Cycling News

BBC Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine to host London Cycling Awards 2014

We are pleased to announce that the host for this year’s London Cycling Awards is BBC Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine.

The award-winning journalist who was named Speech Broadcaster of the Year by the Radio Academy in 2011 and 2005 has been working for the UK’s treasured broadcasting corporation for over 25 years. His celebrated radio programme airs on the station every weekday between 12-2pm and is renowned for sparking debate amongst guests and listeners.  A keen cyclist in the capital, Jeremy has been forthcoming on issues surrounding safety and earlier this year filmed and documented his commute by bike with a helmet camera, highlighting some of the tensions that cyclists in London face on the roads.

On his appearance Jeremy commented: “I am looking forward to being among friends, hearing what’s going on in the world of London cyclists. I have fallen in love with cycling in our capital city, but every day I feel I am taking my life into my hands doing it - and that can’t be right.”

Ashok Sinha, CEO of London Cycling Campaign added: “We’re delighted to have broadcaster and journalist, Jeremy Vine, host the London Cycling Awards. Jeremy’s commentary shows how passionate he is about cycling in London and it will be an honour to have him in attendance.

The London Cycling Awards ceremony will take place on Wednesday 16th July at St Martin in the Fields, Trafalgar Square. Separated into two parts, the Consumer Awards reward excellence among brands, events and cycle champions, whilst the Project Awards honour initiatives and individual efforts within the cycling community. The general public are currently voting for winners of the Consumer Awards – vote now at http://bit.ly/1l3LiiA before midnight, Tuesday 8th July; the Project Awards are judged by an independent panel of cycling experts.

www.lcc.org.uk/awards
#LondonCyclingAwards  @london_cycling
www.facebook.com/LondonCyclingCampaign

London Cycling Awards Supporters

The main sponsors of the London Cycling Awards 2014 are Osbornes Solicitors LLP in association with Cycling Brand of the Year and Bike Blog of the Year.

The Cycling Champion of the Year Award is sponsored by Cycle Surgery. PlantLock and Green Roof Bike Shelters sponsor the Best Small Bike Retailer Award.  London Cycling Projects sponsor the Best Large / Online Bike Retailer Award.

In the Project Award categories, the Space for Cycling Award is sponsored by Levenes Solicitors. 

Bike parking provided by Cyclehoop.

 

 


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Enfield Cycling Campaign

Support safer cycling on Palmers Green high street  

   

 

Show local shopkeepers that mini Holland won’t take away their business. Join our ‘cycle cash mob’, spend a bit of money and show that people do also shop by bike.

12 noon Saturday 5 July

Meet at junction of Compton Road and Green Lanes in Winchmore Hill

Contact Roger: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for more info

 

 


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20 on the 20th - 20 mph limit in City of London from 20th July

As of the 20th of July all roads in the City of London, except Lower/Upper Thames St, will have a 20 mph speed limit. The welcome reduction in the limit (from 30mph) vindicates the long standing 20 mph campaign of LCC activists who live and work in the City. LCC’s CEO Ashok Sinha: “LCC has consistently argued for lower speed limits in London – a 20 mph limit in the square mile will help save lives. We welcome the City of London and Transport for London’s steps to reduce road danger in the heart  of the capital.”

 LCC’s mass protest rides over Blackfriars Bridge in 2011 made clear our call for a 20 mph limit and this year we welcomed the Mayor’s decision to trial 20 mph on  Blackfriars and other bridges.  Earlier campaigns, led by City cyclists, engaged in legal action to try and establish a 20 mph limit across the square mile.

All the relevant highway authorities are supporting the new limit. From the 20th of July Farringdon Road, the northward extension of Blackfriars Bridge  and Gracechcurch Road, both controlled by Transport for London, will have 20 mph limit along  with all City of London controlled Roads. Southwark Council has agreed to 20 mph on Southwark Bridge so all bridges leading to the City of London will 20 mph limits - a policy recommended, more than 8 years ago, by a report for TfL.

The City of London Corporation says the new speed limit has police support and is predicted to reduce casualties by around 7% - equal to 30 per year.  Fifty 20 mph signs are to be erected on City roads along with advertising on bus stands and hoardings.

A study published in the British Medical Journal has shown that 20mph speed limits are associated with a greater than 40% reduction in deaths and serious injuries for all road users, and can play a major part in improving safety and comfort for cycling and walking.


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Review: The Complete Book of the Tour de France

Book Review: The Complete Book of the Tour de France.

Fergal McKay

“Every Tour, every single day generates as many stories as there are people riding it.” Feargal McKay in seven hundred pages selects a tiny fraction of these stories, re-told with fresh narrative  and drama. For every one of the 100 races so far he describes the stories, strategies and scandals that best illustrate the greatest sporting event ever.

All the results are listed. Tables of day by day leaders, winners and their times. If you need sporting statistics they are all there. Further pages tell how many victories for this or that award has been won by an individual or country. Some names appear crossed  through, again and again.

The other four to five hundred pages make this monster of a book stand out from all the others cashing in on this year’s Yorkshire start of Tour 101. Dip into any year and find a special story. Did Bartali’s revival and victory in 1948 really divert attention and prevent a civil war in Italy?  In ’87, despite a civil war within his own team, how did Stephen Roche somehow win through against the other young stars. Also in that year British Cycling’s coach Shane Sutton led the tour for all of three seconds.

From the best race ever to the decadent and depraved more recent times, it tells the story of the race as well as the riders.  Trying to read of all the tours from 1903 to 2013 might take so long you could miss seeing the 2014 tour. It might almost be worth it.

 

 


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Islington cyclists protest over missing cycle track

 

Cyclists from Islington Cyclists Action Group, the LCC local branch, protested at Clerkenwell's unfinished and unused cycle track last week, as reported  in the Islington Tribune.

The 70ft by 10ft length of cycle track remains closed more than 10 years after it was built on the Clerkenwell road Faringdon road junction by Camden Council at a reported cost of £30,000.

It should have continued across Faringdon road into Islington but the eastern section has never been completed. There are traffic lights for cyclists at one end and a steel barrier preventing access at the other.

Islington Cycle Action Group campaigner Andrea Casalotti decided to draw attention to the unfinished path as part of his plan for a Clerkenwell Boulevard for cyclists. His "Space for Cycling" scheme calls for a route for bikes, buses and local traffic only.

"Conditions along Clerkenwell Road are extremely dangerous for cyclists," he said. "That’s why it is appalling to think that Camden started to provide a segregated cycle track and then abandoned it, presumably because Islington weren’t interested in continuing it.

"Since that small unused stretch of path was installed in 2009-2010 the number of cyclists that use this route has probably doubled. Up to 60 per cent of traffic on this route are now cyclists and we need to think about this as they do in cities in Scandinavia."

The Clerkenwell Boulevard plan was chosen as the ward ask for this  area in London Cycling Campaign's Space for Cycling initiative at the May elections. The plan would provide safer cycling  between Shoreditch and Fitzrovia along a  route where five cyclists have been killed in collisions with large vehicles in the  last eight years.

At the protest Islington's new Green Party councillor, Caroline Russell, said she was disappointed that the cycle lane had never been completed.

"Anything that starts addressing the traffic domination of our roads and makes them more people-friendly has got to be good," she said. "We understand we must allow for the city to function but a safe space should be reallocated for cyclists."

Councillor Claudia Webbe, Islington Council’s environment chief, said: "Islington Council is working closely with Camden Council, Hackney Council and Transport for London to prepare designs for improvements to Old Street and Clerkenwell Road.

"We propose to create high-quality cycling routes running across the south of Islington, including Clerkenwell Road, that link in with our neighbouring boroughs’ plans for new routes.

"It’s essential that residents and businesses have the chance to have their say on any planned improvements, and there will be public consultations when the proposals are ready."


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Driver charged with causing London cyclist's death by careless driving

On 15th July 2103 last year cyclist Alan Neve, aged 54, died after a crash with a lorry in Holborn. Alan had been on his way from his home in Poplar to work for the Performing Rights Society in the West End.

Lorry driver Barry Meyer, 52 from Walthamstow, has been charged with causing death by careless driving as reported in the Evening Standard. He has also been charged with not having the correct driver's licence for the 32 ton tipper lorry and driving with no insurance.

Alan's death prompted London Cycling Campaign to run the second protest ride in a month calling for Space for Cycling. The high risk road layout on one of the busiest cycle routes in the UK has been the focus of complaint for many years.

Since Alan's death and that of Francis Golding in November Transport for London and Camden Council have agreed to cooperate in removing the one-way system in this area which creates extra hazards for cyclists. As an interim measure cycling has been allowed in the westbound bus lane on Bloomsbury Way.

Mr Meyer has been bailed to appear in Highbury magistrates court  on August 5th.


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Cyclists Stay Back stickers to go!

After six months of persistant criticism Transport for London has agreed to help remove the "Cyclist Stay Back" stickers from cars, vans and buses.

This is a considerable victory for London Cycling Campaign and our cycling and transport campaigning allies.

TfL will:

  1. Ask the Fleet Operators Recognition Scheme (FORS) members to remove stickers from small vehicles
  2. Replace stickers on buses with a new agreed message
  3. Write to other fleet owners requesting they remove stickers
  4. Agree new wording for stickers on large lorries
  5. Issue guidance with the new stickers on their use
  6. Create a TfL web page with advice about the stickers

London Cycling Campaign with CTC, RoadPeace, London Boroughs Cycling Officers Group, Road Danger Reduction Forum and the Association of Bikeability Schemes met with senior managers at Transport for London to agree on how to stop the proliferation of the offensive Cyclists Stay Back stickers.

LCC supports the need for a warning to cyclists about the danger caused when large lorries with inadequate driver vision turn left and collide with cyclists and pedestrians.  The "Stay Back" message however is seen as a prohibition and has been interpreted by drivers as telling cyclists to get out of their way, with the implication that if a collision occurs then it's the cyclist's fault for not having done so.

The real solution for reducing the danger created by "off road" construction vehicle on London streets is to re-design the driver's cab as in the LCC Safer Urban Lorry concept.

This prohibition sign is particularly inappropriate on the vehicles whose drivers do not have the same difficulty as lorry drivers, such as buses vans and even cars. Drivers of these vehicles have direct vision of the road in front and to the side. By using their mirrors and taking care as directed by the Highway Code they should be able to avoid putting other road users in danger.

The next challenge is to encourage all those transport companies who have put "Stay Back" signs on the wrong vehicles to take them off. Both the Freight Transport Association and The Road Haulage Association have expressed frustration at the confusion caused by mixed messages and hostile reactions.

Working with Transport for London we will agree a new wording to give a clear warning on large lorries, they will not be distributing any more "Stay Back" stickers. We still recommend the use of the previous warning agreed between TfL and LCC. This is currently available from the RHA online shop.

 Other stickers are available

We also like the offer of a "Cyclists  Stay Awesome" sticker available to buy online via the Road.CC website.


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Prudential RideLondon 2014 - Get involved!

Prudential RideLondon returns this summer on Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th August; come and celebrate cycling with London Cycling Campaign at the flagship festival and true legacy of the 2012 Games.

We have been involved with the event since its inception; delivering led rides to get riders safely to central London, promoting cycling and its benefits at FreeCycle and feeding the cyclists taking on the RideLondon Surrey 100. This year we'll be supporting the weekend once again, and we'd love you to be a part of the experience too. Here's some ways that can you get involved across the weekend.

Volunteer

We need 100s of people to make the whole event a success and getting into the thick of it will make for some great memories. From marshalling our led rides, to giving us a helping hand on our stand at Green Park there's a suitable role for anyone who wants to get involved with RideLondon.

Volunteers on the Green Park stand need to represent and promote our charity and run cycling games on Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th August. 4 hours shifts available. If interested, contact us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

To be a ride marshal and help with led rides as part of FreeCycle SIGN UP HERE.

We also need to recruit 40 volunteers on Sunday 10th August to help give out food and water to the riders at the London Cycling Campaign stop on the RideLondon 100 – this will involve chopping bananas, filling water bottle, and waving flags to cheer them and motivate the cyclists. It's an early Sunday morning shift as we're the first pit stop on the 100 route but it's a great event to be part of – it is early in the route, so the riders are still fresh enough to be very cheerful, and there is a great team atmosphere at the stand.  

Volunteers will need to be there at 6am but should be finished by 11. Road closures will be in place for the route, but you should be able to cycle on the closed roads – if you are getting to the feed station at 6, then there won’t be any participants on it. Those who did it last year really enjoyed the early morning ride on closed roads!

All volunteers will receive a RideLondon t-shirt, cap, and a London Cycling Campaign pin-badge, as well as lunch and good company. We'll also be putting everyone's name in a raffle for a free place on next year's RideLondon 100 ride.

Email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Support Team LCC

On the 4th August 2013, 15,000 riders took part in the RideLondon 100. The 100 mile route made famous by Olympians in 2012, was not for the faint-hearted with some seriously tough climbs, but this was no match for our bicycle-loving bunch who all successfully completed the race. This year, Team LCC are part of the challenge again - you can find out who is on our team, and donate to spur them on through our Virgin Giving page - DONATE online or TEXT LDCC02 to 70070 to give £5 to help them on their way to their fundraising goals.

 


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Battle of the Bags - Carradice Camper Vs Carradry

Carradice of Nelson have been making bicycle luggage for some 80 years. The venerable Camper saddlebag is one of their earliest designs dating back to the fifties; the Carradry saddlebag is one of the latest. With the recent revival of saddlebags as the must-have in bike accessories we thought we’d run a comparison between an original Camper (age 50 plus) and a brand new Carradry Saddlebag. Both were tested using the SQR quick release seat pin fitting which eliminates the usual struggle of doing and undoing straps every time you put bag on your bike. The SQR main unit straps onto your  seat pin and a black tube frame, with carrying handle,  attaches to your bag. The quick release lever  takes seconds to operate. Weight:420 grams. Price:£30- not included with bag.

Capacity:

The Camper clearly has the edge thanks to its extendable long flap which gives a maximum capacity of 24 Litres. This includes the two small exterior pockets. 
The Carradry is smaller at 12 litres without the extendeable lid but increases to 15L if the lid is extended using the integral straps. It has a removable zip pocket inside and two pockets in the lid: one on top and a transparent one inside.
I stuffed an average sleeping bag into each saddlebag and still had space for clothes. Both bags have attachment loops on top to which you can strap a small tent etc. Don’t forget that the upper weight limit on the SQR bag holder is 10Kg.
Winner: Camper

Convenience

The Camper opens up quickly with a couple of traditional metal buckles . The Carradry requires unclipping two plastic side buckles and unrolling the roll-flap. You can save time by not using the lid but that eliminates the lid pockets.
The Carradry comes with a wide strap and strap loops  – the 50’s Camper has neither loops nor strap (you can attach one using zip ties on the corner straps). Modern Camper bags have rings attached to the corner straps to fit  a strap
Winner:Tie

Weight

The Camper weighs in at 920 grams , the Carradry is higher at 1016 gms. but if you remove the lid it undercuts the Camper by 100 grams at 807gms.
Winner: Tie

Water resistance

The Camper is made of the cycle tourist’s stalwart: cotton duck. The threads of this heavyweight cotton swell when wet to make it water resistant. Closure is by buckles and straps with a protective flaps in side.  The Carradry is made of glossy heavy duty PVC which is a waterproof material.  Instead of straps the bag uses a roll-top closure (popularised by the Ortlieb pannier bags) which prevent any water ingress.
We tested both bags in the rain, and in the shower for an hour. Both did well on the road surviving steady rain for 30 minutes. In the shower the stitching on the 50 year old Camper was a point of weakness (the manufacturer recommends a bit of wax every decade or so)  and water entered the Carrdry via the space beneath  the flaps on the covering the straps (something that is not likely to happen in real life) . Bottom line is that the Carradry is essentially fully waterproof short of immersion.
Winner : Carradry

Durability

After more than half a century of use the Camper is as good as new. The lids on the pockets have been replaced, and corners reinforced with leather but otherwise it is faded but solid.  There is no reason not to expect it to survive another 50 years.
It will take another 50 years to do the same test on the PVC Carradry. PVC fades but generally stays in shape unless exposed to prolonged sunlight.  
Winner so far:  Camper (over 50 years)

Style

Unless you’re a PVC fan the aged cotton duck look has to outshine the gloss of the Carradry. So much so that old Carradice bags change for hefty prices on ebay.  There’s also the weathered look of the chrome leather straps and the aluminium loops to consider.  That said, there were people at the LCC office who were magnetically attracted to the shiny PVC bag.
Winner : Camper 

Price

This is a simple one at today’s prices  £80, Camper, versus £50, Carradry . Back in the 1950’s the Camper would probably cost a few shillings.
Winner: Carradry

Overall winner –  1950’s Camper by a stylish  nose.


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Review: 100 Greatest Cycling Climbs of the Tour De France

Book Review

100 Greatest Cycling Climbs of the Tour De France

Simon Warren


The latest instalment in the 100 Greatest Cycling Climbs series, Simon Warren rides, photographs, describes, maps and profiles the 100 greatest climbs of the Tour de France. The jersey-pocket sized book is available to London Cycling Campaign members at the special offer price of £7.99. Visit the dedicated member's page (details on the reverse of your membership card) for information on how to buy.

 

 

 

This is the latest in Simon Warren’s series of books cataloguing the toughest, steepest and most beautiful cycling climbs – he covered the UK’s climbs in two volumes before venturing abroad.

The one page-per-climb format makes it perfect for flicking through when the fancy takes you, and this is a great book for inspiring wanderlust.

The selection of climbs is well chosen – all of the Tour de France greats are in there – the Alpe, Tourmalet and Ventoux included, but there is also a smattering of lesser-known ascents – crucial info for those wanting to escape the crowds and take the road less travelled.

Each of the French mountain ranges gets a section – and that means not only the Alps and Pyrenees, but also the Vosges and the Massif Central – which we found particularly pleasing having had some fantastic rides in these often overlooked bits of France.

The short descriptions which accompany each climb are both personal and pithy, but focus on the experience of tackling the gradient rather than the history or scenery of the mountain.  If we have a criticism of this book, it would be that the photos seem to have something of an obsession with tarmac – one close-up of the road surface on a hairpin bend looks much like any other, and it would have been nice to have had a few more panoramic shots – these are after all some of the most beautiful places in the world!

This is, however a very well selected collection of the best climbs in France – a great companion to watching the Tour de France, and the perfect size to slip into your jersey pocket when you set off for the hills. 

 

Charlie Game


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London Cycling Campaign examines Cycle Safety Action Plan

The grim faced commuter cyclists in the image chosen for the cover of Transport for London's Cycle Safety Action Plan highlights how far we have to go to achieve safe and inviting cycling in London. Riders on the type of false blue lanes condemned by a senior coroner all have chosen to wear helmets in the hope of some protection against the road danger.

The consultation draft was issued last week on the same day as that on the Cycling Design Standards. We have five weeks to analyse and comment on both documents before 25th July.

We will be looking for the "Systems Approach" as outlined in the Safer Streets for London plan issued last year (section 3.4). London Cycling Campaign has always called for casualties to be measured against exposure to risk. How risky is cycling per mile travelled compared to other ways of travel? Without such measurements the benefits of increasing cycling can be mis-represented in casualty data.

Rate based casualty targets for danger reduction.

The failure to set a rate based casualty reduction target can lead to poor understanding of the problems and poor prioritisation of actions to reduce danger. The draft Cycle Safety Action plan does address some of these issues with attempts to compare rates and commitments to better monitoring of outcomes.

London Cycling Campaign will be assessing the 32 actions in the plan for their impact on reducing road danger. For each action we will ask:

  • Does this reduce the source of danger on the roads?
  • Will this action tend to encourage more people to choose a sustainable mode of transport?

We welcome the focus on safer streets in line with the Mayor's "Love London, Go Dutch" commitment. The Action Plan divides the issues into six key areas:

  • Designing safe streets for cycling
  • Safe vehicles on our streets
  • Improving driver standards and awareness of cycling
  • Enforcement and delivery of safe cycling through the criminal justice system
  • Greater communication, skills and training for cyclists
  • Building knowledge and promoting cycling for all.


Charlie Lloyd, LCC road danger reduction campaigner, commented, "We welcome Transport for London's clear commitment to reduce the casualty rate for cyclists in London. Delivering safer streets, however, is a key element requiring urgent action. A far better analysis of the causes of injuries is required and too few of the actions really address sources of danger."

Use the comment space below to add your ideas on how the action plan could be improved.


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London Cycling Campaign welcomes new cycling design standards, but enforcement is key

 

Finally after years of waiting the London Cycling Design Standards have been published. This is Transport for London's guide for making our streets better for people on bikes.

London Cycling Campaign Chief Executive Ashok Sinha responded by saying:

“We greatly welcome the new London Cycle Design Standards (LCDS). We will be examining the details carefully but if the new LCDS genuinely sets the bar high so that everyone in London, whatever their age or ability, has the opportunity to cycle safely and enjoyably for all their everyday journeys, then it could have a profound impact.”

However, he added “a difficulty will be the fact that the proposed new standards are not legally binding, meaning that the Mayor will need to use his authority to ensure uptake of these standards – assuming that detailed analysis does indeed give them a clean bill of health.”

In terms of ambition, the rhetoric reads well: the consultation document says that “the overall aim is to plan and deliver a London-wide network for cycling that meets with aspirations for infrastructure that is safe, comfortable, direct, coherent, attractive and adaptable”. It goes on to say that TfL's aim is to plan not just for existing cyclists, but to “entice new cyclists onto the network” by making “better, safer streets for all”. This appears to signal the kind of coherent, London-wide approach that LCC has been calling for.

Emphasising the need for a London-wide, high quality approach, the document says that TfL seeks to “promote an integrated and ambitious approach to delivering high quality infrastructure for cycling in all parts of London” adding that “success will be measured by the quality of design outcomes – how well infrastructure performs in practice and the service level it provides.” 

The most impressive requirement in the new standards is the Cycling Level of Service assessment (CLoS). LCC has lobbied for Go Dutch and Space for Cycling and the CLoS scheme allows a measure of the cyclability any existing street and how well plans for improvement will work.

London Cycling Campaign has, for many years, been using a simple quick assesment tool to provide feedback on routes and super highways. This was developed into our Go Ducth assessment tool used on the more complex routes. The new Design Standards CLoS tool takes these ideas to a new level. Every street can be given a cyclability score out of 100 and junctions can be scored out of 36. Typical London streets score in the low 20s while average Dutch streets score in the 80s or higher. We can now measure how far we need to go.

LCC welcomes this recognition of the need to prioritise quality and hopes this means an end to the ‘blue paint’ approach that has so let down cyclists in the past.

We welcome the assessment tools but will still demand higher standards, particularly on volumes and speed of traffic mixing with cycling.  This is a critical factor in the CLoS measure but only the very highest scoring route will meet the 2000PCU at less than 20mph demanded by LCC members at last year's AGM. We will be lobbying for higher standards, to be expressed in levels of potential risk not just vehicles per day as in the draft standard.

The new guidance also has designs for a cycle safe junction. We will be examining this very carefully. Junctions are where there is most risk to cyclists especially under British road rules that fail to allow equal priority for all road users.

LCC will be posting a full analysis of the new LCDS shortly.


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