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How Safe Is Cycling?

theridersofrohan dangerous drivers & dangerous cyclists (947 comments)

In the interest of full disclaimer, I am the author of CycleMaps, a popular cycling app and a very keen cyclist.

Here in the UK, cycling has increased massively in popularity in the past 4 years or so - the country has had some successes in international cycling competitions, plus London has a very strongly pro-cycling mayor. This has led to the rise of a large number of very casual cyclists - which I think is a very good thing. However among them you get a non trivial number of people that think it's magically fine to drive in the dark without any lights or high-viz jacket, cycling on the pavement scaring pedestrians, or running all red lights. This leads to a lot of antagonism between drivers and cyclists and basically can give us cyclists a bad name. On the other hand, there are drivers that have been known to do massively stupid things, like hit a cyclist, not stop, and then tweet about it.

I am very optimistic about the future as mass cycling in big western cities is still quite a new phenomenon, so I think that things will gradually ease out. In the mean time, if you want to be safe, my advice would be:

* Obey the rules of traffic. Always.
* Make your self visible. Drivers just need to see you
* Be obvious. Make it 100% clear where you intend to go. No surprises. A driver that sees you and knows where you will turn, will not cut you over
* Respect. Pedestrians, drivers, cyclists.
* *NEVER* overtake lorries / trucks from the inside. They cannot see you.
* Learn how to drive. This way, you will learn how to obey the law and (perhaps more importantly) you will understand how it feels to drive next to a cyclist and what kind of perception drivers have
* Where possible, avoid big streets. It's much more possible than you may think. Get a bicycle case for your smartphone. Use (shameless plug) my app, google, or anything else you may like

be safe, and enjoy cycling!

about 9 months ago

No iPhone Apps, Please — We're British

theridersofrohan Re:iphone (393 comments)

But it's something that effects even pseudo-public sector- look at the BBC, their iPlayer app prioritised the iPhone well ahead of any platform, despite being completely against the BBCs requirement of providing equal access to content that license payers pay for.

(emphasis mine). Hello Mr Murdoch! Let me correct you: There is *no* BBC iPlayer app, you just go to the BBC iPlayer website, click on the program you want to watch, which launches quicktime / the movie player on the iphone. No iphone specific app. In fact, a lot of the bbc website (including news), does not fully work on the iphone as it's using flash.

But thanks for trying ;-)

about 4 years ago

Adobe Calls Out Apple With Ads In NY Times, WSJ

theridersofrohan Re:We Want to (731 comments)

The point of blocking flash is to encourage people to ONLY develop for the iPhone. Development costs generally prohibit most apps from getting cross developed for multiple platforms. Sometimes things like Flash facilitate cross-platform development.

No. Apple / The Steve are advocating HTML5 as an alternative to flash. HTML5 is as open and cross platform as you can get. You don't develop for Adobe's platform, you develop against a standard, that can run on the iphone, android, windows mobile, web os and any html5 compatible browser. Encouraging people to use HTML5 is a terrible way to make iphone-only apps.

more than 4 years ago

Adobe Calls Out Apple With Ads In NY Times, WSJ

theridersofrohan Re:We Want to (731 comments)

The point of blocking flash is to encourage people to ONLY develop for the iPhone. Development costs generally prohibit most apps from getting cross developed for multiple platforms. Sometimes things like Flash facilitate cross-platform development. If they get developers to only create apps for the iPhone instead of cross-platform, then people have more reasons to buy the iPhone hardware as the apps they want would only exist on the iPhone.

No it's not. Apple is promoting HTML5 as an alternative to flash (which is valid for 99%of the uses of flash). Guess what? HTML5 is not apple-specific, and runs on android etc. HTML5 is as cross platform as you get.

more than 4 years ago

WHO Raises Swine Flu Threat Level

theridersofrohan Re:Swine Flu (557 comments)

it's Parmageddon!

more than 5 years ago

I prefer to consume my caffeine from a vessel of ...

theridersofrohan Heavy Metal (571 comments)

I prefer to consume my caffeine out of the skulls of my defeated enemies! With a hint of milk.

more than 5 years ago

Another Man Dies After Marathon Gaming Session

theridersofrohan Re:Only one thing to do then .. (486 comments)

Gun control basically is the same thing: for a gun to really be a problem one must already be prepared to break the law. So given that a willingness to break the law is already a prerequisite for a gun crime to take place: do you really think that the culprit is gonna give a damn that he's breaking a law by obtaining or carrying a gun?
That argument has two major holes:

a) It is assuming that people are rational beings and that all actions are well premeditated. It's pretty well known by now that people are irrational (hey, how's that for a slashdot audience, this is a blog entry by the gmail creator!). Basically, in a surge of emotion (think domestic fights, a depressed / severely stressed kid (say a highschool shooting)), if one can easily have access to guns (by opening the local cabinet, going to a store, etc.), they can cause massively more damage, significantly more easily.

b) That the massive number of guns going around in a society will always be used by the people they were intended in the way they were intended. This is patently not true, as demonstrated by kids getting access to their grandfather's gun, or various people we (the west) have massively funded and provided guns to (think Bin Laden and the Mujahideen's in Afganistan vs the Soviets, or Saddam versus the Iranians).

There's also, of course, a moral argument. The only primary purpose of the gun is to kill. The whole protection stuff is completely secondary; a gun 'protects' by killing, or threatening to kill. I, personally, think that society has an obligation to protect its citizens, and banning a device the purpose of which is to kill is a good idea.

Guns don't kill people, people kill people. And monkeys kill people. If you give them a gun. (to quote eddie izzard)

more than 6 years ago


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