Follow, follow, follow, follow…

CS7 - no more than a strip of blue paint, and sometimes not even that

CS7 – no more than a strip of blue paint, and sometimes not even that

…Follow the painted blue line.

Now, obviously, the big news over the past week has been the announcement that the long-awaited ‘Crossrail for bikes’ will go ahead. But here at Cycling with Heels, I like to keep things old school. So, while everyone else has been getting excited over the promise of being able to ride across London in a fully segregated cycle lane, I’ve been getting my first real experience of the original cycle superhighways. Continue reading

Cycle safety – more than just red lights and helmets

Strangely, Boris has so far been silent on the issue of using mobile phones while cycling

Strangely, Boris has so far been silent on the issue of mobile phones and cycling

Oh dear, oh dear. First there was Boris and his comments about cyclists running red lights and wearing headphones. Then there was Operation Safeway, with 2,500 police offices deployed at major junctions across London to hand out safety advice to cyclists. And now traffic police in London have reportedly been given targets for the number of cyclists they have to ticket each month.

All this in response to the recent spate of people being killed or seriously injured while cycling in London. Anyone would think it was their fault they got knocked off their bikes.

Actually, anyone would – and they do. That’s the problem. Continue reading

How do I keep finding myself here?

From this evening's protest (photo credit: London Cycling Campaign)

From this evening’s protest (photo credit: London Cycling Campaign)

Two years ago, when the news broke that a female cyclist in her 30s had been killed at Bow roundabout, my dad says his first thought was that it was me.

My parents tend to keep their fears to themselves, so I didn’t actually find this out until it had been proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was alive and well – in other words, after I’d phoned them. Equally, while I’m sure the news this past week has had my mum lying awake at night worrying about me, I haven’t heard a peep out of them.

Because, let’s face it, for the parent of a cyclist in London, this has not been a good week.
Continue reading

Blue paint is not enough

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Call this a cycle lane?

Picture the scene. It’s a little after 11pm; you’ve spent the evening with friends down on the South Bank and now you’re on your way home. You follow, as you normally do when you’re heading home from central London, the cycle path that skirts past Angel. It’s unusually busy for this time of the night, but it’s been a warm evening so it’s perhaps not surprising that so many people are still out on their bikes.

As you approach the next set of lights, where the path crosses Goswell Road, you realise there’s something very familiar about one of your fellow cyclists. That mop of unruly blond hair, sticking out at all angles from underneath the rider’s helmet…it’s not…is it? You pull level with them, and glance to your right. Your suspicions are confirmed. It’s Boris Johnson. Continue reading

Here we go again…

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Boris…my knight on a bicycle?

So. If Boris’s vision for cycling in London, announced last week, becomes a reality, it will be nothing less than a cycling revolution. Dutch-style segregated lanes! Crossrail for bikes! Quietways! Mini-Hollands! De-Lycrafying! Could this really be London he’s talking about?

Indeed it must be – because no sooner had the plans been announced than the criticism started. No, not of the plans, but of us cyclists. A journalist was quoted on the London Cycling Campaign’s Facebook page as asking, “Now these new facilities have been promised, do you think cyclists have a responsibility to improve their behaviour?”

Sorry?

Why, now that we’ve been promised some major (and long overdue) investment into the cycling infrastructure in London, should I have a responsibility to ‘improve my behaviour’? I already cycle in a safe and responsible manner, thank you very much. Continue reading