Thursday, 17 September 2015

Free Cycle Marking Today at Shepherd's Bush Green

Free Cycle Marking today!
Today at Shepherd's Bush Green our local police are marking bicycles for free, binding a non-removable marker to your bike and adding it to a national register so that, if stolen, your bike can be returned to you. They are also offering a free tune-up from "Dr Bicycle", and an opportunity to sit in the cab of a heavy goods vehicle to see just how hard it is for them to see you.

"exchanging places" 
I was cycling across Shepherd's Bush Green on my way to work when I got pulled over by a policeman. "Oh no", I thought, "I'm in trouble now". But it turned out they just want to help me recover my bicycle in the event of a theft. And, since I had the front wheel nicked just a couple of weeks ago, and for once I was actually early for work, I thought "why not?".

"Dr Bicycle" inflated my tires and told me off for not using the rear brake enough (apparently the cables rust if you don't use them regularly), and then I was handed to a Community Support Office who added a non-removable stain to the frame of the bike, a sticker to identify the bike as being on a national register, plus a form to fill in.

I didn't have time for "exchanging places", which is a scheme where you sit in the cab of a lorry to see for yourself just how restricted the driver's field of vision is, and how hard it is for them to see you.
You can see him; he can't see you

But why, I asked the nice man from the Council, can't we have proper bicycle lanes, so we don't have to share the road with lorries? Well, he said, our streets are too small. "Not true", I replied, "Amsterdam has tiny streets, yet they still find a place for bicycle lanes". "Write to the Mayor", he said.

Perhaps I will. But I still don't understand why we can't do more locally. After all, both the Uxbridge Road and the Goldhawk Road have recently been resurfaced at great expense, and yet there is still no cycle lane, despite the fact that these are major arteries for cyclists coming in and out of London every day.

And just try getting up Holland Park Avenue on a bike - it's a nightmare.

So, Mr Mayor, if you're reading this, how about some proper bike lanes?


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