A typical London cycling death?

Woman and man cycling on bike path

Are women on bikes more at risk then men?

The news this week that a female cyclist has died after being hit by a lorry in Denmark Hill has brought cycle safety into the spotlight once again.

So far this year six cyclists have been killed on the capital’s streets – all six of them in collisions involving HGVs. Five of those killed have been women, prompting Edmund King, president of the AA to describe the collision which led to death of Claire Hitier-Abadie in February as bearing “all the hallmarks of a ‘typical’ London cycling death – a female cyclist killed by a tipper truck turning left”. Continue reading

So, why are there more women on bikes than ever before?

Women cycling in London - an increasingly common sight

Women cycling in London – an increasingly common sight

Walking down Kingsland Road in Hackney the other day, I watched a steady stream of cyclists go past me. They were a motley assortment: some in full Lycra on expensive road bikes, some in jeans on single speeds, and some on traditional bikes, baskets held proudly aloft. As I looked on, one thing struck me: there were about as many women going past me as men.

There are, or so we’re told, many more men who cycle regularly than women: around three men for every woman, in fact. But, as illustrated by my wander down Kingsland Road, this doesn’t match what I see when I’m out in London. OK, my observations are hardly a scientific study, but they do suggest that, at least when it comes to commuting by bike, the gender gap isn’t as wide as it’s made out to be. Continue reading

Of hair and helmets…and rain

Rain Cloud Symbol_tcm31-343767

It wasn’t until I was in the loos and stripping off my waterproof trousers that I caught sight of my reflection. It had rained, persistently and drearily, for the entire length of my journey that morning. Despite head-to-toe waterproofs, some rain had seeped through to the layer underneath and I was somewhat damp. My only concern was to get out of my wet clothes and into something dry.

Until that glance in the mirror I hadn’t given my hair a first thought – never mind a second.

Now, though…now it had my full attention. Continue reading