’s money to satisfy their demands. Even an extra 4% forced on all Auckland ratepayers by way of a Transport Tax (levy) to pay for more cycleways isn’t enough. Like Oliver they just keep coming back for more. It’s the same in other cities. Residents needs have to give way to the demands of the few, the very few (less than 1%) of cyclists who commute to work.
It seems illogical to keep providing them with more, especially when they don’t even use cycle lanes when they are provided, because real men don’t use cycle lanes. It only becomes logical when you remember that cycle lanes aren’t there to make cycling safer. They are there to push motorists off the road. Cyclists are gluttons for punishing other road users.
The cycle lobbyist have been successful in depriving motorists and pedestrians of much needed money to maintain roads and built footpaths for pedestrian safety. While all Auckland ratepayers are paying hundreds of millions for inner-city OTT magenta cycleways the vast majority of Aucklanders have had the budgets to maintain their roads slashed. There is no money for new footpaths for pedestrian safety in Rodney or Pukekohe or Waiheke. No money left to build safer cycle routes to schools. It’s all been spent on the greedy needs of rich, Greenie cyclists who live or work in central Auckland. The same is happening in other cities.
Cycle Action, or whatever they have morphed into, Generation Zero and their UN Agenda 21 buddies in transport planning and social media lust after power. Power means money and money means they can get everything they want NOW. Their desire for power is intense and uncontrolled. It goes beyond cycling. Cycling is merely the badge they wear for the religion they promote, the religion of climate change.
Not all cyclists lust for power of course but those that do live and breath Cycle Action. Most cyclists aren’t like this. They just want to ride because they enjoy the activity for fitness, health and being in the outdoors. They are the majority but they get burned by the firebrand of the few.
Cyclists like to imagine themselves as fit, healthy and sporty. They promote their lust for power in terms of improving the health of the nation. For a few, a very few, this might be true. For the increasing number of moped (e-cycle) riders it’s all about a healthy image rather than the slothful truth. What these riders want is the badge of being ‘eco-friendly’ without the effort. They give little or no thought to the coal-fired energy, or the mining of precious metals, that went into producing their e-batteries. Their legs go round as slowly as their brains. They give no thought to the environmental damage their e-batteries will do when they’re consigned to the scrap heap. Deadly for the planet.
If cyclists gave up their seven deadly sins and promoted their sport in a more co-operative rather than antagonistic spirit they might improve their safety statistics. They might find themselves regarded as just another road user to be respected along with all other road users, as they always used to be.
What this special pleading and unnecessary waste of money does is increase the feeling of other road users that cyclists should receive the same treatment as them. In other words, they should pay road tax, licence fees, and tolls. That is how motoring safety was enhanced. The same could happen for cycling. Then, and only then can their bad behaviour be brought under control and punishment meted out for pursuing their seven deadly sins.