Monday, April 7, 2008

On Your Bike

Living so close to most Coleridge residents, my main way of getting round the ward is on the trusty election 'battle bike', which is almost certainly the quickest way to make most journeys:

Unfortunately it will be off the road for a couple of days having a major overhaul (its first for several years), that will cost nearly £100.

At first this seems eye-watering for a bike, but it has a good frame, and nearly all the mechanical parts are worn out and need replacing. And then you compare it to other forms of transport. I have probably travelled about 3,000 miles on the bike without any major repairs, i.e. the cost of these miles is about 3p per mile. My car, by comparison costs about 15p a mile in petrol, before you even consider depreciation, insurance, car tax (lets not think about that too much or it will upset me), MOT, servicing etc. Even my marathon running shoes which need replacing reasonably frequently probably cost about 10p per mile run.

Its pretty clear cycling is a very cost effective way of getting around, as well as being environmentally friendly and keeping you fit. Not everyone can cycle, and its not suitable for all journeys, so we still need to provide other forms of transport, and the motorist is already taxed and harassed too much. But when we plan the future development of Cambridge, I think much more needs to be done to make cycling quicker and more convenient wherever possible.

UPDATE: The bike is now back and running very well after its complete rebuild. Many thanks to Blazing Saddles on Cherry Hinton Road!

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