Sunday, September 02, 2007

Tackling the right issues head on

There seems to be a perhaps not so odd trend to try and ignore potent, but not so convenient facts when trying to push a cause and/or steer public behaviour. But in the very odd hope that people do not have eyes of their own, and brains to figure out what is affecting them the most.

Hence I fully understand why it is a good eco thing to holiday in Britain but, as I have mentioned before, beyond the weather (maybe self-correcting), the sheer cost is a massive factor in our family decisions. Beyond sitting in a tent on the Wye and eating home-cooked sausages (very nice but after four years a bit of a chore... and bore), the money one blows is prohibitive vs. a bit of sun, sea and sand overseas.

And then there's cycling. I really have not one thing to say against it on almost any basis, though the realities of a 5 mile ride up and down hills in a winter rainstorm to and from work seems to make some advocacy 'optimistic'.

However, there is one thing I'm afraid a few public service campaigns will not sway me on, and that's safety. And when it comes to my kids, that is a problem, no matter how many BBC slots on kids cycling get aired.

Yesterday I decided to take my boys on the road for the first time, them having passed their cycling proficiency. Before it was a 10 minute drive to their chum's house. This time it was 30 minutes. Nice weather. Glorious. And in having to go to a fro twice I got a work out.

Thing is, as we returned and pedalled slowly but surely in convoy up a long hill to town, I was almost knocked off by a clown who just had to get past to then immediately turn left across my bow and then, worse, a psycho decided the car he was following as it approached us at a legal 30mph needing overtaking. He only just got back into his lane as he reached my boys and I.

Short of cars being banned, which ain't gonna happen, and dangerous driving being enforced by police and not revenue robots, which has long since passed into the stuff of bad humour, and actual criminals being prosecuted rather than soft money targets, I don't think I am going to be letting my kids loose on this country's roads alone.

No matter how many boxes may get ticked trying to persuade me.

No comments: