You shouldn’t need to be a stunt rider to get to work

Great video and the message rings true after a “cycling on constant red alert” journey home.

As usual it came as little surprise that 95% or so of my fellow cyclists this evening were the usual MAMILs (middle-aged men in [one-piece] Lycra). Do you enjoy off-piste skiing and bungee jumping? If you picture ‘the type’ you’ll start to get a good idea of the sort of person I’m talking about. It isn’t a criticism, it’s a social observation of how niche the primary group of cyclists in this city is. I don’t have anything against ‘enthusiast’ prosumer cyclists with all the gear, I just bemoan the fact that ‘ordinary’ (said in large quotes) Londoners do not cycle (because, as we know – they don’t feel safe). That was me for the past 10 years until I became stubborn and foolhardy.

Tonight’s escapades included:

  • The usual red-light jumping by cyclists on Victoria Embankment as I turn right onto said road as I descend from the Strand via Savoy Street. I don’t especially blame people (at this junction) because the feeling is that it will be safer to get ahead of the fast cars before the lights change
  • Heavy traffic along Victoria Embankment with constant weaving in and out by cyclists and motorcyclists vying for space.
  • Entirety of the (actually quite large) ASL box at Victoria Embankment/Bridge Street invaded by two cars – one of which goes on to hoot at cyclists as the lights go green and people turn right heading down to Parliament Square.
  • The usual snarl up along the CS8 Cycle Superhighway at the junction of Vauxhall Bridge Road and Millbank. Vehicles invade (in fairness, they have absolutely NO choice) the blue cycle lane as they wish to turn left to go over the bridge and south. This includes buses which are hard to get around when, again, you have motorbikes vying to push through to the front.

Very, very few people ought to be so naive or so foolish as to believe that Cycle Superhighways represent some kind of ‘safe passage’ for cyclists. They don’t.

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