Thursday, 20 October 2011

Cyclists are a passionate bunch

If you are on Twitter (Follow me!), you might have seen the tweet ‘I hate Cyclists!!!!! #getacar.’ by the English rugby player, Danny Care a couple of weeks ago. I don’t think he realised the storm which was about to ensue. Of course it didn’t do him any favours that Mark Cavendish retweeted the offending message to thousands of avid cyclists who responded by barraging Care with defensive tweets about cycling, and rightly so! Armstrong's retaliation suitably put Care in his place ‘All cyclists? That's a bit of an ignorant comment, no? #ihavegotmanycarsthankstoridingmybike’. Profusely apologising, Care deleted the tweet and said that he didn’t realise cyclists were so passionate. Passionate???! Who would have thought! I don’t know about you but this is not news to my ears, sometimes two wheels ain’t as easy as A to B on these streets, passion is what drives us!
So to my satisfaction the other day at work I was once again witness to the passion we cyclists have for our delightful mode transport. I turned on my computer to find a string of e-mails in reply to the following message sent from our environmental officer:

‘Cyclists leaving their locks on the stands inside the cycle shed in an attempt to ‘reserve’ their parking space. This is totally unacceptable and not fair on other cyclists…Please remember to remove your locks whenever you remove your bikes….Security will be posting signage in the shed to remind everyone of this, and hopefully we won’t resort to more stringent enforcement measures.’
I don’t know about you but I think it is commonplace that cyclists do this to save them from lugging their heavy locks to and from work everyday,  certainly not to reserve a bike space. This e-mail was another ill-informed attack on cyclists, where assumption overtakes reason. But don’t worry my friend! My e-mail inbox grew thick and fast with reply e-mails from fellow cyclists justifying the real reasons why cycle locks are left in bike parks. What started as another negative cycling statement turned into an interesting, logical debate and reminded me that my work has a healthy cycling community. 
So rest assured! As with all good debates, a solution was suggested and accepted. Bolts will be installed in the shed for cyclists to store their locks on and signage will be put up to inform people that it’s ok to lock their bikes to stands with locks on. A much nicer message on signs than what was initially planned I think you would agree! And also a lesson learned for the environmental officer to not make uninformed judgements.
My conclusion is don’t underestimate the voice of the cycling community, we are a passionate bunch!


ndru said...

Uhm, I will beg do differ on this one. I have it when people using bikes leave their locks on the stands. Firstly it looks horrible because after a while there are quite a few locks, secondly because sometimes it makes it quite difficult to lock your bike.
I mean seriously unless you have a 10kg motorcycle chain, why can't you have it on you. There are so many ways of attaching it to your bike. Plus the point of having a lock is that you can go an park your bike anywhere, anytime. Leaving it behind means you can only lock it to that one location (or others where you've left your locks at).
I appreciate that being sort of attacked from all angles (or at least this is how it feels sometimes) it is easy to overreact, but just as we'd expect taking responsibility from others, we sould apply it to ourselves to. Cycling doesn't make us above others (thinking that it does gets us into trouble in the first place).

Iainecg said...

My lock liveds at work, it weighs a fair amount, certainly more than a kilo, so next time you go out on your bike take a couple of bags of sugar with you long with your day clothes, lunch lights... oh and cover 25 miles each way including some big hills... I tend not to stop on the commute for some reason so we lug something I only need at work with me?! The key thing that is clearly being missed is that there's more cyclists than spaces... Easy to fix just remove 1 car parking space!

Anonymous said...

It was actually Mark Cavendish who sent that reply, not Armstrong. Unless Armstrong retweeted it, obviously.

Agree with ndru too - we get this in our communal, oversubscribed bike lockup. Particular bad behavior is inserting D-locks across the entry to the bays, preventing other people from using them at all.

Installing storage loops seems a very sensible solution, and one I wish our facilities guys would consider.

And Ian, you really should consider obeying Rule #5 - the extra weight is a training aid ;-)

Jemma said...

@Anonymous, I stand corrected, it was indeed Mark Cavendish, I think lance Armstrong sent a reply to mark on the lines of that Danny Care's tweet sounded like some of the people who commentate for the sport. I shall correct!

@Iainecg I agree with you on this one. If you have to carry other items to work for instance a laptop, then a really heavy bike chain makes the commute all the more difficult. Luckily my bike chain is not so heavy and fits over my handle bars easily, but if it was any heavier than it would be difficult.

commuterjohn said...

Hi, I never take any notice of locks left attached to cycle hoops, if I get there and it is empty I use it, if the guy who owns the lock turns up then they can unlock it and use it somewhere else!
In my work place about half the people lock their locks to the overhead roof posts when not in work which is tidy some leave them on the floor. As a site supervisor and cyclist to work I just keep an eye open for unused locks as people will leave the job and the lock and then cut them off at the end of the year.

Shaun McDonald said...

I don't understand why people abandon their bike locks in random places. I use my bike in such a way, that leaving a lock somewhere would be impossible, as I will stop somewhere on my way home. What happens if something happens on the way that means you need to suddenly, and unexpectedly stop and lock up your bike on your way to work?

I have cycled in snow and ice, with both panniers full, and then about 7KG on top of the rack too.

I generally carry a change of clothes, my lunch, sometimes a laptop, and a bunch of other stuff I might need like cables, and leaflets all the time. My lights are fixed to my bike, and the lock is always there, so that I don't forget it.

There was once, when I was a teenager and I had forgotten my bike lock when going to the shops, so cycled back home to get it, only to have my front wheel kicked in for no apparent reason, which wouldn't have happened had I taken my lock in the first place.

jim davis said...

Bike locks is a security locks for your bicycle or motorbike. It is very helpful for us. You must have a bike lock when you go to outside.
Bike Locks

Anonymous said...

I haven't my bike lock yet.I move freely from everywher.Now i decided to buy a bike lock because my motorcycle helmets are just lost.

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James Ryder said...

What started as another negative cycling statement turned into an interesting, logical debate and reminded me that my work has a healthy cycling locks

Becca@Locksmith Melbourne said...

Very cool! It is difficult to find good bike locks!
but there are bike locks that can be strong and fun at the same time. Also, those locks didn't scratch your bike and come in recycled packaging.

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