Environment & Cycling

Boris & the Blame Game

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, has been criticised for what he said in a radio interview following the deaths of several cyclists in road accidents in London (six have been killed in November). He has widely been accused of victim-blaming and insulting the dead after suggesting – in the interview – that cyclists have a […]

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Thought for the day: Roadside Detritus and the socially-responsible cyclist

There are many things one can do on a bike that one can't do in a car (though the converse is just as true). For many, the delights of cycling include being closer to the sights, sounds and smells of the world around. If the pace is also slower and the journey less urgent, other […]

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Lancashire's Unchanging Lanes

An ancient lane on Healey Nab near Chorley, Lancashire ('B' on the map) I am not particularly into local history (I could be persuaded) but when you cycle on country roads, especially the narrow lanes that meander amongst ancient oaks and crumbling stone barns from years beginning with 16–, it's hard not to imagine how […]

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Carelessness, the sheriff's sentencing guidelines, and road justice for cyclists

There was some indignation recently over an apparently lenient sentence handed down by Sheriff James Scott to the 'careless' driver who killed cyclist Audrey Fyfe. The guilty man was given a five year driving ban and 300 hours of community service, prompting a successful campaign for the sentence to be appealed. The Sheriff will now […]

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Get Britain Cycling: "redesigning our roads, streets and communities"

Via the CTC I received an email from Jon Snow the other day informing me that the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group (APPCG) is aiming for 10% of trips by bike by 2025 and 25% by 2050, and £10 per person per year in funding for cycling. Those are the headlines of the APPCG's Get […]

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Cycling in the year 2040

The future of cycling (image courtesy of CTC) In 2040 I will be 92 and one year older than my father when he finally became too old to cycle. That is 27 years from now. Possibly, given that life expectancy in the western world is on the increase, I will still be cycling maybe ten […]

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Road Kill

I doubt if many motorists ever notice the sorry little corpses that are to be found along our roads. Unless the animal concerned is quite large I don't suppose that they even know that they have hit something. To a cyclist , however, their sorry remains are all too obvious. We are less than 2 […]

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CTC strategies, the parliamentary enquiry, The Times, going Dutch etc

Making Britain better for bikes (latest CTC Cycle magazine), Making Cities fit for Cycling (The Times Manifesto), 'promote the use of bicycles as a mode of transport' (All-Party Parliamentary Cycling Group), MPs launch a cross party inquiry into cycling (Press release) and the CTC Strategy 2013-20 are just a few of the things now happening […]

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Fast food but no parking

It's Wednesday so I'm at home. I'm not usually here on Wednesdays, but I have a mission. My poor Ruby Bike is hemmed in by cardboard boxes full of papers and stuff I have retrieved from my late brother's house. The weather looks dodgy, and his car is on my drive. Or I could take […]

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We didn't mean to go to Stevenage

An unexpected family issue needed my urgent attention in Stevenage. I could have gone by taxi, train, car or any number of modes. As Brown Bike had never been to my home town, but had heard about the marvellous cycle tracks, he was eager to go. So off we went.

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Cycling, signs and separatism

These are interesting times for cycling and cycling matters, at least in the national newspapers (for national read London-based). Several newspapers have recently added their weight to calls for something to be done about what is claimed to be the rising toll of cyclists killed on our roads, especially on the roads of the capital, […]

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The World Comes to Papworth

I've only been a patient at Papworth Hospital once, a couple of decades ago. In those days it was known as the best heart hospital in the known universe. My GP, also located in Papworth, sent me for an x-ray. (My left hip, if I recall correctly.) After I got lost in a maze of […]

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Laurier Avenue Cycling Lane

Cycling safety has been in the news lately. One cycling-related trial has just finished, another is about to start, and the province’s Chief Coroner has announced a province-wide inquiry into cycling safety. The City of Ottawa opened its first downtown cycling lane this year on Laurier Avenue. The city has needed this for a long […]

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Sky Ride Hull 2011

Just got back from the first Sky Ride Hull (not to be confused with one of those Big Skies Bike Rides) so a quick post and a few photographs. I did enjoy cycling round Hull city centre, and got a bit of a childish thrill in not getting a £30 fine for the pleasure of […]

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The Commute Part Deux…

... or How to cross the River Hull on a bike in relative safety: The Commute Part Deux (with apologies to Kern). I haven’t been enjoying my ride to work just lately. I have to get from the east to the west of the River Hull. On the route I usually take there is a […]

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First Year Free

Gosh, doesn't a year go by quickly? Katie's gearbox broke a year ago and I haven't driven a car since then. I've pushed through the problems of a broken hip. Even with the time off, I've cycled more miles in the last year then I used to drive. I've tried not to become a fanatical […]

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Cycling Mobility magazine

A new Global Journal Championing Cycling Mobility was launched yesterday: cyclingmobility. One of its articles was written by me: Where Less Is More, analysing highway design from a cyclist's point of view. I haven't read the final article as cyclingmobility is subscription only, aimed at governments, cities and councils, transport companies, consultants and industry. I […]

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Of Kissing, Car Traps and Hoggin

Inspired by Mick's semi-century, I tried to have a go. However, I didn't get out of the house until 11 am and wanted to be back in daylight, so I didn't have the time. That's my excuse. Besides, I spent a while exploring the delights of Cambridgeshire's Guided Busway. And my odometer has a manual […]

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2011 Transport White Paper: what's for cycling?

By Command of Her Majesty, in January 2011 the British Secretary of State for Transport presented to Parliament a White Paper titled: Creating Growth, Cutting Carbon – Making Sustainable Local Transport Happen. The launch of this initiative is accompanied by a Local Sustainable Transport Fund of £560 million spread over four years to 2014-15. Overall, […]

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Why soaps won't wash with me: a cyclist comes clean

Q. What do Coronation Street, Eastenders and Emmerdale have in common? A. They’re all soaps? Q. Yes, yes. What else? A. They all have a pub in which characters consume alcohol well above the safe drinking levels advised by all the health agencies? Q. Can you give me more? A. Er, they’ve all featured storylines […]

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Being car free

I've been car-free for six months now, counting from when Katie's gearbox failed. Things I miss: Comfort, especially being sheltered from the weather. Fast startup and shutdown time. The car took about 15 seconds. A bike takes a few minutes, including heaping on clothing, checking lights and tyres, strapping the crutch on and wheeling the […]

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Bike, camera, and Autumn

An excellent combination, I think. One thing my Canon G9 compact camera does well is capture colour, and Autumn is the time for colour, this year especially, as late summer was warmer and wetter than usual. October is my favourite month, not just because of the gorgeous foliage but also the sense of darkness creeping […]

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Traffic calming & Road Safety Audit chicanery

The Council's Highways & Engineering Department recently completed a road safety scheme in the main street of my local village. Most of it seems okay: building out the footways to enclose the rows of cars that have always parked along one side of the street. I can see how this makes it safer for pedestrians […]

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Politics of cycling policy

Out of curiosity I looked up "conservative cycling policy" on the web and read where the Conservatives stand on transport in general and cycling in particular. Under the heading 'Transport' they announce: "We will support sustainable travel initiatives, including the promotion of cycling and walking." Just like the previous Government did and not much happened. […]

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Dangerous cycling statistics

Apart from Mrs Taylor's crash in Holland in September and a few spills of my own when mountain biking I don't remember ever witnessing a cyling accident. Hilary's recent Post was a reminder that cyclists do get killed on British roads, as was the Department for Transport's publication last month of reported road casualties for […]

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An urban cyclist takes to the hills

In my part of East Yorkshire there are things we have taken for granted in the past, such as bouncers in city centre pubs and Lada taxis. The dodgy taxis are gone, although the bouncers probably remain – for all I know. But this is a sad sight, I think. Why on earth should it […]

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Vehicular Cycling (Bicycle Driving)

Until recently I'd never heard of vehicular cycling or bicycle driving. It seems these concepts are at the heart of a worldwide debate between cyclists who believe bicycles should have equal status to other vehicles on the highway and those who prefer them to be segregated with their own infrastructure. In the UK the CTC […]

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Regional Cycle Network Route 91: the Lancashire Cycleway southern loop

Amongst the signs and notices spoiling the green in the pretty Lancashire village of Rivington is one that points to the Lancashire Cycleway. I cycle past the route sign almost every day, and some similar ones further along the road to Adlington, another village close to where I live. I would be surprised if many […]

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How to get more people cycling

The Dec-Jan edition of 'cycle' – a magazine published by the CTC (the UK's national cyclists' organisation) – reports that the National Cycling Plan announced in June 2009 by the British Prime Minister Gordon Brown to promote cycling as a mainstream form of personal transport is unlikely to go to public consultation. So the CTC […]

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Cycling on the motorway (or freeway)

British round-the-world cyclist Ken Roberts has been cycling on the motorway, at least along the hard shoulder. This is legal, but not in the UK. It's legal in Bulgaria, which Ken has been crossing this November on his way to Turkey. The alternative was a detour that would cost him a day or more. Allowing […]

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You've gotta improvise

Got up this morning. Nice day. Torrential rain yesterday, Torr Ential. Hear that Cork is badly flooded. I'm retired. I can do what I want to. I'm going to cycle into town to see the floods. I live 2.7 miles from the centre of Cork. I cycle in by a route which I know will […]

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CTC vegan cycling evangelists

Last Sunday in the Campaigning & Public Policy section of the CTC forums someone started a thread titled: "It turns me off." The thread starter (OP) was referring to a Cyclenation Conference he'd been to in Nottingham, where one of the organisers, a Local Authority cycle trainer who'd laid on a vegan lunch, gave a […]

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