y o u b i k e l o n d o n; Suzy from Brixton

Name and age?
Suzy and I'm 34, not that a lady should tell!
Where do you live / ride to?
Brixton and Brixton; it's where I live and work.
What do your ride?
It's a girly Mary Poppins style Ridgeback.
And how often?
Every day!
Helmet or no helmet?
No helmet.  I've always got a flower in my hair so that's a primary reason why not(!) Seriously though, I think it's safer, I'm less likely to get knocked off my bike if I don't wear a helmet.
What's your primary reason for cycling?
To get me from one place to another.
What's your least favourite aspect of cycling?
Rain.  I still go out in the rain.  I have to tolerate it.  It would be nice if I could cycle to Scotland and back without it taking so long...
What's your most favourite aspect of cycling?
Being able to go door to door, it's excellent.
What do you never leave home without when riding?
A flower in my hair!
How many locks do you carry, and have you ever had a bicycle stolen?
One, and yes.  I kept getting bits of bike stolen until I gave up on it.... Although, people don't seem to want to steal my bike, maybe it's too girly?  I have a good strong D-lock and am a lot better about looking after my bike now.
What advice would you give to an aspiring cyclist thinking of riding in London for the very first time?
Do it! And do cycle training, I think it's very important and will make your riding so much safer and happier.
What could be done to improve the lot of the London cyclist?
EVERYONE should do cycle training.  Drivers, cyclists, everyone! Once everyone has experienced the view of the cyclist, maybe they'll be a bit more understanding on the road?


Anne said...

What a fun cyclist! She's like Dottie in Chicago.

My only quibble with this otherwise excellent report is: waah! I wanted to see a picture of the girly Mary Poppins-style Ridgeback, because I've never heard of that bike.

So I JFGI'd it, and it's a cutie.

Sue 'sans' helmet said...

'Suzy' sounds amazing and her advice that everyone should do cycle training is spot on! Any opportunity for motorists to develop extra insight into cycling & cyclists could only be good - sorely needed here 'Down Under'!!

Lady VĂ©lo said...

I like her style - awesome!

barneyharrison7ja said...

i think Suzy is an inspiration to us all and a total ledge!

lil bro`

Alice said...

"I think it's safer, I'm less likely to get knocked off my bike if I don't wear a helmet."

Can anyone explain this to me?

Mark said...

Hi Alice, sure... I know it seems like a crazy statement at first but there is actually some logic to it. The thinking is this; people don't really, as a general rule, fall off their bikes but are hit by other vehicles (thus when a helmet might come in use) However studies have shown that other road users are more likely to take risks around cyclists they perceive to be safe and protected ie wearing a helmet. The study showed that drivers got much closer and faster to cyclists wearing helmets than those that did not. Therefore by not wearing a helmet you are statistically less likely to be hit by a car which in turn negates the need to wear one in the first place.

It's totally a personal choice of course and people should do what feels best for them. Hope I explained that clearlyish!

BH said...

This "less likely to get knocked off... if I don't wear a helmet" statement is seriously misguided.

It's not just due to cars - pedestrians, scooters, other cyclists, at any time, especially on a wobbly basket bike you have a chance of coming off, and if your head hits the road it's the helmet that's going to take the blow.

People have to stop spreading the misleading results of this 'study'. Who would drive a car without putting a seatbelt on these days?

Mark said...

That's your interpretation of the study, BH, just as other people have others. As is, bicycle helmets are not mandatory in the UK (unlike seatbelts in cars) and therefore it's down to the individual to act like a grown up and choose for themselves whether they want to wear a helmet or not and decide for themselves whether doing so increases or decreases their exposure to risk.

BH said...

Good point about the seatbelts, and I absolutely believe helmets should not be mandatory like in Australia - it seems this only puts people off.

The way I see it, if you're out on London's roads for long periods of time you need to be as safe (and as visible) as possible - sadly I worry all too often about people as unprotected as Suzy when I cycle past them (or they past me).

Alice said...

Well I go by the mantra that if there's something out there that obviously makes you safer, for example if your head impacts the floor/car/lamppost, at least there's a layer of plastic in between it and your skull. I don't understand why you wouldn't wear a helment...

Anyway like you said, we're all grownups and can make a decision. It's just some listen to "studies"...(being a researcher myself, sometimes "studies" can't be that trusted....). If we all listened to studies we'd believe that doing ANYTHING causes cancer, for example....

Alice said...

For the record I don't wear a helment, I wear a helmet....

Elizabeth said...

l like this girl style love the flower and the coat.who say you cant look good and cycling at the same time