Cycling in London is too dangerous even for the fearless adventurer Ben Fogle, who has said that he is ‘horrified’ to see inexperienced riders on Boris bikes.
The TV presenter who first appeared on Castaway 15 years ago, told the Evening Standard: “I’m a cyclist but I don’t cycle in London.
“Boris bikes were a brilliant idea, but I get slightly horrified if I’m in a taxi in London, and you see people weaving in and out [of traffic] who are not the finest cyclists.
“The best cyclists have their own bikes. Some Boris cyclists are not brilliant with their stability, and they’re not wearing helmets.”
He added that he was in favour of segregated infrastructure, saying: “I don’t think you can combine cars and bikes – it’s almost impossible. I am looking forward to the big cycle superhighways, though – they’re going to be amazing.”
Fogle’s friend James Cracknell was seriously injured in a collision on a bike in Arizona in 2010 and suffered brain damage, adding to the adventurer’s concerns. He said: “The fallout of that on James’s family has been so huge. He lost so much, the family lost so much. It was a reality check, but what happened to him could have happened in London.
“It’s hideous. I try not to cycle any more in London because it’s become too dangerous.
“I have a car and I do drive in London, but I’d be quite happy if cars were banned from central London. I just don’t know why we still allow it.
“Black cab drivers will hate me but why are we not using little tuk-tuks rather than big black cabs?
“Why are we not downsizing? The rickshaws and tuk tuks and tiny little vehicles are more eco-friendly. Do taxis... need to be that size?”
Back in 2010 we reported how Fogle helped set up up a group to highlight the benefits of a £750,000 proposed cycle scheme for a path intended to link Chepstow and Tintern, after enjoying a holiday in the area.
And in 2009, Fogle and James Cracknell attempted the Ride of Britain, a 450 mile, 60 hour non-stop rickshaw journey from Edinburgh to London, to raise money for The Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association Forces Help.
After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.