London Calling

'....yes, we ride fixies. It's pimp'

Today’s post has a bit of London-centric feel to it (if you hadn’t already guessed by the title and picture with rib-tickling caption). This feels a bit strange as I’m typing this in my home in Worthing to the melodic sound of nesting seagulls and an 8 month old boy who has reached the stage of Picking up Bright Object and Banging It Against Another Bright Object.

Firstly, the start up meeting of the Cycling Embassy of Great Britain is nearly upon us which will be held here. It turns out that Saturday 29th January is also the birthday of Mikael Colville-Andersen, creator of all things Copenhagenize and Cycle Chic. If he would like to attend, I may stretch to buying him a couple of drinks. Oh, alright, a couple of drinks AND a cupcake with a candle in it.

The Agenda is available here and our draft Manifesto and Mission Statement are also available for download from the Cycling Embassy website, so you may peruse and comment. The meeting will be followed by an informal chat and then an ‘Infrastructure Safari’ where we shall be taking in the delights of cycle facilities Transport for London style. The route is going to be the creation of Mark from ibikelondon (many thanks). On a related note, I am going to organise an Embassy field trip to the Netherlands later this year where we can go to Groningen and bemuse the locals as they watch a group of British tourists openly weeping.

Also, I would also like to remind Lo Fidelity Readers that have any connection with the City of London to write to the City before February 21 and object to the City’s local implementation (transport strategy) plan. According to Danny, scribe of the Cyclists in the City blog,

The reason is that the last LIP in 2005 resulted in only three submissions from cyclists with the result that, well, not much happened. So far, we’ve generated over 50 this year and want to encourage several hundred responses.

The City has the money to make a massive difference to cycling in London. But it’s transport plan is full of worrying compromise. For example, it undertakes

1) To ensure no increase in average journey times for car drivers (i.e. cars and taxis will continue to dominate the City’s streets)

and

2) That cycle infrastructure will be built with the needs of all road users in mind (i.e. forget improvements for bikes)

To my mind, this is a manifesto for car drivers, not for sustainable travel or safer roads.

Contrast the City LIP with Southwark, which explicitly states that car speeds will be subject to improvements for cyclists and pedestrians.

I’ve drafted a template which people can edit down and send to the contact names on this page here http://cyclelondoncity.blogspot.com/2011/01/go-for-it-register-your-concerns-now.html

A summary of the City’s transport spending plans here http://cyclelondoncity.blogspot.com/2011/01/spending-breakdown-of-city-of-london.html

And a comparison of the City vs Southwark here http://cyclelondoncity.blogspot.com/2011/01/southwark-vs-city-of-london-transport.html

Whatever your connection with the Square Mile, please send an email from your work (or play) address before 12 February and cc to cyclistsinthecity@gmail.com. Your input will be greatly appreciated.

For further writing on the subject, here is an article from the always sparkling ibikelondon

Get writing, and I look forward to meeting like minded souls from wherever you are on the 29th.

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11 responses to “London Calling

  1. Jim, you always make me laugh! (And where did you get that photo of me in my weekend best?!)

    To say I am excited about the foundations that are going to be laid on the 29th is a massive understatement, so a big pre-emptive thanks and well done you for getting the ball rolling on this ‘what people always wanted but were to afraid to ask for’ organisation!

    Best get out my cycling maps and crack on with that infrastructure safari methinks.

    Huzzah!

  2. “. . . a cupcake . . .” : [Insert Victoria Pendleton joke here]

    “. . . with a candle in it.” : [Best not go there, but I might pay to see that]

    • Erm, I’m definately buying tickets to the velodrome for the Olympics next year. But for the sporting prowess and skill, you understand.

      Funnily enough, even my wife has commented on the increased volume of Hovis products I’ve been purchasing recently.

    • Good question. As my bike has a chain guard, I don’t even need to have one trouser leg rolled up.

      I’ve requested a small area to be set aside and I’m meeting the manager ahead of the meeting out of common courtesy (as fortunately I have to be in London that day). You will know us from the overly keen and barmy, enthusiastic looks in peoples faces. Also we will be the ones with paperwork.

      Failing that, I shall wear a carnation.

  3. I’ll be the one that looks like a retired 4th Team Prop Forward (we are going to have a Real Ale section aren’t we?).

    • Pubs that have new decent cycling infrastructure may attract new business and thrive so it may definately be worth having a Public House & Festival Liaison Consulate. CAMRA may well come on board.

      (That sounds pretty good and not desperate at all, doesn’t it?) :-)

    • The last place I’d want to be is in the stoker position of a tandem, particularly where Ale is involved! In these modern Embassy times, we should embrace the cargo bike – excellent for transporting children to school and big children back from the creche :-)

  4. The stoker is non-alcoholic but for some inexplicable reason has total faith in my abilities (well she wants to get home). I’d probably use the cargo bike for transporting polypins from Harveys or something equally likely to lead me further down the road to ruin.

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