About

I’d like to see more people riding bicycles in Britain.

I used to be a relentless optimist, holding the belief that cycling is just such a naturally brilliant way of getting around that, sooner or later, everyone else is going to realize it, and leap onto the bicycles that are gathering cobwebs in their garages. Maybe it would also take congestion getting worse, or the cost of motoring to increase, or a little bit of positive gloss about how cycling is wonderful, or just enough people taking up cycling to tip us over the edge, to create a presence on the road – but, in short, I thought it would happen all by itself.

I’ve changed my mind.

I think, more realistically, we should listen to the reasons people give when they say why they don’t cycle. Like the fact that it’s not often convenient to use a bicycle, compared to using a car. Like the fact it’s not really very safe, compared to a car.

People are not stupid. They will vote with their feet – or more accurately, wheels. The current rather pitiful modal share of the bicycle in Britain is a direct natural consequence of the relative attractiveness of cycling, compared to driving, as a way of getting about. It is not a consequence of ignorance about how wonderful cycling actually is. It’s time we faced up to reality.

67 Responses to About

  1. thecyclingjim says:

    Hello chap!

    Sorry to contact you this way but I believe you stupidly stated that you may like to help where you can with regards CEoGB. As a fairly frequent visitor to Horsham and its environs, it’s apparent that from a cycling perspective we need all the help we can get! Please feel free to email me directly on thecyclingjim [at] gmail [dot] com.

    Best wishes

    Jim Davis

  2. Kim says:

    Could we have a RSS feed please?

  3. Mark Strong says:

    Hi!
    As the consultant who produced the Horsham Cycling Study (not to mention Southwater!) perhaps it’s time we made contact… It’s good to talk🙂

    PS I’m @Ibikebrighton as well.

    Mark

  4. Hello there, I’d really like to get in touch about the cycling and eco development posts…and anyone else with feelings about this. I hope to follow it up with policy makers and designers in RUDI.net’s next publication, and in our next event

  5. Hi- I’m working on Glasgow’s Bicycle Boom events (http://www.thearches.co.uk/events/arts/elidh-macaskill-bicycle-boom). Be great if you could email me on ruth_marsh@yahoo.co.uk if you’re interested in finding out more. Cheers, Ruth

  6. James says:

    Dear “Aseasyas..” Please could you mail me a name so I can cite you in some University work that I am doing connected with shared streets, I am interested in how you made your points and from what background you come from.
    Whilst I do not agree with all of your views, but appreciate that you try to put them across fairly, I have found some of the examples of where this utopian idea has not worked some great food for thought – especially Byng place – which appears to be a disaster!
    Oddly I tried to have a mini-roundabout intsalled where I live in Godalming and harrassed Jeremy Hunt- our local MP- so much that the County council did something, sadly they just wasted about £100K on a “traffic calming platform” rather than a slightly awkward mini roundabout. This has done NOTHING to slow any yuppy in a rangerover down, it is still almost impossible to cross safely and I still take my life in my hands when crossing on a bike.
    So, I have my own small example of authority soft soaping us and wasting our money to boot!
    I do think some shared/ skinny/ queing streets can work, but only in carefully thought out circumstances and not as a general traffic pancea- too simplistic by half!
    Thanks James
    jcoope@guildford.ac.uk

  7. eriksandblom says:

    I love your masthead photo of the cyclist almost made invisible from the glare of the motorists’ headlights. To me it illustrates how much of the safety devices people expect cyclists to use are just an arms race which cyclists will always lose.

  8. Dave du Feu says:

    Would like to use a photo from your blog for a spokes factsheet on child cycling. Can you send email address, thanks.

  9. Rob McGowan says:

    Hi, I have been inspired by some of your photos of improvements to Horsham’s public realm (East Street?) and I would like to see some of Eastbourne’s historic and traffic-choked town-centre streets dedicated to pedestrians and cyclists in the same way. Do you know any of the planners who were involved? If so, could you pass on an e-mail address – I would love to invite them to talk to the powers that be here and at East Sussex County Council.
    Thanks!
    Robert McGowan

  10. G says:

    Hello! I’m working for CTC, the national cycling charity as part of the PR team. I see you’ve been in contact with some of our guys. Would you please notify me of your email address so that I can directly send you materials of interest? Thanks.

  11. gonecycling says:

    Just found your blog – a fascinating read. I’m over the county boundary in Uckfield, and would be delighted to give you a tour of our extensive cycling facilities if you have a couple of nanoseconds to spare! We’re currently fighting Wealden District Council’s plans to drop 1,000 new houses on greenfield land to the south-west of the town: East Sussex County Council’s associated infrastructure plans (http://www.eastsussex.gov.uk/yourcouncil/consultation/2012/improveuckfield/default.htm) merely add insult to injury. Anyway, thanks for reminding me that I’m not alone.

  12. Bojun says:

    Got an email I can contact you on?

  13. Philip Wallbridge says:

    Interesting article on the BBC about “Why you really hate cyclists”. According to twitter it says it’s not available in the UK. If this is the case and you’d like to read it let me know and I can pdf it and send it to you.

    http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20130212-why-you-really-hate-cyclists/1

  14. Hi,

    We’re putting together a cycling strategy for our area and we’ve used some pictures from this page in it – http://elycycle.org.uk/strategy/ – hope that’s OK, let us know if it’s not.

    Andy

  15. Chloe says:

    We would like to invite you to our brand new event happening this May bank holiday, do you have a email address i could get in touch with? Thanks Spin London

  16. Anthony says:

    Hi ‘As Easy As…’

    Could you e-mail me your name so that I can cite you in my dissertation? It’s regarding the dangers of Shared Space and you raise many interesting points.

    Thank you🙂

  17. Mark Waite says:

    Hello. I’d like to connect up with you offline. Can you send me your email address?

  18. Annie says:

    Hello, you’re blog is so interesting! I’d love to email you a few questions for a feature i’m writing for a website about to be launched. I’m writing about cycling in London, it would be great to get a quote from you about what you think are the main points that need still improving in order to bring us closer to the great dutch cycling cities.

  19. Ash says:

    Hello
    I would like to use one of the images on the “Lessons from Exhibition Road” page in a publication that I am producing and would greatly appreciate it if you could contact me at TAL [at] dft.gsi.gov.uk to discuss permission to reproduce etc.
    With thanks
    Ash

  20. paul gannon says:

    Hi, can you point me to the post you did a while ago about gyratory systems? Thanks Paul
    PS excellent blog

  21. Philip Sheikh says:

    Hey!

    Loving the blog by the way…I would really appreciate if we can get in touch and discuss cycling in London. Please contact me on ps@nanoprotech.co.uk and I would be glad to contact you.

    Regards,
    Philip Sheikh

  22. Vicki says:

    Inspired by other blogs, I’m having a go at sharing my experiences in London, on a bike, too. Thanks!

  23. Kentishman says:

    Enjoy the blog. Re the diversion to CS5 via Pimlico – can be a nightmare through there of a morning – regularly cars take me on braking as I cycle quickly off Vauxhall Bridge Road and then cut across the green strip slower than I take the corner. Also am still fuming CS5 doesn’t take us through the New Cross area – TFL lost its bottle here.

  24. Rachel says:

    Hello,
    How do we get in contact with you via email?
    Thanks!

  25. Pingback: Die-In and Vigil at TfL HQ. Public - Page 3 - London Fixed-gear and Single-speed

  26. Simon W says:

    Hi. I write for a town planning magazine and I’m covering cycling infrastructure. Would you email me please? I have a query…

  27. JoeZ says:

    G’day mate,
    Love your work. My view is “tainted” by my electric bike and trike orientation, however I believe in cycling, and the sharing of cycling and individual transport challenges in a similar vein to your views expressed here.
    Joe from Frankencycle (electric bike workshop in Aus)

  28. MTF says:

    Thought you would appreciate this astounding comment in a New York Times “Op-Ed”:

    “In the Netherlands, deaths per total number of miles cycled are much lower [than in the United States]. This is attributed to educated bike riders, who stay in the lanes, signal properly and obey traffic signals. In turn, drivers learn to look for cyclists who may be just out of mirror range.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/19/opinion/timothy-egan-death-on-a-bike.html

  29. Guy Chapman says:

    I suspect we’ve met along the way somewhere. If so, hello again! Otherwise, well, just hello🙂

  30. MTF says:

    This is an unusual pedestrian and cycling tunnel in Lyon, France, allowing people to cross town without ascending and redescending 80m (article in French):

    http://transports.blog.lemonde.fr/2014/12/07/lyon-le-succes-ambigu-du-tunnel-pour-cyclistes-et-pietons-sous-la-croix-rousse/

    Many more cyclists than anticipated use the tunnel. And there have been accidents, which some users blame on the unusual lighting, which is meant to make the tunnel attractive but which also makes it hard to cycle safely at speed. Also, the tunnel is closed from midnight to 5am, meaning a cyclist needs to decide ahead of time if he or she will head home before midnight or not.

  31. Steve Davis says:

    Hi.
    I am currently looking to create some exciting new opportunities for collaboration with us, regarding the promotion of our brand new on-line cycling store. We have some openings available to promote our brand and I think that your site would be a perfect platform to pursue such an endeavour.

    Whilst I realise that your time may be limited, I hope you can devote a little of it to us. Also, if you had any thoughts on how we might be able work together and make things mutually beneficial, I would love to hear them.

    Please email me back at your convenience at outreach {at} radialcycles dot co dot uk

    Regards,

    Steve

  32. Gonçalo Peres says:

    Greetings and congratulations for your great articles. I’m a reader for quite some time.
    I’m writing an article in a local website about cycle crossings and would like to use 2 images from your site:


    Credits and links for the picture source will be displayed.
    Did I mention i live in Lisbon, Portugal?
    In case you happen to come here and write about our very poor cycle conditions. Great city to cycle though, due to incredible weather all year round.
    Lisbon was on the 3 finalists to host “Velocity 2017”, but we lost to Arnhem Nijmegen😦
    Thank you and best regards.
    Gonçalo Peres
    gonperes@gmail.com

    • Please feel free to use the pictures Gonçalo.

      Mark

      (BTW I have visited Lisbon a few times – the weather is indeed fantastic, but I wasn’t tempted to cycle!)

      • Gonçalo Peres says:

        Next time give me a ring. I have a spare bike and I can show you around. I have two city-trekking bikes, just in case something goes wrong… the kids cannot be late for school😉 Yes, we still kind of live in the 90’s and the private car is treated as a sacred cow by many. Things are slowly changing and change is inevitable, but its frustrating when you go abroad and see real practical examples that improve the quality of live for everyone.
        Well, you have my email.
        Thank you for letting me use the pictures. I’ll share the link to the finished article (in portuguese).
        Greetings.

  33. JD says:

    Hi there,
    Could you send me some contact details so I can get in touch about potential advertising for a brand of ours?
    Thanks,
    John

  34. Lotta says:

    Hi – I’d like to connect offline. We’re launching an application I believe may be of interest.

    Lotta

  35. azulejista says:

    Dear Mark
    Im searching for statistics on the profile of London / British cyclists. Do you or anyone has an advice where I can find it? Like basic stats such as men/woman, young/old, white/black, low/middle class/upper class/ … Thanks. Any info is very appreciated! Cristina

  36. Lucy Hirsch says:

    Dear Mark,

    I want to get in touch in regards to an very exciting project with the UK’s retailers Go Outdoors. We are hugely keen to have As Easy As Riding A Bike involved.

    Is there any contact details I can have to get in touch with you?

    All the best,

    Lucy

  37. David says:

    Hi Mark,

    Just to let you know we’ve featured you in our Top 5 Blogs for Cyclists article on our website!

    http://www.sciencefitness.co.uk/news/cycling-blogs-our-top-5/69/

    Thanks,
    David

  38. Yamato says:

    Hi Mark,
    I am a bicycle planner with the City and County of Honolulu, Hawaii. I will be vacationing in London from June 16 to June 18, 2015. This will be my first time in London and I would like to ride around the city with some bicycle advocates and city planners to see the successes and difficulties happening there in regards to bicycle infrastructure. I would appreciate a few hours of your time or any recommendations you may have for contacts.
    Thanks,
    Yamato

  39. Julie Plichon says:

    Dear

    I really enjoy your blog and especially the way you try to find solutions to incentivise people in cycling. I have been riding bicycle all my life and reading your blog on urban cycling has always been inspiring to me.

    For a year, I have been working with a friend that lives in Bogota, Colombia, on a new kind of jacket for urban cycling. We are now promoting our project in London and looking for some people to give us their point of view on our work.

    Our jacket is produced in small workshops from Bogota and gathers all the technical elements of a great rain jacket but affordable for all. Through this project we seek promoting in a broader way cycling as a sustainable active mobility in cities.
    We are preparing our Kickstarter campaign that will start in October.

    Do you have time next week to have a look to the jacket and have a drink with us in London?

    Thanks a lot for your answer,

    Kind regards,

    Julie Plichon
    julie.plichon@gmail.com
    +44 7724312874

    ps. we are still working on our landing page but you can check out some pictures by looking at our Facebook page. Mova Cycling

  40. Max says:

    Hey there! Really like the blog but can’t find an email to contact😦
    Really need your advice! Together with friends we are working on a cycling social app and really need a fresh opinion on the project… hope you’ll have some time to write a couple of thoughts. It’s not just a route and speed tracker, but also a place to catch up with friends, plan group rides, find new buddies on the map in real time and ask for help when something’s wrong: an app to make it easier and more fun for people to bike and socialize with others.
    We have more info on the project page: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/velotton-cycling-social-app
    Thank you and good luck!

  41. David says:

    Dear Mr Gilligan

    A little while ago (31st July) to be precise, I was evolved in a road accident while out on my bike in and around the borough of Bromley. At 4 o’clock in the afternoon, on a brightly lit day with superb visibility, a motorist drove straight across my right of way and I crashed straight into the front of the oncoming vehicle at 30mph. Unfortunately I could not enclose a picture of what’s left of my bike and the impact upon the car to convey the seriousness of the incident. I had no chance to avoid the oncoming vehicle and I was flung 7 meters in the air, landing hard on the busy road. Luckily, in spite of sustaining injuries I was fortunate enough that I wasn’t pronounced dead at the scene or end up in a wheel chair for the rest of my life. Both the doctors and paramedics who treated me after the accident could not believe that I walked away with the lesser injuries that I had received. My contact to you relates to how lucky I have been to escape death or serious life changing injuries, yet my situation happens day in and day out on London’s roads. I was so close this time to becoming the lead article on London tonight where another cyclist dies in the Capitol. The margins between myself being on the news or just fading into the ether as another police report were incredibly slim, yet this happens daily on your watch.

    I have been a cyclist in London for the past 13 years and during that time I have experienced (many) near death skirmishes with motorists who are generally completely oblivious to their surroundings. It saddens me that in spite of your claims, that you are making progress with the new north-South and east-west cycle ways, which for many is wonderful news and for others a vanity project, the rest of the cycling community who’s journey falls outside of the proposed new cycle ways will need to endeavour with the constant risks of negotiating London’s roads with the hope that one day their plight is taken seriously by someone in power who has some balls to make the radical changes needed for a safer cycling infrastructure in London. It is constantly infuriating when I am in London, on my bike or on a bus and confronted by huge expanses of pavements some 15ft wide with not a sole upon them, yet us cyclists must continue to risk life and limb on main roads next to these barren cycling possibilities and be criminalised by the press if we as much look in their direction. Look at the recent re-development of Regent st and Piccadilly, what a shambolic waste of an opportunity to give cyclists the most merger of spaces on these busy roads, the space has all gone to cars and buses and offers nothing to cyclists. Another wasted opportunity.Your disregard for any cycling that falls outside of the vicinity of the new cycle highways is quite obvious. I ask you to consider the point that we Londoners who cycle into the west end also (need) an infrastructure that will help us into the parts of London where these new cycle lanes will exist. Therefore the rest of London still lacks a (proper safe cycle network) where a concerted effort is made to bring together all of the London boroughs to provide this.

    Since my time as a cyclist, I have witnessed paltry offering after paltry offering from TFL that has never enabled cyclists in London go about their business safely. Far too much PR talk still sours the air at TFL. TFL seems to posses a crippling lack of awareness to investigate what can be done to offer common sense solutions for safer cycling ways and is more excited by engaging in expensive razzle dazzle cycling ostentatiousness that is generally akin to the launch of the latest iPhone. My horrific experience has provided me with the first hand intimacy of when metal hits flesh at speed. It’s horrific. Luckily for me I seem to have evaded death and disability, yet I ponder who today, might fall short of that luck to provide you with yet another interview with the media where you yet again defend TFL and its woefully blunt strategy to bring London up to date with other European cities who prioritise the lives of cyclists.

    Sincerely

    David Ward

  42. Love this – great blog too. Will definitely keep reading.

    Jen | @CDFcyclist

  43. Hello!

    I am writing to you from Brixton Cycles – London’s #1 small bike shop – which is facing an uncertain future due to the gentrification of South London. Please could you provide your email address where I can send a press release with more details (and an invitation to the #savebrixtoncycles campaign launch party, which we would love for you to attend.)

    With thanks,

    Georgina-Kate

  44. Hello,
    I would like to translate one or another of your posts to reblog them on my German Blog https://radverkehrhamburg.wordpress.com/ . “Stress Test”, posted on September 4, 2015 would be my first candidate.

    Possible?

    with thanks for your writing and riding

    Vorstadt-Strizzi

  45. Peter Burrows says:

    Hi there. I enjoy your blog and though slightly outside your territory I thought you might be interested in the survey Mole Valley are currently running at http://www.molevalley.gov.uk/index.cfm?articleid=27754

    We want you to tell us what improvements you think are needed to the physical things that helps us live and work in Mole Valley. We mean things like roads, public transport, broadband, schools, doctors’ surgeries and sports grounds.

    On the online form, the options are:
    Roads
    Rail
    Bus
    Schools
    Shopping
    Broadband
    Mobile phone reception
    Affordable housing
    GP surgeries
    Flood prevention
    Sport and Leisure facilities
    Parking
    Youth Facilities

    No mention of paths, for walking or cycling, though you can mention it in the ‘other’ comment box.

    A sad reflection on priorities I thought.

    Peter

  46. Erica Bird says:

    Hi!

    I have been reading through your blog and I am really impressed by the safety and infrastructure issues that you regularly post about. I am wondering if you ever post content about products that are designed to mitigate some of these safety risks? For instance, would you ever do a post about a bike that has special safety features (ex. blind spot detection)?

    Let me know! Thanks!

    Erica

  47. Just a Bike Guy says:

    Hi!

    Have been reading your blog for a short while now and I really like it. You obviously put a lot of effort into your passion. I recently started a blog called justabikeguy.com . I would be very grateful if you would take the time to have a look and offer some feedback.
    Many thanks,

    Joe

  48. Drew says:

    Hi fella, keep being optimisitc, this inclusive-cycling hub & community might be of interest – http://www.cycling-hub.co.uk/community/

  49. LR says:

    Hi Mark! Love your blog, I read it regularly – very clear and straight to the point. I am a transport planner and as consultants we are working on a cycle strategy for one of the local authorities, can we use one of your photos of inclusive cycling in the strategy to represent our vision (credited of course)? Please email me if it is an issue, thanks a lot.

  50. Radu says:

    Hey Mark,

    Found your blog through IBikeLondon. I’m interested in collaborating with you on a story about an initiative to build a non-professional test team for bicycle power meters. The gist is: cyclists get a good deal on power meters in exchange for sharing some of their riding data. The test team is going well with almost 900 members signed-up (890 to be accurate) from Denmark, the U.K and the U.S.A.

    If you’re interested in hearing more about it (or even joining) feel free to e-mail me anytime.
    Cheers

  51. Mark Ashby says:

    Hi Mark
    Would you be interested in receiving information about the public hire scheme here in Belfast? It has proven extremely successful, and we’re announcing further expansion next week. If you’re interested, could you ping me an email with your contact details and I’ll add you to our mailing list?
    Mark

  52. Dave says:

    Hi

    Might be of interest to you?

    Wales Trails
    http://www.wales-trails.co.uk

    The new LEJOG-lite challenge🙂

    Cheers Dave

  53. Hiya! I just saw a fab picture on your website of someone giving someone a backie, I wonder if I could use it?

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