A London bike shop has been transported back to the 1940s to celebrate the days when a fifth of all journeys were made by bike, and encourage future investment.
The de-fresh at Evans Cycles’ Waterloo Cut store serves as a reminder that though cycling has become more popular in recent years, more miles need to be logged before we’re back at the levels of past generations.
On Thursday, a dedicated ride will leave the store to commemorate the achievements of Billie Flemming, who rode almost 30,000 miles in 1938 to promote cycling.
Waterloo Cut is Evans Cycles’ oldest surviving store. The 1921 company acquired the site in 1977 and the London streets seen from its windows have changed dramatically in that time.
Evans Cycles’ Director James Backhouse said improved infrastructure is needed to boost participation to previous levels, explaining: “We’re calling for an increased investment in cycling infrastructure, a focus on improving cycle safety and a continued commitment to reducing traffic on the roads in order to help the UK become a true cycling nation once again.”
The work took a team of seven decorators around nine hours, and was completed overnight. There will be events every day this week to mark the demonstration, including the 20 mile tribute ride that will celebrate legendary female cyclist, Billie Flemming.
Flemming rode 29,603 miles in 1938 and was passionate about encouraging more women to ride – even writing an article for ‘Cycling’ magazine (now Cycling Weekly) entitled: ‘Wanted 1,000,000 more women cyclists – An appeal for women to ride bicycles’.
The Billie Flemming Tribute Ride is a year long event which began on January 1st. Women are riding Flemming’s routes every day throughout the year to celebrate her achievements and raise awareness for women’s cycling.
The ride will leave from the store on The Cut, near Waterloo, on Thursday. Riders should be meeting at the store around 10.30am, to leave at 10.45am, but it’s advised that you call the store direct on 02079284785 beforehand, or get in touch with organiser Anne Hunt via the Billie Flemming Tribute Ride website.
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