Friday, 16 September 2011

The Olympic Pressure Ride

Picture from Cycle Info

Thanks to the Mayor of London my life is at risk.
Tube fares are due to increase by 8% which means I’ll shortly be forced to ride a bicycle.
My last memory of being on a bike, I was about twelve years old and struggling up a hill behind my brother.
The pedals were clearly cemented in position. I was going so slowly my bike was falling to one side.
‘Leave me here! I can’t go on!’ I sobbed. ‘Just go! Save yourself!’
My teenage brother had to deal with my whimpering for a good hour. It was the longest journey of his life.
In a city of eight million, hills are the least of my concern.
Cars scare me and buses scare me. Even confident cyclists scare me.
But most of all, Elephant & Castle roundabout scares me.
Crossing this roundabout as a pedestrian is a feat in itself as you have to orientate yourself through its underbelly of spooky subways.
I shudder when I think of going around it on wheels.
Today I saw a government poster encouraging the public to get back into cycling.
The poster showed three smiling children and their smiling father, cycling up a tree-lined pathway. I don’t believe there is a tree-lined pathway linking my house to any of the places I need to go on a weekly basis.
The price rise is to fund transport improvements in preparation for the Olympics.
I have never been bah humbug about The Games coming to London, but this crippling increase doesn’t seem fair at all, especially since the majority of Londoners were unable to secure tickets.
Frankly, in the spirit of the Olympics, visitors should have to run everywhere.
London transport is already the most expensive in Europe.
If it goes up any more then we must take a stand. That won’t be hard in rush hour.


nicolahulks said...

Brilliant! I too have taken up cycling to try and save money. I'd love to tell you it gets less terrifying but I would be lying to you! I've had two breakdowns already and as a girly wuss with no abilities in bike maintenance it was a bad, bad time!

Shop Girl said...

Argh... I haven't taken it up just yet! I'm hoping it won't come to that!

How long have you been cycling around London? Surely it must get easier at some point :S

Lindsay said...

I totally agree; cycling is one thing, cycling in London traffic is another, and those posters are most misleading!