A human friendly version of Blackfriars Bridge

Blackfriars Bridge has rightly become a symbol for car-centric planning in London and the utter disregard of Transport for London and Boris Johnson for the real needs of cyclists in London.

The redesign of the bridge and the planned increase of the speed limit for cars from 20 to 30 mph has been annoying cyclists for months. This comes despite the fact that two cyclists died on the Bridge in recent years and many more were injured by cars.

Human-friendly version of Blackfriars Bridge.

Two days before the next demonstration is going to happen – another “flashride” on 12 October, 6pmLondon Cycling Campaign has  revealed an alternative proposal for the road layout of the bridge.

From LCC’s press release:

Urban planner Richard Lewis, who led LCC’s design team, said, “Our layout is based on continental principles, which eliminate junction conflicts that put cyclists at risk.”

LCC chief executive Ashok Sinha said, “Our visionary design provides larger and better spaces for people on bikes and on foot, but also retains bus and vehicle lanes.

“We hope these graphics stimulate debate among cyclists, pedestrians and city planners, so together we can come up with a solution that’s fit for all Londoners.

“Our city deserves to be a global leader in sustainable transport and liveable public spaces, not an also-ran.”

From my point of view, LCC’s proposal appears very sensible. If you share this impression, please join the flash ride next Wednesday (riders meet outside Doggetts pub at 5.45pm).

 

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“London Cyclist’s” ridiculous bike reviews

LCC's magazine "London Cyclist"

Having been a CTC member for more than a year, I’ve recently also  joined London’s Cycling campaign (LCC) which boasts to be “largest urban cycling organisation in the world”. I hugely admire their work.

A few days ago, my first issue of the LCC magazine “London Cyclist” arrived (issue February/March 2011 – not to be confused with the great “London Cyclist” blog) In general, it’s really an impressive, professionally made  product.

However, the bike review on page 42/43 really is a shame. My dear colleagues are discussing “‘urban cross’ bikes”. I don’t have a clue what “urban cross” stands for  and “London Cyclist” doesn’t bother to explain it to me.

The teaser of the article says:

“Taking elements from both cyclocross and mountain biking, the new breed of ‘urban cross’ bikes are ideal for commuting, touring, and light off-roading”

Basically, “London Cyclist” seems to talk about bikes for urban use. Commuting, shopping, going to the pub. They’re featuring four different bikes:

Genesis Day01 Alfine” (£ 999,99), “Jamis Bosanova” (£ 700), “Kona Honky Inc” (£ 1199,99) and “Marin Toscana” (£999).

When I was searching for the bikes on the internet, I was a little bit surprised. For the first three bikes, the Evans bike online shop is among the top search results on Google, and for “Marin Toscana cycle” Cycle Surgery is ranked very high. Pure chance, certainly. Important advertisers like  leading national bike retailers don’t have any influence on the contents of a non for profit magazine run by a cyclists organisation, do they?

But let’s look at the bikes themselves. All of them have drop bars. Two (the Bosanova and the Honky) come with very small tyres (28 mm). The tyres of the Toscana are 4mm wider, while the Day01 has 35mm. Only one of the bikes comes with mudgards. None has  rack or a hub-dynamo and lights.

Apparently, “urban cross” bikes are road bikes with disk brakes.

So according to “London Cyclist”, what kind of bikes do you need for getting around in London?  Apparently you need a bike that

  1. rides very fast (drop bar)
  2. needs very good roads without potholes (small tyres)
  3. isn’t prepared for rainy days   (no mudguards)
  4. isn’t prepared for carrying any luggage on their bike  (no rack)
  5. doesn’t need a reliable, always ready-to-use lighting (no hub dynamo)

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