The day of the Emma Burke Newman verdict I posted this on social media: "I feel invincible and powerful and joyful on my bike, and this is stupid because the reality is one careless action by a person driving and I could be dead."

I can't really improve on that, so I'm repeating it. I love cycling. Not as a leisure pursuit - although I did once cycle the entire length of the Outer Hebrides and call it a holiday, which seems a madness now - but simply as a way of dotting around.

There's no waiting, as there is with a bus or a train, no requirement to travel to a stop or station. There's no suspense of the will-it-won't-it turn up variety. It pumps the heart and clears the head between office and home.

I am my own means of ambulation. Also it's free, and I'm cheap.

I feel joyful on my bike, I do, but also really, really angry. Cycling is not merely a simple, easy means of travelling around - it's a political statement and, like so much politics, there is an energy drawn from fury.

I cycled with the Shawlands Bike Bus a few weeks ago. Set up by parents, the bike bus takes Shawlands Primary pupils on a road route to school on a Friday morning.

It is the most gloriously delightful thing. The children have a ball on bright coloured bikes with bells and music blaring. It is so beautiful and I wish it didn't exist because its existence acknowledges the fact the roads are not safe for children to make their own way to school using active travel independently.

The adults in the bike bus act as human shields along the perimeter to protect the wee ones from traffic.

The bike bus ride I joined was specifically to call for change following Ms Burke Newman's death and the deaths of two children: Elizabeth Bell and Thomas Wong, both 11, who were killed on Scotland's roads earlier this year while using active travel to make their way to school.

Had it been two weeks later, the ride might also have been in memory of Una Brandreth who died in a crash in Bearsden last week. She was cycling; the crash involved an HGV.

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I want to pause briefly to apologise for this shorthand: the "Emma Burke Newman verdict".

I was at the scene of the Glasgow bin lorry crash. I made eye contact with one of the victims, who was alive at first and then she was not. So I understand graphically the consequences when a human body comes into contact with a vehicle unexpectedly and at speed.

I also understand intimately how dehumanising it feels to become an event, a snappy summary; to be newspaper parlance. The Clutha. The bin lorry. The Emma Caldwell trial. The Emma Burke Newman verdict. We should always pause to remember these are vast, life-altering things as we simultaneously condense them.

Ms Burke Newman, a 22-year-old student, was killed last year while cycling to the Glasgow School of Art. While the HGV driver who knocked her from her bike and dragged her under his vehicle pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention, a road traffic investigation report placed blame on Emma.

"Emma unfortunately placed herself in a vulnerable position at the junction." This has caused deep dismay among the cycling community. She was ahead of the Advanced Stop Lines - the bike box - exactly where she was supposed to be.

It is exactly where I would be and where most people cycling would be as that is what we are told to do to obey the Highway Code.

I routinely see vehicles completely covering the bike box or encroaching on it and this is not policed. Police Scotland or local authorities need to clarify this with urgency. There are very few things one can do to keep oneself safe on a bike and using the bike box is one of these.

If the authorities have decided that, actually, there is some better alternative then we must know what that alternative is.

As one of the parents at Shawlands Primary asked, is the subtext here that Emma should have dismounted and walked? Is that how we keep ourselves safe - we abandon the bikes altogether?

Of course, we cannot be safe without the willingness of people driving to keep us so. Yet there is relentless aggression towards people on bikes. On the way home from my ride with the Shawlands group a man walking past shouted in my face "Get off the f*cking road you f*cking idiot".

The week before, a woman - who was, ironically, crossing the road without using the pedestrian crossing - yelled at me to use the bike lane. The bike lane was closed.

I have a fail-safe guide to life. It's this test: Am I being dick? If the answer is yes, then don't. Just don't be a dick. You're shouting at a person cycling? You're being a dick. Just don't. You're driving aggressively? You're being a dick. Just don't.

Ms Burke Newman's parents, Rose and John, have called for more people to cycle, creating a critical mass that will lead to safer roads.

It's a tough call, that one. Yes, absolutely, we will only be safe on the roads when there are enough of us to force change. But, while I adore cycling, can I recommend it to others with a clear conscience?

My friend Stephen phoned me one day. He'd seen a video on Twitter/X of cyclists being knocked off their bike - doorsed - by people opening car doors without looking. The consequences of that carelessness can be appalling for the person cycling.

He wanted to make absolutely sure I was staying alert. This is what happens when people you love cycle. I worry about him too. He's in his 50s (sorry, pal) but is gung-ho in a boyish way, with a youthful sense of invincibility. It's winsome when we're winter sledging in Queen's Park and he's careening down the highest point of the slope without a care. But it sends my heart to my stomach when he's on his bike.

At the same time, I've stopped wearing a helmet when I cycle. You're horrified, fine, but spare me. I hope that if people driving have a clearer view of my face it will humanise me and make them back off. Also, I can't be bothered carrying a helmet about with me. Why should I have to?

We should be able to hop on a bike in our normal clothes and travel around safely as if this was a completely normal thing. The onus for ensuring that should be on the person driving, always.