June 8, 2016

Rollin’ In London

Co-editor Gordon Price and occasional author Michael Mortensen send this from London.  It looks like “the gap” is a concern there, just like in Vancouver.

As Vancouver eclipses 10% mode share for bicycles [Ed:  for trips to work], we really need to keep addressing gaps in cycling infrastructure. Here, I am showing my mentor and friend Gordon Price how we roll in London UK where 25% of peak hour vehicles are velos. Gordon Price served for five terms as a Vancouver City Councillor and is currently the Director of Simon Fraser University’s City Program.

I ride to survive, but I ride fast because I can! Today was a slow ride (I gave Gordon my helmet!). I’ll add more pictures over the next few weeks to create a photo essay of what works, what does not work and what is missing.


10 Mile Trip Start … Richmond UK


Interesting finding storage for 7 bikes for my household of 4. Visiting London, Gordon is riding my trusty folding Brompton – absolutely indispensable for it’s sub-10 second fold-up, easy storage, and unrestricted travel on any mode of public transport. I put 7,000 km a year on that little green bike (with clip-less pedals). My 10 mile (16 km) one-way trip to work takes between 38 to 50 minutes depending on conditions.



Hammersmith Bridge – Tight Squeeze


Not a lot of room on Victorian infrastructure like bridges. This truck is giving this lady a wide berth but many drivers are not so generous. On the whole, I find London drivers quite careful and courteous given the small spaces they operate in. The heavy cycling population does force consideration though. We are unescapable (and faster) in any sort of heavy traffic. Bad drivers who cross cyclists will get caught (and hear about their bad driving directly!)


Kensington High Street Roundabout – Watch the trucks!

24 London cyclists died in spots like this in 2015 – most crushed on the blind side of trucks. Pedestrians are also a hazard here.




 Kensington High Street – Bike Lanes Help

They really do. But mind drivers pulling in erratically to pass. Delivery vehicles frequently plug up cycle lanes.







Kensington High Street – Dis-contiguous Lanes!



This is where you get squeezed! The left side is the blind side in the UK.





Hyde Park – Heavy Cycle Use – Royal Parks reluctant to give more room.


Park heritage and desire for a slow pedestrian environment clashes with heavy cycle use. The lane pictured below accommodates heavy two-way cycle traffic with riders in both directions simultaneously passing each other in the centre (c.60Km/Hr head on collisions), wayward pedestrians, and weaving, confused texting and map-reading tourist-cyclists.


Style is personal!

Some people take the casual ride to work quite formally!







End of Trip Storage

Always appreciated: safe, secure, roll-in bike storage. Places to store wet clothes. Air pumps. Missing: water tap (filling water bottles); bike wash station; repair stand with some tethered tools; basic supplies (Chain Oil, WD-40).


End of Trip – Saddle to Work



Excellent: showers, lockers, towel service, clothes dryer. Thankful to have an enlightened employer (office with c.350 people).

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  1. Hope you are having a nice vacation Gordon, always so much to do in London. CS3 takes you pretty close to a great Thameside pub, The Prospect of Whitby.

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