On Your Bike
A record number of people have taken to two wheels in London. Figures from Transport for London (TfL) quote a total of 610,000 cycle journeys are made every day, that's 223 million a year. A target of 1.5 million cycle journeys per day by 2026 has been set in the Mayor's Vision for Cycling. Across the UK cycling is at its most popular in 24 years with cyclists riding an amazing 3.25 billion miles last year. This is up by 4% in twelve months according to the Department of Transport. Local authorities and regional transport authorities have been encouraged to make Britain's streets safer by investing in better cycle lanes, bike parking and interconnected routes. In London TfL have agreed pioneering trials to improve safety by detecting cyclists at road junctions and are installing low-level cycle signals while work has started on the flagship East-West Cycle Superhighway. The Cycling Vision Portfolio total budget is £913 million（1734.7億円） of which £416 million（790.4億円） is on infrastructure.
Four Cycle Superhighways were constructed in 2010 and 2011 and the routes have seen an average of 77% increase in cycling trips since they opened. More routes and extensions opened in 2013 and 2014 and a further four will open in 2016 taking the network to around 200 miles of 'tube network for the bike' but it's the segregated, high capacity East -West route that cyclists are so excited by which is due to be finished in 2016, then cars and public transport, will give up one lane to cyclists, see artists impression and map of routes.
The media is excited by cycling as well and this month The Times (of London) had a week of cycling promotion, articles, events and celebrity endorsement where up to eight pages a day were given over to encouraging more people to get on their bike. The Times cycling campaign is both helping to boost participation whilst campaigning for improved cycle safety. On August 1st, for the second year, the Prudential Ride London Free Cycle takes place with an estimated 70,000 cyclists taking advantage of the eight miles of car free streets in central London that day.
Cycling into work takes on a new meaning this month when a refurbished office building called Alphabeta opens. Workers can ride their bikes straight into the building on to the indoor track which takes you down to the secure cycle park for 250 bikes. It also has a bike mechanic, showers, coffee stall and other sports. With the growth of cycling comes the increase in reported thefts. Data on 92,508 bike thefts has been loaded on to a new website, Check That Bike, which shows the worst hotspots for bikes disappearing, so property developers and employers are setting secure space aside for bike parks.
London's Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is home to the Velo Park, owned and managed by Lee Valley Park Authority who also manage the White Water Centre. Both water and cycling sites are legacy venues from 2012 Olympics. The Velo Park has a one mile floodlit road circuit, a VeloStudio, BMX, Mountain Biking, and track taster sessions on the fastest indoor track in the world at what has become an iconic Velodrome. The Velodrome was packed out last Sunday with spectators cheering a lone cyclist going round and round for an hour to win a momentous place in history. That lone cyclist was Sir Bradley Wiggins who set a new Union Cycliste Internationale hour record of 54.526Km. Bradley, or Wiggo, as he is known, has been part of the cycling renaissance of our British team by winning the Tour de France in 2012 and being part of the GB Olympic Cycling team who did so well in Beijing, and in 2012 winning 8 gold, 2 silver and 2 bronze in London. Other GB cyclists like Mark Cavendish, currently sitting in third place in all time Tour de France stage victories, was World Road Race Champion in 2011, is one of many with super star status that spectators in the millions will turn out to see.
Britain will be celebrating Bike Week, 14-22nd June, with events all over the country and movements like Breeze, from British Cycling, has become the biggest programme ever to get more women into riding bikes for fun. Another big growth area has been with the newly addicted Mamils - middle aged men in Lycra - who crave a carbon fibre bike and a challenge. It's my tenth anniversary of being a Mamil and completing the L'Etape de Tour, the public mountain section of the Tour de France. This year up to 14,000 riders will compete in one of the most difficult rides known to normal man. The British public are in love with their bikes and the growing fascination with going faster, quicker and this has been matched by the geekery that allows us to share achievements on social media like Strava. Cycling legacy is well on track to inspire a nation to get on a bike.
Barclays Cycle Superhighway Map