Monday Bike Style: Bromptons Dwell here

I remember this pic in Dwell years ago when this couple were speaking about how Bromptons find a place in the homes of those where space however small costs 1000’s. And a brompton or two can fit in the cupboard. So in hour of my nifty (not used enough folder)


With most architect-designed homes, the program originates from the kitchen and main living area, but for Londoners Brad Smith and Brian Brennan it was very much what was not to be on show—specifically, their Brompton brand fold-up bicycles—that dictated the renovation of their 648-square-foot former coach house. The couple, who both work on the tech side of finance, bike to work each day, and they didn’t want to suffer the cycle-cluttering-the-hallway scenario that many city dwellers endure. Nor did they want to chance leaving the bikes outdoors; no matter how hefty the lock, a bike left on the London streets overnight will not likely be there in the morning.

Reblog: Maybe BMX riders are always kids

“I am a semi-pro rider but a professional track builder. I rebuild and service tracks all around the UK. I was servicing a track yesterday. In this country, the people my age, we are still the ones who were doing it when we were kids. You get a lot of racers who are in their […] – London bike killer lorries

I agree totally with him:

London’s Cycling Commissioner, Andrew Gilligan, has branded calls for a rush hour lorry ban a “distraction” that won’t save as many lives as protected bike lanes and safer lorries.
Responding to a 13,000-strong petition handed to City Hall on Wednesday, and following a unanimous London Assembly vote in favour of a rush hour lorry ban this month, Gilligan told banning lorries during rush hour may risk more pedestrian lives than the cyclists it could save, as well as causing an enormous backlash, and he says it is unlikely to happen.
This year seven of the eight cyclists killed in London died following lorry collisions. However, Gilligan said of 42 cyclists killed in the capital between 2012-14 only three deaths involved a lorry in the morning rush hour.
13,000-signature End Lorry Danger petition delivered to London’s City Hall
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The cycling commissioner told he feels a lorry ban would not be the best way to protect cyclists.
“I think it’s a distraction,” he said.
“I think the answer’s more segregated superhighways, better junctions, I think it’s the kinds of things we’re doing with lorries already to make them safer than they are now. It’s direct vision lorries – that’s going to be the next stage in the safer lorries scheme (link is external) to mandate that – and it’s general freight management activities.”
Gilligan says other tactics would include cracking down on dangerous operators, and consolidating freight movements so fewer lorries enter the city centre.
He said: “I think there’s huge scope for last mile services, for lorries to deliver to depots on the edges of the centre and for all the companies’ deliveries to be consolidated into one electric van.”
“At the moment you have vast numbers of lorries making trips for a couple of cartons of photocopying here, and a couple more there, and that’s pretty silly.”
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Where internet shopping has driven up the numbers of lorries delivering shopping to offices these could go to fulfilment centres at stations, similar to ones already used by online shopping giants such as Amazon.
He added a lorry ban would involve an enormous fight that Transport for London could eventually lose, both with businesses, and residents whose sleep would be affected if operators started delivering at night.
He said: “Even if we won… we might not save a single life because we might not get small reduction in the number of cyclists being killed but you might get a bigger increase in the number of non-cyclists being killed.”
More older people tend to walk after the morning rush hour, so it is sometimes argued they are more vulnerable to an influx of large vehicles at that time.
As well as calls from 13,000 signatories and the London Assembly, road safety campaign group, Stop Killing Cyclists, included a rush hour tipper truck ban among the manifesto pledges (link is external) it is asking of Mayoral candidates ahead of the London elections in May, which all five candidates answered either “yes”, or “maybe” in the case of Sadiq Khan (Lab) and Zac Goldsmith (Con).

– See more at:

Cycling makes up on 6th of all (Central) London transport

Transport for London (TfL) says bicycles now make up one sixth of traffic in the centre of the capital, with cycling levels in London are now the greatest they have been since it began keeping records at the turn of the Millennium 15 years ago.


Mayor Boris Johnson says that the figures show the need for infrastructure such as the two proposed cross-city Cycle Superhighways, due to be approved by TfL’s board this week.

According to TfL, levels of cycling on the city’s major roads, which make up the TfL road network, rose by 10 per cent in the quarter from 14 September to 6 December compared to a year earlier, and by the end of the current financial year it expects annual growth to have hit 12 per cent.

Last year, for the first time TfL began monitoring the number of trips made by bike within the Congestion Charging zone, and says that 170,000 are being made each day, with bicycles now making up 16 per cent of traffic in Central London.

It adds that between a quarter and a half of all journeys on some routes during peak hours are undertaking by bike.

“Last week I announced my final intentions for the new East-West and North-South superhighways,” said Mr Johnson.

“These amazing numbers show how cyclists are becoming ubiquitous in London and prove, if further proof were needed, why we need to crack on with catering for them.”

TfL said that use of the city’s Cycle Hire scheme had also hit new highs, with just over 10 million journeys made during 2014 – up 25 per cent on the previous year, and 5 per cent greater than in 2012, which had been the year in which the scheme saw highest take-up.

It added that the number of hires made at Waterloo station had increased by 12 per cent, which it said suggested “more people are now using the scheme as a viable commuting option,” and it also revealed that customer satisfaction with the scheme was at record levels.

One of the reasons for the continued growth in use of the scheme is its wider availability – now covering 100 square kilometres and with further expansion planned, there are also more bikes and docking stations.


Mr Johnson said, “Barclays Cycle Hire continues to grow in popularity and there can be no doubt that our trusty bicycles have changed the way people get around our great city.”

Tfl’s director of strategy and planning for surface transport, Ben Plowden, added: “Our aim is to make cycling an integral part of London’s transport network and to be normalised so that anyone can jump on a bike to get to work, to the shops or to discover London.

“Seeing these continuously record breaking numbers of cyclists in London is a great demonstration that our work to make cycling easier and safer, including unprecedented levels of investment, is achieving this aim.”

Even the pros make their own

When Alberto Contador visited London earlier this week for a meet and greet at Herne Hill velodrome, he remembered one vital thing: his mudguard. However this isn’t any normal mudguard, look closely and you can clearly see it’s a repurposed water bottle, a Tinkoff-Saxo branded one at that.

We can’t say we’ve ever seen a water bottle mudguard like this before. Correct us if you have. It’s similar in purpose to the Ass Saver mudguards, which fit to the saddle in the same fashion, and have been spotted in some of the wetter professional road races, such as Milan-San Remo last year.

We’re not sure why Contador hasn’t used a purpose built mudguard like an Ass Saver, and instead opted for the homemade approach? We’d speculate it’s the handiwork of one his team mechanics too, and it does look very neatly made, with the team branding central on the mudflap.

You don’t see this sort of homemade tinkering in professional cycling as much as you used to in the old days, but spot a pro cyclist out winter training and you’re quite likely to spot something non-standard like this.

So got some old water bottles going spare? I have and I’m heading out to the shed now to fashion my own mudguard – I’ll let you know how I get on.

double standards again for cyclists when it comes to other vehicles …

A London cyclist who gave police video footage that showed a moped rider kicking out at his bike as he passed him has been told that no action will be taken against the man in question because there were no independent witnesses to what happened.

here is the original incident



The incident happened on the New Kent Road on the evening of 16 January as Chi Yong La rode home to Greenwich from his job in the West End with publisher Conde Nast.

Riding away from the kerb to avoid potholes, drain grilles and manhole covers, he exchanged words with a man on a moped who was undertaking him to his left.

As the man sped away, he aimed a kick at Chi’s front wheel, leaving the cyclist struggling to maintain balance on the busy road.

“I was really shaken up,” he told following the incident. “I was really holding on for dear life, making sure I didn’t topple over.”

Chi lodged a complaint with the police, and sent them a video of the incident – like many cyclists, he uses a helmet camera so that in the event of an incident involving a motor vehicle or pedestrian, he has something more than just his own word to fall back on.

The full video he sent to police can be seen here (contains some swearing).

The letter he received from the Traffic Criminal Justice section of the Metropolitan Policer Service’s Operational Command Unit for the South East Region, reads:

I am writing concerning your complaint to police regarding the manner in which a motor vehicle bearing the registration mark GJ05FGF was ridden along New Kent Road @ 16:44 hours on the 16/01/2014.

I would advise you that it is the policy of the Metropolitan Police Service to investigate cases that have a realistic prospect of achieving a successful prosecution at court.

In view of the lack of independent witnesses to support your claim, we are unable to initiate proceedings on this occasion. However, the registered owner/keeper of the vehicle has been notified of your allegation and a record of the incident will be kept within this office.

Chi told us that the police response was “disappointing to say the least but I can’t say I expect anything more.”

One question the incident, and the police’s reaction to it, does raise is just how seriously they take helmet camera footage, and why that should be seen as less acceptable than independent eyewitness testimony, which can be inaccurate depending on the person’s recollection.

Another is that police regularly appeal to the public for help in catching suspects whose alleged crimes have been caught on CCTV, with no witnesses around, and where the footage is of much lower quality than that typically captured by helmet cameras.

In January 2012 we reported how motorist Scott Lomas was convicted of a public order offence after he threatened cyclist Martin Porter who was riding to work.

The Metropolitan Police only referred the matter to the Crown Prosecution Service after Porter had twice complained about their initial decision not to take action. despite his having provided them with helmet camera footage.

The fact that Porter is a Queen’s Counsel, making him more suited than most to negotiating the criminal justice system, is likely to have been a factor in the case reaching its eventual conclusion.

Black November – Cyclist road Deaths shoot up



It might be Road Safety Week, but for cyclists it’s looking more like Black November. Six cyclists have died on London’s roads so far this month, and elsewhere in the country there have been fatalities in Sheffield, Nantwich, Bath, Bristol, and Middlesborough. Active travel organisation Sustrans has called for action to stop the deaths, and suggested measures that would reduce the risk to cyclists.

The spate of deaths so far this month comes after a bad second quarter of the year. The number of cyclist casualties rose by 12 per cent between April and June this year compared to the same period last year and 2012 was the eighth year in a row that the number of seriously injured cyclists increased.

Sustrans policy director Jason Torrance said: “Urgent action must be taken by Government in light of the recent spate of deaths, to stop cycle casualties on our roads and to close the widening gap between improving safety of motorists and worsening safety of cyclists.”

The last few days have seen calls for action from many quarters. A die-in demonstration and vigil is being held outside Transport for London HQ on November 29.

The Save Our Cyclists petition has garnered over 30,000 names in five days.

But what sort of action is needed? The most widespread call from cycling activists has been for segregated cycle lanes that separate cycling from motor vehicles.

A Sustrans spokesman said: “We see segregated cycle lanes as a vital part of the solution to making it safer for people of all ages and abilities to cycle, however not in isolation. Together with lower speeds for cars, traffic free routes away from main roads or paths shared with pedestrians segregated routes improve safety and people’s perception of safety.”

The particular measures Sustrans would like to see include:

  • Creation and use of ‘quietways’- low traffic side streets as designated main cycle routes, as opposed to use of busy main roads
  • Street infrastructure designed for humans as opposed to cars
  • Greater adoption of 20mph zones as default
  • Better HGV driver training to deal with cyclists, possible ban at peak times
  • Adopt continental best practice, there’s no time/need for research- good quality methods are already out there

And mindful of the death and serious injury rate among cyclists elsewhere in the country, Sustrans says: “It’s a UK challenge, not just London.”