Hundreds of West Midlands cyclists took part in the Ride on Birmingham Flashride on Sunday, September 1 to increase the visibility of cycling in Britain’s second city ahead of Parliament debating the Get Britain Cycling report today.
Riders gathered for breakfast in Victoria Square Birmingham, followed by a ride around the city centre and adjacent areas of the Jewellery Quarter and Entertainment District.
The ride also aimed to further the reach of London Cycling Campaign's ‘space for cycling’ initiative, which includes a mass ride in London this evening in advance of the Parliamentary debate.
London cyclists get their chance to make their voices heard today. London Cycling Campaign’s Space for Cycling ride meets at Jubilee Gardens at 6pm (for 6.30pm start) on Monday September 2 and will ride through Parliament Square just before the Get Britain Cycling report is to be debated.
London Cycling Campaign says: “Despite the four recent cycling deaths and thousands of people taking to London’s streets in protest, Mayor Boris Johnson has ignored the public’s clamour for safe space for cycling.
“Our protest will remind the Mayor that providing dedicated space for cycling is vitally important for make our streets safe and inviting for everyone:
“Main roads and major junctions need to be made safe for cycling using segregated tracks and cyclist-specific traffic lights to protect people from fast-moving and heavy motor traffic.
“Local streets – where people predominantly live and shop – should transformed into spaces that are safe for cycling and walking by removing through motor traffic and reducing its speed.”
The ride will be marshalled by experienced LCC volunteers (including road.cc's own TR McGowran, so look out for a man with a big 'tache and big glasses), and there are guided rides organised by LCC local groups to bring supporters in from locations outside the city centre.
Acknowledged by the Telegraph as a leading cycling journalist, John Stevenson has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.
He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.
Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc editor Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.
John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.
He joined road.cc in 2013 and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.