Things that go bump in the day

Image credit: Sydney Morning Herald

Stuff is carrying a story today about a chap on a bike who was run over & dragged under a truck. His mother has expressed astonishment that bike riders are considered vehicles. I’m with her on that one, and this brings me to a point I’ve been intending to write about for some time.

I have a theory that most bike riders see themselves more as pedestrians than as as vehicles. I certainly do. In some countries we are in fact considered strong pedestrians rather than weak vehicles, which gives rise to a presumption of fault, or in some cases strict liability, against the vehicle in a vehicle/bicycle accident. But the opposite is true here.

So what do we do to change this?

Winning hearts and minds is going to be the key and we need good marketing. After all, who doesn’t want their kids to be able to ride safely to school? Or doesn’t want to be able to ride down to the beach for an ice-cream on a summer’s day? Or to go on a leisurely Wairarapa vineyard tour à la Provençe? I think that’s as much a part of the birthright of  New Zealanders as the sun, sea and bush are.

Image credit:

Our ‘campaign’ had a boost this morning with the Stuff headline that Wellington’s new mayor would “…rather bike or bus”. It’s a fairly bad look to bowl any cyclist; bowling the mayor is likely to look particularly bad on one’s CV.

So what do you think?


2 thoughts on “Things that go bump in the day

  1. Lisa

    I also suspect that the phenomenon of cyclists jumping red lights is related. Pedestrians do it all the time and if you see yourself as something akin to a pedestrian then what is the harm in crossing against the lights, right? I don’t indulge in it myself, but there have been many occasions of waiting at utterly empty intersections for long periods, watching people on foot blithely wander across. (Occasionally I’ve hopped off my bike & wheeled it over. I’m still finding it hard to see the difference).


  2. CAN has applied to the Road Safety Trust to fund a Stop at Red campaign (
    Generally it is low-risk but it pisses off lots of people and gives us a poor image. I’m sure this sometimes leads to aggression.
    I agree that we need to shift how people think about cycling. It’s more than a sport for lycra-clad speed demons. It’s also a convenient, fun way to get around. Hell, even the Mayor pedals.
    My goal is to put cycling advocates out of a job.


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