However you look at it, Boris Johnson’s plan to create a “Crossrail for the bike” is great news for London. As Johnson himself puts it, the scheme will “cut road and rail crowding, cut noise, cut pollution and illhealth”.
His plan is ambitious – investing nearly £1bn over the next 10 years to truly transform London into a city fit for cycling. To that end, we’ll see the creation of a “very substantially segregated” 15 mile long cycle route crossing the city from east to west, a network of designated quieter routes running through London’s side streets as well as improvements to the existing cycle superhighways. All of which should see a further increase in the number of city cyclists – no longer “braving” London’s roads, but simply embarking on their journeys just as they would any other.
A Lifestyle Choice for London
Of all his ambitions, the one that most closely matches our own is the Mayor’s commitment to make riding a bicycle part of your London life. To move it from a margonalised niche and into an everyday sight on London’s street.
“I want to de-Lycrafy cycling. I want to make it normal, something for everyone, something you feel comfortable doing in your ordinary clothes.” Johnson said.
And if you’re going to “de-Lycrafying cycling” there’s no better place to start than with the bicycle. Because too often it’s the bicycle that dictates how we dress while cycling. Too often you have to change your style to fit a bicycle rather than buying a bicycle that fits your style. And while many fine “ride & destination” clothing brands have emerged recently, when the chips are down, they’re no match for the effortless cool of Paul Smith or sartorial power of Gieves & Hawkes.
A Choice of Style
Which is why the English roadster is so often the perfect fit. It’s one of its finest qualities: you can ride it in your ordinary clothes – though we prefer anything but “ordinary”.
With their swept back handle bars, you can wave goodbye to blazers pulling across your shoulders. Sleeves that disappear up your arms or shirt tails migrating up your back are a thing of the past. While a guard helps to keep your trousers free from dirt from the chain.
What’s more, thanks to its easy, upright riding position that encourages a more dignified pace, you’ll arrive at your destination looking as sharp as you did when you stepped out your front door.
So why compromise your style when you could ride a bicycle that complements it?