30 March 2010
Cambridge terrible for cycling, says survey
More 'best cycle-city' survey amusement comes to me from John Kitchiner, editor of LCC's London Cyclist. It follows on from my post about Cycling Plus's verdict that Bristol is the UK's top town for bikes.
John's been sent a press release from flatshare company EasyRoommate.co.uk. According to their research - evidently conducted with the same depth and due diligence as my dad employed when contemplating foreign food - the most bike-friendly city in Britain is...
(The Mersey Ferry, pics, is one of the chapters in my 50 Quirky Bike Rides book.)
And the worst two are... London and Cambridge!
You don't need to be the Guardian's bad-science guru Ben Goldacre (who's also a Real Cyclist) to see the flaws in the reasoning. One of their negative factors is the proportion of cyclists among casualties. That'll naturally be higher in places with a high incidence of cycling, such as Cambridge or Oxford. By that score, Los Angeles probably beats Groningen, and motorways are the safest place for cyclists, because you never get any bike casualties there.
Now, it's only a pretend survey in a press release, but it does actually raise a valid point about cycle storage (another reason London fares badly).
I've met a couple of central London cyclists recently who have Bromptons as their everyday machine - not for taking on the train or bus, but simply because there's no space to put a standard bike in their flat or at work.
The survey also didn't take into account your chances of having a bike nicked, which may have affected Liverpool's top spot. According to Cycling Plus's research, London is the least likely big city to have a bike nicked, and Hull the most.
Nevertheless, this bloke (right) in London's Jerusalem Tavern (which has no street bike parking) was taking no chances - another place where a Brompton comes in handy.