A Grim North

Musings from a northerner living in the deep south…

Crap cycling in Waltham Forest

Posted by Alan P on July 3, 2010

Since last week’s epic adventure to Hampstead, Chris pointed out a local blog campaigning for better cycling (or rather pointing out the failings of the current provision) – Crap Cycling & Walking in Waltham Forest

Not being a proper regular or militant cyclist (yet) I hadn’t really thought too much about the facilities. But this morning, doing a round trip to pick up post and shopping… it really became evident.

Cycling Hazard in Leytonstone High Road

Cycling Hazard in Leytonstone High Road

Leytonstone High Road is one of the better routes round here – cycle markings both sides. But today… the council are working on the drains, so not only do you have to cope with the car door/parking hazard but also the occasional slalom into the ‘car space’ just to keep moving forward.

Still 5 miles down today. Reckon I can get a few more in before the weekend is done…

7 Responses to “Crap cycling in Waltham Forest”

  1. That blog has made me realise how often and how severely I am screwed over when I try to get around either on foot or by bike due to the disregard both means of transport are treated with.

    Nice to see you persisting with the bike. As much as what is posted in Crap Waltham Forest is true, its still more enjoyable to be out under your own power than stuck on a bus or tube.

  2. Alan P said

    Yeah I’m finding the bike handy for going out and about – however… I do wish I had a city bike instead of a mountain bike. Shopping for anything worth carrying is a bit of a pain in the arse!

    I bet a lot of the problems stem from the fact that fewer transport planners will cycle anywhere – if you don’t do something it’s hard to know what might make it better…

  3. Seeing as your mountain bike is a bit older, and probably also steel, it could be made into a fairly good city bike approximation with a few modifications. It will almost certainly have eyelets for full mudguards and a rear rack, and I have a spare set of city tyres which would fit on comfortably, I can give them to you next time I see you in person. The rack and mudguards would probably decrease the theft likelihood too, and you can get a lot on a rack with some bungee cords from B&Q. If you get them online you can save a wad, let me know if you want a hand sourcing the right stuff. A chainguard would probably be nice too. Or you could get an old Raleigh Twenty for about £20, a lot of them come with mudguards, chainguards, pannier rack and/or front basket too.

    I think the few transport planners who cycle probably do so on a Sunday, as part of a club ride only. They probably consider cycling at work onlyt as much as the transport planner who goes boating at the weekend considers boating a viable means of urban transport on Monday.

  4. Alan P said

    Yeah sounds like a plan – I don’t think ‘our’ bike shed would be able to cope with another bike at the moment so modding the current one would work. I’m going to clean it up a bit after I went through a huge puddle earlier so I will take a few photos so you can see what might work.

    Re: Boating… actually there’s lots of ideas floating (beh dum tssh) around about this. At the start of this year one of the leading Tory think tanks published a set of policy ideas about using the Thames more (see http://www.policyexchange.org.uk/publications/publication.cgi?id=161 for more – work a quick look).

    I think the perceived cost is the barrier to entry and even then I use the boat about twice a month. It isn’t free on my oyster card (£3.55 single at the moment with oyster discount). It’s just nice to sit on the veranda with a cold drink or sit in the cool ‘inside’ area and carry on working for a bit…

  5. http://crapwalthamforest.blogspot.com/2010/07/its-grim-oop-waltham-forest-way.html

    You should be proud, you’ve been spotted by the great Freewheeler

  6. Alan P said

    Yeah tis cool – I’m not looking to steal their place tho… just an ordinary bloke looking to cycle round my borough once in a while to do a bit of shopping… :)

  7. TIW said

    Heading west from the mighty ‘stone is a nightmare at the moment. You’ve got the Mile End Road Of Death, Lea Bridge Road Of Death or via the Eastway, which with all the the olympic site HGVs is very dangerous, especially at the Ruckholt Road railway bridge. Still, better than the tube :)

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