magazine of the London Cycling Campaign Xmas 2010
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Editorial contacts Editor: John Kitchiner; firstname.lastname@example.org Design: Anita Razak Communications: Mike Cavenett; email@example.com LCC contributors: Ashok Sinha, Tom Bogdanowicz, Charlie Lloyd, Matt Mallinder, Gerhard Weiss, Mags Reinig, Rosie Tharp, Matthew Moore
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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.
Contents news, letters & opinion News Campaign updates, infrastructure developments and local initiatives Letters Your latest comments, queries, rants and raves Ashok Sinha Urges members to support the new 'Double Our Voice' campaign Zoe Williams On whether you can define your relationship with a bike
4 10 13 15
features Lorry safety Hammersmith & Fulham's HGV drivers receive cycle training London Cycling Awards The 2010 winners and runners-up unveiled Cycle parking We explore a variety of secure domestic storage solutions Double Our Voice How you can sign up your friends and family to LCC Best Rides in London Harrow and North-West London interest Dressed to impress at the Prêt à Rouler fashion show Travel One reader explores familiar French trails in an unfamiliar way Technical Six of the best smartphone 'apps' for cyclists
16 20 24 28 30 32 34 36
reviews New for 2011 Quick look at some of the shiniest steeds for next year Grouptest Four folding bikes and a handful of lights rated Product Cycle storage, balance bike, cool clobber and even the odd component Books Review of new roadie film, plus four very diverse books
38 41 44 46
members Community cycling How CCCfL funding helped launch grassroots projects 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: www.danielbosworth.com LOCATION: Regent's Park
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
Xmas 2010 London Cyclist 3
News Visit www.lcc.org.uk for campaign updates and latest news reports Boris promises to expand city's cycle schemes Mayor Boris Johnson recently announced that spending for London cycling projects will be maintained. He stated that the Cycle Hire scheme would be expanded out to Docklands, while the Cycle Superhighways project to build 12 radial commuter routes by 2015 would also continue. LCC chief executive Ashok Sinha said: "In recent months we've made the case strongly that cycling programmes are fantastic value for money and that it makes no economic sense to cut them. Investment in cycling in the UK has been shown to give a return of £3 for every £1 spent. We congratulate the Mayor in defending cycling budgets, helping create a less congested, cleaner, happier and more mobile city."
Cable-car plan's up in the air Detailed planning proposals for a cable-car link between the Millennium Dome and the Royal Docks have now been lodged with both Newham and Greenwich councils, with the scheme set to be completed in time for the 2012 Olympics if it is approved. The system would comprise two docking stations — a 'drive station' on the northern bank, with a return station and gondola garage on the Greenwich side — and 34 gondolas. Each gondola, departing every ten seconds, could carry up to ten people and have capacity for bikes, with a total journey time of about seven minutes.
LCC calls for stronger lorry-safety measures LCC has welcomed Transport for London's latest awareness programme for lorry drivers and cyclists, but has called for such training to become the rule not the exception. The programme focuses on three key measures: cyclist-awareness training for lorry drivers, cycle training for cyclists and keeping clear of lorries. TfL is offering 540 free drivertraining courses for companies who are members of its Freight Operators Recognition Scheme (FORS) — however, it's estimated that only about 20 percent of lorries in London belong to FORS members. LCC's Charlie Lloyd said: "Thanks to intense lobbying from LCC and its partners, TfL's going in the right direction, but we're urging it to include on-bike cycle training in the courses for professional competence, which
would mean one day every driver would experience cycle training. We're also calling on TfL to facilitate driver training for council lorry drivers, such as the programmes in Lambeth and Hammersmith and Fulham." Theres' also concern over the re-release of TfL’s poster, headed ‘Undertaking at junctions can be fatal’. Lloyd add: "This poster and the accompanying video give the
false impression that a driver could not see any of the cyclists depicted. The true risk areas are immediately in front of the frontleft corner and about two metres away to the left of the cab." LCC has campaigned for a long time to overturn the belief that there is a huge blind spot area beside lorries which explains why they kill or injure so many cyclists and pedestrians.
Cycle England gets the chop There’s been widespread disappointment at the decision to axe Cycling England, the body largely responsible for boosting cycle use in the UK. The organisation, which has an administrative budget of less than £200,000 per year, is being abolished as a result of government spending cuts. Cycling England mostly allocated Department for Transport money to local councils, with each council providing match-funding for projects proven to increase cycling. Its 2009-10 budget was £60 million, spent across 11 cycling towns and one city. Results from projects from the first six cycling towns showed an average of 27 percent increase in cycling.
+++ To receive a fortnightly e-newsletter on London cycling issues, sign up at www.lcc.org.uk +++ 4 London Cyclist Xmas 2010
Hire bike scheme heads east in time for the Olympics The Barclays Cycle Hire scheme is to be expanded across a large part of east London before the start of London 2012. This will take the scheme into the borough of Tower Hamlets and parts of Hackney, bringing up to 2,000 more bikes to the streets and increasing the total fleet to 8,000. Users will be able to use the bikes to visit north Shoreditch, Bethnal Green, Bow, Canary Wharf, Mile End and Poplar. But, while the docking stations will get closer to the Olympic site, there are no plans as yet to expand Cycle Hire into the 2012 complex itself. The news comes as it was also announced that Waterloo is set to become London’s biggest docking point yet, with 124 allocated spaces. Work started on 1 November and the new 'dock' near the station's main entrance is expected to be operational
from mid December. It will be the largest of 50 additional docking points that are being installed across central London before spring 2011. Kulveer Ranger, the Mayor of
London’s Transport Advisor, said: “Demand for bikes in the Waterloo area has been particularly high and the new super docking station is the first of a series that we are putting in to help our ever
£500k to reduce extra bus lanes danger
It has emerged that TfL is to spend £500,000 per year on education and enforcement, after motorcyclist casualties rose by a third during the first bus lanes trial which ended this summer. Adverts broadcast on 'drive-time' radio shows aim to make motorists more aware of motorbikes in bus lanes. Extra policing is also being aimed at slowing down motorcyclists, nearly half of whom
were found to be speeding — up 10 percent from before the trial. The percentage of motorcyclists caught speeding in bus lanes increased to 47 percent during the trial period. LCC's Mike Cavenett said: "We support measures that increase road safety for all road users, which is why we oppose the ongoing trial. The first trial showed large increases in road danger for motorcyclists and
increased risk for cyclists. Motorcycle groups and TfL have both repeatedly failed to highlight this risk. "However, no-one in their right mind can now read the final report and not admit that road danger increased for all road users as a result of the trial. LCC looks forward to the day when road danger reduction takes precedence over cutting journey times for one group of users."
increasing membership get around town.” Over 1.3 million journeys have already been made on Barclays hire bikes, with more than 100,000 Londoners signed up to the scheme.
Driver in fatal crash back at the wheel The driver of a tipper truck involved in the death of cyclist Eilidh Cairns is back at work after his licence was returned to him. Lack of witness evidence meant Joao Lopes was not prosecuted for the crash; he was earlier fined just £200 after admitting that he had failed his eye test and should have been wearing glasses at the time. Cairns, 30, was killed while cycling through Notting Hill Gate in 2009. Her sister Kate told London Cyclist: “This shows the inadequacies in our justice system in dealing with the death of a cyclist — a fine and three points on his licence. It leaves you with a sense of hopelessness.” LCC has been running a high-profile campaign to reduce lorry danger, in partnership with Living Streets, RoadPeace, CTC and Leigh Day & Co Solicitors.
+++ LCC local groups organise bike rides throughout the year — see page 55 for a full listing +++ Xmas 2010 London Cyclist 5
Outdated cycle parking standards set for review
The Mayor has responded to LCC’s repeated calls for an improvement in cycle parking standards for the capital. The most recent copy of the
key planning document, the London Plan, clearly states: “The Mayor, through TfL, intends to carry out a review of cycle parking standards.”
In two separate responses to the London Plan, LCC argued that the standards set out in the draft Plan were very out of date and needed a significant upward revision to cater for the requirements of the thousands of cyclists who need to store bikes at home and at work. The un-revised standard says, for example, that colleges and universities have to provide one bike space for every eight staff or students. In Cambridge the comparative standard is one space for every student. The London Plan already advises boroughs to follow the specified standards and this would also apply to the revised standards. A GLA official told London Cyclist that while the Mayor can’t dictate to the boroughs, the standards laid out in the London Plan would carry a lot of weight. LCC is currently lobbying to expedite the review and adoption of new standards which are well overdue.
LO N D O N C YC L I N G C A M PA I G N
Have your say on where bike stands are put London’s cyclists are being urged to add their suggestions to LCC's 'Cycle Parking 4 London' website. It only takes a few seconds to add your recommendations for new bike stands at www. cycleparking4london.org. uk — or using the Cyclestreets iPhone app (see page 36). For example, if you're not happy with the facilities at your nearest transport hub, then mark where you’d like to see some new, secure storage. LCC’s Mike Cavenett says: "The Mayor and the boroughs are committed to installing thousands of new cycle parking spaces, so it makes sense for cyclists to tell them where these spaces should be. We'll be passing all our members' suggestions on to the relevant decision-makers in the coming months."
Race on to save London's historic velodrome Track Cycling
The campaign to save the Herne Hill Velodrome is in full swing and claiming its first success. In early October, the Save The Velodrome campaign made an urgent call to all stakeholders to attend a public a meeting to discuss the fate of the country’s oldest cycling track and to raise funds to keep it open. More than 700 people attended this meeting at Dulwich College which was organised by a coalition of residents and cyclists joining forces to save the former Olympic stadium. As a direct result of the meeting, the Save the Velodrome committee is now setting up a charitable trust to manage the track and its outreach programmes. The meeting has also prompted renewed negotiations for a long-term lease. Speakers at the meeting
included representatives from Southwark Council, British Cycling, residents' associations and other organisations currently using the track. So far the campaign has
received over 300 pledges, totalling £27,000 of long-term funding, together with one-off capital pledges of £8,000 from members of the public and local businesses. Southwark Council
has pledged £25,000 and Lambeth a further £10,000. If you want to make a pledge, go to www.savethevelodrome. com — you can also join the group on Facebook.
+++ Find a comprehensive archive of London Cyclist news and features at www.lcc.org.uk +++ 6 London Cyclist Xmas 2010
LON DON CAM CYCL IN PAI GN G
Positive results for new anti-theft unit The recently-established Hackney Cycle Crime Unit, comprising PC Maz Lovegrove and PC Nicola Irvine (pictured above), has already reunited 14 bikes with their owners. And in other separate operations, the unit has recovered nine highvalue bikes worth £6,000.
PC Lovegrove explains: “Too often bikes are seen as a soft target for thieves looking to make money. We're focused on cracking down on thieves, reuniting stolen bikes with their owners and working with locals to prevent them becoming victims of bike theft or vandalism.”
Yvonne Adenly, the happy owner of one of the recovered bikes, said: ‘I was amazed and delighted to get my bike back. Fortunately, I had made a note of the frame number so the police was able to trace it back to me. I would urge every cyclist to keep a record of their frame number.’
PC Lovegrove and PC Irvine work with local bike shops to encourage them to register the frame number and contact details at the point of sale. Those bikes that can’t be traced back to their owners are donated to local groups such as Pedal Power and STA Bikes.
London's cyclists are mobilising to allow the continuing use of bikes on one of the world's greatest public spaces, the South Bank. The move comes as many landowners, including the National Theatre, are supporting a blanket ban on cycling along the riverbank between Albert Embankment and the Oxo Tower. They're being supported by St Thomas and Guy's Hospital Trust and Vauxhall MP Kate Hoey. Those in favour of a ban claim that anti-social cycling is a major problem and an outright ban is the only solution. Cyclists have responded that anti-social cyclists will ignore the ban while the vulnerable, such as youngsters and the elderly, who obey the rules will be expected to
cycle on a major A-road or stop cycling along this popular route. Local LCC group Lambeth Cyclists is supporting council officials who want to promote considerate cycling, reminding cyclists that pedestrians have priority, with enforcement action targetted at reckless cyclists. Charlie Holland of Lambeth Cyclists said: "There seems to be a shortfall of ambition from many politicians and planners to see London have a child-friendly cycle route, free of motor-traffic, linking the tourist attractions springing up all along the river. "Some of the proposed replacement routes around the South Bank are totally unsuitable for novice cyclists. We'll be opposing this ban every inch."
Cyclists oppose ban on South Bank bikes
DON'T BANK ON IT: cycling in front of the South Bank is under review
+++ Before Xmas dinner, why not join the 2512 ride? Details at southwarkcyclists.org.uk +++ Xmas 2010 London Cyclist 7
Razpics BAD AIR DAY: pollution clearly visible across the City of London last summer
Dangerous air pollution levels are forcing TfL to wash London's streets with a mixture of vinegar and salt to reduce quantities of lung-damaging dust. The moves are an attempt to avoid hefty fines from the EU. At the same time, measures liable to increase air pollution — such as scrapping the western
Phone use by drivers is on the increase
Survey seeks 20mph limit for landmark bridge Hammersmith and Fulham Cyclists has launched an online survey to collect supporting evidence for a 20mph speed limit for Hammersmith Bridge to be included in the borough’s local implementation plan. The survey aims to establish how cyclists experience crossing the bridge and, in particular, if a 20mph speed limit would make them feel safer. The survey is open until 4 December and all responses will be used to support the group’s campaigning activities. A summary of the results will also be published on the Hammersmith and Fulham Cyclists’ website in due course. ■ To complete the survey go to www.hfcyclists.org.uk.
Two’s better than one in Stoke Newington Residents of Stoke Newington will be pleased to learn that Hackney Council is consulting on the future of the area’s streets. Scrapping the one-way gyratory in particular is a longstanding aspiration for many locals, cyclists and non-cyclists alike. Trevor Parsons from Hackney Cyclists said: “The problems we all currently have to put up with — fast motor traffic, reduced crossing opportunities, rat-running, and diverted journeys — are a direct result of the streets being one-way, and will be difficult or impossible to fix while the streets stay one-way. But TfL and the Mayor of London control the A10 (including Stoke Newington High Street) and they won’t budge unless there’s an unequivocal demand for two-way from the borough. So we want to encourage as many people as possible to respond to Hackney
Council’s consultation survey.” In addition to the usual problems associated with gyratories, cycling is massively suppressed by such a one-way system, making journeys longer, more hazardous and confusing to navigate. Following the return of Shoreditch’s main streets to
two-way in 2002, there has been a cycling renaissance, with people on bikes now making up more than half of the vehicular traffic flow through some junctions on Old Street in the morning peak. ■ Comment of the survey at http://www.hackney.gov.uk/ sn-gyratory.htm Fin Fahey
The RAC's 'Report on Motoring 2010' has highlighted a shocking increase in the number of drivers using their mobiles to talk, text and surf social networks while in their cars. The report found the percentage of drivers admitting to breaking the law by using their phone without a hands-free kit while driving has more than trebled from eight percent to 28 percent, with the proportion of those who text while driving climbing to 31 percent. Drivers aged 25-44 were the worst offenders, according to the report, with 14 percent of them admitting taking a call while driving — though 46 percent of these claimed it did not distract them.
extension of the low-emission congestion charge zone — have gone ahead. In 2008, the Mayor also reduced the number of emissions tests the capital's fleet of 21,000 black cabs has to take from two to one per year, even though figures show they're some of the worst polluters in the capital.
TfL is trialling the streetscrubbing measures in areas of the highest air pollution such as Euston Road and Hyde Park Corner, as outlined in the Air Quality Action Plan launched in spring 2010. The plan was a response to areas in London exceeding minimum EU air quality regulations, leaving the city open to fines running into hundreds of millions of pounds. Air pollution already causes around 3,500 premature deaths every year by exacerbating respiratory illnesses. The major cause of particulate matter (fine particles of dust) pollution in urban areas is motor vehicles. LCC's Mike Cavenett said: "TfL has explained the street cleaning procedure to us and we're satisfied they've looked closely at the impact on cyclist safety from putting this particular liquid on the roads. However, we're disappointed that this crisis-management measure isn't being backed up by long-term policies that can solve the problem of London having the worst air pollution in Europe."
Streets face scrub to curb pollution
+++ Get a full listing of local maintenance classes at http://tinyurl.com/LCCmaintenance +++ 8 London Cyclist Xmas 2010
Letters Comment, opinion, rants and raves — send yours to firstname.lastname@example.org WELCOME BACK I have recently returned to cycling after almost 50 years — prompted by a health scare several months back. I went on a local beginners’ ride and thoroughly enjoyed the experience and will certainly participate in further rides. On the basis of this experience I also signed up to LCC membership. I have been reading my first copy of the magazine and was very surprised by how much is actually happening — I found the magazine most enjoyable too. I’m now looking forward to many more years of cycling. John French, email
LCC says: Read the ‘Double Our Voice’ feature on page 28 and you’ll see that we’re encouraging all our members to get their friends and family to join LCC. You might even win a twiceyearly VIP bike service for yourself and your new member.
BEATING THE BLUES In response to Zoe Williams’ last column — yes, ‘real’ cyclists may feel smug when they see a 'Boris bike'. However I certainly feel as smug when I overtake those self-same cyclists as I'm riding one of those weighty blue bikes. Yes, it does happen. Amanda Robinson, E18
ONE-WAY I read with interest in the latest edition of London Cyclist an article headed ‘Latest London Guide omits one-ways’ — this went on to explain the disappointment of finding no indication of one-way street markings on the latest maps. Yet on the same page was another article ‘Lengthy lobbying pays off as City streets return to two-way’. Could there possibly be any connection here? If I were a more cynical fellow I might assume the omission of one-way markings means the maps are not quite obsolete just yet! Ian Conway, email
SIGN UP A FRIEND: get your mates or family to join LCC and you could both win some VIP bike servicing (see page 28)
LEADING LIGHTS While there are things that need improving for London cyclists, I have to say that, having just been to Cambridge on a dreary autumnal day, we are streets ahead when it comes to dressing appropriately. In a city renowned for cycling I was amazed that the majority of Cambridge cyclists had no helmets, no high-visibilty clothes or backpack covers (and if anything wore the darkest clothes available) and, to compound it, no lights. While I’m sure that there are many excellent cyclists in Cambridge, many I saw looked so unsteady that they made me feel nervous that they were about to swerve in front of taxis or buses. And they were the ones that weren’t cycling on the pavement. From a safety point of view for cyclists, pedestrians and drivers, give me a London cyclist lit up like a Christmas tree any day. Matthew Whitaker, Maida Vale
LCC says: How wonderful that Cambridge appears to have so many new cyclists. LCC has nothing but praise for people
starting out on their bikes, even if they're a bit wobbly. And we respect any cyclists' choice to cycle legally in their regular clothes, without helmet or high-visibility gear.
be so many more ways to get started than when I was a kid. Either way I’m not arguing, as anything that gets my computer-obsessed son fired up is a good thing in my book. RS, E17
IT’S KID’S STUFF I was showing a few back issues of London Cyclist to my 10-year-old son recently and I was quite surprised by how many articles he took an interest in. First he was poring over a feature about a BMX club in Peckham, getting very excited about the possibility of trying it himself, before finding another article about grass track racing in Hackney — which isn’t that far away from us. It was this article that really piqued his interest. To be fair, I wasn’t aware of this ‘sport’ myself and certainly not that it happened fairly locally, but my son is very keen to get involved and I’m hoping to meet with people from the club early next year. He’s also pestering for a ‘proper’ bike and with you-know-what round the corner he might just be lucky. I don’t know if it’s the higher profile of cycling generally, but nowadays there really seems to
LCC says: We're certainly trying to cover a wider spectrum of cycling activities within the pages of London Cyclist and you're right, there's never been so many ways into the sport. If your son's into the 'track' or competitive aspect, perhaps he could get his school to approach the Rollapaluza guys — they've just built some new roller-racing rigs that they're taking round London schools, with a view to starting a capital-wide league. QUESTIONABLE POLICY Police action to tackle bike theft is most welcome but I was concerned by the statement in the last London Cyclist that part of the police approach to tackling cycle theft involves stopping people who are cycling ‘suspiciously’. Experience suggests this will primarily involve stopping young black men in working class areas: a
10 London Cyclist Xmas 2010
recent report found that black people are 26 times more likely to be stopped by the police than white people. And for lower income people, riding bikes the wrong size is not unusual. These bikes may be legitimate but could be on their fourth or fifth owner — and the current owner is very unlikely to have paperwork. Even if the bike has been stolen at some point it is unlikely that the police will reunite it with the rightful owner. And they will not have caught the thief, rather someone who may have bought it in good faith. Rather than reducing bike theft this could deter cycling among certain groups, exactly the opposite of what we need to be doing. James Woodcock, email
LCC says: We certainly support inclusive cycling, which is why we've been running community projects for a diverse range of Londoners for many years (see p49). We would abhor any racial discrimination by the police, cycling-related or otherwise. PROTECTION UNDER LAW? I was disappointed to read in a recent edition that a couple of Hackney cyclists were unable to persuade the driver of a heavy commercial vehicle not to use his mobile phone while driving. It seems they took no further action. And I was wondering if there were better ways responsible road users could have reacted? Could this behaviour be reported successfully to the
Health and Safety Executive given that this incident was workplace related? Furthermore, as this was a criminal offence, would the cyclists have been able to make a citizen’s arrest? Would it be irresponsible not to arrest the driver in this situation where they were clearly too dangerous to be allowed to drive? Finally, could the convention on human rights — such as right to life, or right to liberty and security of person — be contravened when a cyclist is killed, especially in situations where the state could reasonably have been expected to prevent the death? David Vail, email
NEAR MISSES In last issue’s Letters pages, Leonora Lang says the incident she reports was quite recent. I had a similar experience a few years ago when I saw a coach speeding across red lights at Hyde Park Corner as pedestrians and cyclists were about to cross, and the company I complained to ignored my emails. However, I contacted London Assembly Member Jenny Jones and the effect was dramatic. The company ‘found’ my emails, I did get a reply and I hope the driver got a severe rollicking. In similar circumstances as Leonora’s you could always advise readers to try a similar approach? Roger Crosskey, email
TERROR OF TOUR BUSES In response to your article ‘Intelligent Design’ (London Cyclist, Oct/Nov 2010). I am most
that are adopting this measure yet. LCC is lobbying to make this kind of training the rule rather than the exception and we're urging members to sign our lorry driver training petition at www. no-more-lethal-lorries.org.uk.
MERTON RAISES A GLASS
25 YEARS YOUNG: Merton celebrates
encouraged by the campaigning in this key area, however as my daily commute is from Battersea to the City, via Embankment, I am regularly exposed to the joys of the tour and sightseeing bus community. Despite entering my fourth year of bike commuting, I am still quite regularly ‘shaken’ by how near and the speed at which these buses pass me by. It seems all too apparent that these drivers and their vehicles have escaped TfL’s efforts to train bus drivers and fall outside the scope to be scrutinised within the campaign against lorries and their drivers. I would be interested to know whether other cyclists find there to be a lack of awareness amongst this driver community. Marylyn Mcquaide, Battersea
LCC says: LCC supports better cyclist awareness training for all drivers, professional and otherwise. We'll be reporting in a future issue of London Cyclist on a number of bus garages that have introduced cycle training for their drivers. However, we don't know any tour companies
We recently celebrated the 25th anniversary of our local LCC group — Merton Cycling Campaign — at the AGM held at the All Saints Centre. Longstanding members Ceri, Jenny and Maggie (pictured above) manned the cake and bubbles table; the ‘Five-Speed Cassette Cake’ itself was made by fellow member Hugh Morgan and consumed with great enthusiasm after the meeting. The lives of two colleagues who have recently died were also celebrated. The group’s founder Andy Shea’s life was remembered with great affection, in particular the ‘Folds Rides that he organised, where groups rode through all the villages in the Guildford area with names ending in ‘fold’. Richard Evans who succeeded Andy as coordinator will be organising a tribute ‘Folds Ride’ in the near future. Present coordinator Charles Barraball also paid tribute to Godwin Calafato who was MCC’s resident cycle trainer for several years and successfully taught many cyclists in the Merton and Kingston area before his death from cancer the day before the meeting. Thanks to all those for attending. Merton LCC members, email
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
Xmas 2010 London Cyclist 11
BEST RIDES IN LONDON
Ashok Sinha While cycling’s enjoying a modern renaissance, LCC’s chief executive explains why it’s the perfect time to add depth to our collective voice
t happened almost six years ago to the day, not far from the LCC office in Bermondsey. A heart-stopping instant of realisation, then a synaptic firestorm of instinctive responses as my mind switched to emergency autopilot. Self-awareness returned with the teeth-rattling crunch of damp tarmac. Sitting in the middle of the road I realised that I’d had a very close shave. As I checked myself over, the sequence of events became clearer. A driver in the opposite carriageway had turned right, across my path. With no time for evasion my bike hit his bonnet, catapulting me over and beyond his car like a rock from a Roman siege machine. The judo roll I learned as a kid meant that the paramedics who rapidly arrived only needed to apply swabs and bandages. Luckily my bike had also escaped with minor damage so, with a realigning twist of the handlebars, I was soon back in the saddle and on my way home. Let’s get one thing straight. As somebody once said, there’s only one thing more dangerous to your health than cycling and that’s not cycling. So why this tale? First the downside: a couple of policemen had glimpsed what had happened. I gave them my testimony, and the driver gave his. The officers (and paramedics), while compassionate and sympathetic, left me with the uneasy feeling that so far as they were concerned I was merely a guest on the road, with injuries and collisions being an occupational hazard. By the time I received an official letter a few weeks later saying that no action would be taken I was too resigned to this indifference to push back. All too many cyclists have sadly had similar experiences. Cycling's at last becoming 'normalised' Now the upside, namely how wonderfully things have changed (even if we haven’t reached cycling nirvana just yet). Back then few cyclists plied that particular route. Today I'm one of many who enjoy their right to use the road. Not just hardcore commuters either, but teenagers on budget wheels, shoppers with their sit-up-and-begs and bon vivants on fixies. Although I only have instinct as a guide, a tangible shift in attitudes is occurring that is ‘normalising’ cycling. Indeed the blossoming number of people on hire scheme bikes alone is reawakening the idea that cycling is not only normal but fun, and even fashionable. And (whisper it softly) parts of the media that would previously only mock now recognise cycling’s renaissance. There are, of course, many reasons why this shift has happened, but none more formative than weight of numbers. It’s simple and obvious, but the more cyclists there are, the more ‘normal’ and attractive cycling becomes; hence more effort is put into providing better facilities for cycling,
which leads to more (and more varied) cyclists. Over the years LCC has played an important role in catalysing this virtuous circle and, with nearly 12,000 paid-up members we are larger — and more influential — than ever. But here’s the rub. Although we punch above our weight we could do so much more to give cycling and cyclists a voice if our own numbers were greater. When you think that over 80,000 people joined the last Skyride and that there are now almost 100,000 members of the Cycle Hire Scheme, then perhaps 12,000 LCC members doesn’t seem quite so many. Looked at through a ‘political’ lens, we have on average about 800 members in every London Assembly geographical constituency, 300 in every London borough, and 150 in every parliamentary constituency. Pretty decent numbers if everyone was active, but how much more influence would we have if, say, we doubled our membership?
“If each of us can recruit just one more member we will double our voice and double our impact” This is the ultimate message I want to get across. With interest in cycling at a latter-day high, LCC urgently needs to capitalise by growing commensurately, and in turn winning more benefits for cyclists and London as a whole. Now's the time to double our voice That’s where you come in. In this issue we are launching a major campaign asking every member of LCC to recruit just one additional member. You are our best advocate. You know why you cycle and how our collective voice can make London a world-class cycling city. You are perfectly placed to convey the benefits of membership to your friends, family, neighbours and colleagues (and in case you need them, we provide some tips on how to do so later in the magazine). So please join us in this vital membership drive. If each of us can recruit just one more member we will double our voice and double our impact — building on the improvements we have seen in recent years and making London an even safer and more enjoyable place to cycle for everyone. Wouldn’t that be a great way to make 2011 the best year for LCC’s campaigns that we have ever seen?
Xmas 2010 London Cyclist 13
BEST RIDES IN LONDON
Zoe Williams Is owning two bikes wrong? If it's not, then our regular columnist wonders if you can define the ‘relationship’ between such a pair
friend went to Munich and just described for me in passing their bike culture: they all have two bikes. They have a cool one for proper cycling and a ropey old one for pootling about town. They don’t even bother locking that one because it’s so rubbish, and also because who would nick a bike when everybody already has two? It’s like a definition of social equity. I couldn’t get my fundamentally dishonest head round it: the not-nicking it part. “Well, they look terrible,” she explained, “they look like shopping trolleys.” I’m not proud of this but I have, in my life, nicked a shopping trolley. Nevertheless, ok, say they’re that bad — now I felt bad for the bike, or rather, the dynamic between the pair of them. That Chris Addison joke flashed into my head — “You know with a car stereo, where you take the face off to stop people nicking it? Wouldn’t it be good if you could do that with girlfriends?” — it really dates my experience of live comedy that this is the joke I remember: they haven’t made stereos like that for years. Sure, it’s a bike, not a girlfriend. It’s not at all like having a weekend girlfriend for parties and a Tuesday/Wednesday one for watching telly with. But it offended me on some profound level, which illustrates two things: firstly, that in any psycho-sexual anthropomorphisation of the bike, I (a) think of the bike as the lady and (b) identify strongly with the bike, rather than the rider (these two facts might be related, but I can’t tell you which one is causal). Justifying a second bike My brother-in-law has two bikes, but the one that is supposed to be crap weighs less than a foam football and the one that's supposed to be the good one is beyond good. It looks so perfect, so achieved, you can’t believe it sits there waiting for him to ride it. You think it must come alive when he’s out, like Buzz Lightyear. Anyway, they snuck in the house through sleight of hand, these two bikes, one was sold to the lady of the house (my sister) as a replacement for the other, and it only transpired over time that the first one wasn’t going anywhere. When challenged about where they would both live, he said vaguely that the Roberts could live upstairs. What she didn’t realise was that he meant in their bedroom. She congratulated him for his restraint in not putting it to bed and tucking it in. He said, surely she wasn’t jealous of the bike? She said she wasn’t jealous, she just didn’t want bike grease on the sheets. So whether or not she was thinking of the bike as a man or a lady, history doesn’t relate. But the fact is, you expect to get into this relationship
with a horse. You have a horse, you ride around on it, that, right there, is a marriage. Everybody understands that. Rolf Harris has a famous story he tells about why the Australians don’t like the English: at the end of World War II, when the Australian mounted troops were due to be shipped home, British beancounters decided their horses were too pricey to
“It's not like having a weekend girlfriend and a Tuesday/Wednesday one for watching telly with” transport with them and made the soldiers drive them off a cliff. The horses had been with the men for four years and trusted them. That interrupted the horse sense that would otherwise have told them not to run off a cliff. That savage betrayal, that’s an emotional impact we can all understand. Relationships with cars Ok, so horses are animate and bikes are not, I can see that. Let’s take cars, then – car nuts always think of their vehicles as female and they idealise their personalities, and they have a quasi-spousal deal going on where they speculate about the car’s emotional state and spend quality time with ‘her’ on a Sunday (it’s not a very modern marital relationship, I get the impression; it’s more like the kind of marriage Jeremy Clarkson might have). It’s not the flesh and blood element that bonds you with your transport: it’s the distance travelled. I contend that it’s impossible to take a journey on a bike and not humanise your companion. I never do this with a car because it’s no effort (I guess if I were concentrating that would be effort, but I’m a terrible driver). But I think of my bike as my partner in crime and the more extreme our travail, the more intensely I feel it. I don’t know if it’s male or female (I think it’s female). I don’t think I’m identifying with my particular bike (I’d like to think we have separate identities, otherwise that would really cause problems in the relationship). Still, it’s a pal. It’s a metal horse. Zoe Williams is a freelance journalist and columnist who contributes regularly to publications including The Guardian and New Statesman.
Xmas 2010 London Cyclist 15
Driving home the lorry safety message Following the pioneering work of Lambeth council, Hammersmith & Fulham has introduced regular cycle training for its lorry drivers. Mike Cavenett reports
haven’t been on a bike in 40 years,” mutters Colin, one of the first group of Hammersmith & Fulham lorry drivers ever to receive cycle training. Today, that’s going to change, though, as a dozen drivers will swap the comfort of their cab for an eye-opening experience behind the handlebars.
Sadly, lorry crashes cause about half the cyclist fatalities in Greater London, even though HGVs make up only five percent of the traffic. In recent years, LCC has succeeded in pushing cycle training for lorry drivers on to the agenda, so it’s deeply satisfying to see another London borough implementing the measure wholeheartedly. And it
should come as no surprise to hear that LCC has given the scheme a London Cycling Award for 2010 (more details on page 20). The driving force behind the new programme has been Richard Evans, council officer with responsibility for smarter travel in Hammersmith & Fulham council. Evans has been involved with London Cycling
16 London Cyclist Xmas 2010
ON REFLECTION: view from the cab of drivers enjoying their cycle training
Please visit www.no-more-lethallorries.org.uk to sign LCC's petition calling for all London councils to provide cycle training for their lorry drivers. Campaign for nearly 20 years and was group coordinator in his home borough of Merton for over a decade. Nowadays, wearing his council hat, he’s taken the lead in persuading the council to invest in HGV-cyclist safety: “This driver training is likely to prove extremely cost effective when you consider that the Department for Transport estimates the aggregate cost of a road fatality
to be £1.6 million. We’re spending a tiny fraction of that amount on our training.” The estimated cost of the cycle training isn't a lot more than a day's pay per driver. Also influential has been the enthusiasm for the programme shown by David Porter, who works for Serco, the company responsible for the council’s refuse services and which employs the drivers. Porter said: “Sadly, I was a witness to a lorry crash involving a cyclist several years ago, so I’m very aware of the dangers. When the council came to us suggesting the training we did everything we could to help, providing a classroom, an area for the bike training and lunch for our drivers.” Putting it into practice Before the drivers are allowed outside into the mellow autumn sunshine, they take part in a lively classroom session conducted by the cycle trainers. Drivers can vent their frustrations with cyclists, but also have their assumptions challenged. The drivers are all male, aged from mid-twenties up to late fifties and are clearly in a good mood as some colourful pre-training banter echoes around the classroom. The room quietens as the group is shown a recent Transport for London film that’s designed to develop mutual understanding between cyclists and drivers [you can watch exactly the same film as the drivers at http:// bit.ly/TfLvideo]. Conversation becomes more animated when the drivers are asked to voice their opinions on cyclists (only one driver confesses to being a
THE PARTNERSHIPS BEHIND 'NO MORE LETHAL LORRIES' LCC’s lobbying for better and more widespread lorry driver training benefits greatly from working closely with other organisations (see below). The partnership has made progress in pushing lorry safety to the top of the agenda for Transport for London’s Cycle Safety Working Group. Our lobbying will continue until road danger reduction is the Mayor’s highest priority, making our streets safer for all road users, especially the most vulnerable: ■ Training — widespread on-bike cyclistawareness training for drivers ■ Responsibility — better law enforcement with drivers accepting due responsibility ■ Lorry design — full sets of safety features for all lorries ■ Operators — haulage firms must accept the highest safety standards ■ Procurement — businesses and government must only use the safest firms. WHO DO WE WORK WITH? ■ RoadPeace is the national charity for road crash victims, an independently-funded member organisation. Members include those who have been bereaved or injured in road crashes, and also those who are concerned about road danger — www.roadpeace.org.uk ■ Living Streets is the national organisation working to protect pedestrians. Every year even more pedestrians than cyclists are victims of dangerous lorries — www.livingstreets.org.uk ■ CTC is the UK’s National Cyclists’ Organisation. Lorry danger is an issue that affects cyclists in urban areas all across the UK — www.ctc.org.uk ■ Leigh Day and Co is a law firm whose ethos is to ensure that the ordinary person has just as good quality legal advice as our state bodies, insurers and multinationals — www.leighday.co.uk
Xmas 2010 London Cyclist 17
CAMPAIGN LINED UP: and ready to sample city cycling
regular himself). Typical comments include “cyclists jump red lights all the time”, “they’re never looking where they’re going” and “they never wear lights or high vis”. At this stage, it’s pretty clear where the blame lies. The cycle trainers make a decent fist of putting across the cyclists’ point of view in various scenarios, and though it’s obvious the drivers aren’t won over immediately, by the end of the discussion there are a lot more pauses for thought than there were at the beginning. For some, it will be the first time they’ve had their preconceptions challenged. Gaining first-hand experience Classroom session over, it’s out into the yard where the real fun starts. And fun it is: it’s sometimes easy to forget the sheer joy that people get from riding a bike, especially under a sunny sky. And these burly blokes are clearly having a laugh as they watch each other perform the basic control manoeuvres. There are a couple of wobbly moments as the chaps get to grips with Bikeability Level 1, but it’s not long before everyone has remembered the rudiments of control: “It’s just like riding a bike!” one wag comments. It’s only midday, but the drivers are already feeling sufficiently wedded to their wheels that they’re prepared to up the ante. For this exercise in empathy to be truly effective it’s felt that drivers should be exposed to real-world conditions, including other motor vehicles. Level 2 Bikeability involves negotiating
minor roads, with the emphasis on good road positioning — staying visible to other vehicles and away from car doors – and it’s at this point that the drivers venture on to the roads outside the depot. “You’re too close to those parked cards... pull out a bit, and then a bit more!” shouts Joe, the cycle trainer as the drivers take it in turns to navigate a narrow street with cars parked either side. The cyclists are being encouraged to ‘take the lane’, and there are moments when a car approaches from behind as the lorry driver blocks the road entirely, before passing further down where it’s wide enough. Everyone watching can sense which drivers are impatient, and on one occasion there’s unnecessary revving of the engine when they do pass. The drivers are learning on two levels. First, the reasons why cyclists behave in certain ways are being explained, such as riding in the middle of the road, which some drivers find frustrating. They are also learning by experience, which taps into the very basics of human nature. You just know next time they’re out in their trucks they’ll behave differently.
A fresh perspective After lunch, the drama steps up another notch to Bikeability level 3. The drivers are asked to deal with more demanding roads, including a right turn off the busy New Kings Road. “It’s pretty hairy being stuck out there in the middle,” comments one driver, after waiting in the middle of two streams of motor vehicles for what seems like an age. “It’s a lot different from being out there in the wagon.” The feedback from the session is overwhelmingly positive, and it’s clearly not just lip service. Three or four of the drivers are actually talking about taking advantage of the Cycle To Work scheme to buy a new bike (they’d vaguely heard of it, but only during the session were the potential benefits explained in detail). There are still a few criticisms of cyclists, and many of the drivers are adamant they wouldn’t ride a bike without high visibility clothing (as they do for work), but you get the overwhelming impression that cycling in Hammersmith & Fulham just became a little bit safer. As one driver says: “It’s going to affect the way you do your work. Common sense says it has to, doesn’t it?”
18 London Cyclist Xmas 2010
London Cycling Awards 2010
Dozens of innovative projects were nominated for this year’s awards, with the winners announced at the LCC AGM in November. And the winners are…
BEST CYCLE FACILITY
WINNER: Transport for London & Mayor of London PROJECT: Barclays Cycle Hire scheme
NOMINEE: City of London PROJECT: two-way streets and removal of Mansion House one-way system
It’s hard to miss London’s Cycle Hire scheme, with 350 docking stations across central London and more than 5,000 safe and reliable bikes ideal for short journeys across Zone 1. Over 100 European cities now have similar systems, and for organisations like LCC it was a no-brainer to campaign for one in London. Few anticipated how quickly people would embrace this new London icon. With well over a million journeys taken so far and over 100,000 users signed up, the scheme — more than any other — has given everybody in London secure, convenient and safe access to the best mode of transport there is. The scheme’s sheer visibility and practicality were the deciding factors in awarding this to Transport for London, and it was felt that the teething problems were acceptable when implementing such a vast scheme in such a short amount of time. TfL has been quick to thank the cooperation of Camden, City, Hackney, Islington, Kensington & Chelsea, Lambeth, Southwark, Tower Hamlets and Westminster councils, as well as the Royal Parks.
NOMINEE: London Borough of Lewisham PROJECT: Ravensbourne Greenway NOMINEE: London Borough of Camden & Cyclehoop PROJECT: Cyclehoops in Camden
20 London Cyclist Xmas 2010
-BEST COMMUNITY CYCLING INITIATIVE
WINNER: Tower Hamlets Cycling Club PROJECT: Tower Hamlets Cycling Club
NOMINEE: Bike Works PROJECT: All-Ability Cycling Club
Tower Hamlets Cycling Club has been active in East London for some years, but a major expansion in 2009 brought in 30 pool bikes so those without their own could join in. In 2010, the club was used by 350 people, 200 of which were children. It offers short Sunday rides for people with disabilities, training for new cyclists, youth racing sessions, as well as regular rides for the over 50s. Particular care is taken to accommodate local ethnic communities, with separate sessions for Muslim women and men for example. "I never thought Iâ€™d be able to cycle, but thanks to the understanding of the club, and the bike I can borrow, Iâ€™ve learnt to ride and really love my weekly cycle with the other women," said a member of the Muslim women group which now cycles regularly. The Tower Hamlets Cycling Club stood out with its breadth of activity, reaching so many people and community groups for whom cycling is often not an option. It has demonstrated how inclusive and accessible riding a bike can be.
NOMINEE: Sustrans and Tower Hamlets Partnership PROJECT: Oceans 11
BEST CYCLING INITIATIVE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE OR CHILDREN WINNER: Streets of Growth PROJECT: Recycle bike restoration project The Streets of Growth idea is straight-forward: unclaimed bikes provided by the Met Police are refurbished by East London teenagers unable to afford a bike and keen to learn new skills. Once they refurbish the bikes under expert guidance, they keep them and gain accreditation in Level 1 AQA Bike Maintenance, not only giving them independent transport, but setting them up with new skills. The project also works on more levels: youngsters receive cycle route and road safety training, cycle trips are organised and, as a result, the youngsters continue to use their new pride and joy as their main mode of transport. Their families have been so impressed by what their sons and daughters have achieved, they were keen to get involved as well. Some participants even progressed into a Cycle Apprenticeship from Bikeworks. A warehouse unit was converted into a maintenance and teaching space, enabling the project to run its third programme reaching a total of 36 youngsters. The project convinced the judges with its positive outcomes beyond cycling and the involvement of the wider community including the Met Police. One judge particularly liked the the building of skills for life; another praised the sense of ownership and pride this project instills in young people.
ALSO SHORTLISTED: NOMINEE: Hillingdon Slipstreamers PROJECT: Hillingdon Slipstreamers
NOMINEE: Ursuline High School for Girls, Merton PROJECT: Accesible Cycling Scheme
NOMINEE: London Borough of Hounslow PROJECT: Longford school
Xmas 2010 London Cyclist 21
BEST WORKPLACE CYCLING INITIATIVE WINNER: London Borough of Tower Hamlets PROJECT: Tower Hamlets Cycle User Group A comprehensive set of initiatives was devised to enable a large number of the workforce to cycle: pool bikes, parking, social rides and a newcomers’ welcome pack were just some of these. The group has recognised the importance of offering a broad spectrum of support over a sustained period of time. Staff now also benefit from the Cycle 2 Work scheme, 20p mileage allowance, locker rooms, Dr Bike sessions, cycle training and social events. The borough has managed to put cycling firmly into the council's travel plan for 2011 with solid targets for growth in cycling and a reduction in reliance on cars. This comprehensive approach was not only rolled out within the council but across a number of partner organisations including NHS Tower Hamlets. Judges were swayed by the strong long-term commitment, high participation and the fact that Tower Hamlets did not shy away from improving cycling facilities at the expense of car parking provision.
ALSO SHORTLISTED NOMINEE: Crisis UK: The Homelessness Charity PROJECT: Crisis UK Cycling Initiative 2010 NOMINEE: BskyB PROJECT: New Horizons Court shower facility
LONDON CYCLIST SPECIAL AWARD
WINNER: London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham/Serco PROJECT: lorry driver training
BEST NON-COMPETITIVE CYCLING EVENT
WINNERS: Simon Legg; Teddington Travel to Work Network EVENTS: Friday Night Ride To The Coast; Teddington Bike to Work Week
NOMINEE: Hackney Council PROJECT: Hackney Schools' Bike Week Big Breakfast
The Friday Night Ride To The Coast is a monthly guided ride starting at Hyde Park on the night of each full moon, with riders travelling to coastal towns for a slap-up breakfast. London to Brighton and London to Whitstable (which attracted 100 people) are regular favourites. Teddington Bike to Work Week organised two excellent events in June to spark the enthusiasm of hundreds of staff at ten workplaces. The events gave people the opportunity to try out a variety of bikes, as well as providing free Dr Bikes and cycling information.
Lorries make up just five percent of the traffic in London, but are involved in more than half the cyclist fatalities. A key strand in LCC’s 'No More Lethal Lorries campaign is driver training — putting lorry drivers on bikes, on the roads, so they can understand the conditions cyclists face, and become safer drivers. Hammersmith & Fulham, under the impetus of council officer and LCC member Richard Evans, has adopted this principle wholeheartedly. Read more about the training on page 16.
22 London Cyclist Xmas 2010
Safe as houses Tom Bogdanowicz and Mike Cavenett explore domestic cycle parking solutions, including new schemes implemented by local councils
o own a bike in London, you really want somewhere secure to store it. True, you can lock up a bicycle outside your property or in the street (and many people are forced to), but the prevalence of bike theft means this is a far from perfect solution Unfortunately, decades of neglect and lax planning regulations mean that many residences, new and old, lack secure cycle parking. However, in recent years some boroughs (often fired by enthusiastic council officers and/or LCC activists) have started to address this neglect.
For example, cycle lockers were first installed on an Ealing housing estate in 2003 in large part because of the determination of Ealing cycling officer Bob Davis. His persistent lobbying of Transport for London meant some local council tenants could, at long last, safely store bicycles. Nowadays, council officers in Ealing say that developers are cooperating and providing cycle storage space in line with a standard of one space for every 1.5 bedrooms. In Hackney, parking expert and LCC activist Trevor Parsons was highly effective in introducing
METAL LOCKERS: used by some developers
SECURE IN HACKNEY: Nisbet House Estate
residential parking with his ‘home bike park’ project (www.hackneycyclists.org.uk/homebikepark), combining council funding and specialist knowledge to provide tailor-made solutions for residents in council properties to store bicycles, even where there was limited space. No standard practice So yes, nowadays cycle parking on estates and in homes is more common than it was, but it still isn’t standard practice for every new development and every council refurbishment.
NEW GREEN CAGES: in Islington borough
24 London Cyclist Xmas 2010
In theory, all councils now have a responsibility to deliver growth in cycling in line with the Mayor’s target (a 400 percent increase from 2000 levels by 2026). LCC says a commonsense way of achieving this would be to make sure that every estate refurbishment and every new development includes generous cycle parking provision. In reality, the Mayor’s London Plan only refers to the need for developers to provide one bike ‘space’ per one- or two-bed unit, and two ‘spaces’ per three-or-more-bed unit. Unfortunately, these regulations do not stipulate that these spaces must be secure and they do not define how much actual space must be provided per bike. LCC has objected to this fundamental weakness in the London Plan, stating in our response to the draft document: “Residential development should give people the choice to own and use a cycle. Secure and convenient cycle parking and
storage should be mandatory for all new residential developments.” We have also advised that the area per bike should be defined and that the standards should be higher. The latest version of the London Plan now states that the Mayor ‘will carry out a review of cycle parking standards.’ Until this document is brought into line with the growth in cycling in the city, many residents are likely to miss out unless their council has insisted developers go beyond the Mayor’s demands. Fortunately, several councils are taking steps to give residents the opportunity to store their bikes. Councils leading the way In Islington, LCC member and self-styled ‘cycling councillor’ Andrew Cornwell took resident requests to heart and pursued a resolute campaign to install cycle parking compounds on a dozen council estates. Cornwell has since stepped down as councillor, but the
programme he initiated is coming to fruition with half-a-dozen secure bike sheds already in situ on borough estates and several more at the consultation stage. The distinctive green cages are accessed by swipe card, and contain traditional Sheffield stands to which bikes can be locked. Tower Hamlets council has been installing similar Solent Shelters on its estates too . Lambeth council is leading the way in providing secure bike parking
ESTIMATED COSTS OF DOMESTIC PARKING ■ Vertical bike locker (per bike, including installation) — £800 ■ Bike bunker (three bikes, self assembly) — £500 ■ Wedge-type horizontal steel locker (each) — £600 ■ Lockable bike shelter (10 bikes) — £4,500 ■ Wall hook (each) — £15-£45 ■ Security bar for two wall hooks — £45 ■ Pair of plant brackets — £12
June-July 2010 Xmas 2010 London Cyclist 2525
CAMPAIGN Damian Prestidge
GOT IT COVERED: this rack with lockable doors holds eight bikes
GOING DUTCH: 'Fietshangars' like this one in Utrecht could soon be seen around Lambeth
HOOK AND PULLEY SYSTEM: innovative solution for small flats
on its streets for use by residents. The council plans to replace selected car parking spaces in the borough with Dutch-made 'Fietshangars'. Thousands of these secure units have already been successfully installed in cities in Holland and a few lucky Lambeth residents are likely to be able to hire a secure bike space for about £5 per month. In 2008, Hackney council and Hackney Homes earned recognition from LCC, winning a London Cycling Award for the secure bike lockers on the Frampton Park estate. Residents of the sprawling Hackney estate led the campaign to install this storage. Before they were put in, bikes were kept on walkways, inside flats and on balconies and had to be carried up narrow staircases. This was not only inconvenient but it made bikes that were kept outside vulnerable to theft. A residents and tenants bicycle user group was set up and it secured
funding, and worked with police and Hackney Homes (the estate managers) to agree 16 sites for 56 lockers. Users pay an annual rental charge and a deposit for the secure lock. Revisiting the estate two years later, the lockers are still in place and well-used by residents.. The challenge with cycle parking in private homes is usually lack of space. Luckier householders can leave bikes in a garden, hallway or garage, but for some flat-dwellers space is at real premium and ingenious solutions are necessary, such as clever pulley systems. Hanging bikes on purpose-designed wall brackets or hooks is a common solution, even cheaper brackets from gardening centres can suffice.
DOUBLY SAFE: on Frampton Park Estate
Other home-based solutions If you have outdoor space, domestic versions of bike bunkers and Plantlocks are available, as are the wedge-shaped, space-saving Velo-safes. As mentioned previously, the latest London Plan now demands that developers provide parking on a per-bedroom basis, but even that relatively low standard wasn’t in effect for most pre-2010 dwellings. It’s no surprise that there are huge igloo.uk.net
PLANTLOCK: stylish metal planter that can secure two bikes
TWO-TIER STANDS: at Bermondsey Square
numbers of bikes parked on balconies in tower blocks. There are notable exceptions to poor private residential provision: an enviable example being the purpose-built bike shed outside flats in Bermondsey Square, Southwark. Clad in stainless steel panels, the building houses not a garage for a couple of cars (as it would have done a decade ago), but space for 76 bicycles belonging to the residents of the flats in the square. Sarah Wrigglesworth Architects put in two-tier Josta-type stands to maximise the use of space, and residents gain access using a key and an access code to reach their bikes conveniently located on ground level. Lobbying by the local LCC group, Southwark Cyclists, has ensured that next to the secure bike shed is a row of bike stands that visitors to the square can use. As many estate agents will happily point out, nowadays having secure bike parking will add value to your property because their clients are demanding it. ■ See our review of domestic parking solutions on page 44.
26 London Cyclist Xmas 2010
Sign up a member: If every one of us recruits just one more member, we’ll double our chances of transforming London into a city that’s truly fit for cycling
Double Our Voice D
on't you wish cyclists in London had an even stronger voice? Government spending is being cut, and funding charities like LCC is getting harder, which means the fight for a better city for cyclists is getting tougher. That's why LCC has to double its membership, so we can double our influence. You can play your part today by signing up one cycling friend.
HOW TO SIGN UP NEW MEMBERS ■ ASK YOUR FRIENDS Experienced and novice cyclists alike benefit from joining LCC. You’re bound to have lots of cycling friends who don’t know about our campaigns and benefits. ■ USE THE SPECIAL LEAFLET There's a 'Double Our Voice' leaflet inside this issue of London Cyclist that makes
signing up a new member really easy. ■ GIFT MEMBERSHIP LCC Gift Membership makes the perfect Christmas present for a friend or family member. Buy it via www.lcc.org.uk/gift or phone 020 7234 9310 (option 1).
WHY JOIN LCC? LCC has been making serious noise with three high-profile campaigns: Beat The Thief, No More Lethal Lorries and Cycle Parking 4 London. Our members, volunteers and activists worked harder and achieved more in 2010 than ever before — and doubling our membership is our best route to greater success. These are just some of the benefits new members can enjoy when they join LCC: ■ Up to 15% discount in over 120 bike shops across London.
■ Peace of mind from FREE third-party insurance, plus free legal advice when you need it and great deals on bike insurance. ■ Up-to-date news and features in six issues of London Cyclist magazine per year and a fortnightly e-newsletter. ■ FREE access to hundreds of rides and social events, for all ages and abilities, throughout the year in your local area.
WIN £250 VIP BIKE SERVICING If you sign up a member, you could win a twice-yearly free VIP service on your bike, worth £250. LCC has teamed up with Cycle Surgery to provide expert mechanics who’ll strip and rebuild your bike so that it's in perfect order — we’ll also chip in £50 for parts. Just sign up a new member and we'll enter you in the draw...
WHAT OTHER LCC SUPPORTERS SAID...
“I just didn't think to ask my partner to become a member, but Additional Membership only cost £23. We both now have peace of mind from the third-party insurance and free legal advice” Lucy, Islington
“Cycling is a great way of getting to know London's streets, so it's vital that they are safe for cyclists. One of the best ways to ensure that is by being a member of LCC” Mariella Frostrup
“My friend heard me complaining about my ride to work and told me about LCC’s mission to improve London for all cyclists. Now I’ve signed up as a member I know I’m doing something positive" Belinda, Sutton
Xmas 2010 London Cyclist 29
Having just celebrated the group’s first birthday, Tony Levene and Colin Waters from Harrow Cyclists guide us on their favourite local loop V rge Geo
6 HEADSTONE MANOR
Pin n er Rd
Bessb or ough R d
1 RAYNERS LANE
on nt Ke
HARROW ON THE HILL 5
d tford R Wa
db ur yH i
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ve ra A nd xa Al e
www.bikely maps/bike-path/ Harrow-Ride
d dR Watfo r
MAP OAD DOWNL.co m/
Lane ners Ray
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NORTHALA FIELDS 2
W hitto n Ave
Islip Manor Park
Wes tern Av e
Barham Park Sudbury Town Station
3 HORSENDEN HILL Sudbury Golf Club
Belvue Park Lime Tree Park
We stern Ave
Until the 1930s, this was in the middle of the country. The Lane itself, named after the Rayner family which owned a local farm, still meanders around. The station originally had a wooden platform with about 200 passengers a day.
Then came the ‘Harrow Garden Village’ concept, developed by Nash, but part of the wider Metroland project. The huge expansion of Rayners Lane from a farming area to a commuter heartland owes much to the classic Charles Holden-designed tube station — one of several along the Piccadilly line. Over the road from the station is the former Ace Cinema, a listed Art Deco building which has received a welcome new lease of life as the Zoroastrian Centre. Zoroastrianism is one of the UK’s smallest religious groups and this is their only centre in this country.
The route goes through Pinner and Ruislip before crossing Western Avenue (A40). This non cycle-friendly road was built before World War II with cycle lanes on both sides. Northala is the old name for Northolt — it is recorded as this in the Domesday Book. But Northala Fields, a country style park just 100 metres from the A40, only dates back to 2007. The strangest feature is its four hills. These are artificial and consist of the rubble from the demolition of the old Wembley Stadium. There’s a circular route up one hill — cycleable for
wider-tyred bikes – so you can literally stand on top of the Twin Towers and get a great view. There’s also several well stocked fishing lakes and large open spaces. The land used to be known as the Royal Borough of Kensington Playing Fields – intended as open spaces for those living in the more cramped conditions further into London.
30 London Cyclist Xmas 2010
ew idg Br
DISTANCE 19 miles (30.5km) TIME 2.5-4 hours START Rayners Lane station GRADIENT Mostly gentle, but there’s two or three hills depending on route choice, nothing too strenuous PUBLIC TRANSPORT Rayners Lane and plenty of other railway stations in the borough from which to access the route at various points
Gree nford R d
orth-west London is often overlooked for its ride potential. But it has a unique mix of world famous sites and, for those coming from elsewhere, some of London’s best rail connections. Harrow and the neighbouring areas offer hills and history, listed buildings and green spaces, as well as some of the most varied refuelling stops. The circular route starts at Rayners Lane but it is just as accessible from many other stations on different railway lines. There are two hills – totally different but both worth the effort – and a third which was not there a decade ago. As far as possible, the route is on quiet roads, through green spaces and along a canal.
Im pe ria l
BEST RIDES IN LONDON
Harrow & North-West
PIT-STOPS ne pot L a ney Ho
Lots of South Asian eateries, plus: QUEENSBURY ■ Ace Cafe, Stonebridge Park (020 8961 1000) Queensbury Park ■ The Dolls House, Harrow on the Hill (020 8864 9100) ingsbu ry R K ■ Take a Break Cafe, KINGSBURY Station Parade, Northolt (020 8845 1858)
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barn and a granary — all have been extensively restored over the past 20 years. The museum on the site houses a local history collection, but often features exhibitions of domestic history of wider interest — and free jazz concerts on many Sunday lunchtimes.
HARROW ON THE HILL
King Edward VII Park ham rk
POINTS OF INTEREST
Em pir eW
Grade I listed Headstone Manor is hidden away in a park. The first records of the manor are in 825, but the present building itself dates back to 1310 and is the oldest surviving timber-framed building in Middlesex. It was once a home of the Archbishop of Canterbury, but was extended and altered over the ages. It has now been substantially restored and is owned by Harrow Council which organises pre-booked visits. The moat is the only filled moat in Middlesex — probably the only one in Greater London. It was built as a status symbol for its first owner rather than to keep undesirable people out. The site also houses a large and small
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From Northala Fields, go via the Grand Union Canal to Horsenden Hill at Perivale, where there’s the Perivale Wood Bird Reserve. The road over the hill is very narrow — the adjacent bike path (shared with walkers) is much safer if slightly steeper. Rising 85 metres above sea level, the hill, which hides underground water reservoirs, is now treated as a wildlife sanctuary with most ‘maintenance’ left to nature. But Ealing Council calls in cattle from a farm in Hillingdon every so often to help keep the vegetation under control. The top was an ancient
The hill, which is 408 feet high (125 metres), is the highest spot for miles around. The best views are away from London — a good day offers glimpses into six or seven counties. It was once an important site of pagan worship but now it is dominated by St Mary’s which was consecrated in 1094. The hill is world famous for the school, which educated a large number of prime ministers, of whom Winston Churchill and Robert Peel are the best known. India’s first PM Jawaharlal Nehru was also an old boy. The school’s various buildings and houses for boarders cover much of the
hillfort and it was also used in World War II for anti-aircraft guns. The view takes in Wembley Stadium, Harrow on the Hill and much of west and central London. On a clear day, you can even see into Essex, Surrey and Buckinghamshire.
hilltop, so during term-time it’s quite easy to see what the boys get for fees of nearly £30,000 a year. Be careful on the hill.Nearby Grove Hill was the site of the UK’s first motoring fatality in 1898.
■ Horsenden Hill visitor centre has picnic tables and other items of interest. Nearby Perivale Wood Local Nature Reserve is an 11-hectare area of ancient oak woodland. ■ Wembley Stadium — the new Wembley with its already iconic arch dominates the area, especially on big match days. The wider site still has remnants of the 1923 British Empire exhibition and a huge market on Sundays. ■ Sudbury Town Station is a Grade II listed building, dating from 1930-31 and built by Charles Holden. Cathedral-like in its ticket hall and the best example of London Transport’s belief in spending for future generations. ■ St Mary’s Churchyard — go to the Peachey Tomb and sit on the same spot as Lord Byron — then read his Lines Written beneath an Elm in the Churchyard of Harrow. The elm is sadly no more. ■ Grimsdyke (diversion of around 1km from Headstone Manor) — built for Sir William Gilbert (of light opera fame) and scene of his drowning, the house is now a hotel/ restaurant which can be visited. The grounds are open at all times.
Best known as the site of the national football stadium and scene of England’s only World Cup triumph. But Wembley, along with Harrow, also has the world’s highest Hindu population outside the Indian subcontinent. Leave the canal for a few minutes at Alperton (look for the giant Sainsbury’s) and enter Ealing Road where the Indian shops and eateries are anything but standard chain store fodder. If you’re pushed for time, continue up Ealing Road for the route back towards Harrow. Otherwise, return to the canal and meander along to
Stonebridge Park and the North Circular road. Leave the towpath here for the iconic Ace Cafe. Built as a roadhouse in 1938, it became known as the home to rock’n’roll and motorbikers thanks to its then unusual 24-hour opening.
Xmas 2010 London Cyclist 31
Prêt à Rouler
This year’s Bicycle Film Festival proved the perfect platform to launch the capital’s largest cycle fashion show, as Sofie Andersen reports
hat never-ending conundrum – what to wear on the bike – will be familiar to many cyclists as one that needs addressing every morning, with careful consultation of the weather forecast, the laundry basket and that least trusty of methods — looking out the window. For those reluctant to choose either of two extremes (Lycra or stilettos), the cycling-specific options were sadly limited for years, but that has changed a great deal recently — new
brands and designers are constantly thinking up ingenious new ways of combining functionality and style on and off the bicycle. Enter Prêt à Rouler — ready to roll — a London-based fashion show held in October, showcasing some of the best that the bike wear industry has to offer, complete with cyclist models, bicycles, a ramp, some trick riders and a former national road race champion (Kristian House). "The first incarnation, which was simply a bicycle fashion
show, was in 2007. I worked at a bike shop at the time and through that the project got funding from TfL," said Jacqui Shannon, the show's organiser. That 2007 show was a huge success and was followed by several imitations (arguably the highest form of flattery) but Shannon wanted to do more. She said: "I realised that the fashion show model didn't do what I wanted to do and so the Prêt à Rouler of 2010 was conceived. There is a fashion show, but that is only a very small part — now it's primarily a
32 London Cyclist Xmas 2010
BIKE FASHION BRANDS ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■
programme of support for designers starting out in the bicycle trade. It doesn't limit itself to fashion, but includes manufacturing elements." Making their mark At the 2010 event, 17 brands were on show, ranging from well-established ones to local start-ups to little-known foreign names — with some choice accessories brands thrown into the mix. "We wanted to showcase the best and most innovative, and ones who had gone out of their way to ensure their beliefs were reflected in their garments," explained Shannon. Alongside the likes of Christopher Raeburn, Rapha+Paul Smith, Swrve and Outlier were relative newcomers like FixedGearLondon, Cyclodelic, 14 Bike Co, Dashing Tweeds and Bobbin Bicycles, plus a Japanese contingent of Nari Furi and Rin Project. Although not explicitly cycling-specific, Finisterre was also on the catwalk, as were shoes from Quoc Pham and bags
from Mission Workshop and Brooks, as well as sunglasses from Paul Frank. One of the most exciting brands on show was London-based Dashing Tweeds which has been credited with the re-emergence of tweed as a functional and stylish choice for urban wear. Started in 2005 by Guy Hills and Kirsty McDougall, the company makes both bespoke tweeds and tailored outfits, but they also offer an impressive range of ready-to-wear items. Co-founder and weaver McDougall explained: "Tweed is the original sportswear fabric and was used for mountaineering, skiing and country pursuits — it is highly functional. And in aesthetic terms, a tweed is always intriguing as the more you look at it, the more detail and colour emerges." The appeal of tweed to the urban cyclist — as seen at the Tweed Run — is not surprising to Kirsty either: "I think the functional element of tweed appeals to the cyclist. There is
bobbinbicycles.co.uk brooksengland.com christopherraeburn.co.uk cyclodelic.co.uk dashingtweeds.co.uk finisterreuk.com fixedgearlondon.com missionworkshop.com narifuri.com outlier.cc paulfrank.com quocpham.com rapha.cc/paul_smith rinproject.com swrve.co.uk 14bikeco.wordpress.com
also the historic connotation of sporting activity that appeals." In another example of the breadth of the re-emerging urban bicycle culture, Prêt à Rouler was held in collaboration with the Bicycle Film Festival, now in its tenth year, and the Barbican foyer provided the rather prestigious backdrop for the show. The organiser of the London BFF, Laura Fletcher, said: " We've always sought to showcase the best the world has to offer of bike film, bike art, music and culture — and this year in London, bike fashion. We were proud to act as a platform for Prêt à Rouler, as it gave us an opportunity to show fashion made by friends of the festival from around the world." This year's show, however, is just the beginning — the project will be widening its scope significantly in the future — and according to Shannon, the best is yet to come: "In 2011 we're launching the full project, so watch this space."
Xmas 2010 London Cyclist 3333
Two ways to ride a French classic
There’s more than one way to tackle your favourite route explains Andy Bebington, as he enjoys a leisurely cruise from Dieppe in northern France
on’t get me wrong — I like my wife’s company on the bike as much as off it. After all, Liz and I have been married for forty years. But there are times when I want to do 80 miles in a day and days when 30 miles will do just fine. That’s why most of my leisure riding is done with my friends in CTC Croydon and our Sunday club runs vary from about 55 to 85 miles, depending on the season. That sort of distance is beyond Liz at present, which is one reason she doesn’t come to the Dieppe Raid — 'La Randonnée des Trois Vallées' to give it its proper name — an event run each year by Le Cyclo Club Dieppois (CCD), which I’ve been able to get to most years in the last dozen or more.
There's a series of rides of differing distances, each starting and finishing in Dieppe and with a common lunch stop some 10 miles south-east of the town. You do a loop in the morning and another in the afternoon, like two wings of a butterfly — this year’s choices ranged from 60km to 200km, with an off-road alternative and a walking option. CCD organises the lunch stop in the Parc Guy Weber, a country park aimed primarily at people with learning difficulties, and with a sensory garden, a 'trim-trail', bikes for hire (including some for those with physical disabilities), and which is on the equivalent to a Sustrans route, l’Avenue Verte. I rode the 90km option with
Dieppe's Avenue Vert e perfect for relaxed is riding
34 London Cyclist Xmas 2010
the town. Liz and I did both. We also cycled. L’Avenue Verte starts perhaps five miles from Dieppe and the ride out to it is something and nothing. But the Avenue itself — equivalent to one of our Greenways — starts off through a beautiful series of lakes (flooded gravel pits) which are used for watersports and fishing, and at which we stopped for photographs. We even saw a ruined castle which I’d never previously seen despite riding past it so many times over the years; it’s medieval, so it’s not as if it’d sprung up out of nowhere. We reached the Randonnée’s regular lunch-stop in time for coffee (and more photographs) and wandered around the Parc — again, not something I usually had time to do. We spoke with some of the people with learning difficulties who had built the adventure playground and had laid out the sensory garden, before viewing some of the special bikes for those with disabilities. It proved very useful as, one day, we may need something like that for our three-year-old grandson who has cerebral palsy, but loves the speed thrills on his seat on his dad’s bike.
Change of pace Like I said, Liz doesn’t do that — she’s more a 35-mile-a-day cyclist, with sightseeing more of a priority than we find on our club runs. So for my birthday treat this summer she came with me to Dieppe for a few days with our bikes, with two objectives: firstly (of course) a bike ride, and secondly to see the town. When we go to the Dieppe Raid, the objective is to ride bikes, so we do — and so there’s not much time left for the town’s attractions. I’d not been to the castle museum, for example, or taken the audio-guide walk round
FACTFILE ■ GETTING THERE Croydon CTC has always travelled on the early morning Newhaven to Dieppe ferry — go to www.transmancheferries. co.uk for sailing times and bookings. From London we use the Cuckoo Trail as part of our route south towards Cuckmere Haven, before heading along the coast to Newhaven. We usually grab coffee in Chartwell, lunch at the pub at Eridge station, then tea at Horam, where there's a motorcycle showroom with café attached right by the cycle route. ■ ACCOMMODATION we've been very happy with the Hôtel de la Plage in Dieppe (www.hotel-de-laplage-dieppe.federal-hotel.com) at 20 Avenue de Verdun. But the Avenue de Verdun, the front behind the esplanade, is heaving with other good hotels like the Windsor and the Président, so there's plenty of choice for different budgets. ■ MAPS IGN 107 (1:100,000 scale) for the French side; OS Landranger (1:50,000) or Sustrans map for London to Newhaven section (or use train). ■ TOURIST INFO the local tourist office is moving as we go to press, as the town is developing the site it used to be on. For now the office is based in temporary premises along the quayside. The town is compact and we enjoyed the tourist board's audio-guided (in English) walk round the place (it took us about three hours). ■ TOUR INFO www.dieppetour.com ■ CASTLE Dieppe has a massive castle hulking over the town, in which there's a museum and gallery space — it's worth a look around.
Photos: Pierre Lesage, Harry NL, Fred Pipes
friends from Croydon this year, seeking out a bar for coffee (or a beer) in the morning, another for tea (or a beer) in the afternoon and lunch at Le Parc Guy Weber (with a beer), and getting back to Dieppe in time for the presentation evening.
Exploring the slow road By the time we reached our own lunch spot (where the Croydon guys ride the day after the Randonnée), we had 15 miles or so on the clock. We ventured into the church I’d not really noticed before, before doing something neither Liz, nor I, had planned on — we crossed from this valley into that one, via a two-mile hill up to the plateau and a slightly shorter one down the other side, to Envermeu (where the camera went into overdrive). We then rode the last nine miles or so back to Dieppe and spent the next two-and-a-half days walking round the town. The point of all this is that both ways of visiting Dieppe, both ways of riding round the countryside nearby, are equally good. It’s not too dissimilar to the old “do you prefer Earl Grey or English Breakfast?” dilemma; they’re both tea, but they’re for different occasions or for different tastes. Slow cycling is for some people and/or for some occasions; the club run — which should be neither a sportive really, nor a slow ride — meets a different need. You can’t measure all bike rides by mileage, or average speed, or height gained — but you can measure all bike rides by the pleasure achieved. As for club runs versus slow rides, please don’t make me choose. I now have a taste for both...
Worth a visit — Dieppe's castle dominates the town
Xmas 2010 London Cyclist 35
Cycling? There’s an app for that
Whether it's for route-tracking or adding suggestions to LCC's cycle parking website, Mike Cavenett explains why phones are now a cyclist's best friend
martphones are everywhere: first it was the invasion of the iPhone, now Android phones are undercutting and outselling them. These pocket-sized computers typically come equipped with sophisticated networking, multi-megapixel still and video
cameras, GPS, gyroscope technology and high-resolution screens. And to get the best from them, their manufacturers encourage tens of thousands of developers around the globe to produce easy-to-use software (or ‘apps’), which you can download for a few quid or for free
BEST FOR ROUTE-TRACKING My Tracks (Android) FREE Cyclemeter (iPhone) FREE All GPS Smartphones allow you to check your location, but the real satisfaction comes from monitoring real-time stats like time, distance, speed and elevation, keeping tabs on your training schedule, and sharing routes with friends. There are lots of different apps doing broadly the same thing, but My Tracks and Cyclemeter are both free and a breeze to use. Be warned, though, GPS drains your battery fast, so all-day rides will need a spare or a booster.
via your handset. So you’re a keen cyclist who wants to harness the latest technology? Yep, there’s an app for that. The iPhone still rules the roost for software, but phones using Google’s Android operating system are catching up fast. Here are six reasons to upgrade today...
BEST FOR FIXING YOUR BIKE Bike Doctor (iPhone, Android) £1.79 Few of us are organised enough (or we’re too much like weight weenies) to carry a maintenance manual in our panniers, but now you don’t have to. Using photos and text, this neat little app walks you through over 20 repairs. Most of them – such as truing a wheel or replacing disc brake pads – aren’t things you’d do in an emergency (punctures are an exception), but for under a couple of quid Bike Doctor is a mine of information for those days when your bike’s crocked and you’re stuck on the bus.
BEST FOR GETTING YOUR BIKE FIXED London Bike Shop (iPhone) £1.19 Last time I got a puncture miles from home with no repair kit was outside a Halfords, but can you always count on being so lucky? Now here’s an iPhone directory of over 200 bikes shops in Greater London; browse a list sorted by distance and then find your store using the Google map. Tap another button and you’re calling the shop to make sure they have their crank-puller ready as you step through the door, or simply check their opening hours. Cafés and mobile repairmen also get a mention.
36 London Cyclist Xmas 2010
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BEST FOR FINDING A HIRE BIKE Cycle Hire Widget Lite (Android); London Cycle Map & Routes (iPhone) FREE If you want to stay ahead of the Cycle Hire pack at peak times, you need real-time updates on where the bikes and the slots are. Both these apps take seconds to install, seconds to master and provide you with all the info you’ll need. Check the list of docking stations ordered by distance, or browse a map and tap the icon for details. Both apps provide step-by-step directions to your docking station and are free if you’re willing to put up with a few adverts.
BEST FOR ROUTE-PLANNING AND CYCLE PARKING Cyclestreets (iPhone) FREE The lovely people at Cyclestreets (active members of Cambridge Cycle Campaign and collaborators on LCC’s cycleparking4london.org.uk) have produced an excellent cyclist-specific journey-planner that provides routes tailored for speed or quietness of route. It’s not quite a TomTom for your bike (there are no scrolling maps), but it still gives ample info to guide you from A to B. And that’s not all: the app also lets you upload photos or video from your phone to log all that’s good or bad on your travels. Tag them as cycle parking in Greater London and they appear at www.cycleparking 4london.org.uk too. There's an Android version coming soon.
BEST FOR SMOOTHER STREETS Fill That Hole (iPhone) FREE No, not a home dentistry manual, this pothole-reporting download hails from our campaigning cousins at CTC, the national cyclists' organisation. Its use isn't limited to cyclists, of course, as walkers and motorcyclists are also likely to be vexed by potholes. Around 1.5 million were filled in the UK last year, which goes a way towards explaining why they can take an age to repair. That's one reason to get your requests in quick, and fortunately this app is a cinch to use: simply snap away with your phone's camera (optional), allow your GPS to note the location and at the push of a button your request wings its way to the authorities. It's a great winter weapon and there's an online portal too at fillthathole.org.uk.
Christmas 2010 London Cyclist 37
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New for 2011 We round up the hottest bikes from the recent shows and press launches Viva
One of the biggest stories from the London Cycle Show was the relaunch of legendary French marque, Peugeot. To celebrate its bicentenary the company’s re-entering the UK market after a considerable absence and rolling out a completely new range, from ‘urban sport’ and city bikes to heavier-duty
tourers and electric-assisted models. All these are due into retailers in the spring. But for those of us with fond memories of owning a Premiere racer in the 1980s, of particular interest will be the ‘Collectors Editions’, a series of bikes covering all disciplines, each dressed in the famed chequered
livery. The ‘Race’ bike, albeit in aluminium rather than steel and sporting a carbon fork, gets Brooks leather saddle and bar tape, and will conjure memories of Eddy Merckx in his pomp. While the ‘City’ bike, with its integrated rack, kickstand and cream sidewalled tyres, exudes Gallic good taste. Prices tbc.
Having dominated the street scene for the last couple of years with its Plug, Tap and Mixer models, Charge is hoping to make further in-roads into the women’s market with this metallic red Hob. It’s an all-steel ‘mixte’ frame, with a split top-tube that runs diagonally
down from headtube to rear dropouts. The single 42x16 gear can be run either free or fixed, there’s full mudguards, a nicely-swept handlebar and women’s-specific saddle. Three sizes (S-L) will initially be offered, though an XS option may follow later; £629.99.
Previously only offered as a singlespeed, the Day 01 has been reincarnated as a hub-geared, do-it-all bike, inspired by Vin Cox's record-breaking 'Round the World' trip. Now the Reynolds 520 steel frame gets an eight-speed Shimano Alfine rear hub, with gear-changing (and braking)
We tested one of Viva’s fixies earlier in 2010 and for next year the brand’s been further expanded and refined. The Juliett Basic 3 is described by Viva as ‘pure elegance for the sophisticated lady’, which is one way of saying it’s a classic ‘sit-up-and-beg’ Dutch-style bike, with step-through frame and featuring mudguards, pannier rack and chainguard. A three-speed Shimano Nexus hub should provide enough range for cross-city jaunts and the chunky Schwalbe Delta Cruiser tyres add comfort and puncture protection. Available in several colours for £499.99; there's also sevenspeed and coaster brake models as an alternative.
courtesy of the new Virsa shifters, and a set of Tektro cable disc brakes. Shod with 35c Continental rubbers, the Day 01 should be as happy off-road as on. We’re calling this type of bike an ‘urban crosser’ and watch for a review in the next issue. Five sizes (52-60cm), £999.99.
38 London Cyclist Xmas 2010
Traitor www.windwave.co.uk Newly introduced into the UK by distributor Windwave, Traitor produces a range of beautifully-finished, steel-framed machines. The Ringleader’s a classic fillet-brazed fixie (£749.95), while the Exile is a lugged racer that weighs in at under 19lb as a complete build (from £499, frame and forks only). Elsewhere there’s the Crusade, a singlespeed cyclocross bike, though it was the Luggernaut that caught our eye at Earl's Court. Available as either a singlespeed or fixed-gear (both £699.95), or as a three-speed (£749.95, pictured), it’s the Sturmer Archer hub on the latter which would make it an ideal choice for speedy commuting.
BMC www.bmc-racing.com Stalwart of the professional road racing scene, BMC, has added urban versatility to its line-up with the smart new Streetracers. Although categorised as entry-level models, they share much of the famed Swiss technological know-how with the top pro’s bikes. The SR02 is built around a hydroformed,
triple-butted aluminium tubeset and comes with colour-matched straight-edge carbon forks. A full Shimano 5700 105 groupset means it's very competitively priced at £1149.99; five sizes from 48-60cm.
Trek www.trekbikes.com/uk For 2011 Trek will no longer be making bikes under the separate Fisher brand name, but will instead be launching a series of Gary Fisher ‘signature’ models. So the ‘godfather of mountain biking’ lives on and the 29er concept he started will still be available in a handful of hardtail and full suspension platforms. For the road there’s the steel Triton (£600, pictured), with 48x20 gearing, Promax brakes and
Bontrager fnishing kit. Trek’s District and Soho city bikes continue in revised form into 2011, while the lightweight, electric ‘Ride+’ range now includes the women-specific FX+WSD model with its almost 'step-through' frame and BionX 200-watt motor (£1,900).
October-November 2010 London Cyclist 41
Folding bikes A quartet of new commuter-friendly folders tested on the city's streets B’TWIN Hoptown £250
DAHON Mu Uno £480
Decathlon has been selling good-value kit in London for more than 10 years and this is its 20in-wheel aluminiumframed folder. Although the bike sits at the budget end of the market, it still features seven Shimano derailleur gears and a packed roster of useful features: mudguards, kickstand, built-in rack with bungee cord, lights, folding pedals, plus a carry bag. There’s a five-year warranty for the frame and two for parts. The fold is quick and easy, though the secondary safety catches don’t feel too robust. Similarly, the clips that hold the folded bike in its 80x66x36cm package are made of plastic, so will need to be treated with care. When folded, the bike can be wheeled along the ground on a pair of castors, which is handy
Dahon is well known for its vast range of folders and in previous tests we've been impressed by their ultra-competitive pricing and spec, but felt the looks and build lagged behind the very best (like Birdie or Brompton). However, the Mu Uno answers those criticisms in full. So called because it’s a singlespeed, it's easy on the eye, well-crafted and very good value. The sub-£10kg bike is the lightest tested here by far and folds down to the smallest package — a super-compact 78x66x26cm (including Suntour folding pedals). It’s a 20in-wheel model, with aluminium fork and chassis, Kinetix rims and drivetrain, Schwalbe Marathon tyres, and comes in any colour you want as long as it’s black. Unusually, the Mu Uno comes with its front caliper brake in a
because this is pretty hefty. The combination of extra kit and cheaper components has turned the Hoptown into a bit of a brick, weighing in at around 14kg. Still, that weight isn’t overly noticeable on the road, with the Hoptown living up to its name as a useful city accessory. The frame feels stiff and the trigger shifters effortlessly help you find a gear for the steepest hills. Overall, though it's possibly the 'weakest' bike here, it’s probably the one that offers the best value for money. Pros: price, commuter features Cons: heavy, build quality in some areas
box and only the rear Shimano coaster brake fitted. To stay legal, you’ll need two braking systems; though in practice the 'kick brake' works very well, and the clean lines and weight-saving mean the one-brake option will always be a temptation. You’ll probably know immedately whether the Mu Uno is worth investigating. No, it won’t tick everyone’s boxes, but a certain breed of minimalist city dweller won’t understand why you need anything more. Perfect for architects and well-heeled fashion students. Pros: looks, weight Cons: won’t suit everyone
KANSI 3Twenty £699 www.kansi.co.uk
MONTAGUE FIT £999
One of the first things you notice about the 3Twenty is its light weight; it tips the scales at just over 11kg, a sight less than many folders. Useful when you’re bombing around city streets, it also saves backache if you’re lugging the bike up and down stairs. Kansi only launched this summer, offering three aluminiumframed, 20in-wheel bikes that differ only in their gearing options. As well as this threespeeder, there’s a singlespeed (£499) and a nine-speed hub-geared model (£849). The folding mechanism is simple enough: lower the kickstand to steady the bike, drop the seat, fold the bars and then fold the chassis. All decoupling devices have safety catches, but even so it’s still only a ten-second job, creating a package that’s just 80x66x44cm, small enough for
Many readers won’t know the Montague name, but this US company has been producing full-size folders since the late 80s. The company also makes Swiss Bikes, which are rugged all-mountain folders, while the FIT heads the marque’s commuter range. Despite coming in only a fraction under the Cycle 2 Work threshold, this is still a very decent-value proposition. The spec — including 27-speed Shimano Tiagra drivetrain, Suntour crank, Tektro brakes, and Kenda tyres — can’t match that of a similarly-priced hybrid, but that’s an unfair comparison. How many 700c hybrids squeeze into a cupboard in your home or sit innocuously in the corner of your office? And despite the Montague’s ability to contract to a 90x71x30cm size, it still rides
like a dream. Indeed, compared with the small-wheeled folders tested here, this is a thunderbolt. The clever design keeps the unit rigid, even when hitting the gas. The fold involves removing the front wheel, then releasing a mechanism that allows the rear wheel and drivetrain to pivot on the seat-tube. It took us longer than the other bikes, but still easily less than 30 seconds. There’s no guarantee you’ll be allowed the folded package on all public transport, so check regulations carefully. A niche product that’ll find its home. Pros: fast, comfy for long rides Cons: folded size, pricey
TESTS: Mike Cavenett
bus or tube, and there’s a sturdy bag supplied too. On the road, the 3Twenty is a consummate performer, with SRAM gears proving effortless and Avid brakes stopping you on a sixpence. The chassis feels solid and the drivetrain's fluid, with adequate gearing for just about every London eventuality. The brains behind Kansi have clearly done their research, launching into a busy market — though perhaps they could replace the plastic pedals with decent folding ones next year. An impressive first line-up. Pros: lightweight, good spec Cons: no folding pedals
Xmas 2010 London Cyclist 41
Commuter lights A selection of the latest lightsets ridden and rated FIBRE FLARE Mini £tbc
EXPOSURE Flash/Flare pack £85 www.exposurelights.com
Exposure started life making ‘off-road lights’ for mountain bikers and enduro racers, but the Flash and Flare is its first set of dedicated mini-lights for commuters. Both work identically: unscrew front cap, insert Li-ion battery and screw cap back on again, then simply twist head to choose between flashing or constant mode. The unit clips into a small plastic mount and is attached to your handlebars or seat-post using the red rubber band; like a couple of the other lights here, it literally only takes five seconds to attach or remove, perfect for café stops or nights out. We opted for the pricier twin pack with rechargeable batteries and charger, though you can get
the pair for £75 with disposables instead, or choose the Flash on its own for £40. There’s a marked difference in run times between batteries though — we averaged 3-4 hours’ riding with the rechargeables on constant, whereas Exposure says you can get almost three times more with disposables — so you need to weigh up your likely usage to get
best value. With 110 lumens of output this is an impressive performer, omitting a tight beam pattern that’s more than powerful enough to pick out potholes and debris at distance. Worth carrying in a jacket or pack at all times. JK PROS: ultra bright, portability CONS: rechargeables or disposables?
This Mini version of the original Flare's so new that the price hasn’t yet been confirmed (reckon on about £20). It’s a bit like a wand, with batteries and LEDs at either end, linked by an illuminating fibre optic core. Output is excellent, being clearly visible 200m away, but it’s main selling point is its versatility; it can be attached to seatpost, seat-stay, jacket or backpack, using either the integrated clips or the rubber-band mounts. Batteries are supplied and we got a month’s use out of that set, but they’re not rechargeable. JK PROS: visibility, versatility CONS: not rechargeable
BLACKBURN Flea 2 £24.99
TOPEAK White Lite II £15.99
TRELOCK LS740 £49.99
KNOG Boomer Front £24.99
The Fleas are brand new for 2011 and can be fitted either to your bike or onto a Bell Arella helmet (tested last issue) — they weigh just 17g so you don’t notice them. The Li-Ion battery can only be charged using the mini USB stick (so don’t lose it) with a computer; it takes over an hour, though the indicator light doesn’t make this obvious. In use we found that we got barely an hour’s run time on full beam or more than three hours on low (we didn’t use the flashing mode); the rear (also £24.99) lasted an impressive five hours on full. The lamp uses four superbright Nichia LEDs and is fine for getting home on well-lit streets. No-quibble lifetime warranty and available in five colours. JK PROS: weighs nothing CONS: fragile, USB only
No bigger than a walnut, the White Lite’s a minimalist, no-frills mini-lamp that packs a decent punch. Three bright LEDs are powered by a couple of mini Lithium (watchstyle) batteries, providing a fairly diffuse beam, so ensure you angle it properly in traffic. It doesn’t get much simpler than three modes — on, off or blinking — and the steady beam’s still working after 50 hours of riding. Fitting is a cinch too, using one of the two rubber bands (like hair ties) depending on handlebar size. Available in black or white, it’s one to carry anywhere. JK PROS: simplicity, long lasting CONS: non rechargeable, easy to lose the rubber bands
This Trelock model is the equivalent of a hybrid car: it can run on disposable batteries, rechargeable ones or a mix of the two, and depending on what you choose there’s varying performance. We took the greenest option but it took a few hours at the mains to fully charge (plus the charger came with a Continental-style plug). One charge saw us through a fortnight’s commuting on full beam, but on ‘Eco’ mode that more than doubled; powerful, wide beam too, visible for a few hundred metres. But the strap-on bar mounts proved fiddly, especially when wet and the unit’s hefty for a modern light. JK PROS: strong beam, long ‘Eco’ burn time CONS: heavy, charger needs UK adapter
The Boomer’s the latest addition to Knog’s rubberclad range and it immediately surprised us with its power and brightness — light years (sorry) ahead of the original Frogs. It produced a fairly concentrated beam that worked fine on towpaths as well as busy streets and we averaged about 10 days’ short commuting in constant mode, though much depends on battery choice. Knog claims you’ll get 80 hours on flashing mode, but it’s so dazzling bright that we wouldn’t recommend it in the rush-hour. A Boomer Rear is £22.99, but we’ve been using the four LED-equipped Skink (£17.99) instead, with six functions and very bright, variable beam — recommended. JK PROS: very bright, simple attachment/removal CONS: not rechargeable
Xmas 2010 London Cyclist 43
Gear and gadgets Security kit and other bikey stuff that we've been testing in recent months BREV M Quill Pedals £24.99
PROTECT-A-CYCLE £499 www.protectacycle.co.uk
If you're after secure storage for multiple bikes at home, a metal store may be the perfect solution. This one needed a suitable foundation (which cost less than £90 and only took a few hours with a friend’s help); many people may already have a decent concrete slab in their backyard. The store itself came in several large flat parcels and one small box. Assembly took five hours — again with the help of a friend (handymen might charge about £75) — and basically involved precision drilling into the previously-cast slab. This meant the store was extremely well fixed down, with four bolts holding it, as well as the Sold Secure ground anchor passing through slots in the steel floor. Despite the instruction’s warnings, assembly of the roof’s pivot arms proved problematical; there was also an undocumented threshold strengthening piece that raised the entry cill to 30cm, which may be a tad high for some people. A pair of nicely-engineered hasps and stables come mounted on the lower closing edge of the up-and-over door —if these are too close to the ground for you, two alternative padlockable points are provided by the external door-arm stops, perhaps affording slightly less physical security. Three identical-looking Sold Secure Silver mini D-locks are used, but each one has its own key — why not just one? That said, the store feels like Fort Knox, looks smart and has given renewed peace of mind. It’s also guaranteed for 25 years and available at a significant LCC discount. Charles Barraball PROS: super secure CONS: needs concrete foundation
Cycloc £59.95 www.cycloc.com
Available in four colours, Cyclocs hold all types of bikes (except those with step-through frames. Simply choose a suitable wall space, mark out the position with the template and fix at preferred angle. Kit can be stored within and two holes allow locks to be used for added security; there’s also a separate ‘spacer’ which can be added for mountain bikes with wider bars. It comfortably held various test bikes, only yelping under the weight of an old Grifter (easily remedied with different bolts). Projecting just 30cm from the wall, it’s a cool space-saver. JK PROS: versatile, sleek CONS: ‘step-thru’ version due soon
Plantlock £135 www.frontyardcompany.co.uk A favourite with bike cafés and homeowners alike, it's essentially a metal planter (90cm by 40cm) which, when filled with your own combination of earth, compost and gravel weighs more than 75kg — in other words it’s too heavy to shift. As that still wouldn't deter thieves round my way, I used M8 bolts through the drainage holes to fix it to a concrete slab. A nice touch is that the planter top is actually at perfect pedal height to prevent bikes toppling, plus the ‘locking bars’ are made from a case-hardened steel thicker than most bike locks. The website even offers tips about what and when to plant, whether you prefer flowering plants, hardy shrubs or herbs. JK PROS: innovative, very hefty CONS: mind your back moving it!
A new brand to UK shores, Brev M produces hardware for urban riders, including these retrolooking quill pedals. The notched cage plates — in seven colours — give plenty of grip for trainers and other footwear, even in wet weather, and have holes to attach toe-clips if required. An alloy body and solid steel spindle means weight’s a very average 355g for the pair; a simple loose ballbearing design will appeal to home mechanics. Robust and not-toofancy. EL PROS: grip, retro appeal CONS: nowt yet
KNOG Kransky £39.99 www.knog.com.au
ALPKIT socks £10 www.alpkit.com
One of a colourful cable lock range that’s fresh off the production line and sure to appeal to urban fashionistas. Like its stablemates, the Kransky has a fibre core steel cable (12mm) at its centre, surrounded by further braided steel cables and a thick silicone casing. The theory is that the fibre core gets crushed rather than chopped if attacked with bolt-cutters, making quick, undetected thefts less likely. And the theory was vaguely borne out by the Kransky — it’s probably the only one likely to get a Sold Secure rating — though the significantly smaller Party Frank (£16.99) didn’t last very long. You get three keys and a tool-free bike mount included. JK PROS: better than many other cable locks CONS: still need that second lock
These low-cut socks are soft, sculpted at both heel and toe, densely padded at the heel and forefoot and come in four broad size options. The padding means they may be too thick for slimline race-style shoes, but they’re perfect for use with other recreational cycling or multiactivity footwear — and they’re comfortable for short hike-a-bikes too. Made from Coolmax with a nylon and elastane mix (so don’t iron or tumble-dry), they prevent feet from getting clammy, plus a further ‘pressure pad’ prevents discomfort from tight lacing. You get two pairs — grey/orange and blue/grey — for a tenner. PROS: comfort CONS: too low-cut for some
44 London Cyclist Xmas 2010
EARLY RIDER Lite £94.99 www.earlyrider.com Beautifully crafted from FSCcertified birch, this pedal-less starter bike is designed to get your child riding without the extra challenge of both balancing and pedalling. Steering can also be restricted at first to prevent the wobbles. Shod with pneumatic 12.5-inch tyres on aluminium wheels and ball-bearinged hubs, the bike runs smoothly and is fine for tarmac and light off-road use. Suitable for children from as young as 20 months (inside leg of 32cm) the adjustable saddle allows for growth up to three-and-a-half years. It’s a real head-turner in the park, styled like an American chopper with faux leather seat and in either natural wood or pastel pink. I’m not sure who loves it more, my 2.5-year-old who progressed from scooting to freewheeling within a month or his show-off dad. For older kids there's the Early Rider Classic (£109) or Early Rider Evolution (£119). Matt Mallinder PROS: well crafted CONS: price
RESTRAPS £19.99 www.restrap.co.uk Restraps are recycled from old car seatbelts and will attach, using an allen key and spanner, to almost any set of pedals that has holes for toe- clips or reflectors. We did have a bit of a problem squeezing them onto one pair of mountain bike pedals though. Once they’re on, adjust the massive Velcro contacts so they fit snugly; they fit at an angle across the pedal, so you put your foot in from outside, then straighten up to pedal, this helps the straps hold your shoes properly. Then it’s hours of comfortable pedalling. The fixed-gear brigade will love these, as will commuters who want the extra power and control of binding foot to pedal. MM PROS: use with any shoes CONS: more expensive than plastic clips/straps
MUXU Ride Shirt £70 www.muxu.cc Part of new city cycling line that’s being designed in Barcelona and made in Portugal. It’s constructed mainly from cotton, with an elastane blend, which means that it’s more breathable than your normal work shirt and it’s got a bit of stretchy ‘give’ so that it doesn’t ride up or feel restrictive when in your normal riding position — also aided by hidden ‘pleats’ at the rear shoulder area. Cleverlypositioned flatlock seams prevent chafing if you wear a backpack. There’s a couple of chest pockets and a smaller one accessed by a hidden zip in the right side seam that will hold cash, phone or MP3 player (with hole for headphone routing). Choice of blue or grey. PROS: best riding shirt we’ve tried CONS: very slimline fit
Culture New film, manuals and coffee-table books under the spotlight Chasing Legends directed by Jason Berry garners little more than sterile race coverage. That said, there’s plenty of helicopter and motorbike footage bought from the Tour organisers to pad out the original HD photography shot via helmetcam, inside team cars, on the team bus and in various vehicles
Berry’s latest cycling film focuses on the 2009 Tour de France, where he audaciously managed to persuade Team HTC-Columbia into granting him access to riders, team meetings and other ‘no go’ areas — the result of which is a film that brings a human touch to a global event that typically
weaving perilously through the peleton. The storyline as such begins with cliched images of a young boy watching the race over his garden fence and being inspired onto greater things, before following the race stage by stage, both out on the course and behind-the-scenes. This is interjected by soundbites from luminaries such as Eddy Merckx, Lance Armstrong, Jens Voigt and, movingly, the oldest surviving tour rider. But it’s the HTC-Columbia boys who take centre stage in what, luckily for Berry, was to be a record-breaking year, with Mark Cavendish bagging six sprint stage victories. While Cav is the leading man, he’s ably supported
by the likes of Tony Martin, Mark Renshaw and George Hincapie, the latter of who has h his own cameo moment when narrowly missing out w on o a stint in the yellow jersey. Light entertainment comes, often unintentionally, from team manager Rolf Aldag and sporting director Brian Holm, like Laurel and Hardy on the roadtrip from hell. The film was shown at 50 cinemas across the UK on one night in October, with the O2 Greenwich hosting a live satellite Q&A session afterwards hosted by Phil Liggett. Again Aldag and Holm stole the show — it’s worth seeing the film for these two guys alone. JK ■ The DVD is due out in early December, price tbc.
46 London Cyclist Xmas 2010
Mountain Biking: Cyclopedia £16.99 The Manual William Fotheringham £19.99 Chris Ball Want to brush up your riding technique or learn some new skills? Under Chris Ball’s tutelage — UCI mtb technical delegate, former World Cup racer and coach to Britain’s first junior downhill world champion — you’re in very good hands. The first half of the book explores the sport’s evolution, its various disciplines and stuff like bike set-up and nutrition, before moving into the ‘how to’ sections on improving your performance. With additional tips from world champions like Steve Peat, Gee Atherton and Tracy Moseley, it’s a comprehensive guide. It’s clearly and succinctly written and supplemented with a superb selection of images; a few more step-by-step sequences would have been nice though. JK
This is one of those bible-cumencyclopedias that should appeal to cyclists and non-cyclists alike. Another reviewer called it an ‘illustrated miscellany of facts, figures and interesting snippets’ and that describes it perfectly. Guardian journalist Fotheringham takes readers on a quirky A-Z journey — from Abdoujaparov (crazy Uzbeki sprinter) to Zimmerman (legendary track star) — throwing in assorted ‘factoids’ and dozens of useful pub quiz stats along the way. It’s like tapping into the mind of a bike obsessive like Sheldon Brown, though written in an accessible and fun manner. In fact, the tone suggests it’s a book the author’s been wanting to write for some time. You’ll be dipping in and out for weeks. JK
Le Metiér £35 Michael Barry & Camille J McMillan Released earlier this year to universal acclaim, this hardback tome charts a year in the life of pro road racer Barry. Readers of Rouleur will be familiar with Barry’s insightful prose and here he breaks down his year into four seasons, from winter training through the spring classics and summer grand tours, to his victory in one of the final events on the calendar. You get glimpses inside the pro peleton and a whiff of the dedication and mindset required to make it to the top. But for all of Barry’s well-crafted words, they fill just 34 of the book’s 204 pages. The rest is a photo essay par excellence by McMillan — it’s the ‘picture painting a thousand words’ concept on a grand scale. Brilliant if pricey. JK
Adventure Cycle-Touring £14.99 Stephen Lord For anyone with ‘big ride’ aspirations in the new year, Lord’s guide is a worthwhile read. He gives attention to the various practicalities of ‘adventure touring’, what you need and how to prepare, and collates real-life experiences from a variety of contributors. Suggested route ideas are divided up by continent, alongside brief summaries about the possibilities in the trickiest to navigate Asian and African countries — however, these are so general that they’re not overly useful. The majority of the images are used very small, in black and white, and don’t do the text justice. Likewise the large font size and dated layout don’t do the author any favours. All in, there’s useful info here but it’s difficult to wade through. JK
Xmas 2010 London Cyclist 47
LCC’s community team reviews another successful year for local projects
BEST RIDES IN LONDON
Community cycling Grassroots groups reach 4,000 new cyclists in capital Every year, Transport for London’s Community Cycling Fund (CCFfL) supports a range of local groups, grassroots organisations and schools to encourage more people to start cycling. In 2010, grants of £5,000 and £10,000 enabled 47 groups across London to provide cycle training, bike maintenance workshops and to organise bike-related events. Activities are delivered by a key player within the community who functions as the project leader. This approach makes it possible for the CCFfL to work with the harder-to-reach groups. The fund has a track record of successfully addressing not just transport and health problems, but also social
inequalities and issues around community cohesion. The cycling projects that receive funding are diverse and representative of the mix of ethnicities and different backgrounds that are typical of London. Grants are awarded to a variety of projects from nurseries and schools, to refugee groups and housing associations, and from mental health to substance abuse recovery groups. In 2010, £200,000 from the CCFfL — together with £22,500 match-funding from the Big Lottery — has allowed more than 4,000 Londoners to get cycling. Here we look at what a trio of successful individual projects have achieved.
BIG THUMBS UP: for another successful year of local group initiatives
HISTORY OF CCFFL
Richmond Turning Hub
The Newham Bromley Bike Woodcraft Folk Blast
LCC has been administering the Community Cycling Fund for London since 2007. Working with more than 50 projects each year, the fund has gradually expanded its reach: ■ 2007 — 2,224 participants ■ 2008 — 3,204 participants ■ 2009 — 4,489 participants
■ Project Richmond Turning Hub ■ Purpose provide cycling opportunities and support cycling transition from primary to secondary schools ■ Awarded £8,510 ■ Activities Go-Ride skills and games, maintenance sessions, bike polo and recycling centres
■ Project The 5 Es of Cycling = Environment, Exercise, Efficient, Economic, Enjoyment ■ Purpose support young people and families to get cycling ■ Awarded £3,750 ■ Activities cycle training, bike maintenance, events
FOR INFO Contact the community team: ■ 020 7234 9310 (option 4) ■ email@example.com ■ Sign up for e-newsletter at ww.lcc.org.uk/community
Richmond Cycling Campaign works with schools and youth clubs to get more locals cycling. Offering maintenance sessions and Dr Bikes, cycle events and training, the Turning Hub — a roaming cycling club set up by Richmond CC — has made a huge difference to the number of people taking to two wheels. Hundreds of children have already benefited. Jonathan Rowland, project coordinator said: “By giving participants the opportunity to take part in these activities and then the capability to run these activities, the project will leave a legacy of sustainability.” ■ www.theturninghub.co.uk
The Newham Woodcraft Folk are a local educational movement for children, young people and families. It raises awareness of environmental problems and works with the Newham community to address them together. By offering cycle training, maintenance courses and regular cycling events, the movement promotes healthy living and sustainable transport. Some of those in their late teens are taught intermediate bike maintenance skills, which they can pass on to the under15s. The idea is to transfer as many skills as possible into the community so people can help themselves, teach others, and promote a healthy community.
■ Project Bromley Bike Blast and Cycle-a-Mile ■ Purpose short and supported rides aimed at beginners, novices and the very nervous ■ Awarded £4,955 ■ Activities training ride leaders and locals in maintenance, events, rides, bike MOTs and reconditioning The cycling extravaganza in June featured bike MOTs, cycle maps and advice, challenges, races and games for all ages of rider. The aim was to inspire people to take up cycling. Bromley Cyclists also organised regular rides aimed at beginner cyclists, called Cycle-a-Mile. The rides have attracted over 90 participants and many riders took part in London Skyride. Spencer Harradine from Bromley Cyclists said: “Cycling is value for money, be this for beating our congestion problem or improving community wellbeing. With a little bit of help and advice, anyone can ride a bike.”
Xmas 2010 London Cyclist 49
Find out more at www.lcc.org.uk/localgroups
CENTRAL LARK: Barnet LCC followed several routes from the London Cycling Guide in 2010, including this one to Admiralty Arch
BARNET www.barnetlcc.org In the autumn we spent two days at Middlesex University and Barnet College promoting cycling to new students during freshers' week. There are vast numbers at these campuses, so it's important to try to get more of them cycling. ➤ In the winter gloom it's nice to look back at the variety of rides we did this summer. Highlights included cycling to the new Butterfly World centre at St Albans, trying out some rides from London Cycling Guide and visiting Camden's newlyextended Jewish Museum. ➤ Our Xmas lunch (and ride) is on Sunday 12 December and it has to be booked with Ian Ollier. If you miss booking it, come along for the ride anyway. MEETINGS: no meeting in Dec. Otherwise on the last Thursday of the month at 8pm, Trinity Church Hall, Nether Street, N12. CONTACT: Jeremy Parker, 020 8440 9080.
ranging discussion. We were particularly concerned that more money should be found to continue the stalled subsidised cycle training programme for adults and that the chronic lack of direct cycling routes through the central part of the borough should be addressed. ➤ The Brent and Harrow ride to London Skyride was huge, gathering about 200 riders in its latter stages. We may split it into smaller units next year. Later in September we had another good Queens Park Day, distributing cycling publicity and advice at this popular festival. MEETINGS: pub socials at 7pm on Tuesday 7 December and Tuesday 1 February at The Crown, Cricklewood Broadway; business meeting on Wednesday 5 January, Samaritans Centre, 1 Leopold Road NW10. CONTACT: Ian Saville, 07949 164793; coordinator@ brentcyclists.org.uk)
BRENT www.brentcyclists.org.uk Brent Cyclists met the new Labour lead member for environment and planning in September and held a wide-
The Bromley Biking Borough Report has challenged Bromley Council to have the political will for a more joined-up strategy for promoting cycling in the borough. Write and ask your ward councillor to support the
detailed recommendations. ➤ We're keeping our focus on rides for those new or returning to cycling, filling a gap in the market. Ride leaders are needed. ➤ Watch the website for the Xmas dinner details. There is also a new Twitter feed: http:// twitter.com/bromleycyclists MEETINGS: second Wednesdays of the month, 7.30pm, venue details on website. Other Wednesdays meet at Bromley South station at 7.30pm forthe 'Wednesday Weekly Wander'. CONTACT: Charles Potter, 07951 780869; coordinator@ bromleycyclists.org
BEST RIDES IN LONDON
Local Group News beginning to try some permeability schemes, they have so far failed to provide a good route to the cycle hire station in Belmont Street from the south-west. We urge them to provide two-way cycling in all roads in the area south of Euston Road bounded by Grays Inn Road, Argyle Street and Tavistock Place. ➤ We led two big groups of people to Skyride and another on the return to Camden. Everyone seemed to enjoy the day. ➤ To encourage new members we plan to emulate ICAG's Veloteer scheme with a launch event next March. Alison Dines and Steven Taylor are kindly advising us. MEETINGS: our next meetings are 13 December (including party) and 10 January at Primrose Hill Community Association, 29 Hopkinsons Place, NW1. CONTACTS: Stefano Casalotti, 020 7435 0196; stefano@ lamsam-casalotti.org.uk. Or Jean Dollimore, 020 7485 5896; jean@ dollimore.net
The 2010 central London Skyride was the most successful one to date for ECC. We led 300 cyclists in two groups from the town hall, the longest distance and the largest groups yet; no other CAMDEN outer borough group www.camdencyclists.org.uk experienced such numbers. We’ve participated pated numbers Ealing cyclists, in a Green CRISP SP cyclis we BUY A GIFT know which looked kno you are MEMBERSHIPilable out at ways of ou there! ava LCC gift membership is now ➤ 22 Oct bypassing t for any online — the ideal presen saw the Camden of e kag pac at gre cyclist! With a l wil Lock when launch of it , ces ran benefits and deals on insu , plus it ney using the the mo er mb me new save any paigning canal. Our ccouncil’s also supports our vital cam from main desires Cycling Cy work. Just follow the link www.lcc.org.uk to find are better Strategy Str out more. access to the 2010-2016; 2010 canal at Oval Road good full of go and Kentish Town and short on intentions an Road, as well as two-way cycling detail as is typical of such in Hawley Crescent. publications. An exciting Although Camden Council is proposal is the creation of cycle
Xmas 2010 London Cyclist 51
BEST RIDES IN GROUPS LONDON
hubs at Ealing Broadway, Elthorne, South Acton, Greenford, Southall Broadway and Northolt. Our written response asked for the details and suggested ideas of our own. Let’s see what being a Biking Borough means in practice. ➤ The Bike Hub is going strong. To find out more about DIY cycle maintenance, check out www. ealingbikehub.co.uk. Our social rides also continue throughout winter, shorter to accommodate fewer hours of daylight. ➤ The campaign to improve platform access at Ealing Broadway station continues. On 18 September we demonstrated outside the station together with mother/toddler and mobility groups, two councillors and Angie Bray MP. We filled the front page of Ealing Gazette! We received tremendous support from residents struggling on the stairs with buggies, shopping or suitcases, so we will be repeating this event. Perhaps joining us could be a New Year resolution? MEETINGS: first Wednesday of the month, details on website. Social ride on first Sunday of the month, meet 10am at Ealing Town Hall, details on website. CONTACT: David Lomas, info@ ealingcycling.org.uk; David Eales, 07880 797437.
ENFIELD www.lcc.org.uk/localgroups Our group held its Annual Meeting and election of officers on 2 September. Richard Reeve was re-elected as co-ordinator and Trisha Smith as treasurer. Chris Hayward, Paul Lafosse and Trevor Stone were elected as committee members. ➤ Enfield's proposed Greenways network of cycling and walking routes, using quiet backstreets and green spaces now faces opposition from a group of local residents who are objecting to the route running through Hilly Fields park in the north of the borough. At the time of writing this, we are planning to engage with the group to discuss their concerns. However it is also vital that the council receives letters and emails of support for the Greenways proposals. Please send letters to Cllr Chris Bond (Cabinet Member for environment, street scene and parks),
Civic Centre, Silver Street, EN1 3XA, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. ➤ Can you help us to organise a mass participation charity ride for Bike Week 2011? If you would be able to spare one evening a month to help us liaise with Enfield Council and a local charity, please contact r.reeve@ blueyonder.co.uk. ➤ The next Enfield Cycle Forum will be on Wednesday 8 December — contact Richard if you would like to attend. ➤ For campaigning news, please visit our local group's webpage on the LCC website. For rides and events, please visit our sister organisation's website: www. edmontoncyclingclub.fsnet.co. uk. Wishing you all a very happy Christmas! Do join us on our Boxing Day ride (details to appear on website). MEETINGS: first Thursday of every month — Thursday 2 December, 8pm at The King William IV pub (upstairs), 192 Hertford Road, Edmonton, N9. Thursday 6 January 2011, 8pm at The Wheatsheaf pub, 185 Baker Street, Enfield, EN1. E-NEWSLETTER: to join our mailout list, send a blank email to enfieldcyclists-subscribe@ yahoogroups.com CONTACT: Richard Reeve, 020 8363 2196; r.reeve@blueyonder. co.uk.
GREENWICH www.greenwichcyclists.org.uk A handful of group members were asked to join the council’s Best Value Review on cycling facilities in early October. The idea was to brainstorm ways of increasing cycling numbers and activity in the borough, and looked at various infrastructure measures, cycle training for schools and adults, bike parking
and promotion of cycling. Attended by councillors, planners, local Sustrans officers and other informed local parties, it was good too see the council taking a much-needed forward step in even holding such a forum. Further discussion is due early in 2011, with any possible works beginning later that year. ➤ Our popular rides programme continues into next year — see website for details. We hope to see some of you at our pre-Xmas rides or maybe even on the 2512 ride (see 'Southwark' section). MEETINGS: first Wednesday of the month, 7.30pm at the Armada Centre, Creek Road, SE8. CONTACT: Gareth Scarlett (secretary), email@example.com
HACKNEY www.hackney-cyclists.org.uk Have you got a few minutes to do something that could make a massive difference to cycling in our borough for decades to come? We'd like you to add your voice to the call to turn Stoke Newington's main streets back to two-way. This year we've helped to persuade Hackney's mayor and council, re-elected in May, to make a stronger commitment towards pushing TfL to scrap the 1960’s one-way system which blights the area. True to their word, they are now undertaking a major public consultation to find out how many local people agree with our call to put the streets back to their normal state. The easiest way for you to register your views is at www. hackney.gov.uk/sn-gyratory Scroll down to the link entitled 'online survey for residents' and click it. The early questions in the survey are about how often you use these streets, how you feel
about motor traffic levels and what public realm improvements you'd like to see. Spend some time on these if you can spare it, but be aware that the most important questions come near the end of the survey, especially question 20, which asks: ‘Would you support the removal of the current one way traffic system if it is replaced with two-way traffic flows on Stoke Newington High Street, Northwold Road, Rectory Road and Evering/ Manse Road?’ We would like you to answer YES to this, please! Returning all of these streets to two-way working will maximise route choice and minimise diversion, favouring local journeys over long-distance journeys. Cyclists will once again be free to travel in the direction they need to, and they'll encounter fewer hazardous junctions en route. Two-way working will smooth out the flow of motor-traffic, reducing the amount of acceleration and braking, and cutting the peak speeds of motor traffic. As well as returning all the one-way streets to full two-way working, we'd also like to see a speed limit of 20mph throughout. 'Modal filters' should, meanwhile, be installed on minor streets to stop rat-running and create quiet havens for walking, cycling, and living in general. ➤ No more news this time, because we don't want to distract you from what we've mentioned above. If the borough of Hackney speaks with one voice, the mayor of London will have to listen. MEETINGS: first Wednesday of the month, 7.30pm at Marcon Court Estate Community Hall, (near corner of Amhurst Road and Marcon Place), E8. E-NEWSLETTER: send blank email to hackney-lcc-subscribe@ yahoogroups.com CONTACT: subject to election after LC goes to press. Interim contact is Trevor Parsons, 020 7729 2273; firstname.lastname@example.org.
HAMMERSMITH & FULHAM www.hfcyclists.org.uk
ACCESS ALL AREAS: platform access protesters outside Ealing Broadway station
We hope to meet many new faces at the annual get-together on Sunday 12 December. This is a
52 London Cyclist Xmas 2010
ride to the White Cross in Richmond to meet neighbouring LCC groups for lunch. And we also hope to see you at one of our monthly evening meetings which are very sociable. ➤ Christmas Eve brings the scrapping of the Western Congestion zone extension. Will it be easier to move through stationary traffic? MEETINGS: Tuesday 7 December, check website for info. CONTACT: John Griffiths, 07789 095748; email@example.com.
HARROW www.harrowcyclists.org.uk We're not sure what people waiting for buses thought, but Harrow Cyclists' demonstration of how easy it is to create a shared cyclist/pedestrian route was certainly noticed by Harrow Council. The target for our mid-October action was the 100-metre stretch of hardlyused pavement opposite the central Harrow bus station. It would be the final link in making the town centre more bikefriendly, but currently it's pedestrian-only so we have to dismount, risk a fine, or cycle an extra mile around the present one-way system. We bought a roll of green material and cut out a bike shape from white paper. And, of course, we alerted the Harrow Observer which arranged a reporter and photographer. It took about two minutes to create our bike path. As for the council's 'on the record' response to the paper, well, no-one has quite worked out what it means. ➤ Our campaign to get Tesco — which has more outlets in Harrow than all the other superstore groups combined — to fit bike racks continues. The newest mini-Tesco has good facilities, which leaves around a dozen more to be looked at. ➤ The group marshalled a feeder ride to London Skyride. Over 50 cyclists turned up — a 100 per cent increase over the past two years with some coming from as far as Northampton (admittedly by train). Two members took part in the LCC Skyride feedback. ➤ Looking ahead, we intend organising another Christmas Lights ride of the most extravagantly decorated houses
in our area, sett up a ride Now we cal call on all west to point out some Londoners and ome London A BIG of the worst people from peop cycle lanes in Hounslow in Ho THANK YOU... the borough particular to pa to all of our office, event and (councillors come along c retention evening volunteers. You’v e been a huge help in 2010 and we will be to t the LCC could n’t have done it without you! If invited) social in you’ve not volunteered with us befo and launch Hounslow H re, we’re always looking for help with a basic on o Thurs 16 admin, mailouts and events. mainDecember D If you're interested, contact tenance class from 7pm at fro firstname.lastname@example.org in tandem with the Express h the E a local bike shop. Tavern, Kew op. Tavern MEETINGS: second Bridge Road (opposite econd Roa Wednesday of each month at Kew Bridge), Brentford, TW8. 7.30pm, followed by pub social at Everybody is welcome for an 9pm; check website for details. informal get-together and a CONTACT: Colin Waters, 07799 chat about everything cycling. 537 504. ➤ We plan to arrange an Annual Meeting in March, when the Hounslow group can be reformed. It would be great, if HILLINGDON you can be part of it. Please get www.lcc.org.uk/localgroups in touch with email@example.com. uk, if you want to help Although not during Bike Week, campaigning in your borough or the London Borough of have any questions. Hillingdon held a very successful MEETINGS: tbc (see website) family event called ‘Party in the CONTACT: see website. Park’ held on 4 September, which was full of fun family activities, including a couple of cycling stands manned by local ISLINGTON LCC, CTC and Sustrans members www.icag.org.uk to promote cycling. Our stands were alongside the very popular At one of our recent meetings Cycle Experience roadshow, for the problem of inconsiderate which there was a long queue all cyclists giving us all a bad name afternoon. It seemed like was discussed and especially everybody wanted to test run the issue of cyclists jumping red one of the many different bikes lights. We agreed to ask our on trial. The whole event went members if they felt this was well and the weather was very something we should be good to us, which probably suggesting the council and local helped encourage the high police are more proactive at number of people attending. tackling and, if so, which ➤ At our last meeting in junctions in the borough were September with London particular causes for concern. If there's a junction in Islington Borough of Hillingdon officers where you find cyclists jumping we discussed cycle schemes red lights causes problems, which are currently in please let us know. development within the ➤ Our thanks to Keith borough. If you'd like to come Macfarlane for all his work on along to the next meeting on Wednesday 8 Dec at 6pm, our website and to Jacquescontact Sarah or Steve. Olivier Gaudron who has MEETINGS: check website. recently started working on it CONTACT: Sarah James, too. We are very grateful for 0208868 2912; sarahjames@dsl. those members who helped us pipex. Or Steve Ayres, 01895 get the website up and running 230953; steve1ayres@hotmail. some years ago and if anyone com. would like to assist with a revamp, please get in touch. Keith has also edited our newsletter for the past four HOUNSLOW years and would welcome www.lcc.org.uk/localgroups budding editors to help with that too. Thank you to everyone who ➤ Watch out for us as one of the came to our social in October.
local charities benefitting from the Waitrose Community Matters scheme and please give us your green tokens at the Chapel Market branch; we're planning to use the money to run some Dr Bike sessions on local estates. MEETINGS: 7.30-9.30pm on second Wednesdays of the month (8 Dec, 12 Jan) at Islington Town Hall, Upper Street, N1. CONTACT: Alison Dines, 020 7226 7012; alisondines@clara. co.uk).
KENSINGTON & CHELSEA www.kc-cyclists.org.uk Come along for a festive drink at our Christmas do on Monday 6 December at the Devonshire Arms. It will be a social meeting but we'll chat about what we've done and what might be in store for us in the coming year. Check our website and email group for meetings, rides, and events. MEETINGS: Monday 6 December and Monday 10 January, 6.30pm at the Devonshire Arms, 37 Marloes Road, London W8. CONTACT: Philip Loy, 07960 026450; firstname.lastname@example.org
KINGSTON www.kingstoncycling.org.uk Nag, nag, nag — that seems to be what we have to do. We’ve nagged to try to get the Biking Borough report published (which cost £25k of tax-payers’ money) – at the time of writing we’ve still not seen the finalised version. We nag to find out why the busy pedestrian and cycle crossings by the Lovekyn Chapel were closed for weeks on end and no alternative provision was made. And we nag to try to get some of the abandoned bikes around the borough and railway stations removed and recycled – why do people abandon bikes in public places? ➤ We’ve been monitoring the theft stats published on the Met police website and can see that reported bike thefts are up around 25 percent this year (to end of September), with 405 reported stolen. The council and police got together to supervise the 140-space cycle park at the Guildhall available to cycling
Xmas 2010 London Cyclist 53
BEST RIDES IN GROUPS LONDON
shoppers on Saturdays in September and October. This was a suggestion that KCC put forward earlier this year. Did you use it? Would you use it if it were available throughout the summer next year? Meanwhile, TfL, the council, SWT and Network Rail are contemplating enclosing the cycle parking at Kingston station – but we’re asking why bother when there seems to be scant demand for it there. The need is at Norbiton. ➤ The festive Kingston Cycling Campaign bike light giveaway is now in its third year. Again we’ll be stopping incredulous ‘stealth’ cyclists in the street and offering to give and fit lights to their bikes for free. We may target students this year. ➤ In need of a new year’s resolution? Why not decide to report street lights that aren’t working, potholes and road markings that have worn out to the council; simply look up the ‘Report It’ section of www. kingston.gov.uk. Mention that these things are a safety issue to give them priority. ➤ Don’t forget we’ve got a new programme of Bread Pudding rides for the New Year, details available on the website. MEETINGS: 14 December and 11 January 2011, 8.30pm at the Waggon & Horses pub, Surbiton Hill Road. CONTACT: Rob James, 020 8546 8865.
LAMBETH www.lambethcyclists.org.uk Come along to our Christmas do on Tuesday 14 December at the Priory Arms. We'll be celebrating the past year and looking forward to 2011 — all welcome. ➤ Exciting plans are afoot for a possible Tour de Lambeth next summer, featuring as many types of event in Lambeth parks as we can think of. Interested in the idea? Got any other ideas? Come along to our meetings or get in touch. ➤ Architecture Rides are due to continue in the new year — by the time you read this we will hopefully have details up for January's ride on our website. ➤ We're always busy with ongoing campaigns and issues so do come along to our meetings or events whether you're an LCC
PARTY IN THE PARK: Hillingdon LCC members ran a busy stall at the event and enjoyed the Cycle Experience roadshow
member or not — all are welcome. MEETINGS: Christmas special on Tuesday 14 December, General Meeting on 18 January, 7.30pm upstairs at The Priory Arms, 83 Lansdowne Way, SW8. CONTACT: Philip Loy, 07960 026450; lambeth_cyclists@ hotmail.com
MERTON www.mertoncyclists.org.uk MCC recently celebrated its 25th anniversary with champagne and a '5-speed cake' hand-made by veteran campaigner and patissier extraordinaire Hugh Morgan. See website for photos. ➤ Our Christmas lunch ride this year will be on Sunday 12 December, leaving from Wimbledon station forecourt at 10.30am and riding over to Richmond for lunch with members from other SW London groups — all welcome. ➤ It's with great sadness that the Merton group heard of the recent death of Andy Shea, our borough co-ordinator from 1985 to 1993. The following is an abridged tribute by his close friend Chris Jensen (full text can be found on our website): "Andy was a quiet, gentle and gentlemanly chap and an amazingly natural, effortless cyclist. It must have been a source of great frustration and sadness to him that in his latter years he lost that energy and fitness, having to give up some of his green principles and resort to the motor vehicle. I think he may also have been frustrated
with the expense of the car! formally producing a series of Andy was, shall we say, ‘frugal’ them across London. We when it came to spending on understand these also helped himself. Once we met up for a kickstart some of the routes for 20-mile ride to Kemsing Youth what became the London Hostel which should have taken Cycling Network." no more than a couple of hours MEETINGS: see website. but for some reason we kept CONTACT: Charles Barraball, getting lost — we were following email@example.com Andy’s road atlas but somehow kept ending up on the wrong side of the M20 motorway. After NEWHAM eight freezing, miserable hours www.newhamcyclists.org we finally arrived. A few days later I looked at another map and Newham Cyclists goes into discovered that we had been winter focussing on campaign riding in circles above and below issues, especially the the M26, a motorway opportunity to otorway that was only maximise y 18 maximi the years old at the benefi he bene ts to R BE EM M RE time and cycling of the cyc RD YOUR LCCofCA therefore not Olympic O t por sup you It's more than just pro in any atlas Games and G keep your card LCC. By making sure you your on out owned by seeking to s mis er nev 'll with you, you ps when you Andy! increase i LCC discount in bike sho purchase. The M26 liaison l make that unexpected t number tac con our nd fi also You'll sightseeing with w there — and essential advice on trip aside, I Newham Ne 're only ever a phone we have been Council. Plans Cou call away... reminded lately are also ely al now in of how Andy hand to run r the introduced us to the real popular Newham rides Newh magic of cycling — riding through next year. Get regular info via Richmond Park at midnight, all the Yahoo Group. stars, deer and frosty auras MEETINGS: last Monday of while the Park was getting its every month at different venues, chance to breathe. And Andy see Yahoo Group. inspired the alternative London CONTACT: Arnold Ridout, to Brighton cycle ride, starting firstname.lastname@example.org. from Kingston Bridge at around 1am, always timed with a full moon, which became our main RICHMOND annual event. www.richmondlcc.co.uk "In 1990 Andy and others started work on producing a The first Cycling Liaison Group South West London Cycle Route, (CLG) meeting of the which the LCC later took up, Conservative council was held in
54 London Cyclist Xmas 2010
October. It is difficult to say how things will progress but the meetings are regular, which is a good sign. The council’s plans for cycling-related expenditure were discussed along with our priorities. It was made clear that there was little money to spend, so we're reserving judgement. ➤ By the time you read this, the consultation for the development of the forecourt outside Richmond station will have ended. There is little provision for cyclists in terms of on/ off-road lanes and paths, or parking. The railings outside are used as ad hoc parking (only because the covered facilities behind the station have no signage, so no-one knows about them) and one of the options is to remove the railings completely. We'll be lobbying the council regarding its proposals. ➤ We have been asked to remind towpath cyclists of their responsibilities when sharing space with more vulnerable users. As cyclists, we should be concerned for the welfare of pedestrians when using the towpath and other shared facilities. Reduce your speed, be prepared to stop, talk to people or ring your bell to let them know you are approaching and when passing, give people as much room as possible. ➤ The Turning Hub — www. theturninghub.co.uk — has started up a bike club in Orleans Park school, based around the workshop paid for by last year’s Community Cycling Fund for London. We’re also starting work at KCafe in Kings Field, Bushy Park with the skaters and BMXers while the skate park is refurbished. Any help is appreciated — why not come along to our maintenance workshops and learn maintenance skills? If you’ve already got maintenance skills, why not help Richmond MIND with its recycling project? ➤ Richmond MIND has a selection of second-hand bikes available for purchase, all have been worked on by their volunteers and all money goes to Richmond MIND. Use the contact details below if you are interested in buying a cheap, second-hand bike. ➤ Our November meeting was our annual meeting. Details of our accounts and who’s who are
available on our website. MEETINGS: second Mondays of the month, 8pm at The Ship Inn, Richmond. CONTACT: Jonathan Rowland, 07976 294626; info@richmond lcc.co.uk
RIDES & EVENTS
For the latest details on cycle rides: www.lcc.org.uk/rides
SOUTHWARK www.southwarkcyclists.org.uk Probably the 'motleyist' crew of the year meets on 25 December at 10am Cutty Sark Gardens and 11am Southwark Needle for the annual 2512 ride. London's in a great smiley mood and you won't see the streets much quieter or the parks more rideable. See you there. ➤ The year just going had bikes on a high... a very biked, very pink London Festival of Architecture, blue bikes everywhere, blue tarmac everywhere, and a new chief executive for the London Cycling Campaign. It looks like 2011 will see bikes more and more embedded into London life as austerity binges. Excellent. MEETINGS: second Wednesdays of the month, 6.30pm at Better Bankside, corner of Soar Street/ Great Guildford Street, SE1. CONTACT: Barry Mason, 07905 889 005.
Saturday 4 December ➤ Climate bike ride: 10.30am, Lincoln's Inn Fields. Mass ride through central London, linking up with the National Climate March from Hyde Park to Parliament Square. Contact: Jeremy Hill (07816 839883); jeremy.hill1@ btopenworld.com Tuesday 8 December ➤ LCC retention evening: 6pm, LCC offices — see website for details. Sunday 12 December ➤ Annual Xmas Ride to the White Cross: 10.30am, platform overlooking the Thames at the end of Queen Caroline Street. Ride to White Cross in Richmond for our Xmas lunch, where we meet up with riders from other LCC groups; mudguards and overtrousers advisable, lights essential. Contact: John Griffiths (07789 095 748); email@example.com Sunday 12 December ➤ Bread Pudding Xmas ride: 10.30am, Kingston Market Place. Ride to Richmond to meet other LCC groups (see above). Contact: John Dunn (020 8397
www.lcc.org.uk/localgroups Latest scheme in progress is at the south-west corner of The Hamptons in Worcester Park. It starts at Heatherlea Gardens, via a 2.5-metre gravel path in the recreation ground south to Buckland Way. ➤ Also in London Road (A237) two shared use pavement paths are underway, firstly on the west side from New Road to Medland Close and secondly on the east side from opposite New Road to two houses from Mile Road as the pavement narrows. ➤ Hackbridge railway bridge rebuild should be completed in late December. MEETINGS: second Tuesdays of the month (14 December & 11 January 2011), from 8.30pm at the Robin Hood pub, junction of West Street and Robin Hood Lane, Sutton. CONTACT: Chris Parry, 0208 647 3584; firstname.lastname@example.org
TOWER HAMLETS www.towerhamletswheelers.org.uk Following the example set by Wandsworth and Redbridge LCC groups, we are pleased to announce the start of a ‘Movers and Shakers’ project in Tower Hamlets. The project will offer training and information about cycling to key community figures within the borough and we are currently drawing up a list of suitable candidates. To get the programme underway, we have obtained some funding via the Cycle Superhighway (CS3) Complementary Measures scheme — this will be used to fund cycle training and to produce a briefing pack which will supplied to those who sign-up to the scheme. If you would like to help with this project please contact us. ➤ The Tower Hamlets Cycle
1875); email@example.com Saturday 25 December ➤ 2512: 11am, Southwark Needle. Xmas Day cruise on deserted streets. Details: www.southwarkcyclists.org.uk Sunday 9 January 2011 ➤ Box Hill ride: 10.15am, Twickenham Riverside, by Eel Pie bridge. Antidote to seasonal lethargy, with pub lunch. Contact: Paul Luton (020 8977 4016); firstname.lastname@example.org Sunday 9 January 2011 ➤ Chiswick House ride: 10.30am, Mortlake Green, by station. 6 miles, plus walk through the grounds. Contact: Paul Luton (0208 977 4016); rides@ richmondlcc.co.uk Saturday 15 January ➤ Oxleas Wood ride: 4pm, John Ball Primary School. Fairly hard 10-miler. Contact: Tom Crispin, email@example.com Monday 24 January ➤ LCC retention evening: 6pm, LCC offices — see website for details.
Ranger scheme is making steady progress, and we recently had a report from the Project Manager listing a number of issues that were raised by Rangers and are now on the council's list of planned works. If you are interested in joining the scheme, details are on our website. ➤ Our ride programme will be continuing through the winter — hopefully we won't have to cancel them for ice and snow this year. We offer a balance of shorter, easy-paced rides, interspersed with a few longer and faster outings, some using trains to get out to the countryside and others exploring closer to home in East London — again, see website. MEETINGS: second Wednesdays of the month, 7.30pm, St Margaret's Hall, Bethnal Green. Maintenance workshop, 11am to 3pm, on last Saturdays of the month, at Limehouse Town Hall.
Xmas 2010 London Cyclist 55
BEST RIDES IN GROUPS LONDON NEW CYCLE LANES: in Westminster, including this along the Victoria Embankment
CONTACT: Rob Lister, robl@ wheelers.org.uk
WALTHAM FOREST www.wfcycling.org.uk Looking back at an eventful year, we held a record number of rides and events. We have started to engage with the new local government and we are working closer with the Police Safer Transport team to tackle both bike theft and dangerous driving. ➤ Everybody is very welcome to our Annual Meeting at the Horbeam Centre, 53-55 Hoe Street, Walthamstow, E17 4SA on Wednesday 12 January at 8pm — drinks and buffet food available. Members will be able to vote for a new committee. If you want to stand for one of the posts (treasurer, secretary, co-ordinator, rides co-ordinator, communications officer, council liaison), please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
➤ Check out our new 2011 ride leaflet on www.scribd.com/ wfcycling or get more info at www.wfcycling.org.uk, or at 'wfcycling' on twitter. ➤ We wish you a great festive season and a happy new year from the Waltham Forest Cycling Campaign. MEETINGS: every second Wednesday of the month, 8pm, Horbeam Centre. Workshop — Low Hall depot, South Access road, E17; sale on first Saturday of the month; recycling on Fridays 9am-4pm; public drop-in on second, third and fourth Saturdays of the month from 11am-3pm (£3 donation for tools and support). CONTACT: gerhard@wfcycling. org.uk, 07894 035571.
WANDSWORTH www.wandsworthcyclists.org.uk We really do have a lot going on at present — and would love some extra members to join us on our various projects. We are
keeping a close eye on the next CONTACT: Simon Merrett, 0208 Cycle Superhighway, as works 789 6639 start in Ram Street, and have also talked to Wandsworth Council officers on site about the WESTMINSTER proposed new streetscape www.westminstercyclists.org.uk around Clapham Junction. We’re mightily disappointed in what Although we strongly support we regard as a missed the principle of turning opportunity to promote Piccadilly, St James's Street and sustainable transport here, but Pall Mall back to two-way, we are hoping to at least get are very conc concerned some tweaks to the about th the detail. In plans that will there partic CONTINUED particular help cyclists in is the n th risk that SUPPORT the area. car ca parking “I've been very impressed with LCC's ➤ We’re bays and b anti-theft, HGV and parking also very narrow n campaigns. I think LCC is an incredible traffi c lanes interested t force and am happy to pay my membership for that value alone, could make in the c the rest is a bonus.” Mr V, Haringey these structural t . Thanks to all members for their streets as works on st support in 2010 — we look difficult to Albert Bridge forward to your continuing cycle (Wandsworth is cycl as The support next year. Strand. being consulted ed Stran So we are doing what we on the design) and can to point out we’re liaising with o the potential difficulties the scheme Kensington & Chelsea LCC group could cause. on ideas for making it more ➤ We were pleased to see that cycle-friendly on its reopening in TfL finally implemented cycle 2011. Anyone who uses this bridge and would like to see it lanes along the Victoria motor-traffic-free, or with Embankment. Unfortunately separate cycle lanes, or a 20mph these are less extensive in the limit, or who has any other ideas, Westminster-bound direction please do get in touch. Or lobby because of the use of kerb space local amenity societies to for coach parking. express your views. ➤ Recent monitoring of advance ➤ We are highly exercised over stop lines has shown TfL proposals to remove eight improvement in motorists' behaviour. But motorcyclists are traffic signals across the borough still the group least likely to stop as part of the 'Smoothing Traffic at the first line. Flow' programme. Jenny Jones, MEETINGS: see website. London Assembly member, CONTACT: Colin Wing, 020 7828 visited the toucan crossing at 1500 cyclist@westminstercyclists. Kimber Road with some of us, as org.uk we discussed ways to protest about the plan. WCC members OTHER LOCAL are encouraged to contact the GROUP CONTACTS Assembly member for Wandsworth, Richard Tracey BARKING & DAGENHAM (email@example.com) www.stibasa.org.uk with their views on this. And do BEXLEY also please talk to us about it — www.lcc.org.uk/localgroups the proposals are worryingly CITY CYCLISTS non cycle-friendly. www.citycyclists.org.uk ➤ There’s lots more happening CROYDON too — we’re trying to make www.croydon-lcc.org.uk contact with Balham Sainsbury’s HARINGEY about the appalling cycle parking R White; firstname.lastname@example.org in the newly-revamped store and talking to local schools about REDBRIDGE getting kids back on to bikes — www.redbridgelcc.org.uk come and join us. COPY DEADLINE MEETINGS: second Tuesdays of the month, from 7pm, Friends Feb/Mar 2011 issue: Friday 17 Dec Meeting House, 59 Wandsworth Send your copy and photos to: High Street (opposite Town Hall), email@example.com and afterwards at Brewers Inn.
56 London Cyclist Xmas 2010
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Name Nik Hamilton Age 28 From born in London, brought up in Belfast Bike Surly Long Haul Trucker Favourite London ride The Square Mile at night One thing you'd change about cycling in London Get rid of HGVs and bendy buses
Name Greg Hall Age 29 From London Bike Surly Steam Roller Favourite London ride Anything heading out of town One thing you'd change about cycling in London Get rid of the traffic â€” all of it!
Name Gor Age 51 From Scotland Bike Genesis Day 01 Favourite London ride London to Brighton is usually fun One thing you'd change about cycling in London Make it compulsory that hazard lights donâ€™t work until a vehicle is stationary
Name Julian Sabetian Age 28 From London Bike Nigel Dean 525 track Favourite London ride Hyde Park to Monken Hadley, via central London One thing you'd change about cycling in London Smooth, debris-free roads like on the Continent
58 London Cyclist Xmas 2010