Cyclists need to take criticism to win friends


Sir, – It would seem obvious that Brian Caulfield made a basic error of judgment in thinking that he could have a productive and rational discussion on Twitter (Opinion, August 15th).

Having cycled over 20,000 kilometres in the last decade and medically treated a number of cyclists with life-changing, and some fatal, injuries, I am acutely aware of its dangers. I frequently talk to other cyclists about this and have never heard anything but agreement and expressions of shared anxiety. Everyone seems to agree that we on two wheels need to be extremely cautious as, whoever is at fault, the laws of gravity and momentum are hard to circumvent.

The stream of vitriol and abuse Mr Caulfield received was surely quite predictable, but probably didn’t emanate from real cyclists. The precise type of idiot who, reading a suggestion that anyone on a bike should follow the rules of the road, infers that “You’ve obviously never been to the Netherlands” appears to reside entirely on Twitter. In contrast to distracted road-users, it’s not hard to avoid them. – Yours, etc,



Co Cork.