Calling all cyclists – in fact no, not ‘cyclists’ – calling all everyone: do you want to see decent cycle paths in your neighbourhood and town? Do you want to be able to ride your bike without having to battle with traffic? Do you want not to have to plunge around a three-lane roundabout on your bike (or walk slowly around the outside to avoid it)? Do you want to see your kids cycle to school?
Are you, indeed, a kid who’d like to cycle to school, or even better, home from school or to the park or to the shops? Would you like cycling to be something you decide to do because it’s the quickest, easiest, cheapest way to get around rather than because you find skydiving too tame to generate enough adrenaline? Have you ever not cycled anywhere because it just felt too scary to do so? Or do you feel you can only cycle helmeted and girded for battle, poised to accelerate out of trouble, with all five senses doing overtime, all the time? Have you ever looked across the North Sea at what they’re doing for bikes in the Netherlands or Denmark and thought, you jammy lot, why can’t we have even a tenth of that over here?
And have you ever thought, yes, but it will never happen and there’s nothing I can do about it anyway?
There is something you can do. It may not work, it may be a futile quixotic gesture, it may end in failure and disappointment. But it’s something and it’s a lot easier than learning Dutch and moving to Amsterdam would be.
[img_assist|nid=2060|title=|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=240|height=184]You can go on a picnic.
Yep, it’s as easy as that. A picnic on the 3rd September in Central London, at the official launch of the Cycling Embassy of Great Britain. With your bike. And your kids (or someone else’s – just ask their parents’ permission first) and your mum or dad or gran or grandad or cousins or anyone else who wants to show up and say: ‘yes, we would like to be able to ride our bikes in safety and comfort every day.’ Because riding a bike should be as easy as riding a bike. Because riding a bike should be a bit of a picnic, every day.
And if you can’t make it to our picnic – and we know London’s a long way off for many – how about this: have your own picnic. Dress up a bit, and make a day of it. Bring your family. Bring your bikes. Take a photo of it all and send it to us and we’ll add them to our site and to our virtual picnic, all around the country.
You never know, it might work.