What could be worthier than going green as you cycle to fitness?

If you ask almost anyone on two wheels why they cycle, their first reply is: because it s enjoyable . That s true whether it s utility cycling (commuting or shopping) or leisure cycling. People who commute by bike pick routes that they enjoy: a stretch

If you ask almost anyone on two wheels why they cycle, their first reply is: ''because it's enjoyable''. That's true whether it's utility cycling (commuting or shopping) or leisure cycling. People who commute by bike pick routes that they enjoy: a stretch of the canal towpath or a well-used cycle track such as Royal College Street.

People who cycle or walk to work often say their journey was one of the best activities of their day, which would be very unlikely for anyone travelling by bus, train or car.

Camden Cycling Campaign (CCC) wants as many people as possible to be able to share this enjoyable activity. Cycling is often the quickest, most efficient way to get you from A to B in London; it keeps you fit; and it leaves no carbon footprint.

Most commuting journeys for people living in Camden are between two and four miles. A two-mile trip can be done by bike in about 15 minutes by even the slowest rider. Our volunteer cycle mentors will accompany you on rides to work, sharing their knowledge of routes and road craft. Once you get started, it's hard to stop!

We recommend the London Cycle Guides to anyone who wants to plan their own route. Maps on our website show the London Cycle Network (LCN) routes as well as commuting and leisure routes recommended by our members. Camden Council offers free cycle training for anyone to get started on a bike - adults as well as children.

A Mass London Bike Ride on July 7 will head to the Mall to watch the prologue of the Tour de France. People who haven't cycled for a long time and even beginners are encouraged to join us.

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Buying a bike and looking after it: The family-owned bike shops in Camden will take the time to give you excellent advice on the sort of cycle that is suitable for you. Look at the map on our website for their locations.

Once you have a bike, you need to know how to make checks and to keep it in good condition. We run maintenance workshops providing hands-on experience with fixing punctures, adjusting brakes and gears and so forth. Contact us if you'd like to attend the next series of workshops in September. We also run regular Dr Bike sessions throughout the summer months - bring your bike along for a check and advice on what needs to be done.

Campaigning for better conditions for cycling: Because our main aim is to get more people to join us on the roads, we work hard to improve the conditions. We have regular contact with Camden officers and strong support from pro-cycling councillors.

There's a lot more to safe cycling streets than just painting more cycle lanes! In fact lanes are little use when they're parked in. And even worse, lanes often lead people to ride in the gutter and other road users to think they should be there, when in fact you are safest when you are most visible.

Good wide cycle lanes that are free from other vehicles are essential in roads where the speed is 30 mph or over and traffic is heavy. Bus lanes are a good alternative, provided that they operate 24/24. Unfortunately parking and loading in high streets such as Kentish Town and Chalk Farm, together with congestion, make it less than ideal for cycling. Whenever possible, we recommend quieter alternative routes instead of the main arteries.

The widespread provision of 20 mph zones in Camden has made cycling safer. That's why we strongly oppose the removal of speed humps and cushions, unless they are replaced by speed cameras. CCC is currently compiling a list of 'danger spots' for Camden Council to work on.

We also campaign for off-road cycle routes, both for leisure cycling and so that journeys can be made without diverting round the parks and open spaces. For example, cycling on the Broadwalk in Regent's Park and on a small number of additional links on Hampstead Heath. We share the vision of making London a world-class cycling city with our parent organisation, London Cycling Campaign

Submitted by

Stefano Casalotti & Jean Dollimore, Joint Coordinators, Camden Cycling Campaign.