Monday, 15 April 2013

SPIN London Bicycle Festival 3rd - 5th May

Ahoy there fellow cyclists and trendsetters, did you get out and about on the weekend? Did you? Did you?

Because I did, and look what I saw.
Picnic on Boris Bikes
Turns out that Boris Bike docking stations make the perfect setting for a Brick Lane picnic. There's nothing like the idyllic scenery of Bethnal Green Road and the lorries and buses which rampage through it. Whatever you do, don't tell the Mayor of London otherwise he'll probably introduce a hefty rental charge for the picnic pleasure and these guys will have to sit on the littered street corner next to the Saturday night vomit to eat their Brick Lane bagel instead.

Enough of that, because I'm here to offer you guys a treat. It's competition time!

For all you scenester cyclists who wish that you could hang out in the Old Truman Brewery off Brick Lane with all your favourite cycle apparel brands at arms distance, well your wish has come true. I'm giving away 2 free tickets for the SPIN LONDON Urban Bicycle Show taking place on 3rd - 5th May.



And now let me tell you  bit about it because what's the purpose of giving away tickets if I don't?

Spin is 'the world's first urban focused bicycle show and festival' featuring progressive, forward thinking cycle brands such as Vulpine, Mango and Tokyobike.

Haven't got any money because you squandered your last tenner on the overpriced burgers at MEATmission? Well hey guys, this is a culture thing as well.  You can:

+ Race your friends at Rollapaluza static cycle racing
+ Scoff some food at Jimmys' cycle bistro
+ Watch a film or talk at the pedal powered cinema
+ See the themed Bike V Design exhibition
+ Watch bikes being built
+ Go to some talks or demonstrations and cycle-art installations

You can buy tickets here for £7 or otherwise, ENTER MY COMPETITION TO GET A PAIR FOR FREE!

Enter to win the tickets by tweeting or liking the HMCCO Facebook page using widget below! Deadline to enter is midnight on Monday 22nd April. A winner will be selected at random through the Rafflecopter widget.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

ENJOY!

Friday, 12 April 2013

Oh the Glamours of Cycling

Sometimes I think I look like this on my bike...

Source
But from recent experience I learned that this is not always achievable. I'm going to tell you something about cycling which I like to think is taboo.

I am brave and I think it's time to tell you about the REAL world of cycling.

Because when it's a sunny day and the birds are chirping and you think how nice it would be to go on a spring ride.

BEWARE

If you haven't noticed, there are quite a lot of scraggly pigeons in this city, eating up London's finest leftover chicken shop food and tucking into Friday nights discarded kebabs. Well, these pigeons obviously don't take the underground to get from Finsbury Park to Soho and choose aerospace as their chosen method of transport (which I guess is fine as they don't use petrol and flying can help them keep in shape). However, this means us humans pedalling on the ground may be the target of unwanted droppings from the urban pigeon.

And that my friend, is what happened to me last Friday. I have censored the image as it is too revolting to plaster of the internet in it's natural form and I wouldn't want to jeopardise any future employment opportunities for myself.



Oh, and on the Monday I rolled my front tyre in some dog pooh which I then had to watch go round and round and round on my commute on Tuesday.

So my bicycle friends, cycling isn't always 'cycle chic'.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

And time to dismount

Sweet Looooooooooooooord Jesus, there is a time and a place to dismount from your bike and take the slow pedestrian walk across the road and I have found that time and place!

It's The Strand and High Holborn during rush hour.

After following TFL's recommended cycle route to get me from Crouch End to Waterloo Bridge, I found myself cycling some of London's most terrifying and perilous roads where cycle infrastructure is zilch, nano, non-existent. Ok, ok, I already knew this, but I guess I've never really had so much trouble getting somewhere during rush hour before.

At the start of my commute, I was at ease with the calm traffic and simple roads, but then I stumbled into territory where cars, black cabbies and monstrous lorries rule the streets. I quickly learned where my place was and it was a difficult decision between the pavement and the gutter.

Throwing myself onto the sanctuary of the pavement, I walked the remainder of my route to Waterloo Bridge and I thought about how cycling on quiet back roads just doesn't work in central London (a point well made by the Alternative Department for Transport blog). Here is a taster of what I encountered:

+ Wide one way roads with multiple lanes occupied by buses and taxis - but no cycle lanes!


+ Monstrous lorries storming through junctions at peak times


+ Congested traffic on narrow lanes with limited shared space


+ And this Crazy of a junction on High Holborn. I thought I understood roundabouts and complex junctions but this one is ridiculous



+ Walking and cycling, I eventually made it to my work training session


But I decided that next time I'm going to call The Jetson's and HITCH ME A LIFT please!


Do you often have to walk part of your cycle route you are way too scared for your life?