Thomas Placzek

Nachts ist es kälter als draußen

Control risks ...

... and mitigate them while riding a bicycle on my way to the Office.  Sometimes,  I ask myself what are the three biggest risks when using a bicycle to arrive at work. For sure, I am not convinced that car drivers make it to the top three. Here is what I regard as the three biggest risks.

On rank 3, there are pedestrians, in particular when they are accompanied by dogs or kids (ask Miguel). Them carrying a buggy increases the risk of a collision even further. Insane - they push the buggy in front of them as if they wanted to try out the density of the traffic before they cross a street or a bicycle path.

On rank number two on the list of the biggest enemies of a cyclist are - other cyclists. As a matter of principle, cyclists don't look at you, regardless whether you're driving a car or riding a bicycle, no matter whether they come from left or right or whether they are crossing at red. By this, in case of an accident, they can always claim that they didn't see you and even more, that you should have given them way, because they didn't see you. Weird, but everybody participating in the road traffic in the Netherlands is respecting that paradigm. Cyclist are the holy cows of the Netherlands. They they are getting very close to rank number one when they use  a cell phone while cycling, even more when they carry an umbrella, in addition to cycling and phoning/texting!

Finally, number one, the biggest risk according to me are Verkeersregelaars. I cannot get rid of the idea, that they try to fool you, intentionally. From my home country, I am used that this job is done by highly skilled police officers. When they operate a very complex crossing, e.g. when the traffic lights are under maintenance, those police officers act following an extremely precise choreography, accompanied by whistle blows, synchronised with each other. Precise, efficient, with eye contact to yourself. Unambiguous with their gestures -like as being taught in a traditional dance school. Compared with that Verkeersregelaars behave like dancing in a club, gestures ambiguous discotheque style. Impressive, but amateurs. Blood on the dance floor.

Risk mitigation of the top three risks: I wear a helmet.

PS: When you see a cyclist wearing a helmet in the Netherlands, you can be 99% sure that he or she is NOT Dutch. So, despite the colour of my helmet, I am exposing myself as an expat.