11 August 2014

Dear All

Mick and Anne had to “abort” yesterday’s ride, but will be offering it again on 7 September. With Julian taking on 21 September and Jim volunteering (provisionally) for 5 October that leaves, for the moment, just the next ride – which I will “back stop” (see below).

I don’t want to “go on about it” but I won’t pretend not to be disappointed with the results of my appeal for people to take on rides. I’m also a bit bewildered. A few years ago when we had fewer members it was never a problem to get volunteers in the summer. Sometimes there was even competition, believe it or not. I remember emailing people along the lines of “Thanks for the offer but X’s message arrived before yours. But perhaps we could recycle your ride for ???August/Sept?” Perhaps it’s just that people are going away at the crucial times this year. That’ll be it, I expect.

However, there’s now lots of time to plan for 19 October onwards.

Don’t forget if you plan to come on a ride if the ride has to be cancelled for any reason (usually the wretched weather) a message will be sent out the day before not later than 5 pm (unless otherwise notified) So make sure to check after that time.

One step forward, two steps back

This is one of the sub-heads used by Laura Laker in her article “Back to the Drawing Board” in the current edition of Cycling Weekly. On the one hand, she reports, consultations are taking place on a new Safer Lorry Scheme. “With the new rules, which could come into force next year, HGVs without side-bars and safety mirrors will be banned from the existing Low Emissions Zone.” Not before time, you will think, and why confine it to a relatively small area you will ask. Of the 14 cyclists killed in London in 2013, nine involved HGVs.

But then last week the Department of Transport announces that the speed limit for lorries over 7.5 tonnes will be increased from 40 to 50 mph on country roads. As the article reports, “British Cycling calls the move, intended to save hauliers money, staggering, adding that many HGVs aren’t fit for purpose. It criticised the government’s failure to close loopholes which allow lorries without additional mirrors and safety equipment to operate on our roads.”

I’d like to say that this defies belief – but, sadly, we’ve got increasingly used to such idiocy.



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