[This FAQ is very out of date now, but I’ll leave it here for posterity.]
These are answers to questions that I sometimes get asked through my YouTube channel.
- Why don’t you get a job?
- Well, I happen to have a very good job, in a senior position, that has taken me all over the World and pays reasonably well. In fact, most of my cycling – about 100 miles per week – consists of going to work and back.
- Why don’t you get a car?
- I have a very nice car thank you. I bought my current one brand new in December 2009. It is quite big, has dual zone climate control, cruise control, traction control, automatic windscreen wipers, rear parking sensors, and the best thing is that the 105bhp engine can return me 70 miles-per-gallon on a long run. Despite having about 400,000 miles of driving experience, I cycle to work because I choose to.
- Why don’t you pay road tax?
- If you mean the tax that pays for maintenance of the roads, that is called Council Tax. I actually pay rather a lot of it; unfortunately you have to on a 6 bedroomed house. (Incidentally, I also pay Graduated Vehicle Excise Duty on two cars, but that is nothing to do with roads.)
- Why don’t you have insurance?
- I currently have rather a lot of third party insurance for cycling. Apart from the £2,000,000 pounds of public liability insurance that comes with my house insurance and covers me and my family for all manner of things, including cycling, I also have £10,000,000 of third party cycling insurance that comes free with my CTC membership. I suspect 12 million pounds should cover most eventualities.
- Aren’t you a sad f*****g moron?
- I presume by moron, you mean someone of low intelligence. Well, I have a PhD in theoretical and computational physics among my achievements and I am certainly not sad about that. What is your highest academic achievement?
- Why do you spend your time cycling around looking for trouble?
- I don’t. I see more than enough idiotic drivers just by cycling 25 miles per day to work and back. It costs me about 15 minutes extra travelling time each day to cycle to work rather than using the car, and for that I get nearly 2 hours of vigorous exercise and don’t pay for any gym membership.
- Why do you think you’re the police?
- In fact, it’s usually expressed as a statement but contains the implied question. It is also often accompanied by some nonsense about vigilantes. Of course, I don’t think I’m the police; what a stupid question. I am just a vulnerable road user who is annoyed and concerned about dangerous drivers who put us at risk. You don’t have to be a police officer to be concerned about stuff, nor even (within the law) to want do something about it.