12 June 2010

Feminine safety

Being Dutch I always think biking is a default, and anything related to treating it as an oddity has to be regarded with suspicion. But when I stumbled onto a stand of the university's Bicycle Users Group, I realised that even though biking is not something exotic, it might be worth joining them. For one thing, bicycle parking on campus is quite an abomination, and it shouldn't be. And that hasn't changed, but in the meantime my membership lead to me receiving an interesting mail.

Some organisation keeps track of what cyclists get hurt or killed where, when and how in the Southwest! That's useful information. I feel very safe in traffic here, but still, people do get damaged, and it is worthwile knowing where it tends to be what that goes wrong.

There were two things that caught my attention when I checked that site out. One was that there were (luckily) hardly any deadly casualties in Plymouth, and one of the only two there were was very suspect; it was a person getting killed on a bicycle track I know, and where there is no other traffic, except for some intimidated pedestrians. The site helpfully added the information that this person met his unfortune on a friday in the dead of night, with no other vehicles involved... the mind immediately extends this concise information to a plausible story. The scenario anyone would come up to would hardly classify as a traffic accident as far as I am concerned. A very British end, though.

The other thing was that I checked all accidents between me, the sea, and the surroundings the other way. Accident after accident was involving a male! And this means nothing to my personal safety, but superstitious as I am I thought it was reassuring that on the map below, where I live in the circle, there have been lots and lots of accidents in the 8 years recorded, but only the one with the arrow involves a female biker... we girls just seem to bike in a safer way. Let's keep it that way!

No comments: