Only hours after Bradley Wiggins won an Olympic gold in the cycling time trial and 28 year old man was hit by an Olympic media bus and killed (BBC).
The fact that this is about the 61st death on our roads of a cyclist this year is almost secondary. Indeed another cyclist killed in another town would not have made news so fast but the situation of this death makes it clear that we are failing to protect cyclists effectively even when you would think there would be a good chance that drivers at the Olympics may have had some cycle awareness training. The driver of the bus has been held on “suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.”
The day of the opening ceremony for the Olympics the monthly Critical Mass Ride was taking place in London, which is an informally organised protest ride about the situation and provision for cyclists which also happens in a number of other countries around the world. Except that ride didn’t just happen as it does every month, the police decided that it was a threat to the peace and harmony of the Olympic games and decided to use kettling tactics to detain the riders and arrest 182 of them, including a 13 year old. Apparently riding your bike near the Olympic park can get you in a police cell for 5 hours and a bail order to not enter the Borough of Newham during the Olympics.
So it seems we have a group of people that wants a city that is safe to cycle in, which preserves the environment and has overwhelming health and economic benefits but an Olympics which is only concerned with itself and a local government that is all to willing to support their every wish. LOCOG has made these games the worst in living memory, they have totally ripped out the heart of what I thought of the Olympics when I was growing up as a kid and watched every second of every sport that was on TV. The way the population of London has been railroaded, from missiles deployed on blocks of flats, to the insensitive way the Olympic lanes were brought in, I have just lost any appetite for it.
Boris has done nothing to listen to the needs of the people. His promise to Go Dutch is yet to be seen but this death mustn’t be in vain. Of course, it is in vain, especially for him and his family. A senseless waste of a life because a driver couldn’t wait 2 seconds for a safe place to overtake or was driving too fast.
I’ve been hit twice this year, one by a car coming from the other direction which turned into a road across me. The another with a motor bike hitting me from behind. The close calls don’t even register anymore, it’s expected. But sometimes I do wonder if on the next ride it could be curtains for me or friends that ride.