y o u b i k e l o n d o n; Alison from South West London


Alison.. like Moyet
I’m 26
Where do you live / ride to?
I live in South West London and cycle everywhere. One day I cycled to Hackney, then to Acton, then back home again. It was a whole nice day of nice things out and about by bike.
What do you ride?
I ride a Claud Butler that my friends got me for my birthday last year because my old bike – my favourite bike, the bike that was part of my soul – was written of in November 2009 by a horrible car driver turning right at a junction when I had right of way.

How often do you ride?
Helmet or no helmet?
Helmet... unless it is the summer and I’m wearing an attractive bonnet!
What’s your primary reason for cycling?
The primary reason is because it is the most practical reason to get around London, but there are many other reasons too...
What’s your least favourite aspect of cycling in London (other than that car driver last November)?
I think.... I think it probably is either patronising bike shop people (there are patronising bike shops that are nice, but who think you are coming in to ask to change a puncture, when in fact I can do that myself) or, it is the rudeness and inconsiderateness shown by some road users towards cyclists.
What’s your most favourite aspect of cycling?
The freedom and efficiency of it all.
When you are riding, what do you never leave the house without?
My lock is the one thing I never leave my house without. And a plastic bag for my saddle at the moment, there’s a small hole in it and a bit of sponge peeps out which gets wet and if I’m not careful I end up with mildewy bottom, which isn’t nice for anyone.
How many locks do you carry and have you ever had a bicycle stolen?
Two locks and I’ve never had a bicycle stolen, but I have had a front wheel and lights nicked before. I’ve had a debate with friends, after one of my lights got nicked, as to which was more important, a front one or a back one. I think a front one...
I think a back one.
Ah yes, but if I’m wearing a hi-vis jacket I figure cars can see me from behind, and I’m not necessarily as worried about cars in London as I am about pedestrians stepping out in front of me – I think it is more important that they see me.
What advice would you give to an aspiring cyclist thinking of riding in London for the very first time?
I’d say be confident, go with it, and maybe take a friend.
Lastly, if you were Mayor for the day, what would you do to improve the lot of the London cyclist?
I really like the City Hire Bike scheme, so I'd expand that.   I would say the thing I would like more of is better road surfaces – they should fix the potholes, the whole network.. one day is not enough!  There's so much to do!  If I could do whatever I liked, I guess I’d just ban cars – only buses and possibly the odd taxi allowed.  I love cycling so much I’ve written a song about it, as Mayor for the day I’d release my song with all profits going to cycling charities, it’s called “I don’t care for a car”.. maybe we could teach people to sing it as they ride around.
You could play on the Tube!

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Miguel Barroso said...

So, where can we download the song? ;-P

ibikelondon said...

That's a very good question!

Mountain Bike Helmets said...

I like her answer on your question: Helmet or no helmet?. Because she said "Helmet... unless it is the summer and I’m wearing an attractive bonnet!" and it's absolutely true! unless you're not wearing something pretty, make sure to still wear your helmet. Of course for safety purposes as well. :)

ibikelondon said...

@Mountain Bike Helmets As someone who sells helmets, you would say that though wouldn't you? ;-) Of course what is really the case is that wearing a helmet is a choice which adults are perfectly capable of making themselves - pretty bonnet or not.