The future of cycling….kind ofShareThis
Today we feature a guest blog from Beth Anderson, a very active voice in the cycling twitterati and wider London cycling community. Beth cycled when she was young and mountain biked at university but her love affair with riding a bicycle really started after moving to London. After buying an upright Dutch bicycle, Beth fell in love with cycling as a means of transport and a way of life and is now the proud owner of a self-built fixed-gear bicycle.
This blog is her rather amusing take on how manufacturers can improve bicycles for cyclists. The blog originally featured on Beth’s blog Wheels, Pedals, Person.
Recently there have been quite a few ‘pundits’ hawking their views about cyclists. I think they deserve to be listened to so I’ve gone through a few of their ‘suggestions’ and have been thinking how we can incorporate these helpful ideas into bicycle manufacturing.
It’s been suggested that cyclists should have ‘headlights’ and indicators, so I’m going to propose that this be taken into account when designing new bicycles; Each new bicycle will have two ‘headlights’ and two matching rear lights. They will also have, as a legal standard, two left turn indicators mounted front and rear and two right turn indicators similarly mounted.
There are often comments that cyclists should wear helmets (ignore the evidence that suggests that helmets provide minimal protection to the cyclists themselves, if they want to bicycle, they should at least look like idiots!). So, I propose a new standard of helmet that will really protect cyclists in all but the most terrible of incidents. This would be a protective shell around the cyclist, preventing any injury should they be hit by a vehicle. I’m going to also propose that this should have safety glass fitted to enable the cyclist to see the road ahead clearly. It need not, however, enable the cyclist to see behind them as this is not important as they will be travelling forwards, mostly.
As this necessary equipment will add to the weight of the vehicle, I also propose that bicycles now be fitted with four wheels instead of the popular and comical ‘two’ so that the new safety equipment can be carried. These wheels should also be widened so that more rubber is used to help the tyre industry and aid the braking coefficient of the — now heavier — bicycle.
It’s clear from popular opinion that cyclists hold up other road users when “they’re only trying to get on with their important days”. So, I’m also proposing a rudimentary petroleum-based combustion engine to enable the cyclist to travel at the correct speed so as not to inconvenience other road users and aid in the transportation of the correct safety equipment.
As it’s totally unfair to ask other road-users to see a cyclist unless they’re wearing bright clothing, I propose that the new ‘helmet’ be painted a jolly, bright colour such as orange. Bicycles should only be allowed on the roads if they are highly-visible so other road users are saved the time of actually looking for cyclists.
Carrying only one passenger is un-efficient and, quite frankly, a bit selfish. After all, why do with yourself what you can do with 4 other people! So, all bicycles should now be fitted with at least four other seats, even if they are never used and you cycle alone. After all, you might never know when you have a small shoulder bag to carry and this can be carried on one of the spare seats of the bicycle.
We all know from reading tabloids and hearing the unsolicited opinions of some drivers that bicyclists continually flaunt the law by filtering alongside traffic jams. This must be stopped. We live in Britain, for goodness sake, and we know how to queue! So, in order to ensure that cyclists never commit traffic offences, as other road users don’t, I propose the registration of all bicycles and the mandatory fitting of number plates front and rear.
As we all need to pull together in these bleak times, I also propose that we tax bicycles due in part to their proposed petrol engines which I’m dubbing ‘eco-pedals’ (as they should be thought of as environmentally friendly so giving them an ‘eco’ name is really important!). All bicyclists will therefore pay ‘bicycle excise duty’ which will also give the cyclist the legal right to shout at pedestrians; “You don’t pay road tax” if the pedestrian should set foot on a road.
Let’s face it, nobody likes a city crammed with noise, buildings and people. We all hark back to our ancestors’ pastoral days, so I propose that all the old buildings we don’t use much, like old churches, schools and hospitals be demolished and nice open spaces be created near to the few buildings that will remain in the city, such as Top Shop and Starbucks. We can all then roam free in our cities and be able to park whenever we want a skinny latte or some leggings.
I’ve engaged a bicycle design firm to produce a prototype of this new bicycle – I’m sure you’ll agree…it’s the future!
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