Friday, 21 January 2011

Cycling as a social interaction with others

Earlier this week there were two tragic accidents involving cyclists and cars that had fatal consequences. There's a probability there were many more but at least these two got attention on the news. I will be careful taking any advantage of these terrible accidents and I emphasize that I don't know any cause of these accidents.

The cause of accidents involving bikes and cars varies and I think it's natural under these circumstances to focus on solutions. Being out on the road mean we are part of a large social system. One thing is the different parts of this system, objects like cyclists, big cars and small cars, truckers, tractors, motorcycles, those who make their living on the road and those who use it for other purposes.

What all these elements have in common and why am I naming it a social system?

It doesn't come as a surprise that all of these objects are controlled by humans therefore social. It becomes a system when we follow rules and/or anticipates that a certain behaviour is expected.

Cyclists have to be aware what mindset we have when we are out riding on the roads. No matter how relaxed we feel or how joyful the ride, we have to be alert and pay attention the others (or ourselves for that matter) on the road, simply because we cannot expect someone one else to do it. We cannot free ourselves from some individuals who might would be jerks any day, but we can do what we can to take care of ourselves. In practise this will mean that whenever we have to do something different from a pattern, from a person driving a car's perspective that is, caution have to be made.

Many may feel that this post blame the cyclists for accidents, I don't. The matters mentioned in the post works well for those driving as well. Being aware and present while on the road is something everybody learned back when we took a driving licence. The social system actually demand that we take certain considerations to one another.

To me it is a matter of minimising the possibilities for accidents to happen.

Ride safely, take care out there and we can ride another day.      

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