The Mayor of London Boris Johnson has come up with an interesting new initiative to cope with the [sychological barrier to people taking up cycling in London. many might be perfectly happy to cycle along a country lane but nervous of doing so around Hyde Park Corner. So between August 14 and October 2 there will be Cycle Fridays where experienced cyclists will lead novices on half a dozen routes into central London. It so happens that one of the meeting points is in my ward – at Ravenscourt Park tube station at 8 am. I hope it is a success (although not such a success that I get complaints about the entrance to the tube station being blocked by a lycra clad army.
Writing on the Blue Blog, Boris says:
Everyone knows I'm a mad, fundamentalist cyclist – and although more people are cycling in London, there are still many who don't. As I peer down from the 8th floor of City Hall, I see all those people
toiling away in their cars, inching slowly across Tower Bridge, when they could be on a bike.
Whether it's Monday, Wednesday, or Sunday I tend to go by bike but, although it is safe and getting safer, I fully appreciate that some people find it a little daunting at first. I have succeeded in persuading many of my staff to take it up, and always watch in wonderment as they edge nervously onto Tooley Street absolutely convinced the end is nigh.
But, after a few times, they're soon zooming past me. In a bid to convert more Londoners to the cycling cause, today I launched Cycle Fridays. For the next few weeks, every Friday, there will be a series of bike convoys led by experienced riders who will be on hand to guide novice commuter cyclists into central London.
Those joining the rides will be greeted by ride marshals from the London Cycling Campaign and will be given a basic bike check and useful cycle maps before getting on the road. Additional drop-off points can be agreed so that riders can get as close to their destination as possible.
So if you've always liked the idea of cycling to work, but never quite had the confidence to venture onto London's roads on two wheels, then Cycle Fridays are the place to be. You'll be part of a giant moving peloton of cyclists, and be carried along on a wave of pedal-powered paradise!