Well, the meeting came off with about 12 to 15 people turning up, plus a few more who emailed in support but couldn't make it. I thought a good turnout for a first gathering, and most people seemed positive about the idea of a united voice for cyclists in Darlington.
I still think it's sad that so many cyclists don't want to challenge the current thinking that cars should always get priority when it comes to traffic management. As many at the meeting said, if you want to get from A to B in Darlington using the cycle network, it's like negotiating a series of jokes - from "Cyclists Dismount" signs to idiotic diversions for cyclists at roundabouts (the Woodlands Road roundabout at Cockerton taking the top prize for Total Lack of Cycling Perspective).
Yeh, it's not "cool" to ride a bike to 6th Form, sure there are a lot of people in Darlington who would rather buy a Porsche and live in debt for the rest of their lives than be seen dead on a bike, and yes, we need to change hearts and minds on this one. But I'm sorry, somewhere in there we need to offer other priorities in life. Maybe "carism" should be challenged like racism or sexism.
Anyway, next meeting at 7pm, Tuesday March 1st, Red Lion, Priestgate, Darlington. All Welcome. And before then, if you can make it, the council's Cycle Forum meets at the Dolphin Centre on Tuesday 25th January. I think the meeting starts at 6pm.
You might also want to read this reflection on cycling to work in winter.
(Richard, or anyone else in the group, if you'd like an account to post new posts on the site, just drop me an email at the address I gave out at the meeting.)