Places still available on cycle maintenance classes

A new series of Lambeth Cyclists’ popular series of bike maintenance classes will start on Wednesday 13 October 2011. Giving a broad introduction to bike maintenance over the course of five weeks these classes will enable you to keep your bike on the road for longer.

This set of classes will take place on Wednesdays 6.45 - 8.45 pm at a venue in Kennington. The classes will cover 1st week: general introduction, 2nd week: brakes, 3rd week: gears, 4th week: wheels/tyres and 5th week: general session to fix any particular problems and follow up from previous weeks. They classes are taught by Simon Bendel of Brixton Cycles and cost £55 for the full course. If you are interested in signing up for the maintenance classes please contact Olivia / 020 7627 0165 for further details.

Clapham goes car free

Car free Clapham on

On Sunday 19 September 2011 an area of Clapham Oldtown was designated as car free with barriers put up and turf was laid on the road in place of cars and other motor vehicles.

A series of musical, dance and theatre displays entertained passers by and stalls operated selling food and drink, pottery and other items.

The event was put on to celebrate European Car Free Day. It also worked to give a taste of what the area could be like if the proposed Clapham Gateway Scheme gets the go ahead. This scheme is proposing the removal of the bus stand in centre of the site, the removal of the eastern carriageway to through traffic and the creation of a new piazza area.

Members of the public were generally positive and supported the car free Clapham vision. That weekend other parts of Lambeth were of course effectively car free too due to the visit of the Pope rather than any car free initiative. This has led many to ask why it requires special events to show the improvements brought by fewer cars on the roads. We hope that Lambeth can work effectively to make more of the borough car free more often.

Thousands Skyride from Lambeth

This years Skyride in early September saw thousands cycle into a car-free central London from Lambeth.

Skyride 2010 in Lambeth on
Here Lambeth Cyclists’ Clare Neely reflects on leading one of the feeder rides to the event, successful inspite of her concerns about the corporate sponsorship by Sky.

She writes “Hi I am Clare, your Skyride leader! It all came out in a rush -'My son is autistic and he has never ridden on the road before' 'oh' I said more breezily than I was feeling, another added 'my niece has autism and I regularly cycle on the road with her' She visibly relaxed and by the end of the day everyone in the Lambeth Cyclists ride from Streatham Hill had ridden back routes, off road and done right turns onto Major Rioads in South London Sunday lunchtime traffic. The key I discovered was drawing on years of amateur dramatics to exude confidence, a fantastic set of marshalls who interpreted freely Murdochs’ Skyride instructions and letting the bossy year 7s come up to the front and show everyone their looking behind and signalling.

I didn't join the 85,000 on the main Skyride, but caught up on emails and calls. Next year I will volunteer again to lead one of the Lambeth rides out and back, worth it because despite Rupert (Murdoch), a whole bunch of South Londoners, yes including me, who didn't think we could do something found out that day that yes we can.”