Saturday, 1 May 2010

Cycling in the city

Yesterday I used the Brompton for the first time in about three weeks. I have been on the Trek since I got back from my holiday because I had been doing a lot of local journeys. Plus before I left I was aware that the Brompton was squeaking and I didn’t want to face doing anything oily. The chain is now lubricated and no more squeaking.

But cycling in the West End was a shock after Grenada. To suddenly see so many cyclists every minute was delightful then a little overwhelming. Then I realised when I tried to park and lock the bike that, of course, the weather has turned and the Summer Cyclists have now come back to the roads. Who doesn’t enjoy cycling in good weather in spring and summer! I look with envy at the blogs of LA Cycle Chic and Riding Pretty because they have good weather most of the time.

But it is not all joy in the West End at the moment. The London Cycling Campaign is highlighting the dangers of cycling around the ever increasing road works in the city. The video above is a route I often take and when I wrote recently about how difficult it was getting around the West End this was one of the routes I was talking about. On Oxford Street I worry more about pedestrians who think the road is closed to traffic and just step off the pavement at any point. When I can I do go around these various ‘hot spots’ but as I said road works are on the increase in London and there are very few clear roads.

Back to joy. I have new sandals, seen above, and I will write about them in the next post!


wee folding bike said...

Another common squeak is from the suspension block. You can unscrew it and lube with grease or skoosh some WD-40 on the pin.

Why is Oxford St in such a mess? When I lived in London 20 yrs ago I used to skoot down the wrong side of the road because the traffic was so tidal.

I only had notional brakes in those days, Weinmann side pull on steel rims. I put some of the new Brompton blocks on the front of my S6L last weekend. They are pretty good and I like the replaceable rubber.

No S2L-X last week, too wet.

hawthorn said...

I watched that footage of Oxford Street with a sense of horror, I couldn't do it......and I want to ride out more and want others to do the same, but faced with that sort of 'competition' it's not going to be easy.

Cycling in Heels said...

WFB. Thanks for the oil tips and everything is ok now. Sorry to hear about the rain.

Hawthorn, don’t give up. These days I accept when I am not confident about a particular stretch of road I get off and walk the bike on the pavement.

Joseph said...

I still avoid Park Lane, that would require a few too many Gin and Tonics to brave :S

Have fun, be careful, and it is great to see that you are highlighting this on your blog. Hopefully a coalition of London cyclist bloggers will gain media interest.

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness ! This is a suicide mission ! Here in Ostend we have good bicycle paths but there are still places where it is very dangerous and I'll try to avoid them. But always mind cars and pedestrians, and especially children.