Written by Cycling, Politics

The Big Ride


Watch in HD over on Vimeo
Yesterday, I joined several thousand others riding around some closed streets of Central London as part of the LCC organised Big Ride. In the week before Londoners vote for who should be the next Mayor, this was a massive protest to ensure that the person who does sit in that office realises that this is a real issue.
Transport is actually one of the few things the Mayor has real power over. Most other things fall either under Parliament, or our locally elected councils. But cycling infrastructure is one thing that can be improved. And I don’t just mean painting a few roads blue. I mean thinking about designing roads and streets from the perspective of those who aren’t in cars. That’s actually a radical rethink, as anyone who’s ever tried to cross the road at King’s Cross might realise.
In the last week we’ve had the chairman of mini-cab firm Addison Lee busily back tracking on some of the views he made clear in his company magazine regarding cyclists. He also wants his cabs to use bus lanes, where taxis, buses, motorcyclists and of course cyclists already reside. He’s managed to lose a government contract over that.
But the point is that too many people don’t really understand that our streets are for all of us.
Anyway, I don’t want to get too preachy here, but do take the time to visit sites like the LCC or ibikelondon for more.
(Incidentally, I wrote “several thousand” above, because I’m really not sure how many people came. I heard rumours of 10,000 but I’m not convinced. It was awfully wet, and I know quite a few people will have thought better given the weather. Anyway, whatever the truth, it certainly was a lot of people.)