25 March 2010
Britain's best cycling cities revealed! ...oh
My May issue of Cycling Plus arrived through the letterbox yesterday, amid the usual blizzard of flyers for takeaways and witch doctors. (I'm not joking about the witch doctors. This is south London, you know.)
Like any hack, the first thing I look at is my own stuff, to see if the subs have 'corrected' the jokes they didn't understand. (They hadn't. My copy's perfect, of course.) I'm banging on about April Fools in my column this month, and I plug Freewheeler's blog. My column's on page 36, if you're in a WH Smith some time today.
Anyway, one feature that caught my eye was C+'s ranking of the Best Cycling Cities 2010. (I posted about a list of world top bike-friendly cities a few days ago.) They say they've taken into account all sorts of stuff, not just 'facilities'. How likely your bike is get stolen, for instance (London good, surprisingly, Hull bad). Or the rain (Nottingham dry, Cardiff soaking).
But their final Top 20, according to an unspecified formula combining all these factors, certainly raises an eyebrow. Cambridge (my favourite British bike city, pictured) doesn't even make the list. Nor does York, one of the few other cities I'd happily live in as a Real Cyclist.
London only clocks in at 17th, three places below Hull (which is, to be fair, pretty good for cycling, if not for many other things, such as access to witch doctors, or having paid employment or GCSEs or two parents).
Their top five is...
Hmm. No doubt this will get the forums buzzing on Bike Radar, the website associated with the magazine. Wonder what Groningen or Assen or Munster might score on the C+ formula...?