How much damage does the cyclist do to the roads compared with your car? How much space, noise and pollution does the cyclist cause compared to your car amongst countless many others? How many deaths and serious injuries do cyclists cause compared with the car? Do you suppose the local A&E is dealing with the dreadful carnage caused by cycling? How many hospitals would one really need if it was compulsory to cycle to work and back? What about the pandemic of obesity, heart disease, cancer, diabetes and depression? What about the absolutely colossal annual expenditure on prescription drugs? All wasted taxpayer's money in a desperate attempt to repair the "exercise-free" society's right to total physical indolence!
Let us imagine a fairy tale land where cyclists have absolute right of way. Imagine, if you can, a land where traffic lights are controlled by and for cyclists. The motor traffic must always give way to cyclists. The cyclist enjoys an uninterrupted journey from A to B without hindrance or being aggressively cut up by cars or lorries. Cyclists always enjoy far better surfaces and the cycle paths are wide and smooth and well maintained.
Now imagine if car journeys were restricted to [say] mid-mornings or mid-afternoons in cities. This would obviously preclude commuting by car. The alternatives would be cycling or public transport. In this fabled land public transport is speedy, comfortable and free. It also has excellent facilities for carrying shopping home for every single seat. Public transport is not used as a cash cow to take from the impoverished who cannot, or will not afford, a private car.
Without the usual traffic, public transport can function unhindered too. So journeys are quick and effortless. Of course all the buses and minibuses are electrically and robotically driven so there is no noise and stink of diesel. With no gears to change, each journey is a smooth progression without jerks and heavy braking. Traffic jams are a thing of the past unless a rare accident occurs.
All shops and supermarkets deliver completely free of charge by small, electric, robotic vans best suited to the task. Most people no longer wander the aisles of the supermarkets and then queue endlessly for some surly teenager to deign to serve them. Shopping is routinely done online so packed car parks simply do not exist. Rapid delivery, on demand, by robotic, electric vehicle ensures forgotten items do not miss reaching the dinner table.
Why do most cycles lack carrying capacity? This is slowly changing but baskets and even goods carrying cycles are available. An electric motor would ease the burden of climbing that hill back home with the potatoes and milk. But, the milk and potatoes are delivered free because all the shops know your shopping habits. They are delivered routinely to a daily/weekly or monthly schedule so there is really no point in thinking about it. Nor going without. And when you are bored with your routine meals? You use your effortless, mobile, virtual reality system to browse alternatives with all the stuff it knows you hate already rejected. So you don't have to plough through long lists or countless images of all the "nasty stuff" before you get to the really appetizing alternatives on offer. The Internet of Things knows exactly what you like and faithfully presents and delivers it on demand.
Oh, and by the way. Denmark already gives cyclists right of way at [non-light controlled] roundabouts, junctions and crossings. Drivers [except for individual predatory psychopaths] always wait for a cyclist [or pedestrian] to safely cross their exit before proceeding. Just imagine that in all those countries where car drivers think themselves infinitely superior to those who actually use their own energy to move forwards. While they sit there, blaring their horns in grid-locked, smog-laden hell on earth just trying [desperately] to reach the corner shop for a 480 kCal cup of cold coffee. Busily popping pills while they wait for their next, and final, heart attack. To be taken where the vast A&E is a vital part of repairing society's countless, human wrecks.
A late morning ride to the shops as usual. The new cycle paths were flooded right across their width in quite a few places. I wonder why they didn't leave gaps between the granite sets to allow the paths to drain naturally into the road gutters alongside? Tradition? The way they have always done it?
The roadworks further on had caused a flood over half the width of the road. Drivers were belting along completely oblivious to the danger of hitting deep water at speed. I was overtaken precisely as I maneuvered around the water by riding in the opposite lane! I had given the following driver plenty of warning with lengthy hand signals. However, for them to have lifted off the idiot pedal would have required more than two brain cells to rub together. The absence of a third brain cell, to call their own, meant they passed me at well above the legal speed limit precisely where the water lapped over the white line in the middle of the road. 15 miles not wearing a life jacket. Perhaps I need a bigger saddlebag for such eventualities?
Had it been any other country I could have set up a camera to record drivers ploughing into the water at high speed for a YouTube video. But not in Denmark. Showing guilt by camera is illegal for the camera owner in Denmark. You'd think such videos would come under the freedom of speech laws the Danes will defend to the last breath. Hate speech against the Danes in the local mosque is perfectly acceptable. Showing morons risking other's lives by driving like raving lunatics is not?
Well, that's April over for this year. It felt mostly cold and miserable and was certainly much wetter than usual, but was till warmer than average according to the DMI. Greenland has been setting new records in heat waves. They'll be planting crops and spraying Roundup next. Global warming marches on.