Cycle to the Lane

So I cycled to Spurs on their opening night , a fairly wild night of weather that would have deterred a few fairweather cyclists . But the transport headache that was already bad enough in the old ground were much worse in the new one, the small matter of 25,000 extra fans of course. Biggest thing I noticed as I approached close to the final whistle was all those running towards Seven Sisters to beat the crowds and this was before the final bell had sounded.The club have in place stewards in yellow near Seven Sisters and railings keeping them all in line , huge signs too PLEASE GET ON THE PAVEMENT . Charming ! I was very surprised to see that there were still queues when I was coming past Seven Sisters,a good hour post match.Shows the scale of the transport issue facing Spurs. From looking briefly at forums since then, it seems clear that Tottenham Hale may be the best station to head to .The train stations of NP and WHL are mobbed, being so near the ground. I read as well in the Times of a scary crush trying to transfer from Seven Sisters to the overground pre match. I’ve little doubt that once many fans experience a constantly awful travel experience , they will see the light ,which doesn’t mean they will start following my team ,QPR , but they will see that arriving by bicycle is a hundred times more pleasant. Cyclists like myself were in a serious minority but the next month at least will bring better daylight and weather that will be...

Cycle to the Lane

After many months of interminable delay,the Spurs ground is finally opening for business tonight and while I won’t be going to the actual game I am planning to visit the ground (on two wheels of course) to take a look at how the transport infrastructure will cope for the first time with the extra 25,000 people . And to see how many fans are travelling by...

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...

Dalston hit and run

Saw the very sad news last night that the pedestrian involved in a collision with a cyclist on an ebike in Dalston over a week ago has died. I had been following the story in the hope that she would make it but sadly not. These incidents of pedestrians being injured or killed by a cyclist are so rare and are massively outweighed by incidents of cyclists and indeed pedestrians being injured or killed by motorists. If only the media reporting was more balanced ! I wrote a piece for the Hackney Gazette this week in an attempt to redress the balance slightly and point out that motorists are by far the greatest perpetrators of hit and runs on vulnerable road users. Charlie Alliston almost became public enemy number one and I hope that this chap doesn’t suffer a similar fate....

Hackney Marshes and the Olympic Park

Being able to walk 15 minutes to work or cycle it in 5 minutes is a lovely position to be in. A slight downside for me is not being able to enjoy the workout of a more demanding cycle ride. Partly as a result , my lady and I have taken to cycling east to the Marshes and the Olympic Park.For me, it’s that moment when I cross Clapton Pond and start on Millfields Road that I start to feel free.I’m sure i’m not imagining the wind in my face that is already coming off the River Lea .The feeling of space once we arrive at the Marshes at Cow Bridge, wide open green , is wonderful . The Olympic Park is just a short ride down the towpath, and feels like another planet , it always does to me and mostly in a good way, it’s the space again, so unlike most of London. Even deckchairs out yesterday. the Olympics were over six years ago of course and I don’t really know the Park anything like i’d like.The wide open roads are great for riding and exploring around and the Velopark is perfect for training on , a mate introduced me to it when preparing for the Dunwich Dynamo in 2017. 23 degrees and a blinding lunch at The Breakfast Club helped with it all too...

Dalston hit and run

Impossible really for this case in the last 24 hours (cyclist hits pedestrian in Dalston and flees the scene )not to give me mixed feelings. I have dealt with so many hit and run cases for cyclists over the years and have several ongoing at present. I always do. Cyclists (and pedestrians ) are disproportionately the victims of hit and runs , so many of which happen after dark when it is easier to flee and there are fewer witnesses around. I awoke today to the news that the cyclist has handed himself into the police which is great although it was probably only a matter of time before he was located because the image was so strong. The media love a cyclist v pedestrian story as they did with the Charlie Alliston case and I expect this will assist the campaign for laws to update the ‘ furious and wanton cycling’ charge. This has also happened on my doorstep , the bike was found dumped a 10 minute walk from where I live. I hope the media reporting is as fair as it can be and have more faith in the Hackney Gazette and the Standard than I do the...