Monday, May 25, 2009

Bikes in the News

Roger Evans on BikeAs we reported here Movers and Shakers had signed up Roger Evans as a community role model for cycling. Roger reports on his blog here and here on how his tuition in the art of bike riding is progressing. Note he is not wearing a helmet, unlike his boss at the GLA whom we will meet later.

Keith Prince on BikeThen the Wanstead and Woodford Guardian report [28th April] that “The new Leader of Redbridge Council has promised to get on his bike in a bid to keep fit and ease traffic congestion in the borough.” Except that he isn’t, Council Leader that is, and we expect more twists and turns than a twisty turny thing on this before he gets to be so, or doesn’t. Anyway he is certainly on a bike receiving tuition, again minus a helmet.

All this is to encourage people onto bikes. And there is a Bikethon coming up in Redbridge on Sunday 14th June for the Kids. Melbourne Field, 11am – 1pm.

Now we come to Boris Johnson, captured by CCTV on his bike and wearing a helmet nearly getting squashed by a rogue lorry driver in Limehouse. Reports that the driver was Ken Livingstone have been dismissed.

Here is the BBC report.

Now how do we make cycling safer? Here are a few ideas. Encase the cyclist in a steel body with windows. Add side impact bars, bull bars and airbags. To carry the extra weight we will need 4 wheels and we will need some help with propulsion so we will need an engine……


  1. Because I don't want to receive a ticket for riding on the pavement, I cycle on the road. I am very noticeable and I must say most drivers are very good. However, you do get the odd idiot who brushes by you and perhaps shouts at you. In my limited experience, there are two serious problems: the pedestrian who cannot hear you and crosses the road anywhere, out of the blue, without warning, without looking, and the driver who should give you priority and does not. I assume the highway code regulations apply to cyclists? Some drivers seem to think we have no rights.

  2. Thanks for pointing out the problem Anne.
    "the pedestrian who cannot hear you" - Has it ever occurred to you that rubber tyres make no discernable noise whatsoever. That is why the cycle-bell was invented. Not to bully people out of the way PC 2000 onwards – but to warn people of their imminent presence. AND:
    Road users should be aware of "out of the blue occurrences." Police manual for advanced drivers 1976.
    The slower the person - horses, people, cyclist etc. these have priority of the heavier faster vehicle.
    Highway Code - which is only a set of Guidelines.
    Ever heard the word Guidelines being groaned at at Meetings?
    Care, Consideration and thought for others goes a long way to curing the self-inflicted stresses of today.
    Richard Cooper

  3. Nice to see some of our councillors being told to get on their bikes!

    So where was the Barkingside 21 stand at Sunday's Redbridge Green Fair? Hainault 21 was there and the Peace Garden, the Green Party, a stand selling second-hand bikes and somebody giving away free energy-saving lightbulbs and energy-saving thingies for computers.

    There was also a young lady in a thong, covered in grey body paint, pretending to be a statue. I'm not sure how green she was, but it's given me an idea. How about holding an annual body painting festival in Valentines Park? Visit my blog to see an example and read about the World Bodypainting Festival in Austria. It's a huge tourist attraction. If Austria can do it, why not Redbridge?

  4. To Richard Cooper, with most respect, you would be amazed what absent-minded pedestrians do (of any age/sex, etc...)
    Surely you must know this if you either drive or ride a bike.
    Of course, I could activate the bell constantly but I would get repetitive strain injury and I could not use the brakes in emergency!

  5. It's always good to see a politician of whatever party on a bike.

    But actions speak louder than pictures in the paper, to use a very mixed metaphor.

    If Redbridge Council matched actions it would pay a sensible bike user allowance. Almost all London boroughs pay a mileage allowance to employees - sometimes equalling the car mileaqge rate. Very green and ecological.

    But dear old Redbridge ? It pays
    26p a day, yes, a day, to cycle users. Boy, I just don't know how to spend it.

    Come up LBR, how about matching the rest of London? It can be done.

  6. Coxsoft,
    we were all out on our bikes doing other things!

    Actually we don't do stalls as we are usually dispersed around on other stalls - like Greenpeace, LWT, Green Party etc.

  7. Hainault 21?

    Surely you mean Hanault Community Project?


  8. This was totally avoidable.

    Notice if you will the SPEED HUMP / TABLE that the truck travels over as it rounds the bend.

    My Guess is that it was THE SPEED HUMP / TABLE that unlatched the doors on the truck, allowing them to swing open and snag the car.

    I would be looking at the installers of THE SPEED HUMP / TABLE as the main contributor to this incident.

    Step Forward TFL, your "traffic calming policies" nearly made your chairman meet his maker.

    Time to review the unnecessary installation of SPEED HUMPS / TABLES.

    Maybe now it is really time to...



  9. I knew that the part a speed hump played in the near-accident would motivate Newbie to contribute.
    What is so interesting is that the part of the speed hump was totally played down in reports. The poor maintenance of the van, yes, the extra dangers created by artificial hazards on the road. No!

  10. Anne - Interesting to see that Apparently the disabled and infirm of walking don't seem to come into your equation. Sad to see your patience is low.
    B21 - perhaps you could sponsor Noddy-bells on pointy hats which would dispel all this PC C**p.
    Richard Cooper
    For RSC and Age Concerned.

  11. I'll remind Richard or Rep of Anne's words:

    "absent-minded pedestrians do (of any age/sex, etc...) "

    So, what exactly does does "etc" mean if not including the disabled and infirm of walking?

    Anne's patience, like mine, is tempered by the circumstances.

    But I'll sponsor a "Noddy hat" for you RoR anytime.

  12. Fame! My temperamemt is being assessed in public!
    What is concerning me a bit is that my obvious inability to express my simple concerns in a fully comprehensive way!
    Never mind, my drinking partners know me!