epic cycle for me, just another ordinary day for some.

Excited about a long cycle to Wimbledon tomorrow for my last day on a brain injury course.13.2 miles Strava says it is from Stoke Newington to Wimbledon. My daily cycle commute is less than half a mile and I meet so many cyclists in my work who travel big distances like 13 miles each morning. The fitness I’d have if I worked in Wimbledon rather than down the road from where I live ! It’ll be fun to be on a superhighway in the morning , although going against most of the cycle traffic.CS7 covers most of the journey to south west London and is a road I know fairly well. I’ve had two big cases, one still ongoing,  that have come from collisions on CS7 or as we should call them now, cycle ways. I think the rebranding of cycle superhighways to cycle ways is actually a good thing. Language matters and anything that makes some cyclists feel that it is a race track and a cycle way is only for speed freaks is not a good thing in my view. This will deter exactly the types of hard to reach cyclists that we need to bring with us. Forecast is good , just need to set off early enough so that my below par fitness can take the journey...

coast to coast on the santander hire scheme

I had the pleasure this week of attending a head injury course for two days in Wimbledon. This meant a lovely long cycle .With my bike in the bike shop, it was hire bike time and I did a real coast to coast , well in London terms. I’ve long campaigned for Santander and Barclays before them to extend the scheme outwards from zone 1 and have had some success with this , when the last Mayor confirmed an extension to Stratford. The nearest to me is Middleton Road in Hackney and the furthest I could go en route to Wimbledon was Putney Bridge. A great route, Angel, St John St, Smithfield (I could smell the meat !) , Old Bailey,Fleet St, Strand, The Mall , Pimlico Road , Kings Road… I forgot just how long is the Kings Road which turns into the New Kings Road…punishing but rewarding. Still a fan of those hire bikes too, less jarring on speedhumps than my own racer. A great...

Cycling Action Plan, more progress…!

I’ve spent more time than I should today reading the TFL Cycling Action Plan which is an impressive piece of work. Why ? It’s a long term document, trying to look ahead not just to the next mayoral term but to 2024 and even to 2040 with objectives of cycling rates in mind. What I also like is how specific it is by listing out the individual junctions and saying when construction work will begin. This approach takes leadership since it’s easy for anyone to use the document to say x or y hasn’t happened yet but I feel it shows how serious and ambitious is the current mayor to make good on his cycling manifesto...

punishing climbs !

My sister has three weeks ago given birth to a baby girl, hooray!, and lives on the Friern Barnet side of Muswell Hill. This is one serious amount of hilly cycling . On the way back to Stoke Newington, I counted two stiff climbs, one up Colney Hatch Lane and a stiffer up Crouch Hill , but on the way there… it’s like training for the Tour De France ! Makes you feel so alive and reminds me of work to do on my fitness levels . Nice baby too...

Cycle boxes need the same legal status of yellow box junctions,Carla Roman… .

Yesterday , the HGV driver was sentenced to 15 months for Carla’s death by careless driving which he denied.What stands out in this case is that the driver freely admitted that he occupied the cycle box deliberately, so that he ”wouldn’t be swarmed by cyclists .” This shows in my view how much the motorists’ mindset needs to change, in the way that drink driving was once socially acceptable. It’s still acceptable socially for motorists to ignore cycle boxes which as the judge said in Karla’s case, are specifically there to protect cyclists, not to make driving easier for HGV drivers ! It occurred to me last night that changing the legal status of cycle boxes to put them on a par with yellow box junctions is one thing we can fight for, in memory of Karla. Drivers avoid box junctions like the plague since they know it’s an automatic fine, well this same status on cycle boxes would change their behaviour regarding cyclists, and the green boxes could do what they were designed to do, protect and save the lives of cyclists...