May 12, 2007
These past few weeks of good weather have encouraged a lot of bikes out of their winter hibernation.
You can’t help but noticed how many more squeaking chains, low saddles and under inflated tyres there are amongst these returning commuters.
I am also noticing one or two more shiny new bikes with their riders virtually glowing in crinkly new hi-viz jackets.
London Mayor Ken Livingstone announced a couple of weeks ago that the number of cycle journeys in London has increased by 6% in the year to March and are up 83% since 2000.
What makes this particularly good news is that despite the increase, the number of cyclists killed or seriously injured in this city has fallen by 28%.
Cycling in London is becoming safer because more people cycle.
It is as simple as that.
And the nice thing about cycling becoming safer is it encourages even more people to cycle.
London’s Evening Standard recently published a twelve point charter for safer cycling which Nic Price has detailed here.
- A real cycle network across London
- Better cycle lanes with proper segregation
- Enforcement of special advanced stop lines for cyclists
- HGVs to be fitted with special cyclist safety mirrors
- Compulsory cyclist awareness training for all bus drivers and new HGV drivers
- Make safe the Thames bridges: some of the most dangerous places for cyclists
- Cycle-friendly streets: fewer one-way systems which funnel cyclists into the middle of traffic
- More cycle parking across London
- A police crackdown on bike theft
- Campaign to urge the self employed to claim a 20p a mile cycling allowance against tax
- Better cycle-bus-rail coordination: adequate parking at all railway stations
- Cycle training for all schoolchildren and any adult who wants it
This looks like a decent list that will get more people riding but while I support it, I can’t see how the tax allowance is making cycling safer.
March 13, 2007
I miss the increased visibility that the hybrid’s more upright riding position gave me but I love the increased speed and agility from the road bike. It’s now so much easier to keep up with moving traffic and opportunities to overtake are far more common. I feel that I flow with the traffic far more easily and it is almost as if I simply blow in to work now.
February 8, 2007
With most of the UK shut down after only a few inches of snow this morning I decided to see what my ride would be like.
Keeping warm wasn’t a problem as it wasn’t any colder than earlier in the week but the view out onto the street was a little daunting.
Snow was still falling and cars were gingerly making their way down the street.
Once I got going it was fine. It didn’t take too long to get used to the difference in surface traction and the only real annoyance was the freezing flakes in my eyes. I can’t see me commuting in ski goggles so I’ll have to get some clear glasses if we’re going to have much more snow.
January 16, 2007
Inspired by Treadly and Me, this is my 15km ride in to work. It usually takes me around 45 minutes.
A nice short cut through the bus station that avoids the crazy traffic at this notorious black spot for cyclists.
[Please excuse the poor quality]
A quick , almost traffic free run behind Westminster Magistrates’ Court. It was swarming with armed police when the people charged with plotting to blow up US-bound airliners were brought to court last year. It’s often full of prison vans waiting near the loading bay at the rear of the court.
Horse Guards Road
Runs along the eastern edge of St James Park past the memorial to the Bali bombing victims and the rear entrance to Downing Street. You regularly get delayed here as motorcades with outriders sweep in or out. Also, this must be one of the darkest streets in Central London at night. Maybe they dim the street lights due to the security cameras.
My home away from home at work in Soho.