Actually, I'm not entirely sure what I am apologising for. The fact is that many people might have been pleased that I've been.....a little quiet recently. I am a whiny lil sh!t according to some YouTube commentators after all (whatever that means!).
Why have I been quiet?
A number of reasons really. I've certainly been busy. Busy with family and very busy with work. Oh and my home laptop decided to die on me as well, which didn't help. That's not the whole answer though.
The truth is that sometimes doing what I do, helmet camera vloging and cycle campaigning, is hard. It takes a bit out of you when you follow the links in your web statistics and read why some commentators are linking to your site. Sometimes people link here because they agree with me, sometimes because they find my arguments interesting, and sometimes because they disagree with me. That's all perfectly fine and part of healthy debate.
What I'm not always so happy about are the personal insults and the general hate that doing what I do sometimes stirs up.
...a prize prick who is only making things worse for all of us. Dooring is too good for him
'Magnatom : Fannybaws' is a T Shirt I would definitely buy into.
Yes, I know...the bottom half of the internet is best ignored and 99% of the time I generally do ignore it. Just sometimes, if you've had a tough week for other reasons, coming across people talking about you like that.... just gets to you, especially when these people are cyclists from Glasgow.
However, every cloud has a silver lining.
...he continues to paint Glasgow as a dangerous place to cycle in. Which is rubbish.
The above comment from the same pages stuck in my mind for some reason and it was only a day later when commuting home and I saw a cyclist cycling on the pavement that it became clear to me that the above comment was, whilst not insulting in any way (a difference of opinion which is fine), just didn't make any sense.
If you have 22 minutes to spare you can actually hear me thinking about the logic I use in this post, in this video.
Oh, you don't have a spare 22 minutes?.....Oh, OK, read on......
Why, if the roads aren't dangerous (or perceived to be dangerous) in Glasgow, do people ride on the pavement?
I'm not the first person to come up with this insight, but it's power at that moment (see the video above) wasn't any less because of that. Sometimes an idea just slots into your head and it makes perfect sense. A moment of clarity.
If the roads were truly safe, and felt truly safe, then why would anyone want to cycle on a pavement, where you have to contend with pedestrians, kerbs, uneven surfaces (I think they are worse on the pavement than on the roads!), people walking dogs, lampposts, street signs, etc? Pavements, like everything else, are designed not for people, they are designed to not get in the way of the roads.
Cities are designed around roads, not roads around cities.
Therefore, if you want to cycle the quickest way from A to B then your first choice would be roads. Only very occasionally will a path be quicker than a road. Roads are designed for convenience, yet, many cyclists still chose to cycle on the pavement.
Well, the answer is obvious.
Yet, there are some cyclists who insist, just as the poster above did, that,
The roads are fine. I have no problem on the roads!
Yes Mr Poster but you and I have built up, over a long period of time, skill sets to deal with the conditions that we face on the roads. Even I, 'Magnatom: Fannybaws' took a long time to build up the courage to cycle on some of the roads that I routinely cycle on now, and I'm no shrinking violet. I certainly wouldn't have cycled on the roads on that video above when I first started.
So yes, the poster might be right, the roads might well be fine for him. It might well be fine for him and another 0.9% of the population who are willing to fit in around the motor car in far from ideal conditions.
Congratulations. I applaud you. Seriously.
I used to think like that to, until I had kids. As they grew older and they learned to ride their bikes, I realised that the only way they could ride anywhere except our cul-de-sac, a few quiet local country roads, and a canal path, was if I spent an awful lot of time teaching them the methods I have learned over the years.
That is the difference between me and the poster. I've chosen not to accept the status quo. I've chosen not to accept that we have to ride defensively everywhere we go. I've decided that cycling needs to be easy and to feel safe, and I'm sorry, to the overwhelming majority of people, IT DOES NOT!
That's why I ask drivers why they have driven too close to me. That's why I will not accept someone driving a bus too close behind me. Most importantly, that is why I am 100% determined to make our roads safer with the help of the other organisers of Pedal on Parliament and with your help.
Like me or loath me, it doesn't matter. What's not to like about a Scotland that is safe for all people on bikes, not just Lycra 'Fannybaws' warriors like me.
Join me and thousands of others on the 26th April at the Meadows in Edinburgh at 12pm.
Let's end the silence and lets make some noise.