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.
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.
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.
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.
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.