Best Mother’s Day, ever

Before the glow subsides completely…

Mr Suburbanite captured this moment – me setting off with a group of about 30 adults and kids to the launch event for the A105 cycle lanes, on the best Mothering Sunday ever.

Clare at A105 launch ride close up

Photo: Phil Rogers

If I look happy (verging on demented), it’s because I was thinking: “Here I am – on my beautiful Dutch granny bike carrying tulips with loads of kids on bikes on the cycle lanes we have spent the last three year praying, waiting and fighting for and hardly believing would ever happen.” Or something like that.

I have to say, it was one of the happiest moments of my life.

And that was before our group from Palmers Green arrived at the event and realised that our expectations of maybe 50 participants had been smashed. There were over 200. It wasn’t just Enfield Council supporters, or Better Streets campaigners. It was a load of people of all ages, including a large number of children, who simply wanted to ride on the new lanes. Normal people, some of them experimenting with cycling after decades out of the saddle.

Riders at the A105 launch

Check out the smiles – and the age range. One man riding in this picture is in his 80s, and there is a child of about six as well. Photo: Ian Barnes

After the event,  I realised that the Better Streets for Enfield banner I’d brought in a pannier bag had stayed in it throughout. And actually that felt right. For this particular route (other A-roads in Enfield will get cycle lanes too), I guess the campaign is over. There is no need for campaigners to wave banners over it any more, virtually or physically. Residents have picked up where we’ve left off – by getting on their bikes and simply using the lanes.

Google capture bikes on A105

“No one uses the bike lanes”. Yet the Google car captured this random image on Streetview – not just a man in Lycra, but a woman and child riding on the cycle lane. We are seeing a change in the demographic of who cycles in Enfield

This was the only banner we used, and it was designed by the Cutester: a thank you to the council on behalf of Enfield’s children.

Thank you banner with Cllr Anderson

Applause for a brave council. Grown-ups, left to right: me; Will Norman, London’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner; Cllr Daniel Anderson, main cabinet member responsible for Enfield’s Mini Holland; and Bambos Charalambous MP, who unseated anti-cycle lane MP David Burrowes at the last general election

I wrote it all up on Better Streets for Enfield, although I think Palmers Green Community website probably did a better job…

It was a bit like a wedding. I spoke to several Better Streets members later who all said they were euphoric for days. Certainly not a day I’m likely to forget for a very long time.

A105 launch crowd shot

The moment we all waved and cheered. Photo: Cycle Enfield



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