- By London Cycling Campaign on at 02:54pm 03 Mar 2014
- Posted in:
- Tagged with: International Women's Day, Kerena Fussell
Kerena Fussell is an LCC member and active campaigner for our local group in Newham.
With International Women's Day this week, London Cycling Campaign are focusing on ladies who ride bikes. There are actually lots of us, although you wouldn't necessarily know from the "cycling fashion" appearing in some high street stores.
LCC's current campaign is Space for Cycling - and that's it in a nutshell. It's about creating a city where everyone can ride their bike - whatever kind of bike it is, wearing whatever they like and at whatever speed they like - and feel safe to do so.
I'm not a Lycra-clad racer or a trendy fixie rider. Neither am I a sedate Mary Poppins type on a Pashley (although some days I wish I was!) I'm a 40 year-old woman who loves to ride my bike.
Having forgotten about the joy of cycling sometime around starting work, I rediscovered it in 2008 on holiday in Cyprus with the in-laws. Sharing a car, the only way to get around on days we were car-less was to hire ropey old mountain bikes. The freedom of jumping on those bikes with a packed lunch and a map brought back memories of camping holidays in the South of France. My parents would hire bikes and take off with my sister and I in seats on the back. Everyone should experience that feeling of the wind and sun on your face.
When we got home from Cyprus, I bought a bike and haven't looked back.
Since 2008 I've chosen cycling as my main method of transportation around this great, but busy city of ours. I ride over 100 miles a week on my commute and I'm fully aware that I take my life in my hands every time I do it. That's my choice - but surely I have the right to be safe in that choice?
I don't have kids, but I want to live in a city where kids ride their bikes to school and where, when my nephew comes to stay, we can all go out on our bikes together. Currently I wouldn't take hm anywhere that wasn't a park.
I'm not asking to wake up next Monday and be living in a city that has been transformed into Copenhagen or Amsterdam. I just want to know that things are being done to make that a possibility in the future.
Since I joined LCC a couple of years ago, I have been incredibly impressed with the work they do to make this possibility very real. 2012's Love London, Go Dutch campaign put enough pressure on the Mayor and his fellow candidates that he had to sign up to their manifesto. How could he ignore the awe-inspiring Big Ride when 10,000 of us turned up to demand his attention?
Space for Cycling follows this up with some great aims - and they are not all about cycling. One of the key areas for me is Liveable Town Centres, where pedestrians and cyclists have priority over motor traffic, creating a more pleasant living space for all of us.
Now wouldn't that be nice?