Very cold cycle into work as it was below freezing. I bought a (fairly cheap) high-viz jacket a month or so ago and it’s surprisingly warm considering it’s not all that thick. It also keeps out the wind which when cycling along the Thames (along Millbank) is really important as the sub-zero breeze coming off the water is really icy.
I’m noticing that at this time of year there are very few ‘normal’ cyclists around (by normal I mean ‘people like me’). Instead, it’s predominantly the hardcore cycling set. These are male, 20-35 who have all the gear and favour racing ‘road’ bikes. Also, and as an observation, if you asked me to state the ratio of male:female riders I see on my morning or evening commute, my estimate would be 10:1. Women just don’t seem to cycle anywhere near as much, certainly not on the cycle superhighways anyway. Instead it’s the ‘snowboarder’ set, youngish, sporty, lycra-clad, competitive men who cycle as fast as they can as if their lives depend on it. I imagine this is very different to commuting by bike on the Continent, in say, Amsterdam, Berlin or Copenhagen – but then – we know all that.
Anyway, I had ordered a fairly cheap ‘ding-dong’ old fashioned large, 80mm chrome retro bell online which came in today, so I fitted that at lunchtime. The tiny bell that my bike came with is too fiddly to be useful and as I work in the West End, pedestrians are a constant obstacle to deal with as they rarely look where they’re going.
Was turning lights on and gearing up to leave the office on my bike when one of the exec directors passed by me and asked about my bike. He remarked how big it looks (it’s a frame size large). I left with a colleague who has a folding bike, so yes, in comparison it is large!
Cycled from the office down a side-street only to hear a ‘clang’ as something fell off the bike. Slowed down and did a U-turn (luckily there were no cars on this quiet street!) and it turned out that the D-lock had fallen off. Whilst having been distracted by this senior colleague when I was gearing up to go, I hadn’t properly fixed and locked it to its bracket. Oops. A young couple picked up both parts and brought them over to me.
Very cold cycle home. The gloves I bought online (with a beanie) a while back are not any good below about +5c and this evening it was below zero on the cycle home. Will need to get new gloves soon as I could feel my fingers going numb.
Ding-dong bell worked well. VERY loud. It does tend to buzz/ring a bit (!) when going over bumps which may take some getting used to but that’s due to its size.
In not so good news, I read that there was a serious accident between a Boris Bike and an HGV today. Amazingly – and thankfully – the cyclist was not seriously hurt.