Flashride We reported a roadworks problem, but Boris wouldn't fix it. This man has matched his outfit to his Boris bike... and 15 minutes before departure, the gathering crowds have gathered as far as the eye can see. People friendly streets! Full length of the bridge and junction, with more still to come. Time for a U-turn. Lots more photos were taken by zefrog. Share this:TweetMoreEmailLike this:Like Loading... Related
5 thoughts on “Flashride”
Excellent to see. I watched the BBC that evening to see if it made the news, and unfortunately they didn’t seem to have noticed anything. Did it make any of the mainstream media ?
Is it being uncharitable to point out that from a distance it looks like a roadworker’s convention? I’ve been pilloried for saying this elsewhere, but if we want cycling to appeal to the masses, to be taken seriously when we protest about something, to make the wider public think “that could be me” instead of “cycling looks dangerous / freakish” then for god’s sake, ditch the high-viz and helmets before starting off. You are among thousands of others. You don’t NEED high-viz or a helmet on. Every photo of ‘cyclists’ as self-stereotyped with the ‘cycling is dangerous’ kit on is a photo that will not resonate with the 99% who do not yet cycle. Yes I know ‘cyclists’ are ‘normal people’ too. Yes everyone is the same, has a right to be there blah blah blah. But this is a media/image war as much as one with TfL. Many people associate ‘cycling’ with ‘lycra louts’, high-viz, expensive kit and sweaty passtimes. We should be wearing *normal* clothes to appeal to *normal* people. The UK *is weird* compared to Europe, you’ve been sold a lie that you must wear expensive, bright freakshow kit at all times or die within milliseconds on the roads. Ignore this and you make the job so much harder.
It was great to see everyone there but I do have to agree, a little, with Mike’s comment. I made a point of turning up in my business suit and tie, instead of changing as I normally do into more casual clothes for the trip home, and I packed away my helmet (mainly used as a mount for my “Joystick” light) in my bag. I was a little disappointed to see so few other “city slickers” because I am convinced that Boris and his crew would show more respect if they realised just how many of those commute over Blackfriars Bridge by bike.
As a Manchester cyclist who is no stranger to pedaling the mean streets of the capital I agree with both Mike and Paul to a certain degree.
However, when Mike says that you must wear ‘expensive, bright freakshow kit at all times’ I think he should know that it is possible to buy a hi-viz yellow/reflective jacket for about £8, and you can get them free from builders or road menders if you ask nicely.
Mike – yes but how much do the way cyclists dress reflect the conditions they have to ride in? Sure, if you’re among a mass of cyclists you don’t need your hi-vis on and you could take it off, but what if it was your only jacket? Those people still had to get home safely, without the company of hundreds of others. I think we do ourselves a disservice if we dress up unnecessarily to cycle when it’s safe, but we may be doing our fellows a disservice if we encourage them to ride as though they’re in the Netherlands when patently they’re not. When I commuted in London I would not have dreamt of riding without my bright yellow jacket because there were so many times – even with it on – when drivers failed to see me, so how much worse would it have been without it? Maybe I was wrong and it made no difference but it was the one factor I could control and therefore made me feel a little more confident about taking to my bike.
And besides, if you look at the picture, fewer than half the cyclists are wearing hi vis – it’s just the ones that do stand out. Which I suppose is the point …