Last year was full of journeys, both in terms of travel and emotions, and of firsts. Recovering from a rocky end to 2010, I found emotional balance as my body took its time to heal. I also began a new romantic relationship in the spring that has helped me better understand myself and discover what a loving partnership really ought to feel like (answer: fantastic). That discovery induced some much-needed catharsis and put my past into perspective. I travelled overseas for the first time in almost a decade — and boarded the plane unaccompanied for the first time ever — and made two trips within BC with my sweetheart.
I arrived in England on Friday morning. The British woman who had sat next to me on the plane lamented as we exited that it was cloudy. No problem, I said. “Nothing could be worse than the Vancouver weather the other day.” Anyway, I find the clouds settled over the hills kind of intriguing.
It’s greener here than Vancouver right now, but the hills in the country are still brown from a distance between the patches of grass and pasture. I’m trying to imagine what it looks like when it’s all lush. The place is covered in daffodils, some tulips have sprung, magnolias and the odd cherry bloom, and the birds are gloriously loud. On a forest walk, I spotted salmonberry bushes in early bloom, and learned one can suck on the nectar for a treat, which will be sweet if the petals are easy plucked.
Among other cities paving the way (literally) for higher bicycle ridership is London, England. They’re probably better known for congestion pricing for car traffic (one of the first, but not the first, cities to implement it) than cycling, but their current mayor wants to improve their performance with a new plan that includes a 12-route bicycle commuter network radiating from the city centre, a bike-sharing program launched last summer and a new bike police unit.
In place for a few months now, the two new, blue, bike superhighways are quite successful, increasing by a whopping 70% the number of cyclists on the streets compared to their pre-superhighway incarnation (comparing October 2009 to October 2010).
New figures show that the number of cyclists along the first two Barclays Cycle Superhighway routes, which run from Merton to the City and Barking to Tower Gateway, has risen by 70 per cent with increases of 100 per cent or more seen on some sections during peak hours. — Transport for London
It’s hard to argue with that. I hope to check them out first hand when I visit the city this spring. Have you been there and tried them out? What did you think?
Note: I am writing solely on my own behalf, and do not claim to represent the David Suzuki Foundation or its views here.