Wheely good (groan) • 2 June 2007 • The SnowBlog

Wheely good (groan)


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Nothing like a good night's sleep and a picture-perfect sunny day to raise the spirits! We're going to go for a nice walk in Abney Park cemetery this morning (it's a nature reserve really, so is much more pleasant than it sounds) but then it's down to bizniz. Today I'll make a good crack at finishing off the layout of City Cycling. I may even come up with a suitable strapline to replace the not-really-very-professional one that you see in the picture. I'm very excited about this book, and I think a lot of other city cyclists will be, too. The Tour de France is coming to London next month; more people are taking to the roads on their bikes as traffic and congestion reach new heights; there is a critical mass of cyclists and with critical mass comes safety. Richard Ballantine (whose parents founded Ballantine publishers - good stock, no?) was the first, back in the 70s, to suggest that cyclists are traffic. This went against the received wisdom of the time that cyclists should stay out of the way of motorists. Richard suggested that cyclists should behave on the roads in a way which ensured their safety and asserted their right to be there, rather than hide in the gutter where it is actually rather dangerous. As you'll know, this is still, oddly, a contentious position. However, with more people getting on their bikes, there are getting to be sufficient numbers to tip the balance in favour of cyclists' position on the roads. Here's hoping our book - which covers cycling in traffic, maintenance, how to buy a bike on all budgets, and all manner of other delights - will help people to cycle well and safely. I've got to say, since I started cycling in London in 2005, I have hugely increased my love of London. It makes a big difference if you only have to go on the Tube or buses once a month rather than twice a day. Aside from the strangely firm muscles I have in my thighs, I get to see more, and - god - the time I save! It takes 15 minutes tops, in heels, to get from the office to, say, Centrepoint. It would take me at least 40 minutes on the buses or Tube, and it's far less pleasant. When I've finished the layout (it's stuffed with pictures and illustrations so is taking forever) I will post some pages up here - and maybe even give a few copies away for free!


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