Thursday, January 27, 2005

Look at that pansy Luke. If he can ride to work in the middle of winter, what excuse will I have not to ride come June when it's pleasant out?

Speaking of riding to work, I saw the Surly Crosscheck from the Fixed Gear Gallery riding Duke Street this morning, as I walked up it on my way to work. My plan is to ride to work after the February half term holiday (I get the bus at the moment, so I'm not to blame for the queues of traffic in Darlington). I'd start straight away, but the bus is dry and warm, gets me in on time, and I can read a book on the way in and out of work. My main reason for starting to ride is to make my journey into work a fixed length of time; at the moment, if I leave home 5 minutes late, I'm 20 minutes later getting to work. The bike should get me to work in the same time regardless of when I set off. (Plus, once the nights get a bit lighter, I get to go the long way home...)

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Darlington Cycling Campaign meeting reflections

The Chair of the Darlington Cycling Campaign, Richard Grassick, has posted his thoughts about the meeting as a comment in the previous post. I'm pushed for time at the moment, but will add my thoughts when I get chance. Here are Richard's comments, reposted:

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.)

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Reminder: Darlington Cycling Campaign meeting tonight

Darlington Cycling Campaign is holding a public meeting at the Red Lion pub on Tuesday [tonight] at 7pm. Anyone interested in helping to improve the rights of cyclists in Darlington is welcome.

Decisive cycling Moments

Luke Seeman writes about Decisive cycling Moments.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Darlington Cycling Campaign meeting

Other than exchanging an email or two, I know nothing about the Darlington Cycling Campaign, but the folowing is in this week's Advertiser:

Cyclists meet: Darlington Cycling Campaign is holding a public meeting at the Red Lion pub on Tuesday at 7pm. Anyone interested in helping to improve the rights of cyclists in Darlington is welcome.

A coordinated group can only be a good thing; I'll try to get along to the meeting. (I assume it means next Tuesday, 18th January.)

Darlington council to encourage staff to share cars

A piece in the Advertiser today describes a new website they're running for employees to enter journey details to sacilitate car sharing. It also mentions schemes being developed to increase bike and bus lanes and to encourage children to walk/cycle to school.

I wonder how much they're spending on the scheme, since elsewhere in the paper is an article about the £52million scheme to upgrade the bypass, so it can cope with the estimated increase in use from 20,000 cars a day to 41,000 a day by 2025...

All of the articles I've seen about the proposed Tesco development in the town centre mention increased car parking.