Letter: Intrepid cyclist takes on killers

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The Independent Online
Sir: M Fiedler (letter, 2 May) is right that many motorists are inconsiderate. However, I cannot agree with her implication that cycling is too dangerous to contemplate. When you know what you are doing, the dangers of cycling are outweighed by the advantages, and indeed it was found that improved fitness gives cyclists a higher life expectancy than motorists (Cycling for Health and Fitness BMA/OUP 1992).

In a fair world, it would be those who wear armour-plated killing machines who should be required to dress in bright yellow. In practice all too many cyclists dress very inconspicuously indeed.

Probably the greatest mistake cyclists make is to cycle too close past parked cars and generally ride too far to the left. Motorists hoot at me for making legitimate use of right-hand lanes, but in my experience, if they hoot at you that's a sign you are doing the right thing!

Thanks to such principles, even a cautious coward such as myself can negotiate fast, wide roads such as the big roundabout under Spaghetti Junction with minimal trepidation and with much exhilaration.

ROBERT P CLARKE

Secretary, Birmingham Cycling Campaign

Birmingham

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