In 2007, I started London Cyclist after getting frustrated at how the only articles I could find online were focused on high end cycling. I felt excluded from a tribe and that there wasn’t something out there for an everyday commuter like myself.
It seems others shared my frustration and London Cyclist quickly grew in to a full time occupation. I had a lot of fun running the site, but in recent times my focus has switched over to my apps company Nibble Apps.
Today, Emily will be assuming the mantle, with a view to growing London Cyclist in to an even bigger community that continues to play an important role in the future of cycling in London.
There is a lot of great work we have planned including:
- A return to regular great content, with everything from reviews to in-depth articles about cycling in London
- Updating some of our older, most popular content, both on the site and inside our newsletter
- A revamp of the cycling accessories page
- Updating our London Cycle Routes eBook and turning it in to an interactive site
- Growing our Flickr page with photography from life in the cycle lane and starting a London Cyclist Instagram account
Here is my interview with Emily.
You’re joining London Cyclist at an exiting time – what topics are you most looking forward to covering?
We all feel the joys and tribulations each day we cycle in London and I’m very excited to cover that and get a range of opinions. I’m excited to talk to cabbies, lorry drivers, cycling instructors and everyday commuters to get a range of opinions and tell all sides of the story.
I also must admit to being a bit of gear freak, so the reviews will be fun and the gear section will be greatly expanded in the coming weeks. One of the first items I’ll be covering is a review of a high security lock by Knog.
If you have something you are particularly interested in having reviewed, let me know!
Give us some of your cycling history – I hear you’ve cycled in Portland and Atlanta.
I have. I lived in Atlanta for 3 years and commuted by bike there when the crazy heat allowed. Keep in mind in London 36.7C is considered a record for July: In Atlanta it regularly tops 35C for months in the summer, with high humidity thrown in to the mix. Along with the poor road surfaces, it turns cycling in to somewhat of an extreme sport.
Whilst the car rules the way in Atlanta there were some awesome attempts to develop cycling that I took advantage of, such as trails and dedicated paths.
I lived in Portland, OR. for a year which gave me a feel for what can happen when many people decide that a particular form of transport is important to them and their city, it was really great. My cycling history however was really founded by growing up in Cambridge. As a family we cycled around the city over driving, so a bike is just the most natural form of transport for me and has always been a part of my daily life.
You were previously working at Brompton – what was your role there?
I worked in their flagship retail store, the Junction in Covent Garden. I was involved in a bit more than general customer service and learnt a lot from my time in the company. I really do appreciate the bikes and what they offer owners in terms of freedom and transport possibilities. Working in the store also allowed me contact with other regular commuters and leant me further insight into the experiences of others. It also means I have a kick-ass Brompton!
Brompton readers will be rejoicing as we’ll be sharing some interesting articles for folding bike aficionados – what is in the pipeline in the next few months?
We’ll be writing some interesting articles on maintenance and repair. I would also like to talk about how to properly set your Brompton up for you. I have found that they are not always thought of as ‘normal bikes’ and people don’t treat them as they would a regular bike, tweaking the fit and making sure they are regularly maintained. Of course, this is not all owners, but I hope there are some things I have learnt working with the bikes for 11 months that might be of interest to others and I would like a chance to pass them on. Suggestions will gladly be taken as well.
Be honest, how many bikes do you have currently?
Umm, 4, although I only have 2 in London and fully intend on selling one of the ones not here. I keep 2 of them in my parents garage (they put up with a lot of my stuff). I have a Brompton – M2L in claret- and a brand shiny new touring bike – Trek 520 disc- in London and a mountain bike and hybrid in Cambridge. The Brompton is my regular use bike, the touring bike is new and I am learning to use it properly in the hopes of cycle holidays and long commutes to come. The mountain bike has sentimental value so will be kept forever even if it is not used much.
My new baby – there will be a post about the process of choosing her soon.
Dream cycling holiday – where would you fly off to and what route would you follow?
During my time in the US I did many road trips by car. I would love to go back to some of those routes and cycle them instead. I think there is a lot about a place that you cannot experience stuck inside a air conditioned bubble and I would love to go back to some of the beautiful places I have been and cycle them instead, although I am not in any shape to cycle through the Rockies at this point!
Favourite cycling accessory?
A good bag. I have far too many bags and always find an excuse for more. Using a bike as a daily tool means you have stuff to take with you (at least I do, I have a tendency to over pack) and selecting the right way to carry it can seriously enhance your enjoyment of the ride. I have a feeling there are going to be a lot of bag reviews in this blogs future! I am also a big fan of baby wipes and travel size deodorants, cycling can get messy and I want to sometimes be able to push myself on my commute and not make others suffer for it later.