Cycle Fridays – group commuter biking
Published 12 August 2009
Starting from Friday 14th August 2009, a new initiative called Cycle Friday by the Mayor of London as well Transport for London (TfL) will be introduced to get more workers in London to commute to work by bicycle.
Every Friday morning at 8am, experienced convoy leaders will depart from outer London on 6 different cycle routes, ending at the heart of the city. The goal is to encourage commuters who have a bike but haven’t tried biking to work to try it out. Cycling on London’s streets can be quite a stressful experience for a first time cycler, but the hope is that with experienced convoy marshals and bikers leading the group it will provide a good introduction into street cycling for many commuters.
The initial trial scheme is set to run for 8 weeks until the 2nd October 2009, with a further extension possible if it proves to be extremely popular. Ride marshals from the London Cycling Campaign will be on hand before the journey starts to provide basic bike checks and hand out TfL cycling maps. I have a couple of these maps myself, and they are very good at figuring out where cycle paths and cycle friendly roads are.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, was quoted as saying: “Whether it’s Monday, Wednesday, or Sunday I tend to go by bike but, although it is safe and getting safer, I fully appreciate that some people find it a little daunting at first. Cycle Fridays are a brilliantly simple way of giving thousands of commuters the confidence to get cycling. I’m sure that when they see how much of a fun, healthy and convenient experience it can be they will be hooked.”
TfL have a dedicated website for cycling in London here, where you can order cycling maps to be sent by mail, as well as book free cycle training classes. The following is a table of the 6 marshaled cycle routes. You can also view all the routes on Google Map here.
If you don’t have a bike yet or are looking for accessories, one of the best places to start looking for one is either at Halfords, or at Amazon.co.uk, who sell a wide range of bikes and accessories at quite good prices.