It’s May, which means it’s Bike Month. Of course, we’re all excited about encouraging people get out their bikes and give it a go. In London, though, they’ve upped the ante. Massively.
Central London was overrun by 10,000 cyclists today, as the biggest bike protest ever seen in the capital took to the streets.
The mayoral candidates Brian Paddick and Jenny Jones, as well as Simon Hughes, the Lib Dem deputy leader, joined the ride from Hyde Park to Blackfriars, which called on the candidates in next week’s local and mayoral elections to make concrete pledges to make the streets safer for cyclists. [more from The Times of London]
Ten thousand people rode to call attention to bike safety and to get their elected leaders’ attention, chanting for safer streets, in advance of their elections this week. In the rain! And in Edinburgh, another 3,000 did the same!
“We’ve done nothing like this before,” said Dave Brennan, one of the organisers. “It sends a strong message to politicians that people want to get out on their bikes.”
Although all the candidates have expressed their verbal support forThe Times’ Cities Fit for Cycling campaign, James Harding, the Editor, told the Government’s cycle safety inquiry this week that more needed to be done to make sure that “warm words are translated into action”.
Could you imagine the entire STP crowd all in downtown Seattle?
I love the STP for getting people on bikes, many of whom wouldn’t otherwise, but what would it take to get 10,000 people on a ride like this, where the goal is to send a message to our politicians — in the city, at the county, in Olympia and in that other Washington — that people want to get out on their bikes. It would take more than the fast and fearless. It would take all the people sitting on the sidelines who want to bike but are afraid. People you know. Probably some of you reading this now — the “willing but wary”. If you were out there on a ride like this, our leaders would stand up and take notice.
I salute you, London.
What do you think, Seattle?