April 19, 2013

Rumours have been circulating for some time that riding a motorcycle can actually be quite dangerous. As with things like matches and knives, however, there is a residual consensus that it’s probably OK to play around with bikes – so long as you have a rough idea what you are doing and take a modicum of care.

As with the inherently paradoxical YOLO* motto that has so captivated Britain’s youth of late, the standard mixed message received by bikers and would be bikers is a heavily parenthesized green light pulsing dimly with the message ‘go for it’.

This week’s green-lighty bit came courtesy of bike dealers being urged to get involved in the UK’s 15th annual Ride to Work Day. This sees dealers up and down the land cynically encouraging innocent members of the public to ride to work on 17 June – just days before a far more significant date in the biking calendar (see below).

Promark PR, the firm behind RTWD have written to dealers with a handy list of things they can do to make the most of the occasion. This includes: offering free breakfast (or just tea/coffee) to bikers, ditto after-work BBQs, special offers in store (great idea, that one!), attempting to persuade local firms to turn their car parks into ‘have a go’ areas, that sort of thing.

Needless to say, we’ll all be riding to work here at Bankstone Towers on the 17th, and we strongly urge you to do the same – just mind how you go!

This week’s parenthetical bit came in the form of a severe admonition from Road Safety Minister Richard Hammond that people who ride motorcycles need to ‘stay in control’. This latest initiative comes under the THINK! banner, which started out mostly being about the need for people driving cars to think about people riding bikes, but has latterly branched out into urging bikers to think a bit too.

Focusing on the peak bike-death months of spring and summer, this latest campaign will see posters, leaflets and other promotional material “cascaded to hundreds of motorcycle dealerships and retailers across the UK for distribution to customers”. Hammond has suggested bikers should consider “taking a ‘lifesaver glance’ around before manoeuvring” and giving themselves “time to react to potential hazards.” Motorists are also to be urged not to drive into motorcyclists if they can help it.

Speaking of motorcycling, safely and responsibly, obviously (and possibly wearing armour), did we mention we are doing this charity monkey biking thing on 29/30 June?

* i.e. you only live once, so you might as well try it/trying things can result in the termination of your single existence


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