Let me say at the very beginning of this post that I am an enthusiastic cyclist. I want more and safer provision for bikes (at the expense of cars if need be). I would like it to be easier to take bikes on trains (instead of being banned at peak times, and hardly welcomed at others – there’s no place to put them after all). And when taxi drivers give me the “anti-bike speech” in Cambridge, I tend to get very frosty.
So please don’t attack me as if I was an enemy of two wheels. But this week, with thousands of new students in town, the streets have been full of clever young people apparently intent on killing themselves. The problem I imagine is that everyone knows that a bike is the way that students get around town, so almost every fresher gets one – though I’d say, from casual observation, that about 50% haven’t actually done any serious cycling since they were still using stabilisers aged c. 6.
On Friday I happened to be in the town centre just after 1.00, when there had been a mass exodus from lectures. There was partly peril in the sheer numbers.