y o u b i k e l o n d o n; Simon from Barnes

We're trying something a little bit different for y o u b i k e l o n d o n for the next few weeks - I asked some of my great Twitter followers if they'd like to feature here and answer our usual questions.  A great way to mix up the profile of our featured cyclists as well as introduce some of the readers to one another.  This week's interviewee is Simon who has just set up an online shop which specialises in bicycle lights, called The Bike Light Shop - check it out!

Name / age?
I'm Simon and I'm 48
Where do you live / ride to?
Barnes (SW13) to Farringdon through the Kings Road (apparently the hottest bike accident spot).
What do you ride?
A very basic 88 inch fixed wheel – I bought the steel frame second hand 7 years ago for £25. It has never been cleaned (I do oil the chain!) which makes it unattractive to thieves, and a surprise for the carbonistas...
How often do you ride?
7 days a week – I do my training miles at the weekend
What's your primary reason for cycling?
It's fast efficient transport in congested streets during the week, and I ride to compete at the weekends What's your least favourite aspect of cycling?
Pedestrians – they never look when they cross and are the sole reason for my spills over the last ten years. I have never suffered any real damage except bloodied knees and bruised extremities – and no, I don’t wear a helmet.
What's your most favourite aspect of cycling?
Getting everywhere for free and arriving when I want to.
How many locks do you carry and have you ever had a bicycle stolen?
In 35 years I have lost one bike (locked in doors at University a long time ago).  I have a number of D-locks but I only ever use one at a time (the wheels on a fixed are bolted), I think the trick is never to make your bike look appealing.
What advice would you give an aspiring cycling thinking of riding in London for the first time?
Keep away from the curb, keep looking around; buses and lorries are completely safe if you keep away from them - pedestrians are your biggest danger.
If you were Mayor for the day what would you do to improve the lot of the London cyclist?
I would plan to remove cars from the roads in central London – street by street over a period of time. No vehicles need to drive in Central London during the day except cabs, buses and emergency vehicles. Deliveries would only be allowed between 9pm and 7pm...  The rest is up to us cyclists to gain respect from pedestrians (by stopping at all lights) and learning to ride with bigger vehicles.

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