• 'Bike spike expected as motoring costs increase'

    The average cycle speed in London is higher than the average car speed. But if that's not enough to get people on their bikes, then maybe recent news from the AA that average petrol prices have passed the 130p a litre mark for the first time might do the job. With RAC motoring strategist Adrian Tink telling the Evening Standard that instability in the oil market and fuel duty price rises in April could see petrol prices 'increase by another 8p a litre in the near future', Bike Biz are prediciting 'good news for the cycle trade'. The times they are a changin.

  • Cycling and Climate Change – a talk with Joe Spedding

    Courtesy of sustainable transport charity Sustrans, Spedding will reminisce about his time in Antarctica, discuss his first hand experience of climate change, and inspire with his stories of global cycling.

    On: Thursday 21 April, 2011. Doors open at 6pm, refreshments are available, talk to commence at 6.30pm.

    At: The Gallery, 70 Cowcross Street, London, EC1M 6EJ

    Tickets are £5 from www.sustransshop.co.uk with all proceeds going towards Sustrans' work

  • Hackney City Farm recruits cyclists from crowds waiting at bus stops

    Great idea: Gustavo Montes de Oca from Hackney City Farm is lending commuters on the busy 55 bus route a bicycle - for just the cost of a bus fare. Let me be the first to say: you wait ages for a bus to come along, and then two wheels come along instead.

  • A weight off my mind

    Yesterday I cycled about 20 kilograms of magazines from Lea Bridge Road to Herne Hill via Holborn then back to the Strand. Doing it by car would have meant the congestion charge, petrol and traffic, so I ruled that out. But why didn't I just take the train or bus? I opted for the bike partly because it was free, but for an even simpler reason too: because at no point did I actually have to lift all that weight.

    After I had put each of the panniers onto my bike rack, my legs just had to do a little bit more work than usual - which isn't much to start with, as anyone who has ridden a bike will know. It was a strangely magical experience having 20 kilograms of luggage gliding along beside me. Much easier than lugging it over my shoulders, then up escalators or on and off buses.

    I also got to see the lovely view from Waterloo Bridge - and a weight was lifted from my shoulders in more ways than one. 

  • Bicycle City

    If you think cycling is getting popular in London, then check out this amazing place in Lexington County, in the US.

  • Going Going Bike giving away copies of Cycle Lifestyle

    If you buy a magazine from Going Going Bike, you'll now get a free copy of Cycle Lifestyle with it.

  • New version of Parker's London Cycle Map

    Simon Parker has recently released a new version of his London Cycle Map. It combines design elements from previous versions, so I've dubbed it the 'hybrid version'. Click here, or on the map below, to be directed to a page where the new map, plus previous versions, can be downloaded.

    Looking at this wonderful design, it sends a shiver down the spine to think of what a useful resource this would be for Londoners, when combined with a corresponding system of signage on the roads. After all, these cycle routes already exist - millions of pounds have be spent on them over the years - but they're just not mapped or signed properly. For just £50,000 per borough, Parker's proposal would let the secret out, and make navigating by bike in London so much easier; as easy as catching the tube. You could get from anywhere to anywhere on this vast network of cycle routes by remembering, in the majority of cases, no more than three coloured routes then following the signs.

    If you want to see it happen, please sign the petition and tell your friends.

     

  • Parks, pedestrians, police

    Similar theme as below. I've never understood why cyclists aren't allowed to use London's parks more freely. That is, until I read the Guardian's latest Bike Blog, about how New York police are 'cracking down' (why do newspapers love that phrase so much?) on cyclists in Central Park. This is the line that really caught my eye:

    "The park is so popular with recreational and sports cyclists in all but the hardest winter months, that the unwritten rule is that pedestrians look out for themselves when they cross and the traffic signals are irrelevant when the park's closed to vehicular traffic".

    My heart sank. From feeling immediate sympathy for New York's cyclists I felt a twinge of shadenfreude. I don't live there, so I can't comment on the details or justify my hunch; but I do know that many a time I've encountered a cyclist in London who is barrelling luminscently and pompously through a crowded public space - sacrificing social graces for moralism - and thought to myself: *you're not doing cycling any favours*. When there's an 'unwritten rule' that 'pedestrians look out for themselves' in a park, something's probably not quite right.

  • Cyclists and pedestrians rubbing shoulders

    Ever since I encountered a heated debate between pedestrians and cyclists in Brent about who gets the right to use one of the enormous local parks, I've been shocked at how antagonistic people in the capital can be about 'their' space. Apparently, things are not the same the world over: it's possible for cyclists and pedestrians to share designated areas without either of them forming a lobby (/militant/geurrilla) group to ward each other off.

    This interesting blog shows a scheme in Holland where cyclists and pedestrians share a pedestrianised shopping area (i.e. free of motorised transport) with the onus on cyclists to give way to pedestrians (who are, of course, comparitively more vulnerable, travelling at slower speeds, with infants, etc.). Sounds like common sense to me. Even better, its a scheme that demonstrably lowers car use, which is, in the end, in the interest of the pedestrians. As the author explains:

    "If it were not possible to park your bike immediately outside the shops, and if bikes had to be placed in the same underground car-park as cars, then this would make the car much more competitive in terms of time. Perhaps it could even be quicker than cycling if you were lucky at the traffic lights.

    "This is why in order for pedestrianization not to favour the car over the bike, it has to accommodate cyclists very well. That's exactly what we see here. The sign shows that it's a pedestrian area, but underneath it says 'cycling allowed'. A nice simple message, and an essential one. Take away easy access by cyclists and you actually create a car-oriented pedestrianized area which promotes driving over cycling. I've seen that before."

    Food for thought - and a point worth raising next time you hear a pedestrian condemning cyclists. When the alternative is a 4 x 4 getting in the way of the shopping, people on foot should be careful what they wish for.

  • Bike racks spell out a new welcome for Lambeth

    Visitors to the London Borough of Lambeth are now greeted by a row of eye-catching bike racks created by cycle parking designers Cyclehoop Ltd.

     

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