y o u b i k e l o n d o n; Nik from Bethnal Green

Name and age?
Nik, and I’m old enough to know better...
Where do you live and ride?
Bethnal Green, and I ride all around London.
What do your ride?
It’s an old Emmelle 12 speed; it’s a piece of crap but at least it won’t get stolen (that’s the theory anyway)
How often do you ride a week?
I'm a fair weather rider, maybe 2 to 3 times
Helmet or no helmet?
No helmet
What's your primary reason for cycling?
Save money, save the world, save my waistline.
Least favourite aspect of cycling?
Boris Johnson’s seeming inability to make London really cyclist-friendly. He’s not done much so far that’s new and really his idea.
Most favourite aspect of cycling?
Enjoying the outdoors and getting around quickly.
What advice would you give to an aspiring cyclist thinking of cycling in London for the first time?
Find a friend who cycles regularly and get them to hold your hand for a bit, get them to share their tips and experience.
What could be done to improve the lot of the London cyclist?
It’s about time London had better facilities for cyclists, like proper designated cycle paths throughout London, and paths that actually connect up; a proper cycling network is long overdue.  Better driver awareness in the meantime would help. Somewhere decent to park your bike securely at the end of your trip would be nice, too.


one-eyed bandit said...

Hello. As part of your questions I'd be interested to know
1. Do you jump red lights?
2. Do you push through traffic (and other cyclists)to the front?
I'm a (happy) cyclist. I'm just curious as to how many people are aware of their own cycling habits on the roads.
I found this article on the Guardian bicycle blog both informative and surprising: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/apr/16/police-cyclists-red-lights
Safe cycling!

Mark said...

Hi thanks for stopping by.

I don't ask about the manner in which people choose to cycle on the roads because their published answers could be used to implicate them in legal proceedings if they described their cycling behaviour as being illegal, regardless of whether said behaviour is right or wrong. It's a bit like asking any motorist to admit in the public domain that they speed intentionally... it's just not a good idea, despite the fact that we all do it.

I read the article on the Guardian Bike Blog when it first came out and thought it was less of an eye-opener about cyclists and more about the way in which they are perceived by some factions of the Police. Regarding anti-social cycling I think this article from the same blog is equally engaging:http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/green-living-blog/2009/nov/19/antisocial-cycling



Anne said...

I love your Friday feature. Always look forward to it. Nick may be unwilling to confess his age, but I can assure him that I'm way, way older!

I'm eying all those hundreds of bikes in the background of Nik's photo, and wondering if that's a university bike-parking facility or something.

Mark said...

Great to hear from you Anne! I'm glad you enjoy our Friday interviews , they are good fun to write. The photo is actually in Cambridge, which is the UK's most cycle-friendly city - it was taken at their train station and shows just a small portion of the cycle parking there - it really is like the Netherlands!