Benefits of cycle training

Discussion in 'Health, Fitness and Training' started by Alex Potter, Jan 9, 2011.

  1. Alex Potter

    Gab Guest

    I think you may be quite a way out there:

    The emergency services were called to 13 incidents involving cyclists
    using London’s Barclays Cycle Hire Scheme bikes during the two months
    following its launch at the end of July.

    Data from Transport for London also showed that there were a total of
    34 recorded incidents involving users of the distinctive navy blue
    ‘Boris Bikes’ up to the end of September.
    Gab, Jan 10, 2011
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  2. Without having read the rest of the thread my immediate thoughts.

    I did cycling proficiency at age 11 or so, but I've had no other formal
    cycle training. I have learned to drive, sufficiently recently that
    I've done the theory test, including the hazard perception. I keep an
    up-to-date copy of the highway code in the house, and have two different
    editions of Cyclecraft.

    I think of myself as a reasonably safe cyclist, but I've still had minor
    accidents. Don't 90% of drivers think of themselves as above average?
    How do I judge whether my cycling actually *is* safer or not?

    Only one incident resulted in injury bad enough to seek treatment, and
    that was a result of a chain slipping under pressure - a fault I'd been
    aware of for a while and hadn't got fixed. Even that was just cuts and
    bruises with a suspected broken finger - they never did seem entirely
    sure even after several of them peered at the X-ray.

    I would definitely encourage anyone taking up cycling as an adult to see
    if they can get cheap adult cycling lessons in their area, and to read
    Cyclecraft at the very least. Two acquaintances have been hit by car
    doors in the last couple of weeks, and *that* at least is something
    which can most be avoided.
    Eleanor Blair, Jan 10, 2011
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  3. Alex Potter

    Owen Dunn Guest

    I can remember doing cycling proficiency, but I can't remember much
    about it. Cycling around cones in the school playground and sticking
    your arm out (properly, at 90 degrees to your torso, not just waggling
    your wrist vaguely) are the only firm memories.
    I think of myself as a below average driver. I hope knowing I'm not
    very good helps mitigate the effects of not being very good!

    I'm much less sure whether I'm a very good cyclist. I feel superior
    to those who go around unlit or run through red lights, but that's not
    saying much.

    Friends I regard as better cyclists seem to have more scrapes than me.

    Owen Dunn, Jan 10, 2011
  4. Alex Potter

    Simon Brooke Guest

    On the contrary, on a world scale there is plenty of evidence that
    where more people wear helmets, many more people have serious head
    injuries. I'm not implying causation there, merely observing the
    correlation. But the mechanisms here are clearly not simple or obvious.

    One of the possible issues is that a cycle helmet isn't even nearly
    strong enough to mitigate the effects of a collision with a moving
    motor vehicle, but its potential to aggravate rotational injuries - the
    most serious category of head injuries - remains.

    In brief, there is not yet nearly enough information to tell whether
    helmets kill more people than they save or save more people than they
    kill, but on the existing evidence we can say pretty clearly that the
    effect - which ever way it goes - is marginal.

    -- :: PGP public key on home page

    ;; USER ERROR: replace user and press any key to continue

    Version: GnuPG v1.4.9 (GNU/Linux)

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    Simon Brooke, Jan 10, 2011
  5. Alex Potter

    Phil Cook Guest

    Ride in an unsteady manner. I find if I weave about in the narrow cycle
    lane heading south over Vauxhall Bridge I get more room. A long blonde wig
    may also have beneficial effects.
    Phil Cook, Jan 10, 2011
  6. Get a set of Reelights mounted in positions as much like a Boris bike as
    you can.
    David Damerell, Jan 10, 2011
  7. Alex Potter

    Phil W Lee Guest

    But those "incidents" included "a seven-year-old child who barely
    avoided injury after a docking station that had been hit by a car fell
    on them."

    I don't think that can be used as a measure of the cycling safety of
    the bikes themselves, or their users.
    Phil W Lee, Jan 11, 2011
  8. Alex Potter

    Phil W Lee Guest

    There is at least the possibility that training may increase
    confidence to the point that greater risks are undertaken.
    Without some statistics, it's pretty much impossible to know if the
    overall effect is positive.
    Phil W Lee, Jan 11, 2011
  9. Alex Potter

    Mark Guest

    Indeed. However my experience of roadcraft training is that it makes
    you more aware of the real dangers, rather than making you
    overconfident. On such training I have also been shown videos and
    reconstructions of horrific collisions and, as a result, I am more
    (\__/) M.
    (='.'=) Due to the amount of spam posted via googlegroups and
    (")_(") their inaction to the problem. I am blocking some articles
    posted from there. If you wish your postings to be seen by
    everyone you will need use a different method of posting.
    Mark, Jan 11, 2011
  10. Alex Potter

    Toom Tabard Guest

    The topic is cycle training, not a re-run of the debate on whether
    cushioning material and a rigid shell will cease to have any
    mitigatory effect when a 'moving motor vehicle' is involved

    Effective cycle training will involve practical skills, knowledge and
    raising awareness of hazards and how to cope with them. If, as
    intended, that has the effect of cycling with awareness, acting
    defensively in relation to hazards, ensuring your are seen and
    choosing to use physical protection, then these factors are likely to
    be cumulative in terms of avoiding or mitigating the effects of
    accidents. Individuals can of course make their own choices and
    judgements, but the training should make them better at doing so. As
    part of this, if any individual still needs statistical evidence
    before concluding that their bonce would be effectively protected by a
    helmet, or that high-viz improves their chances of being seen, that
    is, of course, their free choice. For others to conclude these issues
    are self-evident is also their free choice.

    Toom Tabard, Jan 11, 2011
  11. Alex Potter

    Peter Clinch Guest

    So given paragraph 1 above, do please stop dragging it back for someone
    else to have a snipe at.
    Peter Clinch, Jan 11, 2011
  12. Alex Potter

    Rob Morley Guest

    Being aware that a study showed drivers pass closer to a helmeted
    rider, and given that wearing a helmet may make a cyclist more likely to
    take risks, what happens to "reasonably obvious"? Is it better to be
    protected (to some unquantifiable degree) in the event of major
    impact, or to reduce the chance of it occurring in the first place?
    Rob Morley, Jan 11, 2011
  13. As I was also a motorcyclist for many years, I remember the same arguments
    over motorcycle helmets. I also remember the slogans, such as "Helmets,
    yes. Compulsion, no."

    For many years I did not wear a cycle helmet. Now, I nearly always do. But
    I don't agree with having any 'Nanny-State' laws compelling their use. IMO
    it should remain a matter of choice. Likewise I would object to
    *compulsory* training, although when I was a kid I enjoyed doing the
    'Cycling Proficiency' course and getting the certificate and badge. I think
    most kids would still enjoy that, and it should be offered free. But not as
    a compulsory requirement.

    - .. -- Tim .-., Jan 12, 2011
  14. Alex Potter

    Peter Clinch Guest

    I'd say practical considerations (supplying the trainers, setting
    up some sort of registration scheme to ensure it's done and you
    can't ride without etc. etc. etc.) will assure that training is
    never compulsory, whatever some notional ideal might be.

    So it wouldn't happen IMHO, but even assuming it did then training
    someone with no interest in being trained is a pointless
    box-ticking exercise which just drags down keener participants. So
    I'd agree it /shouldn't/ happen, on top of doubting it
    realistically could.

    Peter Clinch, Jan 12, 2011
  15. Alex Potter

    Rob Morley Guest

    Takes you back, doesn't it? I was riding motorcycles before the helmet
    law, but I wasn't old enough to be on the road. It didn't stop me from
    riding lidless on country roads and nice summer days a few years later.
    Absolutely - I think it should be compulsory that training be /offered/
    by schools/councils, not necessarily below cost although it should be
    subsidised for low incomes. When I was at school you had to do
    cycling proficiency before you were allowed to cycle to school - that
    makes a lot more sense than the nonsense you hear these days about
    schools banning cycling to school because of safety concerns, or
    helmets being made compulsory for some activity or other as if that
    is the best way to ensure safety.
    Rob Morley, Jan 12, 2011
  16. Alex Potter

    Simon Mason Guest

    Worked this morning at 0600 down our lane. I sensed a car behind
    trying to overtake where there wasn't really enough room due to parked
    cars, so I checked to see if my wallet was in my RHS rear pocket. He
    then held back until it was clear and safe.
    Simon Mason, Jan 12, 2011
  17. Alex Potter

    David Guest

    This is a very valid point actually, I was tought to ride a bike and road
    sense by my father at a very young age and have ridden without an on road
    accident for the best part of 40 years.
    On the other hand when I was 20 I decided to get a driving licence, I had
    ridden motorbikes off road so knew how to use a clutch. I went and bought a
    car, drove it home, applied for a cancellation and passed my test two and a
    half weeks later never having had a lesson.
    Should I have been given a licence? That's not really important but I've
    had an infinite amount more cycle training than driving training.

    David, Jan 12, 2011
  18. I've toyed with the idea of fitting a kiddie seat and putting a life-like
    doll in it. That might make drivers give more room!

    - .. -- Tim .-., Jan 13, 2011
  19. Alex Potter

    Matt B Guest

    On the face of it, an excellent idea - motorists would almost certainly
    behave more cautiously around you.

    OTOH, knowing you were better "protected", you would be more likely to
    take greater risks around motor vehicles and, who knows, that may
    therefore cancel out or even turn the advantage into a disadvantage.
    Matt B, Jan 13, 2011
  20. Alex Potter

    Peter Clinch Guest

    That's supposition, so "would" does not belong there.

    Beyond that, the point of the protection is more overtaking space when
    passed. Quite how one extends something pretty much outside of one's
    direct control (it's the overtaker who decides when and how) to taking
    greater risks around motor vehicles isn't entirely clear.

    Risk compensation is easiest when you can step something up over a
    spectrum. Better brakes? brake a little later. Better handling?
    faster through the corners. But "usually get more space when other
    people overtake" doesn't really work like that. Especially as it's
    "usually", as in better brakes are better brakes, not usually better brakes.

    I get more space on my 'bent. I don't use different tactics on it.

    Peter Clinch, Jan 13, 2011
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