Saturday, 28 February 2009

Cycling in the news...

I was rung up by the Croydon Advertiser to do a repeat of the Crap Cycle Lanes story of a couple of years ago, but I didn't feel I had enough new material to make a decent story. So to try and keep the interest alive I put the Advertiser onto Tom at LCC who passed them back to Jim. I had also mentioned that potholes were a very serious problem for bike riders at the moment, and the two came together to make this story.

Cycling groups slams Croydon Council over potholes

Perhaps I'll give the Advertiser a call when I've got some new material. If anyone has spotted new cycling facilities that have been put in over the past couple of years, please leave a comment below....


Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Cycle paths: Boris Johnson discriminates against outer London boroughs

Jenny Jones, from the London Assembly's Green Party, said: "We have a zone one cycling mayor who is giving far less money to the London Cycle Network in outer London, despite the advice from experts who tell him that four fifths of the potential new cyclists come from the suburbs."

Analysis of the money provided to the boroughs for the LCN+ shows that a total of 383 schemes have not been funded in the coming year, 260 of them in outer London boroughs.

Jenny Jones claimed: "The mayor would not be forced to make cuts in the budget for safer cycling schemes if he hadn't scrapped the plans for emission charging. Revenue from that would have paid for finishing off the LCN+. He has put the interests of the owners of 'Chelsea Tractors' above the safety of suburban cyclists."

Via Crap Cycling & Walking in Waltham Forest


Gorman saddles up for stand-up tour ...travelling by bicycle

Dave Gorman is to perform his first live tour in five years - cycling between venues.

The comic, who will be 38 by the time the tour starts at the end of August, will cover 1,500 miles over 32 days, performing at a different venue each night.

His trip works out at an average of almost 50 miles a day, and will take him from Lizard Point – the most southerly point in the British mainland – to Dunnet Head, the most northerly.

The schedule means he will play not only in 2,000-seat theatres but also 30-seat village halls, a barn, the odd hotel function room and a railway dining car. Not all of the dates in his Sit Down, Pedal, Pedal, Stop And Stand Up tour have been confirmed, but the schedule so far is here.

Gorman, who is described as 'not especially fit' is no stranger to bizzarre challenges, having previously traveled the world seeking out his namesakes, and in an adventure based on Googlewhacks, which formed the basis of his last tour in 2004. His new tour is a return to more traditional stand-up following his more documentary-style live shows.

Pity I can't join in... :(

Found on Real Cycling


Saturday, 21 February 2009

Motorbikes in bus lanes has made cycling more dangerous

From the Independent

James Daley: 'Facts suggest that letting bikers sidle up alongside cyclists in bus lanes is a recipe for disaster'

Cyclo-therapy Saturday, 14 February 2009

For more than a month now, cyclists in London have been forced to share most of the city's major bus lanes with motorcyclists – the bright idea of Mayor Boris Johnson who, in spite of his self-professed love of bicycles, seems to be doing everything he can to make life more difficult for those of us who share his alleged passion.

Allowing bikers into bus lanes has – as predicted – made the experience of cycling in London just that little bit more dangerous. One motorbike on its own is not usually too bad. But when you get a gaggle of them racing up alongside you – after they've being released from a set of traffic lights behind you – it can be mildly terrifying. Especially if you're trying to move out or change lane.

Until last month, bus lanes were one of the few sanctuaries where cyclists could shelter on London's biggest roads. Admittedly, we still had the buses and taxis to contend with, but given that the drivers of these depend on their licences for their livelihood, they're much less inclined to floor it when they see a clear stretch of road. Unlike motorcyclists.

Quite why Boris went ahead with this trial scheme is still a mystery to me. Why encourage carbon-emitting, noise-polluting motorbikers on to our roads, at the expense of eco-friendly, health-conscious cyclists?

Although bikers make the claim that such a move will help to reduce accidents, the evidence to support this assertion is still somewhat thin on the ground. What we do know, however, is that scooters and motorbikes are about 50 per cent more likely than cars to be involved in an accident which causes serious injury to a cyclist, and about 200 per cent more likely to be involved in an incident that results in a cyclist fatality.

Furthermore, a recent study showed that when motorbikes are allowed to travel in bus lanes, their average speed increases – with many travelling at speeds of more than 40 or even 50 mph in built-up areas.

These facts alone are enough to suggest that letting bikers sidle up alongside cyclists in bus lanes is a recipe for disaster.

Add in the environmental statistics (motorbikes emit 11.3 times more methane than cars – and an infinite amount more than cyclists, who emit nothing), and you have to question the wisdom of implementing such a scheme. Nice work Boris.


Saturday, 7 February 2009