28 November 2008

Critical Mass Wins in House of Lords!

This post is an email from Chris Ashby at the Islington Cyclists Action Group (ICAG)

The appeal against the Metropolitan Police by a Critical Mass particpant has
been won in a major judgement made at the House of Lords today. If you want
to read the full proceedings then type something like House of Lords
Judgement 26th November 2008 into Google and you will have joyful reading!
ICAG and LCC have always supported Critcal Mass so this is an important
legal decision. Thanks and congratulations are due to the appellent and to
the appellent's legal team, one of whom some of you will know and have seen
on a recent Feeder Ride near here. One might legitimately question the huge
amount of our money spent by the Met' Police on persuing and finally losing
this ridiculous case against cyclists.

See Guardian article at:

04 November 2008


Reports are now flowing in about record voting in Virginia and other Eastern states; voters started to line up at 4:30 am this morning. There is hope!

The 45-year old words of Martin Luther King come to mind:

"I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."

"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

"...when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"


26 October 2008

Lighting Up

Please, please - cycling in poor weather or in the dark without lights or reflective kit is an invitation to disaster. I've seen too many cyclists (mostly young men) with dark clothes and no reflectors or lights - drivers have to be particularly alert to see dark cyclists --- add in some rain and distraction from other traffic or a mobile phone :( --- and disaster awaits!

Items which move while cyclists are pedalling are excellent to attract attention - for instance hi-viz leg bands with velcro tabs that keep your trousers from getting stuck in the chain

Hi-viz vests offer 360 degree visibility - I use the make in the following link - have washed it several times and it still works well after three years.

The best safety measure is to mount front and rear lights. There is wide choice between self-generating dynamos, LED blinking attention grabbers and so-called ABS systems for 'Blair Witch' lighting on off-road paths. See the following link for more details:

My favs are dynamo-driven front and rear lights - good for commuting and night riding on well-lit urban roads, and the Niterider ABS system for jaunts on dark tow paths. The advanced systems are more expensive but the batteries can be recharged hundreds of times and these are the only lighting systems that provide safe see-and-be-seen lighting where there are no streetlights (or a new moon). See the following link:

12 October 2008

My Thinking Cap

Helmets are an essential safety feature for cyclists. Arguments to the contrary are a bit like the hold-outs on global warming. Not only are helmets essential in helping to minimise head injuries in a crash, but they also have value when attacked - this happened to me two years ago on a London canal. The thugs were kicking my head to get me to release my bike. I joke about my Specialized Deuce as my 'thinking cap' but it really is no joke; limbs can be patched up or even replaced after an accident but there is no ready solution for brain injury. I'm concerned that safety standards have relaxed in this area - see

The Snell Memorial Foundation has the world's most stringent testing standards - there are a few helmets in the UK which meet these standards - see

11 October 2008

Advice from Cyclists' Defence Fund

It's worthwhile thinking about how to respond to a cycling accident before it happens. Follow the link below to a list of top tips from the Cyclists' Defence Fund


05 October 2008

In Memory of Smudge - Killed in Hackney

Geraldine Bedell wrote about ghost bikes, including the memorial to Smudge, in today's Observer:


Antony Smith, 37 - killed on 21 April 2008 as he was cycling to work. May he rest in peace! A memorial bike at the site of the fatal accident - Middleton Rd. just east of the A10 (Kingsland Rd), Hackney, London. There have been two fatalities so far this year on this stretch of busy road in Hackney.

27 September 2008

Critical Mass - London - 26 September 2008

Fine weather brought hundreds of cyclists together under the Waterloo bridge by kick-off time around 19:00. The police were conspicuously absent. Not bad at the start and for the first few miles across Waterloo Bridge and up Southampton Row to Holborn. But the pack stretched out because of intermingling motor vehicle traffic and tempers started to flare in the West End. I personally observed two shouting matches between cyclists and motorists and an ugly assault incident by a pedestrian on a fixie rider near Trafalgar Square.

Let's hope this doesn't become like the NY Mass!

Here is a link to my live broadcast video from the Holborn segment:


19 September 2008

Demonstration Lorry - Kingsland Fire Station

The Met police sponsored a Spatial Awareness day on 16/9/08 at the Kingsland Fire Station on the A10 in Hackney, London GB. Positioned 50m from a busy junction, police waved down passing cyclists who disobeyed traffic signals. Risking a £30 on-the-spot fine, six cyclists were stopped by police officers within a 30 min. period. Money aside, three cyclists have been killed near this location within the past year, several in accidents involving large vehicles.

Fact sheet on road accidents - bicycles and lorries

Tips to avoid injury or worse...

Just two days after this event, another cyclist was killed in London by a lorry


23 June 2008

London's Prairie

London's Prairie
Originally uploaded by D1v1d
At home on the range near King George's Resevoir - view from the Lee Navigation towpath - London Borough of Enfield. The white flecks in the background are sheep grazing on the resevoir bank (you can see the sheep more clearly viewing the large size image). That's me and my bicycle casting the shadow just below the horse.

16 June 2008

Let's take the train!

No time to relax!
Originally uploaded by D1v1d
Took the train home to London from Edinburgh last Friday. The door-to-door (including taxis) journey time of five hours compared favourably to a similar route by plane, taking into account the travel time to and from the airports, minimum check-in times, time required for security, traffic and parking. Click on the photo to go to my Flickr site where you can follow my journey in the Edinburgh to London set (see sets to the right of the main photo).

05 June 2008

A Post-Petroleum World?

A Post-Petroleum World?
Originally uploaded by D1v1d
Today is World Environment Day. What are you doing to help the planet?

The 19th century inventions in this frame - the train line overhead and the parked bicycles - already point to the way forward to less reliance on petroleum products.

03 June 2008

Raleigh Folder (1981)

Raleigh Folder (1981)
Originally uploaded by D1v1d
This is my around town, short distance bike, parked at Highbury & Islington Station. Japanese made, classic SA 3-speed hub, sweep-up bars and large Pashley bell just off the top of the frame. Alu rims and modern tyres - 47-305 (Marathon) front tyre, 50-305 (Big Apple) rear tyre.

01 June 2008

Faster, Faster

Hackney, London UK has a new bike-friendly cafe overlooking the Regent's Canal just south of Broadway Market.

For details, see:

Bicycle and zoetrope by Siobhan McAuley, see:

27 May 2008

Blue Wall

London's Olympic Development Agency has put up a long blue wooden fence around its construction site in East London. The section along the Lea Valley Navigation (canal and towpath) has just been decorated with logos and contributions from local schools. You can see the reflection of Hackney's Gainsborough Primary School in the frame.

13 May 2008

Summer is Here!

11 May 2008 - Cycling north on the Lea Valley towpath from the Walthamstow Marshes, I passed Springfield Park - at the north end of Hackney. This taken with my Nokia N95 on Automatic with a +1 stop exposure adjustment to let in more detail in the shadows
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09 February 2008

The Undercroft, South Bank - London

Skateboarder, BMX cyclists and grafitti artists make for a bit of underground culture.
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Art from The Undercroft, South Bank between BFI Southbank and Queen Elizabeth Hall
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