A petition has been set up in favour of cycling events in Surrey such as the Ride London 100, and also calling on Surrey County Council to better communicate with those affected by organised rides in the area.
Created by Keith McRae (known hereabouts as GKam84), the petition is a direct counter to Ian Huggins’ ‘Stop Surrey being turned into a cycle track’ campaign.
One of the most-heard local complaints about the RideLondon 100 was a lack of consultation and notification. Keith McRae writes: “Residents should be informed and brought into discussions about routes and road closures that may come into effect during such high profile events.”
In the comments of Ian Huggins’ petition, many people claim that cyclists don’t pay road tax - one even refers to it as ‘Road Fund Licence’, an official term that disappeared in 1937. Keith McRae takes the opportunity to point out that “the people of Surrey seem to think that their tax is solely spent on the roads of their county for the sole purpose of using their cars to get about” and of course that there is no such thing as road tax.
Mr McRae then dissects Mr Huggins’ original petition point by point, in particular explaining that the RideLondon 100 was not a race, but a challenge event; that all roads are suitable for cycling except motorways; and that a full road closure is the only way to safely run such a large event.
If you want to add your voice to Mr McRae’s and the 1600 people who have already signed up, the petition is on change.org.
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.