y o u b i k e l o n d o n; Max from Kingston

Name / age?
Max, and I'm 27
Where do you live / ride to?
I actually live out near Kingston, but I'm a cycling instructor so I ride pretty much everywhere.
What do you ride?
Sometimes this bike, sometimes a steel framed touring hybrid thing I have, it depends.


How often?
Pretty much every day, with the job, rain or shine, I'm a bit of a glutton for punishment.
Helmet or no helmet?
Helmet.  Quite a lot of instructors don't wear them, but I do, I don't see what harm wearing a helmet can do and I know a few people who have suffered when they haven't been wearing one.
What's your primary reason for riding a bike?
Because it's fast and because it's fun.
What's your least favourite aspect of cycling in London?
Probably not knowing whether my bike is going to be there when I get back or not.  I tend to ride the Brompton more because the other bike I have is quite rare, and if that gets nicked I'd be very upset.
What's your most favourite aspect of cycling in London?
It's the impromptu races you have with other cyclists!
What do you never leave the house without when riding your bike?
My cycling gloves, because the few times I have crashed they've been a really good hand-saver.
How many locks do you carry, and have you ever had a bicycle stolen?
Yes I have had a bicycle stolen, but it's generally because I haven't actually locked it - although this was never in London.  So touch wood I've not had a bike stolen in London, and I usually carry one lock.
What advice would you give to an aspiring cyclists thinking of riding for the first time?
Take your time, think, be observant and don't go rushing in to it.  I would always say to people give it a go, start on a quiet street and build up to busier ones, but I think if your road sense isn't that good or if you aren't very confident do go for lessons, they'll help you understand what is happening on the road and build your confidence.
Lastly, if you were Mayor of London for the day what would you do to improve the lot of the London cyclist?
That's a very good question!  I'd probably offer free cycling tuition to everyone for one day so that people who hate cyclists - certain car drivers - can find out what it is actually like on the road on a bike for themselves and see for themselves how it feels.  It's all about co-operation at the end of the day.

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6 comments:

Chandra said...

"That's a very good question! I'd probably offer free cycling tuition to everyone for one day so that people who hate cyclists - certain car drivers - can find out what it is actually like on the road on a bike for themselves and see for themselves how it feels. It's all about co-operation at the end of the day.
"

That's commendable!

Peace :)

Ben said...

How does one qualify to be a bike instructor?

Fan @ My Ordinary Bicycle Life said...

I was quite floored by Max's most favourite aspect of cycling in London. I mean, racing with others is probably the last thing on my mind when I'm on my bicycle! I was actually told off (though good natured) by a boy race for being too "relaxed" one the road. He also urged me to put a helmet on. What would that do to my hair?! Absolutely outrageous :)

For someone relatively new on bikes like me (one year), even though I now quite happily cycle anywhere with or without bike lanes, the cycle Superhighways definitely gave me that boost i needed to take the plunge.

Fan

workbike said...

I'd agree with the cycle training for drivers: in fact I'd like it to be a part of driver training.

And I'm not much of an impromptu racer either: Bakfiesten really aren't built for that sort of thing.

Duncan said...

Wearing gloves is right. You're bound to fall off now and then and it does less harm than you'd think, but one thing is for sure - your hands are going to get scraped up on the tarmac if you don't have gloves. Not so easy to find decent cycling gloves though, there used to be cheap and good leather ones with cotton backs, but suddenly they're all 100% synthetic. How green is that?

jessicabullock1 said...

i always wear gloves there good for protecting your hands, my favourite are the fingless mitts, i got some really nice ones from www.cyclexpress.co.uk!