y o u b i k e l o n d o n; Andrew from Ealing

Name / age?
Andrew, and I've just turned 58.
Where do you live / ride to?
I live in Ealing and cycle to the Tube station.
What do you ride?
My own bike to the Tube station - it's just a hybrid.  I use the hire bikes in town.
How often do you ride?
Every day for work, and I also cycle for fun at the weekends - last weekend I brought my bike in to town on the Tube and had a very pleasent cycle around the parks.

What's your primary reason for cycling?
I've cycled all of my life, it's good fun and it keeps you fit.
What's your least favourite aspect of cycling?
Car exhausts I would say, especially the diesels like the buses and taxis.
What's your most favourite aspect of cycling?
Well, I think it has to be the convenience.  I have a car but I have to get a tax disc, then insurance, then drive somewhere to get some petrol, everything is a real hassle just to be able to get around.  With a bicycle you just pick it up and away you go.  In town with the hire bikes now it's even more convenient.
How many locks do you carry and have you ever had a bicycle stolen?
I've had more bicycles stolen than I care to remember.  Now I have a big schackle lock, and a smaller lock for the saddle and the basket to stop people lifting that too.
What advice would you give an aspiring cycling thinking of riding in London for the first time?
Find some quiet routes, like the canals for example.  They might be hard to discover but you can cycle from West London all the way through and out to East London along the Grand Union Canal - there's no traffic, it's pleasent scenery, you see Herons and other nature, it's fun.
What could be done to improve the lot of the London cyclist?
Proper cycle lanes with raised curbs would really help.  For example, I worked in Copenhagen for a year and it's like a different world over there.  You've got dedicated cycle lanes with curbs that keep you away from the cars much of the time and where you do mix with the cars they totally respect you - you need that to make it universal, to get everyone cycling.  Plus, they tax cars really steeply over there and as a consequence cycling is the thing that you do - cycling is the normal option.

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Joe D said...

oh, I took this guy's photo before the CM too -- the outfit with the hire bike was awesome. I was hoping that he was a spy, Trigger Happy TV style, and that he and his contact had an elaborate hire bike based secret document exchange system.

ibikelondon said...

How do you know he's not, Joe...? Careful what you say out there!

I chatted with him for some time and he stayed with the ride all the way to Paternoster Sq by St Pauls and seemed to be enjoying himself. And was much better prepared for the rain as we rode through the City than a lot of the rest of us!