image credit: Paolo Redwings/Wikimedia
Cops and bikes are a great mix. OK, so not every cop hands out bike helmets and hugs, but simply putting cops on bikes has been shown to cut crime and save gas. But now one police force has run into trouble by decreeing that no officer can patrol by bike until they have undergone ten hours of cycle training. Is this health and safety gone mad, or a sensible precaution to ensure cycle safety?Peter Walker over at The Guardian reports that Northamptonshire Police in the UK require ten hours of cycle training for every officer expected to patrol by bike. On the one hand, I find this kind of insane—ten hours is a long time to be learning how to pedal, and how to follow the rules of the road—especially for a profession that should be proficient in road rules anyway.
Having said that, having grown up cycling, I sometimes forget that many people have little to no experience of how to really cycle safely. I could do with a refresher course myself. And from this one crucial tip to staying safe on a bike, to tips on how to lock your bike effectively, a little bit of simple advice can go along way in the biking world. Add to that the fact that this course apparently also covers how to use your bike to defend yourself, and it might be worthwhile after all.
And any tips on how you use your bike to defend yourself would be greatly appreciated!