May 27, 2004
On your bike!

The salutation “On your bike!” here in London usually means “get lost” - or “go away” or something like that. But along with the buses - the humble bicycle as a form of public transportation is enjoying something of renaissance in London at the moment. The cycle racks outside tube stations and railway stations are, these days, full to the brim and you see a lot more people hauling their bikes onto the overground trains now than, say, 5 years ago. There’s even people in the office I know who cycle to work - one from as far away Barnes! (Barnes to Slough is about 20 miles or so I think.) And despite the fact that the pro-cycling lobby are always complaining on the TV and radio about the lack of cycle-lanes in urban areas - I’ve certainly noticed a dramatic increase in the number of painted cycle lanes in my neighbourhood in recent years.

Busy cycle-racks outside the tube station

At a time when state of the public’s health is in the firmly in the public eye - encouraging people to take more exercise by more walking and cycling can’t be a bad thing. They’ll need to provide more cycle racks though …

Posted by jag at May 27, 2004 11:15 PM

Cycling is the way to go. It helps us to avoid traffic, to reduce pollution. (If you are going to say: electric cars are better, let me point out that at the power stations, coal is still being burnt, and THAT causes pollution).
And you cant get a better exercise than cycling in the busiest of traffic.

Posted by: sat on May 28, 2004 07:11 PM

Sat: I agree with you completely. Cycling is definitely the “way to go” !

Posted by: Jag on May 28, 2004 09:27 PM

Are the Brent cycle lanes well designed or are they just a stripe of green paint on an existing road ? I have seen some very good ones near Hampton which were nice and wide and painted to the right of parking spaces and I have seen some truly awful ones which are used as parking bays by car drivers and which have really deep potholes, broken bottles and drainage grids which doesn’t make tham very enticing.
I alternate between foot and pedal power to go to work. One of the great pleasures in life is freewheling downhill on a pefect morning, dry, sunny and crisp. Garanteed to put people in a good mood for the rest of the day.

Posted by: stroppycow on May 29, 2004 11:23 AM

Hi Strop - In Brent there’a a mixture of both actually - there are stripes of mushy-pea green on existing roads - but also on pavements that are exceptionally wide. There is also space reseverved on the right of parked cars - just like you said. But since I’m not a cyclist (although I’m tempted) I have to admit I’ve never really cared enough to look out for the conditions of them. Your description of freewheeling down a hill makes it even more tempting! (By the way - the picture of the cycle racks is taken from just outside Ealing Broadway station.)

Posted by: Jag on May 29, 2004 01:48 PM
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