Autumn cyclists, Hackney

Following on from a previous post showing some Autumn cycle chic, here's some more of London's two wheeled finest spotted rolling through the streets, parks and bike lanes of Hackney...

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Boris Bikers: take the bus lane!

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Is it just me, or is anyone else spotting more and more older cyclists out on our roads?

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Flowers in autumn (who is the lucky girl?)

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London Fields riders.

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A whole family on bikes!

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Through a cafe window.

It might be getting a little colder, and ever darker, but it seems to me there still plenty of cyclists out and about who look set on riding through the whole winter.  Let's hope there are plenty of people out on their bikes throughout winter so that come next summer there will be even more riders to feature in a Summer Cycle Chic feature (how long ago those heady warm days of summer seem already!)

13 comments:

Philip Loy said...

The nice thing about your blog Mark is that it is a celebration of cycling as much as a critique of it. Watchful and critical citizens are important in a free society but your blog is well balanced with some nice features such as the pen portraits. Long may it continue!

Alice said...

Why, whenever you have 'Cycling Chic' posts, nobody in a helmet is ever pictured, apart from in this case an older man?. I realise helmets are not the sexiest choice of headwear but it is further adding to the idea of a 'lycra clad warrior', a them and us mentality. Not everyone that wears a helmet wears lycra.

Mark said...

@Philip Loy Thanks Philip, you're too kind. And of course it's easy to celebrate cycling because despite all the ups and downs of campaigning / critiquing etc it's always nice to regularly touch base with what makes it all worth it.

@Alice Thanks for your observation. I counted three cyclists with helmets on in the pictures above (the old man, the mother and her child on his little bike too) My pictures are nearly all taken in the Bethnal Green / Hackney / Broadway / London Fields area as this is where I live and at weekends (when I take the majority of the pictures) these are the cyclists which I find on the roads. I don't know if you've been to Broadway Market, for example, but bikes are EVERYWHERE and most people are cycling in their ordinary clothing, often without helmets.

I have no care as to whether people wear helmets or not - ultimately it is a personal decision - but I'm anti-compulsion and personally don't wear one. The whole point of my blog is to discuss how we "rehabilitate the bicycle" and to focus on everyday and ordinary cycling - that's why most of the people you'll see here are just going about town in their ordinary clothes. However, we discuss the 'helmet issue' every Friday with my youbikelondon interviews where ordinary Londoners get to explain if they wear a helmet or not and why.

At the end of the day if get a great photo of someone wearing a helmet I'll use it and likewise if they are not (see the cycling family above). I think I operate only slightly selectively and broadly represent what I see on the ground in my area. If a peloton of "lycra road warriors" tears through Broadway Market any time soon I'll be sure to snap them with my camera and feature them here :o)

Mark said...

Oh! I missed one! The tiny little kid in the child seat on the back of the bike is also wearing a helmet. So 4 out of 12 is hardly 'nobody in a helmet'

Clive Chapman said...

Helmets are a personal thing and shouldn't be made compulsary in any shape or form. Just like motorbike crash helmets back in the day in my opinion.

For info I wear a helmet on all of my bike rides both commuting and MTBing and obviously when I ride my motorbike.

But please give folks the choice!

There's far too much of "YOU MUST DO THIS THAT OR THE BL**DY OTHER!" 'cos it's the safe thing to do.

Throw the word SAFE into any argument and it's now taken as argument over. Let's have a bit of good old common sense operating here.

Ryne said...

or boy. boys like flowers too.

Anne said...

The autumnal mood of your photos is just gorgeous.

Thank you for sharing them. Makes me wish I were there. (OTOH, I'm here--which is also pretty nice in the fall.)

Gemma said...

One thing bothers me though... is it safe to let your child bike ride on their own in London?

Branko Collin said...

What a pity that the after such a nice display, the second comment has to be from the Church of Ruining Everybody's Fun, as they berate you for not putting enough uggliness in your photos, and for not making cycling look dangerous enough.

"Is it safe to let your child bike ride on their own in London?"

That is a good question, and if the answer is "no" then I have a follow-up question: what is the city administration going to do about it? (I.e. when is it going to ban cars---I read black cabs are a particularly pervasive nuisance.)

Anonymous said...

I wasn't trying to ruin everyone's fun, I was just making an observation. I believe in a person's choice to wear a helmet and don't believe in compulsory helmet wearing. I just don't like the idea that helmets are seen as geeky and unfashionable.

They're really good photos. I wish my commute was through a lovely park and not round The City!

ndru said...

@Anonymous
"Why no one in your pictures wear yellow scarf? Why do you make yellow scarf look geeky and unfashionable?" This is your logic. And while you might think that helmets are not geeky and unfashionable many people think so and others are not required to share and propagate your views. Moreover I think most people have something called common sense which allows them to choose, and perhaps not to buy into this safety craze.
By the way - really nice pictures. Keep it up.

Branko Collin said...

"I just don't like the idea that helmets are seen as geeky and unfashionable."

But what if they are geeky and unfashionable? I'd gladly agree to disagree with you---after all, tastes differ---but I am curious as to why you hate the idea of a certain taste, rather than the taste itself.

"this safety craze"

It is not a safety craze, it is an unsafety craze. The more helmets are worn, the less safe cycling is.

Unfortunately, it would appear that wearing a helmet can also reduce individual harm, so that we have gotten into the same sort of situation as medicine with inoculations. Because some people engage in what they believe to be risk-averse behaviour, they actually make the situation worse for everybody.

freewheeler said...

Alice said... Why, whenever you have 'Cycling Chic' posts, nobody in a helmet is ever pictured

It is possible, Alice - see the fifth photo here.

Incidentally everyone, cycling’s modal share in Hackney is a lot less than the local LCC group claims. The latest TfL figures for “Londoners’ trips by borough of origin: Trips per day and shares by main mode, 2006/07 to 2008/09 average, Seven-day week” give a modal share for Hackney of just three per cent. That doesn’t surprise me since Hackney is a crap place to cycle in, where the car dominates and the local cycling infrastructure is a badly designed joke.