The NEEDLE by luckboy


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									More people on bikes

Better conditions for cyclists

Raised profile of cycling

The newsletter of Southwark Cyclists April / May 2007 Edition
666 London Cycling Campaign members in Southwark 339 egroup members

Barry’s Blog
There was a lovely Rotherhithe focus to Saturday 11 March - all within two minutes of Southwark Park cafe where at 11am the second of our Southwark Healthy Rides for novices was about to set off with volunteer helpers and professional mechanic/trainers. In Rotherhithe Free Church, three Southwark Cyclist women were behind our stall at an International Women's Week event. On Elephant Lane, the Bubble Theatre was jumble-saleing surplus customers and props. Round the corner at Surrey Quays shopping centre was Transport for London's Tour de France roadshow lorry and mobile displays. Life in the village. TfL phoned three days before. Help. Problems staffing the stand. Southwark Cyclists can step in? Sorry loves, no. We've got two quite separate and excellent local events to focus on. We've also been asked to escort Parisian VIP's to Herne Hill Velodrome, to find beds for twin-town Clichy Cyclists, take rides to Park Lane traffic islands, and much more. Fine. Unwanted is horrid. The big beasts scare away the little mammals. There's no 2012 money after all for the Rotherhithe-Canary Wharf bridge. The huge value/low-cost South Bermondsey disused railway link is a great £200,000 project searching for funding while the £4bn East London line extension gets firmed up a stone's throw away. Downriver just east of the Woolwich Flood Barrier there's an 800 metre £1m gap in the Thames Path while billions get spent on the peninsula.... Le Tour de France started as a marketing tool to save an ailing French sports paper. Like the Olympics, it’s gone global. Love Le Tour Weekend but don't let it bleed energy away from your biking, Bike Week, Bermondsey Carnival, the daft mix of all our great local stuff. We do get more people on bikes. Barry Mason – Co-ordinator

If You Love it, Lock it!
With 2 Good Locks
After a recent ride, two “new to London” cyclists locked their bikes with a lightweight, easy-to-carry, “sensibly priced” (cheap) lock and were promptly advised by Southwark Cyclists to urgently review their flimsy security system. After a beer, a chat, and some promises to upgrade, the innocents cycled off to Surrey Quays Tesco’s where their bikes promptly went missing, adding to the list of 439,000 bikes stolen every year in the UK. What kind of lock should you buy? Government websites note that an opportunist thief will try your lock for one minute, a determined thief will try for three, and a dedicated thief for five minutes. Urban legend and cycle stores suggest that you spend 10-20% of your bike’s cost on good locks. Sold Secure is a non-profit organisation that has established a rating system: Bronze - lightweight locks offering a defence against opportunistic thieves. These are only good as a back-up or secondary support to your main lock. Silver - mid-weight locks providing reasonable security against thieves with moderate time and ambition. Used in conjunction with other locks, they should hold off all but the most eager cycle thief. Gold - heavy weight locks providing maximum security, but not practical for cycling around town. Good for those who lock their bikes outside overnight. Most major manufacturers (Abus and Kryptonite) use the Sold Secure system or have modified it to rate their better products. If you have problems deciding, has reviews and ratings from cycling magazines to help you.

Beware cheap locks –
Worse than useless!

The “Locking Ritual” how should you lock-up? 1) Start with an immovable object. Think about how hard a thief will have to work to take your bike (lock intact). Thieves will remove drainpipes, lift bikes over signposts, hack down trees, and steal the object itself if they have time and inclination. Bike racks may be a good place, but remember, not all bike racks are created equal - and their design, placement, or base material may not protect your cycle. 2) Lock your bike through the frame. Additional locks should pass through both wheels and the frame together. Keep the gap between the bike and the lock as small as possible, making it hard for a thief to maneuver, lever, or smash. Face the lock towards the ground so it can’t easily be turned upwards for picking. 3) Take accessories with you when you leave (lights, panniers, etc.) They are quick and easy to steal, and expensive to replace! Yes, we know locking up is a pain! No one likes the expense of buying locks, the extra weight they add and the space they take up, and the hassle of locking and unlocking during a rain storm, etc. But, cycle crime is easy, low skill and apparently profitable (40% of stolen cycles are sold over internet websites). So, how long do you

We’d like to see our message spread to an even wider audience. Please take a moment to visit and print off a few copies of the Needle and hand them out to cyclists you know - or even cyclists you don’t. Leave some at your surgery, library, workplace etc. Become a Needle champion!

Yes, it’s the NEEDLE
Thanks to everyone who suggested a new fresh name for our newsletter. After much lobbying and deliberation we went for Eric Gauster’s suggestion of the NEEDLE. Most of our rides start at Southwark Needle and we hope the newsletter gets straight to the point, so thanks for the suggestion Eric. In the NEEDLE our intention is to provide readers with quick articles of interest, a list of things to do in the coming months, and a summary of Southwark Cyclists’ community involvement activities on London cyclists’ behalf. Having we been doing this effectively? Is this what you’d like to see? Anything else you think cyclists might be interested in. If so, please contact the newsletter editors at: We only know if we’re getting it right or wrong if you tell us. We mean it when we say we value your feedback.

Getting Involved
Southwark Cyclists is the most active cycling group in London with the second largest membership list -- but we often see the same faces at rides and meetings!!! Where are you all? What kind of rides would get you on your bike on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon? Is there a wonky cycle route, important planning issue, or traffic safety issue that you’d like to see Southwark Cyclists bring to the attention of its political contacts? Would you like to volunteer to help lead cycle rides, distribute fliers for events, or badger politicians on behalf of cycle issues? If so, we'd like to hear from you. Please contact:

Go And join the Egroup – it’s easy
Upcoming Rides and Events
Most Thursday nights The sun is back (almost!) Afterworkers start at 6:30p.m. at the Southwark Needle. Check first. Sunday, 1st April: No Fool’s us! Popular Manningtree ride out of Liverpool Street Station. Details on our web site. Friday, 6th April: Good Friday. International Day of racing and events at Herne Hill Velodrome. Excellent spectator day out. Entry fee. We'll ride there. Saturday, 7th April: Healthy Ride – easy paced rides for beginners. Dr Bike from 10am. Ride from 11am. Back by 3pm. Ideal taster rides. Start today from Dulwich Park Café. Wednesday 11th April: Southwark Cyclists Monthy Meeting and 2nd Wednesday of every month 7pm Blackfriars Settlement, Rushworth Street SE1. Pub afterwards. Get involved – all welcome. Saturday, 14th April: Healthy Ride as above but from Peckham Pulse. Alternatively, Rainham-Faversham Loop with Lewisham Cyclists. Meet 8:45am at Greenwich Station. Saturday, 21st April: Another Healthy Ride from Southwark Park Café. Saturday & Sunday, 21st & 22nd April: Wonderful Whitstable Weekend. 65 miles to Whitstable on Saturday, sleep over, 55 miles on Sunday. Book your own accommodation. Option to do either day on their own. Contact Barry 07905 889 005. Friday 27th April: Critical Mass – Not a Southwark Cyclist’s Ride 6.30pm last Friday of every month on the South Bank under Waterloo Bridge. It’s a bit political, but so is riding a bike! Try it. Saturday, 28th April: Yet another Healthy Ride again from Dulwich Park. Friday, 4th May – Monday, 7th May: Bank Holiday Camping Weekend on the Isle of Wight (or Isle of Weight as on Lewisham Cyclists web site!). Thursday, 17th May – Monday, 21st May: Hadrian’s Wall with Greenwich Cyclists. Youth Hostel (about £70), train & food extra. Details from Ray – 07963 349 993. Sunday, 20th May: Dulwich Green Fair – we’ll be there. Friday, 25th May: Critical Mass – as above. Saturday, 7th July: Tour de France the Prologue and Bermondsey Carnival! Sunday 8th July: Tour de France Stage 1, London to Canterbury via Rotherhithe! Saturday 28th July: Dunwich Dynamo. 120 miles overnight. Early bookers discounted transport tickets back to Lndon available soon.

Been There, Done That “City Farm Dining”
The mid-February “Locks & Docks” ride took 16 riders to the Barking to begin Barry’s renowned culinary tour of City Farm restaurants. Sixteen intrepid peddlers enjoyed sumptuous display of British culinary treats at Barking City Farm in an al fresco waterside location. (All-day breakfast by a duck pond on an industrial estate.) The first Southwark Cyclist Healthy Ride kicked off to a solid start on 7 March. In addition to the regulars, there were 5 new faces who braved threatening weather to cycle from Peckham Pulse to the Thames and back. Lunch at the Surrey Docks City Farm, a cosy cafe with a non fry-up menu, although rumour suggests that unfriendly animals from the petting zoo occasionally end up on the menu!

Lot’s of useful bike tips were given on out on our first Healthy Ride. Don’t miss out on other rides in the series.

So something for everyone! No excuses, join in! Details are correct as we went to press, but always check rides & look for others in the “Social Rides & Events” section of New rides are always being added.

IMMOBILISE BICYCLE CRIME – to protect your bike, register it with Disagreements with buses? Tel: 0200 7918 4300. Email: Give them as much info as you can such as time, date, route no., registration no. Potholes in the borough? Email: Faults in TfL roads? Tel. 0845 305 1234.

Southwark Cyclists is for everyone who likes what we do, no matter where you live. Check out for links to borough groups all over London.
Southwark Cyclists, c/o London Cycling Campaign, 2 Newhams Row, London SE1 3UZ

Tel. 07905 889 005


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