Cycling & Today’s Olympics

Today, the major news story coming out of the Olympics is cycling related.Sadly though it is not making the headline news, although it is by far the most important event of the day. Tucked away on the BBC news website is the following story:

Cyclist dies in Olympic media bus crash

Olympic Park The accident happened close to the Olympic Park hockey pitches

A cyclist has been killed in a crash with an Olympic media bus on the border of the Olympic Park in east London.

The man, believed to be aged 30, was injured just before 19:45 BST at the junction of Ruckholt Road and East Cross Road, Hackney.

Police and an air ambulance attended but the man was pronounced dead at the scene about half an hour later.

"The police are investigating and our thoughts are with the cyclist’s family," Olympic organisers Locog said.

No arrests have been made in connection with the incident.

‘Tragic’ death

The crash happened close to the Olympic hockey centre, velodrome and Paralympic tennis arena.

The victim has not yet been identified, but an International Olympic Committee source told BBC London he was not an Olympic competitor.

Locog said in a statement: "We can confirm that a cyclist tragically died as a result of a collision with a bus carrying media from the Olympic Park this evening."

Following the collision no buses were allowed to arrive or depart from the Media Transport Mall’s multi-story car park.

The Olympic Park internal shuttle remains operational.

The incident is being investigated by the Met’s Traffic Investigation Unit.

One of the things everyone who attends the monthly bike ride known as Critical Mass has in common is a desire to improve the safety on the roads for cyclists. Last Friday during the Olympic Opening Ceremony, 183 cyclists were arrested for doing nothing more than riding their bikes. The police being determined to brown nose the IOC and prevent any form of expression of will other than that approved by the corporate bribe payers sponsors. It is therefore sadly ironic that today, less than 120 hours later, a cyclist is killed near the Olympic Park by an Official Olympic Vehicle.

I do not know the cause of the accident and do not intend to speculate as to who was to  blame. What however is highlighted by this accident is the danger caused for cyclists by the lack of proper provision for them. Perhaps Critical Mass have proven right in their highlighting the dangers caused by the Olympic Route Network (ORN)

It is also ironic that this tragic death came on the day of the Olympic Time Trials in the cycling. I had intended to write this night’s blog about the time trial and in particular the success of the (hopefully soon to be knighted) Bradley Wiggins

Bradley-Wiggins-sits-on-a-010

Who can fail to admire the success of this man, having won 4 Olympic gold medals including being only the second person ever to win the Tour de France and the Olympic time Trial in the same year.

Best of British

  • Bradley Wiggins (cycling): seven medals – four gold, one silver, two bronze
  • Sir Steve Redgrave (rowing): six – five gold, one bronze
  • Sir Chris Hoy (track cycling): five – four gold, one silver
  • Jack Beresford (rowing): five – three gold, two silver
  • Henry Taylor (swimming): five – three gold, two bronze
  • Sir Matthew Pinsent (rowing): four – four gold
  • Paulo Radmilovic (water polo): four – four gold
  • Ben Ainslie (sailing): four – three gold, one silver

What needs to be appreciated is that Bradley Wiggins is the first ever Britain to win the Tour de France in its 99 year history. In fact if we turn the clock back 4 years to the Beijing Olympics, the idea of a Britain having won the Tour de France at all let alone before the start of the London Olympics was quite simply unrealistic and fanciful.

Bradley Wiggins was a time trialist and a track rider, not a road racer.

His success as he will tell you is not just down to him, but to all at Team Sky. Wiggins is a modest man and the owner of the most famous sideburns since Elvis. I’m not sure Elvis could time trial or road race.

If Wiggins does not win the Sports Personality of the Year award and pick up a knighthood, then it will be a huge injustice.

Congratulation Bradley Wiggins, you are a credit to British sport and cycling in particular. It was noticeable as I cycled home from work tonight that people knew who Bradley Wiggins was. The number of people who made comments about Wiggins and waved from their cars or as they walked was heartening to see. Sadly the news of the fatality tonight dampens slightly the feel goo factor.