Get on your bike

Where to cycle_1

Some people cycle to get fit, some to commute and some just for fun. The My Journey Southampton website has a host of information about getting out and about in the city on your bike, improve your cycling skills and bike maintenance if yours needs some TLC. Go check it out for more info.

Don’t own a bike? The YoBike is now in Southampton. A large-scale dockless bike-sharing system offering riders a seamless, hassle-free experience. By using a mobile app, riders can find and unlock YoBikes at parking spots around the city and ride them from just £1 per hour. Find out more here.

The British Cycling website Letsride lists HSBC UK Breeze Rides for women and HSBC UK Social Rides, plus lots more information on cycling. Find out more here.

Advertisements

Terrorists don’t scare city cyclists. We already have to deal with cars.

New York Terror Attack

Eben Weiss writes how drivers are dangerous whether they’re radicalized or just oblivious:

After Tuesday’s terrorist attack in New York City, in which police say Sayfullo Saipov steered a truck onto our most popular bike path and killed eight people while injuring 12 others, many local cyclists took to social media to express their determination to ride the next day despite the horror.

They didn’t need to. Of course we’ll keep riding.

If there’s one group of road users virtually immune to being cowed by a lowly act of terrorism involving a motor vehicle, it’s cyclists. We’re reminded every day — through rolled-down car windows, on too-narrow roads, via social media — that we “share” the roads with people who actively hate us and that our interests (including safety) come behind theirs. Every one of us knows what it’s like to stare death in the grille. Daily riders have all had drivers aim their cars at us as if they were about to plow us down, whether because of run-of-the-mill inattention or out-and-out road rage. This reality is priced into our decision to ride.

Read the rest here.

Quad bike gritters deployed to keep London’s cycle routes ice free

quad-bike-gritters

Transport for London will keep cycle routes in London ice-free this winter by using quad bikes equipped with gritters.

The responsibility for clearing ice from cycle routes in the British capital is split between TfL and individual London Boroughs – including Cycle Superhighways.

“When a Cycle Superhighway sits on a borough road the council maintains and grits it,” a TfL spokesperson said. “When it’s on one of our roads, we grit it. Most of the Cycle Superhighways are on our roads.”

While the majority of the road network can be treated using conventional lorry gritters, the narrower lanes used for cycles are inaccessible to large vehicles. At 1.2 metres wide, the motorised quad bikes can fit into a bike lane and the majority of footways with ease.

Rather than using salt and grit, a substance called Pathway KA is used, which contains potassium acetate to melt ice. The quad bikes can carry up to 500kg of ice-melting chemicals.

A TFL statement said:

“Although there hasn’t been significant snow falls for three winters now, TfL and London Councils develop coordinated plans every year, alongside the emergency services, to keep the rail and road networks open and running in case of any severe weather”.

“This includes key arterial roads, cycle routes and footways around bus and railway stations, hospitals and police, fire and ambulance stations across London.”

“TfL and London’s boroughs will also ensure that the Cycle Superhighways and other cycling routes remain safe to use during the winter months.”

Jeremy Vine shares video of road rage

BBC presenter Jeremy Vine has shared a video of a road rage incident he was involved in last Friday while cycling through London.

In the clip below, filmed on cameras attached to Vine’s helmet and the rear of his bike, a woman blares her horn while driving behind Vine on a narrow street in Kensington, London. Vine stops his bike to tell her he needs to be cycling a safe distance away from the parked cars, at which point she gets out of her own car and confronts him.

There’s quite a lot of shouting, swearing and angry confusion before Vine rides off again. Later in the clip, the woman gets out of her car while stopped at a red light and confronts Vine once more.

Vine has passed the footage on to London’s Metropolitan Police.

Transforming disused Tube tunnels into underground cycle routes

genslerdisusedlondon0502a

The answer to making London safer and less congested for cyclists could lie underground, according to a leading design firm.

Gensler has come up with an award-winning plan to convert disused London Underground routes into subterranean cycleways and pedestrian routes.

The scheme, dubbed the London Underline project, has now been recognised at the London Planning Awards where it was named Best Conceptual Project.

Its designers say it would transform tunnels beneath the capital into vibrant subterranean streets, with shopping facilities, cafes and pedestrian paths running parallel with cycle routes.

The tunnels would be accessed via Tube stations and would be surfaced by kinetic paving at stations, which would use use footfall to generate energy, according to Gensler.

The designers say this would remove the need for the tunnels to be linked directly to ground level.

Ian Mulcahey, co-director of designers Gensler London, said:

“Now that London has reached the highest level of population in its history we need to think creatively about how to maximize the potential of our infrastructure.

“The adaptation of surplus and underutilized tube and rail tunnels could provide a quick and simple addition to our infrastructure network.”

Key routes covered by the tunnels would include the disused Piccadilly Line branch from Holborn to the abandoned Aldwych station.

It would also link Green Park and Charing Cross along what was previously a Jubilee Line tunnel.

If the scheme were successful it could also make use of empty stretches of tunnel at Stockwell in south London and Goodge Street in central London.

The designers added:

“With current pressures on London to cope with future transport capacity for pedestrians, cyclists and tube users, London is in desperate need for new types of public and community space, as well as affordable retail, commerce and entertainment spaces. Subterranean spaces present an excellent option for new uses.”

 

The annual cost of cycling

Cost of cycling

How much do you spend each year on cycling? Experian Experts have calculated the annual cost of the activity to be £917.

The survey though seems to be more based around Year 1 costs – and even those seem a little back to front.  Out of the £917 a year, £750 is spent on a bicycle – I don’t know many who actually buy a new bike each year.  My last bike was bought in 2004.

 

Other items included in the cost – helmets, a lock, shorts, helmet, jersey and lights – would also last more than a year in most cases. Also I would spend more on a bike lock and lights than they suggest, but then purchase much cheaper cycle clothing.

Experian say they used the average cost of a road bike provided by Evans Cycles combined with information from CTC to make their calculations. However, many people were quick to point out that cycling effectively saves them money as it reduces, or even completely negates, mileage in the car.