(Photo: London Cycling Campaign)
After years of staring morosely at the world’s best bike cities just across the English Channel, London is on the brink of big changes. One of the people responsible is coming through Portland on his victory tour.
As director of surface transport strategy and planning for the regional Transport for London agency, Ben Plowden oversees almost everything on his city’s streets. In the 15 years since London regained regional autonomy, the city has introduced a hugely successful anti-congestion charge on cars entering the central city, one of the world’s first major modern bike sharing systems (now 10,000 bikes strong) and, two weeks ago, an 18-mile protected bike lane through the heart of central London.
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Breadwinner Cycles drew a huge crowd to Velo Cult on Friday night. The event marked the official launch of the company which was started by noted bike builders Tony Pereira and Ira Ryan (we profiled Breadwinner back in February).
At Friday night’s event, the highlight for me was the assemblage of locally owned Ira Ryan Cycles and Pereira Cycles bikes. Tony and Ira invited all their local customers to display their bikes as a way to demonstrate the lineages that produced Breadwinner. It was really cool to see all these custom bikes, banged up and dirty from being ridden on local streets by local riders. There were touring bikes, racing bikes, mountain and city ramblers, and everything in between. I was especially keen to meet the owners Ira and Tony’s first bikes sold in Portland…