Most of what Alberto and I love about cycling is getting out into the countryside, riding past farms, forests, thatched-roof cottages, thank kind of thing. But we live in London, a global city of 8 million inhabitants. For Alberto, cycling is pretty much his only form of transport. I tend to take a more mixed-methods approach. But we both do spend an awful lot of time cycling in the urban conditions of London.
|Autumn 2009, sightseeing by bike.|
|Look Mum No Hands! (source)|
Unfortunately, London infrastructure and transport policy has not caught up with the increase in cyclists. We have an upsetting number of cycling deaths each year, mainly involving lorries or other large vehicles. And of course there are lots more people who would love to commute via bike, but are intimidated by the busy roads. There are too few cycle parking options across most of London and too many bike thieves who don't get caught.
|Publicity from LCC's Love London Go Dutch campaign (source)|
The past week or so has seen the launch of two new and exciting campaigns in London focussed around improving the lot of us London cyclists. The London Cycling Campaign (of which we are both members) has launched it's "Love London, Go Dutch" campaign ahead of the mayoral election in May, which calls for London to create the kind of cycling infrastructure that exists in Holland.
Then there is the Times' "Cities fit for cycling" campaign which was launched after one of their reporters was seriously injured while cycling to work. This is perhaps even more exciting than the LCC as it's a mainstream paper with lots of readers who probably aren't particularly attuned to the difficulties that cyclists face. You may notice a new addition on the right hand side of the blog indicating our support for the campaign.
|The Times' campaign (source)|
London needs to be safer and more accommodating for cyclists. But in the meantime it's great to live in a city with such a strong and vibrant cycling community.