I had to travel across London on Saturday so rather than brave the hot and sticky tube, I took my bike on the train and then cycled across London.
It was a lovely day and Sat-Nav on my phone meant I got straight to my destination – but the roads were frankly shocking. Well actually not the tarmac but the ironworks; the gulleys (the slotted holes where the rain goes), drain covers and manhole covers at the sides and in the middle of the roads.
There I am cruising along, keeping an eye on the traffic and watching for out for suicidal pedestrians about to step in front of me when suddenly bam! My front wheel drops like a stone and then rears up like Roy Roger’s Trigger.
It’s a simple problem – if you add a new layer of tarmac and don’t raise the ironworks, you get left with these small craters – and they’re bloody dangerous. I’m fit, have good balance and spot most of them so can prepare myself but I could well see children, the elderly, or just someone distracted, going over the handlebars into the traffic. No wonder many people won’t cycle around London when even the road surface itself is against you.
So before painting any more "blue highways", Mayor Johnson might like to fix up the many bus lanes and other roads so that they are safe for cyclists.