Tag Archives: cycling

Lucky Seven

Seven months ago I got run over on the streets of London for the second time.

Last week The Times launched a cycle safety campaign. Their Save Our Cyclists campaign has garnered plenty of support from cyclists including myself. I signed up and gave them a small summary of my experiences of cycling in London. They were nice enough to ask for more and ran the following paragraph as the experiences of one Alex Ingram of Hammersmith aged 30 who commutes daily to Kew Bridge:

In the seven years that I’ve been cycling in London I’ve been run over twice. My first accident was in 2007, at a T-junction. A young mother drove out of a side road and knocked me flying into the air. I was lucky — I was only bruised. My last accident was in July, when I was run over from behind by a pair on a stolen moped at a busy gyratory in Hammersmith. I’d been scraped across the road on my right-hand side. I was rather lucky.

Lucky, you might wonder? What’s lucky about being run over twice? Well, despite suffering pretty nasty road rash (which took months to heal and has left some scars) in July and awful bruising (which only healed after a few months) a few years back I’ve not broken anything worse than a front fork, some cranks and a pair of glasses. It could have been so much worse. The page my story was printed on shared its space with those of my fellow cyclists and that of James Cracknell. They had proper accidents, the changes they experienced were not just in the mind.

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My kinda westway


I have a dream. A dream that one day I could hop on my bike, nip up onto some elevated cycleway, get up to 20mph and just keep going, thusly reaching my aunt’s place in Leytonstone in less than an hour. Apparently, this dream isn’t quite as mad as it sounds, because someone’s looked at doing something similar in Toronto. Also, right now Ken Livingstone (in full uh-oh election year mode) has mooted a transformation of cycling here with 12 “cycling motorways”, which alas have been welcomed by Freight and motorist organisations as a way to clear cyclists out of the way.

Just imagine it, take all the money you’d spend on something like Crossrail (£12bn+?) and for maybe £1bn we could have a suspended cycleway running east to west – maybe even far enough to get people to beyond the M25. It would be revolutionary, it would be different and it would change London totally. The more I think about it the more I like the idea. After all, what surer way is there to get people to travel in a zero-carbon method?