Sunday 14 June 2009

Bike Week Day Two in Waltham Forest

The sense of excitement is palpable as National Bike Week unfolds in the London Borough of Waltham Forest. And there's so much on offer! So get on your bike and explore some of the top class local facilities. There are so many possible routes. For example, an attractive off-road cycle lane leads from the legendary Crooked Billet underpass system, east of Beresford Road E17, to this well-maintained bridge over the North Circular. But please, NO CYCLING.

Strangely, I have never met a single cyclist going in either direction along this cycle lane. This is a shame, as this route offers magnificent views of the eight-lane intersection of the North Circular (A406) and the A112 and B179. I could linger here for hours, just watching the traffic flow by. Or at least I would if I wasn't concerned about my lungs. The air quality here is, I suspect, on a par with parts of Camden.

Meanwhile, in the Town Square today...

Today is the main focus of Bike Week in Waltham Forest, with staff in this Council tent signing up riders for three choices of a guided 'Tour de Waltham Forest' (6 miles, 15 miles or 20 miles). The centre of the Town Square was fenced off for small children to have fun on bicycles. Fireman Sam turned up with his shiny red engine for the kids to marvel at. There were a couple of bouncy castles. And the Waltham Forest Cycling Campaign had a stall handing out free cycle maps and a questionnaire about what you like and don't like about various aspects of local cycling.

WFCC is also offering guided bike rides later in the week: the breakfast ride, meet 7.15 am on Tuesday at the Bakers Arms, cycle for breakfast in Islington (about 50 minutes); meet 7.45 am Saturday 20 June, outside Walthamstow Central Library, for a guided ride to Borough Market, London Bridge; Sunday 21 June, family bike ride, for all ages, meet 1 pm outside St Mary's Church, Church Lane E17, maximum 8 miles.

Most usefully of all, WFCC is planning 'to take key decision makers in the borough out for a ride'. Excellent! I would particularly recommend the A1037 Waltham Way, going south. This is a must for anyone seeking a near-death experience. As for crap infrastructure - well, this blog is not exactly short of suggestions for improvements.