You may or may not have seen that I’m doing the London to Brighton bike ride on Sept. 8th for charity. I'm an ambassador for KEMP Hospice in Kidderminster and I’m actively involved with some fundraising events.
So now I’m promoting my own! I am fundraising specifically for ’KEMP for Kids’. ’KEMP for Kids’ provides essential support for young people who have lost a loved one in their family.
The difference KEMP are making to these Kids is just amazing. So I decided to ride 54 miles and navigate across a massive hill in order to raise some pennies for this great cause.
So instead of buying me that Hot Chocolate you can donate the price of one! The average Hot Chocolate I reckon costs about £2.50.
I'm really grateful for your support! By the way as part of my training for this event I have already cycled about 600 miles and it will probably be closer to 900 by the Sept.8th. So it maybe 54 miles on the day, it's the preparation that has clocked up the miles, together with some sore legs along the way.
I do and I'm also a cyclist and a Dutchman. I grew up in a cycling nation, where the bicycle has priority over cars and cars respect the cyclist. In The Netherlands most cyclists don't even wear helmets, because they know that the risk of an accident is very low and the car driver would more than likely get prosecuted if they knocked someone off a bike.
I've lived in the UK for 36 years and the cyclist is still treated like a bl..dy nuisance on the road. Car drivers treat us cyclists like we shouldn't even be on the road.
I won't generalise but most car drivers speed, yes indeed, most break the law and drive way over the speed limit. Do I? I did in the past, so I'm not one to judge, but I don't anymore, it saves fuel, it's safer and you don't get there any faster, FACT.
So if you take disrespect for cyclists add some speeding to the mix, you've got a recipe for death and disaster.
I like to cycle whenever the weather is fine and dry. I don't live in the middle of the countryside but I'm also not in the city. I live and cycle near a few towns and yes the traffic at times can be heavy, although actually most of the time it's fairly quiet, but that's part of the problem. Car drivers also believe they are invincible and that mostly there are no cars coming the other way...wrong!
And...car drivers see me as a massive nuisance on the road and for some bizarre reason decide to speed past me. Whether these are small cars, 4W drive cars, people carriers, taxis, trucks, vans, ambulance, fire brigade, police, basically everyone does it.
I am convinced that those drivers have never been a cyclist as they would know what it felt like to be out in the elements, very often with strong winds in this country and to have vehicles speeding past you, you do feel very vulnerable and very much in danger. I know keen cyclists who have given up on cycling and sold their bike, because they are in fear of the British roads.
And when they pass at high speed they have no regard as to what might be coming the other way. I witnessed 5 near miss head-on collisions in just 3 cycle trips. And I see at least 1 on most trips. They are in such a hurry to get past me that they take risks and have no regard for oncoming traffic and pass even though there might be blind spots.
At least on every journey, people pull out in front of me, cut me up and speed past me so close that their wing mirrors nearly clip my handle bar.
These drivers may have their own children and I wonder how they would feel if they knew, when their kids were out on their bikes, that cars behave in this way?!
They would soon change their own attitude towards cyclists.
So if you are reading this and you can look in the mirror and identify with the fact that you are one of these drivers who has no patience for cyclists, now is the time to change your attitude.
I see many drivers who slow down to a snail’s pace for horse and rider, but I virtually witness nobody doing the same for a human cyclist.
I've just been to Amsterdam for a short holiday and OK it's my home city, so I will be biased. The inner city is almost completely void of cars now. It's a joy to be seeing how cyclists are given priority and are treated with respect, something I feel probably won't happen in the UK EVER!
Some great comments and discussions started as a result of this article, please read them below in a special storify slideshow.
I also reviewed their financial strategy document and noticed their strategy for increasing car park charges. Note that car parks are deemed as low risk and high impact in their risk matrix shown in this document. It also shows that the increase in car park charges will deliver an extra £35k in 2012/13 and £70k in 2013/14.
Also have a look at their Wyre Forest Forward document and note the council's aims. It is commendable especially the statement "help me with my financial situation". Obviously someone forgot to look at this chart when increasing the car park charges.
I had requested under the 'freedom of information act', the actual financial data on the income and expenditure for the car parks and was astounded on how much money they actually make from the car parks.
£1,000,000 from car parks alone and a total of 1,400,000 of income, delivering £500,000 of profit for the council.
Click the link below to read the data for yourself.