metro bike 1

metro bike 1

It’s a silly thing to get into an argument on the internet. You can’t win. Even if all of your points are entirely valid, there’ll still be some nutcase with a keyboard in one hand and an axe in the other waiting to try and chop your opinion up and claim the resulting credit.

And yet, you can barely scroll three centimetres through a Facebook news feed these days without seeing a full-frontal clash over something or other, whether it be a topic as important as politics or as fleeting as football.

Thing is, most people know fine well that it’s a stupid thing to get involved in an argument on the internet, but sometimes, you just can’t help yourself. Sometimes, someone says something so rash that you can’t help but get involved. And in many ways, that’s what has happened here.

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Today, we went into a coffee shop, sat down to have a nice drink and a scroll through the depths of the internet, and were quickly confronted with an article entitled: “Cyclists are a menace and should be banned from the roads."

Someone hand me my keyboard, please. And my axe.

Our first reaction to the piece was “how very Katy - she doesn't deserve to have her name spelled right - Hopkins of you. Let’s have a read before we bite." Then we read. And then we bit.

Now, let’s make this clear. Everyone makes mistakes online. Everyone can slip up or take their eye off the ball every now and then if you're writing however many articles a week online. An all out attack on a whole community though? Aw hell no.

Our problem is with the nonsensical ignorance of the words in the article in question, not with the publication or the author who wrote it... Though we would advise having a slightly more open-minded view of the world.

So, where to start? Well, the reasons this author goes on to outline for why cyclists “should be banned from the roads" appear to be eightfold, and furthermore, they appear to be about as well thought through as actually writing an anti-cycling article in the first place with your Twitter handle next to the headline.

Anyway, let’s go through the point by point breakdown of why cyclists should hang up their cleats.

1) “The danger they pose both to what roads are for – cars – and what the pavements are for – walkers."

Right. First thing is first. We’re fairly sure roads are for transport in general rather than just for cars.

A quick Google will tell you that the first paved streets are believed to have been built around 4000 BC, and while we’re not encyclopaedic when it comes to our automobile knowledge, we’re inclined to say that the car wasn’t invented until, hmm, a bit later than that. In fact, we’re betting that a bicycle was probably on the road before the car, if we’re going to go down that route.

BUT ANYWAY.

Cyclists shouldn’t be riding on the pavement. Agreed. And fairly often you’ll find keen cyclists telling other cyclists exactly that. They should be in the bike lane and in the cycle paths, and usually, that’s exactly where you’ll find them, regardless of the fact that sometimes those cycle paths are the most poorly thought-out constructions of all time.

9. 'The Straight Into Trouble' Cycle Lane

9. 'The Straight Into Trouble' Cycle Lane

When cyclists stick to the roads, they’re no more putting cars in danger than buses or taxis. Remember drivers, you’re the ones kicking about in the one-tonne metal battering ram.

If a cyclist is cutting between lanes irresponsibly, they are an idiot, exactly as a driver would be if they did the same. Cyclists don’t make the roads dangerous. Neither do cars, buses, taxis or anything else. Idiots do.

More often than not cyclists are the most alert people out there – it’s hard not to stay alert when you’ve got wind piling in your face and journalists from the Metro honking their horns at you for no reason.

Our guess is that the author in question once got in a brief – very brief – argument with a cyclist at a red light and ever since have been so terrified of the outside world they’ve barely put down their copy of James Blunt’s debut album.

2) Bikes “look ridiculous"

We’re not sure why a form of transportation looking ridiculous could be considered reason for it to be taken off the road. My mate’s old Ford Ka looks like an 80-year-old red llama on the worst hangover of all time. So what? It does the job you need it to do as long as it’s going downhill.

More to the point though, road cycling can produce some of the memorable photographs around.

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“There’s a reason James Bond drives an Aston Martin," we’re told. Damn right. Who needs James Bond when you’ve got Steve Peat?

3) Using a bike leaves you with a “Peter Crouch physique"

It makes you a 6ft 6" Stoke centre forward does it? Anyway, sort out your posture and you’ll be fine. Next.

4) “A bike’s construction is frankly some kind of highly suspicious witchcraft – how do they even stay up at all?"

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Yes. It’s magic. Why not. That’s about as sensible as anything else suggested in this article. Someone show this writer the video of a basketball being thrown off a damn with backspin and watch their world explode.

5) Lycra is ugly

Yeah, fair enough, lycra ain’t the most attractive stuff in the world. Still, it seems awfully rich of a driver to be complaining about the smell, or omissions, of cyclists when those same cyclists probably spend an hour or so each day breathing in the hideous fumes coming out of your death-mobile.

6) Cyclists riding, in capital letters “SIDE BY SIDE" makes the road even more dangerous

Yawn. Please watch this video and inform yourself thusly.

7) ‘Speed Demons’ don’t think the Highway Code applies to them... and cyclists pedal through red lights

Again, this is a problem with dickheads that you’ve got rather than with cyclists. Plenty of drivers do the same thing, and frankly, it’s a hell of a lot safer to do it on a bike than it is a car.

The Highway Code also pretty much recommends that cyclists wear lycra whenever they ride, so let’s not pick and choose our references now.

8) “Any claims they make about saving the environment are surely negated by the amount of fumes emitted by vehicles queued up behind them."

THE IRONY. OH DEAR LORD THE IRONY. GET A BIKE AND THIS WOULDN'T BE A PROBLEM.

And somebody get me a pint and take this keyboard and this axe away from me. My fingers hurt. Peace.