CYCLED: 355 Miles REMAINING: 1666 Miles
MARCH MILES: 145 Miles
Raised so far: £952 (21 Supporters) To reach target: £1069
A pleasing month, in which I managed to claw back a reasonable number of miles, but still not quite the 180 miles/month click that was needed as the month started. March 2021 turned out to be a month with a very pleasant warm centre, but many of the other days required a sort of grim determination to ‘frappe les rues’. Nil desperandum – 75% of the year still to go and hopefully some warm cycling months to come.
While not rivalling the likes of Amsterdam, 21st century London is a pretty good environment for cyclists. Though Big Bad Boris likes to claim all the credit, it was Red Also Bad (but in a different way) Ken who committed to construct 12 Cycle Superhighways through London and to improve road access for cyclists generally. The 2012 London Olympics provided added impetus. In 2010, London introduced short term bicycle hire and today these so-called ‘Boris Bikes’ are to be found far-and-wide, as well as offerings from other hiring companies. By the end of 2018, Cycle UK reported that 172,000 persons were commuting into London by bicycle, while in January 2021 Transport For London reported a 22% increase in bicycle use in Outer London during The Pandemic. Certainly last Spring, when I upped my cycling as a permitted from of daily exercise, with strict stay-at-home diktats in place it seemed as if cyclists had taken over the roads. Sadly, for cyclists, the cars have returned in force with the accompanying car v bike conflicts. I will say more about this in a future piece but, suffice it to say, these episodes are some of the most worrying aspects of being a cyclist (and a car-driver) in London. Regardless of whether one’s perspective is 2 or 4-wheeled, one has to agree that it is an uneven contest and there are far too many injuries and deaths among London cyclists.
FEATURED RIDE OF THE MONTH
One of my rides this month was to Battersea to meet up with one of my Kind Readers, with whom I regularly ‘break bread’; during pandemic times literally and outside in Battersea Park. This is a ride that has, over the last few years, become transformed from a rather hazardous trip – through mostly solid traffic on City thoroughfares and then a hair-raising continuation on The Embankment – to one featuring adequate cycle lanes on Liverpool Road & Farringdon Street and then onto CS3 (Cycle Superhighway 3). For the cyclist the Embankment is no longer a horror show, to be avoided unless absolutely necessary; rather a Thames-side pleasure ride which takes in some of London’s highlights including the South Bank, the House of Parliament and Battersea Power Station.