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ibikelondon blog sets up social media tool to match up experienced riders and newbies

 

With a 48-hour Tube strike now looking almost certain to start at 21:00 tonight, two things are sure: London will grind to a halt as people try to drive to work, and lots of commuters will pull a bike out of the shed and ride through the inevitable gridlock. The ibikelondon blog has cooked up a simple tool for experienced bike commuters to help out new and rusty riders as they take to the streets.

Announcing the idea, the site’s editor Mark Ames writes: “There's plenty of people in London who will be considering using a bike to get through the strike who might be feeling nervous, may be inexperienced at cycling with London traffic or simply may not know the way overground to their place of work.”

To help out those people Mark has created BikeTheStrike, which uses  Google Maps to bring together experienced and less-experienced riders for Wednesday and Thursday’s commute run.

Mark says: “The way it works is simple; if you're a cyclist and you'd be happy to guide another slightly apprehensive rider to work, add your details and draw your cycle route on to our #BikeTheStrike action map, which you can find here.”

Ride leaders are asked to list a meeting point and start time, and give a Twitter handle so people can get in touch.

“If you're a rusty rider looking for someone to show you the way, or to give you a bit of gentle encouragement, check the map for routes near you, and tweet any ride leaders whose route suits your needs, et voila you've got your very own bike buddy to show you the way and take you gently across town and in to the office,” says Mark.

He emphasises that ride leaders are not taking on legal responsibility for those they guide. Instead he said, this is about channelling the "blitz spirit" to help people get to work during the strike.

For more information to sign up as a leader or find a route that suits you, go to the BikeTheStrike page on ibikelondon.blogspot.co.uk.

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

7 comments

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bikebot [1756 posts] 2 years ago
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It's a nice idea, but annoyingly the strike coincides with a weather forecast of heavy rain and 50mph gusts. I don't think many will be sold on the benefits of cycling after that!

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Wolfshade [178 posts] 2 years ago
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bikebot wrote:

It's a nice idea, but annoyingly the strike coincides with a weather forecast of heavy rain and 50mph gusts. I don't think many will be sold on the benefits of cycling after that!

Depends if you can rig a rain poncho so that it catches the breeze so you can sail by...

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Gizmo_ [1381 posts] 2 years ago
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I was going to ride in just to make a point - would have been the first time since my accident. However, 50mph winds forecast mean that I shall be working from home. It's a good idea though - worth doing when there isn't a strike on.

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arfa [720 posts] 2 years ago
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Interesting routes getting plotted and it is notable how many of them avoid the superhighways.....

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Leviathan [1865 posts] 2 years ago
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Obi Wan: "I have a bad feeling about this."

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kie7077 [858 posts] 2 years ago
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bikebot wrote:

It's a nice idea, but annoyingly the strike coincides with a weather forecast of heavy rain and 50mph gusts. I don't think many will be sold on the benefits of cycling after that!

Yep, extra traffic jams and cold rain driving hard against you is enough to put all but the hardiest off. Might be a bit quieter tomorrow.

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gr3g0ree [67 posts] 2 years ago
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Great idea. I could possibly add a Harrow-on-the-Hill to Dollis Hill, or a Harrow - Hanger Lane - Chiswick Park, or North Harrow - Northolt - Hayes.

Current Battersea to Clapham North is a bit worthless  1