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AA launches Cyclist's Highway Code, backed by Boardman

The book, which includes sections on bike maintenance, training and the Highway Code, is aimed at helping encourage more people to cycle safely

A Cyclist’s Highway Code has been launched today by the AA, with backing from Chris Boardman and BikeBiz editor, Carlton Reid.

Last month the Road Safety Minister, Andrew Jones, told the House of Commons “There were no plans to publish a cycling specific excerpt of the Highway Code.”.

However, the AA believes a Code is necessary to help people stay safe cycling on Britain’s roads, and has aimed the book at parents and new cyclists.

AA warns of "zombie" pedestrians and cyclists

Edmund King, AA president, hopes the guide will encourage more people to cycle.

“Cyclists and drivers are often the same people and the Highway Code is important whether you are on two wheels or four,” he says.

“I am grateful to cycling expert Carlton Reid, executive editor of BikeBiz magazine, who has helped to check this publication in terms of good advice and accuracy. As a keen cyclist and father of three cycling children, I would urge you to check out this book. Today more than one fifth of AA members regularly cycle and this guide will encourage a new generation to join them.”

The book is designed as a companion guide to help cyclists, and parents whose children are learning to cycle. It includes sections on Your Bike, including choosing and maintaining a bike, and accessories, Safe Cycling, including all the Highway Code rules, and Learning to Ride, encompassing cycle training.

Carlton Reid said: “I welcome the AA’s Cyclist’s Highway Code. It is practical, timely and useful – and it’s also an indication that more and more people are taking up cycling, for transport, for leisure, and most definitely for pleasure.”

Although the Highway Code has a section titled “you and your bike”, covering rules for cycling on the road, the government says it has no plans to produce a cycle-specific Highway Code. Instead it is investing £50m over four years into Bikeability training for children in schools.

Chris Boardman says: “The bicycle is such a simple tool, but one which can improve your health, reduce congestion and make our towns and cities more liveable. British Cycling welcomes the AA Cyclist’s Highway Code as it should encourage new cyclists and help parents get their children into cycling.”

AA’s Cyclist’s Highway Code is priced £4.99, and available from bookshops and online

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79 comments

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giff77 replied to L.Willo | 7 years ago
3 likes
L.Willo wrote:
giff77 wrote:
L.Willo wrote:
giff77 wrote:

As for Boardman's "irresponsible stance". As others have said. He's not against helmets or their use. It's the misguided approach by safety campaigners that helmet use is the way forward that he has issue with. The fact that people out there would rather you wear a helmet and wear hi viz to protect yourself rather than push for better infrastructure, speed limits, presumed liability, safe passing distances and the whole realm of road safety is sorted. And this is the red herring that Chris is against.

Agreed, giff, and if he stopped there I would have no beef, but he went further, a lot further ...

boardman wrote:

Widespread use of helmets, he said, sends the wrong message. “Once you see somebody wearing body armour, even if there’s no shooting, you think ‘Christ I’m not going down there if they’re wearing body armour to go down that street.’ It scares people off.” - See more at: http://road.cc/content/news/111258-chris-boardman-helmets-not-even-top-1...

People, like me, who always wear a cycling helmet are apparently sending the wrong message about cycling. It is clear as day, that is what is meant by that statement.

So what message are the people who manufacture and sell helmets like you, Chris Boardman, sending about cycling? 

Can you really convince that your hands are clean while you are profiting from enabling people to send the wrong message about cycling? Especially while posing as an ambassador for cycling at any opportunity?

It is hypocrisy and it doesn't wash.

 

I'm going out on a limb here. So here goes. I actually don't remember seeing apparel and helmets with Boardman's name or branding on it until Halfords bought the company in 2014. All of a sudden there was a plethora of kit with the cboardman branding on it that was being sold in line with the bikes.

Meanwhile Boardman Elite (Chris' new company) sells bikes and components while the only kit is shorts, jerseys and socks - not a helmet in sight. So I think you can absolve Chris of all hypocrisy. 

**These various companies are relying on people's fears of injury and those who want to look 'cool' and emulate the pro peleton to cash in on selling them something that is only designed for a 12mph impact. People need to learn how to ride their bikes without falling off. And if they are going to fall. Learn how to fall. in the 40 odd years I've been cycling I can count on one hand the amount of times I've fallen off my bike. Twice on black ice, once when a ped stepped out on me and I had no choice but drop the bike and once when I forgot to unclip and all occasions I lost skin on various parts of my body, bruised hips and twisted my shoulder. 

 

Today I was talking to a colleague in work who is wanting to cycle into work. And one of his first questions was did he need a helmet. This was mainly due to family and peers saying he needed one because cycling was so 'dangerous'.   Also there's a huge subtle pressure in the media to wear helmets when cycling. Just look yourself - photo shoots of officials on static bikes wear them, the Beeb ensures all presenters wear them as do the other channels. And this hugely influences people to follow suit. You don't need legislation - the persuasion is there to do so. People who choose not to, are castigated for their decision and bombarded with anecdotes on how a helmet saved their life. That kind of language  gives the impression that cycling is dangerous does it not?  You yourself have said in another post about drooling as a result of head trauma caused my no helmet or words to that effect. Does that not give the impression that cycling is dangerous? 

Meanwhile Westminster and the respective devolved governments can't be arsed to protect pedestrians, cyclists and equestrians by creating environments where cycling is normal and an acceptable means of getting around. 

 

** should have highlighted companies that sell helmets in that sentence. 

giff, it seems that you at least accept that selling helmets while simultaneously denouncing the people who wear them is hypocrisy. The only issue for you is the uncertainty about whether or not Boardman profits from their sales. That is a fair point. He posts here from time to time. Maybe he will answer that question himself.

Are you putting words in my mouth here?  Absolutely nowhere did I say or indicate acceptance of selling whilst denouncing the sale of was hypocrisy. Did you actually read the quote?

cboardman apparel and 'safety wear' didn't appear in Halfords until 2014 when they bought Boardmanbikes for 20 million I think it was. Chris from what I can make out moved from his role of research and development to that of chairman.  Here is where it gets interesting. The chairman does not have a veto on decisions that the board of directors make. He is only there to ensure jobs get done by the board and that board meetings function smoothly. He is also there to support the MD/CEO. if the board of directors unanimously decide to produce clothing, helmets, lights etc with the cboardman branding he can't stop them. He can only persuade directors to his way of thinking.  Shareholders will also influence what they want to see the company  producing and the Board of Directors acts on that. 

So in regards to the sale of helmets Chris's hands are tied unless he can persuade  the directors otherwise. As I and others have stated. Chris isn't anti helmet. He is opposed to the concept that the helmet is the solution to road safety. 

You and others present cycling as dangerous with comments of "wear a helmet and it will save your life". You remove cycling from a viable means of transport by arriving all hot and sweaty in your Lycra  from a five mile commute demanding  showers and changing facilities while muttering about the near misses and how glad you wear a helmet. how on earth is that meant to be attracting others to cycling and upping the modal share.

 

 

Avatar
Al__S | 7 years ago
2 likes

Seems from the quagmire of a twitter discussion that Carlton has embroiled me in that there's no online version to be produced, just the paperback book.

 

Which is twice the price  (on their online shop) of the version of the HC that the AA produce that says it's for Drivers, Cyclists and Motorcyclists (on the cover). It really is just the basic and cyclist rules repurposed with a bit of stuff on "how to cycle" and "bike maintainence" according to him.

 

He's getting very tetchy at people who don't think it's the greatest thing ever

Avatar
tritecommentbot replied to Al__S | 7 years ago
0 likes
Al__S wrote:

Seems from the quagmire of a twitter discussion that Carlton has embroiled me in that there's no online version to be produced, just the paperback book.

 

Which is twice the price  (on their online shop) of the version of the HC that the AA produce that says it's for Drivers, Cyclists and Motorcyclists (on the cover). It really is just the basic and cyclist rules repurposed with a bit of stuff on "how to cycle" and "bike maintainence" according to him.

 

He's getting very tetchy at people who don't think it's the greatest thing ever

 

If it was 5 to 10 years ago I'd maybe understand that some people are behind the curve. But no, it's 2016 and even aging generations now understand that the internet and e-formats are the way to spread information.

 

Just seems so bizarre to me. Did he give any explanation for this oddness? 

 

 

Avatar
tarquin_foxglove replied to Al__S | 7 years ago
2 likes
Al__S wrote:

[Carlton Reid]'s getting very tetchy at people who don't think it's the greatest thing ever

 

He makes Donald Trump seem pluralist & thick skinned.

Withdrawn.

Meant to be wryly amusing but could be misconstrued as an ad hominem attack.

Apols.

Avatar
Carlton Reid replied to tarquin_foxglove | 7 years ago
6 likes
tarquin_foxglove wrote:
Al__S wrote:

[Carlton Reid]'s getting very tetchy at people who don't think it's the greatest thing ever

 

He makes Donald Trump seem pluralist & thick skinned.

 

I am answering questions from people. Some of the questions are tetchy, I've stayed deliberately neutral. I didn't write the book; I proof read it, and provided a foreword.

People are commenting without actually having seen the book in the flesh.

Avatar
tarquin_foxglove replied to Carlton Reid | 7 years ago
1 like
Carlton Reid wrote:
tarquin_foxglove wrote:
Al__S wrote:

[Carlton Reid]'s getting very tetchy at people who don't think it's the greatest thing ever

 

He makes Donald Trump seem pluralist & thick skinned.

 

I am answering questions from people. Some of the questions are tetchy, I've stayed deliberately neutral. I didn't write the book; I proof read it, and provided a foreword.

People are commenting without actually having seen the book in the flesh.

Yep, comment withdrawn.

Avatar
tritecommentbot | 7 years ago
0 likes

Paperback.. really. Bit oldschool. Will take a look when the ebook or online version is available.

 

 

Avatar
vonhelmet | 7 years ago
1 like

"AA" does still stand for Automobile Association, doesn't it?

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giff77 replied to vonhelmet | 7 years ago
0 likes
vonhelmet wrote:

"AA" does still stand for Automobile Association, doesn't it?

at it's inception the early AA employees used bicycles to get around to warn and assist the early motorist. By the advent of WW2 the AA operated a fleet of over 800 bicycles. Even back then even though they were an organisation geared up for the motorist they relied extensively on bicycles to get around as the more reliable mode of transport and the early motor vehicles were easily repaired roadside. 

Avatar
Al__S | 7 years ago
4 likes

What this does do is give the impression that the AA are saying "Cyclists ignore the Highway Code".

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fukawitribe replied to Al__S | 7 years ago
2 likes
Al__S wrote:

What this does do is give the impression that the AA are saying "Cyclists ignore the Highway Code".

To you, perhaps.

Avatar
Al__S | 7 years ago
2 likes

How on earth will a book that costs a fiver actually encourage anyone whatsoever to take up cycling?  Utter madness to belive that it could.

Avatar
willbn replied to Al__S | 7 years ago
1 like
Al__S wrote:

How on earth will a book that costs a fiver actually encourage anyone whatsoever to take up cycling?  Utter madness to belive that it could.

 

 

The article doesnt say its to encourage people to take up cycling. It says its to encourage people to cycle safely.

Avatar
armb replied to willbn | 7 years ago
1 like
willbn wrote:
Al__S wrote:

How on earth will a book that costs a fiver actually encourage anyone whatsoever to take up cycling?  Utter madness to belive that it could.

The article doesnt say its to encourage people to take up cycling. It says its to encourage people to cycle safely.

"Edmund King, AA president, hopes the guide will encourage more people to cycle." "British Cycling welcomes the AA Cyclist’s Highway Code as it should encourage new cyclists"

Carlton's said similar things on Twitter. I think Al's being a bit unfair on him though; he's mostly tetchy with people who declare the book complete bollocks without reading it, even if it does spread a bit further.

(But without having read it, I do agree with much of the criticism of the way it's been presented.)

The Guardian has a review from someone who has read it: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/bike-blog/2016/jun/07/the-aas-cyc...
"When the AA, the UK’s largest motoring organisation, published a Cyclist’s Highway Code on Monday, I thought it seemed like a bizarre but effective way to wind up passionate cyclists such as myself." "But then I read a copy of the book and it made more sense."

Avatar
DaveE128 | 7 years ago
8 likes

Would be nice if it was available online for free like the official highway code. Then people might actually read it...

Avatar
brooksby | 7 years ago
10 likes

I think we ought to reserve the usual comments on this, until we've actually had a chance to read it.  It might be OK. 

Avatar
whars1 replied to brooksby | 7 years ago
3 likes
brooksby wrote:

I think we ought to reserve the usual comments on this, until we've actually had a chance to read it.  It might be OK. 

Agreed, I'd really like this to be good.  As [another] father of three cycling children then I'm all in favour of anything that can contribute to educating cyclists on better ways to use the roads and stay safe.

Avatar
Awavey replied to brooksby | 7 years ago
3 likes
brooksby wrote:

I think we ought to reserve the usual comments on this, until we've actually had a chance to read it.  It might be OK. 

But surely it's just copy pasted lifted shifted from THE highway code but just the cyclist bits. For what purpose who knows I look forward to the AA recommending to its motorist members they actually follow the advice for a change

Avatar
fukawitribe replied to Awavey | 7 years ago
2 likes
Awavey wrote:
brooksby wrote:

I think we ought to reserve the usual comments on this, until we've actually had a chance to read it.  It might be OK. 

But surely it's just copy pasted lifted shifted from THE highway code but just the cyclist bits. For what purpose who knows I look forward to the AA recommending to its motorist members they actually follow the advice for a change

I'd recommend reading the article before asking questions that are answered there.

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