CTC wishes to congratulate our Patron, Her Majesty the Queen, on her Diamond Jubilee. Here's to a happy and glorious long weekend of cycling and no rain over us!
A bike fit for a queen
As the country prepares to celebrate, Transport for London has released this special royal edition Boris Bike. London Mayor Boris Johnson said: “This party livery gives people an added incentive to use two wheels to soak up all that’s on offer over this historic time.” Unfortunately for him, the Boris Bikes may be hard to come by, however, as many docking stations will be closed over the Jubilee weekend. And Boris himself is in hot water after claiming that 62% of cyclists fatally or seriously injured were breaching the rules of the road at the time – in fact, drivers are three times more likely to be blamed for collisions! Never mind, you'll be royally entertained by the many cycling activities on offer this weekend – from CTC Glasgow’s Big Bike Day on Sunday that includes a 60-mile Diamond challenge ride, to CTC Portsmouth’s 60km and 60-mile Diamond Jubilee rides on Tuesday 5 June.
No safety in numbers says silly survey
When Virgin Money claimed that Britain’s top cycling town was Plymouth, CTC was surprised. The survey rated 60 towns and cities in the UK by number of crashes and availability of cycle facilities and Cambridge came last. In fact, Cambridge, a well-known cycle-friendly town, has a low cyclist casualty rate due to higher cycle use. CTC has a new Cycling Development Officer for Plymouth to deliver cycle training, so maybe it will catch up soon. Meanwhile, CTC was shocked by the tragic death of member and cycle campaigner Mark Brummell, killed while riding in the New Forest - the driver has been arrested.
Unlike George W. Bush, the Queen may never be seen on a bike but many Hollywood celebrities have: ‘Hollywood Rides a Bike – Cycling with the Stars’ depicts luminaries such as Rita Hayworth and Humphrey Bogart astride their machines. Surely it won’t be long before Xiaose, a stray dog who ran and rode over 1700km with cyclists in China, features amongst them? The plucky animal climbed 12 mountains and kept going after many riders dropped out. But his feat (paws?) is overshadowed by Aydin Irmak’s – he rode his 33-pound, steel-frame single speed from the Arctic Circle to Everest Base Camp but didn’t have it with him when he reached the summit, despite a long-held ambition to do so.
CycleDigest out now
The latest packed issue of CTC’s campaigning newsletter CycleDigest has articles on lorry danger; the segregation debate; drivers' vision; and Llandudno, where CTC local campaigner Roy Spilsbury fought a long battle to allow cycling on the prom. Roy featured on BBC Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine Show (at 42.13) this week to explain why “the future is the bicycle” for the town.
There were no medals on offer for the rider of this bike, presumably. But whoever was brave enough to ride it certainly deserved one - a swarm of honeybees took up residence on its basket and front wheel when it was left outside a shop in March, Cambridgeshire. The swarm was eventually taken away by a beekeeper, sparing the cyclist – and the bees! – an unnerving ride home.
CTC is interested in knowing which cycling-related apps you currently use. By completing a short survey on them, you could win a DHB Messenger Bag worth £40 or a Topeak iPhone dry bag worth £20. The closing date is 15 June and the results could be used to inform the development of further CTC apps.
Go get a proper job
You just can't please some mums. Despite his achieving three Olympic Gold medals, a knighthood and numerous other awards, Sir Chris Hoy’s mum can’t help revealing that she still thinks “it’s mad to earn your living by riding a bike”. But she does let slip the secret of his success – the homemade BMX Go-Faster burgers she fed him as a wee boy. And that she was proud of him, even when he only won an egg-and-spoon race!
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