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

Name / age?
Andy, and I'm 34.
Where do you live / ride to?
Live in Brixton and ride to and from the City.
What do you ride?
It's a Surly Cross Check
How often?
Every day I'm on my bike, or nearly every day..
Helmet or no helmet?
No helmet.

What's your primary reason for cycling?
I cycle because I find it fun.  Any hill that I have to go up I know I get to fly down the other side.  That's fun, that's what it is all about.
What is your least favourite aspect of cycling?
I think at the moment it is probably other cyclists... ..I don't think we do ourselves any favours sometimes.  I have been known to go through the odd red light, but if I do it is when there is no one else around, but there seems to be a certain type of person who constantly goes through red lights when there are people crossing or it isn't safe.
Do you think it is a specific type of cyclist who does this, or is it endemic now?
I think it is endemic.  I think we used to point fingers at the cycle couriers but now there are so many of us and many of us seem to have picked up some bad habits along the way.
What's your most favourite aspect of cycling?
My fellow cyclists!
Ha ha
You roll up to the traffic lights on Monday morning and you're feeling a bit down, then someone sparks up a conversation... that sort of thing never happens when you commute on the Tube.
What do you never leave the house without when riding?
My lock so that I can have some security to leave the bike and be able to go and do stuff.
How many locks do you carry and have you ever had a bicycle stolen?
Yes, I've had two bikes stolen and at the moment my bike is looking battered so I only carry one lock. When it was new I used to carry two locks.  When my bike was stolen it was because I forgot to twiddle the combination lock...
Oh no!
Yes, now I'm a bit more worldly-wise.  The other bike was stolen, many years ago, from home where they just chopped straight through the lock.
What advice would you give to an aspiring cyclist thinking of riding in London for the very first time?
Go to your local bike shop, find out who is your local cycle trainer and get them to ride your commute with you.  If you are thinking of doing a commute get them to go along and give you the confidence to do it and under guidance you'll find out whether it is for you or not.
Lastly, if you were Mayor for the day what would you do to improve the lot of the London cyclist?
I think it would improve our lot as cyclists by looking after pedestrians.  If I were Mayor I'd bring in far more pedestrian areas which would then discourage far more people from using their cars and use a bike instead, but I think we have to treat pedestrians as number one in London.  We need more pedestrianised streets... central London streets could be a great place to be to go out and about but they're full of cars driving up and down, why is that?  There is no sense, and there is so much potential for a bit more cafe culture, nicer places to hang out, they could make Oxford Street a traffic free zone so that it is a safer place to walk and then maybe there could be provision for us cyclists in those measures as well.

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