The rants against anarchic two-wheelers or the regular one-sided roasting we get in the media? I am not sure which came first.

The witch-hunt against cycling: chicken or egg?

The latest trouble was stirred up by a report in The Times about cyclists using the Strava website to record speeds and race against others’ times.

Strava is nearly always only used in the countryside. However, “40mph cyclists on 30mph residential streets” went the cry, a claim since undermined by its reliance on very short Strava ‘sections’ which are highly inaccurate over short distances. Plus, only professional racers could sprint – briefly – at 40mph.

Down a steep hill 40mph is less surprising, though a tiny fraction of cyclists would ever go this fast.

The story was mimicked by local media outlets around the UK, though thankfully less in Oxon than elsewhere. Some reports gave the “story” the chill-factor of a frenzied shark attack, but all failed to balance their reports by reminding readers that drivers constantly go too fast.

We are presented with this irrational dichotomy between A) a concern that a few cyclists sometimes go “too fast”and B) the fact that the vast majority of regular drivers – innocents like you, me, mums with kids, dads at work – unassumingly, guiltlessly drive “too fast” every day.

Considering how few serious accidents and deaths they cause, it is extraordinary the lengths to which the media and ‘Joe Public’ will go to vilify people on bikes.

Imagine if people on bikes killed 140 pedestrians and seriously injured 750 during a 20 year period. What would the headlines read? Perhaps: “Cyclist Killers” – and justifiably so.

Or if people on bicycles killed 40 drivers and seriously injured over 500 over 20 years: “Bicycle Blood-lust”?

Let’s get back to the real world. During a recent anti-cycling pogrom, four years ago, I asked the County Council’s road safety people for the local KSI (Killed and Seriously Injured) stats. They replied: “Looking at the last complete 20 year calendar years (1989 to 2008) the totals for Oxfordshire were as follows: l Car–pedestrian: involved in 140 fatal, 753 serious, 2,975 slight police-reported injury accidents.

l Car–pedal cyclist: involved in 40 fatal, 539 serious, 4,467 slight injury accidents.

l Pedestrian–pedal cyclist: involved in 0 fatal, 26 serious and 81 slight injury accidents.

I can’t imagine the statistics have changed enormously in the past five years. And of the car–cyclist collisions, I don’t suppose any of the 40 fatalities was the driver, either.

All the riders’ fault? Not according to a police study of bicycle-motor vehicle collisions (2005–07) which blamed drivers in 60 per cent of crashes and cyclists in 30 per cent of crashes. They shared the blame in 10 per cent of crashes.

Motorised traffic kills and injures way more of us than bicycles do. How come the “news” glosses over this shocking fact?

Across the county, these drivers kill and seriously injure every single week. What if my family – or yours – is next?

Wake up and smell the diesel before it’s too late It’s high time the public and the media got their priorities right.