Archives For Croydon

Image from Cycling Weekly

Croydon has a handful of bicycle shops, ranging from top end bikes and parts to the lower end bikes. Geoffrey Butler Cycles recently told Cycling Weekly their story from the night of the riots last month.

Geoffrey Butler Cycles is located in the high street of South Croydon, a world of difference from West Croydon where the rioters where kicking off. Stephen Delaney, manager of Geoffrey Butler Cycles, went to his store at around 8pm and the door to his shop was already kicked in and several thousand pounds worth of stock was already missing, included a Team Sky Pinarello Dogma with Di2 Dura-Ace worth over £7,000. He decided the best way to protect his store was to stay up all night and protect it him self, he called some colleagues and friends to come and help him out, they blocked up the door with Calmpagnolo delivery boxes.

Geoffrey Butler Cycles also owns Bike Plus which is situated just a few miles down the road, at around midnight Mr Delaney received a call that this was also being broken into and rushed down there. In front of him was two white vans which pulled up by the shop but drove off as he got out. Quite clearly showing the intent of the thieves. Only a few bikes were taken from Bike Plus, and again staff arrived and stayed in the shop all night to protect it as the Police didn’t have the resources to protect local shop keepers.
In total Geoffrey Butler and Bike Plus had £40,000 worth of stock taken.

Cycle King which is based just down the road from Geoffrey Butler was completely cleared out, an estimated 600 bikes were taken which totalled over £120,000 worth of stock. As mentioned before, it is thought that this was done by an organised group of people. This looting was done well away from all the other action and looters turned up in white vans and packed them full of goods. Cycle King was forced to change the shutters they had several years ago by the council as they didn’t fit in with the rest of the high street. And as a result the cheaper ones where no match for organised criminals.

Originally reported by Cycling Weekly >

Apparently there are 71 drivers in Croydon that are still driving with more than 12 points on their license. In each case the court has decided that banning the drivers will cause exceptional hardship. One of the drivers has got more than 17 points and been banned 3 times in 4 years.

Driving to me has always been seen as a privilege. You are allowed to get up to 12 points on your license and after that it gets taken away from you. Well that is what is meant to happen. Courts all across the country are letting people who routinely break the laws of the road back on the road. If you depend on your vehicle to live, to earn money or to provide for your family. Then your driving should be squeaky clean, some of these 71 drivers have been caught several times for the same offences, those offences include; speeding, no license, no insurance and using mobile phones.

There is a reason why these drivers have got points, they are breaking laws and rules of the road and they should be banned, have their vehicles seized and crushed!

The broken clavicle is a common cycling injury. Cyclists often try to break their fall by out stretching their arm and unfortunately this leads to a break or fracture in the clavicle.

This happened to me 17 days ago, I won’t be going into detail about how it happened as the police are looking into it. But the resulting collision for me was the Tarmac at a high rate of speed. Before you ask, there is no video, my helmet camera was bashed, squashed and the memory card thrown from the camera when I hit the ground, I have looked for it but I can’t find it.

So I’m laying on the ground looking at the morning sky and I don’t even bother to try to get up, I know I’ve at least fractured my clavicle. Luckily there was a school nearby and a few shops on the other side of the road. Lots of people where there to help, be in calling emergency services, taking control of the situation, talking to me, contacting my parents and controlling traffic so it didn’t drive over me as I laid in the road.

Once the ambulance arrived they took a look and its pretty clear there is something wrong with my clavicle but we won’t know what until it gets x-rayed. At first I take gas and air to relieve the pain, I believe it’s a mixture of laughing gas and oxygen, it’s bloody awesome but you have to keep breathing it for pain relief.
They also gave me some oramorph which is morphine based but did little for me.

Before we could leave for A&E we had to wait for the police to arrive and they certainly took their time. We couldn’t leave incase the other person involved left. Eventually my mother arrived and said she would wait so I could go to A&E. So about 40 minutes after it had happened I’m finally in a moving ambulance.

So I’m finally at A&E, I’m given 10mg or morphine and I’m waiting for a porter to take me to x-ray. The police turn up and have a quick chap, they look over the bike and I tell them what happened, I found it strange that they didn’t appear to take notes of what I described in detail. But they where interested in the camera and what it would show, at that moment in time none of us knew the damage to the camera or that the memory card was missing.

The porter finally arrives and takes me down to x-ray. Unfortunately x-ray is a slow process and it would appear that morphine does nothing for me as I’m still in excruciating pain. Who knows how much time I was waiting for x-ray but it was too long for me!

Eventually I’m through x-ray and back in A&E, waiting for the results.

So the doctor comes to see me, she has looked at the x-ray and states it’s a basic fracture and the only thing they will do is put it in a sling and let it heal. It’s one they will definitely not operate on.
I had to be booked in at the fracture clinic where I will go for regular check ups to make sure it’s healing well. Unfortunately this is done a week after the break and I’m going on holiday in 2 days time. We ask for their advice and they say I should be fine to travel and the appointment is pushed back till after I’m back.

I’m discharged from hospital and I’m on my way home with some pain killers and my arm in a sling. I’m happy with the way everything has turned out and looking forward to the road to recovery but how simple is this road going to be?

As I recently blogged, Croydon – A cycling borough, Croydon will be receiving extra funding from the mayor to improve cycling in the borough. I’ve heard that this funding may well be coming to the council over a 3 year period which is going to equate to roughly £150,000 to spend per year on cycling.

The aim of the money is to make Croydon (and other boroughs that receive money) a cycling town. A place where people start to cycle instead of using other forms of transport but to achieve this Croydon Council will need to spend the money wisely on facilities and projects that will be beneficial to cycling and not harm it.

Over the next few months I will be making video logs of current cycle facilities that Croydon has and any new work which takes place. It seems from experience that any new facilities put in are done so in small segments, and are of no benefit to cyclists.

For example:

Said videos will be included in a youtube playlist found here.

Edit: Small spelling mistake 🙂

The Mayor, Boris Johnson, announced yesterday that £4,000,000 would be spread across the 13 cycling boroughs of London that he had named in 2010.

Those boroughs are Barking & Dagenham, 
Bexley, 
Havering:, 
Redbridge, 
Brent, Ealing, 
Haringey, 
Hillingdon, Hounslow, Bromley, Croydon, 
Kingston and 
Merton.

Croydon will be receiving the largest amount of money, £450,500 which should go towards making Croydon a better place to be a cyclist. Be that adding more cycle facilities, adding more parking or offering cycle training.

And Croydon certainly does need that! At present cycling isn’t great in Croydon, despite being the London borough with the highest population of people and the 5th largest borough the cycling facilities are poor and parking is hard to find outside of the town centre.

When you do find a cycling facility it will be the usual crap, substandard, not maintained, not cleaned and often putting you in danger. Many cyclists have stated the danger of the cycle lane that travels along Croydon Road (A236), for miles cyclists are encouraged to cycle in the door zone and I see many unaware cyclists falling into just that potentially life costing trap!

Croydon has had 5 cycling facilities in the well-known cycling facility of the month which is run by Warrington cycle campaign. Each is a great example of the fine work and thought that is given to cyclists in Croydon. Don’t think we are any different to anywhere else, this happens all over the country!

Will nearly £500,000 improve cycling in Croydon? I shall certainly be on the look out for new and updated cycling facilities but i doubt that what we get will be any better than what we already have!

Croydon will certainly be a tough place to improve. Cars are relied on heavily by anyone that doesn’t live near a shopping centre, supermarket or local shops. Places like the Purley Way which contain a vast array of shops is very impracticable to travel to and from by bicycle. Bulk purchases are made in these shops and bringing them back on a bicycle would be a challenge.

Croydon isn’t exactly known for its road planning anyway. Look at Valley Park as an example. It contains a vast amount of shops including the only Ikea in South London, cinema, dining and a large B&Q. Yet there is only one way in and out!?
Which stupid designer thought of that idea?
It’s almost impossible to get out of there on a busy afternoon as everyone has had the same idea and gone shopping!

Croydon will never become a cycling town if the council doesn’t start looking after cyclists. Adding new facilities and parking is great! But if they are not maintained then  how can we use them safely?

Another example from Croydon Road (A236) is a small section just after Mitchem common and before the petrol station. A small section of cycle lane is in very poor quality, it is always filled with water, stones and glass. And just yesterday I had to move a tyre out of it.

I can only hope that we won’t be sold the same fairytale that TFL is doing with the Barclays Cycle Superhighways!