18 June 2008

3 years later, part II - big tent cycling...

I joined the additional 'Critical Commute' today - additional to the ones held every last Friday of the month that is, and part of the Bike Week celebrations.

I just made it - had to drop the car for MOT and service, so had said I would not make it, but did. It was the largest 'Prestwich' group I'd ever seen - 11 souls in total. We ended up not at Albert Sq, but the Peace Gardens, where we were treated to cycling freebies, free coffee and healthy breakfast, free bike security tagging by the Police and other good stuff.

On the other hand, while this is great as positive re-inforcement for existing cyclists, I wonder if this is the best way to promote cycling among non-cyclists. Drivers and pedestrians will just have seen a bunch of cyclists in unusually large numbers, brightly dressed in the rain, dithering at cross-roads and traffic lights over whether to keep together at all costs (eg by jumping lights) or split the group and then wait for the tail to catch up. The freebies, the gathering, the camaraderie of being with other cyclists will be entirely lost on them.

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