y o u b i k e l o n d o n; Gemma from Clapham Common

Name / age?
Gemma, and I'm 27
Where do you live / ride to?
I live in Clapham Common and ride to Kingston, along the CS7 and then I cut across.
What do you ride?
What is it? Um, it's a Specialized
Helmet or no helmet?
What's your primary reason for cycling in London?
To keep fit

Least favourite aspect of cycling?
White van drivers, but as a cyclist you just have to be aware of them and cycle in a comfortable position rather than blame them for having access to the road.
Most favourite aspect of cycling?
Freedom!  It gives you independence and you're always getting fit whilst riding around rather than being stuck on a train.  And it's cheap as well!
When you're out riding, what do you never leave the house without?
It's not lights, 'cos I left those at home today...  It's my helmet, I always take it with me, that and this rather cute bell.
What is that, a ladybird?!
It's a sexy, cute ladybird bicycle bell!
But it's orange...
..It's an orange ladybird bicycle bell!  I know, it's kind of a bit wrong.
And does it fend off the white van drivers?
No, not really, maybe I need a much bigger one, or one of those big bad air horns.
How many locks do you carry and have you ever had a bicycle stolen?
One, and none, but I am quite careful about where I leave my bike.  I'm very anal about that; indoors at home and locked indoors at work.
What advice would you give to an aspiring cyclist thinking of riding in London for the very first time?
Just go for it!  Absolutely just go for it, find a buddy who does cycle in London so they can go with you at first and empower you to start cycling alone, because I know a lot of people are afraid of traffic and the roads, just find a mate or find an instructor to do it with you a couple of times and basically cycling is just like any other thing - anyone can do it, and it's just about empowering people to be confident and to learn to love it again just like they did as a child - everyone used to cycle as kids there's no reason why they can't again!
If you were Mayor for the day, what would you do to improve the lot of the London cyclist?
I'd make the Cycle 'Super' Highways as important as roads, like cycle motorways so that people do get out of their cars, and people would get on their bikes again.  I'd separate the cars from the cycle routes and give them lots and lots more space - cycling for everyone!

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