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magazine of the London Cycling Campaign August-September 2010

BUMPER SUMMER FOR CAMPAIGNS ■ Beat The Thief ■ Bike Parking ■ Lorry Danger Reduction PLUS: Cycle Hire launch & Superhighways comment

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Contents

020 7234 9310 www.lcc.org.uk

Editorial contacts Editor: John Kitchiner; londoncyclist@lcc.org.uk Design: Anita Razak; design@lcc.org.uk Communications: Mike Cavenett; mike@lcc.org.uk Products: Matthew Moore; m.moore@lcc.org.uk

Advertising contact Claire Barber, 020 7878 2319; lcc@tenalps.com

Contribute to the mag Email londoncyclist@lcc.org.uk to discuss feature and photography ideas

www.lcc.org.uk For the latest news, campaigns and events info, visit the LCC website, where you can also sign up for our fortnightly e-newsletter

Editorial, copyright & printing policy LCC is not aligned with any political party. All views expressed in London Cyclist are those of the authors and are not necessarily endorsed by the editor, nor do they necessarily reflect LCC policy. Editorial content is independent of advertising. All material is copyrighted and may not be reproduced without the written permission of the editor. London Cyclist is printed by Wyndehams on paper made from 80 percent recycled waste and 20 percent sustainablymanaged forest. London Cycling Campaign is a charitable limited company, reg no 1766411; charity no 1115789.

news, letters & opinion News 'Beat The Thief' update, plus other London-wide cycling issues Letters Your latest rants, raves, comments and queries Koy Thomson Suggests ways to maintain campaigning and lobbying pressure Zoe Williams On the dilemma she faces when a mechanical strikes Charlie Lloyd Explains why the motorbikes in bus lanes trial has already failed

4 10 13 15 17

features Bike Parking LCC's new campaign seeks a massive improvement in provision Cycle Superhighways Why the first two launched are set to disappoint LIPs How these schemes are vital for safer neighbourhood streets Lorry Danger New plans to make London's streets safer from 'lethal lorries' Bike Week Review of some of the best event in our annual cycling festival Best Rides in London The Hitchcock Trail in north-east London Interview Former Copenhagen mayor Ritte Bjerregaard on cycling infrastructure Travel Escaping the big city with a tour of the Viking Coastal Trail in Kent Technical Step-by-step guide to setting up or replacing your derailleurs

18 22 24 27 28 30 32 34 36

reviews Bike Test Five city-friendly hybrids ridden and rated Grouptest Locks and security products Product Kids' lids, summer shoes and other gear for the urban chaingang Books Improve your workshop skills or riding technique with this latest crop

40 43 45 46

members Community cycling How three projects are benefitting from CCCfL funding Local group news Updates on campaigns and events in your local area Rides listing What's happening around the boroughs over the next two months London cyclists Photographic vox pops of the city's diverse bike fraternity

49 51 55 58

WHAT LCC DOES… ■ Campaigns for change ■ Supports our members ■ Promotes London cycling

COVER: Farid Tejani/bliinkpix.com LOCATION: Greenway, Stratford

LCC’S STRATEGIC AIMS ■ Promote cycling to the people ■ Redesign our streets for cycles ■ Promote cycling to our politicians ■ Make cycling diverse and inclusive (www.lcc.org.uk/strategy)

MEMBER BENEFITS ■ Up to 15% off in bike shops ■ Free third-party insurance cover ■ Exclusive deals on bike insurance ■ Free bimonthly magazine ■ Free legal helpline

August-September 2010 London Cyclist 3

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NEWS

News Visit www.lcc.org.uk for campaign updates and latest news reports LCC seeks to recruit new chief executive LCC chief executive Koy Thomson is leaving the organisation, returning to the development sector to work for Children in Crisis. Prior to heading up LCC, he worked for development charity Action Aid. Thomson said: "It has been a huge privilege to lead LCC and be part of such a great campaigning heritage. LCC is a heady mix of campaigners, borough activists, cycle enthusiasts, volunteers, staff, trustees and members, and I want to thank them all for the support, enthusiasm, and commitment to changing London for the better." Current LCC director of programme development Matt Mallinder will act as interim chief executive during the recruitment process.

Lambeth blues for Superhighways

Lambeth Council has chosen to boycott the opening of the Cycle Superhighways, while much of the cycling community has offered only lukewarm praise or outright condemnation of the scheme. Richard Ambler, Lambeth Council cycling officer, has condemned the blue lanes,

Elephant & Castle finally loses its southern roundabout Work is due to start on the removal of the southern roundabout of the Elephant and Castle road complex. It’s being converted into a three-way junction with cycle lanes, traffic lights, advance stop lines and pedestrian crossings — see illustration below. Other changes include improved street lighting and extra trees, plus the subways underneath the roundabout will be filled in and replaced by new surface crossings. "The Elephant & Castle regeneration is one of the longest running development sagas in London. It's great that something is finally happening after years of wrangling," said Mike Cavenett, LCC communications officer. "There have been several cyclist fatalities and many collisions

around the Elephant & Castle area, so measures to make it more cyclist-friendly are very welcome and something LCC has lobbied for consistently over the years. "It'll also be interesting to see how the Elephant 'bypass' looks once it's had the Superhighways treatment. There are concerns that it's too narrow for increased numbers of cyclists and about the sharp turns needed to negotiate it.”

chiefly for encouraging cyclists to take up an unsafe road position near the kerb. LCC has expressed disappointment that so many of our suggestions for improvements to the routes were not taken up, but has also given a guarded welcome to positive

changes at major junctions such as Stockwell and Kennington, which LCC lobbied hard to make sure were part of the final designs (as London Cyclist went to press, works on the junctions hadn’t finished). For a detailed response from LCC on the Superhighways, go to p22.

Bus lanes trial extended despite casualty increase The Mayor has extended the motorbikes in bus lanes trial for another 18 months, even though an independent report found that the measure is likely to be placing motorcyclists and cyclists at greater risk of death or serious injury. The report, commissioned by Transport for London, concluded that “motorcyclists appear to be less safe since the scheme was introduced”.  The report also says that cyclist collisions increased “significantly” across a number of monitored sites, but notes that the sample size was relatively small. Across all roads controlled by Transport for London (essentially, the main road network), cyclist collision rates decreased over the period of the

trial, but the decrease was less on roads with bus lanes routes in the trial than on those without. The study also found that speeding by motorcycles increased during the trial period, with a greater increase at the main trial sites compared to the 'controls'. LCC's Koy Thomson said: "It’s irresponsible for the Mayor to continue with a measure that may undermine casualty reduction targets, and we still argue that putting fast-moving vehicles in the relative ‘safe haven’ of the bus lanes will discourage novices from taking up cycling, damaging the Mayor’s own targets for increasing the numbers of cyclists." ■ See 'Opinion' on page 17.

+++ LCC local groups organise bike rides throughout the year — see page 55 for a full listing +++ 4 London Cyclist August-September 2010

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Waterloo's new two-tier bike racks show the way Two-tier cycle racks have been opened at Waterloo station, increasing the number of parking spaces at one of Britain’s busiest

railway stations from 212 to 534. The £200,000 Government investment follows similar implementations at Liverpool

DOUBLING UP: more than 500 bike spaces outside busy commuter station

Street and Euston, and takes the number of new cycle spaces provided at major London stations to over 500 within the last year. Campaigns manager Tom Bogdanowicz said: "Over the years, LCC has made countless representations to politicians and officials calling for increased cycle parking, especially at transport hubs. Only last year we published photos of the massive bike tangles that occur at many stations due to insufficient bike stands. We welcome the new stands at Waterloo and look forward to the day when every London inter-city railway station has at least 500 spaces. Victoria, St Pancras, Paddington and other stations are all in urgent need of decent facilities."

Nominate an award-winning cycling project The London Cycling Awards 2010 are your opportunity to nominate the capital’s best cycling projects and reward the hard work, talent and inspiration that have encouraged a record number of Londoners to get on their bikes. LCC’s well-established awards programme has been expanded this year to include the best (non-competitive) cycling event. Anyone can nominate a cycling project or facility for an award, and self-nominations are

welcome. In addition to the regular awards, the London Cyclist team will award a special award for ‘Cycling Promotion’. Last year’s winners included an innovative project run by the police teaching deaf children to cycle, a new off-road bike link connecting north London to St Pancras, an imaginative HGV driver-cyclist training scheme in Lambeth and a pioneering scheme that brought cycling to three Hackney housing estates. Nominations can be made by

any organisation involved in a scheme or anyone who considers a project or facility should be nominated for an award. The awards will be presented at LCC’s AGM on 17 November. Projects should have been initiated or completed since April 2009. Details on how to submit a nomination can be found on LCC’s website at www.lcc.org.uk/ awards. The final deadline for your award nominations is Monday 11 October.

2010 London Cycling Awards Nominations can be made in these categories: ■ Best Cycle Facility ■ Best Community Cycling Initiative ■ Best Cycling Initiative for Young People or Children ■ Best Workplace Cycling Initiative. ■ Best Cycling Event (noncompetitive)

2009 WINNER: Met Police initiative for teaching deaf children to cycle

Greenways fall victim to TfL budget changes Another section of successful shared-use cycling and walking route has been opened in Beckenham, as part of the Greenways programme, but Transport for London is still planning to remove the ringfencing on the spending from 2011. Greenways are walking and cycling routes through the capital's green spaces, including riverside pathways. Typically, the Beckenham route provides a useful link, as well as providing space for recreational cyclists. Funding down by £1.7m LCC persuaded the previous mayor, Ken Livingstone, to establish the programme with a dedicated budget because Greenways can be four times more effective at persuading people to take up cycling than on-road facilities (according to TfL). Funding for the Greenways programme was £4 million in 2009/10, split between boroughpromoted schemes (£3.2m) and those from other authorities (£0.8m). In 2010/11, the programme will be just £2.3m, with £1.6m for borough schemes and £0.7m other. Originally, boroughs sought funding of £6.2m for this financial year. From next year, Cycling on Greenways will no longer be a centrally funded project.

+++ To receive a fortnightly e-newsletter on London cycling issues, sign up at www.lcc.org.uk +++ August-September 2010 London Cyclist 5

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Waterloo's new two-tier bike racks show the way Two-tier cycle racks have been opened at Waterloo station, increasing the number of parking spaces at one of Britain’s busiest

railway stations from 212 to 534. The £200,000 Government investment follows similar implementations at Liverpool

DOUBLING UP: more than 500 bike spaces outside busy commuter station

Street and Euston, and takes the number of new cycle spaces provided at major London stations to over 500 within the last year. Campaigns manager Tom Bogdanowicz said: "Over the years, LCC has made countless representations to politicians and officials calling for increased cycle parking, especially at transport hubs. Only last year we published photos of the massive bike tangles that occur at many stations due to insufficient bike stands. We welcome the new stands at Waterloo and look forward to the day when every London inter-city railway station has at least 500 spaces. Victoria, St Pancras, Paddington and other stations are all in urgent need of decent facilities."

Nominate an award-winning cycling project The London Cycling Awards 2010 are your opportunity to nominate the capital’s best cycling projects and reward the hard work, talent and inspiration that have encouraged a record number of Londoners to get on their bikes. LCC’s well-established awards programme has been expanded this year to include the best (non-competitive) cycling event. Anyone can nominate a cycling project or facility for an award, and self-nominations are

welcome. In addition to the regular awards, the London Cyclist team will award a special award for ‘Cycling Promotion’. Last year’s winners included an innovative project run by the police teaching deaf children to cycle, a new off-road bike link connecting north London to St Pancras, an imaginative HGV driver-cyclist training scheme in Lambeth and a pioneering scheme that brought cycling to three Hackney housing estates. Nominations can be made by

any organisation involved in a scheme or anyone who considers a project or facility should be nominated for an award. The awards will be presented at LCC’s AGM on 17 November. Projects should have been initiated or completed since April 2009. Details on how to submit a nomination can be found on LCC’s website at www.lcc.org.uk/ awards. The final deadline for your award nominations is Monday 11 October.

2010 London Cycling Awards Nominations can be made in these categories: ■ Best Cycle Facility ■ Best Community Cycling Initiative ■ Best Cycling Initiative for Young People or Children ■ Best Workplace Cycling Initiative. ■ Best Cycling Event (noncompetitive)

2009 WINNER: Met Police initiative for teaching deaf children to cycle

Greenways fall victim to TfL budget changes Another section of successful shared-use cycling and walking route has been opened in Beckenham, as part of the Greenways programme, but Transport for London is still planning to remove the ringfencing on the spending from 2011. Greenways are walking and cycling routes through the capital's green spaces, including riverside pathways. Typically, the Beckenham route provides a useful link, as well as providing space for recreational cyclists. Funding down by £1.7m LCC persuaded the previous mayor, Ken Livingstone, to establish the programme with a dedicated budget because Greenways can be four times more effective at persuading people to take up cycling than on-road facilities (according to TfL). Funding for the Greenways programme was £4 million in 2009/10, split between boroughpromoted schemes (£3.2m) and those from other authorities (£0.8m). In 2010/11, the programme will be just £2.3m, with £1.6m for borough schemes and £0.7m other. Originally, boroughs sought funding of £6.2m for this financial year. From next year, Cycling on Greenways will no longer be a centrally funded project.

+++ To receive a fortnightly e-newsletter on London cycling issues, sign up at www.lcc.org.uk +++ August-September 2010 London Cyclist 5

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NEWS

Theft campaign bears fruit with police bike theft squad 'BEAT THE THIEF' SUCCESS 1 Creation of a police antitheft squad A 30-strong Metropolitan Police squad formed 2 Tougher action against selling stolen bikes online The police and Gumtree are both committed to action 3 Code of practice for bike shops LCC has proposed a code that’s being refined 4 Tougher action against street markets Police squad committed to taking action here 5 A central repository for recovered bikes LCC will be lobbying for this in 2010 LCC lobbying has helped create a 30-strong anti-theft squad specifically to tackle bicycle crime in Greater London. Our 'Beat The Thief' campaign was organised in response to a rapid increase in bike crime in recent years, with theft in the worst areas of the capital up by 75 percent. One of the key demands of LCC’s campaign, and something that LCC has lobbied for consistently, was a dedicated anti-theft unit. Transport for London and the

Metropolitan Police announced the creation of the squad on 6 June, which coincided with the publication of the Mayor’s draft Cycle Security Action Plan. LCC is responding to the draft, reiterating our eight demands to reduce theft in the capital (see right). The plan already refers to tackling several problems identified by LCC and its members, such as the issue of why so many stolen bikes are being sold online. As London Cyclist went to

press, LCC was also in discussions with Gumtree’s Safety Team, with a view to reducing the number of stolen bikes sold via their website. eBay has so far declined several invitations to participate in discusssions. LCC is also in contact with the police with a view to encouraging Safer Neighbourhood police squads to take a firmer line on illegal trading at street markets.

6 Regular stakeholder meetings TfL committed to working with cyclist groups 7 Increasing secure parking provision 66,000 spaces promised by TfL for Greater London 8 Better education for cyclists Anti-theft videos viewed by 15,000 people; 10,000 tags handed out

Tags illustrate proper locking technique for Londoners During June LCC tagged thousands of bikes all over Greater London to warn cyclists about the dangers of bike theft. Each tag provided a list of locking dos and don'ts, and also included a bike record card that will hopefully encourage cyclists to make a note of the make, model and frame number of their bike to aid recovery in case it's stolen. The tags also featured a link to LCC's campaign web pages (www.lcc.org.uk/ theft), where they could learn more about the issues.

+++ Find a comprehensive archive of London Cyclist news and features at www.lcc.org.uk +++ 6 London Cyclist August-September 2010

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TfL report recommends 20mph for city's bridges

AndyWilkes@flickr

LCC’s Mike Cavenett said: "Thames bridges should have special speed limits because cyclists simply can't take alternative routes, as they can when avoiding busy roads elsewhere in the city centre. They either battle with the fast-moving traffic on the bridges, or they swim. Tower Bridge has had a successful 20mph speed limit for several years now." The Bridges Report was only published in December 2008 after strong lobbying from LCC insisted it was made public. The report uses crash data collected from 2003 to 2006 on 13 London bridges and includes a detailed cost-benefit analysis for installing average speed cameras across all 13 crossings.

greensambaman@flickr

LCC welcomed the comments from Mayor Boris Johnson last month that reducing the speed limit on Southwark Bridge to 20mph is being seriously considered as part of the Superhighway 7 upgrade. And LCC is keen to draw to the Mayor’s attention to a Transport for London report that strongly recommends all central London bridges should be 20mph zones. The 2008 Transport for London Bridges Report notes that cyclists crossing bridges are 15 percent more likely to be involved in a collision than if they are riding on a similar inner city road. Introducing 20mph limits on 13 central London bridges would reduce casualties by a third, with a net saving to the city of £2 million.

CHALKING IT UP: creative kids show future for city speed limits

CPS claims killer lorry driver using mobile during Oval crash A lorry driver who killed a cyclist in a collision at the Oval junction in south London in June 2009 is to stand trial for causing death by dangerous driving. Prosecutors claim CCTV shows the driver was using his mobile phone at the time of the crash and that he was also found to be under the influence of alcohol. The cyclist, Catriona Patel, was described after the crash by her husband Mr Anish Patel as “a strong cyclist who would think nothing of a 100-mile ride up and down mountains — always with a smile”. Mr Patel wrote a column in the December-January 2010 issue of London Cyclist calling for improved infrastructure for cyclists.

Trio of Skyrides aim to switch LCC secures review of cycle thousands more on to cycling routes in Olympic Park The Olympic Delivery Agency (ODA) has promised to review cycle provision in the Olympic Park after lobbying by LCC’s east London groups at a key planning meeting. Plans for the Olympic Park, which include a range of on- and off-road cycle routes, will now be shown to Cycling England (the national adviser on cycling) following a formal recommendation from the Planning Decisions Team (PDT) for the Olympic Park.

Some PDT committee members shared LCC’s concerns about poor cycle facility designs, which included an on-road cycle lane around a roundabout. The committee also ordered a review of cycle parking at legacy venues across the Olympic Park. LCC argued that cycle parking in the park did not consider the thousands of people who might arrive by bike for major events at venues like the velodrome and aquatic centre.

The first of three Skyride events has taken place in Ealing (on 18 July), with another carfree day happening in Redbridge on 15 August and the main Mayor of London Skyride scheduled for Sunday 5 September. Last year, the central London event saw 65,000 cyclists take to the streets, and a further 10,000  attended in Hounslow.  Holding an annual mass bike event in London was the brainchild of LCC board member David Love and last year LCC led over 3,500 novice cyclists from the suburbs into central London.

+++ Get a full listing of local maintenance classes at http://tinyurl.com/LCCmaintenance +++ August-September 2010 London Cyclist 7

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NEWS

Drivers must 'take more care' as Cycle Hire arrives City centre drivers are being urged to take more care after the Cycle Hire Scheme launches on 30 July. LCC campaigns officer Charlie Lloyd said: "Cycling is inherently safe. It is the danger caused by motor vehicles that creates risk for cyclists. London's car, van and lorry drivers must make it safe by driving more carefully. Drivers should only turn left or overtake when they are sure not to endanger any cyclist or pedestrian." Evidence points to a 'safety in numbers' principle, which shows that an increase in cycling journeys makes it safer for everyone, tending to reduce the rate of collisions involving cyclists. It's suggested this effect is due to drivers becoming more aware of cyclists, and more drivers being cyclists themselves. In 2009, a Transport Research Laboratory report suggested that between two-thirds and three-quarters of collisions involving adult cyclists and motor vehicles could be attributed to the driver. The most common cause was drivers "failing to look properly".

COMPLEMENTARY MEASURES LCC borough groups in Zone 1 has influenced the Cycle Hire 'complementary measures', designed to augment the scheme launching on 30 July. A map of the measures can be downloaded at www.lcc.org. uk/cyclehire. LCC has been lobbying extensively for a Zone 1 BikeGrid, a proper network of cycle lanes spanning central London in a north-south and east-west criss-cross manner. Visit www.lcc.org. uk/campaigns for details.

READY TO ROLL: London new Cycle Hire fleet will hit the streets in July

HIRE SCHEME COULD REACH OUTER BOROUGHS Barclays' £25 million sponsorship of the Cycle Hire Scheme could herald an expansion into the Isle of Dogs and outer London, Mayor Boris Johnson told LCC. Details of the five-year sponsorship for both the Cycle Hire Scheme and the Cycle Superhighways were announced at an event at City Hall last month. At the launch, LCC’s Tom Bogdanowicz spoke to Mayor Boris Johnson: TB: When will the Cycle Hire Scheme be expanded? BJ: We're very keen to work with Barclays to put in a second phase out towards the Olympic site, out towards the Barclays office in Canary Wharf, and spread it to east London and then to see if we can get it in outer London too. We do want to expand it and obviously we are going to be working on it in the run up to London 2012. TB: Will you seek to make streets cycle friendly for the new cyclists? BJ: Yes, and there are several things I want to stress: the first is this is a big project and people should not think it’s going to be smooth necessarily. There will be teething problems, people will think some bike stations are in the wrong place. But we want to work constantly with Barclays,

with TfL, to iron them out over the next months and years. Because if you launch something like this — 6000 bikes — it’s not going to be perfect from day one but we are very ambitious and if it works we want it to go further obviously. Barclays is also sponsoring the Cycle Superhighways and, of course, we all know what they're going to add and what they're not going to add, but at least they are going to make a contribution. TB: Apparently the new transport minister, Philip Hammond, is too scared to cycle in London? BJ: Well Tom, you and I are going to sort that out: we’re going to take him out. I think we should.

Phone apps and Oyster might make life easier Your mobile phone could soon provide you with live updates of the locations of new Cycle Hire bikes and docking stations. Transport for London has relaxed rules that prohibited commercial gain from the data, paving the way for developers to produce smart-phone apps for iPhone and Android mobiles. The technology could either guide you towards hard-to-find bikes during busy periods or find you a vacant drop-off slot if you're short of time. The Cycle Hire Scheme hasn't been made compatible with Oyster Cards, which LCC says is vital to make it a key part of the city-wide transport scheme. However, politicians have suggested this is a measure that might be implemented as the scheme matures.

+++ Get a full listing of local maintenance classes at http://tinyurl.com/LCCmaintenance +++ 8 London Cyclist August-September 2010

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LETTERS

Letters Comment, opinion, rants and raves — send yours to londoncyclist@lcc.org.uk CHANGING THE LAW At long last an article on what is now being called ‘stricter liability, by Amy Aeron-Thomas (London Cyclist, June-July issue). This article should be reprinted in every edition of the magazine, ideally flagged up on the front cover. This proven concept would cost next to nothing to introduce, just requiring a change in the law. Eventually it will apply here anyway through EU convergency agreements. It is so blindingly obvious that this is the single most effective way to encourage more cycling, I can't believe that it's not the number one campaign of the LCC. Instead of the obsession with expensive, ineffective little cycle lanes, let's go for the freedom of the road. Tony Joyce, email COURT IN THE ACT: is it time for a law change to provide cyclists with an automatic entitlement to compensation?

CHANGING THE LAW 2 I read Amy Aeron-Thomas’ article in the June/July issue with great interest as I have been a victim of collisions not of my making, with ‘serious injury’ consequences, on several occasions in the last 30-odd years. I was particularly interested in the suggestion of cyclists and pedestrians having automatic entitlement to compensation unless it is taken away from them by the courts — because, for example, of contributory negligence of a high degree. What she didn’t say, though, was more interesting: making the motorist behave properly because they want to (not merely because the law says so). I still don’t know what would “switch the motorist’s best behaviour on”. I was concerned at her suggestion that motorists will behave because their insurance premiums will go up if they don’t — I have doubts that this is a valid suggestion. Firstly, at least one of the drivers who mowed me down wasn’t insured — so increasing premiums will disadvantage me (in my capacity as a motorist too) without stopping the uninsured

driver from carrying blithely on. Secondly, premiums aren’t vast, so a loss of a no claims bonus may be seen merely as an increase in the cost of living. Something else Amy doesn’t say is that civil law and criminal law have different requirements of ‘proof’ — but if pedestrians and cyclists had presumptive rights to compensation, there could be a case for a change in the law to allow for compensation to be determined by the civil courts and enforced against the driver. The court could determine what proportion of that compensation (if any) the insurance company should be liable for (the driver being personally liable for the rest), and the proportion being determined by how culpable the courts thought the driver had been (mobile phone/speeding/ etc). An advantage of that would be that the courts could enforce payment by the driver, making non-payment a matter of contempt with its own penalties. I think Amy and I — and many others — agree that changing the assumptions in today’s collision logic is necessary. We possibly disagree over the priorities which should be given to spin-off

aspects. Recent changes towards recognition of victims’ feelings/thoughts/injuries mean we’re heading in the right direction. With RoadPeace’s efforts, we may get there in my lifetime or yours. Andy Bebington, email

LCC says: A financial penalty is a proven way to change behaviour, but it needn't be the only mechanism used to improve driving. Stricter penalties for speeding, mobile phone use or driving without insurance would also contribute to safer streets.

NETWORK NOT WORKING? I refer to Clarrisa Dorner's letter in the June/July issue, but have found that parts of the London Cycle Network are dangerous. Some of these routes are very busy, fast or narrow, with parked cars on both sides; wide vehicles aren't banned along many narrow streets. Then, of course, some routes take you into areas where there is high lorry use, such as the roads leading into the Olympic sites. Often along the LCN there are no marked cycle paths and not a lot of it is off-road. In parts of

east London I can find numerous LCN 'horrors'. Where possible I either walk along the pavement if the route is too dangerous or I find smaller roads that are quiet and often deserted. The smaller roads the better,as cars find them really awkward to navigate — unlike some of the LCN routes, where polluting 18-tonne lorry convoys are positively encouraged. Velochick, email

ARE FRIENDS ELECTRIC? The e-bike is probably set to grow massively in the UK (my educated guess), which has major implications in terms of bike-on-bike conflict, use of cycle lanes and suchlike — especially in view of e-bikes' potential speeds. How about an article setting out LCC's views? Will Mowat, email

LCC says: One’s in the pipeline for later in the year.

COUNTRY COUSINS LCC is focused on London cycling for Londoners — and quite right too. But don't forget your country cousins. For 10 years now I've been commuting to the

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capital from a village in Norfolk, with a little help from the rail network. It began with a tube strike and my wobbly old Bickerton. Even though it took 10 minutes to unfold, and the bars often lost interest in the front wheel, I soon discovered how small and flat central London is — perfect for cycling. So the Bickerton was replaced by a Brompton which takes me from village to station and from train to wherever I’m working, often guided by a Garmin satnav. While mostly working in London, I even took my bike on the Eurostar to Brussels, and then pedalled all the way out to give a course for NATO. I usually arrive refreshed and energised for the day ahead. Sitting folded in the corner, the bike is also often a talking point on the courses I run. A delegate from the ambulance service recently asked me if I knew what his colleagues called us city cyclists. Hoping for some recognition for our efforts, I said: "No, what?" "Organ donors," he cheerfully replied. Well it hasn't put me off and as our numbers increase keep a look out for country commuter cyclists. We're the ones with straw in our helmets. David White, Norfolk

POTTY POTHOLES POLICY It seems that it's the policy of Wandsworth Borough Council (WBC) to encourage cyclists who have come a cropper with deep potholes to challenge them legally due to their policy for non-payment of compensation to claimants. It's a shocking

waste of ratepayers money having to resort to using solicitors and challenging claims rather than mending potholes themselves.  A letter to several WBC departments resulted in return letters promising 'we will look into the matter', but nothing happened. Then WBC insurers said that they were not negilgent, even when council staff at the Technical Services Department had actually inspected the pothole that same day and the left offending pothole unfilled and unlit.  The council is absolutely determined to deny any claims or responsibility under Section 58 of the Highways Act which seems to admonish councils in paying compensation to casualties as a result of road defects it deems not serious enough for regular repair and inspections on a regular basis. The road in question was a residential road and became dangerous during the winter after a previous road inspection.  I am now pursuing my claim with solicitors which will cost WBC ten times what my original claim was for. Surely this is a silly waste of scarce resources just when councils are looking for savings and efficiencies?  Martin Ireland, Battersea

MIDDLE-AGED MADMEN I'm a cyclist myself (over 20 years with LCC!) and yet I have to write to you to complain about the local vandalism here in west London — by cyclists! Let me explain. I live on a

TOW THE LINE: canal-side riding like this steers clear of user conflict

canal boat and as part of their improvement works British Waterways have found it necessary to close a section of the towpath while they are working there, a project that should have taken around four weeks. Every evening, as the workmen leave, they put up a safety barrier blocking access to the area where they have been working. It makes sense, as there are hazards there, obviously as it's a building site, and there are ropes from their moored boats running across the path. But every time they put up a barrier, a cyclist comes along and smashes it down. I can hear them every evening, battering the metal fence panels until they’re trampled down. Some even carry tools; I've seen two cyclists pull boltcutters from their backpacks. This is vandalism. The work is, of course, now delayed because the workmen spend a significant part of every morning repairing the barrier from the cyclists' damage the night before. The costs will now be a lot more too. So when did cyclists become so destructive? One of

the key points of cycle campaigning is that we are a responsible, considerate and ecologically-minded group, and yet these idiots destroy all the goodwill that cyclists have previously enjoyed. And incidentally, it’s not kids we’re talking about, these are all middle-aged men, mostly grey-haired or balding, often wearing racing club colours! Why is the previously good reputation of London cyclists being ruined by an arrogant and selfish bunch of middle-aged morons, who clearly need a more appropriate outlet for their ageing testosterone? It makes you ashamed to be either a Londoner or a cyclist. Hilary Sudlow, email

LCC says: LCC condemns wanton acts of vandalism, especially anything that halts useful towpath works, which would benefit all users. We hope this is the work of just one or two irresponsible people and doesn't sully the reputation of all cyclists, the vast majority of whom are considerate and courteous.

Read more online If you can't wait for the next issue of London Cyclist magazine, you can find a large archive of this subversive cartoon strip (based in a Wisconsin cycle repair shop) by visiting www.yehudamoon.com

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BEST RIDES IN LONDON

OPINION

Koy Thomson Before he moves on, LCC’s chief executive leaves us with some sage advice that should ensure cycling remains high up the political agenda

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t saddens me to say that this is my last column as chief executive of the London Cycling Campaign. Before I move on to pastures new, I’d like to share what I've learned in my book of Nine ‘speed’ Rings (apologies to samurai Miyamoto Mahashi’s Five Rings). First, transport campaigning should be a rite of passage for any social or environmental activist. Half of humanity lives in cities and the major urban dysfunction — the thing that makes life heaven or hell in terms of liveability and human wellbeing — is transport. Second, the bicycle is the most potent entry point for tackling a transport dystopia. Public transport is also important, but the simplicity, the practicality, the wisdom and the transformative power of the cycle is striking. Put cycling (and walking) at the centre of city planning and so much else falls into place: clean air, healthy bodies, play, sociability, freedom from noise pollution, saving money. In short, you make a city realise its potential.

Make friends and partners Third, cycling suffers from not having enough friends, rather than having too many enemies. In other words, it is often not resistance stopping progress, but the want of having someone in the right place at the right time to speak out for cycling. It’s not everyone’s idea of fun lobbying local councillors and council officers, but it works and LCC’s local group activists make a massive difference. Fourth, change needs partnership. LCC has value to others because of its independence and expert knowledge, and partnership is good for us because the task of ‘cycle-lising’ London is huge and a modestly-sized charity will never have enough resources to effect a city-wide transformation on our own. Partnership between very unequal partners — such as between LCC and the billion pound bureaucracy that is TfL — can be difficult, but luckily the Charity Commission is very strict about public bodies silencing charities or undermining their independence, and we’ve fought hard to maintain ours. We know fair comment wins friends and opens opportunity where it matters: inside the system. My fifth piece of advice is the importance of making friends within the system, which is the only way to change the deeply entrenched rules of the game. Never let up the argument Sixth, it has been said that the campaign for cycling has been won and it is all about delivery of cycling projects, “so quit campaigning and get delivering”. But as the Chinese know, history is cyclical and not linear; the march to progress

is not inexorable. We must never let up our arguments and must remember that the most important moment in campaigning is the election, because in the politician’s mind, the worst crime is not delivering on an election promise. Cycling has suffered a few of these, such as the scrapping of the western extension of the congestion charge zone and allowing motorbikes in bus lanes. Seventh, Musashi said: “Know the smallest things and the biggest things, the shallowest things and the deepest things.” Boris Johnson, ‘the cycling Mayor’, has taken a courageous step in giving cycling political profile. The Cycle Superhighways and Cycle Hire are testing his appetite for change. Appetite for change means being ready to deal with every small, big, shallow, deep obstacle that will stand in the way of realising the cycle revolution. The ‘small’ might mean attention to the detail of good-quality cycling infrastructure; the ‘big’ could be

“Put cycling at the centre of city planning and so much else falls into place... in short, you make a city realise its potential” scrapping gyratories and setting a 20mph limit; the ‘shallow’, the entrenched Department for Transport rules that give the small-minded immense blocking powers; and the ‘deep’? That would mean changing traffic-planning models, procedures and assumptions that work on the default of street space being for motorised traffic. Be courteous and respectful My penultimate words of advice? Having respect for and being courteous to people on the street really does matter, if only for your own dignity and sense of peace. There is truly nothing nicer than a stranger’s smile on your cycle to work, so why not start totting up ‘smiles’ instead of ‘miles’ to work? Ninth, and finally, treat those who aspire to cycle fairly. A third of Londoners would like to cycle. By having a paltry five percent ambition for the share of journeys by cycle, politicians and planners are denying people a choice that would benefit the whole of our city.

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OPINION

BEST RIDES IN LONDON

OPINION

Zoe Williams A bizarre puncture on the way home from work left our regular columnist contemplating the lesser of three embarassing evils...

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ycling in London feels to me like a kind of superpower. You’re unshackled from the chains that bedeck the rest of the city: traffic, timetables, other people, the laws of physics. You move like the wind (and I’m not even going very fast. Imagine what couriers feel like, they must think they’re in Grand Theft Auto. You should be grateful, in a way, that they don’t take it into their heads to smash you with a baseball bat, for extra points). But then something bad happens, and you’re not superwoman anymore, you’re just a lady in an unflattering leotard. The other day, I got a puncture. Sure, sure, it doesn’t sound like much, but wait til you hear how it happened: it was raining like Rangoon (that isn’t just alliteration, it’s a very rainy place) and I’d just come out of a meeting where a puddle had formed at my feet while I waited in reception. So, I was heaving up Farringdon Road, hit traffic, attempted an amateurish peep round the side of a lorry, but because my shoes were so wet, and the kerb was so wet, and friction had been reduced to a cool idea, I slipped off the bloody thing and landed on my knee. That’s fine, I’m no stranger to humiliation. But I emerged from all this with a puncture… there wasn’t even any obvious reason for it. I just fell sideways, I didn’t hit any glass; it felt like an act of vindictiveness from the sprites of cycling.

Flat out in Farringdon Now I have three options: I could mend it myself, but this is out of the question. I deliberately don’t carry a cycle repair kit, because I would never mend a puncture in public. I know how to do it, but I look incompetent. This draws other, more competent cyclists to me like a magnetic field. I can’t blame them, if I saw someone standing in the street trying to… hmm, I seek for a parallel, something at which I excel, and I can’t think of anything… oh, here we go, trying to light a cigarette in the wind with bendy matches, I would immediately stop and help. The thing with a puncture is that, even for someone who’s good at it, it’s going to take 15 minutes. You have to stand there watching, smiling encouragement, at a stranger who’s taken a 15-minute rain-bullet for you, for no better reason than that you were making a mess of it. I would honestly rather sit outside a tube station and pretend to be homeless. That’s the first option out. The second option is that I could drag the wounded steed into work and make someone I know mend it for me. It’s marginally better than asking for money from a stranger, it’s more like borrowing twenty quid off an acquaintance, but only on the understanding that you’ll never give it back. I don’t like this either.

Third, you take it to a shop! Of course you do. You’re not getting something for nothing, this way, you’re getting something for money. This isn’t self-abasement, this is commerce. Weirdly, though, shops treat you with a lot more disdain and weariness than a stranger would, who stopped to help, or even a stranger who threw some money into your hat. They act as though you should be mending it yourself,

“You have to stand there watching as a stranger takes a 15-minute rain bullet for you” in which I suppose they have a point. But they also act as if you only need them in the first place because of an act of foolish economy, a headstrong egregiousness that led you to leave your house without proper equipment. Best of a bad bunch They act as a doctor might act, if you brought your child in with measles having idiotically eschewed the MMR (I don’t know that from experience, of course I love universal vaccination. No, I saw it on ER). You want to say: “Chum, never mind disdain, I’m your bread and butter. What would you do if you had to make a living from people who knew what they were doing? Two ball-bearing malfunctions a week and an awful lot of staring at Powerade bars, that’s what.” But of course you can’t say that, because you’re totally incapacitated. You can’t go home, you can’t just leave your bike, you can’t take it with you, your whole week is disappearing down the sinkhole of your burnt-out superpower. All you can do is be nice. Triple outrage. Still soaking, have puncture, forced to be nice. While I was doing that, my brother-in-law, who you might remember is a keen cyclist, with a mankini and some weekend-warrior cycling buddies, fell off his bike breaking his wrist and elbow. He would probably say that was worse. Zoe Williams is a freelance journalist and columnist who contributes regularly to publications including The Guardian and New Statesman.

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OPINION

BEST RIDES IN LONDON

OPINION

Charlie Lloyd The bus lanes trial has failed, causing a significant increase in motorcyclist casualties. So why is the Mayor extending it, asks LCC’s campaigns officer?

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he Mayor’s 18-month experiment to allow motorbikes in bus lanes has failed. The 2008 Traffic Order said the trial’s aim was to “facilitate the safe, efficient and effective movement of motorcyclists”. However, Transport for London’s end-of-trial report (see page 4) shows that riding in bus lanes increases motorcyclist casualties. There’s no reason to continue the trial for another 18 months (as the Mayor has decided) and no justification for councils to implement the measure in locally-controlled streets (as some in London and the rest of the UK would like). As well as the evidence showing extra harm to motorcyclists, LCC believes the measure is also damaging the Mayor’s own target for cycling growth. The Mayor has publicly said he wants to increase cycling to five percent of journeys by 2025 (far too low, in our opinion), but is introducing a policy that damages his own target. Why will it put cyclists off? Because any increase in proximity to fast-moving traffic reduces the sensation of safety for riders. And the number one reason non-cyclists give for not using a bicycle is that they don’t feel safe. The expansion of the bus lane network by former mayor Ken Livingstone was universally praised by cyclists, providing a valuable safe haven from intimidating traffic on some of London’s largest and most direct routes. Sharing with fast-moving motorbikes simply isn’t appealing, even to many experienced cyclists. Casualty statistics misleading LCC’s decision to oppose the trial was not universally popular, but nor was it taken lightly. Yes, it’s true that cyclists have a lot in common with motorcyclists, sharing the same vulnerability to poorly driven cars and lorries, and we share the ability to bypass congested traffic and make journeys faster than other forms of transport. And if there was evidence that the measure increased motorcyclist safety, then that might be enough to make us support it. However, we can categorically state that no safety benefits have been proven — and the most recent evidence shows far more motorcycle casualties, not fewer. Earlier trials of the measure, which claimed to show reductions of over 40 percent in casualties, were treated with extreme scepticism at the time by those who’d actually studied the data, and the latest figures merely confirm how misleading those figures were. So if this trial is not about evidence or safety, why is it continuing? Could it be that it’s a matter of the Mayor

fulfilling misguided election promises and ensuring future votes from motorcyclists who favour faster journeys? This suggestion was less-than-subtly confirmed by the Mayor’s TV outburst back in June, when he threatened to take away the bus lanes ‘privilege’ because some motorcyclists were protesting against parking charges in central London. Is that how one treats a serious matter of road safety? We think the measure has all the hallmarks of political short-termism, backed up by the fact that TfL’s

“TfL's end-of-trial report shows that riding in bus lanes actually increases motorcyclist casualties” own data shows that over half of motorcyclists monitored during the trial period were found to be breaking the speed limit. Can it really be pretended that increased motorcyclist safety is the central issue here? Major flaws exposed In its defence of the trial, TfL is relying on a flawed survey that questioned a sample of road users by telephone on their attitudes to the trial. This same report that claims cyclists are in favour of the measure, also says that bus users used more buses because of the trial, and that non-cyclists would cycle more often if the trial was made permanent. Many of the survey’s conclusions are absurd and should not form the basis for rational transport policy. On top of this flawed survey — and worrying casualty and speeding data — TfL’s final trial report also failed to show any congestion reduction, while a superficial pollution study didn’t take into account noise or other harmful effects of motorbikes. As the evidence against putting motorbikes in bus lanes mounts, it’ll be interesting to find out what criteria TfL will use to judge the new trial.

BUS LANES TRIAL REPORT To see a copy of TfL’s final report, go to www.tfl.gov. uk/roadusers/finesandregulations/10151.aspx

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CAMPAIGN

New campaign targets better bike parking One of the simplest ways to encourage more people onto bikes is to provide plentiful, secure cycle parking, as Tom Bogdanowicz explains

Photo: Mike Cavenett

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oes your council, local school or supermarket welcome you if you arrive by bike? An LCC inquiry has found that cycle parking at major public destinations — and relevant information for the public about it — ranges from the good to the bad to the ugly. Try going to your town hall and parking your bicycle. In Islington you will have a choice of 36 conveniently located spaces, while at Greenwich you will find none. Staff in Islington have 90 secure spaces nearby,

Greenwich staff have none. And while Waterloo station now has 322 shiny new two-tier bike spaces at its main entrance (plus another 200 elsewhere), the newly-refurbished St Pancras has just 50 stands (100 spaces) located inside a car park more than five minutes from the station. As for information, fewer than five of the 33 Greater London councils had any details about town hall cycle parking on their websites even though a majority provided information about car parking at the same location.

To counter inadequate provision of cycle parking at thousands of popular destinations, LCC is launching a ‘Bike Parking for London’ campaign to deliver bike stands where cyclists need them. Our demands are simple: ■ Adequate cycle parking at every public destination with 100,000 more spaces on London streets by 2012. ■ Full information about cycle parking and local cycle routes on the website of every public building. ■ Sufficient secure cycle parking in every workplace and educational

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GOOD: stands at Waterloo (left). BAD: Paddington's jumble (above)

enough to cope with peak demands and the expected growth in cycling.

establishment for 15 percent of staff and 25 percent of students. ■ Planning requirements in every borough to ensure that all office buildings provide bike spaces for 15 percent of staff and that all residential developments meet TfL’s cycle parking standards for flats and houses as a minimum. ■ More than 500 cycle spaces at every mainline station, including at least 200 secure spaces with smart-card access.

LCC is currently hearing from hospitals about cycle parking and the good news is that most do provide cycle parking. The bad news is that many don’t tell visitors that parking is provided or where to find it. Epsom and St Heliers hospitals are a textbook example of how to do it well: a ‘By Bike' section sits alongside the usual By Bus, By Tube and By Car info. Newham Hospital, on the other hand, tells you about the car parking, bus and tube but says nothing about bike access or parking. The UCL hospital at Euston Road has packed cycle stands at the front, but empty ones hidden at the back — unless you read the fine print of the travel leaflet you might never discover them. LCC wants a ‘By Bike’ section on the website of every public building. FinFahey@flickr

Build it and they will come Providing cycle parking is not rocket science — it can be quick, cheap and it provides facilities customers, staff and visitors are asking for. When Hackney Council put up three dozen bike stands outside a London Fields lido they filled up almost immediately; on a summer’s day now more than 150 visitors turn up regularly by bike. Consistent LCC campaigning put cycle parking on the mayoral agenda and Boris Johnson has promised 66,000 more bike spaces will be installed by 2012, funded by councils or TfL. But LCC says that still won't be

LCC’s parking survey Buildings like town halls should showcase a council's determination to promote sustainable transport and their websites should advertise this. Two dozen councils responded to LCC’s requests for information about cycle parking at town halls with very mixed results. Most have some cycle parking for visitors, but the amount ranges from zero in Greenwich (three stands are planned) to well over 100 spaces in Ealing. It's the same story with parking for staff: at Greenwich and Lewisham there are none, while in Richmond and Westminster there are 90 apiece. The 36 stands outside Islington town hall are the result of lobbying by local LCC members. Cycle users consistently say that there are not enough bikes stands at public locations whether these are council buildings, sports centres or colleges. And where there are stands the provider often doesn’t let cycle users know about it. LCC’s enquiries about town halls found that only six councils provided information about bike parking and access on their websites.

■ Mark Your Spot — tell councils where you want bike stands LCC is currently developing a web-based mapping system where anyone can mark the spot (or spots) they think bike stands are needed. These maps will be presented to councils. Please visit www.lcc.org.uk for the latest. ■ Stand and Deliver Pick a spot where you would like a bike stand and lobby the relevant organisation until one is installed. It can be in your workplace, outside your home, at the town hall, by the sports centre, in the school, outside a shop or anywhere else. You can either work in conjunction with your local LCC group or pursue the matter yourself . When you’ve succeeded let London Cyclist know. Send emails to office@lcc.org.uk with 'parking' in the subject line. ■ Website Information Every time you spot a destination that doesn’t have a 'By Bike' paragraph alongside 'By Bus, By Tube and By Car', send them an email. It not only encourages them to put up the information and provide a better service to customers, but it also encourages them to think about what more they need to be doing. Again tell London Cyclist about your victories (as above).

Photos: Tom Bogdanowicz Additional research/reporting: Nick Davies & Liz Reiner

WHAT YOU CAN DO

GOOD: stands at Islington town hall

BAD: Greenwich town hall currently has zero bike parking facilities

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CAMPAIGN CAMDEN: new bike lockers on estates

Bike parking in homes Back in the 1940s and and 1950s homes were often built with pram sheds, in the 1960s they all had a garage; today it’s underground car parks or parking permits. Provision for keeping a bicycle has, for far too long, been ignored with the result that many people in flats or on estates have to chain bikes to railings where they get stolen. It doesn’t have to be that way. Hackney Cyclists and officers at the Ealing Council separately pioneered the retro-fitting of cycle sheds on housing estates. Thinking creatively they used utility sheds, pram sheds, bike lockers, bunkers, hoists and other solutions to provide people with space to leave their bikes. Islington Council plans to install parking on a dozen estates this year. LCC is campaigning to get other local councils to do the same, and to include clear requirements for all proposed new developments to include

substantial quantities of cycle parking before planning permission is granted. Bike parking at the workplace The only really secure parking is indoor parking. Some people, like the staff at the BBC, Sky, Argent and Glaxo SmithKline Beecham are lucky enough to have good cycle facilities but many workplaces have either nothing or too little. However, many employers like to be seen to be green and are prepared to assist their cycling staff, often after prompting. Transport for London's Travel Planning Unit offers subsidised cycle parking to organisations that have proper 'travel plans' — currently there is a special programme for workplaces located within one mile of the first Cycle Superhighways. Visit http://tinyurl.com/Workplace BikeParking for details. Magnet for customers For retailers and leisure destinations

SAINSBURY'S: good provision of bike stands at its 'local' branches

WAITROSE: runs a fleet of cycle trailers

like cinemas, theatres and sports clubs, provision of cycle parking should be a no-brainer. One £150 bike stand can attract a stream of cycling customers. Waitrose has clearly cottoned on and not only provides bike stands, but offers free hire of cycle trailers that can accommodate a stack of shopping. Tesco and Sainsbury’s liaise with councils to fit bike stands too. As the number of cyclists soars, so our business becomes more important, yet many smaller shops are missing out. LCC provides cards you can hand to your local shop along with template letters that shops can send to their council requesting bike stands if they have no outside space of their own — http://tinyurl.com/ LocalBikeParking. Bike parking at stations The scandalous lack of cycle parking at many train stations was highlighted by LCC last year, as well as by the Labour Transport Minister Lord Adonis. The 322 new stands at Waterloo are the first outcome of the minister’s allocation of £8m for station cycle parking in the UK. But there are still no improvements at Victoria, Paddington or St Pancras despite allocations of funding. LCC has written to Network Rail to ask about progress but we have not received a satisfactory reply. Please add your voice to ours — you can write to Network Rail via its website at http://www.networkrail.co.uk/ aspx/2709.aspx.

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CAMPAIGN

Superhighways or superficial highways? Only two percent of Londoners currently feel comfortable riding their bikes to work. How likely are the first two Cycle Superhighways to increase that figure significantly? LCC looks at what we should expect

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n spring 2009, Mayor Boris Johnson said: “No longer will pedal power have to dance and dodge around petrol power — on these routes the bicycle will dominate and that will be clear to all others using them.” This is how the 12 Cycle Superhighways were announced to Londoners, as “safe, direct, continuous, well marked and easily navigable routes along recognised commuter corridors”. A year later, the first two pilot routes of the scheme (which will eventually comprise 12 routes

costing £116 million over five years) have opened: one along the A24/A3 between Morden and the City and the other along the A13 from Barking to Tower Gateway. So what are they like? Well, they’re not what cyclists asked for. Over the past year, LCC has given massive amounts of time and expertise to Transport for London, compiling dossiers to give the project team enough information to create routes that might have matched the Mayor’s vision. Some of this advice has been taken on board, but most has not.

Over the past 12 months, LCC has frequently reminded the Mayor of his promise to increase cycling in London four-fold by 2025, which means increasing cycling from two percent of all journeys to five percent over the next 15 years. This is a target inherited from Ken Livingstone, and although the Mayor has said repeatedly that he wants to exceed it, no higher target has formally been set. LCC has for a long time promoted higher targets for cycling growth than TfL, which has consistently underestimated the potential for

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What could have been How do London’s cycling public rate the project? Judging from the caustic reaction to early splashings of blue paint in south and east London, they haven’t been impressed. The strength of the feeling must in part be due to the Mayor’s raising of expectations to unprecedented levels 12 months ago, having said: “No longer will cyclists be in thrall to the motor car. No longer will they have to jockey for space with cars.” This is strong stuff, which is patently

Lessons for the future Richard Ambler, cycling officer at Lambeth Council, said: “Superhighway 7 doesn’t adequately tackle the most difficult and dangerous junctions, and relies too much on cycle lanes that are very often too narrow and badly positioned. The route doesn’t take into account the real dynamics of traffic, nor does it tackle any of the real sources of danger that threaten cyclists. Worryingly, the lanes can encourage cyclists into a poor road

position, one that contradicts the National Standards cycle training that’s being offered as a complementary measure for users of the route.” Even if the ten Superhighways still to be built do eventually go some way towards addressing the worst junctions, they finish on the edge of central London, where the greatest barriers to cycling lie. LCC’s BikeGrid proposal could provide the continuity across central London. For these reasons, the increase in cycling from these two pilot Superhighways is likely to be modest. We would love to be proved wrong, but it’s a truism in cycling circles that a city won’t attract large numbers of cyclists when the real barriers to cycling are not addressed. The pilots were a brilliant opportunity to establish the Superhighways brand and take a large step forward in reducing both road danger and the perception of road danger for cyclists, but at pilot stage they have not succeeded. LCC will continue to engage in the process of delivering the next two phases of the Superhighways, but we will be clear that bigger measures are required. We will be calling for each Superhighway to address at least one major barrier — returning gyratories to two-way operation, for example. The Mayor has everything to gain from raising the ambitions of his engineers by giving them political support to create highways that really are ‘super’.

Photos: Mike Cavenett

cycling growth in the capital. And although these unambitious targets will likely be met long before 2025, the Superhighways need to be radically improved from the current pilots to make the contribution that the Mayor expects of them.

not reflected in what we’re seeing on the roads. Ironically, if TfL had simply started remodelling junctions such as Stockwell and Kennington, then the reaction might have been much better. However, creating a brand and then not living up to the hype has drawn attention away from the positives of the projects — such as some small improvements at major junctions, extra on-street and workplace parking, and more cycle training — to the negatives — such as the minimal reallocation of road space away from cars, the tiny number of 20mph zones, an almost total lack of innovation and poor continuity. The biggest disappointment is the decision to paint the Superhighways almost exclusively with 1.5m blue ‘lanes’, which in many cases are so-called ‘ghost lanes’, without legal status. On these, contrary to the Mayor’s explicit assertion, cyclists will have to jockey for position with cars as before. The most optimistic cyclists speculate that the brash blue signature of the Superhighways will alert car drivers to the presence of cyclists and help wayfinding. However, there’s a significant body of opinion that says these new ‘lanes’ will have a negative effect for cyclists.

ONLINE COMMENT To see some of the many videos already submitted about the Cycle Superhighways and to let us know your opinion, go to www.lcc.org.uk

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CAMPAIGN

Read my LIPs Decisions made by local councils in the next few months will affect spending on cycling projects for years to come, says Gerhard Weiss

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s we speak, officers in your local authority are probably working on a document you may never have heard of. If the words 'Local Implementation Plan' or 'LIP' don't get you all excited and make you reach for the champagne, you're not alone. Yet LIPs are of huge importance for your area and London as a whole. It will form the basis of how your streets will be transformed (or not) over the next three to four years. Will they become places to live? Will they be welcoming for cyclists and walkers? Or will they become corridors for speedy motor vehicles dashing to an out-of-town shopping centre? Our local streets matter greatly and we must make it clear to our boroughs that cycling is an integral part of an efficient, healthy and green transport system. What’s changing and why? Local streets have always been paid for largely by central London money, which in previous years has had a portion reserved by the Mayor for cycling measures. This year, boroughs are being given more flexibility in their spending. Yes, this is good for local democracy, but it creates two problems. Firstly, boroughs that have little enthusiasm for cycling might

not spend any money on it. And, secondly, LCC now has to campaign in each borough separately (whereas previously we could lobby centrally with London-wide benefits). Each council’s LIP document defines how money is spent in that borough on street infrastructure, maintenance, and other transport measures. However, councils don’t have entirely free reign on their spending plans — rather, they must achieve objectives defined by the Mayor's Transport Strategy (MTS). LCC lobbied hard during 2009 and 2010 to make sure cycling has a prominent role in the MTS. It includes targets to increase cycling to five percent of journeys by 2026 (a 400 percent increase from 2000), plus boroughs are expected to contribute to Cycle Hire, Cycle Superhighways and the creation of 66,000 new cycle parking spaces. Other key goals relevant to cycling include: reducing transport’s contribution to climate change and improving transport opportunities for all Londoners (not just those with cars).

LCC ELECTION MANIFESTO 1 Cycle Training — free on-road training for all children and adults in the borough 2 More Cycle Parking — for all public buildings; stricter planning enforcement 3 Local Access — improve permeability and phase out one-way streets for cyclists 4 Lorry Danger — cycle training for lorry drivers; safe procurement by councils 5 Safer Streets — 20mph speed limits, road-danger reduction strategy 6 Solid Targets — Boroughs should work to exceed the '400 percent increase by 2026' target 7 Healthy Staff — Cycle2Work scheme; other facilities 8 Events & Roadspace Allocation — reallocation of road space, guided rides, car-free days

What can you do in your area? ■ Help your local group — local LCC groups are already talking to their elected councillors, to civil servants such as cycling officers and other key figures who can influence the content

LOCAL IMPLEMENTATION PLAN TIMELINE August 2010 Start of LIP drafting

October 2010 Council cabinet approval

December 2010 TfL approval

BOROUGH COUNCIL Elected councillors instruct civil servants working for your council to write the draft LIP, based on the Mayor’s Transport Strategy

COUNCIL CABINET The ruling body of your borough council will approve the LIP some time in October 2010, after which it is sent to TfL for approval.

TRANPORT FOR LONDON TfL can ask councils for revisions to ensure the LIP follows the goals set by the MTS, after which it will approve the LIP.

GREEN LIGHT FOR LOBBYING Now you can most influence your LIP by working with your local LCC group or writing to your councillors.

AMBER LIGHT FOR LOBBYING There's still time to influence your LIP while it's being reviewed by TfL. Fewer changes will be made.

RED LIGHT FOR LOBBYING Once the LIP is approved by TfL, it’s too late to change anything in it for another 3-4 years.

of your LIP. However, this all takes time and can divert resources away from other activities that your group engages in. If you have even a small amount of time to spare to help your local LCC group, please contact them via www.lcc.org.uk/localgroups, or by calling the LCC office on 020 7234 9310. ■ Contact your local councillor — anyone can contact their local councillor to lobby for better cycling facilities. It’s important when you do this to mention the LIP, and that you’re keen for it to contain measures that will improve your area’s streets for cycling and walking. LCC’s election manifesto (above) indicates what measures we suggest are necessary for improving conditions for cycling in your area. It takes a few seconds to find your councillors via www. writetothem.com.

FURTHER READING ■ LIP guidance: http://www.london.gov. uk/publication/makingtransport-strategyreality ■ MTS: http:// www.london.gov.uk/ publication/mayorstransport-strategy

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CAMPAIGN

LCC campaign seeks ban on 'lethal lorries' A key part of LCC’s ongoing road-danger campaign is to reduce the risk to cyclists from unsafe lorries. Charlie Lloyd outlines what's happening...

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n recent years cycling in London has become much safer. However, large lorries still cause half the cyclist fatalities even though they make up only five percent of traffic. LCC’s ‘No More Lethal Lorries’ campaign is aimed at convincing decision-makers that protecting vulnerable road users is their responsibility. LCC is a key player in the Cycle Safety Working Group, which comprises cyclists, freight operator associations, police investigation and enforcement teams, RoadPeace (representing victims and families), and Transport for London policy, freight and behaviour-change teams. This body has already played an important role in pushing HGV danger reduction to the forefront of the Mayor’s Cycle Safety Action Plan, although there is much more work to be done. Research for the Action Plan has

shown that many cyclists are still not aware of the dangers associated with large lorries. For this reason, LCC has produced a 'spoke-card' (see below) to hand out to cyclists that clearly shows the area that must be avoided around a lorry at all times. Also visit www.lcc. org.uk/HGV to follow updates on the 'No More Lethal Lorries' campaign.

GOLDEN RULES FOR STAYING SAFE AROUND LORRIES n Lorries can turn left when you’re not expecting Stay away from the front-left of a lorry near any junction, even if the lorry appears to be continuing straightahead, and especially if there is a gap between the lorry and the kerb. The larger the gap between lorry and kerb, the more likely it is to turn — and if the driver does turn left, the front of the lorry will swing across very quickly. n Either stay behind a lorry or well in front Always position yourself at traffic lights so you’re forward and central to the Advanced Stop Line (bike box) so the driver can definitely see you. n Don't pass on the inside if the lorry is moving or about to move If you’re unsure, stop and let the lorry go. Never assume the driver has seen you, even if you can see them in the ON THE CARDS: advice to be handed out in London lorry’s mirrors.

LCC’s FIVE-point lorry danger reduction plan

LCC is campaigning to change the behaviour of drivers and their employers, who all have a responsibility to do everything practicable to minimise risk to all road users.

TRAINING All London lorry drivers must have regular training on the risks to vulnerable road users. Driver training must focus on the safety of vulnerable road users and should include on-bike sessions, as implemented by several London borough councils RESPONSIBILITY Police and prosecutors must no longer accept the ‘blind spot’ defence from lorry drivers in fatal collisions with cyclists. Competent lorry drivers use their mirrors to check all risk areas before turning. Police and prosecutors should treat the 'blind spot' defence as an admission of guilt. LORRY DESIGN Thousands of lorries that are unfit for London streets should be phased out entirely. Every lorry in London should have the lowest possible cab, low windows in each door, a full set of safety mirrors and sensors to detect people close to the left-hand side. OPERATORS Haulage operators must commit to the highest standards and the police should be helped to enforce them. All companies should join TfL’s bestpractice Freight Operators Recognition Scheme (FORS), and the police Commercial Vehicle Unit (CVEU) must be funded indefinitely to catch rogue operators. PROCUREMENT All organisations should encourage safer lorries by only using transport companies with a strong safety record. Public organisations such as local councils and central government must lead the way, showing that only transport suppliers with the highest standards of road safety should win tenders.

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CAMPAIGN WHAT A BLAST: for kids in Bromley (and below)

GLAMMING UP: on the famous TH Wheelers annual event

Bike Week moves up a few gears The annual cycling carnival saw a greater and more diverse number of events than ever before — here's a few highlights

Photos: Tom B, Dahon, Bromley Cyclists

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ycling superstars overshadowed cycling politicians in this year’s Bike Week, perhaps the most high profile to date. Even travellers on the tube knew about 2010's festival of cycling, with ambassadors for Team Green Britain spreading the 'Be a cog, be a pedal…be part of it' message across the capital on giant posters and video screens. The world’s fastest sprinter, Mark Cavendish, turned up at the popular Smithfield Nocturne to hand out prizes, while Olympic champion Victoria Pendleton led the greysuited politicians at the start of the annual Parliamentary bike ride. Transport Minister Norman Baker

assured cyclists that he supported cycling, but he was reluctant to commit to any specific measures. Across London, LCC’s local groups organised more than a hundred events in the glorious weather and had to cope with thousands of enthusiastic customers for cycling breakfasts, cool downs, guided rides, displays, Dr Bikes and rollerracing — all this in a week that also saw England defeat Slovenia and the longest tennis match in history. Half a dozen local groups were represented at the annual shindig at the summit of Richmond Hill, which attracted more than 60 participants with an age range from a couple of months to 80-plus. Islington’s

cycling breakfast was deluged by fans of the traditional cake and coffee delights, while Hackney attracted hundreds more with its legendary porridge. Tower Hamlets Wheelers' glamour ride caused heads to turn and Waltham Forest cyclists scored a success by serving up fare from Borough market. LCC’s marketing team organised a series of events at Look Mum No Hands — London’s only café-barworkshop with virtually unlimited cycle parking — offering films, advice, bike repairs, books and, of course, LCC membership deals. Thanks to every volunteer for the extraordinary effort in making it such an enjoyable week.

RICHMOND HILL: enjoyed by riders of all ages

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NOCTURNE: on the charge in folder race

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YES MINISTER: Parliamentary bike ride

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For silver screen aficionados, a tour linking sites with one of Britain’s greatest film directors is a must. Gerhard Weiss and Tony Fincham are your guides

4 CUNARD STUDIO SITE

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common cinematic theme of the innocent being pursued, for example in North by Northwest, The Wrong Man and Vertigo. Opposite the Plough and Harrow pub stood a Leytonstone cinema, The Academy, opened in 1913 and seating 1,100 people; it is now demolished and replaced with a block of flats. A little further on (619 High Road) The Premier Electric Theatre was one of Alfred’s boyhood cinemas, opening in 1910, and accommodating 700 people. It closed in 1961, well before the director’s death in 1980. Leytonstone High Road once had four cinemas.

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The information board gives details of Leytonstone High Road’s history and indicates the site of the police station where Hitchcock was briefly held in a police cell as a young boy, apparently with consent of his father who wanted to teach him a lesson. An incident which is said to have influenced his

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he Hitchcock Trail is a cycle and walking route linking historic sites in Leyton and Walthamstow, home to the master himself and hub of early UK film production and cinema. As a child Alfred Hitchcock loved travelling on trains and trams, and developed an obsessive interest in train timetables. Trains came to be a notable feature of his films, such as The 39 Steps, The Lady Vanishes, North by Northwest and Strangers on a Train. Not far from Leytonstone High Road overground station a plaque indicates Hitchcock’s birthplace (517 Leytonstone High Road). Hitchcock’s life is contemporaneous with the golden age of cinema and numerous UK and American cinemas both opened and closed in the course of it. In the 1960s many cinemas fell victim to changing public habits, as television ownership became common. The early days of British cinematography are firmly linked to the Waltham Forest area, where many studios were situated. It is probably no coincidence that both the cradle of British film and its all-time master should be so closely tied to this area.

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BEST RIDES IN LONDON

The Hitchcock Trail

START

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HITCHCOCK GALLERY

Enthusiasts have long bemoaned the lack of proper acknowledgement for Leytonstone’s most famous son. Proposals for a Hitchcock and early film museum have never been realised. However, in 2001 a Hitchcock Gallery consisting of 17 mosaics, made from 80,000 glass tiles, was opened. The mosaics mostly showed scenes from his films, but also an early photo of Hitchcock on a horse outside his father’s grocery store. Given Hitchcock’s

interest in trains, its location at Leytonstone station may seem appropriate, but the volume of passing pedestrian traffic can make it difficult to stand and fully appreciate the mosaics.

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THE EMD CINEMA

At 186 Hoe Street the EMD is easily the most notable cinema building in Waltham Forest. The site is thought to have hosted London’s first film show in 1896.

PIT-STOPS ■ Horizon café, 809 High road Leytonstone. ■ Sir Alfred Hitchcock Hotel, 147 Whipps Cross Road, London E11. ■ The Hornbeam 458 Hoe Street, London, E17. ■ Rose & Crown pub 53 Hoe Street, E17.

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DISTANCE 5.6 miles TIME 1-1.5 hours at an easy pace START Leytonstone tube GRADIENT For elevation profile go to www.bikely. com/maps/bike-path/ The-Hitchcock-Trail (75m climb, 58m descend) PUBLIC TRANSPORT Leyton tube (Central line), unfolded bikes eastbound off-peak; Leytonstone High road (Barking to Gospel Oak line) unfolded bikes off-peak; Walthamstow Central tube (Victoria line) no unfolded bikes; Walthamstow Central rail (Chingford to Liverpool street) unfolded bikes off-peak  GET A MAP http://tinyurl. com/HitchcockTrail

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LEYTON FLATS

A peculiarity of East London is the use of the word ‘flats’, meaning heathland — as in Leyton and Wanstead Flats. It’s likely that the young Hitchcock visited both and saw the open flight of birds, which became another feature of his films. Leyton Flats is opposite the Alfred Hitchcock Hotel, a building that existed in

A cinema site from 1907, the present building dates back to the 1930s and could hold 2,700 people. Now the building has a Grade II listing and was the only Waltham Forest cinema to survive into the 21st century. Sadly it closed in 2003 and is now owned by the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG). Unfortunately there is no public access, but the building is the subject of a long running campaign by the McGuffin Society (www.mcguffin.info) fighting for at least a partial retention of cinema use.

5

LEYTON HIGH STREET & HOE STREET

806 Leyton High Street, now a community place, was a cinema dating from the 1930s. The view from the rear is an example of how a relatively narrow and attractive facade, designed for film posters, can conceal large brick-built structures capable of seating 1,000 to 2,000 people.   Only a stone’s throw away at 468-474 Hoe Street ‘The Empress Electric Picture Theatre’ could accommodate another thousand viewers. It clearly shows cinema’s popularity in Leyton and Walthamstow at the time. Opened in 1913 and closed in 1963 it is now The Kingsway International Christian Centre. A little further (317 Hoe Street), now vacant and last used as a telephone exchange is the site of the British and Colonial Kinematograph Company, noted for what would now be regarded as politically incorrect short films such as 

Hitchcock’s youth, but with no known association. It’s an example of how the private sector, rather than council has promoted the famed connection. Leyton Flats and Hollow Ponds were used by Walthamstow film studios for open-air shoots and are considered to be a major early driver for an industry to settle at the fringes of a major city, as in Hollywood.

‘Funeral of the World’s Greatest Monarch, King Edward VII The Peacemaker’, ‘A trip to Banana Land’ and ‘The Wonders of Rhodesia’. The Company worked closely with the government on wartime propaganda from 1916, notably ‘The Battle of The Somme’. The bulk of the company’s output is now severely deteriorated, destroyed, or lost (perishable nitrate film was used until 1953). 

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OTHER POINTS OF INTEREST ■ Leyton and Leytonstone are  transversed by two railway lines, one of which was electrified and integrated as part of the Central Line in 1947. The overground stations are known as Leyton Midland and Leytonstone High Road. At the time of Alfred Hitchcock’s birth in 1899, many railway workers lived in Leyton, as it was close to Temple Mills’ marshalling yards. ■ St Patrick’s Roman Catholic Cemetery (established in the 1860s). Hitchcock’s family were Catholics, and his father, who died in 1914, is buried in the cemetery, as is Mary Jane Kelly, a victim of ‘ Jack The Ripper’, whose murderous activities were part of pre-1914 London folklore. Associations between sexual feeling and violence are made in his film The Lodger and, notoriously, Psycho. Murder — and attempts to get away with it — are  a common theme of Hitchcock films, notably Rope, Dial M for Murder, Strangers on a Train and Vertigo.

CUNARD STUDIO SITE

245 Wood Street — the site of an early purpose-built film studio, opened in October 1914 by Cunard Films Limited. The ‘state-of-the-art’ studio provided offices, prop stores and film processing laboratories on the ground floor, with glass-roofed stage on the first floor illuminated by 30 arc lamps and a searchlight. Taken over by Broadwest Film Company in 1916 it quickly built up a team of leading actors. It was later sold to British Filmcraft in 1926 and closed in 1932. Film studio owners were

attracted to Walthamstow, because of its combination of clean air and proximity to central London. The first film actors were drawn from the West End theatres and could be available for day-time filming, returning to their theatres in the evening, via the Wood Street and Walthamstow stations.

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INTERVIEW

Ritte Bjerregaard As Copenhagen’s first female Lord Mayor from 2006 to 2009, Ritte Bjerregaard oversaw the city establish itself as the world’s cycling capital. London Cyclist asks what London can learn...

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itte Bjerregaard was Copenhagen’s first female Lord Mayor, from 2006 to 2009. She is a member of the Danish Social Democrat and was European Commissioner for the Environment from 1995 to 1999. She spoke at the London School of Economics as part of the ‘Climate Change: A City Solution’ series of lectures (http://bit.ly/bjerregaard). The Copenhagen metropolitan area has around two million inhabitants, with 38 percent commuting by bike. Why do you think the city of Copenhagen has such as strong cycling culture? Copenhagen would never have become such a successful cycling city

if we hadn’t created such a distinct divide between bike lanes and cars. However, we do use non-segregated lanes too, like your Cycle Superhighways, and these are definitely better than nothing. In Copenhagen we’re experimenting with more of what we call 'green lanes' [shared spaces for cyclists and pedestrians] which we like because there’s no contact with, and no pollution from, motor vehicles, which we know is very unhealthy. A politician in the UK recently spoke of a ‘war on cars’ — what does that mean to someone from Copenhagen? In all big cities car drivers aggressively defend their positions,

even when congestion is so bad they have to sit for an hour on the way to work and another on the way home. It tends to be something of a male problem, more than a female one. It’s as if some men feel they are made bigger by their cars, and preventing them using it is an attack on them personally. What else has helped the high level of cycling in Copenhagen? In Denmark, we have many Christiania-type [cargo] bikes for ferrying children. Many women feel safe using their bikes for carrying their families. Utility biking in general is very common: we still have our post delivered by the guys with the green bikes. All these things

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farid/bliinkpix.com ORIGINAL BLUEPRINT: the cycle lanes in Copenhagen are much wider and more continuous than London's new ones

bright yellow vests to control the traffic. It’s a problem we’ve taken very seriously.

include men and women equally to make up our cycling culture. It’s important to get the basic infrastructure correct and also really important has been the health debate. People are now very well informed about the need for exercise and we’ve sold cycling as the perfect opportunity without interrupting your daily routine. If the UK has a problem with obesity, then this is an argument that you should be working on. Does this start with walking and cycling to school? In Copenhagen we actually had the numbers of children walking and cycling to school declining. But we tackled it by creating car-free zones around many schools and in other areas it was a case of building more cycle lanes between the homes and the schools. We also put extra personnel on the streets — you know, the leaders wearing those

How have you dealt with bicycle theft? Many of the stolen bikes in Copenhagen are taken by youngsters to get home and then they’re abandoned. We worked with the technical university in Copenhagen to come up with a solution. Our police were stretched to capacity, so we enlisted the help of traffic wardens to check whether bikes on the street had been abandoned. Doing this manually by looking at the frame number is slow, so we’re introducing electronic tags that can be scanned to see instantly if the bike has been stolen. If the owner has reported the bike stolen by email and it’s found by a warden, then the computer sends the owner an email telling them where to find their bike. This solution frees up the police to deal with the real bad guys: the ones who come with a truck and take bikes off to Poland or wherever. What innovations have helped to improve safety? Like you, we've had problems with bikes and lorries. In many places we introduced dedicated traffic signals for bikes so they can move away first in safety. I wanted to take the big lorries out of the centre of Copenhagen during rush hour; we had a majority in the city council, but the national government vetoed it. We saw no reason why they couldn’t make deliveries during the middle of the day when there are fewer cyclists on the roads.

How should London tackle its poor air quality? In London the car lobby is so much stronger than in Copenhagen. In Copenhagen the cyclists would never allow this. It would be considered too dangerous. You cyclists need to be stronger! I’m optimistic, though — even 10 years ago people didn’t think about smoking: you just had to sit in smoky restaurants and not complain. Now attitudes have changed completely. Fifty percent of Brits don’t believe in global warming. Does that worry you? People are suffering 'climate fatigue'. The Copenhagen summit was expected to come up with a solution, but all it managed was a vague political statement of almost no value. Yet there is a serious problem and we have to rethink how to engage people before other scientists with their alternative realities gain too much ground. It was a mistake in Copenhagen to have all the heads of state there – too much diplomacy, not enough real talk. Cities can play a part in cutting back greenhouse emissions, with public transport and bicycles. There is lots of romanaticism about the countryside, but often cities are more efficient. There are still many cars in Copenhagen, but people use them sensibly. You ride your bike around the city, then maybe use your car at the weekend. This way you can also take part in car-sharing. Cities have to jump over that period where they live only via the car; we have to realise cars have limitations.

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OVERSAES

On the trail of Vikings in the Garden of England You needn't venture far for a relaxed break away from the city, as Tanya Jackson discovers on a weekend’s cycling tour in Kent

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here’s nothing like a lungful of salty sea air to make you feel a million miles away from London – even after a mere 90 minutes on the train. No double-decker buses. Not a suit in sight. Just the shrieking seagulls to tell you where you are. My partner Steve and I have slipped away for a weekend, having finally given in to those Kent Tourist Board posters on South-Eastern trains. I did all the planning for this expedition — hoping to prove to my other half that although I may only

be an entry-level cyclist, I am ready, willing and able to take off into the sunset at any given moment, and at least keep up, if not overtake, on the downhill parts. With just a lightweight pannier between us, we set off from Margate station and joined the Viking Coastal Trail alongside the sea. Contrary to my intentions, the route proved very easy-going and the wide path allowed for relaxed chat as we pedalled around the headland, characterised by little gullies and chalky heathland. We pass an

abandoned lido that has fallen into disrepair, along with the town’s other ghosts of fairground rides, jellied eels and ice-cream sellers. The trail is well signposted and it’s about half an hour before we’re weaving our way down to the centre of Broadstairs. We passed Bleak House, where Dickens based his novel. Further down, we reached the seafront, where a row of neatly parked, exquisitely shiny Harley Davidsons lined the beach as their owners queued at the local seafood stall for a tray of salty, squidgy

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of his home-made chocolate and orange muffins (highly addictive) as we sat on the terrace in the evening sun, watching sparrowhawks hovering silently yards away, before heading back to our Broadstairs hotel. Our sea-view room at The Royal Albion was smart and modern, despite the hotel’s old-fashioned exterior and the restaurant's menu well balanced with experimental dishes, such as cod in sage and orange butter, and balsamicstrawberry crème brulée. However, the steak and prawn stroganoff took first place for texture, flavour and originality. After our day's 45-mile ride, we drifted off to sleep listening to the sound of the waves against the shore, way below.

cockles and whelks. I braved a tray, but Steve wasn’t keen, so after fish and chips at the Tartar Frigate, and a chance meeting with a local cycling enthusiast, we rejoined the trail heading south – this time with ex-miner John Williams giving us a very expert tour of the area.

30-mile stretch, so when we reach the town centre we headed to our second night’s accommodation. In keeping with the rest of Canterbury, the Millers Arms is an historic inn. The knowledgeable landlord, Simon Norfolk, told us Shepherd Neame is something of a Kent institution, and has been brewing ales since about 1698. Its ales are naturally hoppy, a result of the chalky soil the plant is grown in and the five unique types of yeast the brewery has cultivated over the years. “Kent people prefer this kind of taste,” Simon explained. “The least hoppy ales are the most popular in the rest of the UK, but here people love a pint of Masterbrew; or later in the year, Whitstable Bay.” Reaching up to the thick layer of dried hops that adorns the ceiling of the bar, Simon pulled a flowerhead down and placed it into a glass of water to rehydrate. Ten minutes later, he handed it to us to sniff. It genuinely smelt like real ale. This being Canterbury, our room is called ‘A Knight’s Tale’; situated beside the canal lock. And for the second night in a row, we drift off to the peaceful sound of water. As Steve begins to gently snore, I feel I’ve proved my point here – that the best kind of R&R is to simply head out of the big smoke, even just an hour or so on the train and give those new tyres a change of scene.

MORE INFO Steve arrives in Deal via the seafront path

www. millerscanterbury.co.uk www.albionbroadstairs.co.uk www.vikingcoastaltrail.co.uk www.sustrans.org.uk

Photos: Kent Tourist Board/Tanya Jackson

Eager for local knowledge We followed the trail from Broadstairs to dinky Ramsgate: primarily a flat ride with the odd seafront ramp here and there. As we flew through Pegwell Bay, another pretty village and a great beach spot, the route remained gentle and pictureseque, despite the odd spell on the road and an uninspiring stint through an industrial estate where, John told us, Viagra was first invented. However, the unbelievably quaint village of Sandwich that followed immediately cancels out the memory. We arrived at Deal via the seafront again and took in a little sun before starting the route back. At St George’s golf course, Chequers café and bar serves up great tea, John insisted, and so we stopped to sample it. The charismatic landlord treated us to one

On the Canterbury trails The next morning we started heading inland on country lanes to Canterbury. The route was slightly more dynamic, with more hills, although still very gentle. We joined National Route 1, which took us through the tiny villages of Wingham, Littlebourne and Preston; so serene and virtually traffic-free, with plenty of village pubs to stop at. We dropped in on the ruins of Richborough Roman fort and amphitheatre, then crossed over a river, passing rows of apple, pear and plum trees in the local orchards. The signposts along Route 1 serve more as confirmation than actual guides, so we bought an Ordnance Survey map to be on the safe side. However cycling couples kept reappearing ahead of us on a regular basis, so it’s obviously a popular turn. Nearing Canterbury, the orchards gave way to forestry and eventually the route eased us gently into the town, via a nature reserve on the outskirts. It had been a gentler

On the heathland flats of the Viking Coastal Trai l

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TECHNICAL

Transmission impossible? Replacing or refitting derailleurs is one of those jobs that brings many home mechanics out in a sweat. But follow Julia Lally’s advice and you’ll be fine

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he trouble with this vast subject is, well, exactly that — it is vast. There are a multitude of types of shifters, mechs and cassettes, plus there is the added complication of compatibility. For example, all gear components will have been built for use with a certain type of bike and gear system — and no transmission set-up will work if the components within it are not compatible with each other, nor if they are not compatible with the bike they are fitted to. To explore issues of compatibility (and other issues), you will have to wait until Cycle Systems Academy's

Common type of 'band-on' front mech

new online tutorials go live as there's simply too much to cover in one article. Hopefully, the web version of this transmission tutorial should be available free, for general consumption, in the next month or so. It is an interesting thing with transmission at the Academy. We can always tell when this is being covered as we frequently hear groans of exasperation (or maybe pleasure – I never asked?) coming from the students in the workshop. It's not an easy topic. But don’t despair. This step-by-step guide will help you avoid futher confusion. We've tried to hone things down and in this article will be focusing on

Less common 'e-type' front mech

'mechs', giving you simple e stages to follow to both correctly y position them and to set the gears up once they are in place.

PRO'S

TIP

s and setting When fitting cable What is a 'mech'? the shifters up gears, ensure It's a more common e way, so th all d’ se are ‘relea name for derailleur and lowest front mech set to there are two general ch set me ar re setting and types — front or rear. ng tti se st he hig to The front mech shifts the gears across the frontt chainrings and is operated ed by a cable which is pulled by the gear shifter. The rear mech moves the chain across the sprockets on the rear cassette, also by using a shifter.

'Braze-on' mechs bolt direct to frame

Rear mech attaches to 'mech hanger'

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CHAIN REMOVAL AND FITTING Obviously, if you need to do anything with your front or rear mech the first stage is to be able to take off and re-fit the chain.

REMOVING THE CHAIN 01

Place chain tool into links of the chain.

02

03

SLOWLY push the chain rivet out.

Don't push the link all the way out as you'll need it when you put the chain back together again.

RE-FITTING THE CHAIN 02

Slot the chain links together.

Line the pin up correctly.

03

04

Insert the chain tool. Turn tool to fix in the pin. Push link sideways where you joined it to loosen it up.

A fixed chain.

>

01

PRO'S

CORRECT POSITIONING OF A MECH The front or rear mech may actually be attached, but they may well be incorrectly positioned. It is a very common mistake that is made and yet it is crucial to the correct operation of the gear system. If this starting point is not right, then the gears will never work.

TIP

Remov e th to allow e rear wheel more r oom to work e ffectiv ely

HOW TO POSITION THE FRONT MECH 01

Place mech round seat-tube, with any appropriate shims inserted.

02

03

Ensure outer plate of mech is 1-2mm above large chainring, when mech is in position over this chainring.

Ensure mech is parallel to chainrings.

HOW TO POSITION THE REAR MECH Gear hanger rear mechs are generally the most popular form of derailleur nowadays. When fitting the rear mech, ensure that the threads are lined up correctly with the mech hanger and that the notch on the rear mech sits comfortably against the notch on the hanger — this ensures that the rear mech is held in the proper position. 01

Use a 5mm allen key and turn anti-clockwise, to fit the mech to the frame.

02

03

04

Put the chain back in the mech. You are now ready to route the gear cable and housing into the mech.

Thread the cable down through the barrel adjuster and secure into place at the cable pinch bolt. Also refit the chain (see above).

Insert the wheel and put the chain over the smallest sprocket.

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TECHNICAL

SETTING UP THE FRONT MECH 01

02

The first task is to set the inner limit screw (marked L).

The inner plate of the mech should be 1mm from the chain, with the chain in the lowest chainring. Turn limit screw out anti-clockwise to move mech in towards the frame and turn it clockwise to move it up, towards the chainrings. Make sure no rubbing noise can be heard.

03

04

Connect the gear cable to the pinch bolt, ensuring the shifter is set to the lowest setting. The cable should be hand tight.

Pedal forwards and shift the chain up to the big chainring, you now need to adjust the outer limit screw.

05

Adjust the outer limit screw (marked H) to ensure the chain can shift comfortably onto the biggest chainring, without falling of the outside of the chainset. Unscrew anti-clockwise to move outwards and screw in clockwise to move mech in towards the frame.

06

Now ensure the ‘trim’ of the mech is correct by shifting the mech to all of its available positions and also changing gear on the rear mech. There is no barrel adjuster for the front mech, so precise initial positioning and cable tension are paramount to the micro shifts working properly.

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SETTING UP THE REAR MECH 01

02

03

To ensure the chain does not jump off the bottom of the cassette and to align the mech, adjust the high-limit screw (marked H) so the chain runs smoothly on the smallest sprocket (the highest gear). You can line it up visually and listen for the quietest setting, this will indicate when the chain and sprocket are aligned. The gear cable should be disconnected or loose while you do this. Ensure the rear shifter is fully released, then tighten the cable hand tight. Turning the screw clockwise moves the mech up the cassette and unscrewing it anti-clockwise moves it down the cassette.

Now move mech up to lowest gear (largest sprocket) by hand or by shifter. Adjust the low-limit screw (marked L). Again, listen as well as look to confirm the chain is lined up correctly and also ensure that the chain does not jump off the top of the cassette when the mech is fully pushed over. Unscrewing the limit screw moves the mech up the cassette; screwing it clockwise moves the mech down the cassette. [The mechanic is indicating the high-limit screw in the image above; the low-limit screw is the one below it].

The next step is to ensure the mech is the correct distance from the cassette when in the lowest gear (largest sprocket). The top 'jockey wheel' (small wheels in the mech) should be as close as possible to the largest sprocket without fouling the chain at all. If the distance is too great this will create an inefficient action from the mech and make its shifting weak and inaccurate.

04

05

06

To adjust this height you use the 'b tension' alignment screw. Screw it in to move the jockey wheel away from the large sprocket, and out to move it closer. This is the only function of the 'b tension' screw, it should not be adjusted for any other reason.

07

Now set up the indexing so every click of the shifter brings a corresponding change of sprocket, both up and down the cassette every time, with no hesitation or unwanted noise when pedalling. Shift to the highest gear (smallest sprocket) and pedal forwards. Click once up and once down for every gear, all the way up and down the cassette. If you have any major issues with shifting up, go back to the highest gear and re-tighten the gear cable.

Use the barrel adjuster on the mech to make small adjustments in cable tension, to make the chain jump up or down to a required gear, or to reduce friction when the chain is imperfectly aligned in a certain gear. Anti-clockwise for micro movements up the cassette and clockwise for micro movements down the cassette. Your gears should now shift perfectly.

CONCLUSION

There is sometimes a barrel adjuster on the shifter or along the cable. This is for use when the rear mech has no barrel adjuster or for adjustment while riding. If your mech has a barrel adjuster always use this for set-up.

You can kick back and take a breather now, having completed one of the trickest of all workshop jobs. Hopefully your appetite for more understanding and knowledge of cycle transmission systems has been stimulated. Log on to www.cycle-systems-academy.co.uk for more indepth transmission tutorials and many other step-by-step maintenance guides. Shortly all the instructional films will be on YouTube too, so you'll even be able to check how to fix something when you're on the road.

August-September 2010 London Cyclist 39

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BIKES

Hybrid bikes As a cross between nippy road bikes and robust mountain bikes, hybrids make the perfect urban machines — here's a look at five diverse models RALEIGH Urban 2 £299

WHAT MAKES A HYBRID?

www.raleigh.co.uk The Urban 2 is something of a mixed bag. Built for comfort not speed, it’s stable and sedate over short distances, but too cumbersome for lengthy commutes. In many ways it crosses into city-cum-cargo bike territory (see next issue). It’s certainly comfy, in a cup-of-tea, pipe-and-slippers type of way — and we’re big fans of the adjustable stem which allows you to move the bars at a multitude of angles to find the perfect upright riding position. Rather than carbon forks or any such modern shenanigans to dampen the lumps and bumps on our streets, the Urban 2 relies on 28mm wide, low-pressure tyres on 26-inch wheels. The Airlite frame is a lot less jittery than many other aluminium frames we’ve ridden, and the saddle’s so amply padded it makes the suspension seatpost a little redundant.

040041_bikes.FINALNEW_AR2.indd 40

There’s plenty of city features here too. Load up the sturdy rack with panniers full of shopping or luggage and there’s even a kickstand if you don’t like to lean your bike against the wall. Other nice touches include a guard on the front chainring to prevent your clothes getting greasy, plus full mudguards keep wheel spray away from you (though we did have the multi-tool out a couple of times during testing to stop it rattling). But all this kit contributes to the Urban 2’s biggest drawback — its weight. Ride it for any length of time and you’ll start to feel the drag. An efficient 24-speed Shimano Acera drivetrain brings few performance advantages to such a bike and you’re unlikely to get up enough speed to make full use

of the Tektro V-brakes. The steering’s not too clever either — lean the Urban either way as you push it along and the front end doesn’t budge, so weaving through traffic isn’t really an option. Such a sturdy bike may fare better in the wet when stability's an issue, but as it hasn't rained during testing we're making no promises. If you're not looking to break any speed records and are in the market for an inexpensive, well-kitted out steed for short hops — one that you can pile high with luggage — then the Urban 2 is worth a gander. MM PROS: Good townie features CONS: Hefty weight

Until surprisingly recently, true hybrids were pretty thin on the ground, usually little more than rigid mountain bikes with slick tyres or road bikes with flat bars, with few features specifically suited to the urban rider. That's all changed now with the global boom in city cycling and now 'proper' hybrids adorn the line-ups of all the main bike manufacturers. But what should you look out for? Well ideally a light yet robust frame that's easy to accelerate and manoeuvre through traffic and that will absorb the worst bumps in the road. Compact geometry (unlike a 'stretched' road bike) and sensible bar/stem choices will give you the most comfortable, upright riding position; while reinforced puncture-proof tyres will save you hours of aggravation. Some hybrids will come with racks and mudguards as standard, otherwise check for compatibility to see if they can be added at a later date.

09/07/2010 13:55


BOARDMAN Hybrid Comp Fi £499.99

PINNACLE Borealis 4.0 £649.99

www.boardmanbikes.com

www.evanscycles.com

This is our first look at the all-new range of women’sspecific bikes from Boardman, which also includes road and mtb models in similarly elegant white livery with pink accents. It’s fair to say that not all our testers appreciated the pink touches (bit overly girlie), though there was little quibbling about the finish of the lightweight aluminium frame and straight-blade fork. As we’ve come to expect after testing the men’s range, component spec is nothing short of amazing on a bike at this price: SRAM X5 gearing, Avid Juicy 3 hydraulic disc brakes, Truvativ Touro 48/34T compact chainset and Maxxis Detonator tyres. The Ritchey finishing kit is also good quality but it’s where we felt this bike fell down. The flat bar is too wide and the stem too

Boreas was the Greek god of the north wind, so it's an appropriate choice for this particularly swift hybrid which tops a four-bike range (from £350). All the models have an aluminium frame, in this case with carbon seat-stays and a carbon fork. Shimano's Tiagra 27-speed drivetrain and Tektro V-brakes proved equally dependable, while Kenda Kwick tyres and double-wall 700c Alex rims are a decent compromise between speed and strength. Much of the finishing gear is Pinnacle (Evans Cycles’ own brand). Other features include two bottle-cage mounts, ergonomic grips and a pair of quickrelease skewers with removeable arms which add an extra level of security. The seating position is

long for most women; on the small size our 5ft 5in tester found the reach excessive and uncomfortable. On checking, the geometry measured ok for average women’s physiology (longer legs, shorter torsos), with a top-tube that’s 2.5cm shorter than the men’s equivalent, but it was undone by that stem/bar combo. As far as riding goes, however, the Comp Fi performs more like a decent road bike — it's extremely nippy, handling’s responsive and the brakes extremely reassuring. Ideal for a speedy, sporty commuter with a couple of tweaks. AC PROS: Amazing spec, especially drivetrain and brakes CONS: Sizing, bars/stem

SPECIALIZED Sirrus Comp £899 www.specialized.com

know you’re getting nononsense shifting; the shifters themselves are easy to reach on the bars too. We still rate V-brakes highly for city use, the ideal trade-off between disc brakes and caliper brakes and again Specialized has got it bang on with its mini V-brakes. Though the Armadillo Elite tyres are solid round-town rubber, we’d perhaps swap them for something narrower and lighter for faster outings. Overall though, the Sirrus is greater than the sum of its parts. It’s one of the best hybrids we’ve reviewed — a real joy to ride. MM PROS: Frame, spec CONS: Not much

TREK Soho o £750 www.trekbikes.co.uk Beneath its sleek, battleship-grey exterior the Soho hides a battery of new technologies. It uses a carboncomposite belt rather than a regular chain (like the District we tested in the last issue) which is both quieter and requires less maintenance. The eight-speed Shimano Nexus hub gears, controlled by an Alfine thumb-shifter, feel direct and their broad range is suitable for the flatness of Fulham and the hills of Hampstead. Brakes are Shimano IM50 units, fitted inside the hubs, reducing maintenance further as no moving parts are exposed to the elements. Stopping requires a fairly heavy pull but they do the job and you still only need to undo the wheelnuts to remove a wheel. Saying that, puncture-

proof 32mm Bontrager tyres are unlikely to see many flats. Other useful features include chainguard and mudguards, and mounting points for a rack. Novelties include a pair of top-tube rubber bumpers to stop the bike falling over when you lean it on something, plus you get an insulated coffee mug that fits perfectly in the bottle cage! The Soho is a stylish, sensible all-rounder which feels chunkier on the road than sportier hybrids, though it’s ideal for year-round urban use. Available in five sizes (15in to 25in). MC PROS: Low maintenance CONS: Could be lighter

TESTERS: JK, Matt Moore, Mike Cavenett, Alex Crawford

This year's Sirrus Comp updates the model we reviewed in 2009 with an E5 frame — and luckily the rest of that winning formula remains. It’s pitched at the sportier end of the hybrid spectrum, weighs just under 10kg (56cm size), and is sharp enough to beat most things away from the lights if you put your foot down; accelerating and maintaining high speeds are distinct highlights. The carbon forks and seat-stays, coupled with ergonomic grips, help absorb the worst bumps without jarring your wrists. And a carbon-wrap seatpost also makes life more comfortable, supporting a grooved Sonoma saddle that’s well suited for an upright riding position. With Shimano 105s on board, you

fairly low slung — compared with the upright Trek, for example – but it’s still comfortable. More importantly it feels light and responsive on the road, as happy on a short commute as it is doing a 50-miler at the weekend. Overall, the Borealis 4.0 is a another very competitive product, available in small to extra large sizes, plus there’a women’s range with stepthrough frames. Its looks and spec will appeal to those looking for fleetness of foot above pure comfort. You could fit mudguards to it, but it’s the kind of bike that the owners probably won’t. MC PROS: Versatility, value CONS: No mudguards

August-September 2010 London Cyclist 41

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This issue we test our weight in security products

YALE Maxi Lock £29.99

PINHEAD Locking System £49.99

www.yale.co.uk A slightly different take on the cable lock from the home security specialists — here a steel cable encased in a tough plastic cover links to a small alarm system. A conductive core runs through the cable itself and the alarm is triggered if the cable is cut or the case tampered with; there’s also a movement detection feature which again triggers the alarm if the lock is grabbed or knocked. As you’d expect, the Maxi comes into its own if you’re still within earshot of the bike, maybe in a café or shop, and the 100-decibel alarm is enough to see off shifty-looking types (and local dobermans). On its own it could be beaten by a very quick and brazen thief, but teamed with a solid D-lock it makes a decent combo. Requires two AAA batteries. JK

ABUS Granit-X Plus £64.99 www.abus.com An oldie but a goodie, the Abus offers as much security as you’d expect in a Sold Secure Goldrated lock. Clever design features like a parabolic, square-section 13mm shackle and doublelocking mechanism add up to a very secure product. Abus has gone the extra mile in support and extras too, from ‘keyed alike’ which gives you one key for several locks and a 'code card' which allows you to obtain spare keys without fuss if you lose them. We’ve owned an Abus for a couple of years and not had the type of 'seizing' problems that we’ve sometimes experienced with one or two lesser products. MM

KRYPTONITE New York 3000 £79.99

www.pinheadcomponents.com

ONGUARD Brute £41.99 www.moorelarge.co.uk

www.madison.co.uk For maximum security in high theft areas, you need a hefty shackle that’s resistant to bolt-cutters and leverage attacks and this one offers 16mm of case-hardened Kryptonium steel, bettered only by the monstrous 18mm-shackled Fahgettaboudit Mini in the brand's line-up. You also need a tamper-proof cylinder — again this has an anti-pick system with double-deadbolt lock, with the keyhole protected by a sliding dustcover. You get spare keys (one with a light), a carrying bracket for your bike and, most importantly, reassuring Sold Secure Gold rating. You can comfortably secure frame, rear wheel and a removed front wheel to most common stands. Worth its weight, many times over. JK

BEST RIDES IN LONDON

PRODUCT

Bike locks

No matter how securely your frame is anchored, unsecured wheels, saddles and forks are still mighty tempting to thieves. Pinhead’s system locks your valuable components without having to lug around an extra cable — and should you need to take off your wheels or adjust your saddle, it’s no hardship to carry around the key on your keyring. MM

SQUIRE Challenger 260 £19.99 www.squirelocks.co.uk

Brute by name… impressively this US-made lock sports a whopping 16.8mm hardened steel shackle and a ‘Quattro’ bolt mechanism which grips it on four sides. Another feature called ‘BumpBlok’ makes the cylinder resistant to pick, pull and drill attacks, plus there’s a rotating dustcover. For the absent-minded you get five laser-cut keys (one with integral light) and the mounting system offers multi-positions and quick-release. Other than the fact that it rattled annoyingly on bumpy tarmac, this is the best value security on test. This is the longer of two available sizes. JK

Squire’s Challenger 260 is a good all-round D-lock rated Bronze on the Sold Secure scale, providing decent security for your pub steed or runaround if you don’t want to spend three times more on a higher-rated lock. The 12mm steel shackle has 260mm of clearance, so there’s plenty of room to attach wheel and frame to something solid, and the screw-on bracket held the Challenger firmly in place while riding. Will see off opportunists and only be beaten by the best-equipped criminals. MM

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More new kit we've been putting through its paces in recent weeks ORTLIEB Vario £100

LAKE I/O SDL sandals £79.99 www.todayscyclist.co.uk

www.ortlieb.com Ortlieb panniers are 100 percent waterproof. So a pannier-cum-rucksack with this admirable attribute is of great interest. In two words — it works. The Orlieb Vario takes A4 files and a laptop (protective case optional) and has a neat interior zip pocket for valuables. On the outside are two open neoprene pockets to take bottles, gloves etc, plus a detachable holder for a helmet and a useful handle. The clever bit comes with the rucksack attachment which packs away into another neoprene outer pocket or attaches in seconds to the back of the pannier. The rucksack is comfortable and not sweaty on the back. Well designed products like the Vario obviously come at a price, but its flexibility and functionality are hard to beat. Capacity 20-litres, three colours. TB

FABRIC HORSE Lock Holster $10 www.fabrichorse.com Perhaps the simplest and greenest product we’ll ever review. Essentially reinforced loops made from recycled seat-belts that slide onto your own belt to hold a D-lock — genius. Slotted between the most suitable belt-loops on your jeans the lock won’t flap about or dig in (like it does when just slipped behind a belt). Our sample fitted half-a-dozen common lock sizes from the main brands, but the team will happily make one to any size if they don’t already stock it (allow a couple of weeks). Only available direct from the States at the moment. Also available is a full holster belt for $26.50. JK

BELL Splash £19.99 www.madison.co.uk

One of a new range of kids’ lids from Bell, available in five bright colourways including ‘Blue Super Heroes’ (above) and ‘Pink Heart Animals'. It incorporates the company’s revolutionary One-Step Fit system, that allows for a comfortable, stable and self-adjusting fit, meaning your kids can just 'click and ride’; or if being fitted by an adult, the ratchet system ensures that you won’t pinch your nipper’s neck. There’s six vents and mesh net to keep heads cool and — the feature that made our young testers most excited — LED flashing lights built into the back of the retention system. Meets European safety certification and comes in sizes 46-50cm. JK

BEST RIDES IN LONDON

PRODUCT

Gear and gadgets In the last issue, we looked at Keen’s sandals, but if you’ve not taken the plunge and bought yourself a pair, we suggest you take a look at the Lake I/O SDLs. They’re less cumbersome than the Keens, but the non-marking Vibram sole is stiff enough to make it a useful bike shoe. A panel over the top of your foot gives you ventilation and flexibility where you need it, and a rubber bumper protects your toes. A foot-locking lace system keeps the SDLs on securely. Just put an SPD cleat on, saddle up and feel the wind in your toes — very cool. MM

KNOG 20 Tool £32.99

RAPHA Shirt £75 www.rapha.cc

www.knog.com.au We're always looking for multitools that pack loads into a small, light package that we can grab for maintenance jobs at home and take on longer rides. The new Knog Tool 20 is just the job if you're after a bigger tool, with an eyewatering seven Allen keys, Phillips, flat-head and Torx screwdrivers, four open spanners, four spoke wrenches and a chain tool. There's even a bottle opener to crack a few bottles at the end of a long day. The tools are forged in rust-resistant chrome vanadium and housed in a 5cm square anodised aluminium body that's still easy to use — though you can't get bolts and screws as tight without a longer-bodied tool. You'll probably want a smaller tool for everyday use, so check out the 7 Tool (£22.99) or 12 Tool (£28.99). MM

Rapha’s short-sleeve shirt uses almost 70 percent cotton, making it very comfortable to wear — even if you do work up a bit of a sweat, it dries quickly to leave you as cool as when you set off. Like most of Rapha’s gear, the short-sleever has quite a slim fit, but a dash of Elastane means you’ve got a bit of give when you’re cranking it and it’s a bit more sympathetic if you’ve not got a slim build. And yes, this shirt has a few of those Rapha design touches for which you’re handing over the extra readies — here it's the button details and a single back pocket that make it stand out. MM

August-September 2010 London Cyclist 45

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CULTURE

Books Skills, maintenance and travel — we review the latest titles Ultimate Guide to Bicycle Maintenance £9.99 Former road and mountain bike racer Guy Andrews has a impressive cycling CV, both on and off the bike. He’s worked as a cycling journalist for a couple of decades and, significantly for the author of a maintenance manual, he’s also done time as a mechanic. All this experience shows because the (rather immodestly titled) Ultimate Guide to Bicycle Maintenance is very good, treading the line confidently between being technical enough for the advanced home workshopper yet reassuring enough for the virgin spannerhead. Covering both road and mtbs (which picks up most bikes in between, such as hybrids), the book starts by highlighting what’s what on your bike and what tools you’ll need to

look after it, before moving on to carrying out detailed repairs. The 184 pages are broken down into 10 sections providing step-by-step instructions on topics including cleaning and maintenance, contact points (saddles, pedals, bars, and so on), wheels and tyres, steering,

Guy Andrews

drivetrain, brakes, gear systems and suspension. Throughout, the layout and colour photographs are excellent, making repairs clear and easy to follow, and the tone is direct and informative, avoiding the tiresome mateyness that some authors seem to think is de rigueur for cycling manuals.

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Compared with heftier maintenance books (such as the incomparable, comprehensive yet challenging Zinn range, which London Cyclist has reviewed in the past), you can’t help but notice some details have been left out to keep the book more manageable. However, there’s still enough here to mean you can avoid trips to pricey bike shops, except for the most complex repairs, and the book should endow you with extra confidence in the bicycle you’re riding. Overall, the combination of clarity and information makes for a winning title, one that’s likely to sit on your shelf for a long time to come. Matt Mallinder

46 London Cyclist August-September 2010

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Mountain Biking Tips And Techniques £14.95 Martyn Ashton Danny MacAskill’s ‘Inspired Bicycles’ YouTube video has received 18 million hits so far, suggesting there’s an unquenched appetite out there for the kind of bicycle trickery this book champions. MacAskill actually makes a guest appearance towards the back of Ashton’s excellent book, although it’s the latter (a former World Champion trials mountain biker) who walks you through the 20 or so skills, from a simple trackstand, all the way through to gravitydefying and limb-threatening back-flips and 360s. Many of the techniques explained here are very useful for biking on challenging off-road terrain, so this isn’t only for those who want to show off at traffic lights or hang out at skateparks. Throughout you’re encouraged to build up skills bit by bit, and the lively and informative text encourages you to push yourself. The excellent photography and a useful online resource of videos (www.mtbtricks. co.uk) make progress attainable, whatever level you start at. MC

Cycling traffic-free: South East Cycling traffic-free: Home Counties £9.99 Nick Cotton These two route guides are excellent inspiration for families wanting to get away from the traffic fumes of London in search of more scenic surroundings. Most rides in the books are less than 10 miles, making them suitable for children of most ages. Many of the routes are linear, although there are a number of circular routes too. Each guide features 30 cycle routes, taking you along disused railway lines, ra canal ca towpaths, to riversides, ri and through a ccountry parks and p forests. Each route is explained in detail with a map,

directions, Ordnance Survey references, plus refreshment points (pubs and cafes) and places of interest along the way. Both books are also liberally scattered with good-quality photographs. Although they’re certainly very useful for families, they’re perhaps most suitable for Londoners with access to a car — hardly the greenest of starting points — as the books provide much more info on car parks than they do train stations. However, many rides do actually start near a railway station, so it is possible to use these books with public transport. Katrin Wedepohl

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LCC’s community team received over 110 applications to CCFfL in 2010 and here we look at three of the projects that have been awarded funding

BEST RIDES IN LONDON

COMMUNITY

Community cycling Kingston pupils become role models Get parents involved and their kids will quickly follow ■ Project Keep Fit, St Philips School ■ Purpose Improve opportunities for children and young people with learning disabilities ■ Awarded £5,000 ■ Activities Cycle training and bike maintenance

St Philips is a secondary school, in the borough of Kingston, for students with moderate learning difficulties (MLD). Teacher Neil Mears, keen to increase opportunities for pupils and staff, approached LCC in 2009 with an idea for a cycling project with which to challenge the kids’ travel patterns and health assumptions. The project immediately captured the imagination of the whole school community. Additional cycle training and opportunities to ride were soon integrated into the school curriculum. A group of year 10 and 11 boys showed particular interest. Some

HOW IT WORKS LCC is influential in spreading cycling culture to harder-toreach communities in London. TfL and the Big Lottery’s Community Cycling Fund for London (CCFfL) awards grants of £5k and £10k from an overall of nearly £200k. The two funding rounds are now closed for 2010.

FOR INFO Contact the community team: ■ 020 7234 9310 (option4) ■ community@lcc.org.uk ■ Sign up for e-newsletter at ww.lcc.org.uk/community

■ Project Shacklewell Primary Family Bike Club ■ Purpose Get children and their families cyclingthem together in the local area ■ Awarded £4,762.50 ■ Activities cycle training, bike maintenance, rides and events

of them had already been stopped from riding unsafe bikes to school. Realising that their interest reflected potential development for independence and later life skills, Neil requested abandoned bikes from Wimbledon police station. Together with skilled mechanics, the boys started to work on these bikes and restore them to roadworthy condition. This turned out to make a huge difference to the boys’ self esteem, their employment potential, as well as their attitudes to others. “The lads love it. Everyday they want to work on bikes and ride them, and they’re now riding far more safely,” said Mears. The

boys have also become role models for fellow pupils, with one lad in particular — Luke (above) — amazing staff with his newly-found ability to fix bikes. Luke is now so interested in bikes that he helps select the scrap bikes from the police and sorts them according to what needs doing to them. He has even started working in a bike shop. He said: “I ride to my job and back again — it’s five miles and if I didn’t ride, I’d have to get a bus or a taxi or not go as it would cost me money which I haven’t got. But now I ride my bike and I also help teachers and other people when their bikes go wrong.”

It’s like riding a bike for nursery group ■ Project Wentworth Nursery school and children’s centre ■ Purpose Integrate cycling into children’s lives at a young age ■ Awarded £2,939.99 ■ Activities Riding on like-a-bikes for the kids and cycle training for staff and parents Wentworth Nursery school near Victoria Park wants to make cycling an integral part of children’s lives from a very young age. In order to achieve this, they have been funded to

purchase a range of trikes and like-a-bikes — small wooden bikes without pedals on which kids can learn to balance before moving on to standard two-wheelers — to get the three- to four-year-olds cycling. The nursery also provides two adult bikes for staff and parents to use for local trips. “This is a great opportunity for the children and also for staff of the nursery to get cycling,” said deputy head teacher Janice Scammell.

Shacklewell Primary school in Hackney has been running cycle training and Dr Bike workshops for its pupils and staff for years. They operate a fleet of pool bikes for staff and the school has recently become a ‘Food for Life’ school. William Johnson, one of the school’s teachers, realised that in order to keep the young kids cycling outside of school, they needed to get the parents involved. In April this year, they received funding to run a family bike club where parents can learn to ride and pick up basic bike maintenance skills. This will give parents the confidence and skills to cycle to school with their children, and make cycling a part of their lifestyle. Johnson, who has been the main instigator of the school’s push for a modal shift, explains: “Children’s behaviour is heavily dependent on their parents’ decision so we need to get the parents cycling if we want people to get out of their cars and on their bikes.”

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Find out more at www.lcc.org.uk/localgroups

BEST RIDES IN LONDON

GROUPS

Local Group News BARKING & DAGENHAM www.stibasa.org.uk At the time of writing the first reports have reached me of the Cycle Superhighway between Greatfields Park, Barking and Tower Hill. It seemed that in Barking, contractors had painted the existing track, producing a surface that is poor in the dry and slippery like ice when wet. I hope this will be fixed by the time you read this. I did take a ride out with our cycling officer back in April, to see what he had been doing and I’m quite pleased with the directional signing he SEASIDE SPECIAL: Barnet members exploring the Viking Trail earlier this summer has put up around the borough. He's a cyclist and the signing, on the whole, makes sense to me as B&D, Havering and Redbridge for on a ride with us and hope to be a cyclist and therefore, I hope, to many years and he has also able to develop a useful others. With budget cuts, don’t stood down from that. Thanks to relationship which might expect any major works on both for all they've done. advance the cause of cycling. cycling infrastructure. MEETINGS: check website. ➤ Earlier in the year about 20 of ➤ I do commend to you the CONTACT: Colin Newman, colin. us had a group weekend ride cycling weekends that our sister newman@stibasa.org.uk starting in Canterbury and BLOG: http://stibasa.blogspot. following the Viking Trail. This branch in Redbridge arranges. com route goes around the Isle of Coming up we have a weekend Thanet in the east of Kent, ride based in Canterbury, visiting where we stayed overnight in churches on the Saturday — the resort of Broadstairs — many open for the Historic BARNET altogether a fabulous weekend. Churches Preservation Trust www.barnetlcc.org MEETINGS: normally on the last annual bike rides that take place Thursday of the month at 8pm, on the second Saturday in Following the local elections we Trinity Church Hall, Nether Street, September. Look at the website sent our cycling manifesto for N12. NB — the August meeting has for more details. The Redbridge Barnet to all our local councillors had to be deferred until Thursday trips usually involve staying in to see if we could energise any of 2 September, with the next one on hostels to keep the price down, them, particularly the new ones, 30 September. but there is often more to take a more positive approach CONTACT: Jeremy Parker, 020 sumptuous accommodation to cycling in the borough. Last 8440 9080. available nearby, for those who year one of our local MPs, may prefer more Theresa Villiers, ore space Vi and comfort. became a member. VOLUNTEER ➤ Redbridge LCC Now following CC BEXLEY is currently the general WITH LCC www.lcc.org.uk/localgroups election she undergoing el We're looking for enthusiastic has a few We will continue with our h been volunteers to help us run stalls, rides , on-street campaigns and members appointed changes. Gill monthly rides — last Sundays of a hip recruitment drives —these include as James and the month — meet Bexleyheath a Minister Skyrides and the London Cycle Show of Chris Elliott, station at 9.30am. These are o State for . We’ll give you an LCC t-shirt and, Transport the joint usually about 30 miles or so and T if you can help at the Cycle Show, and part of co-ordinators, sometimes involve a train ride — an you’ll also get in free! Email us her remit is stood down at contact f.renton@gold.ac.uk to at membership@lcc.org.uk ‘London’, so we their most recent confirm if a ride is going ahead. ent ‘Lond were very pleased AGM after many ➤ In addition we have several ny v when she tturned up years of service small rides targetted at less e and unexpectedly at one of our the post was vacant at the experienced cyclists in August. ‘Dr Bike’ events having cycled time of writing. Chris edited On Sunday 25 July, 2-4pm, meet Hubbub, the newsletter covering there. We’ve invited her to come Abbey Wood Information Centre;

Sunday 8 August, 2-4pm, meet Danson Park Tennis Hut; Sunday 22 August 10-12pm, meet Danson Park Tennis Hut. ➤ Bexley Council has been doing a great deal of work to support cycling to school and are putting on several events this year. We also have several very keen cyclists giving a lot of spare time working with Go-Ride who meet every Saturday in Danson Park. There have been recent consultations on how to improve things for cyclists in the borough overall. We suggested we need more off-road routes, more secure parking and more information on where to cycle. We have had a specific request asking what measures could help in the Belvedere area as I think there is some development funding — any ideas you have let us know. MEETINGS: see website. CONTACT: Frances Renton, 01322 441979; f.renton@gold.ac.uk

BROMLEY www.bromleycyclists.org.uk Cycle A Mile continues in Norman Park on Sundays at 2pm, until 29 Aug.  Riders should then be ready for the London Skyride on 5 September, with feeder rides departing from Cator Park and Priory Gardens

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BEST RIDES IN GROUPS LONDON SHOW TIME: Bromley Cyclists and Bromley Council share a stall at Bromley Pageant of Motoring in June

(details on the website). An extended ride from Cycle A Mile is available to those wanting to brush up their on-road skills. ➤ In the coming months Bromley Cyclists will be looking for keen women cyclists who would be interested in putting together a programme in the borough for women on bikes. ➤ We are still rejoicing over Bromley Council Road Safety Team’s purchase of an advanced Virtual Reality Cycling Trainer for use in schools and at special events. It was in use at the Bromley Bike Blast, the Bromley Pageant of Motoring and in Bromley College of Further & Higher Education. At the last two events we shared a stall with the Road Safety Team, a partnership that has greatly strengthened cycling presence in the borough. MEETINGS: second Wednesdays, 7.30pm, see website. Other Wednesdays meet at Bromley South station for an easy ride — the Wednesday Weekly Wander. CONTACT: Charles Potter, 07951 780869, coordinator@bromley cyclists.org

forecast, the weather was fine pretty much all day. Our stall was popular and we dispensed vast numbers of maps as well as chatting about cycling and hopefully getting new members for LCC. As ever, Dr Bike proved very popular and they fixed more than 150 bikes. The trials circuit (organised by BikeFix and Velorution) was busy all day with riders on recumbents, Christiana child carriers, tandems, striders and kiddy bikes without pedals. ➤ We plan a train-assisted ride to Bedford in August. We also plan to lead feeder rides from Camden to Skyride on 5 September. MEETINGS: 9 August and 13 September at Primrose Hill Community Association, 29 Hopkinsons Place (off Fitzroy Road), NW1. CONTACTS: Stefano Casalotti, 020 7435 0196; stefano@lamsamcasalotti.org.uk. Or Jean Dollimore, 020 7485 5896; jean@dollimore.net

EALING www.ealingcycling.org.uk

CAMDEN www.camdencyclists.org.uk Bike Fest and Camden Green Fair took place in Regents Park on 6 June and in spite of a bad

ECC goes from strength to strength thanks to the hard work and dedication of our volunteers. The Ealing bike hub has opened

to spectacular success. It gives cyclists the opportunity to be taught basic maintenance skills in a relaxed, informal atmosphere. As the service develops we envisage that each monthly session will consist of a tutored lesson requiring advance booking and a drop-in workshop to help cyclists with specific problems. To find out more check out www.ealingbikehub.co.uk. ➤ At the beginning of June, ECC were nominated for a TfL award for the 2009 family cycling project. The project has succeeded in getting many families cycling with their children by providing training and loaning child seats, trailers etc. The winner will be announced at the end of June. ➤ Beyond Bike Week, summer 2010 is packed with cyclingrelated events:

information stalls and Dr Bikes at local schools, the Ealing Skyride on 18 July, Brentford Festival and London Skyride on 5 September, and a programme of other social and family rides. MEETING: first Wednesdays of the month, venue details on website. Also social rides on first Sundays, meet 10am, Ealing Town Hall — details on website. CONTACT: David Lomas, info@ ealingcycling.org.uk. Or David Eales, 07880 797437.

ENFIELD www.lcc.org.uk/localgroups

It's all change in Enfield on the political front. In the May elections, the parliamentary seat of Enfield North went from Labour to Conservative. But, perhaps more surprisingly, Labour ttook control of Enfield Council after eight years in opposition. As some of you will kn ow, The result is that we we've been cont have a new set of local mem me mbber e s whho have genero acting political figures to get to usly made donations to LCC in ad di know and work with. subscription. By comp tion to their membership leting Gift Aid decla So S we felt this was an rations for these donations, our me appropriate time to get a over £4,000 since Ma mbers have helped us raise organised and breathe o rch, money that would otherwise been lost have some fresh life into our s to th taxpayer and have e taxman! If you’re a UK local campaigning group. lo n’t Aid declaration, ple already completed a Gift Our O LCC group's ase call us on 020 72 34 93 ‘committee’ currently ‘co we’ll get a declaratio n in the post to you. 10 — consists of a co-ordinator co (Richard Reeve) and a (R

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Treasurer (Trisha Smith). We are now planning to hold elections at the group meeting on Thursday 2 September for the posts of co-ordinator, treasurer and between two and four additional committee members. We hope that this will bring about fresh ideas and also facilitate making decisions about future campaigning activities and the direction of the group.  Also at this meeting we will vote on whether to adopt the LCC local groups ‘standard constitution’.  ➤ If you are an active member of our group or, equally, somebody who has yet to become involved then we would love to hear from you. If you would like to stand for any of the positions on the committee, or would like any further information, please use the contact below. ➤ Our intention is that the September meeting each year will become our ‘annual meeting’ where we will re-elect officers. We hope to see new and old faces at the meeting on Thursday 2 September, to be held upstairs at the King William IV pub, 192 Hertford Rd, Edmonton, N9, starting at 7.15pm  (please note the earlier start time). MEETINGS: Thurs 5 August, 8pm, Winchmore Hill Cricket Club, The Paulin Ground, Winchmore Hill, N21. CONTACT:  R Reeve, 020 8363 2196; r.reeve@blueyonder.co.uk RIDES: www.edmontoncyclingclub.fsnet.co.uk

HARROW www.harrowcyclists.org.uk With new political incumbents at the civic centre — Labour's ousting of the Conservatives surprised almost everyone — we are now making contacts with the new portfolio holders. But we do know something about many councillors' views — during the election we sent every candidate for whom we could find an email address a questionnaire on cycling using SurveyMonkey (it's free). Nearly a third responded and half of these are now on the council, so we know who cycles, who has an open door and who is not sympathetic. See the results at http://harrowcyclists. org.uk/node/44 ➤ Following our requests, additional cycle parking has been put in at Wealdstone library. This should encourage cycling to an area blighted by high cost and pointless road systems in the 1980s. ➤ We hope to start a dialogue with Tesco on cycle parking outside its outlets. It could do much better on the big stores, but has virtually nothing near its small format stores where typical purchases are very much bike-sized. ➤ The Superhighways come nowhere near Harrow, but many members will use them elsewhere. Our feelings on their inadequacy probably mirrors

other LCC groups (but not those (secretary) and committee of TfL). members Chris Ashby, Stephen ➤ The group has organised more Taylor, Keith Macfarlane, Robert rides – ranging from family Harston and Joseph Young for all the work they've done and friendly to the superfast, while especially for agreeing to some members spent a long continue in post. weekend researching earching p the cycle facilitiess in ➤ Unpackaged, Unpac shop in Amwell Peter- borough. gh. We are looking Street ng Stre where LEGAL ADVICE from m tea forward to you take y the to go nks Tha free legal Skyride in your own y Levenes who dispensed k Mum No September containers, advice to cyclists at Loo hop rks Hands cycle café and wo where we is looking t, forget tha during Bike Week. Don’t shall again at ways of ays alw ’re you er, as an LCC memb ice lead a group being more b adv al leg e entitled to the best fre need r from a local cyclist cy eve you If s. ene Lev from station to friendly, frie assistance, please call LCC central London. including on. inclu on 020 7234 9310. MEETINGS: second wondering if there wonder Wednesdays of each is sufficient d demand for month, check website. them to stock the green oil. If CONTACT: Colin Waters, 07799 you'd been interested in buying 537 504. it or have any other suggestions, please contact the shop via www.beunpackaged.com. ➤ Meetings between us, council ISLINGTON engineers and Living Streets www.icag.org.uk have restarted after a break of over six months. We are also We were delighted to have the represented on the Highbury transport commentator, author Fields Management Group and and local resident Christian the local transport liaison group, Wolmar as our guest speaker at so if you would like to help or our AGM in May. His amusing comment on anything covered anecdotes and thoughtby these groups, get in touch. provoking comments on cycling MEETINGS: second Wednesdays and other forms of travel made of the month (11 Aug, 8 Sept), the evening a great success. Our 7.30-9.30pm, at Islington Town grateful thanks to our treasurer Hall, Upper Street, N1.  Anja Beinroth for all her work CONTACT: Alison Dines, 020 7226 over the last five years and to 7012; alisondines@clara.co.uk Clive Attenborough for taking her role on. Also to Alison Dines (co-ordinator), John Ackers

KENSINGTON & CHELSEA

www.kc-cyclists.org.uk

BIT OF ALL WIGHT: members from Enfield LCC enjoyed trips to the Isle of Wight and New Forest in May

An issue we're focusing on in conjunction with the council is cycle security. RBKC have already launched initiatives to reduce the theft of cycles in the borough and the K&C LCC group is supporting this. ➤ We'd like your help in support of reducing the use of motor traffic on Albert Bridge once it re-opens. We'll be aiming to drum up support in the wider community for a pedestrian and cycle-friendly bridge with a 'tidal-flow' system in operation that allows motor traffic in one direction only depending on the morning or evening peak. Interested? Get in touch. MEETING: Monday 2 August and 6 September at 6.30pm,

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BEST RIDES IN GROUPS LONDON

Devonshire Arms, 37 Marloes Road, London W8. CONTACT: Philip Loy, 07960 026450; philip_loy@yahoo.co.uk

KINGSTON www.kingstoncycling.org.uk We found the draft Biking Borough report to be somewhat lacking, with no reference to addressing perceptions of cycling by non-cyclists. Kingston already has a low cyclist casualty rate so why do people still perceive that you have to be brave to ride a bike? There was no mention of the theft problem or how to address it and no mention of how to get cycle parking at the ‘home end’ — something we know is a barrier especially for those who live in flats. We have sent a fully annotated draft back to the consultant authors. The Biking Borough report will no doubt feed in to the borough’s Local Implementation Plan bid so we want it to be a good foundation. ➤ We have found that in 2009, 541 bikes were reported stolen to the Met or British Transport police (BTP). Surbiton station has the worst record over the last two years of any station in London, possibly the country. We are trying to get the Met and BTP to offer crime prevention advice. Both seem keen to mark bikes (using different systems mind you), to help return a stolen and recovered bike, but the Met officers have claimed that they require training. ➤ The Kingston Eco-op cycle workshop, part funded by a CCfL grant, needs unused bikes to refurbish and sell to people on low incomes and getting into cycling. To donate, contact www.kingstoneco-op.org.uk. ➤ Our ‘Bread Pudding’ Rides have been proving more popular than ever — check website. MEETINGS: 10 August and 14 September, 8.30pm, Waggon & Horses pub, Surbiton Hill Road. CONTACT: Rob James, 020 8546 8865

benefit from being made 'permeable' — ie being made a no-through road for rat-running, but accessible for local people, pedestrians and cyclists. Any suggestions for where you live? Get in touch — you are the eyes and ears of Lambeth Cyclists! Join our email group, come to our meetings and enjoy our rides. MEETINGS: third Tuesdays of the month — 17 August and 21 September, 7.30pm, upstairs at The Priory Arms, 83 Lansdowne Way, SW8. CONTACT: Philip Loy, 020 8677 8624; lambeth_cyclists@ hotmail.com

LEWISHAM wwww.lcc.org.uk/localgroups On the campaigning front we have contacted Lewisham Council asking for details of their 2010/11 TfL spend. What cycling projects are they working on this year, will there be any improvement in the signing of local cycle routes, how many cycle stands does Lewisham plan to install (key mayoral issue), and any plans to look at secure cycle parking on the many estates the authority runs? We asked for all new car club bays to have nearby cycle stands — we need to chase this up again and to find some way of having details of cycle stands on the council’s website. Much to do. ➤ We have taken part in the Cycling Superhighways route assessment — very disappointing with TfL seemingly making it up as they go along. The latest ‘plan’ is to have separate route assessment rides for

campaigners and officers — 'divide and rule' someone mbers suggested (too many Did you know that if all our me consultants on the by chose to pay their membership rides). We have seen at least direct debit, it would save LCC some infrastructure ing by pay £12,000 a year? If you’re not which has removed the ll ca newish Sheffield stands Direct Debit already, please It 0. 931 4 and replaced them with Membership team on 020 723 up set to s ‘Camden’ stands — why only takes a couple of minute er pap , age we have to ask? and the money we save in post ke ➤ The Mayor of ma to and envelopes will go directly Lewisham and Kulveer London safer for cyclists. Ranger recently formally opened a new TfL Greenways funded path which means a motor traffic-free route from ➤ Our follow-up submission to Beckenham Hill to Bromley. All the Ombudsman on Martin Way we need now is to get Bromley has been submitted. After two to complete their part of this years' gerrymandering, some of scheme. Shame the project has the traffic-calming has been been stopped. taken out. Please do not assume ➤ Due to problems with that basic drawing office updating our long established processes are followed with any rigour, especially where safety website we are starting a new audits are carried out. We have one via the LCC main site — so urged that standards are please find us at www.lcc.org. followed, rather than waste uk/localgroups rather than visit time, money and effort the old site. Our plea for new re-interpreting them. In the members continues, so if you atmosphere of making cuts, this fancy helping out do get in touch. should receive support. Had this MEETINGS: see website. policy been adopted it would CONTACT: Roger Stocker, have reduced scheme costs to rgstocker@gmail.com. the community by tens of thousands of pounds on Coome Lane and Martin Way. MERTON MEETINGS: Our Annual Meeting www.mertoncyclists.org.uk will be on the 7 October, 8pm, at the All Saints' Centre, All Saints' A momentous election has yet to Road, Colliers Wood. set a new trend in the borough. CONTACT: Charles Barraball, The cabinet form of local info@mertoncyclists.org.uk government led to ineffective management and a deflective ‘informal’ consultation process. We shall be delighted if that REDBRIDGE shows any sign of changing. www.redbridgelcc.org.uk

LAMBETH www.lambethcyclists.org.uk Over the past several weeks we have been compiling a list of local residential streets that would

HEADING EAST: join the Redbridge Skyride on 15 August, one of three in London

DIRECT DEBIT

The big news is that Skyride comes to Redbridge Cycling Centre on Sunday 15 August. Surrounding roads will be closed for the day's ride and feeder rides will be organised — watch out for the publicity. We have invited all Redbridge councillors to get ready for the Skyride at a pre-ride event on the afternoon of Sunday 1 August at RCC. If you can help with either event, please contact Gill. ➤ The posts of Redbridge co-ordinator and newsletter editor are now vacant, so look out for future news and events on our group website. MEETINGS: see website.

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CONTACT: Gill James, 020 8989 4898; gilljames@btinternet.com

RIDES & EVENTS

For the latest details on cycle rides: www.lcc.org.uk/rides

RICHMOND www.richmondlcc.co.uk We are in currently doing an audit of train stations in the borough. Details will be posted on our website when completed. We’ll then take this to the council, TfL and the relevant train companies. ➤ Our rides are still as popular as ever, thanks to Paul Luton. If you go on one of his rides, make sure you thank him as he puts in a huge effort to make them happen. We hope to have more rides this summer linked to our mobile bike club project. Check our calendar on the website. ➤ The Turning Hub mobile bike club is underway — www. theturninghub.co.uk. If you are in the Richmond borough and would like us to visit your school, business or organisation, please let us know. ➤ Our maintenance workshops are proving popular as well. Come along and learn how to fix your bike with the tools and expertise provided. ➤ We are looking forward to the Conservative council holding true to promises made before the election. We’ll bring you details of whether they do or not. MEETINGS: second Mondays of the month, 8pm, at The Ship Inn in Richmond. CONTACT: Jonathan Rowland, 07976 294626; info@richmond lcc.co.uk

SOUTHWARK www.southwarkcyclists.org.uk Thanks to Alex our lovely newsletter looks so much better in colour that it's a crying shame to print it in black and white. But it's the two-tone version that gets stuffed into the 980 or so copies of this fine magazine for Southwark members. We'd love to get a few thousand colour copies done every two months, but still haven't worked out how to pay for the 10p a copy printing. There's always the website. But in May — for £350 — the lower halves of facing pages 6 and 7 of weekly Southwark News, with 20,000 readers, had the whole news-

WELL-EARNED REST: taking a nap during a day trip to Oxfordshire's Rollright stone circle

Saturday 1 August ➤ Norbury Park ride: 10am, Twickenham Riverside, by Eel Pie Bridge. About 35 miles. Contact: Paul Luton (020 8977 4016); rides@richmondlcc.co.uk

Sunday 29 August ➤ Bread Pudding Ride: 10.30am, Kingston Market Place. Easy-paced ride with pub lunch. Contact: John Dunn (020 8397 1875); johnedunn@blueyonder.co.uk

Saturday 15 August ➤ Bread Pudding Super Challenge Ride: 10am, New Malden Fountain Roundabout, KT3 6DD. Faster, longer ride than usual. Contact: John Dunn (020 8397 1875); johnedunn@blueyonder.co.uk

Saturday 11 September ➤ Newham and 2012 Ride: 10.30am, Stratford station. Almost entirely off-road. Contact: Bernard McDonnell (07947 236965 ); adavil@ntlworld.com

Wednesday 18 August ➤ Midweek Ride: 7.30m, Kingston Market Place. Easy-paced local ride with pub stop, bring lights. Contact: John Dunn (020 8397 1875); johnedunn@blueyonder. co.uk Saturday 21 August ➤ Coffee at the Palace: 10.30am, Mortlake Green, by station. Visit to Fulham Palace, former home of Bishops of London; about 8 miles, flat. Contact: Paul Luton (020 8977 4016); rides@ richmondlcc.co.uk Saturday 21 August ➤ Newham and 2012 Ride: 10.30am, Stratford station. Almost entirely off-road. Places of scenic and architectural interest include: the Greenway, 2012 Stadium, Three Mills (Grade I listed), Royal Docks, Thames Barrier Park, Brick Lane Music Hall, London City Airport, Beckton Alps and St Mary Magdalene Church (Grade I listed). Contact: Bernard McDonnell (07947 236965 ); adavil@ntlworld.com Wednesday 25 August ➤ Rides Planning Meeting: 6:30pm, Dog & Bell, Deptford. Monthly meeting for Bromley, Greenwich, Lewisham and Southwark cyclists to discuss ride planning. Contact: Andrew Fergar (07717 693701); andrew.fergar@cliffordchance.com

Sunday 12 September ➤ Bread Pudding train-assisted ride: 9.45am, Surbiton station. Medium distance, with pub lunch; bring lights. Contact: John Dunn (020 8397 1875); johnedunn@blueyonder.co.uk Saturday 18 September ➤ Apple Picking: 10.30am, Bushy Park Visitors Centre. We cross the Thames and take a back-road route past Sandown Park to Garsons Farm in West End. Time for PYO and a picnic if fine, then return. 12 miles, but fairly flat. Contact: Paul Luton (020 8977 4016); rides@richmondlcc.co.uk Saturday 18 September ➤ Prostate Cancer Charity Tour: 10am, venue tbc. Cycle the route of the final stage of the 2010 Tour of Britain, just ahead of the professional race. 12.5 miles along flat roads; £50 per group of four, £20 per individual. Contact: Sara Woodgate (020 8222 7131); cycling@ prostate-cancer.org.uk Wednesday 22 September ➤ Midweek Ride: 7.30m, Kingston Market Place. Easy-paced local ride with pub stop, bring lights. Contact: John Dunn (020 8397 1875); johnedunn@blueyonder. co.uk Thursday 23 September ➤ BIKEast: 8am, Venice. Venice to

Dubrovnik, 820km, 6 full days from Italy through Slovenia and Croatia, with a brief foray into Bosnia. Contact: Amy Trotter (08452 576950); office@yestolife.org.uk Friday 24 September ➤ Tanzania Tour: ride from the base of Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain, to the gate of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Contact: Zoe Holyoak (00 353 1 4178028); zoe.holyoak@ concern.net; www.concernchallenge.org Sunday 26 September ➤ Bread Pudding Autumn Special Part 1: 10.30am, Kingston Market Place. Short local morning ride with pub lunch and return to Kingston for 1.45pm. Contact: John Dunn (020 8397 1875); johnedunn@blueyonder.co.uk Sunday 26 September ➤ Bread Pudding Autumn Special Part 1: 2pm, Kingston Market Place. Local afternoon ride with tea stop; bring lights. Contact: John Dunn (020 8397 1875); johnedunn@blueyonder.co.uk Tuesday 28 September ➤ The Challenge 2010: 5pm, Dover. Raise money for The Forces Children's Trust by riding to the British Army base at Sennelager, Germany, arriving 1 October, where we will recover with a social function at the base before coming home the next day. Contact: Mark Teodorini (07901 511262); mark@ thecharitychallenge.org.uk Wednesday 29 September ➤ Rides Planning Meeting: 6:30pm, Dog & Bell, Deptford. Monthly meeting for Bromley, Greenwich, Lewisham and Southwark cyclists to discuss ride planning. Contact: Andrew Fergar (07717 693701); andrew.fergar@cliffordchance.com

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letter looking fabulous and full of great stuff. Lots of good feedback and phone calls etc. We'll try and do that a few times each year and should have thought of that before. ➤ And thanks to Southwark Cyclists email list we raised over £500 in less than 24 hours to pay Druid Cycles of SE1 for a fleet of 15 reconditioned bikes to keep at Surrey Docks Farm, of adjacent SE16, right on the Thames Path. All they need to do is keep those new gates open seven hours a day. ➤ The nine Southwark Healthy Rides we did in April/May in partnership with Surrey Docks Health Centre got off to a high-flying start with two very senior Southwark Primary Care Trust people on the easy 90-minute local tour with us. But that was the last we saw of staffers. Maybe six of their customers turned up, as did others who simply wanted an easy ride. We'll be doing a lot more such Healthy Saturday rides from August onwards. MEETINGS: see website CONTACT: Barry Mason, 07905 889 005.

respectively. To find out more, why not join us at our August pub garden meeting? For some reason, these meetings always seem to be well attended… MEETINGS: second Tuesdays of the month, from 7pm, Friends Meeting House, 59 Wandsworth High Street (opposite Town Hall) and afterwards at Brewers Inn. CONTACT: Simon Merrett, 0208 789 6639; info@wandsworth cyclists.org.uk.

WESTMINSTER www.westminstercyclists.org.uk

WATERWAY EXPLORERS: family and friends of Waltham Forest group last month

to us will result in tangible improvements — 20mph, a moratorium on one-ways and extra parking were our election priorities. Thanks to councillors Coghill and Douglas for meeting us already and expressing such a keen interest. ➤ We are having a very busy autumn as we proudly support the E17 Art Trail (4 Sept), the Redbridge Skyride (15 Aug) and Mayor of London Skyride (5 Sept) and S the t Leytonstone Car Free Day, where we F LCC FAMILY MEMBERSHIP hope to see you all. ade h Upgr ily Fam our of After the popularity her chance Also A every second offer last year, we’re giving you anot hip to Sunday we have S to upgrade your individual members Family £12. only for — ly fami le the Family cover your who you make membership usually costs £55, so Bike Club. ives the great savings, while your family rece ➤ Workshops — And r as you. same benefits and insurance cove Low Hall depot, add you LCC, of bers mem ly by making your fami too — your South Access road, real weight to our campaigning voice ce. Upgrade eren diff E17 — sale on first real a es mak hip bers mem choosing Saturday of the now by calling 020 7234 9310, and hip team. Offer month; recycling option 1 to speak to the members conditions. valid to 30 September, see terms & on Fridays, 9am-4pm; public drop-in d i on second, third and fourth Saturdays of the month, WALTHAM FOREST 11am-3pm (£3 donation for tools and support). www.wfcycling.org.uk MEETINGS: every second Wednesday of the month (except We have had very good August), 8pm at the Hornbeam attendance at Bike Week this centre, 458 Hoe Street, E17. year and we hope the Hitchcock CONTACT: gegiweiss@gmail.com Trail (see centre pages) will soon become established as a regular event just like the ever popular Borough Market ride and the WANDSWORTH Cycling Santas. www.wandsworthcyclists.org.uk ➤ Although the results are still contested at the time of print, We are all fascinatedly watching Labour has taken full control of the blue road markings being put the council and we hope the in place for the first Cycle greater commitment to cycling Superhighway, which runs so many politicians have given through our borough from

Tooting to Clapham South. We are planning before-and-after cycle counts on the route and generally keeping a watching brief, so we can feed in our comments about the success or otherwise of the scheme to TfL. If you use this route — please let us know how you are finding it, and join us in getting it improved if necessary. ➤ As part of the measures planned to support the Superhighway, Wandsworth Council has funding for cycle training and for bike safety checks, and there are Wednesday evening Dr Bike sessions at the rear of Balham Sainsbury’s car park all through August. You can find information about all this at www. wandsworth.gov.uk/cycling. ➤ Otherwise, many of us have been busy on the ‘Ting-Ting Tooting’ project, encouraging Tooting residents on to their bikes with a mix of Dr Bike stalls and a concerted poster campaign. We have had some brilliant and colourful posters designed, which local shopkeepers and community buildings managers have enthusiastically accepted for their walls and windows — all promoting the benefits of cycling and generally brightening up the area. We are hoping this will result in extra bodies on our Bike Week rides (happening as we write this). ➤ We are also planning one or more feeder rides to the Mayor’s Skyride event on 5 September. These will probably start from King George’s Park, Earlsfield, and Tooting/Clapham Common,

We have seen plans for an eastbound cycle contraflow lane in Hanover Street leading to a new crossing of Regent Street. This scheme would enable eastbound cyclists to reach Great Marlborough Street from Berkeley Street. At present there is only a westbound link from the north of Soho into Mayfair. We have also seen plans for improvements to the Victoria Embankment. Although far less ambitious than similar plans in Paris, we expect improvements for eastbound cyclists in particular. Work is expected to begin later this summer. ➤ The first batch of cyclists has now graduated from Westminster's first Agewell on Wheels project, showing that cycling is not exclusively for young white males. MEETINGS: Thursday 12 August, 7pm, near the bandstand, Serpentine Road, Hyde Park. CONTACT: Colin Wing, 020 7828 1500; cyclist@westminster cyclists.org.uk

OTHER LOCAL GROUP CONTACTS CITY CYCLISTS www.citycyclists.org.uk CROYDON www.croydon-lcc.org.uk GREENWICH www.greenwichcyclists.org.uk HARINGEY R White; robert.hcc@virgin.net HILLINGDON Sarah James, 020 8868 2912, or Steve Ayres, 01895 230 953

COPY DEADLINE Oct/Nov issue: Friday 13 August Send your copy and photos to: editorlondoncyclist@yahoo.com

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London cyclists More of the bike fraternity by our snapper with an antique field camera www.danielbosworth.com

Name Kat Davidson Age 10 From Peckham Bike Haro BMX Favourite London ride Peckham BMX track of course! One thing you'd change about cycling in London Ensuring the track's future and improving it so we can hold race meetings

Name Juliet Kemp Age 32 From Bermondsey Bike Hewitt Cheviot tourer Favourite London ride East along Thames, towards Royal Arsenal One thing you'd change about cycling in London Drivers looking out for, and leaving room for, cyclists

Name Richie Barnett Age 43 From Deptford Bike Birdy folder Favourite London ride Deptford to Southbank, via Thames Path, with my son One thing you'd change about cycling in London Small raised 'barriers' between road traffic and cycle lanes

Name Stuart Lockyear Age 47 From Blackheath Bike Ridley X-night Favourite London ride Cyclocross at Herne Hill One thing you'd change about cycling in London I'd like to ban private cars from the congestion zone

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London Cycilst August-September 2010