Letter: I’m a cyclist - and proud to be so

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I cannot be the only cyclist in Calderdale whose eyebrows were raised upon reading B Taylor’s letter (The latest Lycra doesn’t make you a cyclist, Courier, March 30).

We have never been told that “we should all be getting on our bikes”. We are increasingly encouraged to adopt healthy lifestyles and for many, this could include cycling, an activity with undeniable all-round benefits for a person’s wellbeing.

The rather flippant comment that Mr Taylor makes about cyclists “being hit by (a truck or car)” reveals a worryingly callous attitude towards road safety.

Cyclists should be considered as vulnerable road users in the same way as pedestrians and horses.

Impatient, speeding, close-passing and aggressive driving can make cycling an unpleasant, occasionally dangerous activity. To place the blame firmly upon the cyclist is simply wrong.Through the Bikeability scheme, children do engage in cycle training. Most adult cyclists hold a driving licence.

I am aware of no country that has an obligatory test for cyclists; neither am I aware of any country that has obligatory tests for pedestrians in how to cross the road.

The assertion that “our roads are simply not geared to cycling…” could be rewritten as “our roads are simply not geared to driving…”. This year marks the 200th anniversary of the invention of the bicycle.

Our roads were not built for bicycles but they weren’t built for cars and lorries either. B Taylor will welcome the proposed Calderdale Cycling Strategy that aims to address the concerns that our roads are lacking when it comes to provision for cyclists.

Watching the Tour de Yorkshire, purchasing a £4,000 racing bike and wearing Lycra may not a cyclist make, but getting on your bike a little more often does make for a healthier, more enjoyable lifestyle that places fewer burdens upon our environment and healthcare services.

I am a cyclist and proud to be so.

Andrew P Sykes, Beestonley Lane, Stainland