Azara Blog: Cycling allegedly booming in London

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Date published: 2005/07/27

The BBC says:

Cycling is undergoing a surge of interest since the London bombings, as commuters decide to head to work under their own steam. Could they be avoiding the threat of terror only to face a more everyday danger on the roads?

Two hours after the bombings on 7 July, a man walked into a bike shop in London Bridge.

"He said 'I'm never going on the Tube again. Sell me a bike,'" recalls Travis Lindhe, manager of On Your Bike, where sales have increased from three bikes a day to 15 ever since.

A cyclists' organisation, the London Cycling Campaign, reports a 10 to 30% increase in use of bike stands at three points in central London, although it says this news is hardly a cause for celebration, given the circumstances.

Fear has driven primary school teacher Stephen Thorpe, 45, on to the saddle of his new bike for his journey from Bow, east London, to Kennington.

"You wake up in the morning and think 'I've got to get on the Tube and I'm taking a risk,'" says Mr Thorpe, who used to cycle part-time. "I was half an hour behind the Liverpool Street bomb, which was a very frightening experience. "

"But when I ride to work I don't have to worry about being a potential bomb victim."

Traffic hazards are not such an issue because his route is on towpaths and quiet streets, he says.

Such great logic. Unfortunately you can be a bomb victim no matter where you are. And watch the cyclist - car accident rate rocket as all these novice cyclists decide to cycle to work. You are much more likely to be killed by a car than a bomb. Thirty years ago people who cycled to work were often just those working class enough not to be able to afford to own a car. Now people who cycle to work are often just those middle class enough to afford to live that close to their workplace.

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