Would you be quickerbybike?

Quickerbybike.com is a campaign to promote cycling to non-cyclists
& decent cycling to existing cyclists.

If you commute to work or school but not by bike,
would you consider switching?

It's probably quicker, healthier, more friendly, more independent, cheaper, quieter & brighter.

If you already ride, would you promote cycling via your shorts?

If you ride like a bit of a wally, running red lights & annoying other road users,

would you wear the shorts and ride decently?

Wednesday 18 November 2009

Brompton S2L review

Yup, there's a new, bright green folding addition to the quickerbybike stable.

It's bloody brilliant!

Seen here ridden by my rival for the the Gherkin 1-lap TT (which I won. GET IN!).

Though the bike is fast and nimble, it's hard to take yourself entirely seriously when you're riding it, so it's full of fun.

I've had children grinning and pointing at me as I fly past.

I've taken it on buses and trains. I've taken it to pubs and restaurants. I take it to meetings with work. I love it. I always arrive grinning and bright and ready to work.

The other plus is that people can't help liking it and liking you on it. How can you help being kindly inclined towards a grinning man on a little bright green bike?

I can't recommend this bike highly enough. Worth every penny.
Top tip: do not pedal through corners.

Tuesday 18 August 2009

"Get off your bike before you're knocked off"?

A quickerbybiker spotted this at the weekend and sent me a link to the article in the Sunday Times, written by Minette Marrin.


She says a great deal that is sensible; she sees the benefits of cycling as a fun, free and fast means of travel in London but finds these benefits obliterated by the dangers of busy roads, the aggression of other cyclists, the pollution and the prospect of spending your day at the office being smelly because there are no showers where you work.

There certainly is a problem of attitude by cyclists on the road, as Minette points out. I've always found some London cyclists to be obnoxious and irresponsible. It would be great to encourage them to be more friendly and to behave properly. For the most part though, I think the bustle of cycle commuters is a very friendly place to be.

The pollution in a car is, I understand, no better than outside the car.

I'm lucky enough to have an office with a shower, as are most of my cycle-commuting friends. Those who have no shower at work have the hassle of showering at a local gym. In any event, I think the solution is to encourage employers to install showers, rather than to wrire cycling off as inherently unhygenic.

Minette does acknowledge that many of her friends, and thousands of others in London, really enjoy their commute by bike and I think this is the key point: whilst Minette Marrin does not enjoy cycling, it does not follow that cycling is not enjoyable.

I agree with Minette's stance so far as it applies to her and to others who do not enjoy cycling. It's always wretched for people to be doing things they don't enjoy, whether it's going to a gym, reading Shakespeare, eating out or entertaining. I always want to see people cheerful in what they're doing, particularly if what they're doing is something I love.

There are a great many people for whom cycling will never be fun and I wouldn't wish cycling on them for anything.

I'm sure there are many however who, disliking cycling in the first instance, might find a type of fun in it that appeals to them if they persevere a little.

Thursday 9 July 2009

Goodbye bottled water!

The Ausies have started us off, let's roll it out across the world.


No junk mail, please.

If you want to stop annoying, wastefull junk mail being put through your door, there are three steps to take.

Firstly, stop the unaddressed leaflet stuff by getting a "no junk mail" sticker for your letterbox. Many councils will issue you with a free sticker. For Richmond and Twickenham, for example, just email your name and address to recycling@richmond.gov.uk to get your free sticker.

Next you need to stop mail that is addressed to you, sent by companies who have bought your address from a database. To do this, you simply register with the Mail Preference Service at http://www.mpsonline.org.uk/mpsr/.

The last and most irritating hurdle is to write to Royal Mail (no, there's no other way!) to ask them to stop sending you the adverts that they have been paid to distribute.

The address is:

Door to Door Opt Outs
Royal Mail
Kingsmead House
Oxpens Road

Simply tell them: "I would like to opt out of door-to-door deliveries".

Three easy-ish steps and it all stops. REDUCE, re-use, recycle, innit.


Tuesday 2 June 2009

The incredible shrinking man.

My cycle commute is a quiet, flat 30 minutes against the traffic.
I tend to pass the same riders every day, all heading into town.
I pass Karl, who I waved and smiled at for years before finally bumping into in a bike shop. We chatted for ages and now, knowing more about each other, exchange the odd shout as we pass.

There's the big South-African dude who shouts "Morning" loudly every day. He's a lycra type and looks like he spends a lot of time on his bike.

There's a friendly chap with a beard who I tend to pass nearer to the start of my commute. He's casual clothes and hybrid bike.

There are two old-timers, one on a fixed gear race bike and the other on a Dawes Galaxy with panniers (he pedals the biggest gear on thr bike all the time). I've chatted once or twice to the Galaxy man. He's even tagged on the back of my club training ride one night when he was especially late coming home from work and in need of a draft.

There's the grumpy man with the yellow bike who has NEVER acknowledged me in 6 years of nodding and waving. I'm not giving up.

And now there's the incredible shrinking man. I don't think he'd be desperately offended to be told that he looked a tiny bit comical when he first passed me. He was on a racer, wearing lycra and he was a little bit chubby. Actually he was a lot chubby. But now we've been nodding and waving to each other for, I guess, six months, he's rapidly disappearing. I barely recognise him. He looks leaner and faster and more pleased with himself each week, and my nods and waves get more enthusiastic in proportion.

So those are my commute friends. I only know the name of one of them but they're my friends anyway.

Tuesday 21 April 2009

Quickerbybike.com were at the 5th Smartmoves conference at the business design centre today.

We heard from Mayor Boris's director of transport policy that nothing short of a revolution is going to take place in london for cyclists. He wasn't entirely convincing but the agreed targets to implement at least two radial cycle highways my may 2010 as well as the first phase of the bike hire scheme for central London, by the same date, sounded pretty bright.

There were talks by a few of London's transport leading lights, particularly Ben Plowden of Tfl's Smarter Travel Unit and John Dales, Director of Transport Movement and Streets.

I'll write more later. I've got to go and ride my bike. However, I spoke to a chap from Cambridge Council and recommended him a book. I couldn't remember the author: Gary, it's Tim Hilton. The book is "One more Kilometer and we're in the showers" and I recommend it very highly.

If anyone spoke to me or saw me at the conference and would like to get in touch, please do not hesitate to email me at martin at quickerbybike dot com.

Friday 20 March 2009

Let me out! How to enjoy the school run.

Now, more than before, with pressure on the family purse, it is the time to leave the car at home and walk or bike to school.
That is the message of this entertaining and practical handbook for parents, children and teachers based on over ten years of experience as a mother in London, one of the most congested towns in the world with particular problems with the school run.
Illustrated with cartoons and case studies and quotes from children, parents and teachers, this book aims to encourage and inspire others to get out of their cars and enjoy the school journey. It provides an entertaining mix of personal experience, policy review and practical suggestions.

Ann Kenrick, the author, has cycled in London for over 40 years as a child, student, employee, 9 month pregnant mother, and employer. She has been involved in sustainable transport issues more directly for over fifteen years as Trustee of the Environmental Transport Association and London Cycling Campaign and Founder/Chairman of the East Dulwich Safe Routes to School Group. She has been recognised for this work with a Southwark civic award.

Friday 27 February 2009

TC reports from Lanzarote training camp

The airport at Lanzarote is a funny old place. After a week at La Santa it's all too easy to turn in to a bit of a 'Body Fascist' - The Easy Jet queue brings an abrupt end to this experience and I realise how very different the lifestyles of the average British Citizen are.

My interest in Quicker By Bike has grown to the point that I now feel actively compelled to make a difference through this site. What better illustration of the importance of this movement can be found than the one I have just witnessed. The faces say it all. My companions beam with a healthy glow and as I fly back through the night I'm looking forward to jumping on the single speed and heading in to work.

Hills, headwinds and hot climbs were nothing to a set of strong commuting legs. Cycling to work is free training and healthiness is happiness. Join the revolution my friends!

Wednesday 25 February 2009

We're on Facebook

There's now a quickerbybike.com group on Facebook.

Join up!

Tuesday 17 February 2009

quickerbybike car stickers?

It might sound daft but a car sticker delivers the message to just the same place that a logo on a bum does. Stickers are a bit cheaper than shorts. So stickers mean the message gets delivered to the right place a lot more often.

Vote for your slogan of choice before we get them produced. Any feedback or abuse gratefully received.

It's worth considering that the quickerbybike.com logo already conveys a lot of the message, so we don't want to duplicate that in the sticker slogan.


"Life is short. Clock is ticking." quickerbybike.com

"Traffic is more fun on a bike." quickerbybike.com

"I would be there by now if I had cycled" quickerbybike.com

"I'm not having any fun" quickerbybike.com

"Why aren't I on my bike?" quickerbybike.com

"I wish I were on my bike." quickerbybike.com