As my trusty Batavus Old Dutch and I were slowly grinding it out along the seafront against a biting, bitter 15mph easterly (something else we have in common – we both hate headwinds!) I was doing some more thinking.
The Governments approach to transport is like trying to cram lots of round pegs though a square hole. Instead of considering that there may be too many pegs trying to squeeze in together, or that the hole isn’t suitable, they increase the size of the hole so even more pegs can be crammed through whilst everything else has to squeeze in through the pockets of air that are left. If not as many people are killed and injured as the year before, this is regarded as ‘successful’ and ‘sustainable’. Repeat ad infinitum.
I then thought about some hilarious jokes regarding Moultons but I won’t share those with you yet, dear reader.
Anyway, tomorrow is the start up meeting for the Cycling Embassy of Great Britain. I have to confess, I’m very excited.
The meeting is to be held at Look Mum No Hands in Old Street, London at 12 noon. This is a new national campaign that I hope offers a bit of an antidote to cycling campaigns in the past. PLEASE NOTE that this is the start up meeting and not the official launch, which will have way more glitz as opposed to people agreeing organisational structure, strategy direction, website development, marketing and actions. The reason we will be able to have more glitz at the launch is because we are catering for the 97% that aren’t regular cyclists in this country that won’t want to clad themselves in ‘rubber knickers’ as a Conservative MP or a casual Scuba Diving fetishist might say.
The Embassy has also now been mentioned on this wonderful blog post from Crap Cycling and Walking in Waltham Forest. Freewheeler has basically summed up my personal thoughts entirely as we have both made the steady transition, not from integration to segregation but from integration to segregation and cycling streets and decent cycling infrastructure standards and frankly anything else that tames the bull in a supposedly civilised society. If Freewheeler can make it through the urban jungle that is Outer London cycle infrastructure, he’d be warmly welcomed by all. I shall be wearing a suit, maybe with a carnation.
Apparently Karl McCracken is providing bagels (home made and shipped from the North East, no less!) and Mark Ames (who sounds almost as well spoken as me) is providing us with our first ‘Infrastructure Safari’ where we go for a little jaunt around London seeking the best and worst of attempts to squeeze cycling around the more important modes of transport.
I will be doing more mentions in posts subsequent to the meeting as there has been some lovely support from lots of unexpected quarters, plus a technical review of the Old Dutch as by then I would have ridden it consistently 24 miles a day through very grimy coastal conditions and Central London too.
I will finish for now by saying that the Agenda is here, the Mission Statement is here and the draft Manifesto is here (prepared by our Wordsmith Laureate, Sally Hinchcliffe). If you cannot make it, but would like a comment or statement, or even an apology read out at the meeting, please email me direct on firstname.lastname@example.org
Oh, and a Happy Birthday to Mikael Colville-Andersen 🙂