Friday 27 August 2010

Two views of the Ealing Sky Ride

Photo: Charlotte Barnes

I think it’s such a shame the way these hyper-critical cycling bloggers are always grumbling, grumbling, grumbling. Don’t they realise 2010 is the year of the bicycle?

The Ealing branch of the London Cycling Campaign thought the Ealing Sky Ride was

an extraordinary day.

And this blogger on a bicycle didn’t.

I tried hard to just treat it as a fun day out on the bike, but I’m afraid that I couldn’t help thinking just how little it all had to do with promoting cycling. Really, I know that sounds awful, but it wasn’t the sort of thing that’s going to persuade people to get out of their cars and ride their bikes next week when all the marshals have gone home and all the barriers have been taken down.

Worse, this kind of blog just brings out all the other whingers:

And I thought I was the only one curmudgeonly enough to resent the corralling, the frequent stops for the important people in cars and the absurd preponderance of highly questionable safety equipment.

Don’t forget the original idea of these days was a city completely closed to motor traffic. That was too much for London to swallow so for the Freewheel we got a few closed roads, and the stops were to allow pedestrians to cross. Now the Sky Ride is a segregated route mainly on back roads and in parks with minimum inconvenience to motor traffic. The message is: these are the safety measures we need to take so you can venture out for a ride to nowhere on your bicycle.