Welcome to my first (ever) blog. I am the Grumpy Cyclist. The blog is a long time in the making, not because I was perfecting the writing or researching interesting material, but because I couldn't be bothered to put down in writing my experiences cycling in the wonderful borough of Waltham Forest, (with Hackney and Haringey playing cameo parts). But now, my general grumpiness at the state of cycling in these boroughs has overcome my innate laziness, and I shall attempt to relate my experiences.
People have blogged this topic before, most notably the excellent and prolific Freewheeler on Crap Cycling and Walking in Waltham Forest. Freewheeler's blog should be a lesson to all those involved in the local council on what needs to be remedied to make cycling a better experience in the borough. Clearly no-one on the council reads, or cares about this, as the issues that have been raised by Freewheeler years ago are still a problem.
I don't want anyone to be in any doubt. I am not a lycra-clad, lentil eating cycle fanatic. I cycle because, despite the best efforts of local boroughs, it still is often the most convenient way to get around. Until a few years ago, I hadn't cycled for a long time, and drove everywhere - and believe me driving isn't any picnic with the level of congestion on the roads in East London either. But I don't believe non-cyclists are aware of the crap that masquerades as cycle provision. A few months on two wheels made me realise why most people don't use cycle lanes and some may not obey the highway code at all times. It's because on a cycle, it can sometimes feel like everyone, including those you elected, are out to get you.
Anyway, I plan to update the blog as often as I can - I could hope that it will be suddenly discovered by those in charge of transport planning and be a force for change, but I am a realist. Judging from the state of cycle provision, they either have a pathological hatred of cyclists, have never cycled, or possibly even seen a cycle in their lives, or are engaging in some massive wind-up. Or possibly all three.