The pecksniffery is strong in this one..
Olympic medallist Chris Boardman has been branded "a fool" and "stupid" for not wearing a helmet whilst riding a bike a BBC programme on cycling safety.
Angry viewers took to Facebook to complain that the champion cyclist set a bad example by wearing dark clothing and no helmet for a segment on BBC Breakfast on Monday morning.
Mr Boardman was shown riding five miles around the streets of Manchester with presenter Louise Minchin as he gave his top tips for cycling safely in Britain’s cities.
But whilst Mrs Minchin wore a cycle helmet and bright yellow visibility jacket, Mr Boardman, who has his own brand of cycle helmets, was seen in a dark coat and jeans.
Mr Boardman later said on Facebook that he didn’t wear a helmet because it "discourages people from riding a bike" and "you are as safe riding a bike as you are walking".
But more than 300 viewers complained he was being irresponsible for not wearing a helmet, particularly as the segment was shown as children were getting ready for the school run.
Viewer John Stimpson wrote: "Chris Boardman wearing No helmet and riding in black jacket and jeans. For an item on cycling safety you can’t get more stupid."
Another viewer, Benjamin Holden, added: "Not only is he not wearing a helmet but he’s also wearing dark clothing in stark contrast to the presenter who is appropriately dressed in high a visibility jacket. For a so called ‘hero’ of cycling he is setting an extremely bad example!!!"
Rebecca Townson said: "His comments make me so angry. A friend of ours had a serious bike accident and he was told if he hadn’t been wearing his helmet he would’ve been killed.
"His helmet was smashed up. My husband came off once and cracked his helmet. If we all took Chris Boardman’s advice, that would’ve been his head. The man is a fool!!!"
Viewer Charles Thody said: "Unbelievable! No helmet and dark clothing – get real Mr Boardman!! Lack of respect from me I’m afraid."
Colin Field was furious that his children had seen the piece before school and wrote: "So Mr Boardman will have no problem refunding me for the Boardman branded helmet I wear?
"His argument based on general accident statistics is nonsensical and sends a much more dangerous message to children.
"I have just spent 10 minutes explaining his argument to my three daughters who now question safety and feel less sure about being safe on a bike. Well done Chris, you idiot."
Viewer Lou Lessiter added: "I’m a normal cyclist, I wear normal clothes, I also wear a helmet! Enough said, I now think you’re a bigger idiot than I did before! You have lost all credibility & respect as has the BBC for allowing you air time!"
LMAO… ignorant self-righteous fuckwits, every last one of them.
I hope he – a highly decorated British hero of competitive cycling – just tells them all to fuck off. Bunch of massive cockwombles.
Mr Boardman explained his reason for not wearing a helmet on the BBC Breakfast Facebook page.
He said: "It’s a very long answer and more time than we’ve got here, but it discourages people from riding a bike. You are as safe riding a bike as you are walking.
"Statistically you are much safer than going in your own bathroom and you don’t wear a helmet there.
"There is absolutely nothing wrong with helmets, but it’s not in the top 10 things you can do to keep safe.
"We’re going to look at all those things, but for me I want bikes to be for normal people in normal clothes.
"About 0.5 per cent of people wear helmets in the Netherlands and yet it’s the safest country in the world and there’s a reason for that."
In a post on the British Cycling website he added: "People get very passionate about helmet use – or the lack thereof – but most people don’t get to the next, critical steps to ask themselves, why?
"Why do I feel the need to wear a helmet and high visibility clothing? What is it that scares me so much that I feel the need to wear what amounts to body armour? And even more critically, is this the place I want to live?
"People wear helmets and high vis as they feel it’s all they can do to keep themselves safe. It shows just how far away Britain is from embracing cycling as a normal and convenient form of transport."
Well, that’s close enough… but it won’t be good enough for those who are wedded to their pathetic ideology of mindless elfin safety, Useful idiots, one and all.
Perhaps they’ve never heard of (or lack the brains to grasp) Risk Compensation?
Motorists may also alter their behavior toward helmeted cyclists. One study by Walker in England found that 2,500 vehicles passed a helmeted cyclist with measurably less clearance (8.5 cm) than that given to the same cyclist unhelmeted (out of an average total passing distance of 1.2 to 1.3 metres). The significance of these differences has been re-analysed by Olivier. See also slides 40-45 in for further analysis by Olivier of the data from the Walker study.
In 1988 Rodgers re-analysed data which supposedly showed helmets to be effective and found both data errors and methodological weaknesses. He concluded that in fact the data showed "bicycle-related fatalities are positively and significantly associated with increased helmet use" and mentioned risk compensation as one possible explanation of this association.