Same shit, different day. Sometimes I get some different shit on the same day.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Were all DOOMED! (unless you ride a pushbike)

I'm sure you've seen them, the one where the bike gets hit by the invisible cars, the one where the bloke gets to think about the legs he'll never use again after some cage driving twat opens his car door in front of the bike and the musical "you go way too fa-a-ast, don't slow you're gonna cra-a-ash" SPLAT. The Transport for London sponsered ads allegedly aimed at making motorcycling safer. These ads enrage me beyond belief. I have lost count of how many times I have seen these ads whilst watching telly with my extremely anti-bike wife, every time I cringe and she gives me the "I-hate-your-bike-and-everything-about-it-I-wish-you-would-give-it-up-before-you-make-me-a-widow-and-your-kids-fatherless" look. There is another bike ad where a bloke on a Ducati goes for a pleasure ride and all along the route things pop up to warn him about potential hazards like a diesel spill and a tractor and he gets home safely after enjoying his ride. I've seen that ad once.
TfL also do equally disturbing and gory ads about drink driving, speeding and teenagers crossing the road which all feature someone dying grusomely.
New to our screens now is the cyclist ad, TfL loves cyclists almost as much as they love people who buy Oyster cards. What does the new ad feature? a cyclist mangled under a bus? , no, a cyclist navigating along a cycle lane that is wedged in between a bus lane and a busy four carriageway road with buses and lorries hurtling by?, no, a cyclist getting beeped at and bullied by motorists who are being held up by a second or two at traffic lights?, no, none of these.
What it features are loads of people saying how much they love riding their pushbike and footage of people cycling on empty roads in warm weather having a lovely time. Great, good for them, if only this was true but it's not is it? anyone who has ridden a pushbike in a busy town during rushhour will know that this is extremely unrealistic, in fact it just as unrealistic as the view that all motorcyclists are doomed to a gruesome death which is "promoted" by the biker ads.

Isn't it funny how TfL promote cycling and public transport (no mention of fires, crashes, delays and bombs in the Oyster ads) and lead you to believe that death is tailing you if you should dare to do something they don't want, like riding a motorbike or driving a car. Instead of showing gory deaths, how about promoting safer riding and driving, how about showing people ways to avoid the situations that could result in a gruesome death, how about showing ads teaching driving / riding skills. Did you know that there is a Police force sponsored nationwide initiative called Bikesafe ? I bet you didn't. Showing riders dying isn't going to save lives, teaching safer riding is.
So any bikers reading this should go and read this before their next ride, it might save your life.

On a final note here's a song for TfL and Ken Livingstone and the government;
"you've gone way too fa-a-ar, don't stop now you're gonna get battered by loads of irate voting bi -i-kers"

Ride safe, drive safe, walk safe. You know it makes sense.